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Spatial Design: Architecture and Cities MSc

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.

Key Information

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Flexible: 3-5 years

Programme start date

September 2016

Tuition Fees (2016/17)

£12,570 (FT)
£24,400 (FT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 5 October 2015
Close: 29 July 2016
Fees note: Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. The tuition fee schedule for 2016/17 entry can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.

Entry Requirements

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.

International students

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:

Degree Information

The programme addresses the study of architecture and cities using the theoretical and analytical framework of space syntax and wider approaches. Students learn to specialise in one of several streams related to contemporary world challenges: sustainable urbanism, social inclusion and exclusion, informal settlements, architecture and computing, 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 (105 credits), one optional module (15 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).

Core Modules

  • Design as a Knowledge-Based Process
  • Buildings, Organisations and Networks
  • Adaptable Cities
  • 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, hands-on computer workshops and a variety of field trips in and around London. Assessment is through essays, written and take-home examinations, oral presentations, debates, group and individual projects, classroom exercises and the dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure available on the department web site Spatial Design: Architecture and Cities MSc


Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed (where available) below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Bartlett Masters Scholarship

£5,000 (1 year)
UK, EU, Overseas students
Based on financial need

Brown Family Bursary - NOW CLOSED FOR 2015/16 ENTRY

£15,000 (1 year)
UK students
Based on both academic merit and financial need

Henry Herbert Bartlett Travel Scholarship

£400 (1 year)
UK, EU, Overseas students
Based on academic merit

Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners Award

£5,000 (1)
UK, EU, Overseas students

More scholarships are listed on 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.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Urban Designer, Halcron Group (2011)
  • Trainee Architect, Arup (2011)
  • Workplace Consultant, Space Lab (2011)


This programme enhances students' abilities in the field of architectural/urban morphology, spatial analysis, network analysis, urban/architectural theory 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 UCL Bartlett is the UK's largest multi-disciplinary 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.

Student / staff ratios › 150 staff › 400 taught students › 100 research students

Department: Bartlett School of Architecture

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 building and urban environments is a sought-after skill in the major architectural and planning practices and consultancies in the UK and worldwide, improving employment opportunities on graduation.

Application deadlines

All applicants
29 July 2016

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.


  • Register interest in your chosen subjects
  • Receive notice of graduate open days, events and more
Register now

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