About your course
The Liverpool School of Art and Design offers you the space to explore your creative potential and understand how its application in design can interact with, adapt and change the landscape of cities and urban spaces and our experience within them.
- Course available to study full time (1 year) and part time (2 years)
- A new programme open to applicants from a wide range of first degree disciplines such as architecture, spatial design, landscape design, environmental art, geography and planning
- Join a strong research-focused academic community
- Prestigious Susan Cotton Travel bursary and the Michael Pugh Thomas and Julia Carter Preston Legacy postgraduate study awards available
- Develop your work in state-of-the-art workspaces and facilities within the RIBA award-winning John Lennon Art and Design Building
- The School of Art and Design offers a unique collaborative environment for postgraduate students. VIDEO: Hear about postgraduate research from the Director of School
You will be based in our RIBA-award-winning John Lennon Art and Design Building.
Introduction to the School
Liverpool School of Art and Design is organised around strong disciplinary cultures within a dynamic environment that supports interaction and debate, between staff and students, within and across subject areas.
Our programmes are geared towards combining teaching and work-related learning with practical knowledge, enabling you to succeed in your chosen career beyond graduation. Teaching is individually tailored and oriented around each student, with the week divided between lectures, seminars, tutorials, studio supervisions and workshops.
In the 2014 REF, 85% of research submitted by Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory at LJMU was either recognised internationally, or considered as internationally excellent. This research helps ensure that our postgraduate courses are positioned at the leading edge of developments in the field and that you have an opportunity to study alongside leading experts.
Research is organised thematically to bring together disciplines and exploit their methods to address issues of significance and concern to the broader culture of the city and beyond. Our internationally excellent research informs our curriculum and underpins our teaching, and all our staff, including Readers and Professors, are involved in the day-to-day delivery of undergraduate as well as postgraduate and research programmes.
- contemporary art and design practice
- international art
- sound and the visual arts
- art history
- curatorial practice
- art and creative technologies
- environmental art
- contemporary printmaking
- urban architecture
We are also particularly interested in interdisciplinary methodologies.
Why study this course at LJMU?
Study Urban Design in a resurgent, UNESCO recognised city of cultural significance and advance your skills to create spaces that solve modern problems in cross-cultural contexts.
Over the last 20 years, the Architecture subject team have successfully delivered an urban design focused PG Diploma, as well as Master of Architecture programmes and the popular BA (Hons) Architecture undergraduate degree.
LJMU academics have collaborated with and continue to work with nationally recognised urban design practitioners, local authority planning and urban design departments and international academic partners in the development and production of urban projects, public exhibitions and related publications.
These interactions help to ensure that our curriculum is kept up-to-date and that you secure the knowledge and skills required to succeed professionally on graduation.
Programme outline and structure
In a world of rapidly rising and migrating urban populations, there is a palpable need for smarter, more inclusive approaches to city planning, adaptation and spatial design.
Liverpool is a creative hub with a heritage of high quality civic design and creative urban engagement. The study of Urban Design is perfectly suited to the rich infrastructure of this truly global city. Read more about the outputs from the programme by visiting the Urban Design blog.
This programme has strong links with the RIBA North and the Liverpool Biennial which, every two years, delivers an international programme of exhibitions and projects that lead to a rediscovery of the city.
Based within the School’s Architecture and Urban Design subject area, this studio-based programme is nourished by the School’s burgeoning research in Urbanism and close association with the University's European Institute for Urban Affairs.
The curriculum has creative place-making at its core and we welcome applicants from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds such as architecture, planning, landscape architecture, art and spatial design.
What you will study on this degree
Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.
- Research & Practice 1
An introduction to some of the common principles of research in Art and Design, tailored to help you develop the skills required to become an effective independent researcher / practitioner.
- Studio Practice (Urban Design)
Upon successful completion of an urban design project, you will acquire skills to analyse contemporary urban design themes through in-depth research and the intelligent development of a critical argument. You will also be able to evaluate innovative and visionary urban design theories and precedents in the context of the project work and synthesize knowledge and skills in the production of an urban design strategy for the redevelopment of a substantial piece of cityscape.
- Research & Practice 2 (Urban Design)
You will be presented with an overview of urban scale sustainable design principles and objectives. You will then explore a range of contemporary sustainable best practice case studies. These principles will then be applied in practical project work, exploring urban design sustainability benchmarks and audit methodologies. You will thereby be provided with a range of theoretical tools to support independent conceptual and critical evaluation of sustainable urban design. Tools will be explored such as to enable students to understand and evaluate the environmental impact and ecology of urban design proposals
- Collaborative Practice
Here you will be given the opportunity to think through, re-situate and re-imagine how the term ‘collaboration’ can affect and develop your own developing art and design practice in the broadest sense. A framework of teaching, study and assessment that will allow the student to develop a realizable collaborative project proposal that has the capacity to be developed into a fundable/sustainable project/collaboration.
- Final Major Project (Urban Design)
Through a major project you will explore and apply a contemporary urban design theme through in-depth research and intelligent development of a critical argument or creative piece of work.
Further guidance on modules
The information listed in the section entitled ‘What you will study’ is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.
