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Thread: Advice about courses in the UK and the best way to develop an urban design career.

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Manchester UK.
    Posts
    5

    Advice about courses in the UK and the best way to develop an urban design career.

    Firstly I will mention that I have just graduated from the University of Manchester in the UK with an undergraduate degree in Geology with Planetary Science. Although I enjoyed my degree I realised how much I missed the option to be creative.

    I am now focussing all my efforts on getting into the Town Planning Sector and more specifically Urban Design but I have a few doubts and concerns.

    I am obviously now intending to do a masters at a UK University, the problem is finding the right course (as there are quite a lot). Although I do eventually want to pursue the urban design path (and this might sound a little stupid) I wonder whether it is best to study a general planning masters or one in urban design. The Masters of Planning at The University of Manchester for example allows you to specialise in 1 of 4 areas, one being Urban Design. My concern is that if I studied simply Urban Design I am narrowing down my options of getting a job and could face a long period of unemployment (as there don't seem to be a great deal of graduate urban design roles) whereas a planning masters would teach me a broader range of topics about the sector.

    Also, what Universities in the UK are most renowned by the industry?

    My other concern is the fact that my undergraduate degree is not particularly relevant to this field. Would I even be considered for jobs when I have finished or would doing this masters be in fact a waste of time?

    As well as this I have written to many, many companies (50+) to try and get work experience. I have unfortunately been rejected from every single one, and I worry this is due to me obviously not having a relevant qualification.

    I realise I am asking for a lot of information but I would really appreciate if anyone could help steer me in the right direction and give me a little bit advice. I've obviously been doing my own research , but the more research you do sometimes, the more confusing it can become and I just need a little guidance.

    Thank you so much if you can help!

    Andrew.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Island-State Republic of Singapore
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    162
    Heyhey

    Think it's best you check out the Royal Town Planning Institute website (www.rtpi.org.uk) to find out their requirements. But from what I see, in order to practice as a town planner in the UK is subject to rigorous requirements, and employers would value chartered planners quite alot.

    I think the very least for employment, but i might be wrong, is an urban planning degree. I know that applies to Australia and likely to apply to UK as well.

    You might have to do a generic masters first before you might be allowed to do a specialised urban design degree. In fact, if you're looking for accredition with RTPI, you need either a comprehensive degree which offers both generic + a specialisation, or two separate degrees (one generic, one specialised) before you can even be considered for accredition.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Manchester UK.
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    I would only be applying to RTPI accredited courses which is what they seem to want to become chartered (after 2 years experience).

    I think this masters at Manchester seems the best one I have found so far. I think it's way to early on for me to specialise completely and I would rather have the generic skills like you say with one specialisation. And yes I may have to go back to Uni if I want to specialise further.

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