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Fees and Funding

Here's the fees and funding information for each year of this course

Overview

The MA in Architecture and Urbanism builds upon UEL's legacy of world-leading form generation through computational design explored through the work of the University's late senior lecturer, Paul Coates. This involves using parametric and object-oriented design methodologies seamlessly with rapid manufacturing and visualization techniques available within the school.

Whether you want to expand your field of expertise, or deepen it, this unique one-year course will enrich your knowledge and enhance your career in the fields of Computational Design, Design for Digital and Robotic Construction or Urban Design.

The course is aimed at architecture graduates wishing to specialize in advanced digital design processes, and at those within the 'built environment' - such as planners, engineers or designers. 

Download our yearbook and visit our Instagram and Facebook page to view examples of our students' work.

Along the course Computational Design, Design for Digital and Robotic Construction and Urban Design will be developed across the year following a common digital platform which simulates the state of the art of design processes in contemporary architectural practices.

The goal is experimenting new possibilities for architectural spaces and cities connecting the design to advanced fabrication techniques and sustainable strategies in order to generate a research leading to a secure impact in the industry.

What makes this course different

Papers on a desk

Extensive skills

This is a new, unique course involving theory and practice, design and fabrication. See what you can expect from this course and examples of student work in our brochure.

Aerial view of London

Industry links

You will have superb opportunities to benefit from a number of professional links with renowned practitioners working or collaborating with UEL, such as Gold Medal winning C+S Italian architectural practice, Article 25, Buro Happold, Cundall, Zaha Hadid Architects, Grimshaw.

View of university building interior

Great facilities

Our course offers the chance to materialise your ideas and integrate fabrication within the design process using our cutting edge manufacturing facilities including an ABB robotic arm, CNC milling, Laser cut and 3D printing.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

The Masters is structured in three terms which will explore a holistic approach to digital architecture and urban design following the "systemic design" paradigm which uses advanced methods of concept generation, context analysis, programmatic control and performance assessment to achieve a high level of multidisciplinary design coordination.

You will study two taught theory modules, each worth 30 credits, and a practical module worth 60 before proceeding to your concluding thesis. The thesis submission will focus on the manufacturing process of a large scale component or a physical model of the building/master plan.  It will include a written dissertation to complement your studies with a critical reflection on processes and choices made along the course. 

To view the work of our students, please visit our Instagram and Facebook pages. 

DOWNLOAD COURSE SPECIFICATIONS

MODULES

  • Core Modules
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    Design 1

    This module aims to teach advanced design and fabrication techniques through the development of a project-based portfolio.

    At this level (semester A) the key objective it to establish the backbones of the students' design process in order to get them prepared to the second semester of the programme.

    You will learn how to set a research-based project pushing their creative routines beyond standardized workflows while looking at the recent developments of the discipline and the forthcoming innovations that are set to reshape the building industry.

    Design agendas are provided according to the MA programme of choice. The aim is to deliver a choice of research-based architectural itineraries to support and facilitate you in this process through an explorative approach to design.

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    Design 2

    This module builds upon the work developed in Design 1 during semester A. Having successfully learned appropriate skills and methods to tackle complex architectural and urban schemes, you will further develop your portfolio to achieve a higher level of multidisciplinary integration and use of innovative technologies.

    The research agenda set by the programme will be clearly proven and embedded within the design proposal.

    Basic cross-discipline coordination, advanced presentation skills and ground-breaking manufacturing technologies will be introduced to you.

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    Mental Wealth

    The overall objective of the module is to enable you to work with complex, spatial and contextual design tasks that are developed through a critical understanding of theoretical, societal and ethical positions on architecture and the built environment.

    The key objective of the module is to develop cutting edge design skills and processes aligned to the most innovative industry standards in order to prepare students to successful career progression.

    Design, theoretical and practical agendas are provided according to the MA programme of choice.

    The aim is to deliver a choice of research-based architectural itineraries to support and facilitate you in this process through an explorative approach to design. In doing so you will begin to recognise the areas for your own personal and professional development (including emotional, social, physical, cultural and cognitive intelligences) through taught and workshop activity.

    Fundamental to this module is the open studio environment which allows you to partially mentor a variety of skillsets to your peers in the year below.

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    Theory and Processes 1

    The aim of this module is: 

    To study and critically reflect on key issues in the theory of architecture and the culture of the built environment, with specific regard to their relationship to advanced architectural design and urban design at a postgraduate level through a choice of particular perspectives (the chosen theory route).

