MC-DESURBD Master of Design (Urban Design)

Year and Campus: 2017
CRICOS Code: 072813M
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 100 credit points taken over 12 months


Associate Professor Justyna Karakiewicz


• General information: https://ask.unimelb.edu.au
Contact Stop 1

Course Overview:

There are no more intakes into this course. Applicants interested in graduate studies in Urban Design should refer to the handbook entry for MC-URBDES Master of Urban Design.

The Master of Design (Urban Design) is a post-professional course for those with an existing qualification in the disciplines represented in the Melbourne School of Design (MSD) or related, plus relevant work experience. It allows professionals to enhance existing qualifications through advanced studies in urban design in a program that meets market demand both locally and internationally. The Master of Design (Urban Design) at the MSD develops professionals capable of seeing the city from multiple viewpoints and who relish working in interdisciplinary teams.

The strengths of this course are the people it involves and the atmosphere they create. People who make urban design at the MSD what it is, are the staff and students. Our core group of staff bring 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. Master of Design students, from diverse professional backgrounds, provide their own perspectives, energy and aspirations to add to a multicultural complexity that make our course special.

Learning Outcomes:

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:

75 credit points - core subjects
25 credit points - elective subjects

Subject Options:

Core subjects (75 points)

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:


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


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

Urban Design electives (25 points)

Urban Design Theory

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2017
Semester 1
Not offered in 2017

Urban Design Practice

Urban Planning Issues

Entry Requirements:

1. In order to be considered for entry, applicants must have completed:

  • a minimum four-year professional degree or equivalent in the disciplines of the Melbourne School of Design with at a weighted average mark of at least H3 (65%), or equivalent; and
  • two years of documented relevant work experience, demonstrated in a portfolio/report submitted in accordance with the requirements of the Selection Committee.

Meeting these requirements does not guarantee selection.

2. In ranking applications, the Selection Committee will consider:

  • prior academic performance; and
  • the work experience, demonstrated in a portfolio/report.

3. The Selection Committee may seek further information to clarify any aspect of an application in accordance with the Student Application and Selection Procedure.

4. Applicants are required to satisfy the university’s English language requirements for postgraduate courses. For those applicants seeking to meet these requirements by one of the standard tests approved by the Academic Board, performance band 6.5 is required.

Additional notes

The design portfolio of not more than eight A3 pages should focus on design work rather than, for example, life or still-life drawing skills. Applicants submitting work done in the context of employment should explain their role in the work produced with brief notes. Images and drawings presented in the portfolio should be reproduced at sufficient scale and resolution to be clearly readable. Elaborate formats that reduce the available page space for the design images should be avoided. It is most helpful to see a variety of kinds of drawings and images; free hand diagrams, computer images, two-dimensional (plans, sections, elevations) and three-dimensional studies, photographs of physical models.

Reports should be in electronic format and no more than 10 x A4 pages. They should include a CV plus illustrate work(s) undertaken in the context of employment. Applicants should explain their role in the work(s) produced with brief notes, and if appropriate, provide images and official documentation.

For information about how to apply click here.

Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne School of Design is the graduate school of the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning. It offers professional entry programs in Architecture, Construction Management, Landscape Architecture, Property and Urban Planning. It offers specialist development programs in Property Valuation, Planning and Design and in Urban Design.

The Melbourne School of Design welcomes applications from students with disabilities. It is the University and Faculty (Architecture, Building and Planning) policy to take reasonable steps to make reasonable adjustments so as to enable students’ participation in degrees offered by the Melbourne School of Design (MSD).

A candidate for degrees offered in the MSD must have abilities and skills which include the following: observation; communication; motor; conceptual, integrative, and quantitative; and
behavioural and social. Adjustments can be provided to minimise the impact of a disability, however, particularly at Masters level, students need to be able to participate in programs in an independent manner and with regard to their safety and the safety of others.

(i) Observation: Candidates must be able to read text, diagrams, maps, drawings and numerical data. Candidates should be able to observe details at a number of scales and to record useful observations of environmental contexts.

(ii) Communication: Candidates should be able to communicate with fellow students, professional and academic staff, members of relevant professions and the public. Candidates must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively. Communication includes not only speech but also reading and writing, presenting one's own work in front of a large group, receiving and responding to feedback about one's own work in a public setting. Assessment in studio subjects will involve 'crits' where students present their own work in front of a large group, where they will receive and respond to feedback about their work in a public setting. Crits are an integral part of working in the industry and are an inherent requirement of the course.

(iii) Motor: Candidates should have sufficient motor function to elicit information from environmental contexts. Off campus investigations may include visits to construction sites,
urban, rural and/or remote environments. Candidates should have sufficient motor ability to prepare documentation of analytic texts, drawings and models of findings and for the
preparation of proposals for environmental interventions via digital or other means. Candidates should have the ability to actively participate in appropriate site and/or design
studio-based activities.

(iv) Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative and Quantitative Abilities: These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, synthesis and, importantly, the ability to
interpret results of such work. Problem resolution, the critical skill demanded of graduates, requires all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, given the disciplines pursued in the
MSD, candidates should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships in environmental structures of a wide range of scales –
from smaller than the individual through individual buildings and urban spaces to large geographic areas. Further, graduate study entails learning to master one’s own abilities and
skills and to deploy them strategically. This requires further developing skills in both reflective and reflexive thinking and being able to practice these skills.

(v) Behavioural and Social Attributes: A candidate must possess behavioural and social attributes that enable them to participate in a complex learning environment. Students are required to take responsibility for their own participation and learning. They also contribute to the learning of other students in collaborative learning environments, demonstrating interpersonal skills and an understanding of the needs of other students. Assessment may include the outcomes of tasks completed in collaboration with other students. Assessment in studio subjects will involve 'crits' where students present their own work in front of a large group, where they will receive and respond to feedback about their work in a public setting. Crits are an integral part of working in the industry and are an inherent requirement of the course.

Students who feel a disability will prevent them from meeting the above academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit.

Graduate Attributes:

Refer to University of Melbourne graduate attributes located at http://www.unimelb.edu.au/about/attributes.html


Students in this program may be eligible to undertake final subject assessment if they:

  • are in the final semester of their enrolment (not the last 50 points of the course); and
  • fail* a single subject worth up to 12.5 points with a final result of 40 - 49%.

* Receive an N or NH grade, except where that NH grade was awarded due to failure to participate in a component of assessment.

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