Sustainable Urban Design (MArch)

University of Nottingham the United Kingdom

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The award

How long you will study
1 Years

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How you will study

Course starts

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About Sustainable Urban Design at University of Nottingham

The MArch Sustainable Urban Design focuses on the design of urban areas and cities and is a research and project-based programme. The course is designed to enhance the quality of our cities by bringing innovative design into a new relationship with the latest theoretical research on the special structure of urban form in order to respond to the major opportunities and challenges.

The programme covers urban regeneration issues, public realm design, urban design theory and practice and sustainable urbanism theory and applications in place-making with advanced technology and design tools. You will be aquire knowledge and develop the skills necessary to face the contemporary cultural, historical, social, economic and environmental challenges in terms of achieving sustainability in those realms.

You will be encouraged to develop your poblem-solving skills through creative urban design proposals. You will be provided with an understanding of the complex relationship between spatial and design issues and social and economic urban oricesses. It addresses urban design as a mode of research and practice that shapes urban environments, physical or not and responds to urban issues.

You will develop the mechanicsms and design tools which when effectively implemented can secure and deliver projects for the long-term benefit of a city and its people. The courses emphasises the importance of design creativity, analytical skills, critical thinking and focuses on drawing and physical and computer modelling as tools for analysis, exploration, communication and design in order to achieve social, cultural and environmental sustainability.

Key facts

    • As part of its remit, the Department of the Built Environment aims to develop your vocational skills and the environmentally responsible attitude necessary in today's rapidly changing world


    • The Department enjoys strong collaborative links with overseas institutions. You may have the opportunity to attend conferences, seminars and training courses both in the UK and abroad
    • The Institute of Urban Planning was one of the first institutes in the country to offer research and postgraduate qualifications in urban design
    • The MArch Urban Design course is suitable for architecture graduates
    • This course does not convey professional accreditation in the UK

Course Content

Through its content, this course aims to:

    • bridge the gap between architecture and planning


    • establish a broad theoretical basis of debate


    • encourage design experimentation and creativity


  • apply theory to specific projects

The course emphasises the importance of design creativity, in keeping with the spirit of intellectual freedom, wit and experimental urge, which has given the Department of the Built Environment its international reputation.

Live projects and contemporary urban concerns are analysed and explored through reading, writing and design. The programme's focus on drawings and modelling as tools for analysis, exploration and communication allows a competent understanding of how to move strategically between the scale of the city and detail of urban design proposals.

Urban Design depends heavily upon imagination, experimentation, and taking the risk of pushing the envelope far beyond the limitations of current thinking and contemporary practice.

Typical modules offered on this course currently include:

    • Urban Design Project


    • Urban Design Study


    • Urban Design and Regeneration


    • Sustainable Urban Design


    • Architectural Research Methods


  • Places and Cities

Please note that all module details are subject to change.

You will spend the summer semester producing a supervised design thesis or dissertation. This will be an opportunity to conduct a piece of independent research and undertake a major urban design process.

Course Structure

The MArch in Urban Design is offered on a full-time basis over one year (September to September).

In the autumn and spring semesters, you will complete 120 credits worth of modules including a number of design projects which are supported by lectures, seminars and tutorials to provide you with a parallel knowledge base and intellectual support for the design projects.

Finally, you will complete a 60 credit written research thesis or dissertation which you will undertake during the summer period towards the end of the course.

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardMArchHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study1 year
    Course startsSeptemberDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out

Entry requirements

2.1 (Upper 2nd class hons degree or international equivalent) including: Architecture or equivalent. Must include modules in architectural design accounting for 25 %- 50% of credits. Other requirements: Architectural design work portfolio must be submitted.

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