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Architecture, Building & P…×

University of British Columbia Masters Degrees in Architecture, Building & Planning

We have 14 University of British Columbia Masters Degrees in Architecture, Building & Planning

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The Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) in High Performance Buildings is designed for engineers and architects who want to make a difference in the building sector. Read more

The Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) in High Performance Buildings is designed for engineers and architects who want to make a difference in the building sector. Graduates of this program will have the technical and leadership skills to improve the energy performance of existing buildings and design integrated high-performance energy systems for new buildings.

Energy use in buildings is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, making it a high priority to design more energy-efficient buildings and retrofit existing buildings. This is a growing sector, with opportunities in consulting, construction, manufacturing and government. With governments at all levels increasing the standards for energy conservation, there is a need for professionals who can take leadership in designing the integrated high-performing energy systems in our built environment. 

Government and industry employers are seeking professionals who have the creative and visionary skills to develop the processes and systems that can lead to lasting change. Combined with strong leadership and business skills, this program will help you to develop innovative solutions, manage teams and direct projects — a skill set that is highly relevant in today’s business environment.

The MEL is a 12-month degree starting in January. While 60 per cent of your High Performance Buildings courses will focus on your technical specialization, the remaining 40 per cent are leadership development courses that will enhance your business, communication and people skills. Delivery of the management and leadership courses are in partnership with UBC's Sauder School of Business. Please contact us if you would like to find out more about the MEL in High Performance Buildings.

What makes the program unique?

t only takes 12 months to complete the program and get an MEL degree. Starting in January, in the High Performance Buildings program, you will:

  • Deepen your technical skills
  • Sharpen your business skills
  • Develop as a leader
  • Collaborate with industry partners

MEL students are required to have professional experience before starting the program. That means you will be part of a mature student cohort with a variety of professional and career experiences to draw on when you collaborate on projects with one another. Access to this diversity of knowledge and experience is essential to your development.

Career Options

The MEL in High Performance Buildings degree provides a strong technical foundation in energy systems design modelling, equipping you to be a technical leader in the integrated design, construction and maintenance of green building energy systems. This technical foundation is balanced by courses in leadership and business, giving you a powerful skill set for overseeing the design of green buildings, from the initial planning stages through to implementation and operation. Examples of typical graduate job roles include Engineering consultant, LEED professional, city or municipal planner, code and bylaw developer, project manager in architectural & engineering firms, building energy auditor and energy manager.



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The Master of Architecture (MArch) graduate degree program offers an accredited three-year curriculum. This professional course of study is highly demanding with a large proportion of the curriculum being required coursework. Read more

The Master of Architecture (MArch) graduate degree program offers an accredited three-year curriculum. This professional course of study is highly demanding with a large proportion of the curriculum being required coursework. Design studios are integrated with courses in architecture history and theory, technical and material systems, and design media and representation. Within this challenging program, opportunities to develop individual identity and special skills are made possible through the selection of special topic design studios, thoughtful engagement with electives, and especially through the execution of the Graduation Project. 

What makes the programme unique?

Each student furthers their network by working with full-time faculty and local professional design community who are active participants in studio reviews, graduation project committees, and the mentorship program. Within the Faculty of Applied Science, students have access to a research library ranked among the best in Canada and other faculty in engineering or community and regional planning. With Study Abroad, there are opportunities to be engaged with the ever-changing cultural concerns in architecture and landscape architecture. 



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The Master of Advanced Studies in Architecture (MASA) is a post-professional research degree offered in a two-year curriculum. Students work in independent design or research-based studies in collaboration with faculty members engaged in certain research themes. Read more

The Master of Advanced Studies in Architecture (MASA) is a post-professional research degree offered in a two-year curriculum. Students work in independent design or research-based studies in collaboration with faculty members engaged in certain research themes. This immersive program is for those who wish to synthesize existing knowledge in architecture and progress contemporary concepts in the field. Within the wider University community, students engage themselves in a focused research environment enriched by resources and support from related disciplines such as community and regional planning, civil engineering, geography, and art history, visual and theory.



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The Master of Advanced Studies in Landscape Architecture (MASLA) is a post-professional research degree offered in a two-year curriculum. Students work in independent research-based studies in collaboration with faculty members engaged in certain research themes. Read more

The Master of Advanced Studies in Landscape Architecture (MASLA) is a post-professional research degree offered in a two-year curriculum. Students work in independent research-based studies in collaboration with faculty members engaged in certain research themes. This immersive program is for those who wish to synthesize existing knowledge in landscape architecture and progress contemporary concepts in the field. Within the wider University community, students immerse themselves in a focused research environment enriched by resources and support from related disciplines such as community and regional planning, civil engineering, geography, and art history, visual and theory. 

