Sustainable Cities MA
MA Sustainable Cities
The need for sustainable urban living has never been greater. Today, our cities are responsible for almost 80% of all CO2 emissions – and with estimates suggesting up to 70% of the world will live in a city by 2050, that figure could rise even higher.
If you want to plan and design the sustainable urban communities of the future and help reduce the demands and impacts we make on the natural world, our MA Sustainable Cities degree course is the perfect way to fulfil your ambitions.
Building on our Cluster for Sustainable Cities, you'll learn from leading experts and explore new systemic and integrated solutions for cities, and help shape the journey towards greener, healthier, more inclusive and resilient environments.
And when you graduate, you'll be ready for a career in urban design within architectural firms and environmental organisations, or to enter further academic study.
What you'll experience
On this course, you'll:
- Engage with leading research into sustainable cities
- Use facilities including dynamic studios with advanced architectural computing facilities
- Develop collaborative projects with external partners, such as practitioners and academic institutions in the UK and overseas
- Work on live projects, with real clients
- Take an optional field trip to learn more about global urban sustainability
- Get to meet leading figures in the field of Environmental Design
- Combine theory, practice, research and work-based learning to understand contemporary issues in sustainable development
Work experience and career planning
We'll help you to identify internships, voluntary roles and opportunities that will complement your studies.
When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in urban design and the planning of sustainable cities.
After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.
Careers and opportunities
When you graduate from this course, you can choose a career in organisations including design practices, architectural firms and cross-disciplinary environments.
Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:
- Urban planning and urban design
- NGOs and environmental organisations
- Local authorities
- Further academic study
You'll also learn creative skills and professional competencies which are valuable in fields like virtual design and modelling or project management.
We'll provide you with as much support as possible in finding employment through close industrial contacts, careers events, recruitment fairs and individual advice.
- A good honours degree in Interior Design, Architecture or a related subject, or equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications.
- An online portfolio submission will be required as part of the selection process.
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
Tuition fees (2019 start)
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
- Full time: £7,500
- Part time
- Year 1: £2,500
- Year 2: £5,000
- Full time: £13,900
- Part time
- Year 1: £4,630
- Year 2: £8,270
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.
You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.
You'll need pay for drawing equipment, model making, stationery, reprographic requirements, and printing costs. These costs are normally in the region of £100 - £300 per year.
Depending on the projects that you choose on the course, you may decide to purchase extra material or software. These costs will depend on the project that you choose.
If you take part in any of the optional study trips on this course, you'll be expected to pay full costs. Optional study trips to Europe cost in the region of £300 - £500.
What you'll study
Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 180 credits. For example, 4 units worth 30 credits and 1 unit worth 60 credits.
Core units in this year include:
- Research methods and research proposal
- Sustainable design and practice
- Sustainable design: theories
Optional unit in this year currently include:
- Optional work-based learning unit
Changes to course content
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.
As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).
ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
- academic writing
- note taking
- time management
- critical thinking
- presentation skills
- working in groups
- revision, memory and exam techniques
Teaching methods on this course include:
- written or design-led thesis project
- independent study
How you'll spend your time
- Autumn teaching block – September to December
- Spring teaching block – January to May
- Assessment period – May to June
Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. There’s no teaching on Wednesday afternoons. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.
How you're assessed
You’ll be assessed through:
- illustrated written coursework
- final report assessment
- studio review
You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.
You can get feedback on all formal assessments so you can improve in the future.
Apply for this course using our online application form.
If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region. To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.