A flexible programme exploring urban design as a critical arena for advanced research and practice.
About the course
The programme aims to:
- Provide an inter-disciplinary space for students to examine the challenges of urban design from comparative disciplinary perspectives
- Expose students to the diversity of urban design teaching and the latest cutting edge research from across The Bartlett and beyond
- Help students conduct a substantial piece of individual urban design research
- Train students in research methodologies for urban scale research and critically informed urban design practice
Who should apply?
Students from architectural, planning, urban design, landscape, real estate or civil engineering backgrounds.
Why choose The Bartlett?
- A globally unique programme
- An extremely flexible course – shape your own study agenda with support from a supervisor
- A course that operates as a stand alone high-level masters, or a staging post for further research at PhD level
- One of the largest concentrations of urban design related researchers and professional expertise found anywhere in the world
- For key information, including how to apply, visit the UCL Graduate Prospectus
- Browse the sections below for more detailed course information
The MRes Inter-disciplinary Urban Design (IdUD) is a Faculty-wide programme drawing its staff, supervisors and content from all parts of The Bartlett and beyond, including from The Bartlett Schools of Architecture, Planning, and Graduate Studies, the Development Planning Unit, from the Department of Geography and from the UCL Transport Studies Centre.
Through the MRes IdUD, students will be able to tap into perhaps the largest global concentration of urban design related researchers and professional expertise found anywhere in the world.
The programme has a simple and highly flexible structure, designed to allow students to tailor their learning in order to reflect both their own background, and how they wish to specialise in the future.
The MRes IdUD consists of three modules amounting to 180 credits.
Whilst the MRes IdUD offers huge flexibility and choice (see Content), the final choice of feeder modules into the first Inter-disciplinary Urban Design module may be restricted by the UCL timetable, which is not fixed until the summer preceding entry. In addition, some modules have specified prerequisites and others are not available every year.
The Programme Director can advise participants on their choice of feeder modules and the timetable for these can be viewed through the UCL Common Timetable by searching for modules under their ‘home’ degree programmes.
This course consists of three modules:
BPLN0021: Inter-disciplinary Urban Design; BPLN0022: Urban Investigations; and BPLN0023: Urban Design Research Project.
The following feeder modules are available as part of BPLN0021:
Department of Anthropology
- ANTH0064 Anthropology of the Built Environment
- ANTH0073 Digital Infrastructure, Materiality, Information and Politics
School of Architecture
- BARC0040 The Representation of Cities
- BENVUD1 History and Theory of Urban Design
- BENVUD2 Strategic Urban Design
- BENVUD3 Detailed Urban Design
- BARC0140 Design as a Knowledge-Based Process
- BARC0017 Principles of Analytical Design
- BARC0018 Spatial Cultures
- BARC0019 Spatial Justice
- BARC0020 Architectural Phenomena
- BARC0024 ‘Space syntax’ methodology and analytical design (15-credit version of BARC0017, term 1 only)
- BARC0027 E-merging Design Research
Development Planning Unit
- DEVP0002 Transforming Local Areas: Urban Design for Development
- DEVP0003 Participatory Process: Building for Development
- DEVP0006 Critical Urbanism Studio I
- DEVP0007 Critical Urbanism Studio II
- DEVP0024 Sustainable Infrastructure and Services in Development
- DEVP0023 Adapting Cities to Climate Change
- DEVP0025 Urban Water and Sanitation, Planning and Politics
School of Planning
- BPLN0002 Pillars of Planning
- BPLN0016 Sustainable Property: Valuation, Investment, Development
- BPLN0020 Critical Debates in Housing Development
- BPLN0024 Infrastructures as Agents of Change
- BPLN0026 Risk, Uncertainty and Complexity in Decision-making
- BPLN0027 Critical Issues in Infrastructure Funding, Financing and Investment
- BPLN0031 Design and Real Estate
- BPLN0032 Critical Debates in Urban Design
- BPLN0033 Collaborative City Planning Strategies
- BPLN0034 Sustainable Futures by Design
- BPLN0037 Spatial Planning: Concepts and Context
- BPLN0038 Comparative Planning Systems and Cultures
- BPLN0042 Urban Design: Place-Making
- BPLN0043 From Strategic Vision to Urban Plan
- BPLN0044 Planning for Housing: Process
- BPLN0045 Planning for Housing: Project
- BPLN0047 Spatial Planning: Critical Practice
- BPLN0051 Sustainable Urban Design
- BPLN0052 Smart Cities: Major Research Project
- BPLN0056 Urban Design: Urban Design: Layout, Density and Typology
- BPLN0057 Urban Design: Design Guidance, Incentive and Control
- BPLN0060 Transport Planning and the City
- BPLN0061 International Case Studies in Transport and City Planning
- BPLN0067 Planning Discourses for Urban Development in Historic Cities and Neighbourhoods
- BPLN0068 Planning Practices for Urban Development in Historic Cities and Neighbourhoods
- BPLN0063 Case Studies in Preparing Regeneration Projects
- BPLN0064 Case Studies in Implementing Regeneration Projects
- BPLN0065 Urban Problems and Problematics
Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering
- BENV0034 Social dimensions of sustainability
- BENV0037 Environmental Masterplanning
- BENV0041 Sustainable Housing Design
Department of Geography
- GEOG0072 Thinking Space
- GEOG0079 Migration and Urban Multicultures
- GEOG0087 Precarious Urban Environments
- GEOG0136 Cities, Space & Power
- GEOG0138 Creative Cities
- GEOG0139 Public Space & the City
- GEOG0141 Community Participation in City Strategies
- GEOG0142 London, Aspects of Change
Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
- BENVGSA3 Geographic Information Systems and Science
- BENVGSA4 Spatial Modelling and Simulation
- BENVGSC1 Urban Systems Theory
- BENVGSC5 Urban Stimulation
Institute for Global Health
For module details, visit our postgraduate modules page.
