Architecture MArch at The Bartlett has an international reputation for encouraging a rigorous professional approach to architecture within a highly creative context.
One of the leading Part 2 architecture programmes in the UK, this degree allows students to develop a position of deep understanding about what architecture is and what it could be. Students strengthen their core skills in design, technology, history and theory, and professional studies, working closely with world-class tutors, academics and practitioners.
Unique to The Bartlett School of Architecture, half of the programme is delivered through design modules or groups, known as design units, which run throughout both years. Although distinct from one another, our units deliver a common set of principles with the support of a dedicated practice-based tutor.
Architecture MArch students benefit not only from the unique teaching style and structure at The Bartlett, but also from unrivalled industry networking opportunities, including the largest architecture graduate showcase in the UK, The Bartlett Summer Show.
- Work with world-class tutors, both academic experts and practising architects
- Take speculative risks with your projects and test the boundaries of how architecture is defined
- Learn, practise and research within a design unit, with the dedicated support and expertise of a practice-based tutor
- Enjoy the school’s unrivalled reputation and networking opportunities and exhibit in the annual Bartlett Summer Show
“The unit system allows close connections to form whilst still maintaining an open and friendly feeling within the programme.
Sam Coulton, Architecture MArch graduate, 2018
I wanted to study Architecture at The Bartlett, because their programmes seemed to open doors to more than one profession. The school is extremely good at supporting and developing the wildest interests of its students, which makes the environment exciting and stimulating.
“This programme at The Bartlett encouraged me to be explorative and define my own intellectual position in relation to my work. I intend to take these ideas forward in the future when I begin to practice architecture professionally.
Sonia Magdziarz, Architecture MArch graduate, 2018
- Advanced Architectural Design 1 (60 credits)
Working within a Design Unit, students experiment with different approaches to design and representation and develop a conceptual and critical approach towards the aesthetic, functional and programmatic dimensions of their projects. Students build on the momentum they have gained from practice on their year (or two years) out.
They develop and resolve an inventive and authoritative architectural proposition, leading to a sophisticated building design, which responds to site, content and brief and critically examines the project’s historic, urban and social context.
Whilst developing their proposals, students are encouraged to identify areas of research that they will develop further in their final year 5.
- History and Theory of Architecture (30 credits)
Coordinator: Dr Brent Carnell
Guided by thematic seminar groups and their tutor’s research expertise, students develop critical awareness of the role of history, theory and criticism in architectural discourse. Students use independent learning and research to complete a substantial essay on a topic of their choice.
- Design Realisation (30 credits)
This module encourages students to consider how buildings are designed, constructed and delivered. Students reflect on the relationship between building design and technology, the environment and the profession through an iterative critical examination of their major building design project developed within their Design Unit. Each unit has a dedicated practiced-based tutor, whose support is fully integrated in the operations of the unit for the majority of the year.
- Advanced Architectural Design 2 (75 credits)
Year 5 is understood as the school's pinnacle in research based architectural education. Underpinned by the comprehensiveness of year 4, this module offers students an entire academic year to develop a complex spatial design proposition in synthesis with their Thesis dissertation.
Working within their Design Unit, students develop an advanced architectural proposition that is driven by rigour, freedom and excellence. Students are encouraged to take speculative risks with their projects in order to test the boundaries of how architecture is defined, understood, practiced and researched. Final projects take many forms, including drawings, models, films, prototypes, digital artefacts or systems, performances or interdisciplinary collaborations.
- Thesis (45 credits)
Students research a specific area of architectural interest that informs their design research, resulting in a thesis. This module supports the development of different research approaches through which students undertake their study, including: humanities-based critical and historical analysis, empirical data collection and analysis, social science methodologies, iterative design research, and technical/scientific applications.
This programme is taught full-time over a period of two academic years.
A minimum of an upper second-class degree in architecture from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Corporate membership of the following UK professional institutions: Architects Registration Board (ARB); the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) would also meet the requirement.
Once your application has been received, you will be asked to submit a portfolio of your design work. Please do not send or upload your work until it has been requested.
Although it is not a requirement, professional work experience taken after completing your undergraduate degree is also expected.
Application guidance for 2022 entry
Applicants can only apply for a maximum of two postgraduate degree programmes at The Bartlett School of Architecture.
Applications for 2022 entry will open on 18 October 2021 and close on 25 February 2022. We strongly advise early application, as our programmes are over subscribed and competition is high.
