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Urban Design MA or PGDip or PGCert

Different course options

Full time | Headington Campus | 12 months | SEP

Study mode

Full time


12 months

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas

Urban Studies Urban Engineering Design (Non-Industrial)

Course type


Course Summary


Our Urban Design MA brings together theory and design practice to develop your urban design skills.

Urban Design applies to worldwide locations facing contemporary global issues. It combines the form production processes of place and socio-economic drivers that shape the urban realm. And links theory, practice and the urban experience.

You'll be part of an international cohort of students from planning, architecture, landscape architecture and other backgrounds. You will work in design studios with support from professional practitioners and research tutors.

The urban design skills you develop apply to a spectrum of locations and issues and you will be able to create liveable places for tomorrow. You'll also engage with contemporary and future urban issues such as:

intensification and population growth
climate change
cultural design context
biodiversity and landscape urbanism
affordable housing
urban public realm in the digital age.

On graduating you will be employable in professions in a range of fields related to the growth and liveability of cities.

Learning and assessment

Your modules in semesters 1 and 2 each include:

Design Studio

In the summer term you will focus on research by:

advancing and testing a design studio project
focusing on your own selected topic or urban issue which can be located in any country or city of choice.

On completion of your Semester 1 modules you will be awarded the PG Certificate (PGCert).

On completion of your Semester 2 modules you will be awarded the PG Diploma (PGDip).

On completion of your dissertation in the summer term you will be awarded the MA in Urban Design.

After you graduate

Career prospects

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.


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.

Students can also exit with Pgdip/PgCert awards.


Design Studio: Contemporary approaches to master-planning and the design of the public realm applied to a live site. As in practice, master-planning engages group discussions, negotiations and a communal effort to produce. This progresses to individual design projects for detailing the public realm of a section of the masterplan. Theory: Current theories on the shaping of urban form are integrated and tested in the design proposal: Practice: Tools for critical and reflective analysis are introduced and used in the design process: Output: This stage produces portfolio quality masterplans which address contemporary issues of concern across a range of settlement types and scales. It integrates theories and practical tools for the production of urban form which are applied in the professional field. The individual projects allow for the detailed design of a public realm taking the masterplan a stage further and in a different design scale.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

The course is open to applicants who hold a 2.1 undergraduate honours degree (or international equivalent) in a related design & planning discipline. We will actively consider applications from candidates with lower degrees or an alternative subject, who can provide a suitable portfolio and/or evidence relevant work experience. Mid-career professional candidates with practice experience are also encouraged to apply.

University information

Oxford Brookes University has grown to become one of the UK's top modern universities, and is highly regarded both nationally and internationally for its excellence in teaching, research and innovation. Oxford Brookes University brings together high-quality teaching with courses designed for the real world, great employer links and a first-class careers service. The University has four main faculties: Oxford Brookes Business...more