Academic Framework reviews are conducted by LJMU from time to time to ensure that academic standards continue to be maintained.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you require further guidance or clarification.
How will I be assessed?
A variety of assessment methods are used to determine ability and these differ module-by-module.
Assessment methods include oral presentations, proposal reports, practical project work, group work, individual urban design proposals and project reports. You will also be assessed for the quality of your drawings and model making.
Staff research interests
The Liverpool School of Art and Design has a research culture that is rooted in collaboration with national and international partners through the ARTS LAB research centre.
ART LABS comprises four research labs from within the Liverpool School of Art and Design. ART LABS expertise focuses on the following themes: contemporary art; 3D digital art and applications in the real world; the uses of art and cultural enrichment; exhibitions and curatorship and design discourse and practice. Our academic team work hard to ensure that course design fully reflects advancements in the field, and that through our lectures we deliver to you a deep insight into our own specialist areas of expertise.
Our work is concerned with understanding and augmenting the role and significance of art and design within the broader concerns of the regional and global economy, and strengthening the visibility and impact of art and design in Liverpool. Researchers in the School write books and academic papers, stage, curate and participate in exhibitions, engage in consultancy, produce artefacts and publish in a broad range of other media.
Entry requirements (Home)
Application to study a Masters level qualification within Urban Design will be considered in the light of their ability to meet the following criteria.
- a good first degree in a related discipline (Degree classification 2:1)
- satisfactory reference
Candidates who do not meet these requirements will be considered on their individual merits and may be asked to submit a portfolio or attend interview.
The above should demonstrate that the student has a sufficient level of knowledge to embark upon the programme (including the required linguistic competence) and to complete the programme within the time limits.
Applications from non-standard applicants are welcomed. In exceptional circumstances applications by mature practitioners without sufficient qualifications will be considered.
Overseas qualifications will be considered in line with UK qualifications.
Applicants whose first language is not English will be expected to have demonstrated competence in English language equivalent to IELTS 6.5, with a minimum of 5.5 in each component.
Entry requirements (International)
LJMU welcomes applications from international students. In addition to normal entry requirements, you will be expected to demonstrate a very good level of English language competence, for example an IELTS score of 6.0-6.5 or equivalent. Please note: specific courses may require higher levels of English language competence. If you have applied to study a full-time taught Masters, MRes, MPhil or PhD at LJMU, you should check if you require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme or ATAS certificate. It can take four to six weeks to receive an ATAS certificate, so please make sure you apply as early as possible. You can find out more on the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website. Alternatively, contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for guidance. Please note: international students entering on a Tier 4 visa cannot study part time. Students entering the UK on alternate types of visa may be in a position to study part time. Please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for further details before making your application. In order to obtain a visa you will also need to show evidence that the money required to cover your tuition fees and living expenses has been in your bank account for at least 28 days prior to submitting your visa application. So please make sure that your finances are in place before applying. For more details, go to our international website.
For advice on any aspect of the application process, please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team.
Applicants may be asked to provide a portfolio and/or attend interview
6.5 (Minimum of 5.5 in each component)
58-64 (Min. 51 in each component for UKVI Purposes)
Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.
All full and part-time students enrolled on postgraduate taught programmes at LJMU are liable to pay an annual tuition fee. You can opt to pay your tuition fees in full at the start of each academic year or pay by instalments. If you need advice about how you will pay your tuition fees, please email LJMU’s Student Funding Team as soon as possible.
Sources of funding
Bursaries and study awards
Applications for this year's scholarships have closed. Details for the 2018 scholarships will be available soon.
The Liverpool School of Art and Design offers students across all taught postgraduate programmes opportunities to apply for scholarships aimed at broadening student knowledge and experience.
The Michael Pugh Thomas and Julia Carter Preston Legacy scholarships consist of a number of £1,000 awards and are open to full-time and part-time home and international students who wish to study for a postgraduate qualification in art and design with LJMU. Part-time applicants can only apply once over the two years of their course.
To be considered for the scholarships, you must submit a 500 word letter to email@example.com after being formally offered a place on a Masters programme in the School of Art and Design. The application deadline for scholarships is the 16 June 2017.
Please ensure you include your name, contact details, the full title of the course you have applied to study on and 500 words stating: why you should be awarded the scholarship, the benefits it will bring to your studies and any exceptional circumstances you face in studying for a postgraduate qualification. Further information for international students about finance, fees and scholarships can be found here.
The School's main travel bursary for existing students, The Susan Cotton Travel Awards, consists of three European Awards of £1,400 and two International Awards of £2,200. The awards are intended to help you undertake significant domestic or international travel in support of your work and personal development. The awards aren't necessarily about academic study, instead they focus on the spirit of travel and adventure. Previous winners of the bursary have travelled to a tropical island to experience life at its most basic, cycled the length of the Danube, spent a month in Morocco and inter-railed through Europe.
Postgraduate loans for students from England, Wales and the EU
Postgraduate Masters loans are available for those studying in the 2017/18 academic year. The new government loans, of up to £10,280, are available for students attending eligible full and part-time Masters courses. To be eligible part time courses need to be studied at 50% intensity. Personal Eligibility is based on your age, your residency and if you have studied at Masters level previously.
