MA in Sustainable Urbanism
The MA in Sustainable Urbanism aims to train the next generation of architects and designers tasked with evolving traditional architecture and urbanism in response to the global challenges of climate change and urbanisation.
The Prince’s Foundation works on urban development around the world and has unrivalled contacts in government and industry, built up since our first educational programme began in 1990. This programme explores what sustainability means in an urban context, while challenging accepted wisdom in architecture and urban planning in a supported learning environment.
The programme is delivered through a variety of means including weekly seminars, group and private tutorials, workshops, placements in industry, your own research projects, community engagement and practical exercises, many of which are tied to the Foundation’s live projects around the world.
Students are encouraged to develop their own specialisms further within the course, through their own research and reading. Assessment is through research papers, set essays, reflection papers and a dissertation. There are no written exams.
The programme features 20 hours a week in a placement (or your existing job), allowing you to learn while gaining experience within the industry, as well as earning your way through the course. Regular placement providers include Transport for London and leading architecture practices in London.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
Two years, full-time, or part-time for EU students only
The Prince’s Foundation, London; Dumfries House Estate, Ayrshire, Scotland, plus student placements.
£6,250 a year
£10,000 a year (FT) (payable in monthly instalments)
Placements are limited to 20 hours a week during term time for non-EU students.
The programme can also be taken as a one-year Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainable Urbanism or a part-time Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Urbanism. The first year is usually taken as a part-time course while you remain in your current job.
We welcome applications from students across the EU who have completed a first degree (or Part I) in any of the following
- Planning or urban policy
- Landscape design
- Urban design
- Or related areas
We will also accept applications from entrants without one of these qualifications who have acquired experience through work or other means and can satisfy staff responsible for admissions of their ability to succeed in the programme.
English Language Requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency (IELTS score 7.0).
The programme is suitable for students who want to engage with the practice of sustainable urbanism, including its design, research, engagement and critical context, as informed by the Foundation’s international programmes.
How to apply
Applications are currently closed for this programme, but for any queries please contact Matthew Hardy, Programme Director.
A culture of building
The first three weeks of the first year are spent in a full-time Summer School taught by visiting and in-house lecturers and tutors. Students work alongside the Foundation’s Building Crafts Apprentices. The final week is a design project for a small building, built by the Building Crafts Apprentices later in the year. Students are assessed on a written reflection and portfolio of their work during the module.
Practice of sustainable urbanism
In the first year, full-time students are attached to one of the departments of the Foundation. They spend three days a week working alongside professional practitioners and technical staff on live projects that form part of the Foundation’s work around the UK and abroad. Part-time students can take the module in placement with their existing employer, and by attending weeks at the Foundation to work on group projects. All students also spend a week tutoring in the Summer School under the guidance of teaching staff. Students are assessed on an analytical reflection report reflecting on sustainability practices in the placement, and a portfolio.
Contemporary debates on sustainable urbanism
The module is taught in three half-hour seminars held weekly. Each class consists of a lecture on a contemporary controversy or recent research finding, delivered by an in-house or visiting lecturer, chosen for their expertise in areas of practice that are tackling contemporary challenges. Lectures are followed by a structured tutorial session attended by the lecturer and led by Foundation teaching staff. Students reflect on these debates through formatively and summatively assessed essays.
This module builds on the experience of attending Enquiry by Design and other public consultation events, held by the Foundation around the UK and abroad, to introduce themes of representation, engagement, participation and legitimacy in design processes. Students produce an analytical business-style report reflecting on their experiences, the policy situation and their own research.
Sustainable Urbanism Elective: each student undertakes a special project, developing a research or design project from inception to completion, with support from academic staff within the department. In the past, these have included special research reports and publications on special subjects. Students give a research seminar in the summer term and are assessed on that and their research paper.
All MA students complete a Sustainable Urbanism Major Project. During the second year, students find placements in a practice or organisation whose mission is aligned with the course’s aims. Students use this placement as a springboard to prepare a dissertation equivalent to a written text of circa 16,000 words, with drawings and other documentation. The placement is not assessed, but is expected to inflect the written dissertation, with the main assessment being by a Graduate Seminar, given in spring, and a research paper.