Master of Urban Design

Course 314-AB (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Year and Campus: 2009
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate


Associate Professor Justyna Karakiewicz


Senior Student Advisor

Melbourne School of Design
Tel: (+61 3) 8344 6417 / 9862

Fax:(+61 3) 8344 5532

Course Overview: The graduate courses in urban design at the University of Melbourne help develop professionals who are capable of seeing the city from multiple viewpoints and who relish working with interdisciplinary teams. The Postgraduate Diploma equips students with the skills necessary to undertake design research and to learn about urban history, theory and communications. Successful completion of the Postgraduate Diploma can lead to admission to the Master of Urban Design, a studio based course in which students gain expert knowledge, enabling them to forge a career in urban design or a related field.

The strengths of both these courses are the people involved and the atmosphere they create. People who make urban design at the University of Melbourne what it is are the staff and students. Our core group of staff brings together experience and active involvement in current urban design research, design research and education. A broader teaching team with expertise in landscape architecture and urban planning adds diversity and richness. Urban design students contribute their own experiences, energy, new themes and aspirations and add to a multicultural complexity that make our courses special.

Our urban design courses encourage interaction and an appreciation of creativity and difference which creates an atmosphere of collegiality and common endeavour.

Course specialities
The key quality of the urban design programs, and particularly the Master of Urban Design, are their combined strength of urban design theory and three design studios. Studio projects are always approached as design-research exercises, where innovation and discovery represent a major part of the educational experience. Studios emphasise the importance of place and fieldwork represents a significant component of studio work. Professional and wider community involvement is a regular part of the Master of Urban Design studio experience.


The program aims to:

  • provide a Masters level education in urban design which meets the market in urban design practice both locally and internationally;
  • provide students with expert knowledge in urban design and related areas; and
  • serve an integrating role between the disciplines of the Faculty, building cross disciplinary strengths and teaching efficiencies.
Course Structure & Available Subjects: Students in the Master of Urban Design will be required to complete a number of core subjects and elective subjects. Electives should be selected in consultation with a course adviser from the offerings available in the Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning postgraduate programs. Students should select subjects from outside of their current field of practice, for example, architects should choose subjects from the Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning areas whilst planners should choose subjects from Architecture and Landscape Architecture. Details on eachof these Melbourne School of Design programs may be viewed in the 2009 Uninversity Handbook under the names:
  • Master of Architecture
  • Master of Landscape Architecture
  • Master of Urban Planning


For more information on this course and to view a sample course plan please visit:
Subject Options:

Course Structure

Students completing a Master of Urban Design must complete 150 points:

  • 112.5 points of core subjects which includes a 25 point research project; plus
  • 37.5 points of electives

Master of Urban Design Core subjects

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 2

Students are required to undertake a 25 credit point research project.

Students commencing in semester 1 should take the follwong research subject (please note this is a year long subject which starts in Semester 1 and finishes in Semester 2 of the same year):

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Students commencing in Semester 2 should take the following (please note this is a year long subject which starts in Semester 2 and finishes in Semester 1 the following year):
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2

Plus three approved electives (37.5 points).

Recommended Electives

A selection of suitable subjects are listed below. Some electives may only be offered in alternate years.Students are recommended to consult with a course advisor

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2009
Semester 2
Entry Requirements:

Master of Urban Design (150 points)

1. The Selection Committee will evaluate the applicant's ability to successfully pursue the course using the following criteria:

  • a four-year undergraduate degree in architecture, landscape architecture or urban planning with a weighted average of at least H2B (70%) in the final year, or equivalent, or
  • a three-year undergraduate degree and a one-year postgraduate diploma in a relevant discipline with weighted average of at least H2B (70%), or
  • a Postgraduate Diploma in Urban Design with a weighted average of at least H2B (70%), or equivalent.

2. Applicants are required to provide a portfolio of work (see Special Application Requirements below), referee reports and employer references (as appropriate) so that the Selection Committee can assess the applicant's design skills and elucidate any of the matters referred to above.

Special Application Requirements
Universities have different ways of grading and different expectations of their students. Because of this, we require applicants to submit the following material which will be considered in addition to academic results: - a portfolio of recent design work. The portfolio must be presented in hard copy, not on disk. Eight to ten A4 or A3 clear and legible photocopies are sufficient. Where design work has been produced with other people, state your role in the production of the design.

For further details on how to apply please see:

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:

Graduate Attributes: None

Download PDF version.