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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.

Degree information

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), one optional module (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
-Sustainable Infrastructure and Services in Development

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.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Investment Banker, Standard Bank
-Assistant Researcher, Institute for Urban Studies, Hangzhou Normal University and studying BSc Economics, The University of London
-Research Assistant, Erzurum Technical University
-Regional Programme Assistant, Merlin
-Shelter Co-Ordinator, Save the Children

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 Centre (GURC), draws on the advanced expertise of staff from the Global Development Institute (GDI), Planning and Environmental Management, Geography and Architecture, from within the School of Environment, Education and Development 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.

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.

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 GDI and in other relevant disciplines within 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.

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. Full RTPI accreditation is subject to appropriate option choice.

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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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Upon completing the master’s programme in Urban Studies & Planning, you will be able to. -Understand theories and identify concepts and empirical research methods relevant to urban studies and planning from the related fields of social sciences, humanities, ecology, engineering, architecture, design and art. Read more
Upon completing the master’s programme in Urban Studies & Planning, you will be able to:
-Understand theories and identify concepts and empirical research methods relevant to urban studies and planning from the related fields of social sciences, humanities, ecology, engineering, architecture, design and art.
-Demonstrate a working understanding of the role of urban government, policy-making and planning in urban development.
-Critically and creatively pose and answer significant research questions relevant within and across multiple fields of theory and practice.
-Gather, process and develop relevant conclusions based on information from multiple sources.
-Produce, collect and analyse cases and data relevant to urban phenomena.
-Use digital and other tools to collect, analyse and share data.
-Develop responses to urban problems using relevant tools and techniques for representing, modelling, prototyping, testing and evaluating solutions.
-Understand and develop integrated approaches within and across urban research and applied planning.
-Communicate your understanding of and responses to urban phenomena visually, graphically, orally and in writing.
-Write academic, professional and popular texts on urban themes based on relevant literature.
-Apply and develop skills for co-production of knowledge and co-design.
-Work productively and cooperatively in multidisciplinary, multiprofessional and international environments.

And in terms of knowledge and skills in relation to specialisations and professions, you will be able to:
-Apply the general knowledge and skills introduced, developed and demonstrated within the courses and thesis work.
-Place urban analyses and proposals in relation to your specialisation and contextualise them in relation to others.
-Identify, differentiate and articulate relations among various theories and methods relevant to your specialisation.
-Develop and reflect on your competence in urban studies and planning in relation to your professional role.
-Carry out independent research on urban issues in your field using relevant research methods and responsible scientific practice.
-Analyse phenomena and develop solutions through the use of digital and other tools, such as GIS and CAD.
-Fulfil specific professional degrees in accordance with the relevant professional codes and directives (such as those of architects, landscape architects, and urban planners.
-Demonstrate your competence to work as a professional and/or researcher in urban studies and planning.
-Communicate professionally and constructively with different experts, practitioners and stakeholders in the field of urban studies and planning.
-Articulate your professional identity in terms of established and emerging roles relevant to urban studies and planning.

The University of Helsinki will introduce annual tuition fees to foreign-language Master’s programmes starting on August 1, 2017 or later. The fee ranges from 13 000-18 000 euros. Citizens of non-EU/EEA countries, who do not have a permanent residence status in the area, are liable to these fees. You can check this FAQ at the Studyinfo website whether or not you are required to pay tuition fees.

Programme Contents

Urbanisation is a global phenomenon that is shaping the future of our societies. Most of the key challenges of contemporary societies are encountered and addressed in cities. Cities provide enormous economic, technical and cultural opportunities, but they are also places of social conflict and segregation as well as environmental and health problems. The magnitude of these challenges implies that no single profession or field of research can tackle them. Urban development requires an integrated approach. To this end, two prominent Finnish universities have joined forces in this unique and interdisciplinary Master’s programme.

The Master’s Programme in Urban Studies and Planning prepares you to excel as a professional capable of understanding and addressing complex urban development challenges. You will learn to address such challenges through a curriculum and pedagogical approach that includes interdisciplinary breadth as well as depth in core areas of knowledge, skills and practice. The programme balances theoretical, historical and conceptual knowledge with the acquisition of methods, skills and experience. You will thus gain a broad understanding of urban phenomena as well as practical experience in collaborative and practical situations. This is the foundation of the programme and of the elements in the curriculum.

Taking full advantage of the joint university structure, the programme unites leading expertise from the University of Helsinki and Aalto University into three major study lines. The signature elements in the programme are interdisciplinary studies that address urban challenge themes. These themes relate to urgent contemporary issues found not only in Finland but on the European and global scale, including controversies intrinsic to urbanisation. The urban challenge themes may be attached to focus areas, research projects or collaborations within our universities, municipalities and regions in order to provide a constructive and critical framework for study and practice. These themes cross the boundaries of disciplines and professions, and are united in addressing a common challenge and emphasising a forward-looking perspective.

Selection of the Major

There are three study lines in the Master’s programme in Urban Studies & Planning:

Urban Planning and Design
Urban Planning and Design (USP Plans) addresses urban development by integrating the knowledge, skills and pedagogical approaches of planning and design and by developing synergies across multiple disciplines. The constructive power of design to imagine, structure, visualise and communicate is combined with the analytical rigour and critical understanding of planning and urban governance history, methodologies and tools. USP Plans develops and deepens such skills while advancing your professional capabilities through challenge-based learning within concrete cases, multi-disciplinary collaboration, and learning-by-doing experimentation. USP Plans is oriented towards planners, architects, landscape architects, and spatial, service and strategic designers.

