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Course content

The 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 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.

Accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), and by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) when combined with the PGDip in Spatial Planning.

See the website http://www.brookes.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/urban-design-ma/

Why choose this course?

- 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.

- 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.

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.

Approach to assessment

Modules are assessed by methods that include essays, seminar papers, project work and presentations, workshops and simulations. All the assessment is based on coursework. The assessment methods aim to test not only knowledge but also skills in, for example, research, analysis, specification and design.

Urban Design students

The Joint Centre for Urban Design has around 100 students enrolled at any one time on its academic and research degrees. Over the last five years students have come each year from, on average, 22 different countries and with a wide range of backgrounds.


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.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:
- studying at a Brookes partner college
- studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Research areas and clusters

Staff are engaged in world-leading research which feeds directly into the teaching and studio work. Recent topics include:
- place-identity
- heritage led regeneration
- sustainable cities
- place-making
- aesthetic appreciation of buildings, streets and open spaces
- retrofitting cities
- community engagement
- new pedagogy of teaching urban design.

Visit the Urban Design (MA/ PGDip/ PGCert) page on the Oxford Brookes University website for more details!






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