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Urban Design (MA)

Course Description

This highly-regarded and well-established course covers a range of disciplines across the area of urban design, helping you develop your creativity and knowledge.

We welcome students from diverse backgrounds in design and environment subjects, including architecture, landscape architecture, planning and geography. If you have an interest in planning and design, this will enable you to explore your passion for collaborative working, challenging traditional professional boundaries.

We are actively involved with urban design initiatives in the region, giving you the opportunity to assist local communities and practitioners in live projects and competitions. You will study modules that integrate theory and practice, allowing you to gain hands-on experience whilst you explore the theories relevant to current and emerging workplace challenges. Our professional network will enrich your experience and assist you in finding a rewarding career in the UK or overseas. The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) accredits this professional course.

You will be able to customise your learning to your own individual needs, interests and career aspirations, leaving the course with a design portfolio that demonstrates your personal skills and professional ability to analyse, plan and design urban environments.

- Research Excellence Framework 2014: our University's results for the Architecture, Built Environment and Planning unit, which it entered for the first time, were impressive with 37% of its research being rated world leading or internationally excellent.

Visit the website http://courses.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/urbandesign_ma

Mature Applicants

Our University welcomes applications from mature applicants who demonstrate academic potential. We usually require some evidence of recent academic study, for example completion of an access course, however recent relevant work experience may also be considered. Please note that for some of our professional courses all applicants will need to meet the specified entry criteria and in these cases work experience cannot be considered in lieu.

If you wish to apply through this route you should refer to our University Recognition of Prior Learning policy that is available on our website (http://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/studenthub/recognition-of-prior-learning.htm).

Please note that all applicants to our University are required to meet our standard English language requirement of GCSE grade C or equivalent, variations to this will be listed on the individual course entry requirements.


You will be introduced to practitioners during the course, while we are also kept up to date with job vacancies, helping many of our graduates find careers in private design consultancies, local government agencies and environmental organisations in the UK and overseas. In addition to this, we provide research opportunities working with academic staff.

- Urban Designer (Public Sector)
- Urban Designer (Private Consultancy)
- Urban Designer (Voluntary Sector)
- Urban Designer (Research and Teaching)

Careers advice: The dedicated Jobs and Careers team offers expert advice and a host of resources to help you choose and gain employment. Whether you're in your first or final year, you can speak to members of staff from our Careers Office who can offer you advice from writing a CV to searching for jobs.

Visit the careers site - https://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/employability/jobs-careers-support.htm

Course Benefits

The course has links with many areas in the industry, from Local Authority Planning Departments to Urban Design and Landscape Architecture Practices. It is suitable for architects, landscape architects, planners, highway engineers, public artists, designers and professionals from other related areas.

A multi-disciplinary team of professionals with extensive practice-based experience teach the course, there are also sessions from visiting professionals.

You will benefit from our new multi-media studios equipped with drawing boards, computers and model making facilities, together with a state-of-the-art library.

Core Modules

Site Analysis Project: Theories & Practices
Analyse an urban design site of interest and relevance to you. You will work in the studio, in the library and at your chosen site to develop your analysis, applying relevant theories and presenting your work in an exhibition format at the end of the module.

Place Making Project: Design Challenges & Solutions
Challenge your creativity with this design-based module. You will explore the design conception, development and resolution of a complex urban design project, following the site-based analysis conducted in your first module.

Sustainable Communities
Examine the theory and history of sustainable communities through lectures, seminar discussions, project work and presentations.

Landscape & Urban Design Specialist Studios
Enhance your skills in your chosen design area. You will reflect on your recent work and learning needs to help you propose what you intend to do with your time in the studio. Lectures and seminars will guide you through the critical and contextual issues relevant to your topic.

Reflective Practice
Reflect on your own professional practice as an urban designer, linking the theory you are learning with your own experiences. We can help you find professional work experience if you have limited or no experience in urban-design related practice.

Research Methods: Theory & Practice
Develop your knowledge and understanding of the different design research philosophies and methodologies and learn how to apply them as you prepare the proposal for your Advanced Urban Design Project.

Advanced Urban Design Project
Carry out an in-depth study of an urban design topic of your choice which develops your personal interests and reflects your career aspirations.


- Design Studios
Our modern multi-media studios include a dedicated CAD suite and specialist software, such as REVIT, allowing students to develop skills in 3D design and building information modelling.

- Library
Our libraries are two of the only university libraries in the UK open 24/7 every day of the year. However you like to study, the libraries have got you covered with group study, silent study, extensive e-learning resources and PC suites.

- Broadcasting Place
Broadcasting Place provides students with creative and contemporary learning environments, is packed with the latest technology and is a focal point for new and innovative thinking in the city.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/postgraduate/how-to-apply/

Visit the Urban Design (MA) page on the Leeds Beckett University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Adam Lakhanpall

My masters course gave me the freedom and flexibility to develop a career that was best for me. As well as studying urban design, we also learnt about different town and city planning policies. This knowledge was invaluable in helping me secure local employment as a planning support assistant.

Adam Lakhanpall
Planning Support Assistant, Harrogate Borough Council


Entry Requirements

Please check our site for the most up-to-date entry requirements (View Website).

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