The Bartlett School of Architecture


Space Syntax: Architecture & Cities MSc/MRes

These unique programmes approach architecture and urban design through the prism of people and space.

Space Syntax Architecture & Cities postgraduate degree The Bartlett School of Architecture

How can buildings and cities be designed in direct relation to people? Developed and taught by UCL’s internationally renowned Space Syntax Laboratory, these programmes bring together the study of architecture and urbanism within a theoretical and analytical framework known as space syntax.

Our two space syntax Master's programmes centre around the idea that by studying buildings and cities as patterns of space, we can derive new insights into the relations between them and the individuals, communities and organisations that inhabit them. 

Students explore the fields of architecture and urbanism to create a greater knowledge of how complex architectural and urban systems work, and how spaces can be planned, designed and manufactured to create a better society.

This programme is available to study as either an MSc or an MRes.

Apply now – MSc

Apply now – MRes

Who are these programmes for?

We’re looking for students with a background in architecture and urban design, as well as graduates of other disciplines such as art history, history, planning, geography, anthropology or mathematics who wish to develop specialist knowledge of architecture and cities. 

These programmes offer students with a background in another discipline a route into understanding architecture and urban design and developing careers or research in the area. 

What do students learn?

Students learn the latest architectural theories alongside cutting-edge methods in space syntax architectural and urban analysis. Taught by leading practitioners, students acquire the knowledge and skills to research the social consequences of architecture and urban design decisions in practice, in research and in urban and architectural consultancy.

Students are equipped with the theoretical and practical knowledge about spatial, physical and human systems within the built environment, enabling them to conduct their own in-depth research, analysing patterns of space inhabited by individuals, communities and organisations.


  • Learn about the pioneering theories, methods and techniques of space syntax, at the institute where the methodology was invented
  • Develop the knowledge and skills to analyse architectural and urban systems, determine their roles in creating a better society, and inform design processes
  • Work closely with peers and tutors to apply theoretical and analytical frameworks to practical case studies
This programme built upon my past experience as a designer, increasing the breadth of my analytical thinking in terms of spatial configuration, urban networks and human movement. 

Genevieve Shaun, Space Syntax: Architecture & Cities student, 2017 

I had an exceptional group of professors bringing together scientific and professional specialisms, along with excellent training in urban theories, spatial analysis and their creative integration with design thinking - all of which has changed enormously my career as a practising urban designer and researcher.”

Laura Narvaez Zertuche, Urban Designer, Foster + Partners
Space Syntax: Architecture & Cities graduate 

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Space Syntax: Architecture & Cities MSc


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

Entry requirements 

Normally a minimum of a lower 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.

Application deadline 

Applications open for this programme on 01 November 2019 and close on 24 July 2020 for 2020 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.

Download the programme information sheet (PDF)


Space Syntax: Architecture & Cities MRes

Modes and duration

Full-time: one year
Part-time: two years
Flexible: three to five years

Entry requirements 

Typically, a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor’s degree in a relevant design, engineering or scientific field or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, or a relevant postgraduate qualification or significant industrial experience.

Applicants are required to send a 500-1000-word preliminary research proposal along with a personal statement to support their application.

Application deadline 

Applications open for this programme on 15 October 2019 and close on 24 July 2020.

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.

Download the programme information sheet (PDF)


Programme staff

Dr Kayvan Karimi, Programme Director

Dr Kayvan Karimi is an experienced architectural and urban designer, and a director of Space Syntax Limited. He has worked extensively on projects including strategic city planning, large-scale urban master planning, urban conservation, revitalisation of historic centres and more. In recent years, Kayvan has been developing advanced methods for evidence-based design and planning of the built environment, from a micro to a macro scale. 

Dr Sam Griffiths, Lecturer

Sam Griffithsresearch interests include the spatial cultures of industrial cities past and present, urban manufacturing, creative cities, processional culture, suburban spaces and Hillier and Hanson’s architectural theory of space. Sam is a previous director of Space Syntax: Architecture & Cities MSc and has a strong pedagogical interest in the built environment as an interdisciplinary research domain.

