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)

Pegasus Group
North East, North West, Yorkshire

Job Details

We are seeking enthusiastic Urban Designers in the North to join our teams in Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle.

Ideal candidates will have a demonstrable track record of:

Closing Date: 14/5/2021
BE1 Architects
London and South East

BE1 Architects Ltd provide services in architecture, urban design and masterplanning, with studios in Bedford and Clerkenwell, London.

Closing Date: 7/5/2021
London and South East

JTP is an award winning, international placemaking practice of architects and masterplanners.

From our studios in London and Edinburgh we undertake placemaking projects at every scale, from cities and towns, to neighbourhoods, streets and the design of individual buildings.

JTP is creating a number of new neighbourhoods at both outline planning and detailed design stages. We are looking for an enthusiastic and talented graduate urban designer who is as excited as we are about the creation of new sustainable places.

Closing Date: 30/4/2021
Environmental Dimension Partnership
South West, Wales

The Environmental Dimension Partnership Ltd (EDP) is a highly regarded and successful multi-disciplinary environmental planning consultancy undertaking projects across the country from our offices in Cardiff, Cirencester, and Cheltenham.

Working at EDP is fun, challenging and rewarding. We place significant value on our EDP Team as they make us who we are. We are extremely proud of the culture and brand we have built, and we have exceptional staff retention across our four offices. We pride ourselves in having kept our sociable small team culture; even in times of growth.

Closing Date: 6/5/2021
Guildford Borough Council
£29,820 – £42,988 (Grades 5 - 6)

Contract: Permanent
Hours of work: 37 hours per week

An exciting opportunity has arisen within Guildford Borough Council’s Design and Conservation Team in the role of Policy Officer (Urban Design) to provide proactive specialist urban design advice and to play a key role in shaping future built development within the Borough.

Closing Date: 26/4/2021