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Master Urban Design

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  • Entry requirements
    The MRes in Urban Design attracts students from a wide range of backgrounds and nationalities. Applicants are welcome from any academic discipline, and from among those in work and seeking continuing professional development. Admission is normally open to those with an honours degree (or equivalent), a postgraduate diploma or an equivalent professional qualification. Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate that their level of English is appropriate to study at postgraduate level. The course requires IELTS level 6 (preferably 6.5) in the academic test, with a minimum score of 6 in reading and writing. For TOEFL the required score is 550 or above (paper-based) or 213 or above (computer-based), with a score of 4.5 in the Test of Written English (TWE).
  • Academic Title
    MRes / PGDip / PGCert Urban Design
  • Course description
    The Master of Research in Urban Design is primarily a research training course and is recognised for Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) 1+3 funded studentships. It is designed primarily, although not exclusively, to enable students to link a programme of substantive research training to the subsequent pursuit of a doctorate.

    The course is modular in structure and includes training in urban design and in research methods and methodology. You will also undertake the dissertation of 15,000 words and have the opportunity to become involved in research projects of the Joint Centre for Urban Design.

    Oxford Brookes has offered a graduate urban design course in Oxford for over 30 years, and is acknowledged as a leading provider of urban design education in the UK. We have over 10 teaching and research staff and our students are drawn from across the British Isles and internationally. Our reputation is built on our student centredness, our teaching and research excellence, innovation and service to the community and professional organisations, and our educational philosophy, which seeks to embrace urban design education in its widest sense.

    The course is based at Headington Campus, Gipsy Lane, Oxford.
    Course content

    The MRes in Urban Design consists of compulsory modules, an additional module from an array of options, and the dissertation, representing 190 master's-level credits.

    The indicative core research methods modules include the Philosophy of Research; Qualitative Methods and Inquiry by Design; Statistical Analysis Using SPSS; Urban Design Studio; Urban Design Practice; and Urban Design Theory I and II. You are also expected to attend urban design development seminars selected from a range of topics. The dissertation comprises the Research Design and Strategies module, and the dissertation itself.

    The course is offered as an MRes (PGDip and PGCert, exit award only).
    Teaching, learning and assessment

    Teaching methods reflect the wide variety of topics and techniques associated with urban design and research, and include lectures, studio sessions, seminars, workshops, practical project work, field trips and research project shadowing. The course includes site visits that provide students with direct experience of some of the most important issues in urban design. The majority of assessment is based on coursework, such as essays, seminars, project work, presentations and the dissertation.


    The subject of Urban Design achieved 4 (out of 5*) in the last Research Assessment Exercise (RAE).
    Research staff are drawn primarily from the Joint Centre for Urban Design and the Department of Planning but with some contributions from other departments of the School of the Built Environment and the wider university community. Visiting speakers from business and industry, local government, and consultancies and research bodies provide further input.

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