The Prince's Foundation The Prince's Foundation


MSc in Sustainable Urbanism

This programme, previously offered by The Prince’s Foundation and validated by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, is currently being redesigned and will be offered in future with a university partner that will be responsible for validation and accreditation. Applications are not yet open for the new programme.

The MSc in Sustainable Urbanism, a new programme currently under development with a university partner, will train the next generation of architects and designers tasked with evolving traditional architecture and urbanism in response to the global challenges of climate change and urbanisation.

The Prince’s Foundation works on urban development around the world and has unrivalled contacts in government and industry, built up since our first educational programme began in 1990. This programme will explore what sustainability means in an urban context, while challenging accepted wisdom in architecture and urban planning in a supported learning environment.

The programme will be delivered in partnership with a university through a variety of means including weekly seminars, group and private tutorials, workshops, placements in industry, your own research projects, community engagement and practical exercises, many of which are tied to the Foundation’s live projects around the world.

Students will be encouraged to develop their own specialisms further within the course, through their own research and reading. Assessment is through research papers, set essays, reflection papers and a dissertation. There will be no written exams.

The programme aims to include 20 hours a week in a placement (or your existing job), allowing you to learn while gaining experience within the industry, as well as earning your way through the course. Regular placement providers include Transport for London and leading architecture practices in London.

Students will undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.


Two years, full-time

Start date

Autumn 2020. (To be confirmed.)


The Prince’s Foundation, London; Dumfries House Estate, Ayrshire, Scotland, and onsite with a university partner close to London.

Tuition fees

UK/EU Students


Overseas Students

£10,000 a year (FT) (payable in monthly instalments)

Placements will be limited to 20 hours a week during term time for foreign students.

The programme may also be taken as a one-year Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainable Urbanism or a part-time Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Urbanism. The first year is usually taken as a part-time course while you remain in your current job.

Qualifications needed

Students should have completed a good first degree (or Part I) in any of the following:

  • Planning or urban policy
  • Landscape design
  • Urban design
  • Architecture
  • Surveying
  • Engineering
  • Or related areas

We will also consider applications from entrants without one of these qualifications who have acquired experience through work or other means and can satisfy staff responsible for admissions of their ability to succeed in the programme.

English Language Requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency (IELTS score 7.0).

Ideal candidates

The programme will be suitable for students who want to engage with the practice of sustainable urbanism, including its design, research, engagement and critical context, as informed by the Foundation’s international programmes.

How to apply

This new programme is not yet offered, but for any queries please contact Matthew Hardy, Programme Director.

Core modules (subject to change)

A culture of building

The first three weeks of the first year are spent in a full-time Summer School taught by visiting and in-house lecturers and tutors. Students work alongside the Foundation’s Building Crafts Apprentices. The final week is a design project for a small building, built by the Building Crafts Apprentices later in the year. Students are assessed on a written reflection and portfolio of their work during the module.

Practice of sustainable urbanism

In the first year, full-time students work alongside professional practitioners and technical staff on live projects in sustainable urbanism around the UK and abroad. Students will also attend studio weeks at the Foundation to work on group projects. All students also spend a week tutoring in the Summer School under the guidance of teaching staff. Students are assessed on an analytical reflection report reflecting on sustainability practices in the placement, and a portfolio.

Contemporary debates on sustainable urbanism

The module will be taught in three half-hour seminars held weekly. Each class consists of a lecture on a contemporary controversy or recent research finding, delivered by an in-house or visiting lecturer, chosen for their expertise in areas of practice that are tackling contemporary challenges. Lectures are followed by a structured tutorial session attended by the lecturer and led by Foundation teaching staff. Students reflect on these debates through formatively and summatively assessed essays.

Community engagement

This module will build on Enquiry by Design and other public consultation events, held by the Foundation around the UK and abroad, to introduce themes of representation, engagement, participation and legitimacy in design processes. Students produce an analytical business-style report reflecting on their experiences, the policy situation and their own research.

Elective modules

Sustainable Urbanism Elective: each student undertakes a special project, developing a research or design project from inception to completion, with support from academic staff within the department. In the past, these have included special research reports and publications on special subjects. Students give a research seminar in the summer term and are assessed on that and their research paper.


All MA students complete a Sustainable Urbanism Major Project. During the second year, students find placements in a practice or organisation whose mission is aligned with the course’s aims. Students use this placement as a springboard to prepare a dissertation equivalent to a written text of circa 15,000 words, with drawings and other documentation. The placement is not assessed, but is expected to inflect the written dissertation, with the main assessment being by a Graduate Seminar, given in spring, and a research paper.