• CollegeCSM
  • Start dateSeptember 2018
  • Course length2 years

MA Architecture: Cities and Innovation

In a world where established customs, systems and structures are increasingly unstable there is a need for a different kind of architectural thinking - one that identifies and exploits opportunities, and address the challenges of contemporary society.

On this course you'll explore the edges of the disciplinary boundaries of architecture, and test design approaches which respond to the burgeoning need for contemporary city design to focus not only on the traditional ‘hard’ infrastructures of buildings, transport and engineering, but also the softer infrastructures of social networks, organisation and human interactions.

This course is part of the Spacial Practices Programme. 

Great reasons to apply

  • MA Architecture: Cities and Innovation has been designed to enable you to pursue your studies whilst also undertaking part-time employment, internships or care responsibilities. You are expected to commit 30 hours per week to your studies; your taught input will normally be scheduled over a maximum of two to three days per week during term time
  • Prepare yourself for entry into a changing profession – the practice of architecture continues to go through changes, MA Architecture Cities and Innovation offers you the opportunity to engage with the challenges of the future now
  • Explore the role of architecture in creating sustainable communities – architecture can be much more than designing new buildings. On this Course you will challenge the traditional role of the architect, and develop new ways of working that engage with real and long-term sustainability
  • Engage in professional practice as part of your studies – you are required to undertake 10 weeks of industry placement as a part of your studies. Through this, you will have the opportunity to engage with and understand both existing forms of practice and to posit new ways of working
  • Work closely with communities, clients and social enterprise – projects and opportunities on the Course will bring you into contact with communities, clients and social enterprises which seek to open up new approaches to your role as a future architect
  • Collaborate with other professions – architectural practice constantly requires that you are able to communicate and collaborate with other professionals. MA Architecture: Cities and Innovation creates opportunities for students to work with other professions, both within the College and outside.
Adrea
Adrea

