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The Bartlett School of Architecture

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MA Architectural History

The first MA of its kind, Architectural History at The Bartlett enjoys a leading reputation for the intensive historical, theoretical and critical study of architecture.

About the course

Established in 1981, MA Architectural History at The Bartlett is the UK’s longest established course in the historical, theoretical and critical interpretation of architecture, cities, urban spaces, creative practices and of their representations.

Over the past 30 years, the course has been developed to prioritise the exploration of new and existing methodologies and critical theories as they might be applied to the study of architecture and cities.

Rather than dealing with architecture exclusively through the work of famous individuals, landmark buildings, stylistic classification or normative categories, the course locates architecture within social, ideological, creative, political, material and technological, theoretical and urban processes. 

On this course you will:

  • examine architecture and cities from early-modern to contemporary contexts
  • develop a deep architectural knowledge, and learn to critically interpret buildings, texts, architects, urban spaces and cities, as well as other representations and creative practices
  • work with some of the world’s most respected historians and theorists of architecture, who are producing both substantial scholarly work and highly innovative research
  • refine your historical and critical research skills to pursue a successful academic or professional career
  • be part of a world-leading centre for architectural teaching, The Bartlett School of Architecture, and research in one of the most dynamic cities in the world
This course teaches you a way of thinking about architecture and the built landscape. It teaches you to question… not just to confront questions and buildings, but to look at them from other angles.

Tom Dyckhoff, writer, broadcaster and historian
MA Architectural History alumnus

For more information, including entry requirements, contact details and how to apply, visit our UCL online prospectus page


Key staff

Programme Director

Professor Peg Rawes: m.rawes@ucl.ac.uk 


Alumni Testimonials

In the most serious sense this Masters allowed me to see, listen, speak and write architecture.

Dr Nick Beech, Lecturer in the History of London, Queen Mary University
MA Architectural History alumnus

Studying Architectural History at The Bartlett didn’t teach me what such-and-such architect was building in 1867 and 1868, or whether rococo followed mannerism or vice-versa. You learn that along the way, and, in any case, that’s what books and archives are for. No, instead, what is so inspirational and what was so pioneering about the course is that it teaches you a way of thinking about architecture and the built landscape.

Tom Dyckhoff, writer, historian and broadcaster
MA Architectural History alumnus

As an architectural journalist and researcher, I use the skills I learned on the MA Architectural History course on a daily basis. The course challenged me to develop intellectually, understand theory and have a far greater knowledge of architecture and cities subject matter – I am better able to contextualise buildings, notice trends and vary my writing towards different audiences.

 Isabelle Priest, writer, journalist and RIBA Journal Assistant Editor
MA Architectural History alumna

Being enrolled on the MA Architectural History programme has been one of my best educational experiences. Interdisciplinary approaches and critical writing were the two most significant abilities that I picked up during my coursework, and have reshaped the way I see the built environment today.

Ishita U. Shah
MA Architectural History alumna 

architecture history