The Bartlett School of Planning


MSc/Dip Urban Design and City Planning

A unique programme covering both theory and practice within urban design and city planning.

About the course

This programme has a unique focus on urban design as a creative planning tool and the interface between urban design and city planning. It stresses the importance of planning as a positive and propositional force for good, and of urban design as a discipline within which the physical shaping of places is accompanied by an equal concern for their economic, social and environmental well-being.

The programme offers a comprehensive understanding and exposure to urban design theory and practice, with a particular emphasis on its interface with key dimensions of planning, real estate and sustainability. It aims to help students develop an understanding of the quality and diversity of design products and plan-making processes, the ability to think in critical, creative and analytical ways across different dimensions of the city, and the capacity to engage with project work across scales and practice in the fields of urban design and city planning.


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    The MSc Urban Design and City Planning is fully accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

    The PGDip Urban Design and City Planning is also accredited by RTPI, but only for students who have completed an RTPI accredited undergraduate degree in Planning in the UK.

    Why choose The Bartlett?

    We offer:

    • a programme with a unique focus on urban design as a creative planning tool
    • a long-term urban design research specialisation
    • an inter-disciplinary programme that integrates various social science disciplines
    • an international focus, drawing on comparative studies and experiences from other European, North American and Asian countries

    More information


    This MSc programme draws on the relationship between Urban Design - in particular ‘urban place-making by design’ - and aspects of governance, real estate and sustainability. It integrates the following learning areas:

    1. City Planning, with a focus on spatial planning 
    2. Integrative Thinking, with a focus on place-making (neighbourhood scale masterplanning and open space design) and critical debates, offering students a deeper knowledge of forms, practices and theories associated with urban design
    3. Delivering Quality, which integrates the curricula of urban design, real estate, and sustainability
    4. Planning for Quality, with a focus on the understanding of the various types of urban design products and the complexity of their delivery processes, as well as the understanding and delivery of urban design tools for guidance, incentive and control

    UDCP structure

    To find out more about the following modules, visit the module catalogue..



    Core Modules

    To find out more about the following modules, visit the module catalogue.

    BPLN0035 City Planning (15 credits)

    BPLN0033 Collaborative City Planning Strategies (15 credits)

    BPLN0042 Urban Design: Place Making* (15 credits)

    BPLN0032 Critical Debates in Urban Design (15 credits)

    BPLN0031 Design and Real Estate (15 credits)

    BPLN0034 Sustainable Futures by Design (15 credits)

    BPLN0056 Urban Design: Layout, Density and Typology (15 credits) 

    BPLN0057 Urban Design: Guidance, Incentive and Control (15 credits)

    BPLN0039 or BPLN0052 Dissertation or Major Research Project (60 credits)


    Examples of previous dissertation titles:

    "Natural disasters as cultural catalysts for city branding and tourism development: based on the case study of Tangshan."

    "A study of academic perceptions of private management in public-private space: How have the Private Management methods of BIDs in Central London affected their public usage?"

    "Privately owned, publically accessible space: Is there a best practice model?"

    Delivery in 2022-23

    For the 2021-22 academic year, we have been delivering this programme through ‘blended’ delivery, incorporating some elements face-to-face and some elements online, allowing us to respond to the continuing Covid-19 pandemic, for example in case we need to have social distancing in place on the UCL Campus. Elements delivered in person have not been replicated online. Delivery in 2022-23 may also be impacted by the pandemic, however applicants should not expect to be able to complete the programme remotely. Given the practical nature of the programmes we deliver at the Bartlett School of Planning, we do expect the delivery and achievement of core learning outcomes on this degree course to require students to attend in person teaching activity in London.

    Field trips

    We are hoping to run field trips as part of the programme in 2022-23, however these may be subject to restriction due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, for example we might be able to offer a UK field trip more readily than one to elsewhere in Europe albeit this would normally be our intended destination. Offer holders / enrolled students will be kept updated on our plans.


    Programme Director

    Dr Pablo Sendra
    Lecturer in Urban Design
    View Pablo's profile
    Send Pablo an email

    Admissions Tutor

    Dr Juliana Martins
    Senior Teaching Fellow
    View Juliana's profile
    Send Juliana an email

    Staff teaching on the programme currently

    Elena Besussi
    Teaching Fellow in Plan Making
    View Elena's profile
    Send Elena an email

    Professor Matthew Carmona
    Professor of Planning and Urban Design
    View Matthew's profile 
    Send Matthew an email

    Colin Haylock
    Visiting Lecturer
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    Dr Stephen Marshall
    Reader in Urban Morphology and Planning
    View Stephen's profile
    Send Stephen an email 

    Professor Peter Rees
    Professor of Places and City Planning
    View Peter's profile
    Send Peter an email

    Dr Richard Simmons
    Visiting Lecturer
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    Dr Michael Short
    Senior Teaching Fellow in Planning
    View Michael's profile
    Send Michael an email

    Dr Filipa Wunderlich
    Lecturer in Urban Design
    View Filipa's profile
    Send Filipa an email

    Careers and Employability

    Graduate students from the Bartlett School of Planning have been very successful in gaining subsequent employment. There is growing demand for our Masters' graduates from a wide range of both public and private employers.

    The MSc Urban design and City Planning is an opportunity for students seeking to further their professional careers to specialise in urban design, and, within that broad arena, to engage deeply with both theoretical debates and practical methodologies, with particular research agendas of direct relevance to the future of their professional practice.

    Relationship to the urban design and planning practice industry

    The MSc Urban Design and City Planning benefits from a close relationship with the urban design and planning practice industry. The programme draws on established links with planning and urban design practices.

    Practitioners are invited each year to lecture, deliver seminars and workshops for the students, and supervise project work as part of several core modules and the final major research project component. The programme frequently receives input from organisations such as Urban Initiatives Studio, Terry Farrell, MacCreanor & Lavington Architects, Croydon and Camden Council, Great London Authority (GLA) – Design for London, Urban Movement, East Landscape Architects, Colin Buchanan, Urban Design Skills, Just Space Network, and others.


    A number of graduates of the programme are employed in urban design, planning or in planning-related jobs, with their employers ranging from private consultancies to local authorities. An increasing proportion (over a third) of our graduates enter consultancy work, whilst others go on to work in either the development and transport sectors, the public sector, or non-profit organisations. A smaller number choose to continue higher degree studies and PhD research.

    The programme strives to maintain a good connection with graduates working in urban design and planning practice in public and private offices in both the UK and abroad. Employers of Bartlett School of Planning graduates include: ARUP, Populous, Croydon Council, WYG Planning & Environment, Gallions Housing Association, Bioregional, Foster and Partners, Urban Initiatives and Movement, and many more.


    UCL boasts a dynamic alumni network of more than 150,000 members. In addition to the UCL network, once you graduate from the MSc programme you will have the opportunity to join the Bartlett School and Bartlett Planning alumni networks on LinkedIn and Facebook. These platforms allow previous students to stay in touch, exchange information, network and attend events specially organised by these groups.


    Still can't find what you're looking for? Get in touch with Programme Director, Dr Pablo Sendra, Admissions Tutor, Dr Juliana Martins  or Programme Administrator, Yvonne Sibblies.

    For administrative inquiries about your application please contact the Graduate Faculty Office: bartlett.pgclerk@ucl.ac.uk

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