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    Theory and Processes 2

    The aims of this module are:

    To study and critically reflect on key issues in the theory of architecture and the culture of the built environment, with specific regard to their relationship to advanced architectural design an urban design at a postgraduate level through a choice of particular perspectives (the chosen theory route).

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    Applied Project

    Key objectives of this module are:

    • Become familiar with the procedures and conventions of academic scholarship
    • Extend and consolidate an understanding of the practice and theory of chosen study route
    • To develop, discuss and refine both practical and innovative design-based research, strategies and projects, within the framework of a thesis.
    • Gain experience in the compilation, ordering, interpretation and communication of interrelated practice and theory, with clear writing and arguments.
    • To communicate work that is critical, reflective, independent, original and articulated in a comprehensive manner.
    • Understanding of an appropriate application of historical, social, spatial, environmental, practical, theoretical and/or personal writing.
    • To add to the body of knowledge within the field of either computational design, robotic fabrication or urban design.
    • To focus attention on an area of particular interest, in order to develop a specialised knowledge and approach that can support a professional career.

HOW YOU'LL LEARN

You will explore digital design as a collaborative journey, learning how to control inter-disciplinary dynamics which are occurring in contemporary architectural practices and are the key to a successful design. Advanced 3d software and BIM processes will be taught and implemented as the backbone of the research.

The course will be led by Dr Fulvio Wirz,  MA Programme leader at UEL and former Associate at Zaha Hadid Architects with Barbara Zandavali (MArch at the Barlett School of Architecture) who will provide specialized support on digital fabrication processes. 

UEL staff includes celebrated practicing architects such as Patrik Schumacher, director at Zaha Hadid Architects, Maria Segantini, partner of C+S Architects, Tony Fretton, principal of Tony Fretton Architects, and Katherine Clarke, partner of Muf.
 

The Digital Fab Lab
The course is developed in synergy with UEL Digital Fabrication Lab, a cutting edge facility including an ABB robotic arm, CNC, laser cut and 3D printing. All digital tools will be available across the year to support students' research. During the final term students will be asked to develop and manufacture a large scale (up to 1:1) component/ assembly of their project.   
The course will enhance your career as well as providing an ideal base from which you could choose to go on to doctoral study.

HOW YOU'LL BE ASSESSED

The two taught modules are assessed through an essay/report and design portfolio and by your contributions to seminar discussions and design exercises. The work culminates in your master's thesis which will focus on the digital fabrication of parts of the projects developed across the year.

CAMPUS and FACILITIES

Docklands Campus

Docklands Campus, Docklands Campus, London, E16 2RD

WHO TEACHES THIS COURSE

The teaching team includes qualified academics, practitioners and industry experts as guest speakers. Full details of the academics will be provided in the student handbook and module guides.

Maria Segantini

Maria Alessandra Segantini is a partner and director of C+S Architects based in Italy and London, UK.

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The education I received at UEL contributed to the development of my knowledge and vision in the field of architecture. Thanks to workshops and fabrication labs, I gained skills not only in technical but also in practical terms. MA Architecture and Urbanism helped me to develop an invaluable professional network by exposing my work to international architects who are always invited as guest critics. Thanks to the connections and new skills that I gained at UEL M+A, I found a job at Zaha Hadid Architect immediately after my graduation. Now I will try to develop what I have learned at the MA within a professional work environment.

MA Architecture and Urbanism

MA Architecture and Urbanism

What we're researching

At the University of East London we are working on the some of the big issues that will define our future; from sustainable architecture and ethical AI, to health inequality and breaking down barriers in the creative industries.

Our students and academics are more critically engaged and socially conscious than ever before. Discover some of the positive changes our students, alumni and academics are making in the world.

Please visit our Research section to find out more.

YOUR FUTURE CAREER

This course is ideal if you are a practitioner or recent graduate wishing to diversify your knowledge of built environment disciplines. It will:

  • Help you shift your architectural practice into a new field or direction.
  • Give you a better understanding of contemporary practice within European and global contexts and help you develop your critical design or writing and thinking skills.
  • Offer you a specialised expertise that could help to take your career in an upward, and perhaps different, direction.
  • Give you the opportunity to expand your network of contacts, getting in touch with globally renowned practitioners, manufacturers and researchers.
  • If you are considering further study, the course will provide an ideal route towards PhD-level work.

Explore the different career options you can pursue with this degree and see the median salaries of the sector on our Career Coach portal.