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MA/PGDip/PGCert International Architectural Regeneration and Development

Course content

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.

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. 

Approach to assessment

You will be assessed on project work and presentations, other seminar presentations, reports, written assignments and coursework. MA students are also assessed on a subject presentation, literature review and 18,000 word dissertation.

Field trips

An optional international field trip that takes place during the winter break each year is a key component of the programme. The field study encourages you to test field research methods and engage in different cultural contexts as professionals. The field study also forms the basis and location for the second semester regeneration and development project. 

Please note that students are required to cover the costs of the field trip.

Field trip locations in the past have included India, Cyprus, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Romania, Spain, Croatia, the Netherlands and Portugal.


Visit the MA/PGDip/PGCert International Architectural Regeneration and Development page on the Oxford Brookes University website for more details!

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