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Masters Degrees (Sustainable Urban Design)

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Spatial Planning determines the design of places, the relationships between land uses, and identifies infrastructure requirements. Read more
Spatial Planning determines the design of places, the relationships between land uses, and identifies infrastructure requirements. The planning process makes provision for the needs of households and the requirements of the economy, and planning aims to mitigate the adverse impacts of development upon our natural environment.

The planning system is currently undergoing change to be better able to address the challenges of competitiveness and sustainability. There is a pressing requirement in both the public and private sectors for planners with appropriate understanding and skills to plan for development and protect the environment.

The University is a long-established provider of planning education. MSc Spatial Planning will be attractive to individuals with a real interest in tackling the challenges of important urban planning issues; MSc Spatial Planning with Sustainable Urban Design is designed to equip graduates with the professional skills for resolving environmental, economic, social, cultural and spatial dimensions in designing for sustainable development.

Why choose spatial planning?

Spatial Planning is concerned with creating sustainable places. Planners achieve this in a number of ways:

Planners work with building firms and housing organisations to help make available sites addressing the housing needs of local areas. They meet with local communities to learn about their concerns and to discuss ways of tackling issues such as the protection of homes from flood risk. They provide guidance on how to promote quality in the design of places and buildings.

Planning makes possible investment in sustainable economic development. Through preparing medium and long-term plans, planners ensure that land is available for development within and around our cities and towns. Planners often lead on regeneration projects and work in partnership with engineers to bring forward the infrastructures necessary to relieve transport congestion and to provide for long-term energy solutions.

Climate change is making achieving sustainability increasingly important. Planners, work with the environmental agencies and with conservation interests to ensure that the potential environmental impacts arising from development proposals are first established and then they use planning powers to promote a sustainable balance between social and economic development and the protection of the environment.

Who becomes a planning student?

Spatial Planning is a multi-disciplinary activity and attracts a wide mix of graduates. Often these are geography graduates, but increasingly graduates with social science, law, architecture and surveying degrees, as well as graduates from the environmental sciences find that Spatial Planning makes use of their knowledge and training.

Aims of the Programme

The Spatial Planning programmes are designed to provide the knowledge, skills and understanding required for graduates wishing to enter into professional careers in urban planning and development.

Programme Content

Semester 1:
Spatial Analysis has two key components. The first component analyses built and natural environments particularly from a conservation perspective. The second part of the module focuses on socio-economic analysis of data at a city scale and the relevance of this to planning.

Statutory Planning. is a practice based approach to learning processes processes of plan-making and the management of development.Property Development Processes deals with complexities and challenges in the property development sector and the role of different stakeholders involved.

Semester 2:
Concepts of spatial planning introduces students to the role of planning and planning systems. The other part of this module introduces students to various planning theories and their relevance to practice..

Sustainability in Contemporary Cities examines various challenges facing the growth of cities globally and the implications of these to planning of cities and the countryside.

The third second semester module is optional depending on the selected specialism. Students select one specialist module from the following:

Environmental Assessment
Marine Spatial Planning
Sustainable Urban Design
Urban Conservation
Applied Geographic Information Systems and Geospatial Data Analysis

Semester 3:
A 60 credit dissertation in line with the selected specialism

Methods of Assessment

Assessment methods cover a mix of formats including 'live' project-work and a research project. There are no written examinations. The educational aims are to develop subject understanding and to equip students with research and practice skills. Assignments call for visioning, problem-solving, forward-planning and critical reflection. Assignments are informed by students making effective use of available literature, conducting investigations and accessing sources of data. Attention is paid to building the effective communication and partnering skills vital for practicing professional planners.

Sources of Funding

Information about the School of the Environment scholarships can be found on the School of the Environment scholarships webpage. Other sources of funding for postgraduate students can be found on our Scholarships webpage.
SAAS tuition fee loans are available for this course for students who meet the eligibility criteria. Visit our SAAS tuition fee loan webpage for more information and links.

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This course is a research and project-based programme; designed to assist the enhancement of the quality of our cities by bringing innovative design into a new relationship with the latest theoretical research on the special structure of urban form. Read more
This course is a research and project-based programme; designed to assist the enhancement of the quality of our cities by bringing innovative design into a new relationship with the latest theoretical research on the special structure of urban form. The course provides students with an understanding of the complex relationship between spatial and design issues and social and economic urban processes. It addresses urban design as a mode of research and practice that shapes urban environments and responds to urban problems.

The course will enable you to develop the mechanisms and tools, which can effectively be implemented to secure and deliver projects for the long-term benefit of its city and people. It emphasises the importance of design creativity and focuses on drawing, physical and computer modelling as tools for analysis, exploration, communication and design.

Students will develop:
the ability to plan and undertake an individual project
interpersonal, communication and professional skills
the ability to communicate ideas effectively in written reports, verbally and by means of presentations to groups
the ability to exercise original thought design experimentation and creativity
application of theory to specific projects

Previous dissertation projects have included:
Eco Cities: The Search for Sustainable Urbanism
The Urban Design of Innovation
Tall Buildings and Urban Design

Scholarship information can be found at http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/graduateschool/funding/index.aspx

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This programme is grounded on the belief that architects should be thinking well beyond the constraints of market forces and the traditional disciplinary limits of the profession, towards forms, technology and spaces for a more sustainable future. Read more
This programme is grounded on the belief that architects should be thinking well beyond the constraints of market forces and the traditional disciplinary limits of the profession, towards forms, technology and spaces for a more sustainable future. This is a student-led programme, and you can have very different experiences within it depending on the choices of studios and courses you make.

Why choose this course?

Founded in 1927, the School of Architecture at Oxford Brookes has established an international reputation for the quality of both its research and its teaching. As one of the largest architecture schools in the UK, with around 600 students and 70 staff, it plays a leading role in defining the national, and international, agenda in design education and research. The school enjoys an international reputation in research, in areas ranging from sustainable design to modular buildings and from design for well-being to vernacular architecture.

Staff in the school regularly secure research funding from the UK's research councils and the European Union as well as industry, with an annual research grant income averaging £1m in recent years. This programme provides RIBA/ARB Part 2.

Professional accreditation

Accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Architects Registration Board (ARB).

This course in detail

Year 1 - Research into design
This year has a very strong emphasis on acquiring in-depth knowledge of an architecturally important field of study and utilising that knowledge in design. This is achieved by taking one of the six 'design specialisations'.

You choose which design specialisation is best for you. The specialisations on offer are deliberately highly diverse to cater for the changing nature of the profession in practice. This course produces graduates for the global market and as such requires a high level of commitment from staff and students.

The design specialisations are:
-Advanced Architectural Design
-International Architectural Regeneration and Development
-Development and Emergency Practice
-Sustainable Building: Performance and Design
-Research-led Design
-Urban Design.

