MSc in Sustainable Urban Development

Educating with Oxford: MSc in Sustainable Urban Development.

Length: two years (part-time)

By 2030, more than 60% of the world's population will live in cities. Urban planners need to meet the challenge of resolving often-conflicting urban needs. 

Working alongside the University of Oxford, our programme offers a rigorous and academic qualification strongly grounded in professional practice, and addresses the state-of-the-art research and practices required to create the sustainable cities and buildings of the future

The course is tailored to professionals worldwide working in the property development sector and aims to provide best practice in ecologically-aware sustainable building.  Taught part-time, normally across two years, students attend eight intensive week long teaching sessions in both Oxford and London, complementing in-class learning with independent study and research. The MSc is delivered in partnership with the Prince's Foundation for Building Community and recognised by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

  • Concepts of the city and environmental change
  • Climate change and the built environment
  • Urban Design and Placemaking
  • Financing sustainability
  • Sustainable Transport
  • Urbanism, Community and City-building
  • Urbanisation in the global south

Leadership, Governance and Future Cities

The aim of the course is the discovery and application of innovative and pragmatic solutions to real-life issues. 

At the end of the course students complete a research dissertation on a topic of their choice. 

"its wide ranging curriculum makes the MSUD special. This feature makes it a valuable asset for any professional global citizen of the 21st Century. Whether operating in policy advocacy in the government, or whether working within a small business in the private sector, or managing projects with multilateral agencies, the course-work is broadening my knowledge, expanding my capacities, and is changing the way I perceive the world. It triggers an intrinsic consciousness, an irreversible sense of responsibility."

Student from Qatar, working as a senior advisor to a national food security programme


Who teaches on the course?

The MSc is taught by experts from a range of academic departments across the University of Oxford.

The Course Director, Dr David Howard (MA, MPhil, DPhil Oxon), is a University Lecturer in Sustainable Urban Development and Fellow of Kellogg College, Oxford. His research interests lie at the interface between urban geography, social sustainability and development studies. Dr Howard is assisted by Dr Idalina Baptista, whose current research focuses on the theoretical and practical challenges of governing urbanisation and infrastructure in African cities, particularly in Mozambique, and by Dr Jo Waters, whose research interests include international and transnational population migration (particularly in the Asia-Pacific Region), international education and student mobilities.


Course fees

For information on course fees, please refer to the University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education website.


Can I apply for financial support?

Full- and part-scholarships are available to help meet the costs of the course fees and other expenses. To find out more, please visit the University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education website.



For applications and further information, please visit

You can also email, follow us on Twitter @Oxford_Urban,  call +44 (0)1865 286952, or write to:

Sustainable Urban Development Programme,

Department for Continuing Education

Rewley House

1 Wellington Square