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Sustainable Urban Development

Taught programmes

MSc in Sustainable Urban Development (part-time) 

Course Code | 001481 

The Professional Development (CPD) Centre offers a part-time, two-year MSc in Sustainable Urban Development, run in partnership with the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, and accredited by the Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

The inter-disciplinary course incorporates research expertise from across the University, collaborating with colleagues at the Environmental Change Unit and Transport Studies Unit of the School of Geography and the Environment, Oxford Programme for the Future of Cities, Faculty of Law, Saïd Business School, Department of Economics and the International Institute for Environment and Development.

Throughout the programme, students will benefit from the University of Oxford’s unrivalled digital library resources to enable them to complete the assignment tasks and prepare research projects.

The aim of the MSc is to provide an intellectually-rigorous programme that offers learning underpinned by cutting-edge research and latest theory and global perspectives on practical approaches to sustainable urbanism. The programme offers a multi-disciplinary approach and structure, drawing on a wide base of lecturers and practitioners, and builds a strong knowledge bases to inform professional practice in the field of urban development.

The MSc is designed for urban professionals operating in the UK and worldwide. Students attend eight intensive one-week teaching sessions, developing a range of core themes. These include lectures, seminars, practice-based workshops and one-to-one tutorials. At the end of the course, students complete a dissertation on the topic of their choice.

The teaching is conducted by a diverse team of academics and practitioners. Current themes are:

  • Concepts of the City and Environmental Change
  • Climate Change and the Built Environment
  • Financing Sustainability
  • Placemaking
  • The Flexible City? Urban Theory, Practice and Project Management
  • Transportation and Sustainability
  • Urbanism and the Design Process
  • Urbanisation in the Global South

Students on the course talk about their experience of the MSc in the Prince's Foundation film 'Educating with Oxford'.

All short-listed candidates will be expected to participate in an interview, normally by either telephone or video link. Interview arrangements will be fixed with candidates at mutually convenient times. 

How to Apply

The deadlines for this course are 22 November 2013, 24 January 2014 and 14 March 2014. Places may still be available after the March deadline - please see the Sustainable Urban Development website for information.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to communicate with the department prior to submitting an application at

The standard set of materials you should send with any application to a taught course comprises:

Please follow the detailed instructions in the Application Guide, and consult the Sustainable Urban Development website for any additional guidance.

Research programmes

While the department does not offer a DPhil programme in this subject, it may be possible from time to time to take exceptional research students where appropriate supervision can be offered and either the department, or, where relevant, the applicant's employer, can provide appropriate facilities. Applicants would need to demonstrate that they have skills and competencies in Sustainable Urban Development.

The DPhil would be available on a part-time basis, to be completed in a minimum of four years, and would normally start in October. Informal enquires should be sent to

Academic resources

  • University libraries, including:
    • Social Sciences Library, Manor Road
    • Radcliffe Science Library
    • Continuing Education Library, Rewley House
  • A course-specific virtual learning environment, providing key learning materials and course information

Graduate destinations

Most part-time students on this programme will be in full-time employment on commencement of the programme.

The current range includes architects, company directors, consultants, development practitioners, educators, engineers, environmental lawyers, financiers, land economists, planners, project managers, property developers, and surveyors.








Selection criteria

Selection criteria on the MSUD website External link

English language requirements

Higher level


Some departmental bursaries/scholarships may be available - see the MSUD website for course-specific funding opportunities


Number of applicants


Number of places available