Each of the research specialisations offers teaching from experts within that subject area, and links, through teaching focus and staff, to the five research clusters that are an invaluable resource within the School of architecture.

The five research clusters keep the specialisations at the cutting edge in terms of a global agenda. They are, in general terms, environmental design, technology, development and emergency practice, humanities and architectural design.

Each of the design specialisations include a design project or projects, to which you will apply your detailed learning.

In addition to the design specialisation the first year will, through the Research Philosophy for Design module, widen your thinking in terms of what constitutes research, test your critical thinking and improved your analytical abilities. All of these are essential tools and their enhancement will place you in a stronger position to undertake the design studio in the second year.

Your ability to represent your ideas in a coherent and focused manner is the remit for the Representation module. This module will identify your strengths and build up your weaknesses, both in terms of visual and verbal communication methods. You will be able to dedicate time to fine-tuning techniques or building from basics in sketching, model making, 2D and 3D CAD. Your presentation of methods and actual practice will enable you to build confidence in verbal communication skills.

The Management, Practice and Law module in year one looks at the landscapes within which these issues are being informed. This module is taught by practising architects who have first-hand experience of the issues under discussion. Through a series of workshops you will work on topics that are essential to the practice of architecture. Management, practice and law is part of the design delivery of the programme and you will be expected to approach the coursework from a design position. This module asks that you approach this subject with a very different mind-set than the traditional position.

Due to the diverse and preparative basis of this year it is compulsory for all students to pass all compulsory components of the Research into Design year in order to be progress to the Design and Technology year.

Year 2 - Design and technology
This year is structured to enable you to synthesise a broad range of complex cultural, aesthetic, research and technical factors, and design-specialisation learning, into your major design project and portfolio.

The year is spent participating in one of six design studios. All studios have control over their own programme of projects, and each has a different view of architectural culture and promotes different design methods. The design studios are taught by some of the brightest designers and tutors in the country and consequently their programmes demand high levels of creative and intellectual endeavour from you, as well as high levels of productivity. Their aim is to raise your design thinking, skills and production to the highest possible standard.

All six units present their projects for the year in the induction session and you are asked to select all six in order of preference. This system is to allow for an even distribution of students across all six units. Most students are allocated to their first choice of studio although there is no guarantee of a particular design unit - normally at worst you are allocated your second choice.

During the design and technology year, your design work must develop into technically ambitious architecture and be the subject of your compulsory Advanced Technology for Design module. This module designs through technology and fully complements and parallels your work in the design studio. There is a very strong emphasis here upon the creative possibilities for architectural technology. We ask for an open and experimental approach to technology, but also a clear understanding of its context and aims.

The staff delivering the teaching in the design studio unit and the Advanced Technology for Design module are made up from academics and practitioners. This energetic mix will challenge you to think about design and technology in a new manner, building confidence in ability, enabling deep thinking, and aiding you to define a personal design spirit.

Sitting alongside the design and technology is the second Management, Practice and Law module. This module builds on the learning and skills from the first year module and prepares you for stepping back into practice. As in the first year module this is learning is delivered by practicing architects. Through focus groups with architectural practices, this module figures in the skills that are seen as highly desirable for the ARB part 2 graduate to have when seeking employment.

Throughout the two years of the programme there will be interim reviews. This offers an opportunity to receive feedback from outside of your design studio or design specialisation. We have strong links with practice and architectural institutions and can attract the most able people to sit on our reviews.

This is a programme that aims to give you the skills for international practice.

As our courses are reviewed regularly, modules may vary from those listed here.

Teaching and learning

The unique nature of the Applied Design in Architecture offers you the opportunity to select an individual pathway that will create a distinctive graduate profile that is unique to you alone.

The ability to choose modules from within design specialisations offers you the prospect of defining your own position. You will find that you are being taught with, in most cases, direct entry master's students from countries around the world.

This aspect is complemented by the Year 2 design studio where you will engage with a distinctive agenda and experience a diversity of design specialisation thinking from students within your unit.

Self-directed learning is highly supported by staff in the School of Architecture. Personal choice engenders motivation and a high level of commitment, and the programme has been designed to embrace this aspect whilst clearly building on skills, thinking, application and design production to achieve a final portfolio of the highest standard.

Careers and professional development

The modules Management Practice, and Law 1 and 2, include guidance on the necessary professional skills that are required both for ARB Part 2 and for preparation in commencing ARB Part 3. The design studio generates a portfolio of work that not only demonstrates the learning for ARB Part 2 but also written, research and visual skills. The design portfolio is intended as the vehicle for students to synthesise all facets of their learning in order to seek practice employment.

In addition the school maintains a jobs wall that advertises vacancies locally, nationally and internationally.

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The MA in Architecture and Urban Design (MAUD) is a wide-ranging mainstream Master's programme in architecture that gives you an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspective on contemporary architecture and urban design. Read more
The MA in Architecture and Urban Design (MAUD) is a wide-ranging mainstream Master's programme in architecture that gives you an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspective on contemporary architecture and urban design. The programme informs you about the latest knowledge of architecture and urban design in order to prepare you to become a successful professionals working on a global scale.

You are taught how to combine academic analysis with the development of creative and intellectual skills. We regard theory and practice of architecture as equally important, and believe that joint effort and excellence in both areas are necessary for communicating architecture and urban design competently and successfully. You are encouraged to develop your creative and imaginative abilities; to produce ideas and undertake work that conveys your understanding of architecture and cities in fresh and effective ways.

You learn how to approach contemporary architecture and cities and their relation to the society, culture and arts including film and theatre. Through the analysis of wider social and environmental aspects and through modeling of cities’ life and its dynamic forces, programme considers the ways in which both the heritage buildings and the new design proposals can facilitate in the sustainable development of cities in the future.

Kent School of Architecture (KSA) has developed a unique partnership with Farrells, the internationally renowned architects and urban planners. John Letherland, the Head of Master Planning, currently leads a design module for all students on this programme.

This is a versatile Master’s qualification for architects, urban designers, surveyors, historians, landscape architects, theorists, engineers and other related professionals involved with planning and design of contemporary cities, as well as graduates interested in pursuing further postgraduate studies and an academic career.

This programme is taught at our Canterbury campus. There is also a version of this programme which allows you to spend a term in Paris (https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/181/architecture-and-urban-design-paris).

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/180/architecture-and-urban-design

About Kent School of Architecture

Research at Kent School of Architecture achieves excellence in both the history and theory of architecture and in sustainable urban, peri-urban and environmental design. School staff have design expertise and specialist knowledge; they are at the forefront of current architectural issues, including sustainability, technology, professional practice and research. Our staff are active at academic and professional conferences, both nationally and internationally, and appear and publish in local and national media. The School promotes innovative and interdisciplinary research, emphasising sustainable design.

