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Masters Degrees (Urban Design)

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The Masters in Urban Design course combines students' existing strengths with focused design training to produce urban designers capable of managing the complex problems of development, urban space and form. Read more
The Masters in Urban Design course combines students' existing strengths with focused design training to produce urban designers capable of managing the complex problems of development, urban space and form.

The certificate and diploma stages of the Masters in Urban Design course introduce theoretical concepts and practical methods of urban design. They will enable you to understand processes of urban design production and consumption, and to develop skills and techniques for communicating three-dimensional urban design.

Why choose this course?

Our graduates have very high success rates in gaining employment and have secured posts in both the public and private sectors, in planning, architecture, landscape and urban design practices; undertaking design, consultancy and research work. Several have also gone on to take up senior posts in universities in the UK and abroad. This is the longest established programme of study in urban design in the UK, and consequently has a vast network of graduates across the globe.

Staff are engaged in world-leading research (69% either world leading or internationally excellent in REF 2014) which feeds directly into the teaching and studio work. A major strength of the course is its multidisciplinary, collegiate, team-based approach to project work and presentation.

Based in Oxford, we are well located for access to both this historic city, to London and other urban centres in the UK.

This course in detail

The Masters in Urban Design is offered as a linked PGCert/PGDip/MA. The aim of the PGCert and PGDip stages is to provide a framework of current knowledge and skills in urban design and masterplanning.

The PGCert stage of the course focuses on the basic concepts and theory of urban design, establishing a solid grounding in the practical realisation of design qualities in a case site situation.

The PGDip stage increases the emphasis placed on the application of more specific design skills in differing contexts, through live projects and a more in-depth examination of design history. Theory and new research are provided through a series of history and theory lectures and seminars.

The aim of the MA stage is to provide an opportunity for developing urban design research skills through individually selected topics in theoretical and practical fields of study in urban design.

The MA dissertation gives students the opportunity to explore in depth a subject related to urban design, and to integrate the various elements of the course. Past topics for the MA include local identity, transport and design, public art and urban design, urban coding, environmental design, digital cities, and eco-towns.

The course is structured around nine modules.

Please note: as courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the module lists you choose from may vary from the ones shown here.

The PGCert stage of the course consists of the following compulsory modules and is worth 60 level 7 credits:
-Urban Design Studio I
-Urban Design Theory I
-Urban Design Practice I and II
-Urban Design Studio II

The PGDip stage of the course consists of the following compulsory modules and is worth 120 level 7 credits:
-Urban Design Theory II
-Urban Design Issues II
-Urban Design Development Seminars
-Research Methods in Design

The MA stage of the course consists of the following compulsory module:
-Master's Dissertation

Teaching and learning

Teaching and learning methods reflect the wide variety of topics and techniques associated with urban design in practice.

Lectures provide the framework, essential background and knowledge base for the course, while you are encouraged to probe deeper into different topics by further reading and review.

Analysis, synthesis and application of material introduced in lectures are demonstrated through studio sessions, workshops, seminars and practical project work. Site visits and a fieldwork component are an important component.

Careers and professional development

Our graduates have very high success rates in gaining employment and have secured posts in the public sector, private consultancy, the voluntary sector, and research and teaching areas.

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The Inter-disciplinary Urban Design MRes is a faculty-wide one-year research degree designed to allow students to tailor their own learning to their background and future aspirations. Read more

The Inter-disciplinary Urban Design MRes is a faculty-wide one-year research degree designed to allow students to tailor their own learning to their background and future aspirations. Students can construct their study in an inter-disciplinary manner, enabling them to explore urban design as a critical arena for advanced research and practice.

About this degree

This programme provides an interdisciplinary space in which students can examine the challenges of urban design from comparative disciplinary perspectives; students are exposed to the latest cutting-edge urban design research and teaching at the UCL Bartlett and are offered the opportunity to conduct a substantial piece of individual urban design research, receiving training in methodologies appropriate to the conduct of urban design and urban scale research.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two core modules (totalling 105 credits), and either a 15,000-word dissertation or a 10,000-word disssertation and a research-based design proposal (75 credits).

