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Masters Degrees (Urban Development)

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The Urban Development Planning MSc explores international practices in urban development policy, planning and management that address contemporary spatial, socio-economic and political transformations in cities of the Global South. Read more

The Urban Development Planning MSc explores international practices in urban development policy, planning and management that address contemporary spatial, socio-economic and political transformations in cities of the Global South.

About this degree

This MSc aims to equip participants to work effectively as development practitioners in urban contexts through a deeper understanding of the processes that generate urban change. The programme aims to enhance their diagnostic and strategic capacities to respond to such change within the framework of socially just urban governance.

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 dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma, three core modules (90 credits), one optional module (30 credits), full-time nine months, is offered.

Core modules

  • 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
  • Practice in Urban Development Planning

Optional modules

Please note, not all optional modules may be available.

  • Adapting Cities to Climate Change in the Global South
  • An Introduction to Public Economics and Public Policy
  • 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
  • Food and the City
  • Gender in Policy and Planning
  • Housing as Urbanism: Housing Policy and the Search for Scale
  • Housing Policies: Practical Dimensions and Alternative Options
  • Industrialisation and Infrastructure
  • Knowledge Systems and Sustainable Food Production
  • Managing the City Economy
  • Neo-Structuralism and the Developmental State
  • NGOs and Social Transformation
  • Participatory Processes: Building for Development
  • Post Disaster Recovery: Policies, Practices and Alternatives
  • Social Diversity, Inequality and Poverty
  • Sustainable Infrastructure and Services in Development
  • Urban Water and Sanitation, Planning and Politics
  • Transport Equity and Urban Mobility

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 lectures, seminars, group work, workshops and field trips. Field trips so far have taken place in Egypt, Ghana, India, Thailand, and Tanzania. Student performance is assessed through essays, coursework, team project reports, written examinations, the overseas field trip and a 10,000-word dissertation.

Careers

This MSc is widely recognised by international organisations and agencies (such as UN agencies and the World Bank) and bilateral aid organisations from different countries. 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. Graduates have also been employed by international NGOs and aid and development agencies. Some graduates return to their home countries and engage in the practice, teaching or research of urban development practice; other graduates have successfully sought employment in international development organisations away from their own countries.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Shelter Delegate, CARE
  • Town Planner, Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development
  • Urban Governance Assistant, World Resources Institute
  • Development Manager, NAS Properties
  • Housing Development Consultant, Unspecified NGO

Employability

The programme aims to help students:

  • prepare balanced, critical and comparative analysis and argument based on theory and empirical evidence
  • undertake a comprehensive diagnosis of the problems and opportunities in urban development in specific contexts
  • formulate systematic and reasoned proposals that address the multi-dimensional complexity of various urban development situations, including organisational and institutional development
  • build presentation, advocacy and negotiation skills
  • develop research skills including interviewing, conceptual framework formulation, and the abilitiy to analyse a range of information sources
  • enhance their teamwork skills
  • operate professionally in an unfamiliar environment within the context of a developing country.

Why study this degree at UCL?

This programme argues that planning is key to dealing with urban problems and opportunities presented by rapid urbanisation in the Global South, but that its potential cannot be harnessed without a critical understanding of the processes that generate urban change in specific contexts.

The programme seeks to equip students with the capacity to develop critical diagnoses of urban issues, as a basis for developing propositional responses within the framework of socially, spatially and environmentally just urban governance.

The programme promotes a deeper understanding of community-led and partnership-based urban development planning. Students also benefit from the Development Planning Unit's longstanding and geographically exhaustive alumni and partner network.



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The two-year MSc in Sustainable Urban Development will provide you with a rigorous and critical introduction to the policy and practice of sustainable urban development. Read more
The two-year MSc in Sustainable Urban Development will provide you with a rigorous and critical introduction to the policy and practice of sustainable urban development. The course exposes students to sustainable urbanism as both an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary subject at global and local scales across cities of the Global North and South.

Description

The programme attracts a lively and engaged group of students, who combine postgraduate study with their professional lives, and an active alumni network. Students on the course typically come from a wide international background and share a variety of work experiences in urban development and the built environment. The MSc is designed for those operating in a range of urban contexts worldwide - public, private or third sector organisations - and fosters collaboration, creativity, perspective-sharing and effective networking skills. The programme runs in partnership with the Prince's Foundation for Building Community, and is an accredited course within the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors University Partnership.