Much of the project work involved in the Kent School of Architecture is located on 'live' sites in the local region, using real clients and engaging challenging issues. Students in all stages of the school have been introduced to real urban and architectural design challenges in Lille, Margate, Folkestone, Dover, Rye, Chatham and, of course, Canterbury. Much of this work involves liaising with external bodies, such as architects, planners, council and development groups.

Course structure

The MA is composed of four taught modules (two modules per term full-time, one module per term part-time) and a dissertation on the topic of your own choice. The programme leads to an MA but may be taken as a Postgraduate Diploma without the dissertation.

Graduates have worked at the cutting edge of the architectural profession on a global level and progressed to work in academia.


The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

AR831 - Urban Landscape (30 credits)
AR832 - Research Methods and Analysis (30 credits)
AR848 - Theory and History of Urban Design (30 credits)
AR847 - Urban Design Project (30 credits)
AR999 - Dissertation:Urban Design (60 credits)


Assessment is by coursework and the dissertation.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

- ensure that you achieve excellence in your knowledge of architecture and cities through the development of your understanding, research, design and other related abilities

- promote creativity and excellence in architecture and urban design; from understanding concepts to thoughtful project development and the integration of research, strategically and in detail

- develop your knowledge of the theoretical, historical and professional contexts of architecture and urban design and ensure that you are aware of your responsibilities

- develop your understanding of architecture, cities and urban design within a broader cultural context that would include studies of arts and humanities

- promote and support independent research and high-quality skills

- accommodate a wide range of views and develop your specialised original interests

- develop understanding of how the boundaries of knowledge are advanced through research and promote originality in applying knowledge in architecture and urban design

- develop initiative, responsibility and sound critical judgement in making decisions about complex architectural and urban design issues

- enable you to develop strategies for self-improvement and commitment to research and learning

- support you in achieving your full potential in all parts of the programme.


Our Master’s programmes have been devised to enhance your prospects in a competitive world. Professionals in the architectural, planning, environmental design and conservation fields who develop higher-level skills, accredited by relevant bodies, will find themselves well-placed to progress in their field. Our students have gone on to work for major public agencies and universities, as well as leading practitioners in the private sector.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

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Why this course?. Recent data and predictions on the forthcoming rate of urbanisation make cities the most common living environment now and in the future. Read more

Why this course?

Recent data and predictions on the forthcoming rate of urbanisation make cities the most common living environment now and in the future. What kind of life will it be for the seven billion people who will live in existing or developing cities? Cities hold tremendous potential, but at the same time are sources of stress, inequalities and pollution.

In 2015, the United Nations recognised this through the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which included 17 new Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Goal 11 is dedicated to urban settlements, with the aim to 'Make Cities Inclusive, Safe, Resilient and Sustainable'.

This means that getting the design of cities right has never been so important. The questions are: what kind of design should we adopt, and who should be in charge? Our course explicitly addresses these questions, and teaches how to design responsive, resilient, sustainable cities for all their inhabitants, thus preparing socially responsible urban design professionals of the future.

Designed for both students and practitioners, the course treats the city as a complex, dynamic system.

The course is closely linked to the Urban Design Studies Unit research agenda. Everything taught in classes and the studio is based on our excellent research record and helps advance it.

You’ll study

Your course is delivered through studio work, lectures, seminars and a research project.


The major topic of studio is the design of the resilient city. We will address this at all scales, from the metropolitan to the neighbourhood with all its special places. We normally work on a authentic client commission, therefore the work is real; you will work against deadlines, and in multidisciplinary teams, employing professional methods. Your designs will be based on UDSU’s approach to city design called ‘Masterplanning for Change’.

Taught classes

Taught classes give you the theoretical grounding for everything you do in studio and inform the next phase of research. They take you through the history and theory of ideas that shaped cities up to the present day. They illustrate the current challenges faced by cities, with all the approaches available to tackle them This culminates with the very unique principles behind our Masterplanning for Change approach to the design of the city. These classes also aim to provide you with the basic skills to develop and express urban design ideas at best. Finally, they provide you with an understanding of the political, economic and practical realms of urban design.


The Masters thesis is a substantial piece of student-led work on a topic of particular personal interest, or suggested by staff to advance the Urban Design Studies Unit agenda. It is the completion of this piece that grants students the RTPI accreditation.



There are two fully-networked design studios; one dedicated to student self-study, the other to interactive design teaching.


In addition to the main University library, we have our own, on-site, reference library. Our collection is developed in direct response to the teaching delivered in the department.


A full range of hand and portable power tools are available (complete with instruction).

We offer plotter printing, scanning and laser cutting services.

Find out more about the full range of facilities we have on offer.


The course receives Specialist Accreditation from the Royal Town Planning Institute, an important professional recognition from one of the largest planning bodies in the World.

Our department works in a joint Partnership Board with Glasgow University’s Department of Urban Studies, a world-class department whose renowned teachers and researchers contribute real estate and policy and practice teaching to our course.


Taught classes take place over Semesters 1 and 2, and include compulsory and optional choices. Compulsory classes will teach you the basic principles of what makes a sustainable and resilient city. Urban Design History and Urban Theory provide a historic overview of all major changes in the form of cities, with a focus on their social, political and economic contexts. The principles and theories of Sustainability are explored as well as the role of Development Processes and the practice and policy of Urban Design (theory) on the shape and density of cities

Optional classes offer you the chance to specialise in an area of interest. These include Urban Landscape Design, Urban Design Representation and other classes which you might find useful from the wider Faculty of Engineering offering.

The course director helps each student build up their curriculum on the basis of their background and interests.

Learning & teaching

Courses are taught through lectures, seminars and studio work as well as a piece of research (MSc students only).

Lectures and seminars are delivered through a variety of modes including short intensive sessions to allow for flexible booking by CPD and part-time students. There's also occasional site visits. 

The taught element of the course starts from a solid grounding in urban design history and theory. It then concentrates on current urban challenges, from climate change to the pressures for development in both developed and developing countries. It culminates with the research work carried out in the Urban Design Studies Unit and teaches you the unit’s ethos and approach to urbanism. 


Assessment criteria are linked to the learning outcomes set for each individual class and these are published in the modules descriptors which are available to students. The criteria is also explained by staff at the start of each class, to make sure that you're comfortable and clear with what is expected of you.

The assessment of studio work is developed collaboratively between staff and students. Learning outcomes are linked to criteria and performances. This increases your sense of ownership of the learning process and is integral to the course.

On successful completion of studio and classes you’ll be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma. If you complete an additional research element you’ll receive an MSc in Urban Design.

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Influence cities of tomorrow. Now more than ever, more emphasis has been placed on the environmental management and planning of our cities. Read more

Influence cities of tomorrow

Now more than ever, more emphasis has been placed on the environmental management and planning of our cities. Graduates must acquire knowledge to solve problems and reshape the quality and performance of cities around the world.

