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MA Architecture and Urbanism

Course overview

Start date

September 2021

Subject area






On campus, dual delivery

Course summary

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 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.

Return to campus: dual delivery

In a Covid-secure environment, enjoy learning on our state-of-the-art campuses and flex between online delivery

Find out more

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.

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.

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.


Simon Hansen

MA Architecture and Urbanism

This course will open your eyes to a whole new and complex side of the ill-used term ‘sustainability’. It has helped me to understand and question the relationship between environmental, economic and social aspects in our current society and how to achieve the world we strive for through critical thinking.

Fees and funding

The Student Money Advice and Rights Team (SMART) are here to help you navigate
your finances while you're a student at the University of East London.

We can give you advice, information and guidance on government and
university funds so that you receive your full funding entitlement.


Phone: 020 8223 4444

Tuition fees
Course fees will be confirmed soon.

£10,280 to fund your Masters Programme under the Postgraduate Loans (PGL) scheme

Postgraduate Loans (PGL)

The Postgraduate Loan (PGL) provide non means-tested loans of up to £10,280 to taught and research masters students.  It will be paid to students as a contribution towards tuition fees, living costs and other course costs.

Applications are made directly through Student Finance England


Whether you qualify depends on:
•    if you’ve studied on a postgraduate course before
•    your course
•    your age
•    your nationality or residency status

Full eligibility can be found here 

Please take a look at the Postgraduate Loans for an overview of the new funding.

Apply for a 50 per cent discount on your tuition fees! You can get a 50 per cent discount on course fees through a UEL Postgraduate Scholarship.

The scholarship is open to full-time and part-time UK and EU students of taught postgraduate courses.

To see our full eligibility criteria and how to apply click here

Terms and conditions apply.

How we can help you

Did you know that with a postgraduate qualification you can expect to earn £200,000 more than someone who only holds an undergraduate degree*?

If you want to build new skills, change career paths, or further your career prospects, a postgraduate degree can help you. Our range of scholarships and bursaries will make financing your education that much easier.

*Sutton Trust Report 2013

Alumni Discount - 15 per cent

Early Payment Discount - 5 per cent

Part-time Postgraduate Fee-waiver - up to £500

Sport Scholarships – Up to £6,000

Terms and conditions apply.

There are a number of ways you can pay your fees to UEL
•    Online payment facilities
•    By telephone
•    In person at our Docklands or Stratford campus
•    Bank transfer Full information on making payments can be found here
If you wish to discuss payments to the University, please contact our Income Team on 020 8223 2030 or you can email

The Student Money Advice and Rights Team (SMART) are here to help you navigate
your finances while you're a student at the University of East London.

We can give you advice, information and guidance on government and
university funds so that you receive your full funding entitlement.


Phone: 020 8223 4444

Tuition fees
Course fees will be confirmed soon.

At UEL, we understand that studying in another country is a big financial commitment. If you apply early for an postgraduate course, you may be entitled to a scholarship of up to £4,000. You can find out more about the international scholarships here. In addition to this, we offer a five per cent early payment discount and 15 per cent alumni discount.

The Student Money Advice and Rights Team (SMART) also run an Emergency International Fund to assist international students in hardship.

You can contact our SMART team on 02082234444 or

As part of the Tier 4 student visa requirements, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) estimate that you will need £1265* per month to cover your living costs. It includes expenses for accommodation, food and drink, travel within London, text books, entertainment, clothing, toiletries and laundry. Most Tier 4 students are required to show they have sufficient funds to cover the first nine months of the course before they start- a total of £11385- in addition to the tuition fees. You can find more information about the specific requirements of the Tier 4 student visa here. The amount that you will spend can vary depending on your lifestyle. The UKCISA International Student Calculator can help you plan and manage your money.

* Please note the Immigration Rules are subject to change and this figure is likely to be increased by UKVI year on year. Please therefore check our ISA pages ( for more information at the time of preparing your visa application.

Deposits and paying by instalments

International students are required to pay a deposit prior to being issued a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).

Your remaining balance will be paid in five monthly instalments over your first term. The first of these instalments must be paid when completing your enrolment on arrival at UEL. Please follow the payment instructions here.

After the required payment has been made, you will be asked to complete the online International Student Reply Form to confirm your acceptance of our offer and of our terms of admittance and fees policy.

Our International team at UEL are available for advice and guidance on studying in London, fees, scholarships and visa requirements.


Tuition fees
Course fees will be confirmed soon.

Entry requirements

Minimum 2.2 Honours in an Built Environment Discipline

We would normally expect you to have Grade C in GCSE English and Maths. 


(Including European Union)


The submission of a portfolio of work gives the applicant an advantage in showing the academic team their ability and engagement with the specialist area of their choice. We will look for the following in a submitted portfolio:


•    Evidence of exploratory spatial design techniques including sketching, especially model-making and perspective-based imagery
•    Sound technical knowledge of building or spatial design and conventional drawing abilities (plans, sections, elevations)
•    Environmental and structural design knowledge
•    Awareness of architectural history and theory
•    Ability to synthesise the above into architectural proposals
•    Depth of work, engagement and commitment to the subject
•    Presentational skills


Overall IELTS 6.0 overall with minimum 6.0 in writing and speaking, and 5.5 in listening and reading(or recognised equivalent)

If you do not meet the academic English language requirements for your course, you may be eligible to enrol onto a pre-sessional English programme. The length of the course will depend on your current level of English and the requirements for your degree programme. We offer a 5-week and an 11-week pre-sessional course. Find out more here.

As an inclusive university, we recognise that applicants who have been out of education for some time may not have the formal qualifications usually required for entry to a course. We welcome applications from those who can demonstrate their enthusiasm and commitment to study and have the relevant life/work experience that equips them to succeed on the course. We will assess this from the information provided in your application – in particular your personal statement - to help us decide on your eligibility for the course.

Please note that some courses require applicants to meet the entry requirements outlined on the course page. Our pre-entry Information Advice and Guidance Team are able to provide further advice on entry requirements and suitability for study.
You can speak to a member of our Applicant Enquiries team on +44 (0)20 8223 3333, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Alternatively, you can visit our Information, Advice and Guidance centre.

What you'll study

We consistently review and develop our courses and modules to ensure they are up-to-date with sector and industry graduate skills demands. Course structure, modules and options are subject to change.

  • Design 1
  • Design 2
  • Mental Wealth
  • Theory and Process 1
  • Theory and Process 2
  • Applied Project

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.

Course specification

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.

Who will teach on this course

Fulvio Wirz
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.


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. 

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.

You may also be interested in

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  • Applying to UEL

  • Your offer

Meet us in your country

Our international team travel overseas regularly to meet prospective students and attend recruitment fairs. Our academics also give regular lectures overseas and are happy to speak to prospective students. In addition, we have a large worldwide network of advisors who can provide guidance and support with applying to study at the University of East London.

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Global scholar students