The Bartlett School of Planning


MRes Interdisciplinary Urban Design

A flexible programme exploring urban design as a critical arena for advanced research and practice.

Entry 2021/22

Admissions for this programme are currently suspended as part of UCL’s strategy to deal with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

About the course

The programme aims to:

  • Provide an interdisciplinary 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?

We offer:

  • 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

More information


The MRes Interdisciplinary 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.

MRes structure diagram 2020

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.


For module details, visit our postgraduate modules page.

Field Trip

Students will usually participate in a field trip in term 3. However, for students commencing their studies in September 2020, we cannot guarantee that this opportunity will be permitted, or can be made safe and viable. We are working on the basis that non-UK group travel will be highly unlikely, but we will continue to explore possibilities for UK-based trips later in the year. We are also exploring options to provide alternative enhancements to your programme if travel is restricted. Once we have more information, we will contact all involved, but you should not anticipate non-UK travel being a part of your programme in 2020-21.


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 Interdisciplinary Urban Design (IdUD) is a globally unique high level masters degree. With its emphasis on the power of urban design, its belief in interdisciplinarity, 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.


Abir Eltayeb
(Re-)Conceptualizing Land Claims through the Concept of (Property)    Rights: The case of Solidere, Beirut


Christoph Kollert
The Role of Urban Design in Promoting Cycling: A Behaviour Change Perspective


Juhyun Lee
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


Renelle Sarjeant
Reconciling Public Space Perspectives: The Institutional and the Everyday



Leonardo Alings
Mediaspree Revisited: Long-term impact of Urban Social Movements in the case of Mediaspree, Berlin


Joseph Chambers
Urban Private-Public Spaces: A Study of Their Uses


Ziyu Chen
Street Hierarchy and the Distribution of Frontage Uses


Blazej Czuba
Open space of a post-socialist housing estate as collective luxury


Terpsithea Laopoulou
A methodology for comparatively analysing graphics in urban investigations


Omar Sherif
Shifting Visions of Modernity in Cairo: A Spatial Political Economy Approach


Jiawen Tu
Exploring the Relationship between Spatial Patterns and Static Activities within Ordinary Markets: Case Studies based on London



Samar Al-Zwaylif
Dubai: Behind the Scenes - A study of hidden everyday spaces in Dubai


Katy Hawkins
Investigations of Co-Design as an Urban Process


Athina Vlachou
Gerani, Athens: Space and Patterns of Immigrant Segregation


Yicong Yang
Design with Informality: a study of spatial informality in Wuhan


Ioanna Kolovou
Exploring the Spatiality of Localities: the case of Central Athens


Still can't find what you're looking for? Get in touch with Programme Director Dr Filipa Wunderlich or Programme Administrator Yvonne Sibblies.