Beyond the faculty, each academic section of The Bartlett is active in the urban design field with a wide range of PhD researchers, funded research projects, relevant masters level programmes, active relevant seminar programmes and social networks.
This means there are almost 50 members of staff, across The Bartlett who are either engaged directly in urban design teaching and research, or for whom the concerns of urban design form a critical dimension of the area within which they work.
Depending on their selection of feeder courses in Module 1, students will be exposed to different academic and research staff, although at some point in their studies they should be exposed to most urban design and staff working in the field of urban design from across The Bartlett.
Whilst students will feel a strong engagement and identification with the MRes IdUD specifically, they will also have access to the much larger set of resources and activities represented by the faculty at large and its individual academic centres.
Students will have particularly close contact with the Programme Director and their allocated supervisor; the latter drawn from The Bartlett academic staff.
The Programme Director is responsible for the day to day running of the programme, for its academic direction and for the academic progression and welfare of its students. Their supervisor will work with students on the preparation of their research proposal (during module 1), and eventually on their Urban Design Research Project (module 2).
In addition, PhD students studying urban design within the faculty act as mentors for new MRes students, helping them to progress and assisting in their full engagement with the programme, School, Faculty and College.
- Careers and employability
The MRes Inter-disciplinary Urban Design (IdUD) is a globally unique high level masters degree. With its emphasis on the power of urban design, its belief in inter-disciplinarity, and its use of questioning research methodologies, the programme opens up a range of future opportunities for participants along two primary paths:
- First, it provides an opportunity for students seeking to further their professional careers, to specialise in urban design, and, even within that broad arena, to engage deeply within a particular research agenda of direct relevance to their future professional practice. In this regard,the programme emphasises and imparts an analytical and questioning approach to the professional discipline and to its urban problems that will allow participants to become more incisive and penetrating in their own professional work.
- Second, for students seeking a research or academic career, the MRes provides the ideal training for a PhD and eventually for a move to an academic or other research position. Therefore, the MRes can help to both define an appropriate study at PhD level, whilst also steam-lining the conduct of a PhD itself, through imparting advanced research methods training and, through the preparation of the Urban Design Research Project (module 2), providing a direct feed into a future PhD.
The programme is founded on the belief that in urban design a research perspective provides a critical dimension of advanced professional practice, whilst better practice is the worthy ultimate goal of good urban research.
- Urban Design Research Projects
The posters below provide examples of the Urban Design Research Projects that MRes IdUD students complete. Topics are very broad and methods inter-disciplinary as they reflect, first, the diverse perspectives on urban design represented across UCL, and second, the interests and experiences that students themselves bring to their study.
Please select the links to access PDF files containing detailed descriptions of the individual projects.
(Re-)Conceptualizing Land Claims through the Concept of (Property) Rights: The case of Solidere, Beirut
The Role of Urban Design in Promoting Cycling: A Behaviour Change Perspective
Spatial Ethics as an evaluation tool for the long-term impacts of mega urban infrastructure : an application of Spatial Ethics Multi-criteria Assessment to Canning Town Regeneration Project, London
Reconciling Public Space Perspectives: The Institutional and the Everyday
Mediaspree Revisited: Long-term impact of Urban Social Movements in the case of Mediaspree, Berlin
Urban Private-Public Spaces: A Study of Their Uses
Street Hierarchy and the Distribution of Frontage Uses
Open space of a post-socialist housing estate as collective luxury
A methodology for comparatively analysing graphics in urban investigations
Shifting Visions of Modernity in Cairo: A Spatial Political Economy Approach
Exploring the Relationship between Spatial Patterns and Static Activities within Ordinary Markets: Case Studies based on London
Dubai: Behind the Scenes - A study of hidden everyday spaces in Dubai
Investigations of Co-Design as an Urban Process
Gerani, Athens: Space and Patterns of Immigrant Segregation
Design with Informality: a study of spatial informality in Wuhan
Exploring the Spatiality of Localities: the case of Central Athens