• For Entry: September
  • Duration: 12 months | 24 months
  • School: Social Sciences
  • Study Mode: Full Time+Part Time
This course is not currently open for new applications.

An innovative and multidisciplinary professional programme that focuses on the relationship between people, urban structure and principles of sustainability.

The aim of this unique, innovative and multidisciplinary, one-year professional programme is to develop outstanding urban design professionals who have the creativity to contemplate alternative futures of our cities, the confidence to implement grand visions and an ability to reflect on professional practice by listening to the views of different stakeholders as well as by drawing on cross-cultural insights.

Patrick Geddes (1854-1932), the Scottish urbanist, biologist and former Chair of Botany at the University of Dundee introduced the 'Valley Section', as a representation of inter-relationships between the natural and built environment and the social, cultural, economic and political life of communities living in and around a city. This notion of 'sustainable urbanism' advocated by Geddes, is particularly significant in an increasingly globalising world, where mobility of people has widened choices of where they 'live' and 'work'. Such an endeavour calls for an urban design education to create professionals who can understand, evaluate and design high quality places.

The legacy of urbanist philosophy advocated by Patrick Geddes provides a good starting place for the advancement of skills for an urban design profession. Equally, with £1 billion waterfront regeneration work taking place in the heart of the city of Dundee which includes £45 million investment in the only other branch of the Victoria and Albert museum outside London, there are ample opportunities to understand the inter-relationships between 'discourse' and 'practice' in shaping high quality places. In this regard, the School of the Environment at the University of Dundee is delighted to offer this opportunity to aspiring urban design professionals, to learn how to plan, design, develop and deliver sustainable urban environments.

Professional Accreditation

The new MSc Advanced Sustainable Urban Design programme is accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) as a specialist masters degree and can therefore lead to full RTPI accreditation for students with an undergraduate degree in town planning that is partially accredited by the RTPI.

Aims of the Programme

This course aims to provide skills, impart knowledge and develop competencies in the delivery, design and development of sustainable urban projects. This will be in reference to landscape urbanism, urban microclimate, climate change, sustainable material, and urban layout in an international context.

It will give you an opportunity to identify models and strategies of good practice in urban design to support sustainable urban development and to assess the sustainability elements of development schemes.

Key staff involved in the programme include Dr. Deepak Gopinath, Mohammad Radfar and Dr. Husam Al Waer.

How you will be taught

A variety of teaching methods will be used, including Design studio, lectures, seminars, supervised study, tutorial sessions, presentations, invited speakers and discussion groups.

One-on-one supervision of a research project dissertation by a single tutor is designed to promote continuity in the learning process.

Learning methods will include oral and written presentations, peer assessments of oral presentations, problem-solving assignments and feedback, and interactive computer based communication skills.

How you will be assessed

Essays and reports, case studies and presentations will all be assessed. You will also carry out a major research-based project or dissertation. There are no formal examinations.

What you will study

Course Structure

The course consists of 30 credit core modules, a 15 credit elective module plus a 45 credit research project.

  1. Discourses in Urban Design
    • Urban Design Project 1
  2. Spatial Analysis
  3. Sustainable Urban Design Practice and Master Planning
    • Urban Design Project 2
    • Field trip
  4. Sustainability in Contemporary Cities
  5. Research Project:
    • Route 1: Design Project
    • Route 2: Dissertation

Two electives will be offered: (a) Sustainability Evaluation; (b) Environmental Change Monitoring

Graduates from this course will be specialised in sustainable urban design and analytical tools, and will be able to fit into design teams across private firms or local authorities, or to take on a global career.

Graduates will have developed a mindset to consult, to listen to and to take on board the views of different stakeholders so that they are confident to work within the model of community-led master planning or 'Charrettes'.

In addition, and by drawing on diverse disciplines such as Architecture, Planning, Geography and Environmental Science, graduates will be able to adapt to varied professional contexts and be capable to work within urban design, architectural, landscape architectural and planning consultancies and cross disciplinary environments.

Applicants should hold a good honours degree and/or professional experience in any discipline (preferably relevant to design and planning of the built environment), and be able to show their aptitude for the design of sustainable urban environment.

 EU and International qualifications

English Language Requirement

IELTS Overall 6.5
Listening 5.5
Reading 5.5
Writing 6.0
Speaking 5.5

 Equivalent grades from other test providers


English Language Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional and Foundation Programme(s) throughout the year. These are designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.

 Discover our English Language Programmes

The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application.

 Find out more about fee status

Fee statusFees for students starting 2017/18
Scottish and EU students
Rest of UK students
Overseas students (non-EU)

Course Contact

Dr Deepak Gopinath
Social Sciences
+44 (0)1382 385048