Master of Urban Design
The information on this page applies to future students. Current students should refer to their faculty handbooks for course information.
The Master of Urban Design was one of the first in Australasia and has built an excellent reputation, producing skilled graduates who may work on all continents in design, management and teaching roles. The Urban Design program has produced skilled graduates who work on all continents in design, management and teaching roles.
This program will develop leadership and expertise in urban design and urbanism with a strong emphasis on sustainability, quantification and implementation.
The program’s core units will provide you with an appreciation and understanding of the historical and theoretical dimensions of urbanism and design, urban morphology and the relationship between ecological processes and city form.
While design is an important aspect that is at the core of the Diploma and Master’s degrees, there is universal recognition that the defining aspects of urban design practice is its integrating role in multidisciplinary teams.
Students will develop the ability to analyse contexts, define principles and provide guidance for future designers of buildings, landscapes and the public domain.
This ‘indirect’ design aspect of the built environment requires a related but distinct set of skills including facilitation, collaboration and communication in addition to being able to think spatially and communicate visually.
These skills are not the exclusive domain of ‘designers’ and people from a range of backgrounds and capabilities to be welcomed into an urban design program which aims to be multidisciplinary and emulate practice.
Core units may complemented with electives that will strengthen your knowledge in related fields: for example, architects can take electives in planning and planners can extend their understanding of architecture. All students can reinforce their knowledge of sustainability. This cross- pollination nurtures more effective urban design and gives you the flexibility to build your course of study around your interests and professional aspirations.
Units of study
For full information on Units of Study available in this course, please visit the Sydney Courses website
Full units of study list
- ARCH9001 - Urban Design Studio A
- ARCH9002 - Urban Design Studio B
- ARCH9028 - Conservation Methods and Practices
- ARCH9031 - Research Report
- ARCH9039 - General Elective 1
- ARCH9040 - General Elective 2
- ARCH9045 - Dissertation 1
- ARCH9046 - Dissertation 2
- ARCH9058 - General Elective 7
- ARCH9059 - General Elective 8
- ARCH9060 - Urban Design Report
- ARCH9063 - Urban Morphology
- ARCH9064 - East Asian Arch and Urbanism (Modern)
- ARCH9074 - History and Theory of Conservation
- ARCH9075 - New Design in Old Settings
- ARCH9080 - Urban Ecology,Design and Planning
- ARCH9081 - Heritage Law and Policy
- ARCH9082 - Conservation of Traditional Materials
- ARCH9085 - General Elective 9
- ARCH9086 - General Elective 10
- ARCH9087 - General Elective 11
- ARCH9088 - General Elective 12
- ARCH9100 - Introduction to Urban Design
- DESA9008 - Object Design
- DESA9009 - Public Art
- DESA9011 - Photography 2
- DESA9012 - Screen Printing on Paper
- DESA9013 - Sculpture
- DESA9014 - Ceramics (Handbuilding)
- DESA9015 - Site Specific Art
- DESC9014 - Building Construction Technology
- DESC9015 - Building Energy Analysis
- DESC9040 - Electrical Services
- DESC9047 - Strategic Facility Management
- DESC9048 - Operational Facility Management
- DESC9049 - Financial Decision Making
- DESC9050 - Fire Protection Services
- DESC9067 - Mechanical Services
- DESC9074 - Project Management
- DESC9090 - Audio Systems and Measurement
- DESC9111 - Energy Management in Buildings
- DESC9117 - Sound Design for New Media
- DESC9134 - Audio and Acoustics Seminar
- DESC9137 - Spatial Audio
- DESC9138 - Architectural and Audio Acoustics
- DESC9147 - Sustainable Building Design Principles
- DESC9148 - Sustainable Building Design Practice
- DESC9150 - Sustainability Research Project
- DESC9152 - Practice of Lighting Design
- DESC9153 - Graduate Internship
- DESC9154 - Lighting Design Software
- DESC9164 - Lighting Technologies
- DESC9165 - Architectural Lighting Design
- DESC9166 - Photometry and Colorimetry
- DESC9167 - Light and Vision