Adrea

Alistair
Alistair

Alistair

Arts and crafts
Arts and crafts

Arts and crafts 

Conor
Conor

Conor

Fountain
Fountain

Fountain

Jo
Jo

Jo

Laurence
Laurence

Laurence

Marc
Marc

Marc

Matt
Matt

Matt

Nicholas Rurban
Nicholas Rurban

Nicholas Rurban

Single Tower
Single Tower

Single Tower

Watts
Watts

Watts

Willam
Willam

Willam

Zhan
Zhan

Zhan

MA Architecture on Instagram

  • A day in the countryside exploring buildings.
  • Great to visit our Community Oven exhibited in @hauserwirth Somerset with @grizedale.arts #studyarchitectureatartschool
  • . The Central Saint Martins Megacrit: THE WAY WE LEARN, hosted in collaboration with @architecturefoundation, will take place on the 22nd February 2018. This is a day-long event bringing together students from different schools with shared interests in order to challenge institutional boundaries. The MArch Architecture at Central Saint Martins will be hosting students from LSE Cities, The Global Free Unit, ADS2 and ADS6 at the RCA, Diploma 10 at the AA, Situated Practice at the Bartlett and Sheffield Hallam. . The students and guests will be taking part in a series of round table discussions based around six key themes; Experimental Practice, Urban Economies, Self-generated Projects, Architecture as Civic Action, Embedding Heritage and Diversity, and Making is Connecting. . The event is open to all, no RSVP is needed, doors are open between 9-10am only. . Followed by Fundamentals: Build, a panel discussion hosted by @ollywainwright at 18:30. For more information check www.fundamentals-london.uk (link in Bio).
  • . FUNDAMENTALS - BUILD . Is procurement too bureaucratic, risk-averse and a barrier to the best design? . Stuck in a quagmire of pre-qualification questionnaires, turnover requirements and professional indemnity demands, many practices find much potential work is out of their reach. Unable to get on to framework agreements and denied the chance to design a certain type of building if they haven't built one already, architects are stuck in a hopeless catch-22 situation. Even when they are eligible, they are often forced to compete on price, rather than design quality, leading to a detrimental race to the bottom. With the cost of procurement to both clients and bidders now reaching up to 30% of a contract's value, how can these cumbersome, prohibitive systems be overhauled? . Claire Bennie – Municipal | Russell Curtis – RCKa / Project Compass | Kay Hughes – Khaa | Malcolm Reading – Malcolm Reading Consultants . 22 February LVMH Lecture Theatre 6.30pm . Debates chaired by @ollywainwright for @spatial_csm . For Tickets follow link in bio. . FUNDAMENTALS THE WAY WE WORK . Having begun by looking outwards, interrogating the fundamental forces that shape our cities, this year's debate series focuses the spotlight on the profession of architecture, taking a long hard look in the mirror to tackle the way we work. Architectural education is in crisis, staggering on as an overlong, overpriced indulgence with a tenuous grip on reality. Architectural practice only survives by running an exploited labour force of overworked, underpaid, precariously employed staff, fuelling an industry devoid of the power it once had. The best projects go to the worst practices, with risk-averse procurement systems leading to work being awarded to global conglomerates and safe pairs of hands. The architectural profession is broken at every level – how can we fix it? . #fundamentals #csm
  • MAKING THINGS SOCIAL: PAST FUTURE CONDITIONAL SPEAKER: Aditi Anand DATE: 14 FEB 18 TIME: 18.30 LOCATION: CSM - F109 'Our future is conditional on our understanding and treatment of the past. How can methods of archiving be instrumentalised in the shaping of contemporary dialogues around urban migration, explorations of identity and designations of cultural heritage at the intersection of planning and cultural policy? ‘Past Future Conditional’, a collage of moving images made from archival footage of London, is a collaborative work made by Shamiso Oneka and Krishan Pilch. Aditi Anand is Head of Creative Content at London’s ‘Migration Museum Project’. Aditi is a creative producer and public engagement strategist and has worked internationally on projects in India and New York. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Yale University. Join us to discuss the future of the archive and the use of recorded material.'
  • Silicon molds for acoustic panelling #makingweek @luizandreqc
  • Caretaker birdhouses, dementia chair and the hand of care. #makingweek @hackney_repair_archive
  • Fashion Architecture Test #makingweek
  • Classical Hair Decoration - #makingweek
  • #makingweek
  • Making week.
  • FUNDAMENTALS : WORK 8 February CSM - LVMH Lecture Theatre 6.30pm Debates chaired by @ollywainwright for Spatial Practices -> link in Bio WORK Are architects overworked, underpaid and losing their agency? Once enjoying a lordly position at the top of the tree, architects have found their status progressively eroded, with every stage of the design process taken over by specialist consultants, or else absorbed by design-and-build contractors. Working ever longer hours for ever lower fees, fuelling a culture of internships and temporary contracts, architects have become hopeless pawns at the mercy of their clients, their staff precariously employed with no union to support them. How can labour practices be reformed to avoid the architect's exploitation and extinction, or will an unregulated market ultimately correct itself? Architectural Workers – campaign group | Lucy Carmichael – Director of Practice, RIBA | Harriet Harriss – Royal College of Art | Peter Morris – Allford Hall Monaghan Morris | Patrik Schumacher – Zaha Hadid Architects ABOUT FUNDAMENTALS THE WAY WE WORK 25 January - 3 March 2018 Having begun by looking outwards, interrogating the fundamental forces that shape our cities, this year's debate series focuses the spotlight on the profession of architecture, taking a long hard look in the mirror to tackle the way we work. Architectural education is in crisis, staggering on as an overlong, overpriced indulgence with a tenuous grip on reality. Architectural practice only survives by running an exploited labour force of overworked, underpaid, precariously employed staff, fuelling an industry devoid of the power it once had. The best projects go to the worst practices, with risk-averse procurement systems leading to work being awarded to global conglomerates and safe pairs of hands. The architectural profession is broken at every level – how can we fix it? Link in Bio
  • Course Forum through Conor’s eyes.
  • MAKING THINGS SOCIAL: MAKING THINGS Wednesday 31st January 2018, F109 6:30pm Join us in an evening of making. Following a short film, we will undertake a pinch-pot workshop creating vessels to be fired in a smoke firing kiln. Free from concept and rationalisation we ask you to spend an evening making for the sake of it, reflecting on the meditative benefits of playful expression. Materials provided, just bring your hands. To make sure we have enough clay for everyone, please RSVP to a.mitchell0220161@arts.ac.uk
  • Our specialist open days give you the opportunity to visit the College, meet staff and students and gain in-depth information on our courses, teaching
 and student life. You will be able to
 ask questions about the courses MArch Architecture and MA Cities and Innovation, see the studios and facilities and get a taste of the creative atmosphere at Central Saint Martins.
The open days will last two hours and provide an introduction to the course, followed by a tour of the college facilities. We design open days to coincide with events taking place across the school to give a broad spectrum of activities. To confirm your place on a tour please email: e.botha@csm.arts.ac.uk or book online at: www.arts.ac.uk/csm/courses/csm-open-days Follow us on Facebook: @CSM.MArch
  • HURRAY - The community bread oven on display @hauserwirth Somerset (with @marcus_coates_ apple suite). Designed and built by students from @csm_architecture_march with @takeshi_hayatsu, @gregory_ross , @canovenove for @grizedale.arts @coniston_institute @ruskin_museum now completed for the exhibition #thelandwelivein Images: Takeshi Hayatsu & Grizedale Arts (the truck one)
  • #Repost @rebeccamariadavies #peoplesbureau #tatelates Building by Numbers with @gemmaleigh_h - massive thanks to @csm_architecture_march for studio space the other day to prepare!
  • Thumps Up for FUNDAMENTALS - The Way We Work - chaired by @ollywainwright at @spatial_csm Next up FUNDAMENTALS: WORK, 8th of Feb DONT MISS! - link in Bio.
  • Making Things Social - Making Things Inflatable #architecture #csm #centralsaintmartins @csm_news @spatial_csm #studyarchitectureatartschool
  • Making Things Social is Making Things Better By Making Things Inflatable 24 Jan 6.30pm F109. Borrowing tactics of spatial resistance from the action group “tools for action” MTS kicks off 2018 with a hands on test of #collective #making in CSM's first Inflatable cobblestone workshop. Inspired by #toolsforaction #barricadeballet Watch “Barricade Ballet https://vimeo.com/180476017?ref=tw-v-share
         

