MA Urban Design

School of Architecture, Faculty of Social Sciences

We are one of the UK's top architecture schools. You'll enjoy the freedom to express yourself and develop the skills you need for your career.

The Architects' Journal (2014) says we're the best architecture school outside London.

Perhaps more than any other school in Europe, we push our students to understand that architecture is about people. We believe this makes them better designers and better citizens.

Real design projects with real clients are an integral part of all our taught courses.

Through our research, we work with communities all over the world, influencing policy and improving lives.

About the course

Urban design professionals are in demand.

We can help you develop design skills that will relate to a broader social, environmental and economic context, linking individual architectural projects and overall planning strategies.

From the outset, you'll work with communities on real design projects. In the studio, you'll be encouraged to experiment and develop your own ideas with expert support from your tutors.

You'll learn how to manage urban design projects, how to write a brief and how to evaluate it. The experience will also sharpen your communication skills as you learn how to present your ideas, visually and verbally, for different audiences.

The course produces ambitious, creative graduates who understand urban design in its social, political and economic contexts. They're self-motivated, highly effective project leaders with a comprehensive knowledge of their specialism.

Core modules

  • Urban Design Project I
  • Urban Design Project II
  • Urban Design Thesis Project
  • Participation in Architecture and Urban Design
  • History and Theory of Urban Design
  • Reflection on Urban Design Practice
  • Urban Design Tools and Methods

Optional modules

  • Reflections of Architectural Education
  • Analysing Urban Context
  • Interactive Urban Visualisation Modelling
  • Building Environmental Simulation and Analysis
  • Parametric Architectural Geometry
  • Building Information Modelling, Management and Analysis


  • Studio-based design work with individual and group tutorials
  • Block seminars
  • Workshops
  • Traditional lecture modules


  • Course assignments
  • Exams
  • Design thesis
  • Dissertation

Apply now

MA Urban Design students

Key facts

Course duration

  • 1 year full-time
  • 2 years part-time

Entry requirements

You'll need a 2:1 honours degree or an equivalent qualification related to design in the built environment, such as architecture, landscape architecture and town planning. We'd also like to see your presentation portfolio.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

Entry requirements for international students

Fees and funding

Financial information for postgraduate taught courses

Your career

Graduates work in commercial architecture, urban design and landscape, non-profit organisations, government agencies and city councils. Others progress to PhDs and academic careers. With this post-qualification degree, you could move on to a senior position or further academic research and teaching.

Learn from experts

You'll be joining one of the largest and most diverse groups of full-time architecture academics in the country. Our staff come from the arts, physical and social sciences, and engineering. This connects our research to other disciplines and stimulates debate about the future of architecture.

Our international research projects shape policy and address public and professional needs. We integrate those projects with our teaching on courses that will develop your core skills. You'll be encouraged to provide social and environmental solutions to the challenges of our time.

Explore your ideas

You'll have access to a lot of specialist facilities. Our media unit has a range of audiovisual and environmental equipment including artificial sky for daylight simulation, a thermal imaging camera and a mixed reality imaging suite.

We have our own photography studio, reprographics unit and 3D printers. There are design studios, research rooms and computer labs.

Our teaching is more than lectures and seminars. Our student-led design projects help you learn by doing.

You'll work with real clients on real projects, you'll discover the benefits of socially engaged design and collaborative working. The outcomes make a difference to communities.

Dr Cristina Cerulli

One of the great satisfactions of my work comes from working with our students, whom I see as collaborators/co-researchers. Generally, though, it’s the idea of creating something, be it a module, a piece of research or an architectural project, that might transform, however slightly, the status quo towards something more ethical, just and sustainable.

Dr Cristina Cerulli, MArch and MA Urban Design tutor

Apply now

You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It is a quick and easy process.

Postgraduate Online Application Form

Any questions?

If you'd like to know more about any aspect of our courses, contact us:

T: +44 (0)114 222 0306/0309