Architectural regeneration is the collective activities of reusing, adapting and evolving existing buildings within an urban or rural context. The activities recognise the impacts these decisions and interventions have on the regeneration of a place, and are underpinned by the principles of environmental, social and cultural sustainability.
This programme promotes an interdisciplinary approach that combines critical thinking and analysis, as well as creative design. It is based on the ethos that the regeneration and development of the inherited built environment, with its social and cultural fabric, is an essential component of sustainable development.
It prepares you for a practical and leading role in organisations involved in architectural regeneration and development. It is international in focus, with an emphasis on field research and design/implementation projects.
Why choose this course?
Oxford Brookes has an established international reputation for its excellence in teaching and research related to international vernacular architecture, architectural conservation and regeneration. Staff teaching on the programme, including Dr Aylin Orbasli and Dr Marcel Vellinga, combine different disciplinary backgrounds with academic and practice experience, and active involvement with projects in different parts of the world. We house the Paul Oliver Vernacular Architecture Library.
We stimulate students towards more innovative approaches and dynamic ways of thinking that are now essential to secure a viable future for historic urban environments, traditional settlements and the world’s vernacular architecture. The international nature of the programme builds up skills to work in different cultural contexts and will introduce students to a network of international organisations in the field.
This course in detail
The course is offered at three levels: as a postgraduate certificate, a postgraduate diploma and a master's degree. Normally candidates enrol for the master's degree, but it is possible to enrol directly on the PGCert or PGDip, either on recommendation from the admissions tutor or as an exit point from the MA.
In total, 180 credits are required to complete the MA in International Architectural Regeneration and Development. These are divided into two parts: 120 credits must be successfully completed to qualify for the postgraduate diploma. During Semesters 1 and 2 all MA students take taught core modules amounting to 90 credits and choose options amounting to 30 credits. Research methods seminars and the dissertation itself account for a further 60 credits required to achieve the MA. For the postgraduate certificate 60 credits are needed.
The programme is made up of core (compulsory) modules and optional modules that are explained in more detail below.
Core modules: -Architecture, Culture and Tradition -Applications in Regeneration -Globalisation, Environment and Development -Regeneration and Development Project
Optional modules include: -Vernacular Architecture, Sustainability and Development -Master Classes -Development and Urbanisation -Urban Design Theory -Independent Study
Other compulsory modules for the MA stage are: -Research Methods -Dissertation/Design Project
The course is international in focus and throughout the course references and visits to international contexts are made. A field trip is organised each year to look at international examples of regeneration projects. The international body of students on the course are encouraged to reflect on and present experiences from their countries.
NB As courses are reviewed regularly, the module list you choose from may vary from that shown here.
Teaching and learning
The aim of the course is to provide the knowledge and tools that will enable you to recognise the potential of, and contribute creatively to, the appropriate and sustainable regeneration of the inherited built environment in urban or rural contexts, including vernacular architecture.
The course will help you develop a critical awareness of the cultural embodiment of the built environment and associated regeneration and development processes, and attain skills and tools that are necessary to propose and implement innovative yet culturally sensitive and environmentally sustainable strategies and interventions.
Teaching methods include a combination of lectures and seminars, design studios, workshops and group discussions, field study and master classes.
Careers and professional development
Jobs in architectural regeneration can include a wide range of prospects including private sector consultancy assignments, public sector decision making positions or working for not for profit organisations delivering or assisting the regeneration process.
Graduates of this programme have gone on to work in a wide range of positions in the regeneration field internationally. Much of the success of a career in regeneration is combining the knowledge and skills learnt in the programme with professional skills gained in previous study and practice. Although we are unable to directly ‘find’ jobs for programme graduates, we regularly make recommendations through a good network of contacts and alumni and share employment opportunities with current students and graduates of the programme.
Graduates with architecture backgrounds often go on to work in practices specialising in regeneration or rehabilitation. Younger graduates have found that regeneration expertise has given them an edge and therefore more responsibility in practices they are working at. Those with more experience have found opportunities to diversify and gain positions in consultancy or multi-disciplinary practices.
There are also a wide range of jobs in the non-governmental sectors, ranging from managing small non-governmental (charitable) organisations to working on projects for major donor bodies like UNESCO. We have had an Indian graduate working on post-disaster rebuilding in Haiti, a Japanese graduate working on the preservation of vernacular architecture in Vietnam, and a Canadian graduate running donor-assisted construction programmes in Papua New Guinea. Closer to home, a UK graduate with a background in law is managing a townscape heritage initiative on behalf of the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Overseas students in particular, who have joined the programme from public sector assignments, have found that the degree has helped them both specialise and progress in their departments on their return. One graduate has gone onto head the procurement team in the Ministry of Municipalities specifically dealing with major regeneration projects. Several others work for their respective national heritage authorities.
Other graduates have used the programme as a stepping stone for PhD study, at Brookes or elsewhere. A number of former graduates are now teaching regeneration and conservation at degree and postgraduate levels.