The MASLA program is intended for qualified applicants with a previous professional degree with the capacity for independent research. The main criteria for admissions include a comprehensive proposal for their research and prior consultation with individual faculty members to discuss student's ambitions and supported research topics.



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The Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) graduate degree program offers an accredited three-year curriculum. This professional course of study is highly demanding with a large proportion of the curriculum being required coursework. Read more

The Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) graduate degree program offers an accredited three-year curriculum. This professional course of study is highly demanding with a large proportion of the curriculum being required coursework. Design studios are integrated with courses in landscape history and theory, site analysis and planning, and management of environments. Within this challenging program, opportunities to develop individual identity and special skills are made possible through the selection of specialized topic design studios, thoughtful engagement with electives, and especially through the execution of the Graduation Project. 

The academics are coupled with experience in the contemporary profession with internships available for credits. By working in firms or agencies related to student's areas of interest, design development, and documentation skills are honed for future practice. Students build and expand their professional network through these positions and small student-faculty ratios.

The School coordinates a public lecture series with students, faculty, and guests from local landscape architecture affiliates. These informal discourses offer feedback and advice from a broad audience for students presenting their initiatives and projects.

Our full-time faculty and local professional design community are actively involved in studio reviews, graduation project committees, and mentorship programs. Within the Faculty of Applied Science, students have access to a research library ranked among the best in Canada and other faculty in engineering or community and regional planning. With Study Abroad, there are opportunities to be engaged with the ever-changing cultural concerns in architecture and landscape architecture. 



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Urban design is the discipline of the design and management of our ever-changing cities driven by urbanization, global economics, and advancing technologies. Read more

Urban design is the discipline of the design and management of our ever-changing cities driven by urbanization, global economics, and advancing technologies.

The Master of Urban Design program is offered in an one-year curriculum with a central focus on urban design at all scales - from the regional district to the neighbourhood block. The post-professional course of study integrates design studios with courses in urban design history and theory, economics, and public policy. Within the intensive structure, there are opportunities to orchestrate personal interests in the discipline through selection of electives and research topics. 

The challenging program is founded on combining academia with the contemporary profession. Each year, the program explores an urban design theme through community partnerships with regional organizations. In the design studios, students collaborate with faculty, stakeholders, and professionals on real-world projects for possible future applications.

What makes the programme unique?

Along with intimate student-ratios of 1:12 in studios and 1:24 in lectures, students are exposed to practicing professionals who developed the urban design successes in Vancouver. To see these achievements, students can attend weekly tours to places such as the Olympic Village, Granville Island, and Stanley Park. The urban design faculty and the affiliates work alongside students in their education and in potential collaborations for local sustainable urbanism projects.

Career options

The interdisciplinary curriculum fosters responsible graduates with design studios in varied scales from the region to block and courses in history, environment, policy, and economics. Master of Urban Design is a post-professional program for future planners interested in advancing the scholarship and design innovation of urban metropolises. 



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The . Master of Engineering in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering.  (MEng NAME) is an interdisciplinary, industry-focused program that trains students in the design and construction of ships and other structures in the marine environment. Read more

The Master of Engineering in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering (MEng NAME) is an interdisciplinary, industry-focused program that trains students in the design and construction of ships and other structures in the marine environment. The comprehensive and innovative curriculum draws material from Mechanical, Civil, and Materials Engineering, and offers instruction by both leading researchers and industry professionals. Students leave the program prepared for immediate and stimulating work in a vital and growing industry.



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The dual degree option is a four-year program to pursue the Master of Architecture and the Master of Landscape Architecture at the same time. Read more

The dual degree option is a four-year program to pursue the Master of Architecture and the Master of Landscape Architecture at the same time. The dual degree is certified with both the Canadian Architectural Certification Board and the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects. The dual degree program harmonizes architectural design with ecological consciousness to create an inclusive understanding of built and natural environments.



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The Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering is designed for engineers who want to accelerate their career by leading and supervising teams and managing complex technical projects. Read more

The Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering is designed for engineers who want to accelerate their career by leading and supervising teams and managing complex technical projects. This program combines the engineering and physics of ship design with broad business and leadership training.

There are more than 100,000 vessels in the world’s fleet — designed, built, maintained and managed by naval architects and marine engineers. It’s a growing sector, and it’s growing here in BC. Building competencies in the architecture, design and selection of ship machinery systems is one component of the technical curriculum. Combined with strong leadership and business skills, this program will help you to develop innovative solutions, manage teams and direct projects — a skill set that is highly relevant in today’s business environment.

