Why this course?
Recent data and predictions on the forthcoming rate of urbanisation make cities the most common living environment of the future.
What kind of life will it be for the seven billion people who will live in existing or developing cities? Cities hold tremendous potential, but at the same time are sources of stress, inequalities and pollution. We're working to improve cities to better support fulfilling and diverse lifestyles.
Urban design has an important role in determining both the current and future form of cities. The responsibility for the development and management of cities is becoming increasingly shared.
This course is designed for practitioners and students to enhance their understanding of the city as a complex and dynamic system.
While your focus will be on physical planning and the design of urban spaces and buildings, the various influencing factors that affect form will also be considered.
The major topic is the European metropolis, or city region, within the context of globalisation. You’ll learn to develop appropriate strategies for sustainable urban development. This will encompass social, political, economic, environmental, architectural, aesthetic and psychological aspects.
Study mode and duration:
- MSc: 12 months full-time; 24 months part-time
- PgDip: 9 months full-time; 18 months part-time
- PgCert: 5 months full-time; 9 months part-time
See the website https://www.strath.ac.uk/courses/postgraduatetaught/urbandesign/
Your course is delivered through studio work, lectures, seminars and a research project.
The studio involves work on the design of a complex urban area. This includes the levels of the entire city, the neighbourhood and the individual public space defined by urban architecture.
The course is strongly linked to the Urban Design Studies Unit's research agenda. All that is taught in both classes and studio is based on our excellent research record and helps advance it.
The department is in a partnership board with the department of Urban Studies at Glasgow University. Its renowned teachers and researchers contribute a real estate and policy and practice overview to the course.
There are two fully-networked design studios; one dedicated to student self-study, the other to interactive design teaching.
In addition to the main University library, we have our own, on-site, reference library. Our collection is developed in direct response to the teaching delivered in the department.
A full range of hand and portable power tools are available (complete with instruction).
We offer plotter printing, scanning and laser cutting services.
This MSc course has recently gained accreditation from the Royal Town Planning Institute as a specialist course.
Students have previously won:
- The Urban Design Group Award
- The RTPI Scotland Chapter Award
- The Urbanpromo International Jury Design 1st Prize
If you come from a non-design based discipline, please explain in your Statement of Purpose where your interest in urbanism comes from, and try and give us an overview of your knowledge in the area. We would be delighted to review a portfolio, if you have one, of any work you might have collected relevant to the subject of the course.
Pre-Masters preparation course
The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course for international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.
To find out more about the courses and opportunities on offer visit isc.strath.ac.uk or call today on +44 (0) 1273 339333 and discuss your education future. You can also complete the online application form. To ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.
Learning & teaching
Courses are taught through lectures, seminars and studio work as well as a piece of research (MSc students only).
Lectures and seminars are delivered through a variety of modes including short intensive sessions to allow for flexible booking by CPD and part-time students. There's also occasional site visits.
The taught element of the course starts from a solid grounding in urban design history and theory. It then concentrates on current urban challenges, from climate change to the pressures for development in both developed and developing countries. It culminates with the research work carried out in the Urban Design Studies Unit and teaches you the unit’s ethos and approach to urbanism.
- Guest lectures
We regularly organise a guest lecture series linked to the taught and design element of the course. The Urban Design Studies Unit also organise specialist events. In the coming session students of the course will be involved in a week-long seminar/event with the famous advocate-urbanist and writer Chuck Wolfe.
Recent speakers include:
- Joan Callis, Benedetta Tagliabue EMBT, Architects to the Scottish Parliament
- Prof Neil Spiller, Professor of Architecture and Digital Theory, Rachel Armstrong Senior Lecturer in Research and Enterprise, University of Greenwich
- Andres Duany, Principal Duany Plater Zyberk and Company
- Andy Cameron, Author of Manual for Streets, Director WSP
- Murray Grigor, Photographer and Film Maker
- Prof Ian Borden, Author and Professor of Architecture, Bartlett, UCL
- Richard Murphy OBE, Architect
- Gordon Benson, Benson and Forsyth. Museum of Scotland, National Museum of Ireland
- Professor C J Lim, Vice-Dean at The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment at University College London. Has 4 RIBA President’s Medals International Teaching Awards
- Chris McAvoy, Steven Holl Architects, Glasgow School of Art Reid Building.
Assessment criteria are linked to the learning outcomes set for each individual class and these are published in the modules descriptors which are available to students. The criteria is also explained by staff at the start of each class, to make sure that you're comfortable and clear with what is expected of you.
The assessment of studio work is developed collaboratively between staff and students. Learning outcomes are linked to criteria and performances. This increases your sense of ownership of the learning process and is integral to the course.
On successful completion of studio and classes you’ll be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma. If you complete an additional research element you’ll receive an MSc in Urban Design.
Graduates leave us with a detailed knowledge and innovative skills in an area now in great demand. Past graduates are now working in:
- large practices (i.e. Rogers and Associates, Llewelyn & Davies)
- academia, as teachers and researchers
- local non-governmental organisations
- local authorities
- their own practices
Find information on Scholarships here http://www.strath.ac.uk/search/scholarships/index.jsp
An Honours degree, or equivalent, in a discipline related to the built environment and the city (e.g. architecture, planning, engineering, landscape architecture, sociology, history). Candidates with alternative professional experience may also be considered. The course is open to students with various backgrounds related to the built and natural environment. If you come from design-based disciplines (ie. Architecture, landscape architecture), please submit a portfolio of design work, to illustrate the range of scales and variety of projects you've been involved in, as well as your graphic skills.