BSc in Urban Planning and Architectural Design

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The quality of urban life is not measured by the scale of monuments, shopping malls, highways, or top-down regulated activities, but by creating an environment that is liveable, vibrant, and sustainable. In our Bachelor programme, Urban Planning and Architecture are taught equally. The programme alternates between large scale and detail, between abstract and concrete, between theory and practice. Both disciplines, Urban Planning and Architecture, are contextual. Not only the use of a structure, but its context (e.g., landscape, infrastructure, social needs) determines the design. The question of the house of the future is closely connected with the question of the city of the future. Both questions need to be addressed from social, spatial, ecological, and economic perspectives.

The Bachelor of Science in Urban Planning and Architectural Design provides an application-oriented education that qualifies graduates for various professions in the private and public sectors. Urban planners and architects work in many different fields and play a major role in shaping our social lives with regards to the built environment. The focus of later professional work is on all scales of tasks of planning and building: in administrative and institutional sections of municipal, administrative, and government organisations, as well as in private sector design and construction consultancies.

Graduates are well prepared to work in the local industry, mainly because of the many practice-relevant courses and the mandatory six-week internship in the last study year. In seminars, they learn academic research methods, and excellent students are participating in research projects in the department, e.g., the Eco House project, in which two graduates worked full-time for two years; the world’s first and largest concrete 3D printed house, which was designed and developed by a group of GUtech graduates; the WOW (Where Oman Walks) research initiative, in which students along with faculty members have designed different urban spaces to promote walkability in Oman, as well as the HOPE 2023 (Housing, People, and the Environment) event, which was organised by a group of graduates along with faculty members in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and took place at the National Museum in Muscat. Graduates are also taking part in design and urban development projects, e.g., Sultan Haitham City, in which a group of graduates were involved in the design and development of Oman’s future smart sustainable city; Maritime History Museum Project in Sur (Bilarab Bin Haitham Award for Architectural Design Competition), in which a couple of UPAD graduates were in the top ten shortlist, and one of their designs was chosen to be built.

Students are well prepared to pursue an academic career, and several graduates have gone on to MSc programmes abroad in Germany, the UK, the US, and at GUtech.

The generic attributes and skills that graduates are expected to develop during their undergraduate studies are:

  • Ethics: The graduates have developed awareness and a holistic understanding of their role as responsible citizens in an increasingly globalised context.
  • Critical thinking and problem solving: The graduates are able to engage in real-world problems in a theoretically informed, rigorous, and questioning manner. They are able to devise solutions, select the most appropriate one, implement it, and reflect on its performance.
  • Creative thinking: The graduates are able to think laterally and develop creative ideas.
  • Individual and teamwork: The graduates have the capability to work effectively alone or in a team, to be self-directed, and to show independent judgement and leadership skills.
  • Communication: The graduates are effective communicators, using oral, written, and electronic communication skills. They can interact confidently in a variety of settings with a range of people from both genders, both individually and in team situations, from peers to the wider community.
  • Life-long-learning: The graduates appreciate that learning is continuous and have the ability to continue learning throughout life. They have developed a variety of approaches to learning, including self-directed, collaborative, and self-reflective processes.

Graduates from the BSc in Urban Planning and Architectural Design will also have developed the following programme-specific attributes and skills:

  • Scientific-theoretical and analytical skills: Graduates have developed scientific and analytical skills, especially through the modules of history and theory, sociology, economy, law, planning, and construction. The students need to acquire these skills to analyse specific situations.
  • Method-based and problem-solving approach: Design exercises within the modules enable graduates to take a targeted approach to problem solving in their work. Depending on the exercise, the students learn different methodologies that can be applied to various design tasks.
  • Interdisciplinary and integral thinking: Graduates have learned to think in an interdisciplinary way in order to tackle diverse problems and solve them. The approach of integral thinking is taught especially in project-based courses where many topics and influences come together.
  • Creative experience: Graduates have gained creative experience throughout the entire programme particularly in project-based assignments. This safeguards their own creative development in various contexts.
  • Practical experience: Graduates are expected to gain practical experience by completing their internship during their time of study. This experience helps the students to understand the real-world application of their acquired skills.
  • Communication skills: Graduates have developed communication skills during their work with other students and teachers as well as during the oral presentations of their project-based courses.
  • Computer literacy: Graduates have experience using computers as well as a good understanding of essential software used in urban and architectural designs and planning (AutoCAD, ArchiCAD, GIS, Adobe Suite, etc.).

Contact Us

+(968) 2206 1111 – 2206 1112




The BSc UPAD programme is taught as a full-time programme. The duration of the programme is eight semesters/four years. The programme is aligned with the programme structures introduced in Europe after the Bologna reform.
The courses are differentiated in three categories: design, knowledge, and communication. The design studios focus on training in a design-based approach to problem-solving in urban and architectural fields. Students are assisted to develop their own ideas for given tasks and thus experience how, with growing complexity over the years, a design project is produced from analysis all the way to presentation.
In the first year, courses concentrate on basic knowledge in urban planning and architecture, and an introduction to project design. Courses in visual communication are taught over the first two years, providing the students with the necessary tools to learn to express themselves graphically.
In the second year, students are introduced to courses in building technology that have a higher level of technical difficulty. Core urban design courses run parallel to building technology courses and provide the foundation for integrated projects in ‘City + Landscape’ and ‘Building + Construction’, respectively.
The third year focuses on the application of specific knowledge (e.g., economics, planning law). The knowledge that was acquired in recent courses is then implemented, especially in the design project work.
In the fourth year, students are allowed to specialise in either Urban Planning or Architecture. This is done through elective courses; each student must complete two elective courses in either field. Furthermore, the integrated project must be done with a focus on either urban planning or architecture, depending on the specialisation of the electives. An internship must be completed before the start of the Bachelor Thesis which provides practical training for the students. In the last semester, students must complete their Bachelor Thesis, with which they are assisted by weekly consultations by a professor.
The degree programme is taught in English, including written test seminars, oral presentations, consultations and exercises, and the Bachelor thesis.

Academic Entry Requirements

For more information or any further assistance regarding programme or admission.

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