Urban Design & Planning

MSc Urban Design & Planning
Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

Urban design lies at the interface of architecture and urban planning, with both disciplines contributing complementary but contrasting approaches to urban design theory and practice. The delivery of this master's programme draws on the distinct methodologies, professional perspectives and pedagogies of both urban planning and architectural disciplinary areas within the school. It provides specialist knowledge and skills in urban design theory and practice, urban conservation; nature-based solutions, and the relationship between research and design.

The programme will enable graduates to work as part of a multidisciplinary team to create better places through urban design. Students will also have the opportunity to draw upon the School’s research expertise to place urban design centre stage in tackling a range of pressing environmental and other issues. The programme will appeal to graduates from closely related disciplinary backgrounds wishing to specialise in urban design, including those with qualifications in architecture, landscape architecture, and planning.

Applications will also be considered from graduates with other related disciplinary backgrounds (e.g. geography, engineering, property economics, surveying) where the applicant has a particular interest the specialist area of urban design (as opposed to planning more broadly).

The UCD School of Architecture, Planning & Environmental Policy has an established international track record as a leading research centre in spatial planning. The School is a member of the Association of European Schools of Planning.

Subjects taught

All students undertake modules worth 90 credits. These establish the context and theory for urban design, provide the opportunity for engagement with core themes within a studio-based context, introduce key research skills, and allow students to pursue their own specialist interest through the completion of a thesis. Please note that some modules listed may not be available in a given year.

Stage 1 - Core
Conservation History, Theory and Policy ARCT40170
Urban Design Theory (UDT) ARCT40180
Postgraduate Studio ARCT40680
Urban Design Studio ARCT40690
Urban Resilience and Ethics ARCT41240
Research Design & Methods PLAN40330

Stage 1 - Option
Placemaking: Urban and Rural Design PLAN40020
Rural & Landscape Planning PLAN40040
Urban and Regional Development PLAN40060
Housing Policy and Planning PLAN40070
Leadership, Project and Development Management PLAN40090
Design Thesis PLAN40210
Thesis PLAN40240
Planning, Environ & Public Pol PLAN40340
Planning Law PLAN40540

Entry requirements

An honours undergraduate degree (NFQ level 8) with a minimum upper second class honours or international equivalent in planning or cognate discipline, including architecture and landscape architecture. Applications from graduates with a degree in another related subject area will also be considered, including geography, engineering, property economics, and surveying.

Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0 in each element), or equivalent.

These are the minimum entry requirements – additional criteria may be requested for some programmes

Application dates

How to apply?
The following entry routes are available:

MSc Urban Design & Planning FT (W332)
1 Years
Full Time

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised.




1 year full-time. Delivery Mode: Face-to-Face.


MSc Urban Design & Planning (W332) Full Time
EU fee per year - € 7885
nonEU fee per year - € 25600

***Fees are subject to change

Enrolment dates

NEXT INTAKE: 2024/2025 September.

Post Course Info

Career & Graduate Study Opportunity
The MSc Urban Design and Planning is aimed at graduates from a variety of disciplinary and professional backgrounds wishing to specialise in urban design and planning. The programme is therefore designed to train, mentor and support graduates in developing their specialist knowledge and understanding, along with transferable skills and tools, for careers related to the field. These include roles in the public, private and community sectors, including planning and urban design consultancies, local authorities, development firms, regeneration companies, environmental and other NGOs, as well as research and teaching.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

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