- DESC9169 - Daylight in Buildings
- DESC9172 - Building Asset Management
- DESC9183 - Risk Management
- DESC9191 - Building Acoustics and Noise Control
- DESC9192 - Energy Code Compliance in Buildings
- DESC9200 - Introduction to Architectural Science
- DESC9201 - Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ)
- DESC9300 - Research in Arch. & Design Science
- DESC9660 - Graduate Exchange Core A
- DESC9661 - Graduate Exchange Core B
- DESC9662 - Graduate Exchange Core C
- DESC9663 - Graduate Exchange Core D
- DESC9664 - Graduate Exchange Optional A
- DESC9665 - Graduate Exchange Optional B
- DESC9666 - Graduate Exchange Optional C
- DESC9667 - Graduate Exchange Optional D
- DESC9668 - Graduate Exchange Elective A
- DESC9669 - Graduate Exchange Elective B
- DESC9670 - Graduate Exchange Elective C
- DESC9671 - Graduate Exchange Elective D
- DESC9672 - Graduate Exchange Core E
- IDEA9101 - IDEA Laboratory 1
- IDEA9102 - IDEA Studio 1
- IDEA9106 - Design Thinking
- IDEA9201 - IDEA Laboratory 2
- IDEA9202 - IDEA Studio 2
- IDEA9301 - Graduation Studio
- IDEA9302 - IDEA Research Project
- IDEA9303 - IDEA Dissertation
- PLAN9045 - Economics for Planners
- PLAN9049 - International Urban Development Planning
- PLAN9061 - Planning Principles,Systems & Practice
- PLAN9062 - Planning Law
- PLAN9063 - Strategic Planning and Design
- PLAN9064 - Land Use and Infrastructure Planning
- PLAN9068 - History & Theory of Planning & Design
- PLAN9072 - Housing Policy and Assistance
- PLAN9073 - GIS Based Planning Policy and Analysis
Further course information
The Master of Urban Design (Urban Design and Planning), is a two-year degree that incorporates the key elements of both the Master of Urban Design and Master of Urban and Regional Planning.
The Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning will monitor students for satisfactory progress towards the completion of their award course. In addition to the common triggers used to identify students not meeting academic progression requirements, students must pass any unit of study identified in the course resolutions as being critical to progression through the course.
A capstone experience comprises one or more units of study designed by the faculty to provide you with an opportunity to draw together the learning that has taken place during the award, synthesise this with your prior learning and experience, and draw conclusions that will form the basis for further investigation, and intellectual and/or professional growth. For the Master of Urban Design you will complete a well-illustrated report (of around 8,000- 10,000 words) on an urban design issue, problem or project. This report is prepared under the supervision of a relevant member of staff, and builds upon all learning from the previous subjects.
Course outcomes and further study
Over 200 students have graduated from the program to go on to occupy positions in both the private and public sector in cities across Asia, Europe, North and South America, Australia and New Zealand. Graduates are able to bridge the concerns of architecture and planning, think strategically, appreciate scale and qualities of place and communicate urban design principles to a wide range of audiences.
Graduates of the Master of Urban Design (Urban Design and Planning) degree are eligible, subject to professional experience requirements, for corporate membership of the Planning Institute of Australia.
The Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning places a high emphasis on its research activity. We have a vibrantly diverse community of scholars and practitioners, many of whom have taken national and international leadership roles in their fields. The faculty offers the opportunity to pursue research degrees, both MPhil and PhD in four disciplines: architecture and allied arts; architectural and design science; design lab; and urban and regional planning and policy.
You may elect to study in any of these fields, or to pursue interdisciplinary studies in a combination of fields with the faculty or between the faculty and elsewhere in the University. The University and the faculty have formal links, including exchange agreements and memoranda of understanding, with institutions throughout Asia, Europe, Scandinavia and North America. These translate into research opportunities for students as well as staff.
