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Study urban design abroad

An in-depth guide to studying urban design as an international student.

Explore urban design programs abroad

See other programs in urban design

Urban design degrees abroad

With more people living and working in cities than ever before, the global demand for urban designers has skyrocketed. Urban designers are responsible for shaping the arrangement of urban spaces and facilities so that they’re safe, convenient, and aesthetically pleasing.

You’ll learn how to devise urban spaces that are fit for purpose and meet the needs of citizens. As well as studying the theory and processes behind effective urban design, you’ll put what you’ve learned into practice by working on real-world briefs. You’ll examine contemporary issues in the sector, like efficiency, sustainability, and overpopulation, and offer creative solutions to manage these challenges.

Studying abroad will take your knowledge of urban design to the next level. Not only will you get to experience some of the world’s most beautiful towns and cities, but you’ll also learn how to modify your designs according to different geographical landscapes, environmental conditions, structural requirements, and population needs.

Urban design program structure

It’s possible to study urban design as a three or four-year bachelor’s degree, but these programs are offered at a limited number of universities. If you choose to study as an undergraduate in the US, you’ll declare a major in urban design after the second year of your four-year degree.

You’re much more likely to find master’s programs in urban design. To be accepted onto a master’s course, you must already have a bachelor’s degree in a related discipline, like architecture or town planning. You can study full-time over one year, or part-time over two.

If you’re eager to further build your knowledge, MPhil and PhD programs are offered at several institutions. You’ll conduct a piece of research that contributes to the academic study of urban planning over several years.

You’ll be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, design studios, and field trips. Assessment methods include design projects, presentations, essays, and reports.

The content of your program will be determined by the university and elective modules you choose. However, most institutions cover these core units:

  • Urban design processes
  • Urban design thinkers
  • Urban policy and planning
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Historic and modern architecture
  • Public management
  • Research methods and techniques
  • Contemporary challenges and debates in urban design

Alternative urbanism degrees

How to study urban design abroad

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  2. Application assistance

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  3. Visa & embassy guidance

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  4. Enrollment & travel advice

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Urban design study abroad programs

Urban design graduate programs

Master's in urban design

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    Urban Design - MUD Arizona State University, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    29,168 USD
    Start date
    August
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    Planning, Development & Urban Design - MSc University College Dublin, Ireland

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    25,600 EUR
    Start date
    September
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    Urban Design (by coursework) - MSc RMIT University, Australia

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    41,820 AUD
    Start date
    February, July
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    Spatial Planning with Sustainable Urban Design - MSc University of Dundee, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    17,275 GBP
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about
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    Urban Design - MUD American University of Beirut, Lebanon

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    30,060 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about
See all master's degrees in urban design

Future urban design careers

As an urban design graduate, you’ll have the knowledge and tools to launch your career in almost any corner of the world.

Your eye for detail, problem-solving abilities, and teamwork skills will be transferable to countless roles across public, private, and voluntary sectors, but here are some of the positions you’d be most suited to:

  • Urban designer
  • Town/city planner
  • Politician
  • Landscape architect
  • Housing officer
  • Transport planner
  • Planning and development surveyor
  • Sustainability consultant

If you’re unsure of what direction to head in after graduation, drop into your university’s careers office. They can help you map out your ambitions, find work experience, and write your resume.