The course is delivered by tutors from institutes and departments across the University of Oxford, and in collaboration with comprehensive range of commercial, governmental and non-government organisations specialising in sustainable urban development.

Programme details

The course is delivered through a mix of tailored teaching and learning methods, including seminars, site visits, peer-review, research workshops and individual tutorials. Classes are seminar-based, encouraging active participation and enabling students to learn from each other. You will prepare for sessions by reading a selection of recommended books, book chapters and articles. Typically, there are six to eight weeks between each teaching week, during which time you should expect to spend an average of 15 hours per week of independent study.

The course comprises four elements:

- core themes
- urban theory
- research methods
- the dissertation

You will attend eight intensive residential teaching weeks during the two years of study. Two of these eight teaching weeks are held at the offices of the Prince's Foundation for Building Community in London. The remaining six are held in Oxford at the Department for Continuing Education. Each teaching week addresses a core theme of the course.

During teaching weeks, you will also follow foundation courses in urban theory and research methods tailored to sustainable urban development, comprising sessions on the intellectual history of sustainable urbanism, paradigm shifts and challenges in sustainable development, urban economics, research design, research ethics and preparation, bibliography and library resources.

For each teaching week, you will complete an essay of up to 3,000 words on that theme. The first essay is formative and will provide you with valuable feedback at the start of your studies. The remaining seven essay assignments are summative.
You will spend the latter half of the second year working on a 15,000-word dissertation. You will choose the topic, with the guidance of your supervisor, and, in most cases, spend time doing fieldwork and gathering data during this period.

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Cities in Africa, Asia and Latin America struggle with growth, and urban communities in the developing world are increasingly faced with problems relating to poverty, informality and inequality, climate change, insecurity and lack of social cohesion. Read more

Cities in Africa, Asia and Latin America struggle with growth, and urban communities in the developing world are increasingly faced with problems relating to poverty, informality and inequality, climate change, insecurity and lack of social cohesion. Sustainable urban development planning in the global South is thus a complex task with many dimensions.

This interdisciplinary course, offered by the Global Urban Research Group (GURG/Manchester Urban Institute) draws on the advanced expertise of staff from the Global Development Institute (GDI), Planning and Environmental Management (PE&M), Geography and Architecture, from within the School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED) as well as Alliance Manchester Business School. It is suitable for students wishing to improve their understanding of urban development in cities of the global South in general, as well as development professionals seeking to acquire new expertise in dealing with urban issues, and social development specialists working in the voluntary, private or public sector. We particularly encourage applications from Latin American, African and Asian students.

For more information contact the programme director Dr Alfredo Stein ( ) or the programme co-director Nicola Banks ( ).

Aims

  • An understanding of the cutting edge conceptual debates in global urban development theory and practice, by exploring analytical approaches and relating these to operational frameworks for policy, planning and programming to promote more equitable and sustainable urban development in cities and towns of the global South.
  • Analytical and practical skills to deepen your knowledge of global urban development and planning theories, as well as the ability to identify, investigate and justify possible solutions to problems arising out of theory and practice (including competency in developing reasoned arguments, finding commonalities and differences, and defending different approaches).
  • Skills necessary to gather, organise and employ evidence and information from a wide variety of sources, complemented by guidance on how best to manage workloads and obtain research materials, and support to develop your area of expertise through relevant research culminating in a dissertation.

Special features

Students will have an optional core fieldcourse of either the International Planning field trip or the Development Fieldwork module. All students will be automatically enrolled on the International Planning fieldcourse and the cost of this field trip is incorporated into the programme fees. Those students who wish to attend the Development Fieldwork module will have to express their preference by 1 October and pay the difference in cost by Christmas.

Teaching and learning

The programme requires students to pass a total of eight course units totalling 120 credits of postgraduate study and to undertake a dissertation of 12000 -15000 words which provides a further 60 credits. You must normally complete 4 core course units compulsory for all students, and 4 optional course units selected from those available both within PE&M, GDI and in other relevant disciplines within SEED and the Faculty of Humanities.