Core modules

  • Inter-disciplinary Urban Design - this module draws from a range of named feeder modules from across The Bartlett and across UCL (see below)
  • Urban Investigations - this module explores cutting-edge research and research techniques in urban design

Feeder modules

  • Adaptable Cities
  • Architectural Phenomena
  • Cities, Space & Power
  • Creative Cities
  • Design as a Knowledge-Based Process
  • Design and Real Estate
  • Detailed Urban Design
  • Embodied and Embedded Technologies, Cities as Interface
  • Environmental Masterplanning
  • From Strategic Vision to Urban Plan
  • Geographic Information Systems and Science
  • London, Aspects of Change
  • Participatory Process: Building for Development
  • Public Space & the City
  • Social Dimensions of Sustainability
  • Spatial Modelling and Simulation
  • Spatial Cultures
  • Spatial Justice
  • Strategic Urban Design
  • Theorising Practices: Architecture, Art & Urbanism

Dissertation/research project

All students undertake an independent urban design research project culminating in either a dissertation of 15,000 words or a 10,000-word dissertation and a research-based design proposal.

Teaching and learning

Methods of delivery will vary (because of the flexible nature of the programme) but a typical student might encounter studio teaching, formal lectures, analytical modelling, small-group tutorials and discussion, formal presentations, and site visits. Student performance is assessed through individual and group work, essays, and project work.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Inter-disciplinary Urban Design MRes

Careers

The programme opens up a range of future opportunities for participants along two primary paths:

  • It provides an opportunity for students seeking to further their professional careers, to specialise in urban design and, within that broad arena, to engage deeply with a particular research agenda of direct relevance to their future professional practice
  • For students seeking a research or academic career, the MRes provides the ideal training for a PhD and eventually an academic or other research position.

The first cohort of students on this programme graduated in 2015. A significant proportion - approximately 50% - are embarking on PhD studies, while others are developing their professional careers in a range of research, institutional or professional settings.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Architect, GR Designs
  • Architectural Consultant, Space Syntax
  • Assistant Planning Manager, Hubei United Investment Group Co. Ltd. and studying MRes Inter-desciplinary Urban Design, UCL

Employability

The programme is globally unique and will give students an important employment edge in allowing them to tailor their studies to their own individual circumstances, building on existing strengths or extending their knowledge. It will deliver a research training in urban design whilst also helping to build a unique and first-class portfolio of work in which the student, rather than syllabus, is the driving force.

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 brings together literally dozens of scientific and professional specialisms required to research, understand, design, construct and operate the buildings and urban environments of the future.

This MRes is a faculty-wide programme, and students are able to access perhaps the largest global concentration of urban design related researchers and professional expertise.

The programme has a simple and highly flexible structure, designed to allow students to tailor their learning both to their own background, and how they wish to specialise in the future.

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: Bartlett School of Planning

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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The Liverpool School of Art and Design offers you the space to explore your creative potential and understand how its application in design can interact with, adapt and change the landscape of cities and urban spaces and our experience within them. Read more
The Liverpool School of Art and Design offers you the space to explore your creative potential and understand how its application in design can interact with, adapt and change the landscape of cities and urban spaces and our experience within them.

•Course available to study full time (1 year) and part time (2 years)
•A new programme open to applicants from a wide range of first degree disciplines such as architecture, spatial design, landscape design, environmental art, geography and planning
•Join a strong research-focused academic community
•Prestigious Susan Cotton Travel bursary and the Michael Pugh Thomas and Julia Carter Preston Legacy postgraduate study awards available
•Develop your work in state-of-the-art workspaces and facilities within the RIBA award-winning John Lennon Art and Design Building

In a world of rapidly rising and migrating urban populations, there is a palpable need for smarter, more inclusive approaches to city planning, adaptation and spatial design.

Liverpool is a creative hub with a heritage of high quality civic design and creative urban engagement. The study of Urban Design is perfectly suited to the rich infrastructure of this truly global city. Read more about the outputs from the programme by visiting the Urban Design blog.

This programme has strong links with the RIBA North and the Liverpool Biennial which, every two years, delivers an international programme of exhibitions and projects that lead to a rediscovery of the city.

Based within the School’s Architecture and Urban Design subject area, this studio-based programme is nourished by the School’s burgeoning research in Urbanism and close association with the University's European Institute for Urban Affairs.

The curriculum has creative place-making at its core and we welcome applicants from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds such as architecture, planning, landscape architecture, art and spatial design.

What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.

Research & Practice 1

An introduction to some of the common principles of research in Art and Design, tailored to help you develop the skills required to become an effective independent researcher / practitioner.

