Architecture and Historic Urban Environments MA

London, Bloomsbury

This Master's programme pioneers a fresh and critical approach to historic environments, promoting architectural and other creative interventions that reinterpret and rejuvenate historic urban environments at all scales. Students develop creative solutions and critical approaches that enable historic urban environments to thrive, rather than just survive, in a future marked by profound global challenges.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
£14,100
£7,050
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
£32,100
£16,050
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Duration
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2023
Applications accepted
All applicants: 17 Oct 2022 – 31 Mar 2023

Applications open

Entry requirements

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

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree


We are living in a time of planetary crisis. Last century's 'great acceleration' and rapid urbanisation have placed enormous pressures on cities and their built heritage. For architects and other built environment professionals, this presents unique challenges in a world that has already largely been constructed. Rising to these challenges, this programme promotes a fresh and critical approach to creative interventions at all scales, aimed at reinterpreting, rejuvenating and rethinking historic urban environments in the 21st century.

Students examine cities from around the world, using London as an outstanding laboratory for learning. 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 urban and cultural heritage.

In tandem with developing a robust theoretical and practical understanding of different sites and critical methods, students have the opportunity to develop their own design practice, thinking creatively about how historic urban environments might thrive sustainably in an uncertain future.

Who this course is for

This programme welcomes applications from architects, urban designers, or those in cognate design fields, but is also open to those who are able to demonstrate the benefits of bringing associated skills to the kinds of urban issues that are studied. In the past, this has included artists, curators, product designers, furniture makers, photographers and historians. We welcome students from all countries, especially where there are strong tensions between development pressure and retaining continuity in urban forms and cultural values. 

What this course will give you


The Bartlett School of Architecture helps students to prepare for successful careers in a range of fields. We aim to be an exciting and innovative place to study architecture, located in the heart of London with global perspectives. Our students have the opportunity to develop their creativity, curiosity and dynamism, and learn the skills they need to build a better future for people and the planet. Our school is consistently ranked highly in UK and global league tables, and our staff are at the forefront of international research and teaching with award-winning buildings all over the globe.

The Bartlett is the UK's largest multidisciplinary Faculty of the Built Environment. Our work is all about human spaces. That means physical structures like homes, buildings and cities, but also the invisible structures that govern these things: political and legal systems; financial frameworks and social norms; even our understanding of the past, present and future. Combining design, history, theory, digital representations and models across all of these areas, we understand the structures shaping society today – and we work to make them fairer and more prosperous. The Bartlett is ranked #3 globally in the Built Environment and Architecture subject area (QS World University Ranking 2022), and our research is recognised as internationally leading (UK REF 2021).

This programme pioneers a new and critical approach to achieving a more sustainable future for the built environment by focussing on the historical conditions and inherent inequities that have contributed to our current planetary crises. These are interrogated through three key themes of racial, spatial and environmental justice. The programme includes modules that investigate numerous thematic approaches, research methods and international case studies, giving students the opportunity to carry out design research in cities within and outside the UK. A field trip each year to a non-UK city provides staff and students with the knowledge of, and links to, those who are working at the forefront of change aimed at sustainable planetary futures.

The foundation of your career

The MA equips graduates with the advanced knowledge and skills required to operate across the areas of urban research, design, management, implementation, policy and advocacy, combining subject expertise with design creativity, and linking theory, history and practice. Graduates typically pursue careers in professional practices associated with the built environment, as well as policy-making or heritage management, and academia.

Employability

Graduates of this programme often go on to assume leading roles in varied disciplines engaged with historic and contemporary urban environments at all scales. The programme is ideally suited for graduates seeking to widen their professional practice, enhance career prospects, or carve out new career trajectories in the built environment through design, public policy or advocacy. With experience of different cities and urban conditions in a global context, graduates are highly skilled in working flexibly, collaboratively and resourcefully in different cultural, geographic and professional environments, either in the public or private sector.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical workshops, fieldwork visits, and individual and group tutorials. Assessment is through project critique reviews, project portfolios, coursework essays, individual and group presentations, dissertation/major project and a viva voce examination with an external examiner.

In term 1 full-time students can typically expect between 15 and 19 contact hours per teaching week through lectures, workshops, seminars and tutorials. In term 2 students can typically study between 9 and 12 contact hours per teaching week, as with term 1, they will be a mixture of lectures, workshops, seminars and tutorials. In term 3 students will be completing their own dissertation research, keeping in regular contact with their dissertation supervisor.

Outside of lectures full-time students typically study the equivalent of a full-time job, using their remaining time for self-directed study and completing coursework assignments.

Modules

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four compulsory modules (90 credits), one optional module (30 credits) and a dissertation/report (60 credits).

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MA in Architecture and Historic Urban Environments.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MA in Architecture and Historic Urban Environments.

Fieldwork

Students have the opportunity to join an annual field trip, subsidised by the school to an urban area of historic architectural interest. The field trip is designed to give students an intellectually and professionally rich experience and is planned around the deep professional connections that members of staff have with the host country/city. Previous field trips have been to the modernist UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Asmara, Eritrea and Tel Aviv, Israel, and Kaunas, Lithuania, which was European Capital of Culture in 2022.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £14,100 £7,050
Tuition fees (2023/24) £32,100 £16,050

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

All students are required to pay a fee deposit of £2,000 for this programme.

The programme's annual optional field trip costs students a maximum of £500 each. We estimate that students spend between £250-£500 on specialist materials throughout the programme.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

UCL offers a range of financial awards aimed at assisting both prospective and current students with their studies.

Any additional funding available from The Bartlett School of Architecture and the Built Environment Faculty Office are advertised on the respective websites.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Bartlett Promise Scholarship - Master's

Deadline: 31 May 2023
Value: Tuition fees plus £15,364 maintenance/yr (Duration of programme)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

Bartlett Promise Sub-Saharan Africa Masters Scholarship

Deadline: 31 March 2023
Value: Fees, stipend and other allowances (Duration of programme)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

Brown Family Bursary

Deadline: 8 June 2023
Value: £15,000 (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: UK

Next steps

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Architecture and Historic Urban Environments at graduate level
  • why you want to study Architecture and Historic Urban Environments at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen profession
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver. Applicants are required to submit a portfolio when they apply, either in hard copy or digital format.

Tier 4 Student Visa holders are advised to meet the English language proficiency of their offer no later than the end of June, in order to allow sufficient time to obtain a CAS number and visa.

To accept your offer, you must pay the non-refundable fee deposit within 6 weeks and decline any other offers for programmes at the Bartlett School of Architecture. If you do not respond within 6 weeks, your offer will be withdrawn.

Please note that the School of Architecture does not allow deferred entry to any of its postgraduate programmes. If you have an offer of admission but cannot take it up, you will not be able to defer it and will have to apply again for entry the following year. 

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2023-2024

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.