Urban Design (MA)

Urban Design - the knowledge and skills necessary to design and deliver better urban places.

The MA Urban Design is jointly run by the School and the Welsh School of Architecture and more information about this course is available at MA in Urban Design - Welsh School of Architecture.

The MA Urban Design uses design practice, theory, development and control practices to inform design processes, and uses studio teaching focused on local development possibilities to develop creative, practical and sustainable solutions to a range of typical urban design problems.

The course seeks to produce students who can:

  • Think three-dimensionally and creatively manipulate space at the intermediate scale between architecture and planning;
  • Analyse the qualities of localities and places and respond to complex and often contradictory community aspirations;
  • Critically appraise development (built and proposed) and make suggestions for improvement, and develop improved policy and control practices;
  • Conceptualise and draw development proposals at different scales from the territorial to the block scale;
  • Be able to recognise and add quality in all development situations;
  • Test developments for their sustainability, economic viability and constituency;
  • Understand how to approach implementation through inter-professional and inter-agency collaboration and consensus building.

Course Recognition

This MA is recognised by the Royal Town Planning Institute as a 'specialist' masters for those who have completed at least a three year RTPI recognised undergraduate spatial planning degree, allowing completion of the RTPI's educational requirements for membership. For further details visit the Royal Town Planning Institute website.

It is also accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), allowing completion of the educational requirement for RICS membership. For further details visit the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors website.


This MA is suitable for graduates in urban planning, architecture, landscape design and engineering. Graduates from other disciplines will also be considered. All applicants will be required to demonstrate a competency in graphics and design by way of a portfolio.

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See this course on the University's Coursefinder website.

Recent News


We are delighted to announce that the former MA UD student CLARA KOHLER was awarded the NATIONAL URBAN DESIGN AWARD 2015 in the STUDENT AWARD category sponsored by Francis Tibbalds for her project: Re-imagining Swansea High Street – The Green Lanes, that she developed as part of one of the spring design modules of the MA UD. She received a certificate and £600.

Clara's winning entry is available to view by clicking here.

Click here to view a video of Clara explaining her project.

Our warm congratulations also go to former MA UD student KARINA WALYUNI UTAMI who was also a finalist for the same award for her research project. 


 “The Urban Design Group (UDG) is a membership charity open to all who care about the quality of life in our cities, towns and villages and believe that raising standards of urban design is central to its improvement. The UDG believes that good urban design depends upon successful collaboration between all those who shape the built environment, whatever their professional or personal background.

The Group is established for the public benefit for the following purposes:

  • To promote high standards of performance and inter-professional co-operation in planning, urban design and architecture, landscape design and all other aspects of the built environment.
  • To educate the relevant professions and the public in matters relating to Urban Design”

For more information about the UDG please visit http://www.udg.org.uk