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Master of Science in Urban Design

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Key Fact
  • Program name
    Master of Science in Urban Design
  • Program code
  • Program chair
    Dr. Asmaa Ibrahim
  • Program length
    2 years
  • Credit hours

 About the Program


Th​e Master's of Science in Urban Design (MSUD) program at Effat University establishes a common intellectual ground for architects, planners and landscape architects who intend to practice or advance their knowledge and experience in urban design. ​​

The course provides students with the knowhow to thrive, including knowledge of urban theory; design techniques; and procedures that challenge you to re-think design within the context of economic, political and cultural struggles that often characterise urban development today. Particular emphasis is placed on developing mastery in urban design.

Additionally, the MSc Urban Design course program challenges students to think about the way the world impacts on urban design and inspires them to make meaningful contributions both to projects they work on, and subsequently to the communities that will benefit from them. 

Th​e Master's of Science in Urban Design (MSUD) program in Effat University is considered the first of its specialization to be offered for female in KSA. MSUD program establishes a common intellectual ground for architects, planners and landscape architects who intend to practice or advance their knowledge and experience in urban design. The program provides knowledge of urban theory, design techniques and procedures that challenge students to rethink urban design within the context of economic, political and cultural struggles that often characterize urban development today. Particular emphasis is placed on developing mastery of technologies used in urban design.

Students will demonstrate the ability to raise clear and precise questions, use abstract ideas to interpret information, consider diverse points of view, reach well-reasoned conclusions, and test alternative outcomes against relevant criteria and standards.​​​​​​


The Urban Design Masters degree program provides students with detailed knowledge of urban theory, design techniques, and procedures that challenge you to re-think urban design. It combines a common core curriculum, with the opportunity to take elective courses tailored to your areas of interest.

Semester one focuses on developing students' understanding of the fundamentals of urban design through the study of core modules including Urban Design and Development (Theory and Principles), Contemporary Trends in Urban Design and Principles of Real Estate and Urban Economics.

In semester two, you will focus more on design aspects and their impact on wider society through the detailed study of areas including contemporary trends and sustainability.

Students who choose to complete a Masters in Urban Design can also opt to focus on one of two possible areas of concentration: Urban Design & Practice and Urban Design & Real Estate.​​​

 Vision, Mission, and Goals


The Master of Science in Urban Design (MSUD) program aims to graduate leading urban design researchers and professionals prepared to respond to the changes in the urban context of the Kingdom and its rapidly evolving community. With critical understanding of contemporary challenges, the MSUD graduates will possess the ability to practice urban.


The Master of Science in Urban Design (MSUD) program provides high quality education and training in the urban design field, in order to prepare and qualify graduates to become leading practitioners and researchers in the urban design profession who are able to meet the current and future challenges as intellectual professionals. ​​​


  1. Achieve national and international highly recognized MSUD program contributing to the Saudi 2030 vision to Promote community design and real estate development goals of environmental responsibility, social equity and economic sustainability.
  2. Create an encouraging and productive work environment to maintain a high performance rate of both faculty and students leading to gain national and international accreditation for the MSUD program.
  3. Provide high quality teaching environment and resources that promote creativity and leadership among MSUD students, to preserve and develop knowledge for the profession through research and practice.
  4. Recruit national and international students with high competence and equip them with necessary skills to become decision makers in the urban design field.
  5. Hire and retain quality faculty and scholars specialized in the Urban Design field as well as sustain, strengthen, and develop positive and interactive relationships with the community by promoting building and community design goals of environmental responsibility, social equity, and economic sustainability that prepare students for professional leadership and lifelong learning in urban real estate development with an emphasis on livable community planning and design.
  6. Managing and updating the necessary learning resources to faculty and students to support conductive learning environment To share knowledge locally and internationally through community service.
  7. Create an interactive research environment. 


