The Bartlett School of Architecture


Situated Practice MA

This programme teaches the principles and skills of situated practice in relation to conceptual spatial theories in art, architecture, performance, urbanism and writing.

About the programme

Contemporary culture doesn't fit neatly into a box. The overlap between practices, methods and approaches from the fields of architecture, art and design is the fast-evolving terrain of this programme, which examines how architecture cross-pollinates with other creative arts. 

Students learn about spatial theories and practices in art, architecture, performativity, urbanism and writing, develop a robust understanding of research methods in art and design, and design practice-led research and their own site-related projects – from physical installations and digital interventions to site writings. 

Working with practitioners and researchers from The Bartlett School of Architecture, alongside affiliated centres and institutions, this course empowers students to pioneer new forms of hybrid practice between art and architecture. 

Programme highlights

  • Develop a strong understanding of appropriate research methodologies in art and design practice-led research, specifically relating to approaches towards criticality, performativity and textuality
  • Make ‘situated practice’ projects that are site-related – from physical installations to digital interventions and site-writings
  • Deliver high-quality practice-led research to enable you to carry out future doctoral research in the field of situated practice
  • Learn in state-of-the-art facilities at Here East, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and have the opportunity to exhibit your work in London before graduation. 

Key staff

Programme Director: James O'Leary 

James O’Leary and Professor Jane Rendell deliver the core programmes. 

James O’Leary

As part of Kreider + O’Leary, James’ performance, installation and time-based media work has been exhibited in the Tate and the Whitechapel in London and at major events such as Lisbon Architecture Triennale and Istanbul Design Biennial. 

Professor Jane Rendell

Jane introduced the concept of ‘critical spatial practice’ in her 2006 book 'Art and Architecture', and has since been developing practices of ‘site-writing’ from her 2010 book of that name. A student on another programme wrote the following about Rendell’s teaching:

By establishing and encouraging an extremely supportive, warm, and intellectually rigorous atmosphere with regular feedback on individual projects as they developed, Jane enabled us to be playful with our spatial writing, move against conventional boundaries of academic work, and inspire each other to experiment – pushing ourselves in new and unexpected directions.

Leyla Williams, MSc Urban Studies student 2015–2017 

Other visiting tutors and academics drawn from The Bartlett’s internationally renowned teaching and research programmes teach supporting modules, and international practitioners and theorists lead workshops and contribute to roundtables and talks.

Modes and duration 

Full time - 15 months, beginning in October and ending in December the following year
Flexible - two to five years

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class degree from a UK university in an appropriate subject or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. 

Check the complete entry requirements and other key course information via the UCL online prospectus.

Situated Practice encourages applications from creative individuals from across disciplinary boundaries who want to develop a platform to define their own forms of practice. Candidates may be interested in curatorship, public engagement, event design, creative regeneration, participation design and activism, site-writing, filmmaking, information design and new media, publishing, civic media, and the management of associated institutes.  

Affiliated centres and institutions

Our staff are very closely linked to several other groups both within The Bartlett and across UCL, in particular: 

  • The Slade School of Fine Art
  • UCL Urban Laboratory


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