This MSc programme is centred on furthering the understanding of architecture and urban design in the development of building cities and the social groups that inhabit them. It offers an increase of specialism to those interested in the research and design of the built environment intending to take either an academic pathway or a specific direction within their current professional practice.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2017/18)
- £12,950 (FT) N/A (PT)
- £25,130 (FT) N/A (PT)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.
Normally a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an equivalent overseas qualification in an architectural or urban design related subject is usually required. Consideration will also be given to applicants from other fields, particularly human geography, anthropology and archaeology, and to applicants with degrees of a lower classification if they have considerable senior-level professional experience in the field. For applicants without a first degree or full professional membership, but with relevant and substantial work experience in the field, a special qualifying examination may be set; details are available from the Bartlett's Graduate Faculty Office.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Standard
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
The programme addresses the study of architecture and cities using the theoretical and analytical framework of space syntax as well as wider theoretical and analytical approaches. Students learn to specialise in one of several streams related to contemporary world challenges: architecture and computing, sustainable urbanism, social inclusion and exclusion, informal settlements, spatial cognition, the physical and immaterial dimensions of social networks and design innovation.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of seven core modules (90 credits), one optional module (30 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).
- Design as a Knowledge-Based Process
- Buildings, Organisations and Networks
- Space Syntax Methodology and Analytical Design
- Spatial Cultures
- Architectural Phenomena
- Spatial Justice
- Analytical Design Research Project
- E-Merging Design and Analysis
All MSc students submit a 10,000-word dissertation related to the main themes of the programme, typically involving a directed research project on a building or urban site.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through seminars, lectures, design studios, hands-on computer workshops, a variety of field trips in and around London and an international trip (optional). Assessment is through essays, written and take-home examinations, oral presentations, project reviews, debates, group and individual projects, classroom exercises and the dissertation.
The E-merging analysis and design studio (optional module) is usually accompanied by an international trip.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Graduates of the programme go on to many different career routes: some have progressed to PhD degrees and have obtained academic positions in top universities worldwide, others have found teaching positions on architectural programmes; some go into policy-making activities; and many have ploughed their knowledge back into furthering their architectural/design careers. In the past few years an increasing number of graduates have obtained jobs at Space Syntax Limited.
First destinations of recent graduates include: CABE, Foster and Partners, Aecom, Arup, Qatar Foundation, Cube Design, Portland Design Associates, Levitt Bernstein, Paul Drew Design, Manu Chugh Architects, Buro Happold and Space Lab, as well as various academic or research positions at prestigious international universities or research centres.
This programme enhances students' intellectual and design abilities in the field of urban/architectural theory, architectural/urban morphology and the social aspects of the urban environment. Graduates of this programme can be involved in both professional and academic activities. Graduates who choose to go into practice will have a leading edge in evidence-informed and research-based design. Those who choose an academic path will have the advanced knowledge and skills required for high-level academic positions.
Why study this degree at UCL?
The course provides a unique approach to the study of architecture and cities world-wide equipping students with exceptional theoretical and analytical skills. It is located in UCL Bartlett one of the UK's largest multidisciplinary built environment faculty, bringing together scientific and professional specialisms required to research, understand, design, construct and operate the buildings and urban environments of the future.
The programme is unique in the world in integrating architecture and urbanism, and adopting a user-centred approach. Students receive advanced and exceptional training in theories, data analysis and their creative integration with design thinking.
The degree draws on the rich design industries in London including Space Syntax Ltd and provides networking opportunities to help advance students in their academic and professionals both during and after the programme.
Department: Bartlett School of Architecture
Student / staff numbers › 150 staff › 400 taught students › 100 research students
Research Excellence Framework (REF)
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Bartlett School of Architecture
74% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
Application and next steps
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
Who can apply?
The programme attracts architecture and design students from across the world as well as the UK. The ability to model, analyse and research buildings and urban environments is a sought-after skill in the major architectural practices in the UK and worldwide, improving employment opportunities on graduation.
- 28 July 2017
- 2 September 2017
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Spatial Design: Architecture and Cities at graduate level, and at UCL
- what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
- how you see the proper role of research in design; whether you have experience of using space syntax or other built environment research methodologies
- how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.
- Sally Parekh