The TUI teaching team draws from a range of disciplinary backgrounds, including planning, urban design, geography, economics, sociology and other social sciences. Teaching is research-led and informed by knowledge of pressing contemporary social and political issues and international case studies. Highly interactive and innovative teaching methods are employed to facilitate independent and group study and analytical skills, supported by easy access to staff and excellent resources and facilities.

The team has close links with practice, and practitioners are regularly invited as guest lecturers in most courses. Some programmes are accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute or the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

The Institute also supports the student-run Geography Society of Heriot-Watt University.


The Urban Institute provides an undergraduate degree in Urban Planning and Property Development which is accredited by the RTPI. More recently we have established two rapidly growing Geography programmes, run jointly with the University’s Lyell Centre, one which is oriented towards physical geography and the other towards human geography.


Our post-graduate offerings include an MSc in Spatial Planning and Real Estate Development (accredited by RTPI and RICS) and MSc in Real Estate (accredited by RICS).

We also offer an MSc in Urban Strategies and Design run jointly with the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.