Masters degrees in Architecture, Property & Planning
Everything you need to know about masters courses in architecture, landscape architecture, building, property & planning.
This discipline covers everything from strategic planning of urban and rural development and designing civic buildings to landscaping local playgrounds, surveying individual properties, or managing the country estate of an aristocratic family. Architects and landscape architects design buildings and green spaces, from domestic extensions and gardens to internationally famous buildings like London’s "Gherkin" and large public parks and formal gardens. Property Management includes management of both the construction of buildings and what is done with them when they are built. Project management, planning, surveying and facilities management are all key skills here. Finally, rural and urban planners take a strategic overview of how our urban environments and green spaces should develop to make sure that people, business, industry and nature have the infrastructure to mutually coexist and thrive.
Many of the courses on offer are aimed at people already working in property, planning and construction. Others are for architects looking to complete the RIBA Part 2 stage of their training or landscape architects looking to qualify into the Chartered Landscape Institute. There are also numerous MBAs available for those wishing to take their management skills to the next level in the construction and property management industries. These are important jobs: a top flight career in architecture can lead to fame, wealth and a place in the history books. Great buildings, like the Guggenheim in Bilbao or the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, are as much works of art as functional spaces. Likewise, people travel all over the world to visit famous gardens and parks, although they may not always know who designed them. No less important are the people who work to make sure private houses are well designed, soundly constructed and intelligently located. Remember: an Englishman’s home is his castle.
If you want to design interiors, gardens and houses, landscape London’s Olympic site or design the next Guggenheim museum, you will need one of the qualifications offered in this section. There are a range of qualifications available through both taught and research courses, but the emphasis is on vocational, professionally accredited courses. If you are intending to qualify as an architect, make sure the degree programme you choose is accredited by RIBA as a part 2 course. These degrees will require you to have already obtained your RIBA part 1 and have up to a year’s work experience. Landscape architects should also make sure that the course they choose will be recognised by the Chartered Landscape Institute.
Future careers in architecture might see you being part of the team in a large architectural partnership designing iconic public buildings or working for yourself designing domestic loft extensions for private clients. Landscape architects have an equally wide range of options, from working for the local council’s planning department designing inner-city playgrounds to working for international environmental design agencies.
Covering the aspects of the building industry that don’t require you to get your hands dirty, this subject area includes construction, conservation, estate management, surveying, construction management, project management, planning, building design and civil engineering, amongst other subjects. These courses will not teach you how to build a sturdy wall, but you will learn how to efficiently manage someone else who is.
Some of the MBAs, MScs, PGDips, MAs, and PGCerts are aimed at those already working within the construction industry who want to acquire project management skills. They may be offered via distance learning or as part time courses to facilitate this. Others are full time courses for graduates who might want to become surveyors, estate agents, planners, civil engineers, estate managers, or pursue a career in construction at the management level.
If bricks and mortar are your bread and butter this is the subject area for you. Many of these courses are aimed at people already working as estate agents, town planners, surveyors, property developers, estate managers and housing officers. Others provide the basis for entering these professions. Course titles range from Real Estate Management to Historic Building Conservation via Surveying and Housing and most of them do what they say on the tin.
Along with the occasional MBA, there are taught masters and postgraduate certificates and diplomas, but very few research degrees. Many of the courses are arranged part time over several years and are designed to offer continuing professional development for people already working in the field. They will require candidates to have professional experience and be working in the property field as well as holding an undergraduate degree. With one of these qualifications you could pursue a career being in management at a Housing Association, listing buildings for English Heritage, working in the Town Planning or Housing departments of your local council, or set up your own property development company.
Striking the balance between building enough homes and leaving enough green spaces, or between planning for the needs of business and for the people who use and work in the businesses, is complicated. If you can get it right then cities can be happy, cohesive places where both people and business thrive and the countryside can be both protected and productive. These courses address exactly these issues and more, equipping you with the skills to work at a strategic and policy level. Courses cover areas like urban regeneration and design, transport planning, social inclusion and rural management.
Both taught and research masters are available, as well as postgraduate certificates and diplomas. Some courses are accredited by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. Career paths from here include working as a planner for your local authority, or at a more strategic national level as a policy advisor to local and national government. You might also end up working on projects for a company like Urban Splash, regenerating buildings in inner-city areas, or in a policy role for a housing NGO like Shelter.