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Postgraduate Courses 2016

Architecture and Urban Design - MA

Canterbury

Overview

The MA in Architecture and Urban Design (MAUD) is a wide-ranging mainstream Master's programme in architecture that gives you an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspective on contemporary architecture and urban design. The programme informs you about the latest knowledge of architecture and urban design in order to prepare you to become a successful professionals working on a global scale.

You are taught how to combine academic analysis with the development of creative and intellectual skills. We regard theory and practice of architecture as equally important, and believe that joint effort and excellence in both areas are necessary for communicating architecture and urban design competently and successfully. You are encouraged to develop your creative and imaginative abilities; to produce ideas and undertake work that conveys your understanding of architecture and cities in fresh and effective ways.

You learn how to approach contemporary architecture and cities and their relation to the society, culture and arts including film and theatre. Through the analysis of wider social and environmental aspects and through modeling of cities’ life and its dynamic forces, programme considers the ways in which both the heritage buildings and the new design proposals can facilitate in the sustainable development of cities in the future.

Kent School of Architecture (KSA) has developed a unique partnership with Farrells, the internationally renowned architects and urban planners. John Letherland, the Head of Master Planning, currently leads a design module for all students on this programme.

This is a versatile Master’s qualification for architects, urban designers, surveyors, historians, landscape architects, theorists, engineers and other related professionals involved with planning and design of contemporary cities, as well as graduates interested in pursuing further postgraduate studies and an academic career.

This programme is taught at our Canterbury campus. There is also a version of this programme which allows you to spend a term in Paris.

Think Kent video series

In this talk, Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin from the Kent School of Architecture examines new ways of writing and talking about buildings and asks if being a critical failure in architecture really matters.

About Kent School of Architecture

Research at Kent School of Architecture achieves excellence in both the history and theory of architecture and in sustainable urban, peri-urban and environmental design. School staff have design expertise and specialist knowledge; they are at the forefront of current architectural issues, including sustainability, technology, professional practice and research. Our staff are active at academic and professional conferences, both nationally and internationally, and appear and publish in local and national media. The School promotes innovative and interdisciplinary research, emphasising sustainable design.

Much of the project work involved in the Kent School of Architecture is located on 'live' sites in the local region, using real clients and engaging challenging issues. Students in all stages of the school have been introduced to real urban and architectural design challenges in Lille, Margate, Folkestone, Dover, Rye, Chatham and, of course, Canterbury. Much of this work involves liaising with external bodies, such as architects, planners, council and development groups.

National ratings

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, research by the School of Architecture was ranked 8th for research intensity and 8th for research output in the UK.

An impressive 100% of our research-active staff submitted to the REF and 88% of our research was judged to be of international quality. The School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of research of international quality.

Course structure

The MA is composed of four taught modules (two modules per term full-time, one module per term part-time) and a dissertation on the topic of your own choice. The programme leads to an MA but may be taken as a Postgraduate Diploma without the dissertation.

Graduates have worked at the cutting edge of the architectural profession on a global level and progressed to work in academia.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

AR813 - From the Idea of a City to Philosophies of Urban Design (30 credits)

This module explores the idea of the city, and the major concepts related to urban life. It analyses and determines the conditions of their emergence within the broader cultural context. It traces how these concepts have changed through time and how they are today, with the aim of enhancing our present understanding of the cities and their regeneration. The course also introduces the manner in which architecture has generated a number of spontaneous and critical responses to the demands of the city in the past four decades. The arguments are drawn from sources in architectural and urban theory, philosophy, art history, anthropology, literary sources and social sciences.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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AR814 - Architecture and Cities 1840s - 1960s (30 credits)

100% Essay (4,000 word essay)

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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AR831 - Urban Landscape (30 credits)

This Module project explores broad scale issues of site and context, planning and place making. Students become familiar with relevant planning documents and learn to work as part of a team in developing design strategies and making planning proposals. Precedent studies play an important role in shaping strategic and tactical development. Communication skills are enhanced through classes including computing, and project presentations.



