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Urban Strategies and Design (MSc)

Course Description

Programme description

Jointly delivered by ESALA and the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society at Heriot-Watt University, this programme builds upon the expertise and knowledge developed in both institutions.

It employs current researchers with international research experience, links and interests, who deploy contemporary pedagogies in the programme’s delivery.

The programme encourages the adoption of a comprehensive approach towards the delivery of socially sustainable urban transformation, from local-specific to global-regional interventions. You will study the wide and diverse range of social, economic and political processes that determine the contemporary urban environment. You will also acquire the tools and skills to propose urban projects of diverse scales and specificities.

The programme is specifically focused on studying how urban design approaches respond to contemporary urban transformations, as often characterised by forms of urban restructuring in the global north, and rapid urban expansion in the global south.

The city of Edinburgh offers an urban laboratory for exploration of current urban design issues. The city’s historic ‘Geddesian’ planning links, and contemporary international links with urban-focused institutions and bodies, particularly in the global south, provide a good platform from which to support student-led, location-based dissertations.

The programme seeks to address the gap between architecturally driven urban design and higher-level, spatial planning-driven, urban design, bringing together a range of approaches relevant to urban design that are currently being developed within different professional and disciplinary practices, ranging from engineering to human geography.

Programme structure

You will study four compulsory courses at Heriot-Watt University, study one compulsory course and one option course at the University of Edinburgh and then complete your dissertation – the development of an urban project proposal. You may choose either African Cities or Latin American Cities, or from a wide range of other option courses.

Career opportunities

Career opportunities at local, national and international levels can be pursued in architecture, planning, landscape architecture, the voluntary urban aid sector, geography, or urban development. There is also the opportunity for further academic research to doctoral level.

Visit the Urban Strategies and Design (MSc) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

Entry Requirements

First class or 2:1 undergraduate degree.

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