It is not possible to defer an offer. If you wish to be considered for the following year then you must reapply in the next admissions cycle.
Tier 4 Student visa holders
Tier 4 Student visa holders are required to meet the English language proficiency of their offer before Friday 24 June 2022, in order to allow sufficient time to obtain a CAS number and visa.
Accepting your offer
To accept your offer, you must pay the non-refundable fee deposit of £2,000 and decline any other offers for programmes at The Bartlett School of Architecture. If you do not respond within the given time indicated on your UCL offer letter, then your offer will be withdrawn.
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.
- Programme Directors
- Departmental tutor
- Kostas Grigoriadis
- Advanced Architectural Studies (History and Theory)
- Brent Carnell (Module coordinator)
- Design Realisation (Technology and Professional Studies)
- Thesis tutors
Architecture MArch is accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Architects Registration Board (ARB). Students who successfully complete it are exempted from Part 2 of the ARB/RIBA examinations.
The school’s graduates have an excellent record of employment and destinations vary from internationally renowned offices to small-scale specialist practices. Other career destinations include film-making, website design and furniture design.
- Programme Directors: Julia Backhaus and Marjan Colletti
- Postgraduate admissions: Ian Lewis
- Postgraduate admission tutors: Prof CJ Lim and Dr Shaun Murray
- Programme administrators: Kelly Van Hecke
Please find summaries of the briefs our design units will be working to in 2021-22 below, alongside links to unit blogs and social channels. Current Architecture MArch students will receive full briefs at the start of term via Moodle.
Idiosyncrasy in architecture and urbanism takes on many forms, and has indirectly and sometimes directly influenced our fascinations for spatial innovations. However, such values are met either with incredulous admiration or lofty condescension, as buildings of the past decade have shifted away from celebrating creative diversity and nuances.
Just as science fiction can only be a doppelgänger for the present, this year PG10 will develop idiosyncratic projects that fly in the face of reason: modern-day wunderkammern, crammed with randomly juxtaposed curiosity with varying degrees of validity, which embrace community, heritage and faith, including reinvigorating nature and all things impermanent.
Whether by bold environmental gestures or by subtle entrepreneurial spirit, our love affair with the city and its architecture is constantly re-written to build a fundamentally different idea of society at different times and places. There is always empathy within the built environment from the acceptance of idiosyncrasy.
Image: 'The Perfect Storm: A Brave New World for Old Blighty' by Billie Jordan, Architecture MArch, PG10
- The Progress Paradox
PG11 continues to challenge the paradoxes of preservation versus progress and wilderness versus culture. This year, the unit examines radical and even revolutionary ideas that stitch together the past, present and future, and expose the cultural and political complexity of the built environment. In a world more dangerous, yet open to opportunity than any other time, these notions are also affected by ‘the progress paradox’ – the more forward progress is made, the more problems are created.
Taking inspiration from two cultural scenarios – one temporal and short-lived (The Revolutionary Calendar) and one spatial and enduring (National Parks) – students will scrutinise the underlying processes that affect our built and natural environment, our societal institutions and the fascinating consequence of adapting the cultural imaginary. PG11 invites speculative architectural proposals that consider the transformative power of architecture and its ecological intersections.
Image: ‘The Parliament of Plants’. An urban environment where the wisdom of plants is highly valued for their knowledge of social and economic biotopes, as well as their deep understanding of natural processes. Woody, leafy, and flowering beings form here an hegemonic green democracy. © Studio Céline Baumann
- Architect as Storyteller: Forest City
We expect a story to be written in words, but it can also be delineated in drawing, cast in concrete, or seeded in soil. Such tales have special significance when they resonate back-and-forth between private inspiration and public narrative. This year, PG12 will conceive of the architect as a storyteller, placing architecture at the centre of cultural production, stimulating ideas, strategies, and emotions that inform individuals and societies. Exceptional architects are exceptional storytellers.
The city is a place of nature and growth. The forest connects air to earth, climate to geology. Students may design the Forest City literally and allegorically. The forest journey is a metaphor of the imagination. Their architectures will be founded on the stories they tell and the architectural languages developed. A city analogous to a forest will require constant re-evaluation, encouraging creative relations between objects, spaces and occupants at varied dimensions, scales, and times.
