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)

Plymouth City Council
South West
£44,863 - £49,831

Do you have what it takes to drive forward an exciting programme of regeneration of one of Britain’s finest post-war City Centres?

Working with the amazing legacy of Sir Patrick Abercrombie’s A Plan for Plymouth, we have a strategy in place to re-purpose and re-populate Plymouth City Centre as a top-tier centre in the South West. Having secured major awards from TCF, High Street Heritage Action Zone and Future High Street Fund we now have the funding too. We need your skills, motivation and passion to help make it happen.

Closing Date: 21/2/2021
Urban Initiatives Studio
London and South East

We are currently looking to appoint a mid level Urban Designer to work with us on a number of high profile and exciting projects. This is a full time position suitable for a talented, enthusiastic and highly motivated individual who is eager to learn and grow professionally in our sector. Applicants must have a masters degree (or similar) in Architecture or Landscape Architecture with a specialism in Urban Design and/or Town Planning. It is essential that you can work legally in the UK.

Closing Date: 19/2/2021
North West

BDP’s Manchester studio has an opportunity for an Urban Designer to join our Urbanism Group. This is a key appointment to support the wider Urbanism team and will suit someone developing their career in Urban Design. The position requires a qualification in either urban planning, architecture or landscape architecture, and preferably, also urban design. You will have relevant experience, preferably from a commercial organisation.

Closing Date: 5/2/2021
Allies and Morrison
London and South East

We are looking for a graduate town planner to work on masterplans, consultation, characterisation strategies and urban design projects. Excellent communication skills are essential including good report writing skills. Strong graphic design skills are important including proficiency in InDesign.

We are based in our own purpose built design studios in Bankside, London and have studios in Cambridge, Dublin, Liverpool and Manchester.  We are an equal opportunities employer.

Closing Date: 31/1/2021
Urban Green
North West

An experienced and creative Urban Designer is sought to join our Manchester studio.

Key Responsibilities

Urban Green is seeking a talented and experienced urban designer to join our multi-disciplinary team, in response to an increase in secured contracts. Our current portfolio includes a wide variety of projects and clients particularly in the housing and urban regeneration sectors.

Closing Date: 31/1/2021