These degrees are supported through a wide range of resources, including extensively equipped laboratories and comprehensive workshop facilities.
Other study options
The Faculty of Architecture, Design & Planning runs continuing professional development short courses, including an online program, which provide a valuable opportunity for professionals to update their knowledge to enhance career pathways or for personal interest. All of our courses qualify for CPD points with AIA, SBSE/EA and AIRAH members.
If you are considering further study it is also an opportunity to try a subject from a course to gauge its suitability. You have the choice to either complete the assessment work or not. If you do successfully complete the assessment work you will be eligible to receive 6 credit points per subject towards a future degree. For more information please see the faculty website [hyperlink: http://sydney.edu.au/architecture/programs_of_study/continuing_professional_development.shtml].
Applicants for the Graduate Certificate are required to have a bachelor degree with a weighted average mark (WAM) of 65. Applicants for the Professionals and graduates in architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning or a closely related area, will develop and extend their professional expertise, but applicants from other disciplines are welcome.
An introductory unit of study has been introduced to enable all students to participate effectively in the design studios, and to provide a basic grounding in urban design for students wishing to undertake the Graduate Certificate only.
Diploma and Masters degrees 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 your expertise to be assessed. If group or professional work, it is important that you indicate clearly your particular role in producing each item of submitted work.
Please note that students may commence studies in Semester 2, however some courses are only available in part-time capacity due to the units on offer.
More detail on the Program including course planner, credit request forms and timetable links can be found at the Faculty of Architecture, Design & Planning homepage.
How to apply
How to apply
Applications are made directly to the University and assessed by the Faculty.
How to apply
Overseas applicants may apply (i) directly to the University, or (ii) through a University overseas representative (education agent).
Indicative postgraduate student contribution amount
Indicative postgraduate student contribution amount not available for Master of Urban Design.
Annual review for postgraduate student contribution amount
Annual review for postgraduate student contribution amount not available for Master of Urban Design.
Postgraduate Domestic Tuition Fee
This 2014, tuition fee for a domestic postgraduate student represents the fee that is payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2013 for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). If your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL your fee will differ.
Annual review for postgraduate domestic tuition fee
Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review by the University, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.
Additional incidental fees
For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the student contribution and/or course fee. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing and equipment. For further information about these additional incidental fees, please visit the University's Future Students' website.
Potential for inaccuracy
Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information in this prospectus, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.
The academic requirements that are displayed are applicable to currently available courses only, and are updated annually in October and may be changed without notice. The Faculty Handbook and the University of Sydney Calendar are the official legal source of information relating to study at the University of Sydney, and you are referred to those documents
Please note that if you are classified by the University as a Research Training Scheme student in accordance with the Other Grants Guidelines (Research) 2010, you will be exempt from the payment of any SCA or tuition fees for courses undertaken as part of a Research Masters degree and Research Doctoral degree. More information about your eligibility for this Scheme is available here.
International tuition fees for postgraduate students
This 2014, tuition fee for international postgraduate students represents the fees that are payable by you in the calendar year you commence your course, commencing in 2014, for a standard annual full time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). If your study load is more or less than the 1.0 EFTSL your fee will differ.
Importantly, tuition fees are subject to annual review, and are likely to increase each year of your period of study, effective at the start of each calendar year.
Additional incidental fees and health insurance
For some courses there are incidental fees additional to the tuition fees. Some of those fees are significant, for example, faculty-specific materials, tools, protected clothing, and equipment. The University's Future Students' webpage has further information about these additional incidental fees for postgraduate coursework students and postgraduate research students.
In addition to the fees indicated here for the course of study, International Students studying on an Australian Student Visa must have appropriate health insurance for the duration of their studies on a Student Visa through an approved provider of the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) scheme. This is a requirement of the Australian Government, unless otherwise exempted by the Government.
Potential for inaccuracy
Whilst every reasonable effort has been made to include correct and up to date information here, you are also advised to consult directly with the Student Centre for domestic students or the International Office for international students so that they can provide you with specific and up to date information about those fees.