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 first 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 Welcome Week with the Programme Directors.

Coursework and assessment

Most courses are assessed by essays, class presentations and examinations or a combination of these (depending on the course units selected). A dissertation of between 12,000-15,000 words provides an opportunity to obtain an advanced level of expertise in a particular subject area through supervised individual research.

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

You will develop an advanced knowledge and skill base that can be applied to professional activities relating to a variety of urban-related fields. Past students have gone on to work as consultants for international development cooperation agencies; planners for national and local governments and private companies; and as practitioners in slum upgrading programmes, or international networks and national NGOs in cities in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Accrediting organisations

This course is accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). After completion of relevant work experience, you may be able in due course to proceed to full RTPI membership. Those students wishing to obtain full RTPI accreditation will need to take, in addition to the core courses of the MSc programme, a specific combination of relevant core and optional courses.



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The challenges surrounding urban growth require theoretical approaches and operational tools that are properly geared to the specific social, economic and institutional conditions of a specific region. Read more
The challenges surrounding urban growth require theoretical approaches and operational tools that are properly geared to the specific social, economic and institutional conditions of a specific region. In addition, urban low carbon concepts in recognition of local resources, know-how and management capacities are essential elements of an effective planning strategy for the future.

The central concern of the master’s program is to equip the participants with a critical understanding of the development of urban areas, unveiling the political, economic and social forces underlying the different types of urban conflict and exploring concrete approaches to address their causes. The program takes an interdisciplinary and international comparative perspective - with a special focus on the MENA region – exploring the specific conditions for interventions in differing urban contexts.

The Urban Development program is divided into a three semester study period along with a 4th semester in which students write their Master’s thesis. The first and third semesters will be in El Gouna, Egypt, while the second semester will be in Berlin, Germany. The location of the 4th semester is open to selection.

The courses consist of lectures, seminars, workshops, exercises and integrated projects. The integrated projects form the backbone of the study program: on the basis of real cases, interdisciplinary teams will be put together to find solutions for the development of complex topics in the field of urban development. The project work will include site viewings (excursions), enquiry sessions, moderated group discussions, teamwork and study and mediation workshops. The participants will gain professional experience through studying while developing their social and intercultural skills at the same time. The students' performance is assessed through course work, examinations and a final dissertation report (Master’s thesis).

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Accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute. The largest and fastest-growing cities in the world are in low and middle-income countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Read more

About the course

Accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute

The largest and fastest-growing cities in the world are in low and middle-income countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. This new course explores the urban development and planning challenges faced by governments and people in these regions and provides you with the analytical and practical tools to address them.

The MA uses cutting-edge theories in both urban and development studies to engage with changes in the global south, including: the globalisation of production and consumption, rapid urbanisation, environmental change, and the spread
of new forms of governance.

Optional modules include a team-based student consultancy project for an external client in the field of international urban development. There’s also a field class in the global south.

The course is suitable for recent graduates and those with professional experience.

It’s excellent preparation for careers (or further research) in international development, urban governance, planning and environmental policy focused on the global south.

Where your masters can take you

Our graduates work in planning, real estate and related professions with private sector planning and real estate consultants, local authorities, policy analysts and international development and design agencies.

How we rate

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) says we’re the best RTPI-accredited planning school in the UK. 85 per cent of our research is classed as ‘world-leading’ ‘internationally excellent’ with ‘outstanding impacts’.

How we teach

Nothing is more important to us than your career. We work closely with industry to make sure our courses are up-to-the-minute and relevant so you’ll learn the skills you need to make it to the top in your chosen profession.

You’ll go on site visits and and take part in exercises that simulate real global challenges. Past field trips have included trips to London, Seoul, Cairo and Istanbul. We also organise work placements with planning agencies.

There are lectures, seminars, computer workshops and tutorials. You’re assessed on your coursework and a dissertation.

Autumn semester

Core modules: Theorising the City in the Global South; Urban Development in the Global South; Ideas and Practice in International Development; Research Methods.

Spring semester

Core modules: Urban Design in the Global South; International Field Class.

Examples of optional modules

International Urban Development Consultancy Project; Sustainable Development: a critical perspective; Managing Cities: the Seoul case study ; Public Participation; Regional Policy and Governance.

