The Master of Urban Design (MUD) Programme focuses on the design of the most advanced built environments for an urban era of climate, economic, health and cohesion challenges. Urban design is emerging as a distinct design knowledge domain that encompasses the understanding and creative leveraging of planning, landscape, transport, architecture, and design economic knowledge. The Programme attracts a diverse body of local and international students, most with prior backgrounds in urban and transport planning, landscape, and architecture. MUD graduates pursue careers as urban design professionals, and many go on to work in the world’s most dynamic metropolises.
The Programme engages with urban design challenges in Asian cities in the age of climate change and human-centered polarization. The Programme leverages qualitative and quantitative intelligence informing urban design projects. The curriculum is organized with an emphasis on both the tangible and intangible aspects of urban morphology.
The teaching progresses from taught studio analog-digital and spatial scale/complexity compression in HK in the fall semester, to the digital-simulation and large scale design exercises in the spring semester. The curriculum culminates in the capstone project in the summer semester, with a student-led research informed research dissertation and urban design thesis project.
The MUD is a design studio based Programme, in which students acquire urban design skills and develop thought leadership through lectures, seminars, workshops, design reviews, local and international field study visits, smart simulations, urban design research methods, research dissertation and design thesis. Teaching is informed by cutting edge research and takes full advantage of its location in Hong Kong, a hyper dense living laboratory of networked volumetric urban design, while drawing 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 teaching team consists of academics and practitioners in urban design and related disciplines.
The Master of Urban Design Programme is accredited by Hong Kong Institute of Urban Design (HKIUD) and the UK’s Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) under its specialism scheme. The MUD Programme is one year long, running over three semesters (equivalent to 1.5 years). The MUD Programme is equivalent to European Master’s Degree measured by the European Credit Transfer System (90 ECTS). Upon completing the MUD Programme, graduates are entitled to a one-year Hong Kong’s working visa (IANG), which can be renewed.
The programme attracts a diverse body of local and international students. Many have prior professional experiences in architecture, landscape architecture and urban planning. Graduates pursue a career as design professionals with access to the world’s most dynamic markets. The teaching staff includes leading academics and practitioners in urban design and other disciplines.
For applicants who satisfy admissions criteria for both the MUD and Master of Science in Urban Planning (MUP) programmes, there is the option of applying for admission to both programmes and completing both degrees in a period of 2½ years, instead of 3. 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).
The MUD core courses cover urban design theories, site planning, ecology, research methods, design technologies and design thinking. The urban design studio projects expose students to a range of contemporary urban design issues and challenges. Students are required to attend a compulsory fieldtrip to local or overseas destinations that are related to courses. The department also organize optional local fieldtrips on monthly basis
During the 3 semesters, 12 months programme, students are expected to complete a minimum of 90 credits courses, including 5 core courses, 1 elective course, 2 design studio courses and the capstone research dissertation and design thesis.
Studio is a mix of lecture/seminar/workshop, field visits, tutorial and urban design review organized in group of 8-9 students. Studio combines group work and individual work. The Research dissertation & urban design thesis is individual and led by the student with a supervisor.
Urban design knowledge, design and research skills across spatial scale are sought after by consulting firms, development organizations, communities and local, metropolitan, regional and national authorities where they are engaged in urban design appraisal and evaluation, the preparation of urban design policies, strategies, frameworks, guidelines, masterplans and programs, as well as be involved in management of urban place making. Urban design social-media commentators and practitioners in education are also in demand.
Student Learning Experiences at MUD