Gain access to a wide range of career pathways in the natural and built environments with a Master of Sustainable Environments and Planning at Bond. Graduates will receive theoretical and practical skills to undertake environmental management, and urban and regional developments.

Intensive mode delivery

The Master of Sustainable Environments and Planning is delivered in intensive mode. Intensive mode delivery is a compact and time efficient way to complete a postgraduate qualification with minimal impact on professional and personal lifestyles. Each subject is delivered over two weekends during the semester. There are two sets of three-day sessions per subject, generally scheduled Thursday to Saturday (approximately six to eight contact hours per day) with a break of four or five weeks between session one and session two of each subject.

Participants will receive 40 hours of combined lectures, discussion groups, case studies and workshops during contact hours. International students are required to be on campus every week.

The program is also professionally recognised by some of Australia’s leading professional bodies. This allows graduates to differentiate themselves within the industry.

About the program

The Master of Sustainable Environments and Planning program focuses on Environmental Management as well as Urban Design & Planning. The Environmental Management component provides an in-depth examination of environmental management, including field work. The content is globally focused, providing qualifications that are in demand worldwide. Students may apply for a postgraduate industry internship in the final semester of the program. This includes the option of being involved in a client based environmental management capstone project or research dissertation. The Urban Design and Planning curriculum equips graduates with the theoretical and practical skills required to undertake the design, appraisal and management of urban and regional developments. With this qualification, professionals from a built environment background will be able to undertake urban planning and development at a professional level. 

Structure and subjects

View the Master of Sustainable Environments and Planning - Program Structure and Sequencing

The structure of the Master of Sustainable Environments and Planning comprises both theoretical and practical subjects. This program is designed in close consultation with prominent industry professional boards to ensure the integrity and contemporary relevance of the degree.

This program enables you to exit after four (4) subjects with a graduate certificate, after eight (8) subjects with a graduate diploma or complete 12 subjects for a master’s degree.

Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Environments and Planning (4)

You must complete four (4) of the following subjects:

Graduate Diploma in Sustainable Environments and Planning (8)

If you have obtained a cognate undergraduate degree and seek accreditation by the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) you must complete the following eight (8) subjects:

If you are not seeking accreditation from PIA you may complete eight (8) subjects from the following:

Master of Sustainable Environments and Planning (12)

To complete a Master of Sustainable Environments and Planning, you must complete all of the following subjects:

Electives (2)

Students choose any two electives from the FSD list of postgraduate subjects.

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The production, reproduction and transformation of urban space via socially, economically, and environmentally just methods presents a complex challenge for professionals. Read more

The production, reproduction and transformation of urban space via socially, economically, and environmentally just methods presents a complex challenge for professionals. This MSc combines cultural, social, economic, political and spatial analysis to recalibrate the urban design project, presenting a holistic response in which informality and marginality are central features.

About this degree

The programme will equip students with a political economy understanding of space; a comprehension of the needs, abilities, aspirations and forms of resistance of urban dwellers; the ability to respond with strategically co-ordinated proposals to leverage local abilities to meet local needs; and an ability to critically engage with the practice of urban design and architecture in developmental processes – particularly in the Global South.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three core modules (90 credits), either one or two optional modules (30 credits) and a development and planning dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules

  • Transforming Local Areas: Urban Design for Development
  • Participatory Process: Building for Development
  • The BUDD Studio: Building and Urban Design Practice

Optional modules

  • Critical Urbanism Studio I. Learning from Informality: Case studies and alternatives
  • Critical Urbanism Studio II: Investigative Design Strategies for Contested Spaces
  • Disaster Risk Reduction in Cities
  • Post Disaster Recovery: Policies, Practices and Alternatives
  • Housing Policies: Practical Dimensions and Alternative Options
  • Housing as Urbanism: Housing Policy and the Search for Scale
  • Adapting Cities to Climate Change in the Global South
  • The Political Ecology of Environmental Change
  • Sustainable Infrastructure and Services in Development
  • Urban Water and Sanitation, Planning and Politics
  • Social Policy and Citizenship
  • Gender in Policy and Planning
  • The City and its Relations: Context, Institutions and Actors in Urban Development Planning
  • Urban Development Policy, Planning and Management: Strategic Action in Theory and Practice
  • Transport Equity and Urban Mobility
  • Industrialisation and Infrastructure
  • Food and the City
  • Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture: Knowledge Systems in the Global South
  • NGOs and Social Transformation
  • Contemporary Approaches to Development Management

Please note, the availability of some modules may be dependent on student numbers


All MSc students submit a 10,000-word report on a topic related to the main themes of the programme. The topic can be chosen to enhance career development or for its inherent interest.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of weekly lectures, seminar presentations, group exercises and workshops. The BUDD studio includes a fieldwork project in an urban reality of the Global South, developed in partnership with local organisations, networks of communities, slum dweller federations, universities and governments alike. Students are encouraged to explore different tools, concepts and ideas throughout the programme and test these during the field project. Assessment is through coursework, design work, written examinations and the 10,000-word report.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Building and Urban Design in Development MSc


The programme enables graduates to work in NGOs and local government – facilitating community organisations and households to improve their living conditions. Graduate destinations range from UK-based organisations in the public, private and community sectors, to governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations, which operate in a development capacity in the South. Recent graduates have also been employed by international NGOs and aid and development agencies and architectural and design practices. Some graduates return to their home countries and engage in urban design and architecture practice, teaching, or research of urban development there; others have successfully sought employment away from their own countries.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Architectural Assistant, Callison
  • PhD in Housing Policy, Sapienza University of Rome
  • Project Manager, Home Office
  • Urban Designer / Visual Designer, Nanjing Yangtze River Urban Architectural Design Co., Ltd
  • Construction Manager, Protemus

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Bartlett is the UK's largest multidisciplinary faculty of the built environment, bringing together dozens of scientific and professional specialisms required to research, understand, design, construct and operate the buildings and urban environments of the future.

The Development Planning Unit is an international centre concerned with promoting sustainable forms of development, understanding rapid urbanisation and encouraging innovation in the policy, planning and management responses to the economic, social and environmental development of cities and regions, especially in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Its programmes are supported by international agencies as well as by national and provincial governments.

The Building and Urban Design in Development (BUDD) programme in particular reflects on the necessity of design practices to contribute to changing the mainstream paradigm of working with the urban poor, with communities and the city itself.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Development Planning Unit

81% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

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This programme aims at providing a multidisciplinary background for architects, with a special focus on environmental sustainability and landscape design. Read more

Mission and Goals

This programme aims at providing a multidisciplinary background for architects, with a special focus on environmental sustainability and landscape design. The concept of sustainability is associated with a high quality transformation of landscape, from the macro-scale of urban planning, to the micro-scale of technical details, how the varied scales connect and interrelate with each other. This method is oriented to a physical, social and technical approach, passing over a close specialized theme vision. The international program involves also workshops, study trips, and summer schools.

