MSc Urban Design and International Planning / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Urban Design and International Planning Study Tour

Course unit fact file
Unit code PLAN60882
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Planning and Environmental Management
Available as a free choice unit? No


The course unit will have the following content:

  • Urban Design and Heritage Conservation [An International Perspective]
  • Introduction to Planning Frameworks within selected Fieldtrip destination city
  • Briefing on fieldtrip destination city across multiple key themes including
  • Transport and mobility
  • Planning systems and policies
  • Open and green space
  • The public realm and space
  • Heritage
  • Social equality
  • Architecture
  • Development history
  • Develop a focused urban design assessment approach at multiple scales for study tour
  • Undertake international Study tour
  • Study tour visits to series of urban design and development projects across multiple scales
  • Self-observation of urban design and development projects


The course unit aims to:

  • Provide a framework for critical urban analysis within an international context
  • Explore urban design responses within a non-UK planning structure, considering differences in development policies and planning frameworks
  • Develop design analysis skills regarding culturally sensitive urban design responses and approaches
  • Developing knowledge on heritage conservation within urban design and international planning
  • To engage students in on-site urban analysis and observation techniques.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit successful students will be able to:

  • Understand how different social and environmental challenges in unique spatial contexts are met by developing urban design and planning policies
  • Understand principles and practice of urban design, development, and heritage conservation within an international context
  • Use urban design analysis techniques and skills to explore appropriate culturally sensitive design responses in urban environments
  • Have ability to test and analyse different design projects within different contexts and multiple scales to understand best practice approaches and quality assessment
  • Carry out a full urban design and planning assessment across multiple scales and themes in an international and heritage focused city
  • Continue development in working with professionals in practice and group design work/analysis/presentation

Teaching and learning methods

The course unit will utilise a variety of pedagogical approaches including:

  • Group assignment component(s) – including presentation and graphical report
  • Regular tutorial teaching
  • Regular studio workshops
  • Studio crit (with formative feedback)
  • The online urban design toolkit
  • Week long study tour to international destination
  • Local practitioner and academic led visits and presentations of urban design and development projects in destination city
  • Self-observation of urban design and development projects in destination city
  • End of semester assignment workshop/surgery

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Report 80%
Oral assessment/presentation 20%

Recommended reading

Bandarin, F. and van Oers, R. (2014) Reconnecting the City, Wiley Online Library
Cohan, N. (2001) Urban planning conservation and preservation, New York, McGraw-Hill Tweed Sutherland, M. (2007) Built cultural heritage and sustainable development, Landscape and Urban Planning 83: 62-69
Kostoff, S. (2014) The City Shaped, London, Thames and Hudson
Meeda et al (2009) Graphics for Urban Design. UDG

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Fieldwork 30
Lectures 12
Independent study hours
Independent study 108

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Razieh Zandieh Unit coordinator

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