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Many of the world’s problems can only be solved by designing better cities. From protecting the green belt to minimising travel times, urban designers have a huge role to play in creating a sustainable future for our communities. Join us at Oxford Brookes to discover how.
You’ll look at design at all levels, from individual building scale to master plans of entire conurbations. You’ll address the whole spectrum of urban environments, from village to megacity. And you’ll test your ideas in a challenging international project anywhere from Manhattan to Mumbai.
We start by looking at housing in the UK. By Semester 2 you could be speaking to a local expert in Dubai, asking how climate change affects people there. Or analysing population data for Hong Kong, looking for ways to sustainably develop high intensity housing.
Our huge range of topics enable you to develop the skills to tackle urban design challenges worldwide. We can’t promise you’ll solve every challenge but we’ll give you every opportunity to develop your creativity and understand issues from a diverse range of perspectives.
Why Oxford Brookes University?
On global challenges like these, international perspectives are vital. Meet staff and other students from a wide range of countries.
Each year we select 6 cities around the world for our projects. You’ll learn their unique challenges and work out how to solve them.
The full spectrum of cities
Understand how increasing populations affect small towns as well as global megacities.
Work around your schedule
Classes are held the same days each week (2 days a week full time, 1 day a week part time) so you can study alongside other commitments.
Our graduates are very attractive to employers and often find work before they finish the course.
The combination of theory and practice on this course will be valuable in a wide range of careers. It is suitable for spatial planners, architecture students, working professionals, even scientists looking at solving environmental issues.
We’ll begin with the theory to give you a solid grounding in the principles of urban design. Topics will include everything from affordable housing to biodiversity.
Later in the course, we’ll begin to look at urban design in challenging contexts. For this, you’ll take part in one of 6 projects around the world. Exploring the unique challenges the city is facing, whether that’s transport infrastructure, flooding, or homelessness. And consulting with local experts while gaining new perspectives from your international peers.
While each project and location is different, there’s one common question you’ll ask: if we increase the population, how do we maintain the quality of living?
Learning and teaching
We use a range of activities to deliver theoretical and practice-based content:
- peer-learning through group work and critical assessment of individual projects
- studio set-up and design based learning to mirror real environments in practice
- merged theory and practice modules which are applied in Design studio projects
- problem based learning to gain in depth understanding of urban issues and proposed solutions
- international projects to expose you to different cultures and urban phenomena
- independent research to develop critical thinking and creative approaches to problem solving; you will focus on a specific area of research interest
- use of multi-media for developing skills for communicating
- field trips and site visits to gain a live-in experience and sense of scale for spatial forms.
For full time students, all teaching takes place on two days. This allows the rest of the week for independent studio project development.
Part time attendance is one day per week.
Assessment combines group work and individual projects and can include:
- design posters
- oral and visual presentations.
You will engage with studio tutors and professional practitioners when delivering your assessed work. This process allows for professional quality output.
UK field studios
London provides a rich field resource for understanding the sense of scale, new interventions and the live-in quality of the public realm. Field studios become teaching references for the design process as well as a means for testing urban theories.
International field trip
This is organised yearly to expose you to specific urban qualities such as:
- housing and social equity
- creative cities and economic rise
Cities visited have included Amsterdam, Lisbon, Rotterdam.
Our teaching staff provide support for student research. They are actively involved in the following areas of research:
- Urban morphology for critical analysis and design
- Digital media and the teaching and learning of urban design
- Urban Disaster Resilience
- Town Centre Management and Regeneration
- Urban intensification in the developing world
- Urban visions and policy mobility in Africa
- Live projects, urban labs and the enhancement of student learning experiences for UD and planning
- Plot-based urbanism and regeneration
- Landscape urbanism, biodiversity and the extinction of experience.
For more information visit Land Design and Development (LDD)
Many of our graduates find jobs before the course is over. That’s because they have extremely valuable skills in a growing area and are able to apply their knowledge to projects anywhere in the world.
Past students are working at organisations like:
- Allies and Morrisson
- many UK city councils.
Some students decide to start their own companies, such as EcoResponsive Environments, founded by Oxford Brookes graduates. Others decide to apply their new skills in their current industry or continue their research at PhD level.
Specific entry requirements
English language requirements
If your first language is not English you will require a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 overall with 6.0 in all components.
An equivalent English language qualification acceptable to the University.
Pathways courses for international and EU students
We offer a range of courses to help you meet the entry requirements for your postgraduate course and also familiarise you with university life in the UK.
Take a Pre-Master's course to develop your subject knowledge, study skills and academic language level in preparation for your master's course.
If you need to improve your English language, we offer pre-sessional English language courses to help you meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s course.
English requirements for visas
If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.
Terms and Conditions of Enrolment
International qualifications and equivalences
How to apply
We advise applying in advance to secure places, and allow sufficient time for applications to be reviewed.
There is no formal application deadline (recruitment closes when teaching capacity is reached).
Applicants should also factor any time needed to meet offer conditions, arrange accommodation, and obtain a UK Student visa (if applicable).
Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
Questions about fees?
Fees quoted are for the first year only. If you are studying a course that lasts longer than one year, your fees will increase each year.
The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support.
How and when to pay
Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.
Note for part time students: The per module fee relates to a twenty credit module. The programme consists of four thirty credit modules so the charge per module will be higher.