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Course content

Over half of the world’s population now lives in urban areas and the sustainable development of our cities poses key challenges for urban management. There is a need to deliver sustainability while ensuring managed urban environments can adapt to a changing climate and changing economic and social conditions.

This programme focuses on analysing the issues of, and the tools used to address and deliver, sustainable development across the globe, from the scale of the building right up to the regional and national scale. It is designed to equip urban managers and leaders with an academically rigorous and professionally relevant postgraduate qualification relating to changing global circumstances.

Course content

The programme consists of six mandatory taught courses and two optional taught courses, to complete a Post Graduate Diploma. MSc students must also complete a research dissertation.

  • Climate Change, Sustainability and Adaptation
  • Spatial Planning
  • Technical Networks and Urban Resilience
  • Urban Economy and Property Markets
  • Environmental Planning
  • UK and International Housing Policy
  • Social Sustainability (Optional)
  • Governance, Participation and Community Planning (Optional)
  • People and Organisational Management in the Built Environment (Optional)
  • Design of Low Carbon Buildings (Optional)

Professional Recognition

The MSc is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Flexible study options

The MSc in Sustainable Urban Management is available full-time and part-time at Heriot-Watt's Edinburgh campus, or via flexible online Independent Distance Learning (IDL). Study via IDL is ideal for students in employment or with other commitments, providing flexible study options that fit around work or family. IDL students graduate with the same degree as students who undertake the programme on campus.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, we’ll need to see evidence of your English language ability. The minimum requirement for English language is IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

We offer a range of English language courses: http://www.hw.ac.uk/study/english.htm


Visit the MSc/Dip Sustainable Urban Management page on the Heriot-Watt University website for more details!

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