Course catalogues

Course detail

In a world where established customs, systems and structures are increasingly under scrutiny, there is a need for a different type of architectural thinking – one that identifies and exploits opportunities and addresses the challenges of the 21st century.

MA Architecture: Cities and Innovation is part of the Spatial Practices programme. It is uniquely positioned at Central Saint Martins to draw on dynamic design thinking from a range of practices from fashion through performance design to product design. Research, analysis, proposition and intervention will enable you to develop new insights, solutions and methodologies for exploring  the challenges of new forms of architecture  within a rapidly changing environment.

The course capitalises on London's central position within both local and global networks. We see London as a ‘world laboratory’ - an ideal test bed for urban innovation in response to social, cultural and political change, where you can develop strategies and methodologies to expand and enable localised change and drive effective and sustainable development strategies.

High on our agenda are the needs of a broad range of participants in the human environment. You can play a crucial role in supporting communities and individuals to attain the benefits associated with development and physical change in the urban environment, but this requires a new approach. Through closer, collaborative engagement with local groups, you can empower communities to become active participants in the process of development; enabling and building cultural and social, as well as economic, capital.

The increasing complexity of global change, and the related socio-economic, cultural and environmental issues require that architects develop a broad skill set that can be described as 'context-led' architecture; seeking solutions that address local issues which arise from global agendas. 

The skills that will allow you to engage with and guide innovation will be of greatest value. Whether in driving small scale transformations or enabling effective large-scale development, graduates of MA Architecture: Cities and Innovation will have the knowledge and awareness to recognise the potential of architecture and the skills to create sustainable transformations in the urban environment.

