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MA Architecture: Cities and Innovation

College
CSM
Start date
September 2019
Course length
2 years

Course summary

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 Spatial 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.

Open days

Thursday, 6 December at 2pm
Friday, 11 January at 2pm
Friday, 8 February at 2pm

Scholarships, awards and funding

Jane Rapley Scholarships

Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarships: 
Home/EU | International

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are now available for eligible UK and EU students. A full list of eligibility criteria and information on applying can be found on the postgraduate loans webpage.

Student work

Course catalogues

Architecture news

Creative Unions: Making Public

With our Creative Unions exhibition now open at Central Saint Martins, we take a closer look at the themes and works which comprise the show. The 53 works in the exhibition are […]

Creative Unions x Spatial Practices Prizes

Central Saint Martins Degree Show Two: Design 2018 saw the second year of our Spatial Practices Prizes sponsored by Knight Frank. Awarded in recognition of outstanding work by a final-year student, […]

Take Five: Amar Sall

With Degree Show season now at a close, we look back at our students’ final projects and the inspirations behind them.  “I wish our classroom could be on the beach.” […]

Screen-Shot-2018-06-23-at-11.27.15

Video: Matthew Brown

With Degree Show season well underway, we take a closer look at some of our students’ final projects. How can performance challenge the way we address planning and policy? For his […]

MA Architecture on Instagram

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MAKING THINGS SOCIAL: 
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MAKING THINGS SOCIAL: FACE OFF 21st NOVEMBER 6.30PM CSM CANTEEN . It’s a face off, but in a good way. We want to get ...

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Congrats to our very own Dan Wilkin's @hackney_repair_archive who was selected for @globalgradshow - an expo of life ch...

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Repost from @mufarchitectureart . #fuzzyedges of #uchospital with #lizafior, #notacleanslateseminar, 30 students, #12deg...

Facilities

A large wooden construction on display in a workshop at Central Saint Martins

3D Large: Wood

Find out more about our 3D Large: Wood workshop

People using tools and machinery inside a large workshop at Central Saint Martins

Wood

Find out more about the Wood facility at Archway

A room with people working at computers

CAD

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

Course details

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 units

  • 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 1: Methodologies for Architectural Engagement (60 Credits)

Unit 1 consists of a series of projects intended to allow you to experiment with multidisciplinary approaches, as a means to develop your own design process, and also to test methodologies which can engage the public in architecture and spatial practice: approaches that expand and challenge the conventional role of the architect. These are tested and refined through design propositions. Through this process you are introduced to a variety of research methods and issues relevant to the discipline, which are then directly implemented in the creation/realisation of design work. While developing work for Unit 1 you will be researching and securing an industry placement to be undertaken in Unit 2.

Unit 2: Design Research in Architectural Practice (60 credits)

The unit begins with your Industry Placement. Working with your advisor you will engage with your chosen practice in order to analyse the ways in which the nature of the practice informs their projects, as well as simultaneously researching and developing potential opportunities for your own self-directed design project. Following your placement, you will begin on your Major Project. You will define your own brief, based on research and analysis of a chosen site, and develop a schematic design proposal which will be resolved in Unit 4.

Unit 3: Innovating in Architectural Practice (60 Credits)

This unit is integrally linked to Unit 2. In this Unit you will continue to work on your Major Project, resolving it as an architectural proposal and, if appropriate implementing aspects of this proposal on site and/or with collaborators and partners.

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.

Staff

Andreas  Lang

Andreas Lang

Course Leader, MA Architecture

Jeremy  Till

Jeremy Till

Head of Central Saint Martins and Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of the Arts

Oscar  Brito

Oscar Brito

Stage 3 Leader, BA Architecture: Spaces and Objects.

Sarah  Featherstone

Sarah Featherstone

Associate Lecturer, First Year Tutor, MA Narrative Environments

Senior Lecturer: Greg Ross
Course Tutor Unit 3: Carlotta Novella
History and Theory Tutor, Units 1 and 2: Tom Dyckhoff
Studio Tutor Unit 1: Verity-Jane Keefe
Studio Tutor Unit 1: Sven Mündner
Studio Tutor: Diana Ibáñez López
Studio Tutor Unit 2: Ulrike Stevens
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: Dr Rebecca Ross

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on disability@arts.ac.uk or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

*          An upper second class honours degree (2:1) in architecture OR

*          An equivalent EU / international qualification OR

*          A professional qualification recognised as equivalent to an Honours Degree

AND normally at least one year of relevant professional experience.

English Language Requirements

IELTS level 6.5 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking (please check our main English Language requirements webpage).

Selection criteria

We select applicants according to potential and current ability in the following areas:

  • Having a clear research agenda, related to the aims of the course
  • Analysing a design problem from a number of perspectives, and generate a range of design responses to a particular problem
  • Showing an understanding of technology, environment and professional practice and how they relate to architectural designs
  • Showing that your personal and professional aspirations are compatible with the aims and objectives of the course
  • Making appropriate choices about the way in which you communicate your design ideas, process and proposals
  • Possessing appropriate levels of skill in drawing, model-making, 3D/CAD, as well as written and verbal presentation skills

Demonstrating the necessary fluency in your design process to be able to benefit from the course.

Making your application

For EU applicants concerned about Brexit, please see our dedicated page: Brexit Information for Students.

You should apply by clicking on the link to the direct form below. 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.

Start your application now

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following information 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) and should include:

  • 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?

We cannot consider your application if you do not provide all of the information above.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by the end of May to avoid disappointment.   We reserve the right to close applications earlier than the deadline above subject to spaces available.

There are two ways international students can apply:

  • One of our official representatives in your country
  • A direct application.

If you are applying directly you click on the link to the direct form below. 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.

For further advice on how to apply please visit the UAL International Application page.

Start your application now

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following information 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) and should include:

  • 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?

Immigration history check

Whether you are applying online or through a UAL representative you will need to complete an immigration history check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL.  If you do not complete the check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

We cannot consider your application if you do not provide all of the information above.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by the end of May to avoid disappointment.   We reserve the right to close applications earlier than the deadline above subject to spaces available.


After you apply

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal.  We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents or book an audition, through the portal. You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

What happens next

Initial application check

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course.  If you do, you will be invited to submit a portfolio through the UAL Portal.

Portfolio Review

You will need to submit a digital portfolio of up to 20 images with supporting work illustrating your previous experience and practical skills.  Following the review of the portfolio we select a small number of applicants to move on to the next stage of the process.  These applicants will be invited to an interview.

Interview

Following the review of your application and portfolio, we select a small number of applicants to move on to the next stage of the process. These applicants will be invited to interview, either in person or by skype.

The interview typically lasts approximately 20 minutes.  As part of the interview you will be asked to choose and present one of your projects from your portfolio.  

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

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

Fees & 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 this register your interest 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.

Scholarship 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.

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