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Course content

About the course

Urban design professionals are in demand. We can help you develop design skills that will relate to a broader social, environmental and economic context, linking individual architectural projects and overall planning strategies. The MA in Urban Design is a studio-based design programme with a strong emphasis on community participation. The aim is to address the challenges of uneven urban development, both locally and internationally.

Advance your career

Our graduates are architects, project managers, urban designers and client advisers.

Employers include the Olympic Park Legacy Company, Hawkins Brown, Renzo Piano Building Workshop and URBED (Urbanism, Environment and Design) Ltd. With a post-qualification degree, you could move on to a senior position or further academic research and teaching.

Learn from experts

You’ll be joining one of the largest and most diverse groups of full-time architecture academics in the country. Our staff come from the arts, physical and social sciences, and engineering. This connects our research to other disciplines and stimulates debate about the future of architecture.

Our international research projects shape policy and address public and professional needs. We integrate those projects with our teaching on courses that will develop your core skills. You’ll be encouraged to provide social and environmental solutions to the challenges of our time.

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) ranks us fourth in the UK.

Explore your ideas

You’ll have access to a lot of specialist facilities. Our media unit has a range of audio-visual and environmental equipment including artificial sky for daylight simulation, a thermal imaging camera and a mixed reality imaging suite. We have our own photography studio, reprographics unit and 3D printers. There are design studios, research rooms and computer labs.

Our teaching is more than lectures and seminars. Our student-led design projects help you learn by doing. You’ll discover the benefits of socially engaged design and collaborative working.

Core modules

Urban Design Project 1, 2 and 3; Urban Design Thesis Project; Participation in Architecture and Urban Design; History and Theory of Urban Design; Trajectories on Urban Design Practice; Urban Design Tools and Methods.

Examples of optional modules

Reflections of Architectural Education; Analysing Urban Context; Interactive Urban Visualisation Modelling; Building Environmental Simulation and Analysis; Parametric Architectural Geometry; Building Information Modelling, Management and Analysis.

Teaching and assessment

Studio-based design work with individual and group tutorials, block seminars, workshops and traditional lecture modules. You’ll be assessed on course assignments and examinations, design thesis and a dissertation.


Visit the MA Urban Design page on the University of Sheffield website for more details!

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