Dr Kinda Al-Sayed, Teaching Fellow

Dr Kinda Al-Sayed is a research associate on PROXIES. She has studied in Damascus University, University of Applied Arts Vienna, the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, TU Wien and UCL. Her main research interests fall into developing a model of city growth and modelling cognitive and drawing activities in design processes. Kinda’s research is focused on complexity modelling of artificial and natural phenomena as well as design behaviour and communications.

Professor Alan Penn, Dean of The Bartlett Faculty

Alan Penn is Dean of The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, Director of UCL’s Virtual Reality Centre for the Built Environment and a director of Space Syntax Limited. He is one of the main developers of space syntax theory and methodology and one of the founders of the Space Syntax Laboratory. His current research interests are first at the interface between spatial analysis and virtual reality, and second in the evolution and design of large and complex buildings such as hospitals and laboratories.

Dr Sophia Psarra, Reader of Architecture and Spatial Design

Dr Sophia Psarra's research explores spatial morphology through computer modeling, the interaction between architecture and the user, de-industrialisation and urban regeneration, and design research. Her activities in these areas have resulted in publications, creative installations and design projects. As a practising architect, she has won first prizes in international architectural competitions and her work has been exhibited across Europe.

Dr Kerstin Sailer, Reader of Spatial and Social Networks

Dr Kerstin Sailer is a trained architect and has developed a business process examining links between space and effectiveness in the workplace at Spacelab Architects. Her research explores office buildings, universities, workplace environments, hospitals and schools. She is interested in the relationship between spatial configuration and usage processes, organisational theory and organisational behaviour, Social Network Analysis, and evidence-based design practices. 

Dr Tasos Varoudis, Senior Teaching Fellow

Dr Tasos Varoudis is a professional architect and computing engineer with research focusing on hybrid architecture, computational analysis and machine intelligence. In the Space Syntax Laboratory, he is developing methodological and computational innovations which combine spatial data-driven models with machine learning and agent-based models. He is the lead developer of ‘depthmapX’ spatial network analysis software, the most widely used tool in space syntax research and practice.

Professor Laura Vaughan, Professor of Urban Form and Society

Professor Laura Vaughan is Director of the Space Syntax Laboratory. Her research interests lie in the relationship between urban form and society and she has been principal/co-investigator for UK and EU funded research totalling over £6 million. Her interdisciplinary ‘Adaptable Suburbs’ research investigated London’s outer suburban evolution and she recently completed a collaborative project concerning community severance and walkability.

Other staff 

Occaisional teaching staff
  • Professor Phillip Steadman 
  • Ros Diamond 
  • Professor Lars Marcus
  • Dr Daniel Koch
  • Mr Tim Stonor
  • Professor Muki Haklay
  • Anna Sabina Rose
  • Max Martinez
  • Dr Falli Palaiologou
  • Dr Laura Narvaez Zertuche
  • Dr Beatrix Emo

Space Syntax: Architecture & Cities MSc is also able to draw on the expertise of a wide range of other academics and guest lecturers who give talks and advice on student work. Students also benefit from expert guidance and support from the Space Syntax Laboratory’s doctoral research students, many of whom have substantial teaching and/or professional experience.

External examiners for the programme have in recent years included: Sue McGlynn, Sarah Chaplin and Gordana Fontana-Giusti.


The programmes equip graduates with a robust knowledge of the latest research methods, ideas and skills from a variety of disciplines. Students graduate with a scientific approach alongside an understanding of the most urgent social issues in architecture and urbanism today.

Graduates thrive in research-based, evidence-informed environments, planning and decision-making within the field of the built environment. Many graduates from both Master's degrees also continue their studies towards a PhD in the field.


Programme Director: Kayvan Karimi
Admissions enquiries: Bartlett Postgraduate Admissions
Programme administrator: Drew Pessoa

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