Why this course?
As a result of winning the UDG Practice award I was invited to judge the 2015 awards including the student awards. The students from Strathclyde were producing a very different level of work ...this relates to the plot-based approach to masterplanning that comes out of Strathclyde's research agenda. In my view this is important work in its own right. However it also seems that, as a process, it allows students of all abilities to produce a much higher standard of masterplan than is to be found in other schools.
David Rudlin, URBED
Recent data and predictions on the forthcoming rate of urbanisation make cities the most common living environment now and in 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.
In 2015, the United Nations recognised this through the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which included 17 new Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Goal 11 is dedicated to urban settlements, with the aim to 'Make Cities Inclusive, Safe, Resilient and Sustainable'.
This means that getting the design of cities right has never been so important. The questions are: what kind of design should we adopt, and who should be in charge? Our course explicitly addresses these questions, and teaches how to design responsive, resilient, sustainable cities for all their inhabitants, thus preparing socially responsible urban design professionals of the future.
Designed for both students and practitioners, the course treats the city as a complex, dynamic system.
The course is closely linked to the Urban Design Studies Unit research agenda. Everything taught in classes and the studio is based on our excellent research record and helps advance it.
Your course is delivered through studio work, lectures, seminars and a research project.
The major topic of studio is the design of the resilient city. We will address this at all scales, from the metropolitan to the neighbourhood with all its special places. We normally work on a authentic client commission, therefore the work is real; you will work against deadlines, and in multidisciplinary teams, employing professional methods. Your designs will be based on UDSU's approach to city design called 'Masterplanning for Change'.
Taught classes give you the theoretical grounding for everything you do in studio and inform the next phase of research. They take you through the history and theory of ideas that shaped cities up to the present day. They illustrate the current challenges faced by cities, with all the approaches available to tackle them This culminates with the very unique principles behind our Masterplanning for Change approach to the design of the city. These classes also aim to provide you with the basic skills to develop and express urban design ideas at best. Finally, they provide you with an understanding of the political, economic and practical realms of urban design.
The Masters thesis is a substantial piece of student-led work on a topic of particular personal interest, or suggested by staff to advance the Urban Design Studies Unit agenda. It is the completion of this piece that grants students the RTPI accreditation.
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.
Find out more about the full range of facilities we have on offer.
The course receives Specialist Accreditation from the Royal Town Planning Institute, an important professional recognition from one of the largest planning bodies in the World.
Our department works in a joint Partnership Board with Glasgow University's Department of Urban Studies, a world-class department whose renowned teachers and researchers contribute real estate and policy and practice teaching to our course.
Students have previously won:
- The Urban Design Group Award - students from the course are regular finalists in the Urban Design Group National Student Award and have have won it three times since 2011
- The RTPI Scotland Chapter Award
- The Urbanpromo International Jury Design 1st Prize