Studio Practice (Urban Design)

Upon successful completion of an urban design project, you will acquire skills to analyse contemporary urban design themes through in-depth research and the intelligent development of a critical argument. You will also be able to evaluate innovative and visionary urban design theories and precedents in the context of the project work and synthesize knowledge and skills in the production of an urban design strategy for the redevelopment of a substantial piece of cityscape.

Research & Practice 2 (Urban Design)

You will be presented with an overview of urban scale sustainable design principles and objectives. You will then explore a range of contemporary sustainable best practice case studies. These principles will then be applied in practical project work, exploring urban design sustainability benchmarks and audit methodologies. You will thereby be provided with a range of theoretical tools to support independent conceptual and critical evaluation of sustainable urban design. Tools will be explored such as to enable students to understand and evaluate the environmental impact and ecology of urban design proposals

Collaborative Practice

Here you will be given the opportunity to think through, re-situate and re-imagine how the term ‘collaboration’ can affect and develop your own developing art and design practice in the broadest sense. A framework of teaching, study and assessment that will allow the student to develop a realizable collaborative project proposal that has the capacity to be developed into a fundable/sustainable project/collaboration.

Final Major Project (Urban Design)

Through a major project you will explore and apply a contemporary urban design theme through in-depth research and intelligent development of a critical argument or creative piece of work.

Further guidance on modules

The information listed in the section entitled ‘What you will study’ is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Academic Framework reviews are conducted by LJMU from time to time to ensure that academic standards continue to be maintained.

Please email if you require further guidance or clarification.

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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.

Modules

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

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.

Careers

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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In an increasingly urbanised world, there is growing international demand for urban design graduates. This course will equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to participate in this rapidly expanding profession. Read more

In an increasingly urbanised world, there is growing international demand for urban design graduates. This course will equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to participate in this rapidly expanding profession. Urban design involves shaping the physical setting for life in cities. The pace of urban change, and the challenge of making cities efficient, sustainable and meaningful, demands creative solutions to design and management. The Urban Design courses at Westminster provide a coherent approach to issues that face our cities, combining structured academic study with live design projects, allowing you to develop practical skills, a theoretical understanding and an informed approach to sustainable urban development.

Our Urban Design course is one of the largest and longest established in the UK. It enjoys an excellent reputation and our graduates are highly respected in the profession. Our students are from a variety of professions and backgrounds, including architecture, landscape architecture and planning, from the UK, Europe, and across the globe. They range from recent graduates seeking to expand their skill base before commencing their career or those considering a shift from an allied profession, to established professionals seeking to specialise or develop a more informed critical approach. Our central London location allows you to interact with a huge variety of practitioners and organisations, as well as drawing on the city’s huge range of resources; you will be at the heart of the debate over the future of cities.

The course places a strong emphasis on design, practical outputs and a multidisciplinary approach. While focusing on UK examples, the lessons from the courses are applicable to a wide range of international and economic contexts. This flexible and student-centred approach is highly valued by former graduates and their employers. The course is delivered by staff with many years' experience in practice, education, training, research, and consultancy in the UK and overseas. Outputs from the course combine into a portfolio demonstrating your ability to deal with the complexities of urban design in a practical and informed manner.

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of what you study on this course.

Core modules

Optional modules

Career path

Graduates of this course typically find employment as urban designers in private consultancy or local authorities. Many find the course useful when developing careers in architecture, planning or landscape architecture.



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In an increasingly urbanised world, there is growing international demand for urban design graduates. These courses will equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to participate in this rapidly expanding profession. Read more

In an increasingly urbanised world, there is growing international demand for urban design graduates. These courses will equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to participate in this rapidly expanding profession. Urban design involves shaping the physical setting for life in cities. The pace of urban change, and the challenge of making cities efficient, sustainable and meaningful, demands creative solutions to design and management. The Urban Design courses at Westminster provide a coherent approach to issues that face our cities, combining structured academic study with live design projects, allowing you to develop practical skills, a theoretical understanding and an informed approach to sustainable urban development.

Our Urban Design programme is one of the largest and longest established in the UK. It enjoys an excellent reputation and our graduates are highly respected in the profession. Our students are from a variety of professions and backgrounds, including architecture, landscape architecture and planning, from the UK, Europe, and across the globe. They range from recent graduates seeking to expand their skill base before commencing their career or those considering a shift from an allied profession, to established professionals seeking to specialise or develop a more informed critical approach. Our central London location allows you to interact with a huge variety of practitioners and organisations, as well as drawing on the city's huge range of resources; you will be at the heart of the debate over the future of cities.

