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Fees and Funding

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

Overview

This multi-disciplinary course analyses the impact of capitalist neoliberalism on development. It examines neoliberal policies over the last 30 years and their effects on urban layout, property markets, architectural form and social justice. Although sited within the architecture department we welcome applicants from a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines.

The course is comprised of four modules: Reading the Neoliberal City; Psychogeography and Situationism; Ethical Development and the Digital City. Topics for study include the housing crisis and the privatisation of cities, investigating the financialisation of the urban environment, polarisation and the consequences for citizens in terms of trust and fear. The modules on Ethical Development and the Digital City focus on potential alternatives to the neoliberal city. 

Download our yearbook to view examples of our students' work.

Architecture at UEL is based in our Docklands campus, in a pioneer area for neoliberal development and a key study site for the course. But while London is the focus, the global impact of these processes, which are relevant across the world, provides the context.

What makes this course different

Two people in front of a computer screen

Extensive skills

The MRes will equip you with high level research and writing skills, grounded in critical thinking. Alongside the development of critical writing skills, the use of visual media, including film and photography, is an important component.

A lecture hall

Diverse topics

The course challenges conventional orthodoxies with regard to the impact of policy on cities, housing and development and will develop your ability to construct an effective theoretical critique around these issues.

Aerial view of an exhibition

Award-winning department

Our department is renowned for its award-winning students and academics. Two of our architecture lecturers are part of a collective that won the prestigious Turner Prize 2015.

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

The MRes in Architecture course is aimed at a range of professionals and students from around the world who are engaged in the built environment - from architects and planners to developers and activists. 

It is geared towards working professionals but is also a means for practitioners seeking new employment pathways, or re-entry to the job market, to improve their skills base in critical thinking and writing, both of which are crucial to successful practice.

The compact attendance commitment and the flexibility of tutorial engagement within the Production of Place module is especially suitable for working professionals, providing a blended, part-time learning experience.

The course offers you a critical perspective on the development of cities, challenging conventional orthodoxies about growth in cities and critiquing familiar concepts such as 'regeneration' and 'sustainability'.

Your studies will focus on London's Docklands from the 1980s to the developments associated with the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

By contrasting the roll-out of neo-liberal policies with their impact on social justice, it will offer lessons for cities around the UK and internationally.

MODULES

  • Core Modules
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    Professional Practice/Mental Wealth

    The aims of this module are:

    • To enhance writing skills across a range of media, providing students with high quality transferable writing skills
    • To enable students to communicate theoretical and analytical concepts to both built environment experts and non-experts alike.
    • To provide students with a systematic understanding of the concepts behind and the standards for academic writing.
    • To enable students to apply the techniques they will learn in order to structure written and verbal discourse in future critical writing and debate.
    • To introduce to students the fundamentals of 'critical writing', and its application to themes running through the programme.
    • Produce graduates of the MRes with enhanced ability for critical analysis and investigation through writing, with the ability to frame intellectual insight within rigorous academic methodologies.
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    Critical Studies

    The main aim of this module is: 

    • To provide you with a critical understanding of the concepts behind contemporary urban and architectural theory, urban politics and policy.
    • To introduce to you the fundamentals of 'critique', and its application to themes running through

    the programme.

    • To enable students to communicate advanced theoretical and analytical concepts to both built environment experts and non-experts alike.
    • To enable students to structure written and verbal criticism and critique of dominant urban themes, theories and issues.
    • Produce graduates of the MRes with enhanced ability for critical analysis and investigation through writing, with the ability to frame intellectual insight within rigorous academic methodologies.
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    Reading the Neoliberal City

    The main aims of this module are:

    • To provide you with a critical understanding of wider social and geo-political frameworks of

    the city, related to a specific urban situation.

    • To enable you to understand and communicate the relationships between social, economic, political forces and policies of urban development, in relation to the physical consequences of  'urban regeneration'.
    • Through the development of this knowledge, you will be able to demonstrate a wider understanding of how urban democratic processes are developed, exploited or controlled.
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    Thesis

    The main aims of the module are:

    • To enable you to communicate original research into the relationships between social, economic, political forces and policies and their impact on urban development.
    • Through the synthesis of this knowledge, you will be able to demonstrate a considered and original understanding of urban democratic processes in relation to place.
    • To produce graduates of the MRes with enhanced ability for critical analysis and investigation through writing, with the ability to frame intellectual insight within rigorous academic methodologies.