Urban Landscape is adapted from year to year to engage with a range of issues concerning urban landscapes and architecture and may explore topical sites within the region.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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AR832 - Research Methods and Analysis (30 credits)

Students are introduced to the intellectual conditions under which the research in architecture and cities (urban design) is undertaken. They are given guidance that equips them with skills to formulate their dissertation and find the way around the increasingly diverse fields of knowledge. The module enhances the ability to formulate questions, communicate arguments and results. Students will be encouraged to exercise critical attitude and formulate new proposals. Students gain experience both by presenting their own research and in providing constructive criticism on the work of their peers. The sessions confer how to present arguments, use visual resources, think through and reflect, conduct interviews and improve presentation skills.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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AR999 - Dissertation:Urban Design (60 credits)

Students are asked to propose and formulate their own dissertation which could include diverse methodological approaches as well as critique of urban design. Depending on their subject, students undertake the study of specific urban contexts, archives or the interpretation of textual and visual materials, the visualisation of parametric data and formulation of results. The commitment is to develop new methodologies that challenge the boundaries of research in urban design.

The dissertation will normally be 10,000-15,000 words long and will include necessary visual material and where appropriate new urban design proposals.

Credits: 60 credits (30 ECTS credits).

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Teaching and Assessment

Assessment is by coursework and the dissertation.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

  • ensure that you achieve excellence in your knowledge of architecture and cities through the development of your understanding, research, design and other related abilities
  • promote creativity and excellence in architecture and urban design; from understanding concepts to thoughtful project development and the integration of research, strategically and in detail
  • develop your knowledge of the theoretical, historical and professional contexts of architecture and urban design and ensure that you are aware of your responsibilities
  • develop your understanding of architecture, cities and urban design within a broader cultural context that would include studies of arts and humanities
  • promote and support independent research and high-quality skills
  • accommodate a wide range of views and develop your specialised original interests
  • develop understanding of how the boundaries of knowledge are advanced through research and promote originality in applying knowledge in architecture and urban design
  • develop initiative, responsibility and sound critical judgement in making decisions about complex architectural and urban design issues
  • enable you to develop strategies for self-improvement and commitment to research and learning
  • support you in achieving your full potential in all parts of the programme.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You will gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the ways in which human activities shape and influence the environment and how the physical environment in turn affects and influences humans
  • the complexity of circumstances and constraints to which architecture and urban design has to respond
  • the histories and theories of urban design, architecture, the history of ideas, and the related disciplines of art, cultural studies and landscape studies and their application in critical debate
  • a critical awareness of the nature of architecture, cities, and conditions of emergence of urban space, in all its manifestations, including buildings, infrastructure, open spaces and landscape
  • a conceptual understanding that enables you to develop strategies and/or sound urban design proposals for new architecture and urban areas and the improvement of existing ones, in ways that are socially and culturally agreeable, economically viable and environmentally sustainable.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual skills in:

  • the ability to develop analytical and critical skills in the understanding of architecture and urban transformation applied to urban areas in relation to social, historical, organisational and political processes
  • the ability to independently define and appraise ideas in architecture and urban design and form considered judgements about spatial, aesthetic, technical and the social qualities of an urban context within the scope and scale of a wider environment
  • the ability to question and critically evaluate past and current design methods and tools
  • the ability to refer to, and analyse, case studies competently
  • the ability to speculate and apply relevant research to the proposed design ideas, development and tasks
  • the ability to formulate a research proposal with its appropriate methodology
  • the ability to develop strategic proposals/masterplans that deal with the built environment in a culturally sensitive, socially just, and environmentally and economically sustainable manner.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • the ability to produce documentation and clear, analytical reports covering a range of issues in relation to culture theory and urban design
  • the ability to use visual, verbal and written communication and appropriate media (including sketching, digital and audiovisual) to present critical appraisal and analysis of design proposals to professional and general audiences
  • the ability to formulate viable, original and well-supported design proposals and advice aimed at dealing with the complexity of urban contexts
  • the ability to acquire advanced negotiation skills and professional attitudes in dealing with stakeholders
  • the ability to acquire research skills including the formulation of a conceptual framework and use of a range of information sources
  • the ability to develop excellent graphic and other visual presentation skills to be applied to the design projects or the submission of written reports.

