Urban Design - MA *
- Level: Postgraduate Taught
- Starting: September 2021
- Study mode: Full Time
- Location: City Centre
This forward thinking, exploratory, design focused MA, is rooted in a deep connection between theory and practice. In completion, you will know how to critique, create and experiment with the design of high quality, trans-disciplinary urban places.
As ‘an umbrella’ field of study and profession, Urban Design lies at the critical junction of an ever-increasing urban population that continues to add pressure to global systems, with effects that connect through scale, from political strategies right down to an individual's every-day personal experience. Now is the time we must be innovative and joined-up in our thinking. Whether you have a background in architecture, Landscape Architecture, Planning, or other fields; Urban Design is an acknowledgement that we need to work together to face the current global challenges and develop integrated responses that open new opportunities for all of us.
What's covered in the course?
On this course we embrace collaborative, creative processes, which connect and transcend traditional discipline boundaries, ‘silo’ processes and mentalities, to promote the dynamic diversity of human conditions. You will explore ways to refine the way we think about, and make, the places that represent and support our lives. We want to make places that can facilitate a happier and more sustainable world, supporting both the short- and long-term success of humanity and our fellow species.
This course is an integration of best practice and innovative learning strategies from the widely regarded Birmingham School of Architecture and Design, and the Department for the Built Environment. As a highly collaborative course, we bring expertise from a rich diversity of backgrounds.
Drawing on extensive experience in research and practice, this Master's in Urban Design provides a balance of practical and theoretical learning, within the following themes:
- Exploratory, iterative design creativity
- Strategies and framework design processes
- Life and Place: curating sustainability, value, character and function
- Socio-economic and physical analysis across diverse contexts
- Collaborative design strategy and the role(s) of the urban designer
- Contemporary visualisation for urban design - best practice and innovation
- Mixed-media design communication: explorations in interface and interactivity
- Communicating with structure, character and precision
- Professional and ethical evaluation
- Transdisciplinary, participatory and inclusive practice
- Sectors, trends and the targeted marketing of design
- Time and process management
Theory and Debates
- Contemporary global questions and debates
- Between practical theories and theoretical practices
- International urban-isms, people and design
- Research practice and process
Why Choose Us?
- Urban design lies at the critical junction of an ever-increasing urban population that continues to add pressure to global systems from political strategies to personal experience. Now is the time we must be innovative and joined-up in our thinking, to work together whatever the background, be it originally in architecture and design, planning, or other fields, which relates to global challenges and opportunities.
- This design-focused Masters programme is rooted in a deep connection between the latest theories and practices. We blur and move beyond the traditional discipline boundaries of architecture, landscape architecture and planning, social and economic studies, responding to contemporary contexts and continuously striving to incorporate new ways of thinking.
- You will learn how to critique, create and experiment with high quality, trans-disciplinary design of urban places. Through collaborative creative processes you will be encouraged to appreciate urban design as an umbrella profession and embrace the dynamic diversity of human conditions.
- You will explore ways to refine the way we think about, and make, the places that represent and support our lives, looking to innovative strategies that facilitate happier and more sustainable places for both the short- and long-term success of humanity and our fellow species. In these ways, you will form a deeper appreciation of how places need to be successfully made and sustained.
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This course is open to International students
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Subject to approval
The content of this course has been refreshed and updated to make sure you graduate with the skills employers need in an ever-changing job market.
Our quality control experts are currently reviewing the content and we anticipate receiving formal approval shortly.
When you join Birmingham City University, the first thing you will notice is the high standard of our campuses. With continual and significant investments across our buildings and digital facilities, we are committed to giving you the very best collaborative learning environment to help shape your unique experience.
You’ll be based in the Parkside building, recently and regularly enhanced to keep resources at the cutting edge – part of our City Centre Campus – with technology and facilities that reflect advanced our professional practice.
We offer facilities that push the boundaries of what is possible in design communication. These include a range of software and hardware that supports design process from creative to technical stages of design, skills, prototyping and fabrication, while also having access to a range of specialist workshops and social learning spaces.
You’ll also benefit from:
- Design studios
- Computer and project laboratories
- Social learning space
- Meeting point
Staff have extensive and broad experience in practice and academia related to urban design and the traditional subject areas that feed into urban design. Staff also have additional qualifications and extensive experience in teaching for higher education, as well as research. We each strongly follow principles of reflective practice and continual professional development.
We strive to ensure that you will receive access to the latest thinking, activity and professional networks.
Professor Peter Larkham
Professor of Planning
A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Historical Society, Peter teaches on postgraduate courses in built environment subjects, and has contributed to a number of academic journal papers and other publications. He also supervises at PhD level.