The Bartlett School of Architecture


Architecture & Historic Urban Environments MA

This programme pioneers a fresh and critical approach to architecture and historic urban environments at a world-leading architecture school.

Architecture & Historic Urban Environments postgraduate degree The Bartlett School of Architecture

Preservation, far from safeguarding our built heritage, is having an adverse effect on historic urban environments. This programme pioneers a fresh and critical approach that promotes architectural and artistic interventions which rejuvenate and reinterpret historic environments at all scales, from innovative street furniture to city planning. 

Students examine cities from around the world, beginning with one of the most exciting of all, London. Working alongside historians and researchers from The Survey of London team, students learn the processes of urban surveying, recording, mapping and analysis alongside urban strategies and key issues concerning cultural heritage. 

In tandem with developing a robust theoretical and practical understanding of sites, students have the opportunity to develop their own design practice, thinking creatively about how historic urban environments might thrive, rather than just survive in the future. 

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  • Work with a team of outstanding designers, researchers and historians to develop creative approaches to historic urban environments 
  • Develop a detailed understanding of urban surveying, recording and mapping, informed by field trips to world-renowned sites
  • Exhibit your dissertation or major project as part of the programme's annual exhibition

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Core modules
Optional modules

Key information


Full-time: one year
Flexible: two to five years. 

Entry requirements

A minimum of a second-class UK degree in an appropriate subject or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Candidates who hold either a professional or other qualification, obtained by written examinations and approved by UCL, together with at least three years of appropriate professional experience may also be admitted.

A design/creative portfolio is also expected. Applicants will be asked to submit a portfolio of their design work once their completed application has been received, and should not send or upload work until it has been requested.

Application deadline

Applications open for this programme on 15 October 2018 and close on 26 July 2019 for 2019 entry.

We strongly advise early application, as our programmes are over subscribed and competition is high. 

Fees and funding

  • Tuition fee information can be found on the UCL Graduate Prospectus.
  • For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding section of the UCL website.


Dr Edward Denison, Programme Director

Dr Edward Denison is a Lecturer at The Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL), where he is also Director of the MA Architecture and Historic Urban Environments. His research focuses on modernism and non-western experiences of architectural modernity. Over the past two decades he has worked on a variety of research and heritage projects in different global contexts, including Asia, Africa and Europe. In 2012, his PhD on modernism in China received a Commendation in the RIBA President’s Award for Outstanding PhD Thesis and in 2016 he won the RIBA President’s Medal for Research for his work on the UNESCO World Heritage Nomination of Asmara, the modernist capital of Eritrea.

His publications include Architecture and the Landscape of Modernity in China before 1949 (Routledge, 2017); Ultra-Modernism – Architecture and Modernity in Manchuria (HKUP, 2017); Luke Him Sau, Architect: China’s Missing Modern (Wiley, 2014); The Life of the British Home – An Architectural History(Wiley, 2012); McMorran & Whitby (RIBA, 2009); Modernism in China: Architectural Visions and Revolutions (Wiley, 2008); Building Shanghai: The Story of China’s Gateway (Wiley, 2006); and Asmara – Africa’s Secret Modernist City (Merrell, 2003).

Bill Hodgson, Departmental Tutor

Bill Hodgson

Professor Murray Fraser

Murray Fraser is Professor of Architecture and Global Culture, as well as Vice-Dean of Research, at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London (UCL). He has published extensively on design research, architectural history & theory, urbanism, post-colonialism and cultural studies. As part of his Bartlett teaching work, he founded the MA Architecture and Historic Urban Environments course.

In 2008, his book on Architecture and the 'Special Relationship' (Routledge) won the RIBA President’s Research Award and also the CICA’s Bruno Zevi Book Prize. Edited books include Architecture and Globalisation in the Persian Gulf Region and Design Research in Architecture (both Ashgate, 2013). Previously he co-created the online Archigram Archival Project, shortlisted for the 2010 RIBA Research Awards, and was awarded a Commendation in the 2016 RIBA Research Awards for his design work with the Palestine Regeneration Team (PART).

He is currently General Editor for the fully rewritten 21st edition of Sir Banister Fletcher’s Global History of Architecture (Bloomsbury, forthcoming in 2018), as well as Editor-in-Chief of the ARENA Journal of Architectural Research (AJAR).

Dr Eva Branscome

Eva Branscome is an Austrian-American architectural historian and writer based in London. Her accomplishments in protecting the architectural heritage of the recent past, when working for the Twentieth Century Society, led to the inclusion of more than 50 post-war buildings on the statutory list of historic buildings in England and Scotland (including the US Embassy, Barbican Estate, Lloyds Building, and University of East Anglia).

Her doctorate at the Bartlett School of Architecture, which was supervised by Professor Adrian Forty, involved a rethinking of Postmodernism through the work of the celebrated Austrian architect, Hans Hollein. On completing her thesis, she was awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship by the Gerda Henkel Foundation to research into the Museum Abteiberg in Mönchengladbach, a building that was widely regarded as Hollein’s masterpiece when it opened in the early-1980s.

Eva has taught at University College London since 2012, both in the Bartlett and in the History of Art Department. She has published many essays on the history of modern architecture, and her book on Hans Hollein and Postmodernism: Art and Architecture on Austria, 1958-1985, which is based upon her PhD thesis, will be published by Routledge in late-2017.

Hannah Corlett

Hannah Corlett is co-founder and director of ASSEMBLAGE, a London-based studio of architects and urban designers. Key projects by the studio include winning schemes in the international competitions for the $1bn Iraqi parliament complex and 50-hectare masterplan and the UN-HABITAT (United Nations Agency for Human Settlements) fully integrated, economic housing settlements in Iraq. Currently ASSEMBLAGE is leading the new design district at the heart of the Greenwich Peninsula Masterplan.

Prior to leading design at MA-AHUE this Hannah led a Masters Unit in Urban Design at The Bartlett undertaking long-term research of the challenges of global urbanisation, specialising in non-regulated housing settlements. Prior to ASSEMBLAGE, Corlett worked with Niall McLaughlin and Will Alsop and studied at the The Bartlett and Winchester School of Art. Corlett was Highly Commended at the International Women in Architecture Awards in 2014 and is a member of the academic steering committee for CLOUD (Centre for London Urban Design Research).

Peter Guillery, the Survey of London Team

Peter Guillery is an architectural historian and editor for the Survey of London, the topographical series founded in 1894 that is now part of The Bartlett School of Architecture. His work for the Survey of London has covered areas ranging from Marylebone, to Clerkenwell, Whitechapel, Woolwich and the Isle of Dogs. Away from the Survey his publications include The Small House in Eighteenth-Century London (2004), Behind the Façade, London House Plans 1660-1840 (2006, with Neil Burton) and, as editor, Built from Below: British Architecture and the Vernacular (2011) and Mobilising Housing Histories: Learning from London’s Past (2017, with David Kroll). He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and serves on the editorial committees of the London Journal, the London Topographical Society and the Georgian Group.

A broad spectrum of other senior staff from The Bartlett School of Architecture will give lectures and seminars during the course, as well as distinguished visiting lecturers.


The Bartlett School of Architecture is one of the world's top-ranked architecture schools and our graduates enjoy excellent employment opportunities.


Programme Director: Edward Denison
Admissions enquiries: Thea Heintz


architecture history urbanism