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Course content

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

About this degree

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

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

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

Core modules

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

Feeder modules

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

Dissertation/research project

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

Teaching and learning

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

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

Careers

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

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

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

Recent career destinations for this degree

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

Employability

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

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

Why study this degree at UCL?

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

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

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

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Bartlett School of Planning

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

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


Visit the Inter-disciplinary Urban Design (MRes) page on the University College London website for more details!

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