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This highly regarded programme will prepare you for a career in urban planning and development, where you may be required to shape and consider development proposals and devise or interpret plans and policies, negotiate and regulate development schemes, undertake community consultations, develop evidence and present reports to clients and decision makers. Read more

This highly regarded programme will prepare you for a career in urban planning and development, where you may be required to shape and consider development proposals and devise or interpret plans and policies, negotiate and regulate development schemes, undertake community consultations, develop evidence and present reports to clients and decision makers. In line with our academic  strengths in planning and development and real estate markets and investment, this Master’s programme will develop your specialist knowledge and skills in planning and development and equip you for a career in the private or public sector. The MSc Spatial Planning and Development is accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

The programme focuses on planning as it engages with economic and property development processes at all levels, from the site, neighbourhood, local, national and international. You will be able to concentrate on particular aspects of development planning to suit your interests and career aspirations (e.g. strategic, economic, environment, regeneration or countryside) and you will have the opportunity to undertake in-depth study, within a framework that emphasises integration, as well as apply your learning to another country through the European field study.

Why Henley?

Programme

The MSc Spatial Planning and Development is recognised in the UK and more widely, to be one of the foremost planning programmes which develops both spatial planning competencies but also market aware planners who are well prepared for the orchestration and negotiation of development schemes. The programme has strong appeal for future employers in the private and public sectors because of the blend of analytical rigour and practical application. Many graduates of this programme, and its forerunners, have progressed to senior positions in the real estate and planning sector.

Real Estate & Planning

Our School is the largest in the UK for teaching and research in real estate and planning. Established in 1968 at the University of Reading, we are the only major UK real estate and planning centre to be located within a business school. Being part of the Henley Business School reflects our close and longstanding collaborative relationship with industry.

We enjoy a worldwide reputation for excellence in both teaching and research and we are consistently highly ranked in all major league tables. We undertake internationally recognised, leading edge research into real estate, planning and land and we offer a comprehensive range of undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses, all of which are accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Our planning courses are also fully accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Our programmes are held in high regard by leading employers, many of whom come to us each year to recruit our graduates. We are proud of our outstanding employment record, with more than 95% of our students entering graduate level jobs within 6 months of leaving us.

Henley Business School:

  • Consistently maintain highest standards: Henley is in top 1% of business schools worldwide to hold accreditation from all three bodies in the UK, Europe and US
  • Excellent networking potential : 72,000 Henley alumni members in 150 countries
  • High calibre students: always oversubscribed, 1,000 ambitious new Masters students join Henley each year
  • Award winning campus: beautiful, green, 134 hectares, with state of the art facilities
  • World-leading faculty: widely published, frequently asked for expert comment by media and to speak at events
  • Henley is proud to be part of the University of Reading. The University is ranked within the top 200 universities worldwide (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2016/17 and QS World University Rankings 2018) and 98% of the research is rated as being of international standard.

Course content

Module descriptions are correct for modules taught in the academic year 2017/18. Optional module listings are indicative, and may be subject to change.

Compulsory Modules

Optional modules

from a range which may include:

Careers and accreditations

Our graduates tell us that the programme has led to excellent and prestigious employment opportunities, helped in part by developing their commercial awareness as well as other key skills.

The MSc Spatial Planning and Development programme is a leader of its type and students benefit from its strong connections to industry and across the profession generally. Many successful graduates have been highly sought after by both private and public sector employers, including planning consultancies, development companies, local planning authorities and large multidisciplinary property firms.

Reading has an excellent reputation with the planning profession in both the private and public sectors. Our postgraduates tend to be sought after by employers and many find employment before graduating.

Our alumni association, The Reading Real Estate Foundation, organise career development and recruitment events for our students throughout the year. These include an evening lectures series with key industry speakers, an annual Careers Fair and our highly successful Mentoring Programme which pairs students with professionals in the industry.

We have a professional Careers Development Advisor, , who helps our students with every aspect of the career development process, including identifying work placement, internships and permanent career opportunities.

In the public sector there are varied options at the local, regional and national levels: government offices and departments, regional agencies and local planning authorities. The range and diversity of jobs and careers offered under the mantle of 'planning' is really very wide and stimulating. We will be happy to advise you in finding work experience and talk to you about your employment options during your time with us.

