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. 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, some focus more on practical design skills, others on policy and theory.

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)

Doncaster Council
Grade 8, £27,522 - £31,099 (Pay Award Pending)

Senior Urban Design Officer to assist in bringing forward new development plan polices, including urban design policies to raise the bar in terms of securing a higher quality built environment across the Borough with higher standards required for new development.

Closing Date: 16/9/2022
Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC)
London and South East
£45,808 per annum

Join OPDC’s Planning Policy team and help shape the future of one of London’s most exciting and ambitious regeneration projects, the Old Oak and Park Royal Opportunity Area.

Closing Date: 28/8/2022
JTP

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.

Our London Studio is seeking a creative and ambitious Senior Urban Designer to lead on a number of exciting and high profile visioning and masterplanning projects for urban extensions, large scale new neighbourhoods and garden villages within the UK.

Closing Date: 30/9/2022
JTP
London and South East

We are looking to recruit an experienced urban designer who is as excited as we are about the creation of new sustainable places.

Closing Date: 30/9/2022
JTP
London and South East

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.https://twitter.com/jtp_placemaking

Closing Date: 30/9/2022