The Bartlett School of Architecture


Cinematic and Videogame Architecture MArch

This programme offers students a unique opportunity to design at the convergence of architecture, film and videogames to develop radical new time-based, immersive and interactive design projects.

Register for our In-person UCL East Graduate Open Evening (Wed 28 Feb, 5pm)



Rapid advancements in digital technologies have brought the previously discrete fields of architecture, film and videogames closer than ever before. By employing innovative architectural design methods, students on the first programme of this kind in the UK will critically situate their work in relation to new developments in time-based digital technologies and the way these are shaping our culture, identity and politics.

Architecture has a long history of acting as an underlying structuring device for both film and videogames. From the construction of film sets to developments in film compositing techniques and innovations in computer graphics, the depiction of space has been a key challenge in arriving at our contemporary media landscape of film and videogames. In turn, the narrative and storytelling power of time-based and interactive media are reshaping not only how architecture is constructed and represented, but also how it is conceived and experienced.

The programme prepares students for the emerging futures of architectural design, developing skills also applicable to the film and game industries, and VR/AR environments.

Supported by a world-leading team of tutors and visiting industry figures, students will learn innovative design techniques using film, animation and game engine software, becoming architectural storytellers and worldbuilders who engage with the key issues facing our world. Students will develop their own creative practice through design projects and theoretical writing, culminating in the production of a final project that demonstrates their unique research methods through a film, game or interactive environment.

The programme is located at Marshgate at the new UCL East campus, which features eight floors of hi-tech, cross-disciplinary research space. The programme will provide access to advanced software and equipment, the use of a dedicated studio as well as access to specialist media  and the UCL East cinema.

Apply now


  • Learn from internationally renowned experts in cutting-edge, cinematic, animation and videogame technologies.
  • Forge an exciting new career in an emerging field of architectural design.  
  • Study at UCL’s newest campus, UCL East, and make use of brand-new, state-of-the-art facilities with shared specialist media and workshop spaces . 
  • Engage with theoretical concepts through lectures and experiment through introductory design projects, supported by digital skills modules


Introduction to Cinematic and Videogame Architecture (15 credits)

This preparatory module will introduce students to the design of architectural projects through film and game engine software and will run in close connection to the ‘Cinematic and Videogame Skills’ module. Students will engage in the production of analogue and/or digital film and game engine-based exercises aimed at developing a design project that builds an intellectual position, tests a range of appropriate skills and explores themes that may connect to subsequent projects.

Advanced Cinematic and Videogame Architecture I (30 credits)

This module involves the development of a unique research agenda through the application of film, animation or games media in the realisation of an architectural design project. Students will be expected to use the module to experiment with and expand upon skills learned in the preceding design module, clarifying an area of research to be pursued. In this module students will produce a draft architectural design proposal which demonstrates an increasing expertise in synthesising and exploring unique research through cinematic and/or videogame and immersive technologies.  

Advanced Cinematic and Videogame Architecture II (60 credits)

Advanced Cinematic and Videogame Architecture II will involve the research, production and presentation of an ambitious architectural design project realised through time-based or interactive media. The form of the final proposal is flexible and will be developed in conversation with a research supervisor, including outputs such as the design of a building, the production of a documentary, an animated narrative-based film, an interactive videogame or immersive experience.

Critical Media Architecture (15 credits)

The module will involve a series of lectures and seminars on the relationship between architecture, film and videogames including related interactive and immersive time-based media delivered by theorists and experts in the field. Students will be introduced to literature from different related disciplines such as architecture, media, film and game studies, discovering how recent advancements in digital technology contribute to the reshaping and expansion of architectural theory and practice, culminating in the production of a short essay.

History, Theory and Practice of Cinematic and Videogame Architecture (30 credits)

Working individually with a tutor, students will develop a dissertation on the History & Theory or the Practice of Cinematic and Videogame Architecture. The theme of this report will be developed through tutorials and seminars and will involve original research, as well as reference to literature from media studies, film theory, game studies, philosophy, the psychology of perception and architectural history and theory. It is expected that the report will be closely connected and help inform the development of the main design project, or present new knowledge gained through the practical work.

