Inter-disciplinary Urban Design MRes

London, Bloomsbury

The Inter-disciplinary Urban Design MRes is a faculty-wide one-year research degree designed to allow students to tailor their own learning and research to their background and future aspirations. Students can construct their study in an inter-disciplinary manner, enabling them to explore urban design as a critical arena for advanced research and practice.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
Applicants who require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 28 Jun 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Applicants who do not require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 30 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a cognate discipline or a relevant Master's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level.

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

This programme provides an interdisciplinary space in which students can examine the challenges of urban design from comparative and cross disciplinary perspectives; students are exposed to the latest cutting-edge urban design research and teaching at The Bartlett, UCL and are offered the opportunity to conduct a substantial piece of individual urban design research, receiving training in methodologies appropriate to the conduct of urban design and urban scale research.

Who this course is for

This programme is an interdisciplinary degree, so it will consider applicants from all different backgrounds. It may be particularly suitable for students from architectural, planning, urban design, landscape, civil engineering, geography, environmental studies, yet also of further interest to students from eg. political sciences, sociology, anthropology, media and communication, and the creative arts, with a particular interest for the built environment, urban places and urban placemaking.

What this course will give you

The Bartlett brings together dozens of urban design focused research and professional specialisms required to research, understand, design, construct and manage the urban environments of the future. This degree allows the student to tap into both taught and research learning and training of their choice, across the various Schools of The Bartlett, via a bespoke programme diet.

The MRes is a unique and in-depth research programme allowing the student to experience the academic research world in a short period of time. It trains the student professionally as well as academically, offering insights of what the experience of doing a PhD may be like, and that of being an academic researcher.

UCL is ranked #1 in the UK for Construction, Surveying and Planning according to The Guardian Good University Guide 2024. This is a faculty-wide programme, and students are able to access perhaps the largest global concentration of urban design related researchers and professional expertise.

The programme has a simple and highly flexible structure, designed to allow students to tailor their learning both to their own background, and how they wish to specialise in the future.

The foundation of your career

Close to 70% of our alumni have gone on to do a PhD or to work directly in a research position (research associates, lecturers, socio-economics researchers, urban data analysts, and other) at the BSP, the Bartlett and elsewhere, multiple re-known universities around the world. From the remaining 30%, a sizeable proportion are now working in high-level / leading positions in the built environment field in the private sector, in NGOs or other national or global institutions such as UN office, UN-habitat Human Settlements Programme, or government offices.

The programme degree is the perfect entry point for a research career and subsequent PhD or an ideal opportunity for a one-year career break.

PhD destinations include:

  • University of Athens
  • TUDelft
  • University of Sharjah, UEA
  • University of Groningen
  • Sapienza - Roma
  • Free University of Berlin
  • Bartlett School of Planning, UCL
  • Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
  • University of Waterloo, Toronto  
  • University of Tokyo   

Students have also gone into positions at the following employers:

  • Quod 
  • Beijing City Quadrant Technology Co., Ltd.
  • Royal Town Planning Institute
  • University of Azuay
  • AECOM 
  • Universität Stuttgart
  • Bartlett School of Planning
  • ERA-co 
  • Space Syntax Ltd.
  • Tranquil City
  • Dive Without Fear | Strategy & Organization
  • Guerrilla Architects in London/Berlin 
  • Cultural association die Anstoß e.V. in Karlsruhe
  • OSA Ltd
  • BlockWorks, Block by Block Foundation


The programme opens up a range of future opportunities for participants along two primary paths:

  • It provides an opportunity for students seeking to further their professional careers, to specialise in urban design and, within that broad arena, to engage deeply with a particular research agenda of direct relevance to their future professional practice.
  • For students seeking a research or academic career, the MRes provides the ideal training for a PhD and eventually an academic or other research position.


The Bartlett School of Planning and UCL’s dedicated Careers Network are here to assist you in exploring your career options, gaining valuable skills and experience, and guiding you through the job application process. You will be given the opportunity to participate in various events and training tailored to your industry, such as alumni and industry insight panels, career taster sessions, masterclasses, careers fairs and more.

Teaching and learning

Methods of delivery will vary (because of the flexible nature of the programme) but a typical student might encounter studio teaching, formal lectures, analytical modelling, small-group tutorials and discussion, formal presentations, and site visits.

Student performance is assessed through individual and group work, essays, and project work.

In terms 1 and 2, full-time students can typically expect between 8 and 12 contact hours per teaching week through lectures, workshops and tutorials. In term 3 students will be completing their own project research, keeping regular contact with their supervisors.

Outside of lectures full-time students typically study the equivalent of a full-time job, using their remaining time for self-directed study and completing coursework assignments. Each 15 credit module requires the equivalent of 150 hours of study. This includes independent study and meetings with group members for those modules where group work is an element. 


Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

Students take 60 credits of elective modules in year 1 and the remaining 120 credits of compulsory modules in year 2.

Students can take as many modules as they like in any given year over 2-5 years, but are encouraged to take their elective modules in their first year(s) of study.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MRes in Inter-disciplinary Urban Design.


The programme includes a residential field trip during which themes relevant to the course are explored in different place contexts. This is an opportunity to consider built environment issues in real world settings and network as a course community. The cost of travel and accommodation for the field trip are covered by UCL although students will need to cover visas, meals and other personal expenses.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: School of Planning

Whether your ambition is to design better buildings, plan better cities, build sustainable communities or help meet the challenge of climate change, The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment could be a big step towards it. Join this session to learn about the master's courses offered by our School of Planning.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £19,300 £9,650
Tuition fees (2024/25) £34,400 £17,200

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

The purchase of books many constitute an additional cost, but there is no requirement to purchase any book as part of the programme. Optional modules may incur additional expenses.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

UCL offers a range of financial awards aimed at assisting both prospective and current students with their studies.

In our faculty, The Bartlett Promise Scholarship aims to enable students from backgrounds underrepresented in the built environment to pursue master's studies. Please see the UK Master's scholarship and Sub-Saharan Africa Master's scholarship pages for more information on eligibility criteria, selection process and FAQs.

Any additional funding available from the Bartlett School of Planning and the Built Environment Faculty Office are advertised on the respective websites.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Bartlett Promise Sub-Saharan Africa Masters Scholarship

Deadline: 3 April 2024
Value: Fees, stipend and other allowances (Duration of programme)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

Bartlett Promise UK Master's Scholarship

Deadline: 31 May 2024
Value: Tuition fees plus £15,364 maintenance/yr (Duration of programme)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

Next steps

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Inter-disciplinary Urban Design at graduate level
  • why you want to study Inter-disciplinary Urban Design at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

Got questions? Get in touch

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