The course places a strong emphasis on design, practical outputs and a multidisciplinary approach. While focusing on UK examples, the lessons from the courses are applicable to a wide range of international and economic contexts. This flexible and student-centred approach is highly valued by former graduates and their employers. The course is delivered by staff with many years' experience in practice, education, training, research, and consultancy in the UK and overseas. Outputs from the course combine into a portfolio demonstrating your ability to deal with the complexities of urban design in a practical and informed manner.

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.

Core modules

Optional modules

Career path

Graduates of this course typically find employment as urban designers in private consultancy or local authorities. Many find the course useful when developing careers in architecture, planning or landscape architecture.



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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.

Studio

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.

Research

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.

Facilities

Studios

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

Library

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.

Workshop

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.

Accreditation

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.

Classes

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

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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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.

Careers

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.

Employability

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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Our MA Urban Design programme is jointly delivered by the Welsh School of Architecture and the School of Geography and Planning. The goal of this programme is to enable practitioners and scholars to transform the field of urban design through critical thinking and creative practice. Read more
Our MA Urban Design programme is jointly delivered by the Welsh School of Architecture and the School of Geography and Planning. The goal of this programme is to enable practitioners and scholars to transform the field of urban design through critical thinking and creative practice.

Urban design is transdisciplinary, straddling professional fields such as architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning and public policy, and also disciplines such as politics, economics, sociology and cultural studies. The programme fully embraces this transdisciplinarity through the theory, research training and design teaching it offers.

You will learn from academic staff from both schools who are highly accomplished and locally engaged in Cardiff, nationally in the UK, and internationally across the world. In the context of the design studios, you will also be able to benefit from the input and expertise of leading practitioners.

Studio teaching focuses on developing critically informed as well as creative and practical proposals for real sites, addressing important contemporary issues of design and urbanism

Distinctive features

• Learn from academics in two Schools which are ranked among the top 50 in the world.

• The course is taught via lectures, workshops and design studios, by staff drawn from both the architecture and planning schools, who are leading experts in their fields. Design Tutors include leading practitioners who bring their experience of cutting edge practice to the core of design studio work.

• The course is recognised by the Royal Town Planning Institute as a 'specialist' masters for those who have completed at least a three-year RTPI recognised undergraduate spatial planning degree, allowing completion of the RTPI's educational requirements for membership. For further details visit the Royal Town Planning Institute website.

• Accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), allowing completion of the educational requirement for RICS membership.

Structure

This is a one-year full-time degree.

The course is structured to provide a set of three lecture-based modules and three studio-based design modules, followed by a dissertation in the form of a research-based design project. The three lecture-based modules run in parallel with studio-based design projects which enable you to continually relate theory and practice.

Your research-based design project represents the culmination of your studies. You will be required to develop proposals relating to a chosen site, demonstrating an understanding of all aspects of urban design drawings and a written, reflective commentary.

You will have between 2-3 days of contact time each week, working between the design studio and your module lectures/seminars.

Core modules:

Urban Design Thinkers
Urban Design Foundation
Research Methods and Techniques
Development Management
Autumn Studio
Spring Studio
Research Based Design Project

Teaching

Teaching takes place in new light-filled studio spaces in the centre of the City. You will also have access to the latest modelling and workshop facilities in the Architecture School.

This MA is taught via lectures, workshops and design studios, by lecturers who are all experts in their fields – in geography, urban planning, urbanism, urban design and architecture. The design tutors also include leading practitioners who bring their experience of cutting-edge practice to the core of design studio work.

Studio teaching focuses on developing critically informed as well as creative and practical proposals for real sites, addressing important contemporary issues of design and urbanism.

Assessment

Non-design modules provide the foundations for developing understandings of urban design. These are assessed through:

• Essays
• Reports
• Presentations

Most of these provide the opportunities for summative assessment. However, tutorials, and a number of essays provide the opportunities for formative assessment.

Summative assessment is conducted at the end of each module. Formative assessment elements include design reviews, usually one or two per design module, and weekly tutorials also provide an opportunity for this.

