The Prince's Foundation The Prince's Foundation


MSc in Sustainable Urban Development

This programme is offered in partnership with the University of Oxford which is responsible for validation and accreditation.

The two-year MSc in Sustainable Urban Development will provide the next generation of urban planners with a rigorous and critical introduction to the policy and practice of sustainable urban development. The course exposes students to sustainable urbanism, as both an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary subject at global and local scales.

A photograph of Oxford

The programme attracts a lively and engaged group of students who combine postgraduate study with their professional lives and an active alumni network. Students on the course come from a wide international background and share a variety of work experiences in urban development and the built environment. This University of Oxford programme benefits from a close collaboration with The Prince's Foundation, and is an accredited course within the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors University Partnership.

Start Date

October 2021


Two years, part-time


The Department for Continuing Education, Oxford and The Prince's Foundation, London.

Tuition fees

Fee rates for the academic year 2021-2022

The Annual Award Fee is due for every academic year (or part-year) attended; Module or Dissertation Fees are due in advance as invoiced. A Module Fee is payable in respect of each teaching week. The Dissertation Fee comprises three Module Fees. Fees must be paid in accordance with the Terms and Conditions for the programme.

Annual Award Fee


Module Fee


Dissertation Fee


Illustration for full programme (completing in two years, with eight teaching weeks and a dissertation)

Year 1

Annual Award Fee

£9,130 (see notes 1 and 2)

Plus 5 Module Fees

£10,050 (see notes 1 and 2)

Total Year 1


Year 2

Annual Award Fee

£9,130 (see notes 1 and 2)

Plus 3 Module Fees

£6,030 (see notes 1 and 2)

Plus Dissertation Fee

£6,030 (see notes 1 and 2)

Total Year 2

£21,190 (see notes 1 and 2)


Total: £40,370 (see notes 1 and 2)


  1. The fee rates listed are for the academic year shown, and you should be aware that these rates will increase annually.

  2. The Illustration is based on the fee rates for the academic year shown; however, fee rates for attendance in future years will increase, so students attending for more than one year should expect the total to be higher than is shown in the Illustration. The exact amount will depend on the fee rates set annually, and upon the years you are in attendance; these are normally published well before the start of each academic year, but for your own budgetary purposes you may wish to estimate a 6% annual increase on fee rates.

  3. MSc students are matriculated and are full members of the Collegiate University.


Details of funding opportunities, including grants, bursaries, loans, scholarships and benefit information are available on the University of Oxford’s Fees and Funding page.

The MSc Sustainable Urban Development Programme Scholarship is open to anyone applying for the MSc in Sustainable Urban Development.

Qualifications needed

Applicants are normally expected to be predicted or have achieved a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours (or equivalent international qualifications) in a social science or science subject.

For applicants with a degree from the US, the minimum GPA sought is 3.7 out of 4.0.

If you hold non-UK qualifications and wish to check how your qualifications match these requirements, you can contact the National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom (UK NARIC.

More information on entry requirements.

More information and how to apply,


Ideal candidates

High-achieving, top-of-the-class social science or science graduates with an ability to work independently and in groups, and at least two years’ research or professional work experience in urban development.

Course structure

The course is delivered through a mix of tailored teaching and learning methods, including seminars, site visits, peer review, research workshops and tutorials. Classes are seminar-based, encouraging active participation and enabling students to learn from each other. Typically, there are six to eight weeks between each teaching week, during which time you should expect to spend an average of 15 hours a week of independent study, reading a selection of recommended books, book chapters and articles.

You will be allocated a course supervisor who will support your academic development, and with whom you will meet during each teaching week for a tutorial. In the second year, you will be allocated a dissertation supervisor and you’ll also have a college advisor for issues concerning your personal wellbeing.

The course comprises four elements

  • Core themes
  • Urban theory
  • Research methods
  • The dissertation

You will attend eight intensive residential teaching weeks during the two years of study. Six of these eight teaching weeks are held in Oxford at the Department for Continuing Education. Each module addresses a core theme of the course. The remaining two teaching weeks are held at the offices of The Prince's Foundation in London.

In the first year, you will study five interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary teaching weeks

  • Introducing Sustainable Urban Development (Oxford)
  • Climate Change and the Built Environment (Oxford)
  • Place-making and Urban Design (London)
  • Financing Sustainability (Oxford)
  • Sustainable Transport (Oxford)

During teaching weeks, you will also follow foundation courses in urban theory and research methods tailored to sustainable urban development, comprising sessions on the intellectual history of sustainable urbanism, paradigm shifts and challenges in sustainable development, urban economics, research design, research ethics and preparation, bibliography and library resources.

In the second year, you will study three interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary teaching weeks

  • Urbanism, Community and City-Building (London)
  • Urbanisation in the Global South (Oxford)
  • Leadership, Governance and Future Cities (Oxford)

For each teaching week, you will complete an essay of up to 3,000 words on that theme. The first essay is formative and will provide you with valuable feedback at the start of your studies. The remaining seven essay assignments are summative.

You will spend the latter half of the second year working on a 15,000-word dissertation, on a topic of your choice, with the guidance of your supervisor and, in most cases, spend time doing fieldwork and gathering data during this period.

A photograph of Oxford