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Urban Design (MA)

Course Description

UCA Canterbury

Our MA Urban Design course is designed to develop your understanding of contemporary issues in urban design, planning and urbanism through sustained critical and creative engagement.

This course will develop and advance your understanding of the economic, ecological, social and political dynamics shaping the urban environment. We'll encourage you to build advanced urban design skills.

Have a question? Just ask us - http://www.uca.ac.uk/ask-uca/

Student work


Course overview

This course at UCA will help you to develop a range of strategies, tools and skills, including research methods and critical theories. The core of the curriculum is project based, supplemented by lectures, seminars, workshops and independent study.

For part of the course you'll study alongside postgraduate students on the MA Architecture and Master of Architecture courses at our Canterbury campus.

Course content

Stage 1 -

You'll be introduced to the University and the technical workshops and facilities available to you. The first stage includes a range of lectures and seminars and you’ll start to explore your creative practice;

Urban Contexts and Methods: Through a series of lectures and seminars, this provides you with an overview of a range of current debates. These provide a cultural and intellectual context for the consideration of ideas in architecture, planning and urban design, and encourage your active engagement with them. The course addresses inter-disciplinary issues across architecture, landscape architecture and urban design through the discussion of theory and the consideration of specific places, projects and texts.

Exploratory Practice: This unit is concerned with the exploration of creative practice in order to inform the detailed development of your project proposal for the later stages of the course. The unit provides a structured framework to allow you to investigate the potential of methods, ideas and themes in the urban design field.

Stage 2 -

During stage two you begin developing your MA project, evaluating and testing out the aims of your proposal over a sustained period of self-directed study;

Project Development: You'll begin developing your MA project, evaluating and testing out the aims of your proposal over a sustained period of self-directed study. At this stage of the course the development of the project will be guided and questioned through tutorials, group critiques and presentations. These will support the progress of your work and provide rigorous critical appraisal from staff, fellow students and professional practitioners.

Stage 3 -

In the third stage of the course, you'll apply the knowledge gained through your research to create a final body of work;

Final Project: In this unit you'll apply the knowledge gained through your research in a final body of work. You'll demonstrate the potential of your MA project, its subject and method, to generate creative work that embodies knowledge. This process may require you to further develop appropriate technical and presentation skills and understand their role in the production of meaning in the final work.


Architecture studios - Dedicated postgraduate open plan studio spaces, used for group tutorials and personal working.

3D workshop - 3D workshop with machines for working in wood, metals, plastics and ceramics

Computer suite - Fully equipped computer studio with Macs and PCs programmed with the latest software for design and animation

Laser cutters and 3D printers - Access to the laser cutters and 3D printers on campus

Course staff

Gabor Stark - http://www.uca.ac.uk/staff/gabor-stark/

International study

Find out more about studying in the UK, or studying part of your course abroad at one of our partner institutions (study abroad option not available on all courses).

Studying in the UK - http://www.uca.ac.uk/international-study/

Studying abroad - http://www.uca.ac.uk/study/study-abroad/

Course connections

On this course, you'll be exposed to a world of opportunities

::Industry partners::

The Canterbury School of Architecture maintains constant contact with the architectural and planning professions. The course team is well placed to provide you with links to specific individuals, urban design practices, public institutions and professional organisations.

Our MA Urban Design course continually develops close cooperations with a variety of partners, ranging from cultural initiatives via local authorities, to public bodies and institutions with both national and international backgrounds.


MA Urban Design equips you with the essential knowledge, understanding, and intellectual and transferable skills you'll need to succeed in contemporary design practice. This is within both private and public sectors. The course will also enable you to look for a career in higher-level research and/or teaching.

::Further study::

You may want to undertake further study or research to specialise even more.

Your portfolio

For this course, we'll require you to attend an Applicant Day and bring your portfolio for assessment. Further information on how to compile a portfolio and the specific requirements for examples of work to be included will be provided on the Applicant Portal after you've applied.

Student regulations

Find out more about the operation of our courses, student conduct, assessments and examinations.

Student rules and regulations pages - http://community.ucreative.ac.uk/student-regulations

Visit the Urban Design (MA) page on the University for the Creative Arts website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Jeffrey Adjei

"One of things that really sets UCA apart is the freedom that students are offered. Whilst there is a strong course structure which ensures that you progress, the exploration of your practice is encouraged and supported, which helps you to think and work outside of your comfort zone"


Entry Requirements

A good honours degree (normally 2.1 or above) or equivalent qualification in your chosen subject or a related discipline and/or Relevant work experience, demonstrating your ability to study at postgraduate level.

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