Urban Design MA, PGDip

Urban Design MA, PGDip

MA - full time: 12 months, part time: 24 months
PGDip - full time: 9 months, part time: 21 months


Our Urban Design MA, PGDip is aimed at built environment professionals who want to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in the field of urban design. It equips you to contribute towards an improvement in the quality of the built environment.

Applications for this course are now open

You can now apply for September 2021 entry.


About this course

The course is structured around three main design projects. Each explores key contemporary issues in urban design:

  • urban regeneration
  • housing
  • public space and engagement

These projects are underpinned by theoretical and practical lectures, seminars and workshops.  The course is primarily studio based and there is an emphasis on independent learning. You are encouraged to cultivate a studio atmosphere within your year group where you will benefit from each other's diverse disciplinary backgrounds. 

Building on the strengths of the multidisciplinarity of its cohort, the course complements existing skills and experience in built environment related disciplines with new skills in understanding and designing in physical, social and economic contexts.

The course can be undertaken by students from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds, including:

  • architecture
  • planning
  • landscape architecture
  • property development
  • art
  • community engagement

The course has strong links with the Urban Design Group (UDG) and one of our graduates won the student prize at the National Urban Design Awards 2014. Sarah Cawrse talks about her winning submission ‘Designing Incentives for Healthy Lifestyles: Promoting food access, physical activity and social interaction through design’, which was based on Elswick in Newcastle.

Video: Urban Design MA



Student Profile

We have great support from the academic staff and very well equipped facilities, such as state-of-the-art workshops.

Olga's student profile

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You will study modules on this course. A module is a unit of a course with its own approved aims and outcomes and assessment methods.

Modules for 2021 entry

Module changes

Course content changes 

The information above is intended to provide an example of what you will study.

Our teaching is informed by research. Course content changes periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.

Optional module availability

Student demand for optional modules may affect availability.

Full details of the modules on offer will be published through the Programme Regulations and Specifications ahead of each academic year. This usually happens in May.

To find out more please see our terms and conditions.


Careers Service

Our award-winning Careers Service will help you to explore your options and make informed choices to achieve your career goals.

Work experience

Work experience placements are a great way to develop relevant skills to excel in your chosen career.

Find out about paid and unpaid work experience options and other ways you can add to your degree.

Fees & Funding

2021-2022 fees

The fees displayed here are per year. If your studies last longer than a year your fee maybe subjected to an annual inflationary increase.

In addition to your fees, you may have extra costs for materials and travel as part of these courses.

EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals

For courses commencing from September 2021 and beyond, EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fees or Student Finance England support.

If you are from the EU you will pay international tuition fees.

All students

Find out more about our tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts.

Funding opportunities

Entry Requirements

A 2:1 honours degree, or international equivalent, in a related subject, such as:

  • architecture
  • landscape architecture
  • design
  • environmental design
  • urban planning
  • geography
  • property development

We will also consider your application if you have a degree in a different subject, lower or non-standard qualifications and relevant professional experience. If you have a non-traditional background you could be offered a place on the PGDip. On achieving the required grades you could then transfer to the full MA.

Newcastle University graduates

Do you hold an Architecture and Urban Planning BA Honours (K190) degree?

  • 2:1 or above - you don't need to submit a portfolio, we will automatically offer you a place when you apply
  • 2:2 - submit your application and portfolio and we will consider you for an interview

Find out the equivalent qualifications for your country.

Use the drop down above to find your country. If your country isn't listed please email: for further information.

English Language Requirements

Select an English language test from the list to view our English language entry requirements.

Please email us at for further information.

If you have lower English Language scores, you may be accepted onto a Pre-sessional English course. 

Pathway courses

Our Architecture Graduate Diplomas will prepare you for Master's study at Newcastle. If you're successful then you're guaranteed a place on this Master's course. Depending on your level of English, you can choose from:

How to Apply

You apply online, track your application and contact the admissions team via our applicant portal. Our step by step guide can help you on your way.

Applications for this course are now open

You can now apply for September 2021 entry.


Applications for 2022/23

You'll be able to apply for 2022/23 entry from September 2021

Personal statement 

You need to submit a personal statement (up to 500 words) with your application. This should outline the core experience and skills you have that make you a good candidate for the course. It should also cover your main motivations and objectives for undertaking the course. Try to be concise and to the point.


You also need to submit a portfolio demonstrating your design ability and creative flair. The portfolio should contain images from a variety of projects using a range of different media. Images that are relevant to urban design should take priority. It is important to provide some explanatory text alongside images, but please keep this concise.

You need to submit your portfolio with your online application. If you prefer, you can you can email it to Your portfolio should be one PDF document, containing up to 15 pages.

We can only accept electronic portfolios. We do not accept or return hard copy portfolios.

Start dates

The course starts in September. There is no application closing date for this course.

We suggest international students apply at least two months before the course starts. This is so that you have enough time to make the necessary arrangements.


If you are an international student or a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland and you need a visa to study in the UK, you must:

  • pay a deposit of £1,500
  • or submit an official letter of sponsorship

The deposit is payable after you receive an offer to study with us. The deposit is non-refundable, but we will deduct it from your tuition fees when you register.