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Urban Strategies & Design - MSc
The contemporary urban environment is influenced by a wide and diverse range of social, economic and political processes.
Studying for an MSc in Urban Strategies and Design, you will engage with all these factors, enabling you to adopt a comprehensive approach towards the delivery of socially-sustainable urban transformation.
You will acquire the tools and skills to propose urban projects of diverse scales and specificities, from local to strategic metropolitan and regional.
Delivered collaboratively with the School of the Built Environment at Heriot-Watt University, the programme is focused on urban design responses to contemporary urban transformations, often characterised by forms of urban restructuring in the Global North, and rapid urban expansion in the Global South.
The City of Edinburgh offers an active urban laboratory for project-led and site visit-based exploration of current urban design issues in the North. The City's historic 'Geddesian' planning links, and contemporary international links with urban-focused institutions and bodies, particularly in the Global South, provide a strong platform from which to support student-led, location-based dissertations.
Through lectures, projects, fieldwork and research, the Urban Strategies and Design Programme involves both critical-analytical and projective components. This enables you to test the hypotheses of course-based research in the form of an urban project, which can be developed in a range of forms, depending on your interest and expertise. It could, for example, result in a design proposal addressing spatial organisation and urban morphology. Alternatively, it might lead to the development of urban design-related policies and guidance, or the proposal of institutional and governance arrangements for the development and implementation of an urban project.
Top five reasons to choose the programme
- The Urban Strategies and Design MSc is open to graduates from a wide range of disciplines, including geography, sociology, architecture, landscape architecture, political science, anthropology, and economics, which ensures inter-disciplinarity in learning and team working.
- You will benefit from Our Research Alliance with Heriot-Watt University, having access to the teaching, research and policy liaison expertise offered by two major institutions. Both are located in Edinburgh which, as a city, offers an excellent urban laboratory for project- and site visit-based exploration of current urban design issues in the North and a platform for engaging with stakeholders in the Global South.
- The Programme prepares graduates for careers in urban design and development planning, NGO work and other planning and allied professions, that require planning analysis and strategy development skills at various levels.
- The MSc degree offers a good foundation from which to develop research skills and interests in higher education through, for instance, doctoral study.
- It offers you the opportunity to develop skills in selecting and using a range of urban design-related strategies and ‘tools’ including physical (spatial) design, policy-making, institutional design and establishment of monitoring frameworks, among others.
Proposed new study mode
We’re considering offering the MSc Urban Strategies & Design in a 2-year mixed-mode format, which would include distance learning with short trips to our campus in Edinburgh. We'd like to hear your views on this new study format. Our survey will only take about 2 minutes to complete.
Dr Ola Uduku, Programme Director | View staff profile >
Dr Harry Smith, Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design | View staff profile >
Dr Tahl Kaminer, Lecturer in Architectural Design and Theory | View staff profile >
Dr Sarah Payne, Assistant Professor | View staff profile >
Dr Soldedad Garcia-Ferrari, Senior Lecturer in Architectural Design | View staff profile >
Colin Elliot, Assistant Professor | View staff profile >
Dr Penny Travlou, Lecturer in Architectural & Design Theory | View staff profile >
James Morgan, Assistant Professor | View staff profile >
This programme is also supported by a number of part time tutors and specialists who contribute to teaching throughout the academic session.
Including journals, databases, and local collections.
Resources for History of Art, Art, Architecture and Landscape Architecture students.
A fully operational, entirely student-run 90-seat theatre housed in a neo-gothic church.
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The Centre for Research Collections (CRC) is the main space for anyone using the University of Edinburgh’s historic collections.
Work spaces are available across the University. ECA's computers include software tailored to the disciplines studied here.
At the heart of the Evolution House Learning and Research Zone, the ECA Library provides an innovative environment for learning, teaching and research resources in art and design.
ECAfé provides a full catering service to all staff, students and visitors to Edinburgh College of Art.
Edinburgh Global's mission is to encourage internationalisation, enhance the student experience, create and develop partnerships.
EUSA represent the student voice. They provide services, run events, and facilitate student societies.
Information and guidance on financial matters for all students of the University of Edinburgh.
A Georgian garden that doubles as a venue for performances in the centre of the city.
The primary collection of books, periodicals, manuscripts, and research material.
The workshop facilities include band saws, pillar drills, sanders and wire-cutters.
This model workshop is equipped for constructing architectural models in a wide variety of materials.
By day, a café, bar and study space, and by night a club venue. Potterrow’s dome is also home to the Advice Place and the Potter Shop.
Includes a screen-printing room, relief room, lithography room, process room, intaglio room, and caseroom.
The neo-classical Sculpture Court in the ECA Main Building is home to the many pieces from the Edinburgh Cast Collection, and is regularly used for student exhibitions.
Caters to a diverse range of users from occasional exercisers to international athletes.
Offering counselling services for students, workshops, consultation and training for staff.
Supporting students with dyslexia, mental health issues and students on the autistic spectrum, as well as those who have physical and sensory impairments.
Talbot Rice Gallery is the public art Gallery for the University of Edinburgh.
Home to six distinctive bars, Teviot is the oldest purpose built students' union in the world.
A hub for the University Societies and setting regular live music, comedy, spoken word and poetry nights.
A bar at the Lauriston Campus which hosts regular events including club nights and gigs.
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Fieldwork marks the half-way point of two-year, British Council funded project.