 Educational Objectives​

  • Play a professional and competitive-edge role in the urban design industry through the seizure of the state-of-the-art knowledge in urban design theory and practice and the cognitive comprehension of economic, social, cultural, and environmental urban aspects, at both regional and international context.
  • Successfully engage and produce within multi-specialty teams and manifold challenging urban environments by acquiring knowledge in related disciplines relevant to ethical responsibility and professional practice in the urban design profession.
  • Acquire a high level of personal skills relevant to the communication and expression of urban design products.
  • Demonstrate the highest scientific capacity to profoundly contribute to urban design research.
  • Practice a professional leadership and lifelong learning in urban real estate development with an emphasis on livable community planning and design
  • Practice community design and urban development goals of environmental responsibility, social equity, and economic sustainability. 

 Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify critical approaches in built-environment related disciplines that are relevant to ethical responsibilities and professional practice in urban design.
  2. Utilize analytical methods and problem-solving techniques including critical thinking, communication.
  3. Combine visual and verbal communication skills at various stages of urban design and project delivery processes, including the creation of appropriate technical documentation.
  4. Synthesize a variety of knowledge areas and methods in urban design theories and innovative applications, social, cultural, environmental, and information technology to assume professional roles in urban design.
  5. Develop independent urban design visions and real-world development initiatives.
  6. Manifest a professional commitment to ethical practices in designing, presenting, and leading project teams and organizational structures.
  7. Demonstrate leadership and responsibility in dealing with complex issues and tasks related to the community culture, sustainability, and resiliency.
  8. Demonstrate personal and professional responsibility in working in a group and participating effectively in identifying relevant problems in relation to urban design projects
  9. Communicate effectively and ethically in oral and written English with high-level skills in presentation, argumentation, and discussion of complex urban challenges.
  10. Practice advanced illustration skills in Urban Design, especially in handling new and complex ideas, social and ethical issues, and delicate challenges.​

 Career Opportunities

Career Path

The MSc in Urban Design program prepares students for effective intervention and development of both physical change and design proposals.

Upon completion of the course, you will have developed the necessary skills and understanding to have a smart and positive impact in a variety of architectural design-based roles in both public and private areas, such as urban designers and project management roles for design processes.

Other opportunities include town and transport planners and historic buildings inspectors/conservation officers.

Graduates can also expect to have different opportunities to work directly with municipalities or private sector groups as effective designers and advocates for development enterprises.

Alternatively, with a Master of Science Degree in Urban Design, you will receive adequate preparation to pursue a higher degree at the Doctoral level.

Graduates of MSUD will be well equipped to pursue careers as:​

    • Urban designer practitioners,
    • Urban field executioners at different private and public projects.
    • Urban officials in municipalities, boroughs, townships, and governmental bodies as urban officers, urban officials, and urban managers.
    • A career in academia as instructors and researchers.
    • A career in governmental or private agencies to identify regional and local real estate market conditions, comparable and competitive properties, demographic and psychographic characteristics of populations and prospective customers and tenants for real estate.
    • A career in preparing an urban development program with appropriate land use, tenant mixtures, parking and non-revenue generating elements (civic uses and public space) consistent with local regulations.​


 Graduation Requirements

Graduation Requirements

​The curriculum of the Master of Science in Urban Design is an internationally oriented curriculum and is flexibly designed to serve the locally relevant applied outcomes. The program enables graduates with an interest in urban design to pursue advanced studies through course work and urban design projects.​

To obtain the Master’s of Science in Urban Design, you must complete 42 credit hours of the MSUD Program consisting of: 27 credit hours of core courses, 6 credit hours of Thesis & Project, and 9 credit hours of elective courses.​

Compulsory Courses (Total of 42 Credit ​Hours)


  • MSUD Core Courses: 2​7
  • MSUD Thesis and Project: 6
  • MSUD Elective Courses: 9​

 Fact Sheet




Bachelor GPA
2.75/4 or 3.75/5
Major GPA
2.75/4 or 3.75/5
Very Good
Effat Placement Tests
TOEFL / Linguaskill / IELTS
546 / 169 / 6.0
Definitions & Conversion Charts
Additional Department Requirement
Recommendation Letter
Personal Statement
Contact Information
Program Chair
Tel.+966 122137910


    Our qualifications are recognised globally, so you can study safe in the knowledge that wherever your path may lead, you have the whole wide world to choose from.


    Master of Science in Urban Design Brochure

Effat Alumnae