City scape

Urban Design & Planning

The MSc Urban Design and Planning will be delivered via a mix of: traditional lecture formats, seminars, field-based learning, studio-based teaching (intensive, interactive, practice-based labs), student-led seminars, as well as a thesis, and professional development skills training. Planning and architecture practitioners will be involved in the programme delivery (e.g. attending studio presentations, providing 'real world' challenges to inform teaching) to maximize relevance for professional skills development.

Indicative modules are listed below.

Core modules in urban design context and theory provide students with foundation knowledge in urban design.
Conservation, History Theory and Politics
The Urban Environment: Risk, Resilience and Sustainability
Economics and Property Markets (option)**
Research and Innovation in the Designed Environment (option)**

Three major studio modules will be undertaken by students to ensure the effective application of knowledge to design challenges. The first will focus on developing a strategy for a small to medium-sized town. The second focuses on applying urban design theory in a practical setting to explore design concepts and urban development processes.
Interdisciplinary Studio
Urban Design Studio
Nature-based Solutions

Core modules in research skills are designed to enable students to undertake an effective Masters thesis, to apply research skills to other modules (e.g. studios), and to act as a foundation for students wishing to pursue PhD study. These modules comprise:
Geographical Information Systems for Policy and Planning (option)**
Research Design and Methods

An MSc thesis will be undertaken over the summer semester. Graduates will have the opportunity to choose either a traditional research thesis, or to complete the thesis element through preparation of a design thesis. The design thesis option involves the application of research in developing an innovative urban design project appropriate to the site and to the specific complex urban design challenge(s) being investigated and addressed.

Continuing Professional Development Skills will be both embedded into modules (e.g. communication, graphic, research skills) and delivered where appropriate in the form of one-off workshops (e.g. interview/job search skills).

*Graduates of the BA Planning, Geography and Environment programme who register for the MSc Urban Design & Planning, and who have already taken the module Placemaking, will take the modules Introduction to Urban Design in its place.

**Students must select from the indicated elective modules to attain a total of 30 credits in semester 1.

Entry requirements

A 3-year Bachelor's degree with minimum 2.2 award (NFQ level 8) or international equivalent in cognate discipline, including planning, geography, anthropology, sociology, environmental studies, engineering, property economics, surveying, politics, social science, and law.


1 Year Full Time

Careers or further progression

Career Opportunities
This Masters trains, mentors 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.

Further enquiries

Contact Name:Katie O'Neill
Contact Number:+353(0)1 716 1781

Subjects taught

Stage 1 - Core

Conservation History, Theory and Policy ARCT40170

Postgraduate Studio ARCT40680

Urban Design Studio ARCT40690

Research Design & Methods PEP40640

Risk and Resilience in Built Environments PEP40700

Nature-Based Solutions PEP40860

Stage 1 - Option

Research & Innovation in the Designed Environment ARCT40020

Placemaking: Urban and Rural Design PEP40050

Geographical Information Systems for Policy and Planning PEP40100

Economic and Property Markets PEP40270


Design Thesis


Who should apply?
Full Time option suitable for:
Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

The MSc Urban Design and Planning offers the opportunity to develop core, transferable and specialist skills and knowledge in urban design and planning, as well as skills and knowledge which are transferrable to other careers. While the programme will be of interest primarily to graduates from a planning background, applications will be considered from those with other disciplinary and professional backgrounds.

The programme also offers the opportunity for mid-career public and private sector planners to upskill in the commercially important area of urban design. The programme is accredited as a specialist qualification by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and this qualification is internationally recognised, and will thereby provide a pathway to qualification as a professional planner for graduates with a 'spatial' accredited degree.

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake:2018/2019 September

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

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!