The programme is taught in english.

See the website http://www.polinternational.polimi.it/educational-offer/laurea-magistrale-equivalent-to-master-of-science-programmes/sustainable-architecture-and-landscape-design/

Career Opportunities

The programme trains architects with an expertise in sustainable architecture and landscape design, to follow a career in the private and public sector as covered by EU directives in: architecture, urban planning, urban design, and landscape architecture.


See http://www.polinternational.polimi.it/uploads/media/Architecture-Piacenza.pdf
The MSc Degree programme in Sustainable Architecture and Landscape Design offers the student the tools to become an Architect with a sound competence on theories, methods and applications of Architecture and of Landscape Design, highly skilled in the issues of contemporary territories: regeneration of productive landscapes; sustainable transformation of the architectural, urban and rural landscapes; transformation of the built environment and re-use of the existent soil; design of open spaces and infrastructures; protection of the territory; valorisation of the ecological and cultural resources; design strategies for new forms of sustainable inhabiting.
To this aim, this Degree Programme offers a complex view on the environment, dealing with all the landscape forms: from urban, to agricultural and to suburban areas, in line with the European Landscape Convention (2000) which “applies to the entire territory of
the Parties and covers natural, rural, urban and peri-urban areas”. More specifically, the landscape is seen as “represented”, “constructed” and “productive” landscape, with a specific attention to the aspects of sustainability (from a physical, economic and social point of view). The programme is taught in English.


Theories of architecture, city and landscape; Steel, timber and reinforced concrete structures; History of architecture and landscape in the contemporary age; Urban and landscape Regeneration studio (environmental technology, landscape as heritage, general ecology); Architectural design studio 1 (sustainable architecture, technical environmental systems, multi-criteria analysis and project appraisal); Urban and environmental design studio (design of public spaces and infrastructures, agronomy and food sciences, sociology of the environment); Architectural design studio 2 (advanced architectural design, topography and cartography, landscape urbanism and land planning); Landscape design studio (advanced landscape design, physical geography and geo-morphology, techniques and tools for environmental design); Landscape representation and aesthetics.

Optional courses
- Italian territories and landscape tradition
- Open source architecture
- Arboriculture and agrobiotechnologies
- Architecture and creativity: cultural industries
- Special topics in landscape (workshop)
- Special topics in architecture(workshop)

See the website http://www.polinternational.polimi.it/educational-offer/laurea-magistrale-equivalent-to-master-of-science-programmes/sustainable-architecture-and-landscape-design/

For contact information see here http://www.polinternational.polimi.it/educational-offer/laurea-magistrale-equivalent-to-master-of-science-programmes/sustainable-architecture-and-landscape-design/

Find out how to apply here http://www.polinternational.polimi.it/how-to-apply/

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The MSc in Architecture and Sustainable Environment (MASE) is a taught course aimed at professionals and academics world-wide with an interest in sustainability in the built environment, including architects, engineers, geographers, surveyors, historians and urban designers. Read more
The MSc in Architecture and Sustainable Environment (MASE) is a taught course aimed at professionals and academics world-wide with an interest in sustainability in the built environment, including architects, engineers, geographers, surveyors, historians and urban designers.

The MSc is offered by Centre for Architecture and Sustainable Environment, a new research centre in the Kent School of Architecture that promotes a cross-disciplinary approach to research in the field of sustainability in the built environment, bridging the traditional boundaries between the arts and the sciences, research and practice. The course content ranges from the development of the design skills and the technical and scientific understanding required to develop sustainable solutions for new and existing buildings, the analysis of historic buildings and past environment technologies, to a critical exploration of the historical and cultural context of sustainability and environmental design.

The course, which can be studied full-time or part-time, offers an academically rigorous and intellectually challenging learning environment, which aims to enhance career development within the field for professionals and academics. The over-arching aim of the programme is to provide participants with a systematic understanding of core and advanced areas of sustainable design through a combination of taught courses, research assignments and project work. Students will be asked to conduct rigorous technical and historical research and to explore the practical application of their findings in the context of design and technology.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/182/architecture-and-the-sustainable-environment

Course structure

The programme is aimed at professionals and academics with an interest in sustainability in the built environment, including architects, engineers, geographers, surveyors, historians and urban designers. The MSc promotes a cross-disciplinary approach to research in the field of sustainability in the built environment, bridging the traditional boundaries between architecture and the sciences, research and practice.

The course content ranges from the development of the technical and scientific understanding required to develop sustainable design solutions for new and existing buildings, the analysis of past environment technologies, to a critical exploration of the context of sustainability and environmental design.

The programme may lead to a postgraduate diploma, if taken without the dissertation.


The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

AR827 - Principles of Environmental Design (30 credits)
AR828 - Rediscovery - Understanding Historic Buildings and Past Environmental T (30 credits)
AR829 - Monitoring and Modelling of Environmental Performance (30 credits)
AR830 - Sustainable Design Project (30 credits)
AR899 - Dissertation: Architecture and the Sustainable Environment (60 credits)


Assessment is mostly based on coursework, with presentations, case-study analyses, design proposals, essays and the dissertation.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

- enable students to develop systematic understanding of the effect of the built environment on the environmental performance and energy consumption of buildings, while optimising comfortable conditions for the occupants

- develop your understanding of the sustainability drivers for the built environment

- develop your in-depth knowledge of the theoretical principles of low carbon design

- develop the ability to analyse the environmental behaviour of historic structures and the efficiency of past environmental technologies, using modern scientific methods

- promote creativity in the integration of sustainable solutions in the built environment at different scales

- enable you to develop skills for physical monitoring and digital modelling of the environmental and energy performance of buildings

- provide you with the ability to work in multidisciplinary design teams

- promote and support independent research skills.

- enable you to develop the skills required for both autonomous practice and team-working.

- support you, so that you can fulfil your full potential in the programme.

Research areas

- Research centres

KSA incorporates the Centre for Research in European Architecture (CREAte), which focuses on research in architectural humanities and design, and Centre for Architecture and Sustainable Environment (CASE), which promotes research in the field of sustainable architecture.

- CREAte

The Centre provides a focus for research in architecture in the European context. Its emphasis is on the role and contribution of humanities to architecture and urban design in the context of urban and regional regeneration, nationally and internationally.

CREAte provides a platform for evening lectures by contemporary architects and scholars; hosting debates and events that are in the heart of architectural agenda of today.

