MSc in Sustainable Urban Development University of Oxford Department of Continuing Education

The MSc in Sustainable Urban Developmentat Oxford University is a part-time course taken over two years, and is designed to suit those working in a range of urban contexts worldwide. The course provides a rigorous and critical understanding of the theory, policy and practice of sustainable urban development.Students engage with sustainable urbanism as both an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary subject at global and local scales. Attention is paid to the intellectual history of sustainable urban development, its current and future applications, and the contemporary relevance of research to sustainable urban policy and practice across the world.The course is delivered over eight intensive residential teaching weeks, six in Oxford and two in London. Students also undertake independent study and complete written assignments, including a 15,000-word research dissertation on a chosen topic.

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Who is MSc in Sustainable Urban Development at OXford University for?

The MSc in Sustainable Urban Development  is designed for those working in a range of urban contexts worldwide, whether in public, private or third sector organisations. Students are able to combine postgraduate study with their professional lives. The course attracts a lively and engaged group of students, who come from a wide range of countries and share a variety of work experiences in urban development and the built environment. The course fosters collaboration, creativity, perspective-sharing and networking skills. There is also an active alumni network.

The course in detail

Course aims

The course aims to provide students with:

  • a systematic understanding of core areas and advanced topics in sustainable urban development
  • the ability to evaluate empirical or primary evidence critically
  • the conceptual understanding to marshal and present arguments and solutions based on data, theory and the application of sound reasoning. 

Course content and structure

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 The remaining two are held at the offices of The Prince's Foundation in London. . Each week addresses a core theme of the course.

Year 1

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

Year 2

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

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Department of Continuing Education

        MSc in Sustainable Urban Development

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