Transferable skills

You will gain the following transferable skills:

  • the ability to prepare and manage well-supported critical analyses (written, visual and oral) based on theory and empirical evidence
  • the ability to challenge conventional wisdom and provide advice
  • the ability to reflect critically on your own ideas by becoming more open and acquainted with unfamiliar ideas and practices
  • the ability to work effectively in a multidisciplinary, multicultural environment
  • the ability to negotiate and work as part of a team
  • the ability to systematically plan, carry through and manage a project programme in a given time
  • the ability to be self-critical about your own work and constructive in how to address and progress it.

Careers

Our Master’s programmes have been devised to enhance your prospects in a competitive world. Professionals in the architectural, planning, environmental design and conservation fields who develop higher-level skills, accredited by relevant bodies, will find themselves well-placed to progress in their field. Our students have gone on to work for major public agencies and universities, as well as leading practitioners in the private sector.

Study support

Postgraduate resources

The School of Architecture studios include a dedicated computing suite with a range of environmental construction software, and a new digital crit studio. There is a fully equipped architectural model-making workshop for constructing models and large-scale prototypes.

Professional links

The School has excellent contacts with businesses and culture in the local area, including regional organisations such as the Kent Architecture Centre, Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Kent County Council and Kent Design Initiative. The Sustainable Communities Plan is particularly strong in south-east England, making the region the ideal place in which to debate innovative solutions to architectural issues.

Kent also has excellent links with schools of architecture in Lille, Bruges, Rome, Bauhaus-Dessau, Beijing and, in the USA, Virginia and California.

Academic study is complemented by a mentoring scheme organised in collaboration with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and involving students in events with local practices.

Dynamic publishing culture

Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: Architectural Research Quarterly; The Architectural Review; Building and Environment; The Journal of Architecture; and The World of Interiors.

Global Skills Award

All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.  

Entry requirements

A first or good second class honours degree (or the equivalent) in architecture or another related discipline in humanities, planning or similar. Those without a degree will be considered for entry on an individual basis but must be able to show a considerable period of experience at an appropriate level.

Please provide a portfolio of work with your application (if applying from an architecture or design background).

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

English language entry requirements

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

Research areas

Research centres

KSA has two research centres: the Centre for Research in European Architecture (CREAte), which focuses on research in architectural humanities and design, and the Centre for Architecture and Sustainable Environment (CASE), which promotes research in the field of sustainable architecture.

CREAte

The Centre provides a focus for research in architecture in the European context. Its emphasis is on the role and contribution of humanities to architecture and urban design in the context of urban and regional regeneration, nationally and internationally.

CREAte provides a platform for evening lectures by contemporary architects and scholars; hosting debates and events that are at the heart of architectural agenda of today.

The Centre builds upon its staff specialisms, interests and skills in the following areas: regional studies, contemporary architectural and urban theory and design, architectural history and theory (ranging from antiquity to contemporary European cities), sustainability, European topographies (landscape, urban, suburban and metropolitan) etc. Staff participate in the activities of AHRA – Architecture Humanities Research Association and are internationally published authors.

CASE

The Centre promotes research in the field of sustainable environment regionally, nationally and internationally.

Its research focus encompasses different aspects and scales of the sustainable built environment from the individual building to the urban block, promoting the wider environmental agenda and keeping the School at the forefront of research and development in the field. CASE also pursues research into the historical and cultural dimension of environmental design to foster links between the sciences, arts and humanities. There is a strong interest in understanding the environmental behaviour of historic buildings and the strategies originally deployed to manage the internal environment.