Image: 'Carnnivalesque Procession as Counterculture' by Arinjoy Sen, Architecture MArch, PG12, Y5
- A Festival of the Mundane
During his lifetime, the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer completed around 50 paintings, of which 35 survive today. Most of his paintings depict domestic scenes and remarkably 19 were painted in the same room, often showing the same people doing ordinary things. But looking closer, each element has been carefully chosen, playing a predetermined part in an everyday story. The real subjects of Vermeer’s paintings are not the characters featured; it is the everyday space, the light, the materiality.
This year PG13 will explore the everyday, looking in detail at how we live together and inhabit space, and the routines informing architectures. The everyday need not be boring; students will work to elevate it to greatness using imagination and innovation.
The unit invites students to embark on a journey into the ordinary to find the extraordinary in the everyday.
Image: Stills from Koolhaas’ Houselife, Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoîne, 2008
- Spatial Tectonic
This year, PG14 will investigate the concept of ‘spatial tectonic’ – a term aiming to describe architectural space as a result of the highest degree of synthesis of all underlying principles.
Constructional logic, spatial innovation, typological organisation, environmental and structural performance are all negotiated in a highly iterative process driven by intense architectural investigation. These inherent principles of organisational intelligence can be observed in both biotic and abiotic systems, in all spatial arrangements where it is critical for the overall performance of any developed order, ultimately suggesting that the arrangement of constituents provides intelligence as well as advantage to whole.
Through the deep understanding of architectural ingredients, students will generate highly developed architectural systems of unencountered intensity where spatial organisation arises as a result of sets of mutual interactions. Such interactions are understood through targeted iterations of spatial models, uncovering logical links while generating ambitious and speculative arrangements.
Image: 'Ville 5' by Sparth, 2015
- Forms of Collision Where the Earth Meets the Sky
PG16 explores an architecture that re-emphasises the need for us to physically engage with and relate to the environments we choose to inhabit. This year the unit continues its explorations of the meaning of matter by engaging with the ground (the ‘Critical Zone’) and architecture’s inherent relationship to it in three ways.
First: as geology, to appreciate how deep-time has formed the materials that give character to the places we live in, as well as providing evidence of the way ecologies are changing in the face of climate change. Second: to understand architecture as primarily a material interference in the ground, and subsequently to seek to justify this interference as a means to reconnect us physically to the places we inhabit; and third, as tenure, to question how centuries-old forms of land ownership can inform contemporary, sustainable forms of habitation.
Image: ‘The Earthen Land Registry’ by Dan Pope, Architecture MArch, PG16, Year 5, 2021
Architecture is the product of interrelations. It connects people, systems of knowledge, materials and times. Architecture also separates. There is cultural and political significance in the thresholds between rooms and floors, in humble joints, steps and windowsills, between private and public.
Tidy dualisms no longer exist. This year PG17 investigates the concept of ‘between’, aiming to challenge dichotomies frequently maintained: human and thing, local and global, settler and nomad. To produce a sustainable, fairer and more inclusive architecture, the unit will rethink such distinctions.
‘Between’ suggests hybrid structures and processes, intermediate and liminal spaces. What happens between place and event, between before and after? Buildings are continuities of matter, changing at different rates and having parts with different needs for maintenance and renewal.
Considering the current crisis of social politics and climate, student work will look to repair and invent connections within the entanglement of materials and services in the environment, leading to transformative architectural designs that aim to enrich cultures and habitats.
Image: 'Circle' - a collaboration between all PG17 members, June 2021
- WE 2.0: Education and Coexistence in a Brave New World
PG18 is interested in how architecture hosts life in its many complex forms amid current ecological uncertainties, technological acceleration and rapidly shifting social circumstances. The unit examines how architecture explores the co-existence between human and natural life.
Human life expectancy is drastically expanding and as such the new normal is in continuous flux. This year, PG18 will explore how architecture adapts to social change in the UK from the point of view of ecological coexistence. By re-creating educational institutions, students will engage with both the architectural history of education and buildings, but also with new technologies through material experiments and prototypes. Institutions may cater for hybrid knowledge transfer (tangible and/or intangible), creating a constant feedback loop between ecologies in need to give and those needing to receive. In that future scenario, nature and human nature will need to live longer and more sustainably together.