Cinematic and Videogame Skills I (15 credits)

The module consists of a series of masterclasses where skills in software for film, animation, game design and virtual reality are developed and directly applied in short design exercises. Students will be able to select from a series of workshops with specialists. Assessment will be on an illustrated report where students will demonstrate their learning outcomes through visual and textual descriptions.

Cinematic and Videogame Skills II (15 credits)

The module consists of a series of masterclasses where skills in software for film, animation, game design and virtual reality are developed and directly applied in short design exercises. Students will be able to select from a series of workshops with specialists. Students will be able to focus on skills that are directly connected to the development of their main design project. Assessment will be on an illustrated report where students will demonstrate their learning outcomes through visual and textual descriptions.

Key information

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 calendar year
Part time: 2 calendar years
Flexible: up to 5 years

Entry requirements

Typically a minimum of a second-class UK degree in an appropriate subject or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard or significant relevant industry experience (7+ years of employment).

Candidates will be asked to submit a design/creative work portfolio. Offers will be subject to an interview.

Application guidance for 2024 entry

Applicants can only apply for a maximum of two postgraduate degree programmes at The Bartlett School of Architecture. 

Application deadline

Applications for 2024 entry will open on 16 October 2023 and close on 5 April 2024 (for applicants requiring a visa) and 30 August 2024 (for applicants not requiring a visa). We strongly advise early application, as our programmes are over subscribed and competition is high. 


It is not possible to defer an offer at The Bartlett School of Architecture. 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 with sufficient time to obtain a CAS number and visa.

Accepting your offer

To accept your offer, you must pay the non-refundable fee deposit 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.


Professor Penelope Haralambidou, Programme Director

Penelope Haralambidou is Professor of Architecture and Spatial Culture and Director of Communications at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. In her teaching and research, she employs an innovative practice-led methodology that uses, drawing, modelling, digital film and immersive environments to investigate spatial culture. She is the author of Marcel Duchamp and the Architecture of Desire (London: Routledge, 2013), and her recent research focuses on medieval author Christine de Pizan’s proto-feminist text The Book of the City of Ladies, 1405.

Dr Luke Pearson, Programme Director

Dr Luke Pearson is an Associate Professor at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. He is co-founder of You+Pea, a design research studio working between architecture and videogames, who exhibit game-based works internationally and consult for clients including Google. Luke co-leads the Videogame Urbanism studio at UCL, examining how games can help shape the future of cities and he has written on the subject for publications such as FRAME, eflux Architecture and Perspecta. Luke is co-author of Videogame Atlas: Mapping Interactive Worlds (Thames & Hudson, 2022), Guest Producer of Future Art Ecosystems 2: Art x Metaverse (Serpentine Galleries, 2021) and co-editor of Re-Imagining the Avant-Garde (Wiley, 2019).



Students will be equipped with in-depth practical and theoretical knowledge in the emerging field of cinematic and videogame architectural design. You will gain skills in creative problem solving, making decisions and propositions in complex, challenging, ambiguous and open-ended situations. Students will also develop skills in communicating, presenting, advocating, interrelating and responding to people from a wide variety of backgrounds within a professional context.

Students will gain technical skills and develop research agendas for careers primarily in architecture, but also applicable in the film industry, videogame design, and the design of VR/AR environment.

The Bartlett School of Architecture is recognised as one of the world's leading schools of architecture and graduates from our Master's programmes are highly sought after.


Programme Director: Professor Penelope Haralambidou and Dr Luke Pearson
Programme Administrator: Zoe Lau
Department tutor: Daniel Ovalle Costal
Programme admissions enquiries: Complete the contact form

DeFi City by Wenbo Di, Angyi Li, Yutong Wu & Kerun Yu, 2021-22
Enoch Liang, A New New Town, 2021
Jerome Ng, Metabolist Regeneration of a Dementia Nation, 2019
Paula Strunden, Micro-Utopia: The Imaginary Potential of Home, 2018
Sonia Magdziarz, How to Carve a Giant, 2018