The MSc Spatial Planning and Development is accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.



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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 MSc Urban and Regional Development course is designed for those who want to understand more about spatial development theory and practice and help meet the policy challenge. Read more
The MSc Urban and Regional Development course is designed for those who want to understand more about spatial development theory and practice and help meet the policy challenge.

The course will provide you with the opportunity to understand socio-economic change in towns, cities, regions and city-regions; issues that are of increasing significance globally. There is a focus on developing knowledge of the key theoretical tools to understand the nature and source of this socio-economic change and its uneven impact on different social groups and different places around the world.

Drawing on leading-edge theoretical debates about uneven spatial development, you will develop the key skills required to shape local and regional development in the worlds of policy and practice. These skills include data analysis and research skills, problem-solving skills through project-based teamwork, and skills in engaging and working across different sectors and organisations, including public, private and third sector organisations. The course also enables you to focus in more depth on understanding the specific challenges of uneven development at particular spatial scales - from the broader regional and city-regional scale to the more localised community and neighbourhood scale.

The course also addresses the public policy agenda to enable you to understand, research and apply your knowledge and skills to the practical challenge of designing strategies to help cities and regions to become more innovative and resilient places in which to live and work.

Distinctive features

• You will study the theory, policy and practice of urban and regional development in South Wales, which has the longest experience of regional policy development in the world.

• This MSc is recognised by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) as a 'specialist' masters, allowing those who have completed a three year RTPI recognised undergraduate spatial planning degree to complete the RTPI's educational requirements for membership.

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

Structure

This programme can be completed inone year full-time or two years part-time and is comprised of modules totalling 180 credits.

Core modules:

Urban and Regional Dynamics
Governing Places
Urban and Regional Development in Practice
Researching Urban and Regional Development
Dissertation

Optional modules:

Environmental Management
Live Project
Environmental Policy and Climate Change
Planning and Real Estate
Designing Cities
Housing in a Globalising World
Urban and Regional Development in Practice (part-time only)
Sustainable Food Systems
Renewable Energy Development and Planning

Teaching

An array of teaching and learning styles are used throughout this programme.

You will attend lectures, participate in seminars and discussions, and attend field study visits. Most of the taught modules in the programme are compulsory, though there is some scope for choice in the second semester at Cardiff University.

You should attend all timetabled sessions of the programme – lectures, seminars and presentations – but are also expected to engage in independent study.

Assessment

A variety of summative assessment methods are used. These include formal written examinations, written texts, written assignments of a variety of lengths, projects requiring empirical data, case studies, student-led presentations, reviews of current research, library-based research, negotiated topics and formats.

With the exception of two modules (which use exams), all assessment is now done by coursework. This approach allows you to pursue and develop specific interests and themes across a range of different modules. It also provides further opportunities for you to work independently and demonstrate high-level practical, professional and transferable skills.

Coursework will generally consist of one piece of work of 4000–5000 words unless otherwise specified. Some coursework assessment will take the form of project-based work where this is appropriate to the skill set and learning outcomes.

The major piece of project work will be the dissertation. This will involve an independent piece of analysis and empirical research. The dissertation will be an integrated part of the scheme with a preparatory module (Research Study Methods) which aims to provide you with the skills and the knowledge necessary to complete the exercise successfully.

You will be expected to complete the dissertation by the end of September of your final year.

Career Prospects

The course offers the knowledge and expertise to enable you to work within a large number of urban and regional development-related careers. These can range from research, policy development and implementation, planning roles within the public and private sectors to agencies and businesses involved in new and re-development projects.

The course is suitable for both UK and international students.

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The MSc in Urban Planning. Developing and Transitional Regions is concerned with the theory and practice of urban planning in societies undergoing rapid economic, social, technological, environmental and spatial change. Read more
The MSc in Urban Planning: Developing and Transitional Regions is concerned with the theory and practice of urban planning in societies undergoing rapid economic, social, technological, environmental and spatial change.

The emphasis of the course is on institutional aspects of planning and management interventions in the urban sector and the scope of various policy instruments and planning modes to manage the emerging spatial patterns, impacts and processes of urban growth.

The MSc is RICS- and RTPI-accredited.

Why choose this course?

