The National University of Singapore (NUS) Master of Arts in Urban Design (MAUD) was established in 1998 as the first-of-its-kind programme in Asia. Since then, NUS has been leading the urban design education in this region.

In response to today’s fast-changing and increasingly complex urban realities, the MAUD programme has been recently refreshed to better provide students with a highly interdisciplinary curriculum, tapping into the experience of Singapore and other Asian cities, as laboratories for design innovation and excellence.

The MAUD programme is uniquely positioned to leverage not only Singapore’s experiences, but also its role as a global city and key urban hub in the region and around the world.

Students will gain in-depth learning through the programme’s focus on several key areas: 1) high-density urban environment and its physical structures and social conditions; 2) technological advancement and data-augmented design; 3) social engagement and community development; as well as 4) systems thinking and collaboration in design. Students will also get to participate in overseas field trips, internship attachments, and research activities to enrich their learning and broaden their exposure.

In the past two decades, the programme has cultivated numerous leading urban designers in Asia and beyond with strategic visions and creative thinking skills. Its graduates are equipped with cutting-edge knowledge, social responsibility, entrepreneurial spirit, and all the necessary skills to advance the urban design profession in a rapidly urbanising world.

Why This Programme?

  • Join a university that is ranked among the top in the world for Architecture & Built Environment1.

  • Gain a global perspective on Asian urban challenges (through a faculty of international experts) in a unique locale: Singapore, a laboratory for high-density urbanism and birthplace of innovative urban design ideas.

  • Become a future-ready, multidisciplinary urban designer who is well-versed in a wide range of issues, possessed of perspectives from varsity-industry-government partnerships, and equipped with leadership skills.

1  QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021


Application PeriodAn Academic Year (AY) at NUS consists of two semesters and a special term (which occurs during the Semester 2 Vacation, and is divided into two parts of six weeks duration each):

  • Semester 1: Aug–Dec
  • Semester 2: Jan–May
  • Special Term (Part 1): May–Jun
  • Special Term (Part 2): Jun–Jul

Note: On occasion, classes may be held in Special Term (Part 1) for the MAUD programme; classes will not be held in Special Term (Part 2).

For the MAUD programme, there is one application period for each AY:

Programme Intake Application Dates
MAUD Semester 1
(Aug Intake)
15 Nov of the year preceding the intake year to 15 Jan of the intake year


Admission to the NUS MAUD programme is granted on a competitive basis as places in the programme are limited. Applicants should possess the following minimum requirements:


Bachelor’s Degree in built-environment disciplines (architecture, urban or spatial planning, landscape architecture, environmental design), or other related disciplines (e.g. real estate, transport planning, building environment, project management, human geography)


Professional experience relevant to urban design preferred

English Language

Applicants whose native tongue and medium of university instruction is not completely in English:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) minimum score of 92 (Internet-based), or
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) minimum Academic score of 6.5

Note: TOEFL / IELTS scores are valid for two years from the test date and should not have expired at point of application. Expired scores will not be considered for the application.


Not applicable

Note: Applicants are expected to submit a design portfolio to showcase excellence in built-environment design and placemaking. Please see application information for additional details here.


The NUS MAUD programme is offered on the following basis (with estimated time to complete the programme indicated below):

 Full-time  12 months 
 Part-time  24 months

Note: International applicants must be accepted into an approved full-time course in Singapore to apply for a Student’s Pass. Part-time courses and courses conducted in the evening or on weekends are not eligible. For more information, refer to the Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) website.


The MAUD is a 44-modular credit (MC) coursework-based Master’s Degree programme comprising:

  • Core/essential modules (36 MCs), and
  • Elective modules or Dissertation (8 MCs).
Core/Essential Modules

MAUD modules are designed to strike a balance between design studio and different aspects of urban design in terms of content, and between project-based and discussion-based learning in terms of pedagogy. Many modules are shared with other programmes to provide students with an opportunity to work across disciplinary boundaries, socially negotiating knowledge with different peers.

View Modules

Module Code Module Title MCs
UD5221 Urban Design Theory and Discourse 4
Urban Design Studio 1
Urban Design Studio 2*
UD5622 Framework of Urban Design and Analysis  4
UD5625 Methods and Tools for Urban Design  4
UD5626 Urban Economics  4
UD5628 Critiques of Contemporary Urban Design  

* A field trip, usually associated with Urban Design Studio 2, takes students to cities within or beyond the region for seven to ten days, learning about urban design practices in local contexts. Students will be able to interact with scholars, practitioners and government officers to gain insights into practice, and to explore cities to observe and experience urbans spaces.

Elective/Dissertation Modules

Students may choose to complete 8MCs by either taking up two Elective Modules* or a Dissertation. 

View Modules

Module Code Module Title MCs
UD5641 Urban Design Dissertation 8

* Students may choose their electives from a list of pre-approved modules released by the Programme Director at the start of each semester. Students who wish to choose their electives from modules not in this list must obtain approval from the Programme Director.

For more details about the modules and a study schedule, please click here.

Note: For more information about the modules listed above (as well as other modules offered in the current academic year), please visit NUSMODS.


To graduate from the NUS MAUD programme, students must meet the following requirements:

Programme and/or Specialisation

Read and pass a total of 44 MCs, comprising:

  • 36 MCs of core/essential modules, and
  • 8 MCs of elective modules or dissertation
Module and/or Qualification

Not applicable

Cumulative Average Point (CAP) 

Minimum 3.0 (out of maximum of 5.0)

Please see also the University’s minimum standards for Continuation and Graduation Requirements; specific programmes may implement stricter or additional requirements.


Not applicable


Kindly note that all fees for the NUS MAUD programme quoted on this page are exclusive of prevailing GST, unless otherwise stated. The University reserves all rights to review fees as necessary and adjust accordingly without prior notice.


S$38,317.76 (excluding GST) /
S$41,000.00 (including GST)

Financial Assistance

Students in this programme have in the past been eligible for, or received funding support from:

Cheong Koon Hean Scholarship (Singapore Citizens)

For more about loans and other financial assistance, please refer to the NUS Office of Admissions.


S$150 (inclusive of GST)

• Non-refundable and non-transferable


S$10,000 (excluding GST)

• Payable upon acceptance of offer
• Non-refundable and non-transferable
• Will be credited towards tuition fees

Miscellaneous Student Fees

As published by NUS Registrar’s Office

• Payable every regular semester

Programme at a Glance*

Upcoming Webinar(s):

Watch this space for updates!

Updating soon!

Next Intake:

Application Period:

15 Nov 2021–15 Jan 2022*

Apply now!


* Prospective students are strongly advised to complete the application and upload all necessary documents by 15 Dec 2021 in order to be notified of the application outcome earlier

* For full details, please refer to main write-up.

Related Content

• Faculty Profiles

• PDF Brochure

Similar Programmes

• Master of Arts in Architectural Conservation

• Master of Landscape Architecture

• Master of Science in Building Performance and Sustainability

• Master of Science in Integrated Sustainable Design


For Frequently Asked Questions relevant to Design and Environment programmes, please click here.

For more Frequently Asked Questions, click here.

For enquiries, please email us at pgc@nus.edu.sg.

15 November 2021