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Spatial Design: Architecture and Cities - MSc

Course Description

This MSc programme is centred on furthering the understanding of architecture and urban design in the development of building cities and the social groups that inhabit them. It offers an increase of specialism to those interested in the research and design of the built environment intending to take either an academic pathway or a specific direction within their current professional practice.

Degree information

The programme addresses the study of architecture and cities using the theoretical and analytical framework of space syntax as well as wider theoretical and analytical approaches. Students learn to specialise in one of several streams related to contemporary world challenges: architecture and computing, sustainable urbanism, social inclusion and exclusion, informal settlements, spatial cognition, the physical and immaterial dimensions of social networks and design innovation.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of seven core modules (90 credits), one optional module (30 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules
-Design as a Knowledge-Based Process
-Buildings, Organisations and Networks
-Space Syntax Methodology and Analytical Design
-Spatial Cultures
-Architectural Phenomena
-Spatial Justice

Optional modules
-Analytical Design Research Project
-E-Merging Design and Analysis

All MSc students submit a 10,000-word dissertation related to the main themes of the programme, typically involving a directed research project on a building or urban site.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through seminars, lectures, design studios, hands-on computer workshops, a variety of field trips in and around London and an international trip (optional). Assessment is through essays, written and take-home examinations, oral presentations, project reviews, debates, group and individual projects, classroom exercises and the dissertation.

The E-merging analysis and design studio (optional module) is usually accompanied by an international trip. Not exceeding £ 750 per person, based on standard costs as specified by the School.


Graduates of the programme go on to many different career routes: some have progressed to PhD degrees and have obtained academic positions in top universities worldwide, others have found teaching positions on architectural programmes; some go into policy-making activities; and many have ploughed their knowledge back into furthering their architectural/design careers. In the past few years an increasing number of graduates have obtained jobs at Space Syntax Limited.

First destinations of recent graduates include: CABE, Foster and Partners, Aecom, Arup, Qatar Foundation, Cube Design, Portland Design Associates, Levitt Bernstein, Paul Drew Design, Manu Chugh Architects, Buro Happold and Space Lab, as well as various academic or research positions at prestigious international universities or research centres.

This programme enhances students' intellectual and design abilities in the field of urban/architectural theory, architectural/urban morphology and the social aspects of the urban environment. Graduates of this programme can be involved in both professional and academic activities. Graduates who choose to go into practice will have a leading edge in evidence-informed and research-based design. Those who choose an academic path will have the advanced knowledge and skills required for high-level academic positions.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The course provides a unique approach to the study of architecture and cities world-wide equipping students with exceptional theoretical and analytical skills. It is located in UCL Bartlett one of the UK's largest multidisciplinary built environment faculty, bringing together scientific and professional specialisms required to research, understand, design, construct and operate the buildings and urban environments of the future.

The programme is unique in the world in integrating architecture and urbanism, and adopting a user-centred approach. Students receive advanced and exceptional training in theories, data analysis and their creative integration with design thinking.

The degree draws on the rich design industries in London including Space Syntax Ltd and provides networking opportunities to help advance students in their academic and professionals both during and after the programme.

Visit the Spatial Design: Architecture and Cities - MSc page on the University College London website for more details!

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Student Profiles

Brown Family Bursary - No. of awards TBC

Selection criteria
The bursary will be awarded based on financial need only as determined by the Student Funding Office.Value, Benefits and Duration:
- The value of the bursary is £15,000. The payment is to be applied to tuition fees in the first instance, with any remainder being paid to the successful applicant towards maintenance in termly instalments.
- The bursary is tenable for one year only.
- The bursary may not be held alongside other tuition fee only awards.

Value of Scholarship(s)



- prospective full-time UK Master's students who are undertaking a one-year programme of study in the Faculties of the Built Environment, Engineering Sciences or Mathematical & Physical Sciences (BEAMS) in 2015/16
- currently holding a first-class Bachelor's degree; and
- in financial need.

Application Procedure

See http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships/graduate/UK-EU-Master/uclalumniandfriends

Further Information



Ecclesiastical Insurance Bursary - No. of awards TBC

The Ecclesiastical Insurance Bursary is available to enable heritage professionals to study on the Sustainable Heritage MSc. Up to £20,000 (to cover the cost of fees and a stipend) is available for Home applicants (as defined by UCL General Regulations) who have the offer of a place for either full-time or part-time study on this course and who intend to accept or have already firmly accepted an offer.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Up to £20,000


The Bursaries will be awarded on the basis of academic merit, assessed on the information provided in the Graduate Application Form, and on financial need, assessed on the information provided in the application form.

Application Procedure

Application is via a form which can be found on the Institute of Sustainable Heritage website at http://www.bartlett.ucl.ac.uk/heritage/programmes/mres-msc/mscdiploma-sustainable-heritage.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an equivalent overseas qualification in an architectural or urban design related subject is usually required. Consideration will also be given to applicants from other fields, particularly human geography, anthropology and archaeology, and to applicants with degrees of a lower classification if they have considerable senior-level professional experience in the field. For applicants without a first degree or full professional membership, but with relevant and substantial work experience in the field, a special qualifying examination may be set; details are available from the Bartlett's Graduate Faculty Office

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