It is a fully accredited RTPI and RICS course which is viewed as the first choice for urban and development planning training by a range of employers throughout the world - especially governments, local authorities, development and planning consultancies.

Benefit from the success of our courses in delivering highly skilled professionals. Our graduates get employment in the private and public sector, international development institutions, NGOs, research institutions and consultancy. Engage with and benefit from teaching staff who are active in research and practice; drawn primarily from the Department of Planning but with some contributions from the wider university community. In REF 2014 69% of our research was rated as either world leading or internationally excellent.
Visiting speakers from business and industry, local government, and consultancies and research bodies provide a major contribution to the teaching programme.

Study in our newly redeveloped Headington campus, ultra modern spaces and facilities in Abercrombie building and John Henry Brookes building; access to top of the range studios, IT suites and computer programs, library and 24/7 online databases. As well as being one of the world's most famous centres for learning, Oxford is a city with a great urban heritage and is within easy reach of London and other urban centres. Its excellent transport links make it a convenient place to take up a day release part-time course.

Professional accreditation

The MSc Urban Planning: Developing and Transitional Regions is fully accredited by:
-The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).
-The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). This means that on successful completion of the MSc, graduates can register for the Assessment of Professional Competence procedures of RICS and RTPI and work towards becoming full members.

This course in detail

The course is offered as a master's degree (MSc), a postgraduate diploma (PGDip) or a postgraduate certificate (PGCert).

The MSc course is based on the completion of the following compulsory modules, plus elective specialisations and a 15,000-word master's dissertation.

As courses are reviewed regularly, the module list you choose from may vary from that shown below.

Compulsory element (indicative modules):
-Development and Urbanisation
-Urban Land Policy and Urban Management
-Globalisation: Environment and Development
-Urban Policy in Practice: Programme and Project Implementation
-Research Methods

MSc students are offered choice and flexibility in terms of specialist elective modules, of which two must be chosen from the following indicative list:
-Armed Conflict and International Humanitarianism
-Principles of Environmental Assessment
-Environmental Management Systems
-Designing the City
-World of Refugees
-International Transport Planning
-Strategic Environmental Assessment
-GIS and Environmental Modeling
-Designing the Neighbourhood
-Global Institutions
-Delivering Sustainable Futures
-Destination and Event Development
-Statistical Research Using SPSS
-Independent Study.

Please note that not all electives may be available in any given year.

The PGDip course is based on the completion of the following compulsory modules as in the MSc programme:
-Development and Urbanisation
-Urban Land Policy and Urban Management
-Globalisation: Environment and Development
-Urban Policy in Practice: Programme and Project Implementation.

A similar choice of two elective modules from the same options as the MSc course is required.

The PGCert is based on the completion of the following compulsory modules as in the MSc course:
-Development and Urbanisation
-Urban Land Policy and Urban Management or Independent Study
-Globalisation: Environment and Development or Independent Study

Careers and professional development

Today our alumni can be found in senior positions in some of the largest international planning and environmental consultancies, in government agencies, in large NGOs and campaigning organisations across the globe.

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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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The world we live in is an increasingly urban one as cities currently account for half the world’s population. By 2030, it is expected that three out of every five people will live in an urban environment. Read more

The world we live in is an increasingly urban one as cities currently account for half the world’s population. By 2030, it is expected that three out of every five people will live in an urban environment. Sustainable management of the urban environment has become one of the major challenges of the 21st century as you will learn during the two-year master's Urban Environmental Management programme at the university. This development calls for control of the environmental impacts of urbanisation like growing traffic, increasing waste emissions, deteriorating air and water quality, and growth in energy and resource consumption. 

Study programme

Inadequate water supply, sanitation, waste collection and waste management systems are the cause of serious urban pollution and health hazards in many Asian, African and Latin American cities. The MSc programme Urban Environmental Management is an international and interactive programme providing a balanced curriculum of theory, tools and application. It aims to train students like you to guide the future along the path of sustainable urbanisation.

On the Programme of Urban Environmental Management page you can find the general outline of the programme and more detailed information about courses, theses and internships.

Thesis tracks

Within the master's programme you can choose one of the following Thesis tracks to meet your personal interests.

