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Course content

Associated with the research group Cass Cities, this Spatial Planning and Urban Design MA embeds you amongst the city-focused researchers of The Cass. Architecture, urban design and planning subjects are explored while you're introduced to a live site in London at the forefront of urban change. Resources and connections across the city are here to help support you throughout your studies. In the most recent (2014-15) Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 100% of graduates from this course were in work or further study within six months.

More about this course

The Spatial Planning and Urban Design MA is associated with Cass Cities, a group of doers, thinkers and researchers at The Cass led by Professor Mark Brearley.

The course combines the disciplines of architecture, urban design, and planning to help you become effective in all aspects of urban understanding. We'll encourage you to become an architect and architectural designer who understands how to intervene strategically in city-level architecture and planning.

Cass Cities engages in urban research and proposition. Urban change happens when people with ideas, knowledge and experience work in creative ways to transform cities. This happens through designing buildings, engaging with local communities, developing masterplans, re-thinking public transport networks and informing policy change.

We'll nurture your ability to form architectural propositions and develop a strong spatial judgement, but we'll also emphasise that there is much more to city processes than building design.

You'll work in the Cass Cities Unit alongside postgraduate architects, and every year we choose live and significant sites which are at the forefront of urban change, with a strong focus on London. There will be work on these live projects as well as the attendance of meetings on relevant topics and access to influential decision-makers in London. These resources and connections will help you direct your work in professional, practical and influential ways.

The projects produced in the unit are concerned with the shaping of both buildings and places. You'll participate in contemporary debates in all forms as a proposer, responder and observer.

Get a taste of things to come by watching this video of Professor Mark Brearley talking about the MA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkCHzBzQOcs

The course can lead to a further MA by Project or PhD research opportunities.

Assessment is through a range of methods, including written coursework submissions and design portfolio presentation.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2016/17 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:
-Design Thesis (core, 60 credits)
-Economics of Place (core, 20 credits)
-Planning and Urban Practice (core, 20 credits)
-Planning and Urban Theory (core, 20 credits)
-Research for Spatial Planning and Specialism (core, 20 credits)
-Sustainable Communities and Governance of Place (core, 20 credits)
-Urban Design (core, 20 credits)

After the course

The course is designed for practicing planners and architects wishing to specialise in urban design, as well as urban design practitioners who require knowledge of spatial planning. It is also suitable for graduates with relevant degrees who wish to obtain a postgraduate qualification in planning or urban design. Graduates of this course have gone on to become urban designers and freelance consultants.

If you are a student who has already obtained a relevant London Met first degree, especially in architecture, and wish to progress into the above professions, then we recommend you consider this MA course. Even if you come from a background that does generally do not progress into spatial planning or urban design positions, this course will be of advantage to you in your career.

Moving to one campus

Between 2016 and 2020 we're investing £125 million in the London Metropolitan University campus, moving all of our activity to our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching location of some courses will change over time.

Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2017. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.

All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of-the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.

Visit the Spatial Planning and Urban Design - MA page on the London Metropolitan University website for more details!

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