Other forms of assessment include:

• Drawings
• Sketchbooks
• Viva voce examination of the dissertation
• Reports

Career Prospects

Graduates move onto careers as urban designers, or in urban design related work. Most of these careers are to be found within the wider areas of architecture, urban planning, property or public policy. These may be within the public, private or voluntary sectors. Some of our graduates continue to higher research degrees.

Guidance and mentoring on careers are provided during the year.

Fieldwork

As part of your studies you will take a field study visit within a UK city or a city in mainland Europe, which is fully funded within the advertised fees.

Study visits are an intrinsic part of this programme. Where your experience during the visits inform assessed assignments in required core modules, the visits are compulsory.

These field study visits are compulsory since experiences of urban design ‘in the field’ are required for completing some assignments. However, modified versions of the field trips may be allowed at the discretion of the Course Director.

The trip will require you to move around the city and make observations and presentations during these journeys. Every effort will be made to accommodate students with disabilities. It is advisable to speak to the Course Director about the possibility of adjustments before enrolling.

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The Urban Design MArch is a design-oriented and project-based programme, with a strong research component, which aims to enhance 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

The Urban Design MArch is a design-oriented and project-based programme, with a strong research component, which aims to enhance 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.

About this degree

The programme aims to bridge the gap between architecture and urbanism, and has a strong emphasis on physical design and radical experimentation, combined with rigorous analysis and state-of-the-art theories and methodologies. Students explore design decisions at both a strategic level and the more detailed level of urban regeneration.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules (105 credits) and an urban design final project (75 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months) is offered.

Core modules

  • Introduction to Urban Design Theory (15 credits)
  • Design Thesis Report (30 credits)
  • Technical Skills (15 credits)
  • Urban Design Thesis Initial Projects (45 credits)
  • Urban Design Thesis Final Project (75 credits)

Optional modules

  • There are no optional modules for this programme.

Research project/design project

The programme culminates with students undertaking a major design project, the 'Urban Design Final Project' in combination with an individual written submission, the 'Design Thesis Report'.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops, case-study presentations, site visits and field trips. As a project-orientated programme, all theoretical research work and experimental design exploration culminates in physical design propositions for specific design projects. Assessment is through design portfolio, essays, oral presentations and a written design report.

Fieldwork

There is one field trip (optional) annually as part of the programme.

The maximum cost to the student is £500

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Urban Design MArch

Careers

UCL Bartlett graduates have been very successful in gaining subsequent employment. At present there is a growing demand for our Master's graduates from a wide range of both public and private employers. Graduates of the programme have gone on to work principally in the field of urban design, architecture and urban regeneration.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Urban Designer, Foster + Partners
  • Architectural Assistant, Wilkinson Eyre Architects
  • Assistant Architect, Gustafson Porter
  • Urban Designer, Publica
  • Urban Designer, SOM

Employability

Study at the UCL Bartlett is enriched by the vibrant community of specialist consultants, partners and research associates who provide valuable contact with industry and academia. Many of our staff are themselves in practice. Our students benefit from the most advanced and broad suite of facilities available in any such faculty in the EU. This combination of networks, knowledge and technical expertise makes our graduates some of the most sought after in the world. Some choose to continue with academic research and others go on to roles in architecture, urban design and the built environment.

Why study this degree at UCL?

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

Located in London, we are at the heart of a large cluster of creative architects and engineering firms, next to the UK's seat of government and finance and with all the resources of a world city to hand.



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This course provides a specialist understanding of the relationship between urban design and planning by focusing on issues that are of international significance. Read more

This course provides a specialist understanding of the relationship between urban design and planning by focusing on issues that are of international significance.

The course is fully accredited by the RTPI and will provide you with the core knowledge and competencies needed to become a chartered planner and specialise in urban design and international planning.

Informal enquiries, prior to applications, are welcomed. Please contact: Dr Phil Black (Programme Director) | Tel: +44(0)161 275 2815 | Email: 

Special features

An overseas field visit is an optional part of the programme if students choose to undertake the relevant optional course unit: International Planning (Field Visit). The cost of the visit is partly covered by the course fee but there is a student contribution towards the cost of the trip, depending on the venue. Recent fieldtrip locations have included Barcelona, Amsterdam, Belfast, Dublin and Toronto. Countries to be visited may change their immigration and visa regulations at short notice. The School of Environment, Education and Development cannot guarantee that where visas are required for the field course, they will be granted but will ensure that, in the unlikely event that a visa is refused, affected students are not academically disadvantaged. 

