Civic Design MPhil/PhD

Major code: ESDP/ESDM


As the world’s first planning school, established 1909, Civic Design offers you quality professional education within a setting renowned for its innovative, influential research and scholarship.

Civic Design is one of the four subject disciplines within the School of Environmental Sciences and specialises in the planning of cities and regions. Our work falls into the following research groups:-

  • Analysis
  • Design
  • Policy formulation
  • Management and governance

Subject Outline

We place a high value on our thriving Postgraduate Research (PGR) and have over 90 active PGR students with ~25 PGR students contributing to the work of our four groups.

You’d be joining a team that has close links with schools across Europe, the Americas and Pacific Asia. We’ve a high profile too, as editors of the international Town Planning Review publication.

Key Facts

RAE 2008
50% of research activity deemed world leading or internationally excellent and a further 35% internationally recognised.

Housed in the Gordon Stephenson Building
The building contains lecture and seminar rooms, as well as a design studio.

Why Civic Design?

World's first planning school

As the world's first planning school we have two main roles: •as a centre of excellence for innovative and influential research and scholarship; and •as a leading provider of high quality professional education.

Excellent academic staff

We have excellent academic staff who are actively engaged with research and professional practice. This is reflected in the fact we edit two international journals: •Town Planning Review •Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management

Research Overview

There is a wide range of research topics that reflects the diverse expertise of academic staff in the School. To find out more about the research topics available, and the ongoing research studentships visit our Postgraduate Research page.

We aim to produce researchers with strong, transferable research skills, who are internationally recognised in their own fields and understand current environmental and academic research problems.

You’ll develop your research skills primarily by completing a project under supervision. These skills include:-

  • data collection
  • manipulation of the data
  • data interpretation and modelling
  • critical analysis
  • literature surveys
  • presentation skills, through international conferences

We’ll also encourage and train you to publish academic papers. It’s not unusual for students to students leave with 2-3 papers published in international peer-reviewed journals.