Course outline

  • This 60 week course is structured over two consecutive academic years each of 30 weeks in its 'extended full-time mode'. MA Architecture: Cities and Innovation is credit rated at 180 credits, and comprises two units. Unit One (60 credits) lasts 20 weeks. Unit Two (120 credits) runs for 10 weeks in the first year and 30 weeks in the second year
  • Both units must be passed in order to achieve the MA, but the classification of your MA award derives from your mark for Unit Two only
  • You are expected to commit 30 hours per week to your studies, within which your taught input will normally be scheduled over three days. The course has been designed in this way to enable you to pursue your studies whilst also undertaking part-time employment, internships or caring responsibilities.

Unit One – Methodologies for architectural engagement

Throughout this unit, there is an emphasis on the use of innovative approaches to design problem solving and architectural practice. You will therefore explore the subject of innovation as a means of developing your methodologies through workshops, seminars, readings and lectures..

Using London as a ‘laboratory’ you will engage in a series of projects intended to help you to identify and respond to opportunities for engagement and intervention. Each project will require you to work collaboratively with fellow students and external groups and the outcomes  will be critically analysed to develop clear methodologies for future engagements.

You will explore existing practice in order to propose new ways in which architecture can engage with stakeholders. Key questions in the process will be:

  • What are the key issues for the  development of communities?
  • How can the public be a part of the design process?
  • What is the ‘outcome’ of an architect’s engagement?


As a part of your investigation into existing practice, you will research and plan your Industry Placement (part of Unit Two). Working with staff and mentors in seminars and workshops, you will develop a clear programme of what you wish to achieve during your placement and prepare the necessary material to secure it.

Unit Two – Innovating in architectural practice

Unit Two begins with an industry placement which you will spend working within the industry to familiarise yourself with the issues and challenges associated with the profession today. You are responsible for identifying and arranging this placement.  We encourage you to consider a broad range of different forms of practice when considering where to undertake your placement. Working with a Mentor, drawn from among leading practitioners and members of the Course Team, you will seek to use your placement to develop further your understanding of the ways in which architects engage with the users and clients. By the end of your placement, you will have prepared a review report, reflecting on your experiences and relating them to contemporary theories of architecture and design.

Following your placement, you will begin your Major Project, which lasts throughout your final year of study.

You will begin by identifying a research question and site which enable you to explore issues relevant to the contemporary urban environment and social conditions.

Utilising the methodologies developed and explored in Unit One and in your placement experience, you will propose an urban architectural intervention intended to create positive, long-term, large-scale impact. You should seek to engage the community and stakeholders in both the process and the outcome so that it has a sustainable future.

You should make use of both the ‘traditional’ means of architectural communication (drawings, models, 3D visualisation) and more contemporary, individual methods of communication. You will develop a written project report enabling you to contextualise your work with historical and contemporary theories of architecture and urbanism as well as documenting the way in which the project progresses. Input and feedback from the communities and collaborators with whom you have worked will be crucial.

MA Architecture Cities and Innovation Programme Specification 2018/19 (PDF,256 KB)

Industry collaborations

Working with paying clients on live briefs will give you valuable commercial experience which may mean your work being taken forward for production or, if so desired, in the purchase of your intellectual property. All paid projects are conducted within a carefully developed legal framework, which includes student agreements to protect your work and help you realise its commercial value. 

Recent client projects in the Spatial Practices programme include: London Borough of Camden | National Trust | Arup | Mindfolio | New World Development | Grange Hotels | Oasis | Hot Spots Movement |  Redbridge Council | Southbank Centre. Find out more about the Ochirly client project

Once you’ve graduated, you may be picked as part of a small team to work on a live creative brief, organised by our Business and Innovation department, under the supervision of an experienced tutor. This can be a valuable first step in working professionally in a chosen discipline and has resulted in graduates being hired by clients.