The Centre builds upon its staff specialisms, interests and skills in the following areas: regional studies, contemporary architectural and urban theory and design, architectural history and theory (ranging from antiquity to contemporary European cities), sustainability, European topographies (landscape, urban, suburban and metropolitan) etc. Staff participate in the activities of AHRA – Architecture Humanities Research Association and are internationally published authors.


The Centre promotes research in the field of sustainable environment regionally, nationally and internationally.

Its research focus encompasses different aspects and scales of the sustainable built environment from the individual building to the urban block, promoting the wider environmental agenda and keeping the School at the forefront of research and development in the field. CASE also pursues research into the historical and cultural dimension of environmental design to foster links between the sciences, arts and humanities. There is a strong interest in understanding the environmental behaviour of historic buildings and the strategies originally deployed to manage the internal environment.

The Centre has already secured funding from various sources. This includes three EPSRC projects on climate change weather data for a sustainable built environment, sustainability of airport terminal buildings and design interventions in the public realm for affecting human behaviour, and two TSB-funded projects on Building Performance Evaluation. CASE is also involved with the recent EPSRC large-scale network on Digital Economy Communities and Culture.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

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In response to today’s climate change, this course aims to satisfy the demand for new skills in the areas of environmental sustainability and low carbon building design. Read more

Why take this course?

In response to today’s climate change, this course aims to satisfy the demand for new skills in the areas of environmental sustainability and low carbon building design.

It will enable you to engage in current debates on the generation of sustainable architecture within our cities. You will examine the complexities inherent in creating well-designed sustainable settlements and get the opportunity to produce your own sustainable designs.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

Get involved with some of our regional regeneration projects to test and develop your ideas
Undertake studio-based design projects and engage with our other collaborative projects with academic institutions in a range of countries including Turkey, Spain and Australia
Have the opportunity to ‘earn and learn’ by working on real-life contracts through our Projects Office

What opportunities might it lead to?

If you are already working in architecture, environment or planning professions, or are a recent graduate, this course aims to train you to further develop your skills and knowledge in environmentally responsive design.

It will provide opportunities for you to pursue specialist career routes within the architecture field or in other areas such as governments and professional bodies where sustainability is of high priority. Alternatively, you can apply this new thinking to your own practice.

Module Details

The course uses the experience and skills of teaching staff with research interest in environmental sustainability, building simulation modelling, and sustainable development of historic sites and contemporary settlements. It takes place in an exciting inter-disciplinary environment, running in conjunction with programmes on historic building conservation, interior and urban design.

Here are the units you will study:

Practice: This unit enables you to develop your knowledge of the various and multi-faceted theories relating to sustainable architecture and environments. It also covers the principles that govern an appropriate and sustainable response to such designed environments, as well as the technologies that may be adopted and incorporated. You will address these issues and evaluate both the design theory and practice-based applied methodologies, along with the analysis, evaluation and reflection of this practice in sustainable design solutions.

Theory: This unit gives you an opportunity to engage with the current debate on environmental sustainability, climate change and the value of traditional buildings which inspire a more sustainable practice. It introduces the principles of low carbon passive design strategies, as well as advanced daylight and thermal modelling techniques to assess their effectiveness in achieving an environmentally responsive design.

Research Methods and Research Proposal: In this unit you will develop research skills, which will aid you throughout your course and particularly in producing your thesis. You will be asked to establish a critical position within an Outline Research Proposal. You will develop techniques, which will allow you to engage proactively within your area of study. You will be encouraged to explore methods of investigation that are responsive to, as well as inquisitive of, the conditions presented and which therefore speculate around possible critical scenarios. Implicit within these explorations is the need to investigate diverse means of representation and depiction through a variety of possible media and discourse.

Integration: This unit allows you to work in a multi-disciplinary context through groups within your own subject area and across the areas of interior design, urban design, sustainable architecture and historic building conservation, as well as explore the interrelationships of all disciplines. You will need to work collectively on given projects or problems related to staff run studios, which explore a range of given themes. This unit will introduce you to these themes at the start of the course and connect you to research areas within the School.

Work-Based Learning: This unit gives you the opportunity to replace a 30-credit core unit with a work-based version of that unit. Not all units can be replaced and you will need to discuss the appropriateness of a unit with tutors. Work-based learning requires you to engage in critical and reflective learning in the workplace. This will be developed through a learning contract, negotiated by you, your employer and School. The work undertaken in practice will be appraised through critical reflective writing that engages with the practice of the particular subject discipline and this will form the assessment artefacts.

Thesis: Your thesis is a substantial research-based project that enables you to carry out an in-depth investigation into a subject area of personal interest, which is related to or developed from a theme studied during the course. The proposed research theme should have a clearly defined focus to allow for in-depth theoretical, contextual and visual research. An initial seminar programme will help you develop your research proposal, define a research question and locate suitable primary and secondary sources. You will be allocated an appropriate supervisor on the basis of this proposal, who will work with you toward the final submission.

Programme Assessment

This course is lecture and studio-based, culminating in a written or design-led thesis project. It will involve case study investigations, group work, discussion and planning of sustainable environments, as well as independent study to develop design or research-based responses to sustainable problems.

Design assessment is through studio review and taught courses are assessed by various forms of evidence-based sustainable design decisions and proposals. You will also carry out an in-depth research project into an area of your choice.

Student Destinations

This course enables you to specialise in sustainable architecture and build upon your passion for the design of the twenty-first century urban environment.

On graduating, you will be adept in spatial practice and able to work within design practices, architectural firms and cross-disciplinary environments, engaging in issues from the design of details to the exploration of the urban environment.

The creative skills, professional competencies and expansive learning environment that we provide could also lead to a range of careers in disciplines such as marketing, advertising, journalism, virtual design and modelling, through to people-centred careers such as project management.

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Government advises that good planning and good design are inseparable; this course focuses on urban design as a part of town planning. Read more
Government advises that good planning and good design are inseparable; this course focuses on urban design as a part of town planning. Our approach to urban design emphasises the continuing nature of planning responsibilities (as opposed to the contractual nature of most design professions) and focuses on the everyday use of places and spaces.

Site project work

Initial modules contextualise ideas of urban design and its evolution. The core of the course is project work on sites where there are current urban design issues and we have established links with the planning authority or a client. We have worked on the hinterland of Bankside, Great Yarmouth Sea Front, and Central Hackney.

Field trip

The Field Trip module (a compulsory part of the MA and PgDip) prepares you for work in unfamiliar places. Field trips offer our students a unique learning experience. We think of the trips as visits to living laboratories where you'll learn through active, hands-on experience. Beyond your studies, you'll also have the opportunity to develop and enhance their self-confidence and leadership skills. Recent field trips have involved postgraduate planning students visiting Barcelona, Spain; Ruhr Valley, Germany; and Venice, Italy. For all new entrants the field study visit fees are included in the tuition fees.


