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The University of Birmingham Dubai has launched a MSc Urban Planning and a MSc Civil Engineering programme, which will start in September 2021. As part of these courses, students will explore Dubai’s proposed expansion under the Dubai 2040 Urban Masterplan, along with the key challenges associated with realising such growth in a sustainable manner.

The core aim of the MSc Urban Planning programme is to train the next generation of urban planners who will need to adopt a multi- and inter-disciplinary approach to address contemporary challenges and solve associated problems faced by urban regions.

Drawing upon the University's world leading expertise in Planning, Environmental Science, Public Health and Critical Urban Studies, the course will provide the necessary understanding, skills and knowledge that planners in government, private enterprises, NGOs and communities will need to provide innovative solutions to complex issues that impact upon a diverse range of stakeholders.

The key areas of understanding and skills that students will develop during the programme include:

·                     Challenges urban areas face in the delivery of sustainable, inclusive and healthy places and what measures can be put in place to mitigate these

·                     Opportunities and threats posed to urban areas by globalising trends, new technologies and the rapid rate of societal change

·                     Impact of urban growth on the natural environment such as atmospheric pollution, water quality, plastic pollution etc, and the various approaches that are under development to mitigate related pressures within this area, as well an understanding of the approaches that urban areas are taking to ensure post-carbon futures

·                     Changing living patterns in urban areas, the role and nature of migration, social polarisation, social disadvantage and spatial fragmentation, and how the needs of diverse communities can be met

These themes will be pursued across all modules and together provide a holistic approach to the challenges of contemporary urban planning. To enable this, a wide range of teaching approaches will be utilised such as lectures, seminars, practitioner talks, site visits, field work and studio work – an emphasis will be placed on teaching that engages with the ‘real world’ as much as possible, utilising Dubai as an urban laboratory. Reflecting this, assessments will be authentic and involve living case studies – this will enhance not only understanding and skills but also employability.

Meanwhile, the Civil Engineering programme is flexible and allows students to study for an MSc degree or enrol for a PG Diploma course which can be upgraded to an MSc degree should the student wish to complete the full programme. Students can tailor their studies to meet the needs of their chosen career path or select professional development (PD) opportunities that will enhance both their technical skills and support their career aspirations. Core modules for the Civil Engineering programme include:

·         Engineering production and risk management in construction

·         Geomechanics

·         Structural engineering

·         Sustainable construction

·         Systems engineering

·         Water engineering and management

The University will be running an online masterclass to support the new MSc Urban Planning programme. The event ‘Planning in the Age of Mega-Cities’ will take place online on Monday 28th June from 7pm - 8pm. Find out more about the event here: Planning in the age of Mega-Cities (

As the first global top 100 and UK Russell Group university to establish a campus in Dubai, Birmingham offers programmes in business, economics, computer science, mechanical engineering, accounting, money banking and finance, psychology and international law and globalisation, as well as teacher training.

Source: Footstep Communications