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

We are seeking a creative Urban Designer to join our urban design team based in Newcastle. You will be working closely with a supportive team of designers that make up the design service across the North of England, including teams in Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool.

Closing Date: 23/6/2021
Royal Commission 1851
£50,000 per year for 2 years

The Commission’s origins come from a pioneering era of invention and a thirst for knowledge intended to bring wide social and economic benefits. It gives us our mission to bring the power of science and the arts to bear on productive industry. Over time such industry brings with it intense urbanisation and social change which continues to this day as more people now live in cities than in rural communities. Agriculture too has been increasingly mechanised to provide us with ample comparatively inexpensive food. The natural world and many of its people were seen as a resource.

Closing Date: 6/9/2021
South Downs National Park Authority
London and South East
£37,261 - £42,460 + potential £5k
  • Position: Design Officer
  • Location: South Downs Centre, Midhurst
  • Closing Date: 27 June 2021
  • Interview Date: 9 July 2021
  • Salary: £37,261 to £42,460, plus potential £5k
  • Hours: 37 hours per week
  • Type of post: Permanent
Closing Date: 27/6/2021
South West

Origin3 Urban Design in Bristol has won significant new projects recently, including urban regeneration schemes and major urban extensions. As a result, we are actively seeking talented and motivated individuals for the following positions;

  • Senior Urbanist 5 years +
  • Associate Urbanist 10 years +


Urbanist Qualifications

Education to degree level or equivalent in urban design, architecture, landscape design or town planning

Closing Date: 25/6/2021
Urban Initiatives Studio
London and South East

Urban Initiatives Studio are looking to appoint a Senior / Associate Level Urban Designer to help with our expanding workload of high profile and exciting projects. This is a full time position suitable for a talented, enthusiastic and highly motivated individual with a masters degree in urban design, architecture or town planning. Applicants should have a minimum of five years post-qualification urban design experience in a relevant practice environment.

Closing Date: 14/6/2021