Your future career

Graduates from the MSc Urban Environmental Management (MUE) programme are well-equipped with the skills and knowledge to continue academic training (PhD) or continue their career outside the University.

Read more about career perspectives and opportunities after finishing the programme and Career preparation during your studies.

Related programmes:

MSc Environmental Sciences 

MSc International Development Studies 

MSc Landscape Architecture and Planning



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The regeneration and development of cities provides the focus for this MSc. Read more
The regeneration and development of cities provides the focus for this MSc. We provide you with a range of intellectual and professional skills or practice in urban regeneration and development in both public and private sectors, including local authorities and central government bodies, local regeneration partnerships, regeneration consultancies and private developers.

Aims

You will gain:
-A framework for knowledge in the field of urban development and regeneration, preparing you for professional practice or further research activity.
-An understanding of the principal academic discourse relating to processes of urban development and change, enabling you to engage in professional and inter-professional debate on the nature, purpose and methods of implementing successful urban regeneration programmes and projects.
-An understanding of the relationship between critical awareness of theory relating to the process of urban development, and its application to specific practice settings.
-The ability to analyse, synthesise and evaluate both established and emerging policy and practice ideas, and to appreciate alternative methodologies associated with delivering successful urban regeneration programmes and projects.
-The ability to identify and define urban problems at a variety of scales, and the knowledge base necessary to enable you to devise appropriate solutions using a ange of professional skills and methodologies.
-Transferable skills and the confidence necessary to engage in collaborative problem-solving.

Special features

An overseas field visit is an integral part of the programme. The cost of the visit is largely covered by the course fee, but students in recent years have also been asked to contribute around £400 towards the costs of the trip, depending on the venue. Recent locations have included Toronto, Barcelona and Berlin.

Fieldcourses may be scheduled at any point during the twelve-month period of the degree programme and this may include time during University vacations. Successful applicants are expected to be available to attend. Countries to be visited may change their immigration and visa regulations at short notice. Planning cannot guarantee that where visas are required for the field course, they will be granted. Planning will ensure that, in the unlikely event this occurs, affected students are not academically disadvantaged.

The programme also includes a module that introduces students to the excitement of working within a professional, `real world' context on a 'live' consultancy project. Working with industrial partners, students will be asked to complete a piece of work on an area of planning, urban regeneration, or environmental management - depending on their chosen specialism - to a standard that is expected and demanded in the planning, environmental management or development professions. This core module is highly regarded by employers and students alike.

Career opportunities

Tackling skills deficiencies in the field, identified by various papers and reviews, and by the Academy for Sustainable Communities (2007) and the Audit Commission (2008), our course meets the needs of a job market in central and local government, regeneration partnerships, consultancies and non-governmental organisations. It can lead to a professional career as a chartered surveyor or (with an appropriate undergraduate degree) planning professional.

Accrediting organisations

The course fulfils the criteria for full dual accreditation from both the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Accreditation from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is under the Planning and Development (P&D) specialism.

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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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Accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). To deal with the complex challenges of urban development, planners have to know how to work with other professionals. Read more

About the course

Accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)

To deal with the complex challenges of urban development, planners have to know how to work with other professionals. This course equips you with the skills to produce sensitive plans and creative designs, taking into account the financial and practical issues associated with property development.

This course will develop your skills in urban design, planning and the development of cities.

You’ll study the UK urban experience and also rapidly urbanising cities in Asia and Africa. The course draws on leading teaching and research at the University, combining the urban design expertise of the School of Architecture and the international planning expertise of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. The course is accredited as a Specialist Planning Programme by the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Where your masters can take you

Our graduates work in planning, real estate and related professions with private sector planning and real estate consultants, local authorities, policy analysts and international development and design agencies.

How we rate

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) says we’re the best RTPI-accredited planning school in the UK. 85 per cent of our research is classed as ‘world-leading’ ‘internationally excellent’ with ‘outstanding impacts’.

How we teach

Nothing is more important to us than your career. We work closely with industry to make sure our courses are up-to-the-minute and relevant so you’ll learn the skills you need to make it to the top in your chosen profession.

You’ll go on site visits and and take part in exercises that simulate real global challenges. Past field trips have included trips to London, Seoul, Cairo and Istanbul. We also organise work placements with planning agencies.