Loan repayments will begin the April after course completion, with the first cohort of borrowers commencing repayments in April 2019. Repayments will be made at a rate of 6% of income above an earning threshold of £21,000. This threshold will be frozen until 2021. For details of loan terms, conditions and eligibility, go to:-
Postgraduate Loans for students from Northern Ireland
The Northern Irish government is also introducing a loan for students commencing postgraduate study from September 2017 onwards. Unlike the loan for students from England and Wales this scheme offers a loan for tuition fees only with no funding available from the NI government for living costs. The loan for tuition fees will be paid direct to LJMU.
The maximum loan for those starting in 2017 is £5,500 per course. Please note this means in some instances the loan will not cover your tuition fees in full and you will need to make alternative arrangements to pay the balance as well as source funding for your living costs.
LJMU Alumni Award
Alumni of the University are eligible to apply for a 20% reduction in their postgraduate tuition fees if they choose to progress onto a higher degree programme at LJMU. Both Home and international LJMU students and alumni can apply for this award (subject to eligibility criteria*).
Postgraduate International Scholarships
LJMU offers scholarships for international applicants accepted onto taught masters programmes (excluding distance learning programmes) and research degrees. Current LJMU international students and alumni interested in pursuing postgraduate study and research at the University are eligible to apply for these scholarships along with new applicants.
English for Postgraduate Studies Bursary
A Bursary is also available for international students who need to improve their IELTS score prior to enrolling on their postgraduate course or research programme at the University. This course is run by LJMU’s International Study Centre.
Earn While You Learn
Working while you study means you may be able to pay for your course without taking out any further loans or at least reducing the amount you need to borrow. Working while you study also gives you the skills valued by employers, such as managing your workload and prioritising your time.
LJMU’s Vacancy website can help you find graduate vacancies, sandwich/industrial placements, internships / summer work, part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities and work-based learning placements. Over 1,000 local and regional employers regularly list opportunities on the website.
Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDL)
Many students fund their postgraduate studies via Professional and Career Development Loans. This is a bank loan which you will have to pay back once you’ve completed the course. However, while you are studying any interest on the loan will be paid for you by the Skills Funding Agency. PCDLs worth between £300 and £10,000 are available for eligible postgraduates to fund up to two years of study (three if the course includes work experience). The loan is split into course fees and living costs.
Some organisations and companies fund the cost of postgraduate studies for their employees as they recognise the value of having well qualified staff. Check out our courses and see if there are any on offer that could enhance your current career. Remember, employer support doesn’t always have to be financial; it can take other forms too, such as flexible working arrangements, day release and time in lieu of study.
Support for disabled students
Disabled Students’ Allowances or DSAs are designed to help meet the extra course costs students can face as a direct result of a disability, on-going health condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty. DSAs don’t have to be paid back and the type of support you receive will be determined by your specific needs not your household income. Please contact LJMU’s Disability team for further advice: 0151 231 3164/3165.
Council tax exemption
All full-time postgraduate students studying courses lasting one year or more are eligible for a council tax exemption certificate.
Many graduates from the Liverpool School of Art and Design have successfully secured employment at world-class practices throughout the UK and further afield, while others have remained in Liverpool contributing to its evolution by taking key roles in leading practices that have reshaped the city over the last decade.
As a graduate of the Urban Design MA, a number of career paths will be open to you. Most aligned with your formal education is the practice of urban design work that may take place within specialist agencies or public sector bodies. These roles will consider how structures and systems function within existing landscapes, and how they can be manipulated to offer the best living and working solutions. The MA also offers the opportunity to progress to PhD study and embark on a career that specialises in Urban Design academia or teaching.
International applicants are required to demonstrate equivalent qualifications to the standard requirements for entry when applying for courses at LJMU.
Students must also demonstrate a proficiency in communicating through English, for example via an IELTS tests or equivalent.
Please note: UK visa restrictions mean that international students are only permitted to study on a full-time basis.
Please contact LJMU’s International Team by visiting www.ljmu.ac.uk/international for more information and advice.
LJMU has launched a range of generous international scholarships for students enrolling at the University.
These prestigious scholarships take the form of tuition fee waivers and are available for outstanding international students applying for taught postgraduate programmes and research degrees.
You will need to complete an additional application form in order to be considered for these scholarships. Full eligibility criteria and the online application form are available here: www.ljmu.ac.uk/international
Applications for these scholarships are welcomed from:
- new international applicants
- current LJMU international students hoping to progress onto postgraduate study at the University
- LJMU international alumni
English for Postgraduate courses bursary
A bursary will be available for students who must complete the six week English for Postgraduate Studies course to improve their IELTS score by 0.5 prior to enrolling on their postgraduate taught or research degree at LJMU.
This bursary take the form of a tuition fee waiver, which will be deducted from your tuition fee when you enrol on your degree programme. You do not need to complete the online scholarship form in order to receive this bursary. Please note: If you are awarded this bursary you are not eligible to apply for an international scholarship.
The University may make changes to a programme of study or module where such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University.
Further guidance on programme changes