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 work with leading historians, theorists and practitioners to offer creative solutions and critical approaches that enable historic urban environments to thrive, rather than just survive, in a future marked by profound global challenges.
Modes and duration
Full-time students study for 37.5 hours per week during term time. Typically, lectures and seminars occur on two days per week. Flexible mode students normally attend half this amount.
Tuition fees (2021/22)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.
Fee deposit: All students are required to pay a fee deposit of £1,000 for this programme.
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.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Standard
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.
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.
Select your country:
About this degree
This programme links the core research challenge of innovative design with in-depth processes of urban surveying, recording, mapping and analysis. As such, the programme has a strong international component, viewing cities around the world as fascinating laboratories for new ways of investigating and actively engaging with historic urban environments, with London being the principal pedagogic example. By working critically and creatively with what has already been built, this programme aligns itself strongly with the global ecological agenda.
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 a 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.
- Issues in Historic Urban Environments (15 credits)
- Design Research for Historic Environments (15 credits)
- Surveying and Recording of Cities (30 credits)
- Design Practice for Historic Environments (30 credits)
- Final Project (60 credits)
Students choose one of the following:
- Representation of Cities (30 credits)
- Critical Spatial Practice: Site Writing (30 credits)
- Multiple Modernities Architecture (30 credits)
- Practices of Criticism (30 credits)
- Sustainable Strategies (30 credits)
- Histories of Global London, 1900 to the Present (I) (15 credits)
- Histories of Global London, 1900 to the Present (II) (30 credits)
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000-12,000 words or a major design project with a minimum of 5,000 words.
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 hoist country/city. Previous field trips have been to the modern UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Asmara, Eritrea and Tel Aviv, Israel, and Kaunas, Lithuania, which will be European Capital of Culture in 2022.
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.
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.
UCL offers a range of financial awards aimed at assisting both prospective and current students with their studies.
Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.
- Deadline: 31 May 2021
- Tuition fees plus £15,364 maintenance/yr (Duration of programme)
- Based on financial need
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Graduates of this programme are expected to assume leading roles in design disciplines engaged with historic urban environments at all scales. With experience of different cities and urban conditions in a global context, graduates are highly skilled in working flexibly and resourcefully in different cultural, geographic and professional environments.
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.
Why study this degree at UCL?
The Bartlett School of Architecture is widely regarded as one of the leading architectural schools in the world, with a strong reputation for generating knowledge and insights in architectural design, building technology and architectural history and theory.
In October 2013, the renowned Survey of London team moved to join the school, providing an opportunity to launch this new programme which also draws upon the multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research expertise within The Bartlett, UCL's Faculty of the Built Environment, as well as the cross-faculty UCL Urban Laboratory, and within the university generally.
The programme includes modules that investigate numerous international case studies which gives students the opportunity to carry out design research work in cities outside the UK should they wish to. A field trip each year to a non-UK city will provide staff and students with the knowledge of, and links to, those who are working at the forefront of architectural and urban heritage internationally.
Department: Bartlett School of Architecture
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Application and 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.
This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.
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: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
Who can apply?
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.
- 30 April 2021
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
What are we looking for?
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 resons 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.
UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.