There are lectures, seminars, computer workshops and tutorials. You’re assessed on your coursework and a dissertation.

Autumn semester

Core modules: Principles of Urban Design; Perspectives on Spatial Planning and Development; Research Methods.

Examples of optional modules

A choice of two modules from a list including: Spatial Planning Systems; Urban Development in the Global South; Conservation and Regeneration; Policy and Law.

Spring semester

Core module: either Urban Development in the Global South or Integrated Project.

Examples of optional modules

Advanced Software Skills in Urban Design; Sustainability: A Critical Perspective; Transport Planning; Managing Cities: the Seoul case study; Cities of Diversity; Cities of the South.

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The programme offers you the broad theoretical perspectives of urban studies on cities and regions. It aims towards you who are genuinely interested in cities, urban life and all expressions of urbanity. Read more
The programme offers you the broad theoretical perspectives of urban studies on cities and regions. It aims towards you who are genuinely interested in cities, urban life and all expressions of urbanity.

What is Urban Studies?

Malmö_urbanity_200pxThe subject of urban studies involves interdisciplinary studies of urban areas content, form, planning and development. Urban Studies offers theoretical and academic perspectives on the developments in cities and the environmental changes that surrounds us.

What will I learn?

You will learn about cities both as stable and slow-changing structures of buildings, streets, cables and pipelines, and as dynamically crossing flows of people and goods. You will also learn about urban visions, programmes and plans and the various processes and projects that shape them. In addition, you will learn that the city is largely expressed through its everyday life and through the unplanned and spontaneous actions that contribute to its atmosphere and attraction.

Theoretical studies are combined with independent case studies about complex urban phenomena. The case studies are organised with agencies, organisations and companies. You will have plenty of opportunities to apply your theoretical knowledge in case studies dealing with urban situations and problems. The education takes place in the midst of the Öresund region, which offers an abundance of examples and issues reflecting global urban development.

The necessity of Urban Studies

Understanding contemporary urban development, planning and management strategies requires a broad and advanced expertise in social and spatial processes.

Working with urban development has increasingly come to require understanding forms of mobility and shifts over time, a perspective quite different from viewing the city as a static physical entity. Projects that consciously deal with time, experiments and development processes question results of planning in the form of specific products and thus leave more space for spontaneity and initiated processes. Participatory processes involving wider and alternate groups in society open up possibilities for deepening democracy and increasing equality, not least by making use of everyday users' experience. The programme emphasises boundary-crossing work methods, answering to the need for intersectoral and interdisciplinary competence in the field of urban studies.

Forms of teaching and academic structure

The programme is based on student-active learning which expects you to contribute actively and enthusiastically. Your experience of urbanity – ranging from everyday practicalities to academic studies – forms an important starting point for the programme.

You will present, comment and discuss your work and be the critic of your fellow students work. You will – independently and in groups – carry out studies of environments and contexts in the city and the region. You will also present the results of your studies in the form of texts and illustrations, oral presentations as well as sketches for solving problems in the form of schedules and suggestions for concrete designs.

The Urban Studies research field comprises a set of methods that you as a student will face from the very beginning. Theoretical studies will alternate with empirical field studies, made independently or in groups. Basic knowledge about the complex processes involved in the organisation, planning and administration of cities and urban regions form an important part of the programme.

The teaching also covers several geographical levels – from the local to the global – and their mutual influence. Urban actors' varying power and possibilities to influence the development are emphasised.

During the first two terms, the focus is on discovering and understanding the city as a range of phenomena where humanities and social science perspectives – with a strong emphasis on space, flow and rhythm – play an important role. During the second year, you will be offered in-depth and specialisation studies. The third semester you can spend either on an elective international programme with relevance to urban studies or attend one of the elective courses at Malmö University. The fourth term will be devoted to essay-writing and seminars focusing on the essay topics chosen by yourself and your fellow students.

Career opportunities

After completing your education you can work across organisation boundaries with management and coordination of city development. This may involve working in projects and processes with tasks spanning across different sectors in public authorities and in companies, for instance as researcher, coordinator and project leader. Your future employers may be found in businesses, public authorities and organisations working with aspects of buildings, cities and regions.
The master’s programme also provides a solid basis for PhD studies.

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