MA in Urban Design


The goal of the MA Urban Design programme is to enable practitioners and scholars to transform the field of urban design. The goal is achieved through critical thinking and creative practice. This strategy is based on an inherently transdisciplinary approach grounded in both the Welsh School of Architecture and the School of Geography and Planning, both of which are ranked among the top 50 in the world. Our academic staff are highly accomplished and locally engaged in Cardiff, nationally in the UK, and internationally across the world.

The programme has a stellar reputation both in the UK and internationally. This is due to an excellent teaching staff, including leading researchers as well as practitioners, access to top-notch resources and facilities at the university, and official recognition from the Royal Town Planning Institute as well as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Urban design is transdisciplinary in that it not only straddles professional fields such as architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning and public policy, but also disciplines such as politics, economics, sociology and cultural studies. The MA Urban Design programme full embraces such transdisciplinarity as a way to embolden its students to engage in successful practice and research. Our graduates have successful careers in urban design, urban planning, real estate development, research institutes, and academia through pursuit of doctoral studies.

Distinctive features

  • One-year full-time degree designed for those with backgrounds in architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, urban studies, real estate development, civil engineering, and other disciplines such as urban sociology, economics and politics
  • Design projects investigate and address crucial issues in the contemporary city, including affordable housing, public space, infrastructure design, community engagement, and urban transformation. All projects are based in actual sites and contexts.
  • The Welsh School of Architecture and the School of Geography and Planning at Cardiff University are extremely well-resourced, including a customized urban design studio newly equipped with digital presentation facilities, the latest modeling and workshop facilities, extremely well-stocked libraries with access to journals and books, and lectures and symposia from visitors from all over the world.
  • The program benefits from its location in the centre of Cardiff, which is the vibrant and highly liveable capital city of Wales that continues to grow and diversity. Cardiff is also extremely well-situated geographically, with short direct flights to London, Manchester, Birmingham, Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, Berlin and other cities in the UK and Europe.

For more information

To read what alumni and current students say about their experience on this programme, and to see examples of design work produced by them, please visit Course finder



Read our step by step guide to the postgraduate application process and see the criteria required for your programme of study.

The Cardiff MA Urban Design received Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) accreditation in September 2012.

This means that graduates of the MA Urban Design have access onto the RICS Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) process, which is the route towards becoming a Chartered Planning & Development Surveyor.