The MEL is a 12-month degree starting in January. While 60 per cent of your Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering courses will focus on your technical specialization, the remaining 40 per cent are leadership development courses that will enhance your business, communication and people skills. Delivery of the management and leadership courses are in partnership with UBC's Sauder School of Business. Please contact us if you would like to find out more about the MEL in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering.

What Makes The Program Unique?

t only takes 12 months to complete the program and get an MEL degree. Starting in January, in the Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering program, you will:

  • Deepen your technical skills
  • Sharpen your business skills
  • Develop as a leader
  • Collaborate with industry partners

MEL students are required to have professional experience before starting the program. That means you will be part of a mature student cohort with a variety of professional and career experiences to draw on when you collaborate on projects with one another. Access to this diversity of knowledge and experience is essential to your development.

Read some of our alumni stories on our website to find out how our graduates have gone on to excel their careers with their UBC MEL in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering degree.

Career Options

Our graduates will be in high demand locally, nationally and internationally by employers seeking technical experts who can also manage and lead teams. Job opportunities include working as a ship surveyor, in a shipyard engineering position, as a design engineer and as a class society representative. Read some of our alumni stories on our website to find out how our graduates have gone on to excel their careers with their UBC MEL in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering degree.



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The Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) in Urban Systems is designed for early-career professionals with undergraduate credentials in disciplines related to urban systems who want to advance their careers in this in-demand area. Read more

The Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) in Urban Systems is designed for early-career professionals with undergraduate credentials in disciplines related to urban systems who want to advance their careers in this in-demand area. The program equips you with the high-level technical skills needed to develop practical and sustainable solutions to meet the challenges associated with large urban infrastructure systems.

Cities and their growing populations depend on infrastructure to provide energy, water, sanitation, telecommunications and healthcare. Developing and maintaining infrastructure solutions that are safe, affordable, reliable, environmentally sustainable and resilient over the long term is a challenge of incredible complexity and breadth. 

The MEL in Urban Systems degree integrates engineering, urban planning, management and leadership into a single program. Students gain high-level technical skills that enable them to understand and manage the challenges associated with large urban infrastructure systems while acquiring management and leadership training - a skill set that is highly relevant in today’s business environment.

The MEL a 12-month degree starting in January that follows a project-based curriculum. While 70 per cent of your Urban Systems courses will focus on your technical specialization, the remaining 30 per cent are leadership development courses that will enhance your business, communication and people skills. Delivery of the management and leadership courses are in partnership with UBC's Sauder School of Business. Please contact us if you would like to find out more about the MEL in Urban Systems.

What Makes The Program Unique?

It only takes 12 months to complete the program and get an MEL degree. Starting in January, in the Urban Systems program, you will:

  • Deepen your technical skills
  • Sharpen your business skills
  • Develop as a leader
  • Collaborate with industry partners

MEL students are required to have professional experience before starting the program. That means you will be part of a mature student cohort with a variety of professional and career experiences to draw on when you collaborate on projects with one another. Access to this diversity of knowledge and experience is essential to your development.

Read some of our alumni stories on our website to find out how our graduates have gone on to excel their careers with their UBC MEL in Urban Systems degree.

Career Options

Our graduates will be in high demand locally, nationally and internationally by a wide range of employers — from municipalities and utilities to transportation providers and engineering consulting firms — seeking technical experts who can also manage and lead teams. Graduates will take on roles as city engineers, management consultants, city planners, policy advisors and entrepreneurs. Read some of our alumni stories of how our graduates have gone on to excel their careers with their UBC MEL in Urban Systems degree. Graduates of this program started in positions, such as Transportation EIT, Project Initiation Assistant Manager.



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The restructured Master of Arts in Planning is a thesis-based research program of study, which is differentiated from SCARP's accredited, professionally oriented Master of Community and Regional Planning (MCRP) and is intended to provide learning opportunities for. Read more

The restructured Master of Arts in Planning is a thesis-based research program of study, which is differentiated from SCARP's accredited, professionally oriented Master of Community and Regional Planning (MCRP) and is intended to provide learning opportunities for:

  • practicing professionals who want to strengthen their research skills;
  • those with undergraduate planning degrees from accredited programs;
  • and students (with or without a master's degree) interested in eventually doing doctoral research;

to undertake graduate-level study leading to a non-accredited, research-based master's degree.