Facilities

  • 3D Large: Wood

    3D Large: Wood

    Find out more about our 3D Large: Wood workshop

  • Wood

    Find out more about the Wood facility at Archway

  • CAD

    Find out more about our CAD facilities at King's Cross

Staff

Course Leader: Andreas Lang
Professor of Architecture: Jeremy Till
Senior Lecturer: Oscar Brito
Senior Lecturer: Greg Ross
Associate Lecturer, Architectural Design and Practice: Sarah Featherstone
Associate Lecturer, Architecture, Participation and Practice: David Chambers
Associate Lecturer, Interdisciplinary Practice: Inigo Minns
Associate Lecturer: Liza Fior
Associate Lecturer:Maria Lisogorskaya (Assemble Studio)
Associate Lecturer: Takeshi Hayatsu
Associate Lecturer: Julia King
Associate Lecturer: Carlos Villanueva Brandt
Associate Lecturer: Mathew Leung
Associate Lecturer: Kim Trogal
Associate Lecturer: Rosa Rogina
Postdoctoral Fellow in Spatial Practices: Rebecca Ross 

How to apply

2018/19 entry

You can apply to this course using our online application form – the link to this is below.

When to apply

We recommend you apply by the end of May to avoid disappointment. Your application will only be considered after you have successfully completed an online application, submitted required documents and a digital portfolio.

We reserve the right to close applications earlier than the deadline above subject to spaces available. 

Required information for all postgraduate courses

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following items and upload documents when completing the online application form: 

General Information

  • Personal details (including legal full name, date of birth, nationality, addresses);
  • Current English language level;
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details;
  • Employment history;

Personal Statement

Your personal statement should give us information about yourself and why you want to join the course (between 300-500 words).

  • What are you doing at the moment educationally, professionally, personally?
  • Why do you wish to study on this course?
  • What is your relevant experience?
  • Do you have any relevant skills?
  • Why do you think you are a suitable candidate for acceptance?

References

This course requires two references which should be one academic and one professional reference. 

If you do not complete all the required information or upload the necessary documents, we will not be able to proceed with your application and portfolio review.

After you have successfully submitted your application online, you will receive an email confirming your application and providing your login details for the UAL Applicant Portal.  Please do log into your applicant portal as this is where we will send you important updates and requests, as well as allowing you to contact us with any questions you may have about your application.

Start your application now

The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form. 

Apply to MA Architecture: Cities and Innovation

What happens next

If you meet the entry requirements you will be invited to submit a FULL digital portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review system.

Portfolio

You will need to submit a digital portfolio of up to 20 images with supporting work illustrating your previous experience and practical skills.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the outcome of your application through the UAL Applicant Portal.

Deferred entry

Please note that CSM does not accept application for deferred entry. 

2018/19 entry

You can apply to this course using our online application form – the link to this is below.

Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the Entry Requirements section further down this page to learn about the application process which includes detailed guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide later in the process. 

We recommend you apply by the end of May latest to avoid disappointment. Your application will only be considered after you have successfully completed an online application, submitted required documents and a digital portfolio.

We reserve the right to close applications earlier than the deadline above subject to spaces available.

Required information for all postgraduate courses

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following items and upload documents when completing the online application form:

General Information

  • Personal details (including legal full name, date of birth, nationality, addresses);
  • Current English language level;
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details;
  • Employment history;

Personal Statement

Your personal statement should give us information about yourself and why you want to join the course (between 300-500 words).

  • What are you doing at the moment educationally, professionally, personally?
  • Why do you wish to study on this course?
  • What is your relevant experience?
  • Do you have any relevant skills?
  • Why do you think you are a suitable candidate for acceptance?

If you do not complete all the required information or upload the necessary documents, we will not be able to proceed with your application and portfolio review.

Start your application now

The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form. 

Apply to MA Architecture: Cities and Innovation

Alternatively, international applicants can apply through an overseas representative in your country.

After you have successfully submitted your application online, you will receive an email confirming your application and providing your login details for the UAL Applicant Portal.  Please do log into your applicant portal as this is where we will send you important updates and requests, as well as allowing you to contact us with any questions you may have about your application.

Immigration History Check (for International Applications only)

Whether you are applying through a UAL representative or direct application you will need to complete an Immigration History check. If you do not complete the Immigration History Check we will not be able to proceed with your application and portfolio review.

