The Master of Urban Design (MUD) Programme at the University of Hong Kong focuses on the design of the built environment in an era of climate change, economic uncertainties, and disparities in wealth and health. Established in 1988, it is Asia’s first post graduate programme dedicated to urban design, reflecting the growing interests in urban design issues commensurate with Hong Kong’s role as a leading Asian city as well as a global financial center. The MUD programme is a launchpad to a career in shaping the world’s most rapidly urbanizing regions and its most dynamic metropolises. The Programme attracts a diverse body of local and international students, most with a prior background such as architecture, urban planning, landscape architecture, urban studies, etc.

The teaching of the MUD programme is informed by cutting edge research and takes full advantage of its location in Hong Kong, a living laboratory to study the interactions between people and a high-density built environment. It also draws extensively from international perspectives, exploring topics such the ‘agency’ of urban form and its impacts on climate change, high-density urbanization, well-being and quality of life, sustainable accessibility and equity, renewable energy and place making. The MUD teaching team consists of leading academics and practitioners in urban design and related disciplines. The programme is accredited by Hong Kong Institute of Urban Design (HKIUD) and the UK’S Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) under its specialism scheme. Applicants with qualification satisfactory to both the MUD and Master of Science in Urban Planning (MUP) programmes with certain credits waived by MUP. MUP is fully recognized by the Hong Kong Institute of Planners (HKIP) and Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), and Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT).

Graduates of the MUD programme pursue careers in design practices, real estate, and the public sectors, many have become industrial thought leaders and prominent intellectual figures in the built environment discipline. Equipped with knowledge, design and research skills, MUD graduates are highly sought after by consulting firms, development organizations, communities and authorities at local, metropolitan, regional and national levels. They have been engaging in urban design schemes, policies, strategies, frameworks, guidelines, masterplans, design appraisal, as well as in place-making initiatives. Some are in urban design research, education, and critique. Upon completing the MUD Programme, graduates are entitled to a minimum of one-year Hong Kong’s working VISA (IANG), which are eligible for renewal.


The MUD curriculum spread across three semesters within a period of one calendar year (equivalent to 1.5 years in study load). Its delivery, including five core courses, one elective course, two design studios, and the capstone, follows a two-layered approach.  First, students master essential knowledge through core courses in design theories, urban morphologies, socio-economic and policies; they acquire cutting-edge digital skills in data analytics, performance simulation, and design optimization tools, they also cultivate analytical and design thinking through trainings in research methods. Second, students sharpen skills in innovative problem-solving through design studios, in which they tackle site-specific challenges in Hong Kong and in the overseas context of varying size and complexity. Their learning experiences are reinforced by fieldtrip to local or overseas destinations, where students engage with stakeholders and collect first-hand information. The curriculum culminates in the capstone, in which students complete a research dissertation or a design thesis.

Fall Semester

  • MUDP1001 Hong Kong urban design studio
  • MUDP1020 Urban design technologies & innovations
  • MUDP1010 Introduction to urban development and planning
  • MUDP1030 Morphologies & urban design theories

Spring Semester

  • MUDP2010 Urban design research methods
  • MUDP1002 International Urban design studio
  • MUDP2020 Values of urban design: urban, social, environmental economics
  • Elective course

Summer Semester

MUDP1003 Research dissertation & urban design thesis

Student Learning Experiences at MUD