Master of Urban Design

Urban designers operate at the nexus of aesthetic, economic, political and technical fields.

The Master of Urban Design helps you to develop leadership and expertise in urban design and urbanism, with a strong emphasis on sustainability, quantification and implementation.

Extend the core skills of the design and formulation of urban projects, and inform your professional practice with a thorough understanding of the policy and economics that drive them.

The program offers an appreciation of the historical and theoretical dimensions of urbanism and design, urban morphology and the relationship between ecological processes and city forms.

You will develop the ability to analyse contexts, define principles and provide guidance for designers of buildings, landscapes and the public domain. We will train you to refine and focus your skills in spatial thinking and visual communication.

Course Details

Course name Credit points Duration
Master of Urban Design 72 1.5 years
Graduate Diploma in Urban Design 48 1 year
Graduate Certificate in Urban Design 24 0.5 year

Why choose this course?

Professionals and graduates in architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning or a closely related areas will develop and extend their professional expertise, but we also welcome applicants from other disciplines.

What will you achieve?

This program produces skilled graduates who work in design, management and teaching roles in Australia and overseas.

Admission requirements

Applicants for the graduate certificate are required to hold a bachelor’s degree with a credit average.

Applicants for the diploma and master’s degree are also required to submit a portfolio of work, records of work and travel or study related to urban design or a related discipline, to enable us to assess your expertise.

If this portfolio includes group or professional work, it is important that you indicate clearly your particular role in producing each item of submitted work.

Indicative Course

    First Year

    Semester One

  • This introductory unit of study will provide students with the necessary skills to participate effectively in the urban design studios and will include site, spatial and public domain analysis, map and plan reading, visual, verbal and written communication techniques, and basic computer-based 3 dimensional modelling and numerical analysis.

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  • Module one enables students to understand how the main concepts and practices of urban planning and development have evolved; appreciate different perspectives about the roles and purposes of planning; undertake basic historical research about Australian urban planning and development issues, and prepare basic stories and arguments about practical planning issues and current theories.

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  • These studios are the heart of the urban design program. Values, knowledge and skills acquired in other units and from previous experience are supplemented and enhanced, and applied creatively to both the investigation and development phases of design projects at an urban scale.

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    First Year

    Semester Two

  • This unit will introduce the conceptual bases for sustainable development and explore how principles of sustainability can be introduced into land use planning and urban design, including environmental management and multi-criteria evaluation methodologies in three modules:

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  • The unit outlines the nature of urban morphology, and its rise as an area of study, and explores the evolution of city forms with an emphasis upon urban structure and typology.

    Most designed components of our cities conform in their general characteristics to identifiable types; they reflect the functions of cities, cultural values and the technological, economic and social circumstances of their times.

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    Second Year

    Semester One

  • Students will be expected to demonstrate appropriate (professional-level) problem recognition, investigative, analytical, interpretative, design and presentation skills and abilities on projects of an urban scale.

    Assessment may also embrace abilities to prepare and interpret project briefs, program proposals and work in groups.

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  • The Urban Design Report is a substantial project involving research conducted over one semester. It will usually take the form of an illustrated report (between 10000 and 15000 words) on an approved urban design subject of the student's choice.

    The subject may be of a practical bent (e.g. review or preparation of an urban design project) or more theoretical (e.g. review of a conceptual viewpoint), or it may occupy the middle ground (e.g. exploration of a contemporary issue or review/testing of a method).

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For students seeking a two-year, 96 credit point program,
please refer to the Master of Urbanism.

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Master of Urban Design