Urban Development & Design

Master of Urban Development & Design (Extension)

Prog. Code: 
2 years full-time



Full-time, Part-time

Commonwealth Supported Places


Advance study in the growth and change of urban form

The Master of Urban Development and Design (Extension) is design studio based, multi-disciplinary and includes a compulsory field trip and workshop in a major international city. The program offers advanced study in the growth and change of urban form. It connects with fellow universities, city agencies and professionals to integrate latest urban development practice with creative design responses to the challenge of making the 21st-century city. An intense combination of coursework and design research is explored in studios, theory seminars, case studies and field projects. 

The Extension Program provides you with a deeper critical understanding and design techniques for burgeoning cities and older urban regions facing structural change considered in relation to Sydney as a Global City, which we investigate as a continuing case study in urban design.

*This program is suspended and the final intake will be T3 2020. From 2021, you will be able to study Urban Development and Design courses as electives in Architecture, City Planning, Construction Project Management, Landscape Architecture, and Property and Development.

Key Information

Program details

The Master of Urban Development and Design (Extension) is a 2-year program. It consists of 11 courses and a research project. (96 Units Of Credit/UOC).

The program includes:

  • 1 Research Project
  • 1 International Design Studio 
  •  2 Australian Design Studios
  • 5 Core Courses
  • 3 Elective Courses 

Research Project
In your final semester of study, you'll devise and independently undertake a major thesis project, where you'll focus on a particular area of specialised interest and build further depth and expertise to the critical ideas and knowledge you have already gained. You'll also complete a research seminar which will provide you with a range of research-based tools needed to complete the major research project.  

International Design Studio
The International Urban Design Studio is undertaken in the summer semester. You’ll use the knowledge and skills you’ve built up through the program in an intense two-week workshop in a totally new city and new culture, followed by a critical reflection on the experience, design development and documentation back in Sydney. 

You’ll be given a choice between two cities. In the past ten years, the International Design Studios have been undertaken in Barcelona, Beijing, Berlin, Bilbao, Budapest, Buenos Aires, Delhi, Dubai, Hangzhou, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Istanbul, London, Madrid, Nagoya, New York, Portland, Suva, Taipei, Tokyo, and Venice. 

Key Areas of Study
Urban Design Studio 
History and Theory of Urban Development and Design 
Case Studies in Urban Development and Design 
Planning and Urban Development 
Urban Landscape and Heritage 
Communication in Urban Design

For course listing, descriptions and timetables please see the UNSW Online Handbook. 

Career opportunities


Career opportunities include:

-urban design consultancies,

  • work in city agencies
  • work in the development industry
  • head your own professional practice in urban design.
  • proceed to doctoral studies at a major international university and a career in academia.

Related Degrees
Graduate Certificate in the Built Environment
Master of Urban Development and Design


Graduates of this program are eligible to apply for membership in the Urban Design Chapter of the Planning Institute of Australia.

Why UNSW School of Built Environment
  • UNSW ranks 25th in the world and 4th in Australia in Architecture/Built Environment (QS World Rankings 2019)
  • UNSW Sydney ranks in the top 100 universities worldwide (Times Higher Education World University Ranking 2019)

  • In the 2015 Excellence for Research in Australia (ERA) UNSW was rated as the equal-top university nationally in Built Environment and Design. Its rating in Urban Planning research was also the joint highest in Australia.

  • Professional accreditation

  • Be connected to a global network

  • Graduate Certificate entry available

  • Pathway to the extension program

  • Work on global urban design issues

  • Engage with urban development and design in Sydney

  • Multidisciplinary learning

Student Work
Entry requirements

To be eligible for this program you must have: 

  • A four year undergraduate degree with a Credit average or above (WAM 65+ or equivalent) in a relevant field such as design and non-design based disciplines in the built environment, design and engineering: Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Interior Architecture, Design, Planning, Property Development, Construction, Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering and Transport Engineering. OR
  • A three-year undergraduate degree in Architecture with a Credit average or above (WAM 65+ or equivalent). OR
  • A completed Graduate Certificate in the Built Environment (7131) with a Credit average or above (WAM 65+ or equivalent).
How to Apply

All domestic and international students can apply for postgraduate coursework online:

  • Apply online (International students must pay an application fee of $125.)

Application deadlines:

  • Term 1 (February) - apply by 30 November*
  • Term 3 (September) - apply by 31 July

Late applications may be accepted after the closing dates subject to the availability of places.

If you gain entry into a program at UNSW, you can then be assessed for transfer credit for courses (subjects) studied in your previous degree. 

Fees and expenses