HOW YOU'LL LEARN

The course will help you develop your critical writing and thinking skills. It will also focus your architectural practice on an urban scale, increase your understanding of contemporary regeneration issues in a European context and empower you to overcome cultural barriers such as glass ceilings for women in practice.

The teaching team comprises independent but like-minded professionals and academics, each of whom brings a critical perspective to urban discourse based on academic research, social policy development and the practice of architecture and urban regeneration.

The module leaders is Anna Minton, author of Ground Control. The supervisors are: Tony Fretton, Emeritus Professor at TU Delft and director of Tony Fretton Architects; Katherine Clarke, director at muf architecture/art; and Maria Alessandra Segantini, director of C+S Architects. Alan Chandler, director of the conservation practice Arts, Lettres, Techniques, is the Course Leader.

The course will help you develop your own ideas on the critical operation of cities and their development and regeneration - both individually and as part of research teams. 

Supported by focused research skills teaching, you will define, organise and execute original urban research. The European Workshop, in particular, gives you the chance to gain experience of working on live urban projects with influential collaborators from practice, communities and administrations, and other stakeholders in the project.

On-going assignments and outputs allow for critical and stimulating feedback and learning opportunities to provide the substance of your final thesis.  

The use of visual media, including film and photography, is an important component, encouraging you to engage directly with place. You will also participate in a filmmaking workshop and complete a photographic essay.

HOW YOU'LL BE ASSESSED

The course is assessed through a mixture of taught modules and a thesis, which make up 180 academic credits for a master's degree. A part-time version of the course is available, which can be completed over two years.

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.

Anna Minton

Anna Minton is a writer and journalist and Reader in Architecture, co-director of MRes Architecture: Reading the Neoliberal City and published author.

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Dr Debra Benita Shaw

Debra teaches history and theory on undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Visual Arts and Architecture and supervises PhDs in Fine Art.

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What we're researching

Our academic team combines world-class teaching with an enquiring research approach. Programme Leader Anna Minton is the author of Ground Control, published by Penguin and her forthcoming book on the housing crisis, Big Capital: Who is London for? also published by Penguin in summer 2017.

Tony Fretton, principal of Tony Fretton Architects, teaches on the course and is a thesis supervisor. Gilles Retsin, senior lecturer in Architecture and Debra Shaw, Reader in Cultural Theory, teach on the Digital City module.

Gilles focuses on how architecture is absorbing the digital, creating buildings and spaces without exteriors or facades while Debra's work investigates the notion of the 'cyber flaneur' in the city. 

Guest lecturers are a key component of the course and include politicians, leading industry figures, artists and activists. Recent speakers include Conservative and Green party politicians and developer Chris Brown who will be participating in next year's module on ethical development. We have an ongoing collaboration with Sian Berry, the chair of the housing group at the Greater London Authority who is also involved with the ethical development module.

Our approach to teaching and research is symbiotic, with teaching feeding into research and vice versa, which is reflected by the success of the MRes in offering a route towards PhD study. Two of our students last year are continuing onto PhD study in a diverse range of areas.

One applicant is looking at the potential for self-build in collaboration with Brighton and Hove Borough Council and the other is pursuing a practice based PhD based on a large scale infrastructure project to build 500,000 homes in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Other ongoing research projects involve a study into housing and mental health with the mental health charity Mind and a Leverhulme Artist in Residence grant to develop a community music project about regeneration in Newham.

YOUR FUTURE CAREER

Any practitioner contemplating a part-time or full-time career in teaching would benefit from this course.

Existing academic staff on fractional contracts within built environment programmes will also benefit from a sound academic writing qualification that is valued by universities.

This course is designed to gives the opportunity to enhance your current thinking, writing and communication skills to a level suitable to commence doctoral study for a PhD.

The precision this requires is an asset in the professional marketplace, and by focussing the themes of urban regeneration and the political mechanisms of the city, the course delivers invaluable insights into urban practice.

Through active participation in the course, you will acquire critical insights and practical experiences of urban regeneration in its widest sense.

As part of UEL's Place Production Research Group, we aim to be Britain's leading centre for critical thinking about cities. Our programme of research for the coming academic year includes a one day conference on the housing crisis, co hosted with Birkbeck and the academic journal City. 

Our partners also include Guardian Cities, the Cities website of The Guardian newspaper and The Chisenhale Gallery in Mile End, East London.

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