This Master's programme "Architecture: Urban Projects, Urban Cultures" explores architecture from a research-by-design and design-by-research perspective. Students are educated and trained in a multicultural and international context. The programme combines an academic approach with a creative-experimental approach. It is characterised by a fully-integrated design methodology, providing students with solid skills in the contemporary discipline of architectural design and research.
The Master of Architecture programme is organised at both of the faculty's campuses in Brussels and Ghent, though each campus offers a different orientation:
This is an initial Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis. The programme consists out of a minimum of four semesters.
The Faculty of Architecture takes its international dimension as the basis for its own quality assessment. It positions itself squarely within the international field of qualitative academic education. The faculty's international activities are extensive and diversified: student mobility and staff exchange on a European and intercontinental level, internationally oriented programmes for incoming students, international workshops and competitions, international research projects, international internships, development cooperation, etc.
The faculty continues to build on its tradition of academic integration of teaching and research to maintain and enhance its standard of quality and international standing.
The faculty works hard to consolidate and enrich its network of cooperative associations with professionals and universities all over the world and strives to leverage this international network for students' benefit. Its international dimension is a strong catalyst for creativity and an added value to students' future professional career.
"The intended academic quality, is the core of the program (architecture, urban planning), i.e. academically based 'professionalism'.
The broadening of the profile focuses on basic disciplines (architecture and urban planning), however without compromising the appropriate focus on the professional profile of the architect (in multiple forms).
In the profile of master, one should obtain extreme concentration and specificity (however, no specialisation).
On the one hand, the master focuses on the content and area-specific level of the bachelor phase, and on the other hand on the acquirement of access to the professional or doctoral field (advanced masters, PhD,...).
The core competences of the master are:
The master program should guarantee the acquirement of scientific depth. The offered frontier disciplines focus on the current state of research and development within the competence field. The technical qualification to be acquired, focuses on the high quality problem solving of complex tasks.
In the field of Architecture and Urban Design, a global awareness is growing, questioning established development and settlement patterns regarding future societal needs and ensuing planning strategies and architectural interventions.
The current fast-forward global development increasingly strains the Western and European model, inducing a whole range of urban planning and architectural challenges to update the academic and professional practice.
Facing the consequences of a changing society and a post-industrial and knowledge-based economy, Western developments stand in stark contrast with rapidly developing economies and a still expanding population worldwide. Instigating important and unchartered societal shifts, our conception of urbanity and the city is fundamentally affected.
Traditional urban planning methods and architectural strategies might not offer the necessary tools to recognize and address these future challenges and therefore need to be reconsidered.
Within these changing context and transition processes, the Urban Projects, Urban Cultures Programme seeks to research, develop and teach alternative architectural and urban design tools, not so much aimed at reinventing urban landscapes, but as it were to edit the given condition from within.
A critical and coherent attitude towards recent urban phenomena is considered the base for research and design at different levels.
Apart from the theoretical courses, the program includes 3 design studios (during one semester) and 1 final master dissertation studio (during one year). Each semester, there is a focus on a specific attitude, related to the main theme of the programme. All studios are organised through a pool of studio groups (Academic Design Offices and Design Studios) where the teaching staff provides a series of specific themes, methods and intervention areas for the students to develop an architectural project:
Themes sem 1
Themes sem 2 (specific focus on the city of Brussels)
Themes sem 3
Themes sem 4
Graduates are trained to lead multidisciplinary teams of engineers, interior architects, landscape architects and artists. In addition to working as independent (self-employed) architects, our graduates also work as professionals in government agencies and international design firms. Some graduates go on to roles as researchers serving local or international governance bodies, NGO's or other institutes.
Cities across the world are facing huge sustainability challenges. Whilst mayors and city governments pledge ‘zero carbon cities’ by 2040, a serious skills shortage means a new generation of sustainability leaders is needed.
The MSc Sustainable Cities tackles this skills shortage by equipping you with the knowledge and tools necessary to become an urban sustainability leader. On this programme you will experience urban sustainability first hand, blending concepts and theories with real world problems and solutions.
We take a ‘systems’ approach to teaching sustainable cities, you will learn about energy systems, transport networks, housing provision, and urban ecosystems. Using applied cases you will discover how these systems can be transformed to produce better economic, environmental, and social outcomes. This course will see students graduate into city government, consultancy, NGO’s and beyond.
The course is delivered in a friendly, challenging and globally competitive Environment faculty where you will have access to cutting edge research, teaching and collaborative learning opportunities.
The research project is one of the most satisfying elements of this course. It allows you to apply what you’ve learned to a piece of research focusing on a real-world problem, and it can be used to explore and develop your specific interests.
Examples of project topics would include:
You will be taught by staff from across the School of Environment, School of Geography and Institute of Transport Studies.
You will progress through a 7 module structure, completing one module at a time. You will complete the learning, activities and assessment for each module before the next begins. This way your MSc allows you to focus on one subject at a time, building into the big picture of urban sustainability by the end of the MSc.
Learning and teachingOur groundbreaking research feeds directly into teaching, and you’ll have regular contact with staff who are at the forefront of their disciplines. You’ll have regular contact with them through lectures, seminars, tutorials, small group work and project meetings. Independent study is also important to the programme, as you develop your problem-solving and research skills as well as your subject knowledge.
You’ll be assessed using a range of techniques including exams, essays, presentations, with assessment of problem based learning sets. The problems set will be drawn directly from real world challenges facing cities and are an excellent preparation for professional practise.
Entry requirementsA bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) or above in a relevant subject such as geography, town planning, earth and environment, architecture, sustainability, engineering, business and management, sociology, politics or public administration.
Applicants with a 2.2 will be considered on a case by case basis where applicants can demonstrate relevant work experience or aptitude in a relevant specialist field.
Graduates from other disciplines and those with professional experience in the sector will also be considered.
This programme will give you the practical skills needed to pursue a careers in city or urban governance and planning, infrastructure and sustainability consulting, policy analysis and development, environmental and urban consultancy, corporate social responsibility, environmental management and management systems, sustainability NGO’s, or PhD study.
Possible career paths:
We offer extra support and activities to help you stand out in your chosen field and achieve your career goals. The School of Earth and Environment has a strong commitment to enhancing student employability and has its own dedicated Employability Officer.
Read more about our careers and employability.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website