The Centre has already secured funding from various sources. This includes three EPSRC projects on climate change weather data for a sustainable built environment, sustainability of airport terminal buildings and design interventions in the public realm for affecting human behaviour, and two TSB-funded projects on Building Performance Evaluation. CASE is also involved with the recent EPSRC large-scale network on Digital Economy Communities and Culture.

Staff research interests

Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.

Professor Gerry Adler: Professor of Cultural Context and Design; Deputy Head of School

Twentieth-century architectural history and theory, in particular in Great Britain and Germany; Heinrich Tessenow; architecture in its wider cultural and philosophical contexts; the place of the ruin in the modern architectural imagination. 

Profile

Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin: Senior Lecturer in Cultural Context

Nineteenth and early-20th century English architecture and, in particular, the work of A W N Pugin.

Profile

Dr Luciano Cardellicchio: Lecturer in Design and Technology & Environment

The relationship between form and construction; the connection among technical details, urban shape and construction tradition in contemporary architecture in Europe and modern architecture in Italy.

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Professor Gordana Fontana-Giusti: Director, PhD Programme and Graduate Studies; Programme Director, Architecture and Urban Design MA

Contemporary architectural and urban theory, in particular philosophy and its relation to architecture; perspective and its relation to architecture and the city; representation, conceptual art and the relationship between the arts and architecture; regeneration, public spaces and sustainable urban design; urban landscapes, cities and water.

Profile

Dr Manolo Guerci: Senior Lecturer in Cultural Context and Design; Director of Graduate Studies

Secular architecture, particularly domestic, ranging from Early-Modern European palaces with emphasis on connections between Italy, France and Britain in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, to post-war social housing estates; relations between European Modernism and traditional Japanese architecture; conservation of historic buildings, particularly 17th-century construction techniques in Rome.

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Dr David Haney: Senior Lecturer in Cultural Context and Design; Director CREAte Research Centre

Relationship between landscape and architecture considered from both professional and cultural perspectives; history of modern architecture and landscape; history of ‘green’ or ecological design; ecological concepts in German modernism.

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Dr Nikolaos Karydis: Lecturer; Programme Director, Architectural Conservation MSc

Development of construction technology and the design aspect of city making, with specific focus on the European traditions; urban development in Early Modern Rome and the ways in which specific building projects of the 16th and the 17th centuries conditioned urban renewal.

Profile

Professor Marialena Nikolopoulou: Professor of Sustainable Architecture; Programme Director, Architecture and Sustainable Environments MSc; Director of CASE Research Centre

Comfort of complex environments; urban microclimate; occupant perception and use of space; sustainable design and rational use of energy in the built environment.

Profile

Dr Giridharan Renganathan: Lecturer in Sustainable Architecture

Urban morphology and climatology (environmental design), with specific interest in the urban heat island (UHI) effect; outdoor thermal comfort; summer time over heating in buildings; passive ventilation strategies; use of cool materials.

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Michael Richards: Senior Lecturer in Design; Programme Director, MArch

Design studio pedagogy in the area of ethics; the variances between the physical and fictional relative locations of ‘place’ in cinema; the implications for an understanding of contemporary cities.

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Dr Richard Watkins: Lecturer in Sustainable Architecture

Urban microclimate and the urban heat island, refrigeration, air movement and air quality; daylighting; climate change; future weather data; building performance modelling and measurement.

Profile

Enquire or order a prospectus

Resources

Contacts

Admissions enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 827272

E:information@kent.ac.uk

Subject enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 824205

E: ksaadmissions@kent.ac.uk

School website

Fees

The 2016/17 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

Architecture and Urban Design - MA at Canterbury:
UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £5430 £13340
Part-time £2720 £6690

For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact information@kent.ac.uk

The University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in its publicity materials is fair and accurate and to provide educational services as described. However, the courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Full details of our terms and conditions can be found at: www.kent.ac.uk/termsandconditions.

*Where fees are regulated (such as by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills or Research Council UK) they will be increased up to the allowable level.

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The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 764000