The dissertation is a research-based urban design project which engages with critical thinking, such as Chris Jones' concept of urban design as 'bringing about change in a man-made world'.


Year 1

Planning history and theory
Urban design- the heart of planning
Urban design project
Sustainable places (with EU field study visit)
Everyday life: place and performance
Planning in London

Part-time mode taught one day per week, with one or two modules being taught in each semester plus the dissertation being completed by the end of January in the third year.


Modules are assessed by a range of coursework, examination, design and practice-based projects, presentations and a dissertation.

Professional links

The project work for the course is closely integrated with current issues and problems and each year a new site is chosen and new contacts made, visits undertaken and visiting speakers address the students.

Recent guest lecturers include:

• Rob Cowan, Urban Design Group;
• Various speakers from CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment);
• Struan Leslie, Choreographer and Movement Director, (RSC, Casanova, Welsh National Opera);
• Beatrice Jarvis, Goldsmiths College.


There is a national shortage of qualified town and environmental planners in the UK so the demand for our postgraduate courses is particularly high.

Qualifications in the planning and housing sectors can lead to a wide range of careers. Many of our past and current students hold key positions in their organisations and professional bodies, often as senior managers and business owners.

Graduates have used urban design on the planning courses at LSBU to focus on the relationship between planning and design and several now hold key posts in urban design in private consultancy or public authorities.

LSBU Employability Services

LSBU is committed to supporting you develop your employability and succeed in getting a job after you have graduated. Your qualification will certainly help, but in a competitive market you also need to work on your employability, and on your career search. Our Employability Service will support you in developing your skills, finding a job, interview techniques, work experience or an internship, and will help you assess what you need to do to get the job you want at the end of your course. LSBU offers a comprehensive Employability Service, with a range of initiatives to complement your studies, including:

• Direct engagement from employers who come in to interview and talk to students
• Job Shop and on-campus recruitment agencies to help your job search
• Mentoring and work shadowing schemes.

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The Postgraduate Certificate in Landscape Design is the first stage of the Landscape Institute accredited two year 'conversion' route for applicants interested in becoming a professional Landscape Architect. Read more
The Postgraduate Certificate in Landscape Design is the first stage of the Landscape Institute accredited two year 'conversion' route for applicants interested in becoming a professional Landscape Architect. On successful completion of the PG Certificate Landscape Design students join the MA Landscape Architecture programme. Together the two programmes form an exciting and intensive 2-year postgraduate route of studies for future Landscape Architects.

Across the programme candidates are involved in a rigorous curriculum, including advanced skills and knowledge in: design, history, theory, professional practice, technology, ecology, sustainability, horticulture, drawing and digital representation.

Candidates have strong design ambitions with backgrounds in disciplines related to design, society and the environment. These may include graduates from architecture, design, art, geography, sociology and ecology. Applicants may be changing career or further specialising their career in the profession of Landscape Architecture. The Postgraduate Certificate in Landscape Design programme provides a comprehensive introduction to Landscape Architecture and a basis for entry to the MA Landscape Architecture programme. Details of international events, open lectures and student events can be found on: http://thelandscape.org/.

The Department is based in a new state of the art building designed by the award winning architects Heneghan Peng; it is equipped with fourteen rooftop landscapes, cutting edge digital workshops, extensive design studios, a world-class library and two gallery spaces.

Our building is located in the heart of Greenwich, the newest addition to a suite of magnificent buildings that occupy the UNESCO World Heritage site and the location of the Greenwich Prime Meridian.

The aims of the programme are:

- To introduce students to the technical and design aspects of landscape architecture practice

- To provide students who already have a suitable degree, to develop the technical design skills necessary for entry to the MA Landscape Architecture programme

- To form part of the set of programmes accredited by the Landscape Institute.

Visit the website http://www2.gre.ac.uk/study/courses/pg/arc/landes

Architecture and Landscape

We need tools to help us create a built environment that is responsive rather than obstructive to its users and to the world around it. At Greenwich we encourage both students and staff to embrace the interconnectedness of design, construction and building management, of landscape architecture and graphic design, and to constantly look at new ways of exploring these areas.

All architecture programmes focus on the urgent necessity to change our living habits in order to design and build a sustainable urban environment.

The construction management programmes are designed to provide students with a high level of understanding of the design, function, construction and statutory requirements for buildings of all classes, and to prepare them for more advanced employment within the construction industry.

What you'll study

Full time
- Year 1:
Students are required to study the following compulsory courses.

Design & Communication 1 (15 credits)
Ecology and Conservation (15 credits)
Landscape Basic Design (15 credits)
Design with Nature (15 credits)
Planting Design (15 credits)
Hard and Soft Materials (30 credits)
Site Design (15 credits)
Landscape Digital Design (10) (10 credits)

Part time
- Year 1:
Students are required to study the following compulsory courses.

Design & Communication 1 (15 credits)
Ecology and Conservation (15 credits)
Design with Nature (15 credits)
Planting Design (15 credits)
Hard and Soft Materials (30 credits)
Landscape Digital Design (10) (10 credits)

- Year 2:
Students are required to study the following compulsory courses.

Landscape Basic Design (15 credits)
Site Design (15 credits)

Fees and finance

Your time at university should be enjoyable and rewarding, and it is important that it is not spoilt by unnecessary financial worries. We recommend that you spend time planning your finances, both before coming to university and while you are here. We can offer advice on living costs and budgeting, as well as on awards, allowances and loans.


Students are assessed through design portfolio, essays, seminars and dissertation.

Professional recognition

The Postgraduate Certificate in Landscape Design programme is part of a Landscape Institute accredited route to becoming a fully qualified Landscape Architect.

Career options

Opportunities are available in Landscape Architecture, Landcape Planning and Urban Design. Recent graduates have successfully gained employment in the public and private sectors in the UK and worldwide. Many have continued to design and work on leading landscape projects such as the London Olympic Park, Gardens by the Bay in Singapore and the Eden Project.

Find out about the teaching and learning outcomes here - http://www2.gre.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/644021/Certificate-in-Landscape-Design.pdf

Find out how to apply here - http://www2.gre.ac.uk/study/apply

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Jointly delivered by Edinburgh School of Architecture & Landscape Architecture (ESALA) and the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure & Society at Heriot-Watt University, this programme builds upon the expertise and knowledge developed in both institutions. Read more

Jointly delivered by Edinburgh School of Architecture & Landscape Architecture (ESALA) and the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure & Society at Heriot-Watt University, this programme builds upon the expertise and knowledge developed in both institutions.

The MSc in Urban Strategies & Design is taught by academic researchers with international research experience, links and interests, in a range of urban areas. This wealth of knowledge and the use of contemporary pedagogies is integrated into the programme’s delivery.