Teaching and learning

Part-time Study

Part-time students complete the full-time programme over 27 months. There are no evening or weekend course units available on the part-time programme, therefore if you are considering taking a programme on a part-time basis, you should discuss the requirements with the Programme Director and seek approval from your employer to have the relevant time off. Timetabling information is normally available from late August from the Programme Administrator and you will have the opportunity to discuss course unit choices during induction week with the Programme Director.

Coursework and assessment

Assessment methods are largely individual-based, but may also involve some elements of group work and submission. You are continually assessed via a range of methods including essays, portfolios, presentations, and topic papers. You will be required to submit a dissertation of approximately 15,000 words that can focus on crucial planning debates in an international context, urban design debates or a combination. Alternatively, students may submit a Design Study supported by a report of 10,000 words.

Additional fee information

All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely over the duration of courses lasting more than a year for UK/EU students (fees are typically fixed for International students, for the course duration at the year of entry). For general fees information please visit: postgraduate fees . Always contact the department if you are unsure which fee applies to your qualification award and method of attendance.

Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1000 towards their tuition fees before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.

Facilities

The Arthur Lewis Building provides excellent resources including analytical laboratories, studio facilities, workshops, seminar rooms, an on-site cafe and dedicated computer clusters including GIS facilities.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: 

Career opportunities

This course has been specifically designed to equip you for professional practice in urban design and planning in a fast moving international market. Oportunities will arise in both the private and public sectors across global consultancies, development companies, government departments and agencies, and third sector organisations.

A number of professional practitioners are engaged in teaching on this course making for a theoretically informed, practice-orientated approach to teaching and learning. Our overseas fieldtrip provides an opportunity for you to gain knowledge and experience of urban design and planning in practice in an international setting.

Accrediting organisations

The course is fully accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute.

You will gain:

  • A framework for knowledge in the fields of urban design and planning, enabling you to engage in professional and inter-professional debate on the nature, purpose and methods of successful urban design and planning projects from an international perspective.
  • An understanding of the cutting edge theoretical and practice-related debates in urban design and planning from an international perspective.
  • Analytical and practical skills needed to deepen your knowledge of urban design and planning to enable you to identify, investigate, and critique existing theoretical, methodological, and analytical approaches to urban design and planning in different international contexts.


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Urban design is the discipline of the design and management of our ever-changing cities driven by urbanization, global economics, and advancing technologies. Read more
Urban design is the discipline of the design and management of our ever-changing cities driven by urbanization, global economics, and advancing technologies. The interdisciplinary curriculum fosters responsible graduates with design studios in varied scales from the region to block and courses in history, environment, policy, and economics. Master of Urban Design is a post-professional program for future planners interested in advancing the scholarship and design innovation of urban metropolises.

Quick Facts

- Degree: Master of Urban Design
- Specialization: Landscape Architecture
- Subject: Specialty
- Mode of delivery: On campus
- Program components: Coursework + Major Project/Essay required
- Registration options: Full-time
- Faculty: Faculty of Applied Science
- School: School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture

Program Overview

The Master of Urban Design (M.U.D.) program curriculum synthesizes urban design theory and practice. It provides a foundation in the seminal works of urban design theory and offers a myriad of opportunities to test and critique theory through community-based projects and design studios. Students have the necessary space to think freely and openly about urban design problems and become equipped with the skills essential for producing innovative and creative solutions. In parallel, students are exposed to the realities of urban policymaking and property development, forcing them to address the challenges that impact the urban design process. This dynamic, yet structured, curriculum capitalizes on the Vancouver region's international reputation as a leader in sustainable urban design policymaking and implementation, offering a constructive forum for critical analysis, review, and reflection.

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The Master of Research in Urban Design is designed primarily to enable students to link a programme of substantive research training to the subsequent pursuit of a doctorate. Read more
The Master of Research in Urban Design is designed primarily to enable students to link a programme of substantive research training to the subsequent pursuit of a doctorate.

The course is modular in structure and includes training in urban design and in research methods and methodology.

Research staff are drawn primarily from the Joint Centre for Urban Design and the Department of Planning but with some contributions from the School of Architecture and the Department of Real Estate and Construction, and the wider university community.

See the website http://www.brookes.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/urban-design-mres/

Why choose this course?