Urban Life, Economy and Cultures
Urban Life, Economy and Cultures (USP Peoples) addresses urban development by integrating analysis of socio-economic, digital and physical structures with planning. Here you will explore and apply theories and methodologies from the social and political sciences. The focus is on socio-spatial dynamics changes, including influences of policies and markets, actors and structures, decision-making processes, social mixing and demographics. USP Peoples deepens your knowledge of foundational studies while advancing your professional capabilities through challenge-based and collaborative learning, including situated municipal and field studies. USP Peoples is oriented towards planners, urban economists and managers and those interested in urban humanities.

Urban Ecologies and Systems
Urban Ecologies and Systems (USP Systems) addresses urban development by integrating technical and natural science knowledge. This includes methodologies for studying, assessing and planning for social and ecological resilience, technological innovation and complex adaptive systems. It applies systems approaches to identify multi-dimensional planning while retaining a holistic perspective on the complex and historical dynamics affecting multiple scales. USP Systems develops your understanding of foundational studies while advancing your professional capabilities through challenge-based and collaborative learning, including urban, digital and ecological field studies. USP Systems is oriented towards planners, engineers, architects, landscape architects, and environmental managers.

Programme Structure

The requirement for completing the Master’s programme in Urban Studies and Planning is 120 credits (ECTS), which can be done in two years. The curriculum consists of:

Core Urban Challenge Studios (20 credits)
Common urban challenge studios integrate multiple expert areas to study and address contemporary urban phenomena from different perspectives. Here you will explore urban challenge themes theoretically from different perspectives and you will address them practically within specific cases, sites or initiatives. Your teachers represent key disciplines and professions, and your studies will be conducted in cooperation with partners in research and municipalities. Examples of urban challenge themes include:
-Urban economies and the challenge of governance and welfare.
-Social integration and the challenge of urban typologies and heritage.
-Liveability and the global challenge of fast-paced cities.
-Socio-Ecological habitats and the challenge of densification.

Specialisation coursework (20 credits)
The three study lines offer courses for you to specialise within one of the three competence areas in the broad field of urban studies and planning. Both universities offer courses for each study line; these can be adapted to support your advancement, background knowledge and skills. The courses cover topics such as urban geography, urban sociology, urban ecology, urban economics, urban ethnology and history, environmental policy, urban planning, urban design, landscape architecture, real estate economics, service and strategic design, etc.

Core skills and methods coursework (20 credits)
Core skills for thesis research and professional practice are offered as basic courses. These include skills relevant to digital representation, analysis and communication, modalities and techniques of communication and argumentation, research methods and methodologies of academic research. You will learn, for example, how to use digital tools to analyse and study urban phenomena and how to illustrate your ideas and solutions visually and graphically. You will also become familiar with the theories and tools of communication and argumentation, and you will study and apply research methods.

Electives (30 credits)
You can select elective courses according to your personal study plan. You can select electives to deepen your knowledge in a specialisation or broaden your exposure to additional areas relevant to planning. For architects and landscape architects, some electives will guide your development according to the EU directive for these professions. You can also take courses at other Finnish universities, in a student exchange abroad, or in an internship in city planning and development.

Master’s Thesis (30 credits)

Career Prospects

The programme prepares you to be a professional in a field that is meaningful, growing and in demand. You will acquire the knowledge, skills and experience needed to fill both traditional and emerging planning roles (such as urban planning and design, real estate development, strategic planning, environmental planning, landscape architecture, policy and service design). To these established or emerging roles, you will bring an integrated understanding of, and training in applying, more interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches to urban development. As a graduate you will be prepared to compete for local and international positions within public, private and non-profit organisations, planning, architectural and policy advisory firms, research institutes and NGOs.

Internationalization

The Master’s Programme in Urban Studies & Planning provides international scope in many ways, taking advantage of the unique Helsinki context and diverse urban contexts around the world. Each year, new students in the Master’s Programme in Urban Studies & Planning include both Finnish and international applicants. We look for students whose varied backgrounds, experiences, and education reflect the richness of contemporary society. The teachers of the programme have an international background and experience, and the programme builds on their strong international connections in their respective fields. Researchers and invited lecturers from abroad take part in the teaching of the programme. The Master’s Programme builds on the joint University of Helsinki and Aalto University Bachelor’s Program ‘Urban Academy’, including its teaching faculty, international network and advisory board of leading international experts. Your elective coursework can include a student exchange or internship abroad, and you are also encouraged to collaborate internationally on your Master’s thesis. You will thus have an opportunity to study in an international environment and acquaint yourself with different cultures. For international and Finnish students, Helsinki and Finland are well-known internationally for progressive approaches to planning. Helsinki is a UNESCO creative city; planning and design have strong roles within municipalities, government and the public sector. Finland is a European and international forerunner in technological research and innovation, such as open data in municipalities. Local and national policies support experimental and participatory culture and development. In the context of urban challenges, Helsinki provides a unique case for engaging with progressive approaches to welfare state paradigms, including public-private dynamics, changing demographics and cultures, and diverse approaches to market growth and sustainability.

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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 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.

Degree information

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), two optional modules (30 credits) and a development and planning report (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 Policy, Programme and Project Alternatives
-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

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.

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.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Architectural Assistant, Foster + Partners
-Architectural Designer, Thinking Development
-Research Assistant/PhD in Development Planning, UCL
-Urban Designer/Visual Designer, Nanjing Yangtze River Urban Architectural Design Co. Ltd
-Project Manager, Home Office

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Programme structure

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

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

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

Career opportunities

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



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