The programme encourages the adoption of a comprehensive approach towards the delivery of socially sustainable urban transformation, from local-specific to global-regional interventions. You will study the wide and diverse range of social, economic and political processes that influence the development of the contemporary urban environment. The course also seeks to enable you to acquire the tools and skills to propose urban projects of diverse scales and specificities.

Students on the programme come from a range of multidisciplinary backgrounds and work collaboratively to understand how urban design approaches respond to contemporary urban transformations. This analysis is framed not only from a Western perspective but acknowledges that urban transformations in the urban north are increasing interlinked with activities in the urban south. Course pedagogy involves traditional lectures, seminars, excursions and other relevant group activities.

The city of Edinburgh offers a unique laboratory for exploration of current urban design issues. The city’s renaissance to ‘Geddesian’ planning history, and more contemporary international planning pedagogy and consultancy links to urban institutions and bodies, particularly in the global south, provides a good platform from which to support student-led, location-based dissertations.

The programme seeks to address the gap between architecturally driven urban design and higher-level, spatial planning-driven, urban design;, bringing together a range of approaches relevant to urban design that are currently being developed within different professional and disciplinary practices, ranging from engineering to human geography.

Programme structure

You will study four compulsory courses at Heriot-Watt University in semester one, then study one compulsory course and one option course at the University of Edinburgh in semester two.

Should you wish to write an Africa or Latin America focused dissertation, you will choose African Cities or Latin American Cities options within the USD programme. Otherwise you can select any option course being offered at Edinburgh University which fits with your second semester timetable.

Once all coursework is completed, you will go on to write your USD dissertation, over a ten-week period, on an urban theme topic of your choice. Defined dissertation support will be provided, and submission formats discussed.

Career opportunities

An MSc in Urban Strategies & Design enables you consider career opportunities from local to international contexts in a range of disciplines: architecture, planning, landscape architecture, urban planning strategies and development planning. These career opportunities exist in the formal, (public and private) voluntary, and international development sector. There are also opportunities to proceed to further academic research at masters or doctoral level.

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This Master's programme has a unique focus on urban design as a creative planning tool and the interface between urban design and city planning. Read more

This Master's programme has a unique focus on urban design as a creative planning tool and the interface between urban design and city planning. It offers a comprehensive understanding and exposure to urban design theory and practice, and also the complexity of its interface with the city planning field.

About this degree

The programme equips students theoretically and practically, engaging academically and in practice with urban design and related fields of knowledge. Students will learn how to think critically, creatively and in analytical ways across the different city scales, from strategic to local, and across urban design, city planning, place-making, real estate and sustainability arenas.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of eight compulsory modules (120 credits), and a research dissertation or major research project (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma, eight modules (120 credits) full-time nine months and part-time 2-5 years, is offered.

A Postgraduate Certificate, four core modules (60 credits), full-time nine months is offered.

Core modules

  • City Planning
  • Collaborative City Planning Strategies
  • Critical Debates in Urban Design and City Planning
  • Design and Real Estate
  • Sustainable Futures by Design
  • Urban Design: Layout, Density and Typology
  • Urban Design: Guidance, Incentive and Control
  • Urban Design: Place Making

Dissertation/research project

MSc students have the choice between a 10,000-word dissertation or 8,000-word final major research project in planning; the dissertation being by nature a rather more analytical exercise and the project a rather more propositional one.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of individual and group project work, skills-based practical and IT work, lectures (including some by visiting practitioners), tutorials, student presentations, seminars, field trips and direct practitioner involvement. Student performance is assessed through individual and group work, essays, examinations, project work, other skills-based practical work, and a dissertation or final research project report.


Graduate students from the Bartlett School of Planning have been very successful in gaining subsequent employment. There is growing demand for our Master's graduates from a wide range of both public and private employers. On completion of this programme the majority of graduates will work in either the public or private consultancy sectors. A minority will continue in higher degree studies and research.


The Urban Design and City Planning MSc is an opportunity for students seeking to further their professional careers to specialise in urban design and, within that broad arena, to engage deeply with both the theoretical debates and practice methodologies, with particular research agendas of direct relevance to the future of their professional practice.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Bartlett School of Planning has a strong history of teaching and research at all levels. The school has been at the forefront of planning research and teaching for more than 100 years and is one of the foremost planning schools in the United Kingdom, with an international reputation.

This programme is fully accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

The Bartlett School of Planning is situated in the heart of London, which offers unique opportunities to study the complexities of contemporary urban design and planning processes, and engage with practitioners, alumni and academic guests through seminars, site visits and workshops.

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Urban design brings together professionals from a range of backgrounds who share a passion for improving the design of our urban environments. Read more

Urban design brings together professionals from a range of backgrounds who share a passion for improving the design of our urban environments. Whether you have studied town planning, geography, fine art, engineering, architecture or landscape design, this course will give you the opportunity to work in a collaborative environment, questioning conventional assumptions about urban design.

You will study the latest methods and design theories relating to urban environments, exploring the development and resolution of projects and focusing on achieving environmental sustainability. We will build your understanding of ecological, management, social and economic principles that contribute to environmental and sustainable development.

You will be encouraged to apply your design skills to live projects. Working with landscape architecture and town planning students, you will address briefs provided by real clients, developing your ability to work as part of a team and making a significant contribution to innovative designs. Previous students have explored the potential for promoting urban agriculture and developing green spaces in collaboration with community groups in Leeds.

This is a flexible studio-based course which will give you the opportunity to work with and learn from students from a range of backgrounds, sharing experiences and building professional networks. It is also accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute and will prepare you for professional membership.

We are proud to be celebrating 50 years of landscape architecture at Leeds Beckett University. Find out more on the Landscape at 50 website.


The INSIDE/OUT lecture series offers historical, theoretical and critical analyses of art, architecture and design and welcomes internationally recognised practitioners to come and talk about their practice. Find out about forthcoming events on the INSIDE/OUT webpage 

Research Excellence Framework 2014

Research Excellence Framework 2014: our University's results for the Architecture, Built Environment and Planning unit, which it entered for the first time, were impressive with 37% of its research being rated world leading or internationally excellent.

Core modules

  • Site Analysis Project: Theories & Practices
  • Place-Making Project: Design Challenges & Solutions
  • Sustainable Communities
  • Landscape & Urban Design Studios
  • Reflective Practice
  • Research Methods: Theory & Practice
  • Advanced Urban Design Project

Job Prospects

Our strong links with industry will provide you with plenty of opportunities to network with practitioners during your course, and we will keep you up to date with job vacancies in private design consultancies, local government agencies and environmental organisations in the UK and overseas. In addition, we will also provide research opportunities working with our academic staff.

  • Urban Designer (Public Sector)
  • Urban Designer (Private Consultancy)
  • Urban Designer (Voluntary Sector)
  • Urban Designer (Research and Teaching)

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