Careers & Courses

A wide variety of people call themselves urban designers. In one sense anyone who is involved in making places is active in urban design: hence the Urban Design Alliance (UDAL) brings together many of the built environment professions. Even if you do a university course in ‘urban design’, exactly what you learn will depend on which university you choose, as on other courses. The various urban design courses have different emphases.

It is important to understand that urban design is not an accredited profession. There is no professional body that decides what should be on the curriculum of an urban design course, or what expertise and knowledge you need to be able to practise as an urban designer.

An urban designer needs a broad understanding of cities, towns and villages, and ways of making them work better. This involves understanding how the planning system operates, how developers make their sums add up, how to assess what makes a particular place special, how to make places easy to move around by foot and vehicle, how to bring life to places that have become run down, how to conserve historic buildings, how to make the most of the landscape, how to think about the future of small and large development sites, how to involve local people, how to make sure that projects actually happen, how to communicate effectively, how to negotiate, and how to write design policy and guidance.

That sounds like a lot of subjects! But they are all related, and each explains a bit more about how urban places work. The urban designer is not expected to be an expert on all of them, but it is essential to be able to see the whole picture.

Urban Design Jobs (View All)

Savills Urban Design Studio
London and South East

Interested in place making? Are you committed to delivering innovative, high quality solutions? Do you want to make a real difference, and work on a wide range of exciting new projects across the UK and Ireland? 

Savills Urban Design seeks a highly motivated and creative urban designer at Senior/ Associate level, with a proven ability and desire to design quality places through creative and deliverable masterplans. Opportunities exist for the right people to join our national Urban Design Studio, based in our multi-disciplinary office in Oxford.

Closing Date: 7/1/2022
Glenn Howells Architects
London and South East

Glenn Howells Architects are committed to designing the best places and buildings possible. We have thriving offices in London and Birmingham which collaborate to deliver award-winning projects across a wide range of sectors and throughout the UK.

Closing Date: 19/12/2021
PRP Architects
London and South East

PRP is a large interdisciplinary practice providing Architecture and a range of complementary design and consultancy services including Urban Design & Masterplanning.

We would like to appoint a regeneration specialist to join our team in Smithfield, who possesses a clear appreciation of architecture and masterplanning, and strategic understanding of the key aspects of good place making. A strong degree of experience in mixed tenure housing and socially-led regeneration in the UK is important.

Closing Date: 10/12/2021
David Lock Associates
London and South East

As a long established, highly respected and award-winning urban design and planning practice, David Lock Associates’ portfolio of exciting projects continues to expand. We are now looking to recruit two senior urban designers for the following roles:

Closing Date: 3/1/2022
Savills Urban Design Studio
London and South East

Interested in place making? Are you committed to delivering innovative, high quality solutions? Do you want to make a real difference, and work on a wide range of exciting new projects in London and across the UK and Ireland?  

Closing Date: 10/12/2021