Urban Design

MA - UCA Canterbury - 2019

With close links to the architecture and planning industry and a rising demand for well-designed urban spaces, our MA Urban Design course is tailored to develop and enhance your understanding of contemporary issues in urbanism in order to meet and exceed the needs of the changing world around us. 

Led by architect and urban design specialist Gabor Stark, 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 in our state of the art design studios, with access to industry standard facilities such as 3D printers, laser cutters, model making workshops, and computer suites.

Our MA Urban Design course will help you to develop a range of design strategies, methodologies and skills – giving you the freedom to nurture your research interests and to bring your portfolio to the standard expected at an industry level. The course is primarily 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. 

You’ll have access to an extensive list of industry contacts while being actively encouraged to seek professional development opportunities with our external partners. There are also industry placement opportunities available in the second semester.

A bespoke and sought after specialism within industry, Urban Design will allow budding architects to explore urbanism with expert guidance.

Part-time students are normally taught on a Tuesday but sometimes field trips, study visits or other events take place on other days of the week. You should check before enrolling if you have concerns about the days your course will be taught on.

Please note: the part-time route for this course has been withrawn for 2019 entry.

Length of study:

One year full-time


UCA Canterbury

Start month:


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Entry year(s):


Entry requirements:

Honours degree, normally 2.1 or above, and/or relevant work experience

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Course details

  • Term 1

    You'll be introduced to the University and the technical workshops and facilities available to you. The first term 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.

  • Term 2

    During term 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.

  • Term 3

    In the third term 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.

  • Fees

    The course fees per year for 2019 entry are:

    • UK and EU students full-time - £6,910
    • International students full-time - £15,500 (standard fee)
    • International students full-time - £14,800 (full early payment fee)

    The fees for 2020 entry have not been confirmed but will be listed here as soon as possible.

    Find out more about our course fees and any financial support you may be entitled to:

    These fees are correct for the stated academic year only. Costs may increase each year during a student’s period of continued registration on course in line with inflation (subject to any maximum regulated tuition fee limit). Any adjustment for continuing students will be at or below the RPI-X forecast rate.

  • Fee discounts & scholarships

    To support all of our current students and our recent UK and EU alumni to progress to the next level of study, we have developed a new range of fee discounts across a range of courses.


Urban Design facilities include dedicated postgraduate open plan studio spaces, used for group tutorials and personal working. 3D workshop with machines for working in wood, metals, plastics and ceramics. Laser cutters, 3D printers and virtual reality lab on campus. Fully-equipped computer studio with Macs and PCs programmed with the latest software for design and animation.

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Course connections

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

  • Industry links

    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.


  • Careers

    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.


How to apply - 2019 entry

I am a UK or EU citizen ...

I am not a UK or EU citizen ...

When to apply:

You can apply throughout the year but we recommend you try and apply as early as possible so you have time to arrange accommodation and visas, if required.

More information:

Go to our how to apply pages

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

  • An honours degree or equivalent qualification in the subject or a related discipline


  • Relevant work experience, demonstrating your ability to study at postgraduate level.

Consideration will also be given to applicants who can make a strong case for admission in relation to a particular project and can demonstrate their potential to satisfactorily complete the course.

International entry requirements

To view the equivalent entry requirements for your country please select it in the list below.

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Non-UK equivalent qualifications

English language requirements

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.

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