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The field of planning practice (encompassing urban, community and regional planning, and related sub-specializations) has long been recognized as a professional field in Canada, as elsewhere in the world. Read more

The field of planning practice (encompassing urban, community and regional planning, and related sub-specializations) has long been recognized as a professional field in Canada, as elsewhere in the world. Founded by Dr. H.P. Oberlander in 1951, the School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP) is one of the oldest planning schools in Canada. Its Vision is “Sustainability through the Democratization of Planning,” and in achieving that Vision, SCARP's Mission is “to advance the transition to sustainability through excellence in integrated policy and planning research, professional education and community service.” The objective of SCARP’s new Master of Community and Regional Planning (MCRP) program is to further the Vision and Mission of the School by providing students, through cutting-edge content and innovative pedagogy, with the essential theory, skills, methods, and critical thinking and analytical tools they need to address the complex social and environmental issues of a rapidly urbanizing world. It is intensive and professionally oriented, and students emerge as well-rounded, critical, and creative agents of change.

What makes the program unique?

The MCRP program offers an innovative curriculum that draws upon the expertise of SCARP faculty as well as practicing planners. The strong procedural emphasis on integrated approaches to planning for substantive issues is reflected in the specific requirements for the MCRP degree, as well as the research, professional practice, and service activities of the faculty, staff, and students.

The MCRP program is further guided and informed by the accreditation and standards criteria of the American Institute of Certified Planners’ Planning Accreditation Board and the Canadian Institute of Planners’ accrediting body, the Professional Standards Board. SCARP is one of only two schools in Canada with a master’s program fully accredited by both the Canadian and American planning organizations.

The School is highly regarded within the international profession of planning, and its setting in Vancouver, which attracts world-wide attention and acclaim for excellence in urban planning, enhances the educational experience of SCARP students.

Career options

According to our most recent alumni survey (2012), 86% of SCARP masters graduates who sought employment were working in a professional planning or planning-related job within one year of graduation. Exit surveys of graduates from the last 3 years (Fall 2011 -Spring 2014) indicate that at the time of graduation, 41% of students had already accepted a planning-related job offer. Sixty per cent of currently employed respondents selected “public sector” as their place of employment. Sixteen percent chose “private sector”, 13% chose “self-employed”, and 7% selected “non-profit”. These figures reflect both the historic focus of employment in the planning profession in municipal and other public sector agencies, and emergent new trends for professional employment in the private and non-profit sectors. The MCRP degree program prepares graduates for professional practice by providing the kind of forward-looking education that graduates need to become the future leaders and innovators of the planning profession.



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The restructured Master of Science in Planning is a thesis-based research program of study, which is differentiated from SCARP's accredited, professionally oriented Master of Community and Regional Planning (MCRP) and is intended to provide learning opportunities for. Read more

The restructured Master of Science in Planning is a thesis-based research program of study, which is differentiated from SCARP's accredited, professionally oriented Master of Community and Regional Planning (MCRP) and is intended to provide learning opportunities for:

  • practicing professionals who want to strengthen their research skills;
  • those with undergraduate planning degrees from accredited programs;
  • and students (with or without a master's degree) interested in eventually doing doctoral research;

to undertake graduate-level study leading to a non-accredited, research-based master's degree.



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Interdepartmental and inter-faculty groupings are usually able to guide students in setting up disciplinary programs. Read more

Interdepartmental and inter-faculty groupings are usually able to guide students in setting up disciplinary programs. Where no established degree program exists, a student may request admission into a special individual interdisciplinary program administered by a supervisory committee representing the various disciplines involved. In the program as it now exists, the prospective student has to bring together three or four qualified faculty from different departments or units. Because there are no constraints on which fields are brought together, there are virtually no two students in the same subfield. Research topics in this program have included, for example:

  • Nisga'a Architecture and Landscapes: Ecological Wisdom and Community-led Design (involving the Schools/Departments of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Forest Ecology, Environmental Studies, Ethnobotany, and Nisga'a House of Wisdom
  • Matters of Life and Death in the Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery: Decision Making for the Not Yet Competent (involving the Departments of Pediatrics, Comparative Religion, Medical Anthropology, and Bioethics)
  • Red Rhetorics: Politics, Polemics and the Marx-Machine (involving the Departments of English, Germanic Studies, and Philosophy)
  • Multicultural Practices of Canadian Immigrant Youth: 'A Work in Progress' (involving the Departments of Educational Studies, English, and Anthropology)

Interdisciplinary Studies, in collaboration with the Media and Graphics Interdisciplinary Centre, offers a specialization in Human-Computer Interaction.



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