Master of Urban Design

University of British Columbia - Faculty of Applied Science

Program Description

Master of Urban Design

University of British Columbia - Faculty of Applied Science

Our Master of Urban Design program equips future urban designers with the knowledge and skills needed to meet the challenges of modern urban growth. The intensive 11-month curriculum focuses on enhancing your understanding of urban design at all scales—from the neighbourhood block to the regional. The post-professional course of study integrates design studios with courses in urban design history and theory, economics, and public policy. You will have the opportunity to pursue personal interests in the discipline by choosing the focus of your elective courses and research topics.

The intersection of academia and the contemporary profession informs our investigation and practical work. Each year, we explore an urban design theme through an active partnership with community and regional organizations. In the design studios, you will collaborate with faculty, stakeholders, and professionals on real-world projects for possible future applications. Our students benefit from intimate student-faculty ratios. You will work directly with the practicing professionals who developed Vancouver’s urban design successes.

You will have the opportunity to see these achievements up close, through weekly tours to landmark places such as the Olympic Village, Granville Island, and Stanley Park. The urban design faculty and affiliates work alongside you throughout the program and in potential collaborations for local sustainable urbanism projects. In our annual international urban design forum, we bring you together with prominent thinkers and practitioners from around the world to engage in an informed discussion of your research and design work.

The forum results in a student-led publication, contributing significantly to the global dialogue on urban design and urban sustainability. As a student at UBC Vancouver, you will have access to world-class facilities and a research library ranked among the best in Canada. As a student in Vancouver, you will have access to the city and region as a living laboratory, further enhancing your studies in urban design.


The 11-month Master of Urban Design degree requires the completion of 45 credits.

Typical course of study

  • Design Studio: Ecological Regional Design
  • History and Theory of Urban Design
  • Design Studio: Sustainable Neighbourhood Design
  • Urban Design as Public Policy: Policymaking for a Sustainable Region
  • Design Studio: Urban Block Design
  • Real Estate Economics: Development Feasibility and Financing

What can I do with my degree?

Our Masters of Urban Design program adds another dimension to your design practice. As cities expand at increasing rates, experience working at the urban scale is an in-demand skill. Both firms and governments are searching for professionals who can design for complex public spaces. How you integrate urban design into your practice is up to you. You can continue in your prior career with a new set of placemaking skills, or make urban design the focus of your work. The international scope of the program allows you to apply your knowledge across the globe.

Over the course of your studies here, you’ll gain invaluable skills in:

  • design at a variety of urban scales.
  • building community partnerships and engagement.
  • communication and presentations.
  • project management and organization.

Our urban design program is designed for students who already have a degree in a field concerned with the built environment. Our Master of Architecture and Master of Landscape Architecture programs are professional programs that provide a foundation for further urban design studies.

Career Options

Our graduates will be in high demand locally, nationally and internationally, with government and industry employers constantly seeking experts in the field who can develop new processes and systems.

Cost & Fees

  • International students: CAD $31,922.79 per year
  • Canadian students: CAD $18,040.53 per year


Quick Facts

  • Degree: Master of Urban Design
  • Subject: Specialty
  • Mode of delivery: On campus
  • Registration options: Full-time
  • Specialization: Landscape Architecture
  • Program Components: Coursework + Major Project/Essay required
  • Faculty: Faculty of Applied Science
  • School: School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture
This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated December 14, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
11 months
Full time
- International students: CAD $31,922.79 per year; Canadian students: CAD $18,040.53 per year