- Oxford Brookes is renowned internationally for its research in town and country planning. In REF 2014 69% of our research was rated as either world leading or internationally excellent.

- Staff feed their research directly into the teaching and studio work.

- You will have the opportunity to become involved in research projects of Brookes' Joint Centre for Urban Design.

- Visiting speakers from business and industry, local government, and consultancies and research bodies provide external input.

- Site visits will give you direct experience of some of the most important issues in urban design.

Teaching and learning

Teaching methods reflect the wide variety of topics and techniques associated with urban design and research, and include lectures, studio sessions, seminars, workshops, practical project work, field trips and research project shadowing.

The course includes site visits that provide students with direct experience of some of the most important issues in urban design.

The majority of assessment is based on coursework, such as essays, seminars, project work, presentations and the dissertation.

Careers

Our graduates have very high success rates in gaining employment and have secured posts in the public sector, private consultancy, the voluntary sector, and research and teaching areas.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:
- studying at a Brookes partner college
- studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Research areas and clusters

Staff are engaged in world-leading research which feeds directly into the teaching and studio work. Recent topics include:
- place-identity
- heritage led regeneration
- sustainable cities
- place-making
- aesthetic appreciation of buildings, streets and open spaces
- retrofitting cities
- community engagement
- new pedagogy of teaching urban design.

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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

Dissertation/report

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

Careers

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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Run in conjunction with the Welsh School of Architecture, this course enables students to learn by deploying design, theory, and development and design control practices, which inform urban design processes. Read more

Run in conjunction with the Welsh School of Architecture, this course enables students to learn by deploying design, theory, and development and design control practices, which inform urban design processes.

Overview

Our MA Urban Design programme is jointly delivered by the Welsh School of Architecture and the School of Geography and Planning. The goal of this programme is to enable practitioners and scholars to transform the field of urban design through critical thinking and creative practice.

Urban design is transdisciplinary, straddling professional fields such as architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning and public policy, and also disciplines such as politics, economics, sociology and cultural studies. The programme fully embraces this transdisciplinarity through the theory, research training and design teaching it offers.

You will learn from academic staff from both schools who are highly accomplished and locally engaged in Cardiff, nationally in the UK, and internationally across the world. In the context of the design studios, you will also be able to benefit from the input and expertise of leading practitioners.

Studio teaching focuses on developing critically informed as well as creative and practical proposals for real sites, addressing important contemporary issues of design and urbanism.

Distinctive features

  • Learn from academics in two Schools which are ranked among the top 50 in the world.
  • The course is taught via lectures, workshops and design studios, by staff drawn from both the architecture and planning schools, who are leading experts in their fields. Design Tutors include leading practitioners who bring their experience of cutting edge practice to the core of design studio work.
  • The course is recognised by the Royal Town Planning Institute as a 'specialist' masters for those who have completed at least a three-year RTPI recognised undergraduate spatial planning degree, allowing completion of the RTPI's educational requirements for membership. For further details visit the Royal Town Planning Institute website.
  • Accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), allowing completion of the educational requirement for RICS membership.

Structure

This is a one-year full-time degree.

The course is structured to provide a set of three lecture-based modules and three studio-based design modules, followed by a dissertation in the form of a research-based design project. The three lecture-based modules run in parallel with studio-based design projects which enable you to continually relate theory and practice.

Your research-based design project represents the culmination of your studies. You will be required to develop proposals relating to a chosen site, demonstrating an understanding of all aspects of urban design drawings and a written, reflective commentary.

You will have between 2-3 days of contact time each week, working between the design studio and your module lectures/seminars.

Learning and assessment

Teaching takes place in new light-filled studio spaces in the centre of the City. You will also have access to the latest modelling and workshop facilities in the Architecture School.

This MA is taught via lectures, workshops and design studios, by lecturers who are all experts in their fields – in geography, urban planning, urbanism, urban design and architecture. The design tutors also include leading practitioners who bring their experience of cutting-edge practice to the core of design studio work.

Studio teaching focuses on developing critically informed as well as creative and practical proposals for real sites, addressing important contemporary issues of design and urbanism.

Career prospects

Graduates move onto careers as urban designers, or in urban design related work. Most of these careers are to be found within the wider areas of architecture, urban planning, property or public policy. These may be within the public, private or voluntary sectors. Some of our graduates continue to higher research degrees.

Guidance and mentoring on careers are provided during the year.



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