Image: The Forest of Possibility' by Rory Noble Turner, Architecture MArch, PG18
- Decentralised City 2.0
The city has always been a concentration of capital, infrastructures and resources, human and non-human. Today, within an ongoing pandemic, many question the role of these dense, highly artificial environments, where daily physical interactions between humans are now considered a health threat. In particular, the balancing act of working and living in the same space has been recently tested on an unprecedented scale with positive and negative outcomes.
This year, PG20 will look at this phenomenon as two sides of the same coin: what to do with our current ghosted, obsolete financial hubs, and the need to rethink the working space as a decentralised phenomenon, along with how it affects the way we live, eat, travel and communicate. Decentralised City 2.0 endeavours to create a 21st century, post-digital paradigm shift in the way cities and nature are designed and used.
Image: 'Cultivating a Hyphal Urbanism' by Edward Tse, Archiitecgure MArch, PG20, 2021
Abigail Ashton, Tom Holberton, Andrew Porter and Jasmin Sohi
In 1668 scientist and architect Robert Hooke stood on the construction site of the Royal Exchange, inspecting blocks of Portland stone. He observed the strange geometries and concluded they were the traces of creatures that had once inhabited the Earth yet had subsequently vanished.
This year, PG/UG21 will ask students to consider different aspects of the finite and the infinite. Can we create inventive architecture by applying a strict limit on a material, a boundary, on time or perception? When do we use infinite digital space and infinite change to augment the fixed and finite? When do society’s rules create artificial limits and change how we design? Research can straddle the material and immaterial, the physical and the infinite, material tests to VR and AI.
The unit will travel to the Isle of Portland, described by the writer Jonathan Meades as a “bulky chunk of geological, social, topographical and demographic weirdness”.
Image: 'Euclidean and Hyperbolic bunny', Keenan Crane 2018
- Post-Industrial Austerity in Architecture: a Critical Review
Izaskun Chinchilla Moreno and Daniel Ovalle Costal
This year, PG22 invites students to develop a design critique of mass-produced austerity in architecture, uncovering the politics behind it and creating alternatives.
The birth of the Modern Movement brought an age of austerity to architecture and design in which ornament was labelled undesirable and dishonest, while the potential of austere, mass-produced goods to democratise design was praised. This design ethos was in stark contrast to the principles behind the Arts and Crafts movement that saw in craftmanship not just a means to produce beautiful designs, but also a tool for craftspeople to build healthy and meaningful lives.
Taking Arts and Crafts and its contemporary readings, such as those of sociologist Richard Sennet, students are asked to articulate design critiques of austerity in an architecture of their choice, and design alternatives to maximise social impact.
Image: Cosmowomen exhibition at the Galleria Nazionale in Rome, Italy by Izaskun Chinchilla Architects, approaches alternative design methodologies to mainstream austerity, embracing layering of materials and crafts. Pictures by Fernando Alda.
- Vibrant Matter
PG24 is a group of architectural storytellers using film, animation, VR/AR and physical modelling techniques to explore architecture’s relationship with time.
Inspired by philosophy, this year PG24 will question our relationship with matter. Using filmmaking skills, students will search for a new vital materiality that connects human and nonhuman entities. Can perceiving material things as alive, multi-scaled, sentient even, help us address the climate crisis beyond retribution? Instead of shaping matter, can we allow matter to shape our sensibility as designers? And can the digital expand the potential of physical matter by tethering ethereal new behaviours to tangible stuff?
To support this material awakening, the unit will embark on a grand tour of the UK, from Portland quarries to Kielder forest, exploring the historical, social and industrial heritage of the country through its building material resources. Students will portray the stories imbedded in the life of materials and the communities that they create, towards an architecture of vibrant matter.
Image: Camille Dunlop, Arboreal, 2021
- An Ecology of Architectural Knowledge
PG25 is interested in experimental methodologies and helping students to develop their own design methods and media, as well as the parallels between idea and media in representation, and ideas and materials and construction processes in architecture. The unit encourages students to think through their drawings and constructions to develop their own sets of logic.
One of the pleasures of architecture is that it gathers many ideas and interests and makes sense of them in a way where the assembly is richer and more telling than the parts. Where does the knowledge come from to enable us to do this, and how do we further that knowledge? This year, PG25 will look at how new architectural knowledge is generated while also learning from the past, and how each student can develop a larger idea of practice that informs their individual projects.
Image: Test rig for the Boeing 747 (Jumbo) simulating a cockpit-centric view of airfields at higher elevation.