What happens next

If you meet the entry requirements you will be invited to submit a FULL digital portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review system. 

Portfolio

You will need to submit a digital portfolio of up to 20 images with supporting work illustrating your previous experience and practical skills.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the outcome of your application through the UAL Applicant Portal.

Deferred entry

Please note that CSM does not accept application for deferred entry.

Entry requirements

Applications are welcomed from candidates from all cultures, life experiences and educational backgrounds.

You will need to meet the minimum entry requirements as indicated below, but please note that these qualifications alone will not be sufficient to secure entry to the course.

Minimum entry requirements

Applicants should have an Upper First Class (2.1) Honours Degree in architecture (or equivalent), and normally at least one year of relevant professional experience.

English language requirements

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability in order to apply for a visa, enrol, and start your course. The English language requirement for entry for this course is:

IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in any one paper, or equivalent.

For further information visit the English Language requirements page.

Applicants who will need a Tier 4 General Student Visa should check the Visa and Immigration page which provides important information about UK Border Agency (UKBA) requirements. 

Selection criteria

Selection will be on the basis of the following criteria:

  • You have a clear research agenda, related to the aims of the course
  • You can analyse a design problem from a number of perspectives and generate a range of design responses to a particular problem
  • You can show an understanding of technology, environment and professional practice and how they relate to architectural designs
  • You can show that your personal and professional aspirations are compatible with the aims and objectives of the course
  • You can make appropriate choices about the way in which you communicate your design ideas, process and proposals
  • You have appropriate levels of skill in drawing, model-making, 3D/CAD, as well as written and verbal presentation skills
  • You can demonstrate the necessary fluency in your design process to be able to benefit from the course.

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

£5,000 per year (2018/19). Please note that fees for second year of study will be subject to inflationary increase.

£500 per annum discount for all students who have completed a PG Dip/Cert or an undergraduate course including Grad Dip/Cert, at UAL.

You can pay course tuition fees in instalments for this course. 

ELQ

Home/EU students whose chosen course is at a level equivalent to, or lower than, a qualification that they already hold, would will be charged the fees shown above, plus an additional £1,100 (called the 'ELQ' fee). Students in receipt of Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs) are exempt from ELQ fees and will pay the original fee, regardless of the highest qualification held. If you have a query regarding the ELQ fee, please use our course enquiry form

International fee

Tuition fees for 2018/19: £12,430 per year.

£500 per annum discount for all students who have completed a PG Dip/Cert or an undergraduate course including Grad Dip/Cert, at UAL.

You can pay course tuition fees in instalments for this course. 

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please read the information on our additional costs page.

Accommodation

Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Scholarships and awards

There are a number of scholarships and awards available to students on this course. Use our search tool to find out more information.

Scholarships search

Careers and alumni

MA Architecture: Cities and Innovation prepares graduates for employment in architectural practice, urban design, planning, development, and public consultation. In addition, the course provides a solid grounding for continued academic development toward research and PhD study.

Drawing upon extensive industry links within the Spatial Practices Programme, the Course seeks to offer students a unique learning opportunity to engage with live projects and real clients, developing innovative approaches to public engagement and a radical reconsideration of architectural practice.

"In 10 years we probably will not call ourselves an architecture practice, it will be something else entirely" (Architect, Small London-based practice) 
From "The Future for Architects", Building Futures, RIBA, 2010.


Change is inevitable and  being prepared for change is a challenge. MA Architecture: Cities and Innovation encourages students to take a radical approach to architectural practice; seeking ways in which the architect of the future can work across the industry and beyond.  The course is predicated on the reality that the practice of architecture is changing. There are increasing pressures on the profession from shifts in the way that projects are developed, as well as the changes to the global economy. How will we practice in the future?

"The invasion of the architect's role shouldn't be seen as a threat but as a natural change that can be exploited - we must find our new opportunities and education should shift to accommodate that." (Architect, Large global practice) From "The Future for Architects", Building Futures, RIBA, 2010.