Back to all Personal Statements

Urban Design Personal Statement

Sample Urban Design Personal Statement

Working closely with a leading landscape designer in my native China convinced me that I wish to become a designer of urban spaces. I wish that as many people as possible may benefit from my work so my ambition is to become involved in the design and planning of major city centres with an eye to preserving old areas of cities for posterity. The MA in Urban Design is the logical next step to fulfilling my ambition, as it will equip me with the requisite knowledge and practical experience to realise my goal.

To prepare myself for the MA, I am currently studying a Pre-Masters course in Architecture at the Cambridge School of Visual and Performing Arts, where I am receiving a strong grounding in British architectural practice and developing my draughtsmanship. The course has taught me how to take into consideration the relationship between buildings so as to make sure that they form an integrated whole.

To ensure I was prepared for the legal and social aspects of the MA, the year before, I took a Pre-Masters course in Business, Social Sciences and Law at Glasgow International College. The Social Sciences part of the course especially impressed upon me the importance of being sympathetic to the needs of every section of society that may use the urban space. In my native China, I have seen how old public spaces have been swept away in the name of urban regeneration and how this has had a negative effect on some sections of the community. I look forward to studying this issue further in the Urban Regeneration module of the degree.

Before I came to the UK, I completed a degree in Interior and Landscape Design in Shanghai, where I was elected one of the outstanding students for two consecutive years. I learned the fundamentals of design from some of the leading teachers in China and my hard work was recognised when I was chosen to be a ‘squad leader’ responsible for various administrative duties and for organising events between different classes and departments. From these experiences, I learned effective time management and further developed my organisational and leadership skills, qualities that should be of great use when I come to plan projects in the degree and in my career.

Alongside my degree, to gain practical experience of urban design, I worked for a year as an assistant designer with EADG, a top Chinese urban landscape design firm, on a landscape design project for the Shanghai Suzhou river as part of the Shanghai World Expo. On the project, I worked closely with members of the engineering department to help design residential spaces along the river. I gained valuable exposure to the day-to-day reality of my chosen profession, which only strengthened my desire to become an urban planner and designer.

After I completed my degree, I spent a year as a designer for the Wuxi Landscape Design Institute, a Chinese landscape design specialist, where I led the design of a number of residential landscape projects and helped create some of the advertising for the company. The work improved my draughtsmanship immeasurably and provided me with ample practice of leading projects, which should be great preparation for the independent research project at the end of the Masters.

Outside of the classroom, on the degree, I hope to collaborate with fellow students on local design projects. For I wish to learn and benefit from my contemporaries as well as from the world-class teachers on the course, and at the same time I wish to build strong relations with other students in order to create a mutually supportive study environment. I should also like to volunteer in the local community, helping to design spaces in schools or local parks, since I want my work and study to be of benefit to the public.

I am committed to taking advantage of every opportunity on the Masters to exercise my design and planning skills, inside and outside the classroom, for the sake of my ambition and for my parents who did not have the chance to attend a British university.

This sample Urban Design personal statement is here to provide guidance for those looking for help with writing a personal statement of their own.