Master of Urban Resilience and Renewal


In the 21st century, cities and urban areas are facing increasing challenges associated with flood risk, coastal erosion and sea level rises. In many growing areas these are coupled with challenges of demographic growth and urban spread. While there are many university postgraduate degrees that focus on local planning legislation, there is no identifiable course that focuses specifically on how communities respond to challenges that cities are facing today. This programme will be of interest to students wishing to address broader urban issues and engage with communities.

This new Master of Urban Resilience and Renewal (MURR) will focus on:

  • the urban renewal of Christchurch, a city that faces many of these issues as it recovers from the 2010/11 earthquakes
  • how communities respond to challenges that cities are facing today
  • community engagement with students engaging with community groups and local government not only in the compulsory courses but also through their chosen research project.

Entry requirements

Normally the minimum requirement is a three-year bachelor’s degree from a New Zealand university, or a qualification or combination of qualifications considered to be equivalent. If you gained your qualifications overseas, these will need to be assessed to make sure they are of an equivalent standard. You are also required to meet UC’s English language requirements.

Qualification specific requirements

Every candidate for the degree of Master of Urban Resilience and Renewal shall have:

(a) qualified for a university degree which is relevant to urban resilience and renewal (eg, Geography, Environmental Science, planning, Sociology or any other relevant degree subject to approval of the Programme Director and/or Dean of Science); and

(b) normally at least 90 points in relevant 300-level courses from the schedule to the BSc regulations; with an appropriate grade average (the normal requirement is at least a B grade average); and

(c) been approved as a candidate for the degree by the Dean of Science.

A special application is required for this programme – see 'How to apply' below.

For the full entry requirements see the Regulations for the Master of Urban Renewal and Resilience or use the admission requirements checker.

Qualification structure and duration

The 180-point programme is taught over two 12-week semesters plus a project. Students can study on a full-time or part-time basis. This master's usually takes between 12 and 24 months to complete.

Subjects and courses

Three of the courses are compulsory:

With the remaining 30 points taken from 400-level courses in which the student has specific interests for example, Geography, Environmental Science, Statistics, Transportation Engineering, Water Resource Management, Hazard and Disaster Management

The project GEOG 692 comprises an individual project in the field of Urban Resilience and Renewal carried out by the student under the supervision of one or more staff members. The project will involve the student working with a community partner on a project of direct relevance and real value to that community partner. 

How to apply

Students must apply for admission to the MURR programme. Applications for admission must be received by the Department of Geography on the prescribed form no later than 30 January in the year of desired entry.

Find out more information about how to apply for graduate and postgraduate qualifications.

Further study

The MURR is part of a suite of postgraduate qualifications at UC that deal at the intersection of cutting-edge science and social science, exploring the interactions between physical environments and human responses, with a focus on resilience and environment-society dynamics – see also the Master of Disaster, Risk and Resilience (led by staff from UC Geological Sciences department and Lincoln University).

There are multiple related subject areas available for further study as part of a Doctor of Philosophy (eg, Disaster, Risk and Resilience, Environmental Science, Geography, Water Resource Management).

Career opportunities

The Master of Urban Resilience and Renewal will provide students with the skills, knowledge and competencies to be employed professionally in any organisation involved in urban resilience and renewal. It will enable graduates to seek out a careers in areas such as environmental management, disaster risk reduction, hazard management, environmental consulting, as well as local and regional government.

The project component will provide students with the opportunity to work for a community/organisational partner on a research problem they have helped identify. By partnering with local organisations, graduates will have experience in how to influence , shape and make a significant difference to the communities they live in.

Useful resources:

More information

For full requirements see the Regulations for the Master of Urban Renewal and Resilience.

For study planning help contact the Department of Geography or the College of Science:

College of Science
University of Canterbury
Okeover House
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

Phone +64 3 364 2312
Email collegeofscience@canterbury.ac.nz

Tessa Meyer

Tessa Meyer

'It is inspiring to be working within a niche that is rapidly developing and where new ideas are constantly emerging...'