The MA in Architecture and Urban Design (MAUD) proposes a particular perspective of the city, combining the strength of architectural history and theory with the study of the contemporary city, to provide an understanding of architecture and urban design that addresses the dynamic conditions of cities today.
You examine the trajectory of cities’ development, particularly in relation to the Enlightenment, industrialisation, the role of Modernisms and the conditions of the 21st century. In doing so, you draw from the wider context of humanities, cultural studies, the visual arts, drama, film and other media that influence the formation of an urban landscape.
A cross-cultural, interdisciplinary programme, you spend your first term at our Canterbury campus with full access to its excellent academic and recreational facilities. In the spring term, you relocate to the Paris School of Arts and Culture where you study at the Columbia Global Center (known as Reid Hall) in a historic corner of Montparnasse. You visit Paris in the autumn term, where you meet our Paris staff and are taken on a tour of the city. We offer advice and support to help you relocate to Paris.
The Paris School of Arts and Culture is a specialist, postgraduate centre located in the heart of Paris. We offer interdisciplinary, flexible programmes, taught in English, which take full advantage of all the cultural resources Paris offers. Study trips to the city’s museums, art exhibitions, archives, cinemas and architectural riches are an integral part of your studies.
The interdisciplinary nature of the School means you can choose modules from outside your subject area, broadening your view of your subject. As part of our international community of students and staff, you can take part in regular seminars and talks, write for the student-run literary magazine or help to organise our annual student conference.
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.
Research at Kent School of Architecture and Planning (KSAP) 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 KSAP 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.
A first or good second class honours degree (or the equivalent) in architecture or another related discipline in humanities, planning or similar. Those without the 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.
As part of your application, we require a portfolio of recent work. The portfolio is an important part of the application and will be used to assess the potential you have to benefit from, and thrive within, the programme.
There are no strict rules and portfolios can be diverse in style, content and format. We value variety and exploration and therefore we try not to prescribe the format of your portfolio. If you have a diverse educational or professional background, you should include work that would best show the wider scope and development of your career.
Your portfolio should contain your best and most recent work demonstrating your ability in design, spatial awareness and in academic accomplishment. It should include examples of work undertaken as part of a formal programme of study. Typically, we look for you to demonstrate knowledge about urban design and show an interest in cities and city-making and how cities function.
Portfolios should also demonstrate your range of skills in graphic communication and drawing, and therefore include computer drawings and renderings, freehand drawings, technical drawings and three-dimensional modelling. You might include examples from your own design sketchbooks, competition work or speculative projects undertaken outside formal studies.
If you have had a period in professional practice, you could include architectural design drawings or urban design drawings, working drawings or photographs of any built projects. Your portfolio should include your own original work.
All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications.
Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, students who require a student visa to study cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.
The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.
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.
Duration: 1 year full-time
The MA is composed of four taught modules and a dissertation on the topic of your own choice.
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.
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.
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.
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 a broader cultural context. It traces how these concepts have changed through time, with the aim of enhancing our present understanding of cities and their regeneration. It follows the development of city planning and the establishment of planned, ideal cities as a political goal up to the foundation of new towns. In its dealing with historically modern cities, the module centres on case studies of cities representative of urbanism from the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries, drawing lessons from the methods and types of documentation used in its development. 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.
This module builds on the previous term's design exercise by focussing on a city-centre urban design problem project, exploring larger-scale issues of site and context, planning and place making. Students become familiar with relevant urban design theories and concepts, and learn to work as part of a team in developing design strategies and making detailed planning proposals. Precedent studies play an important role in shaping strategic and tactical development. Communication skills are enhanced by a range of drawing and modelling exercises, and by project presentations. The urban thinking moves from the local (where a strategic project is based in an urban ensemble, perhaps in Kent) to the global, where a dense slice of for example London or Paris is identified as the locus of design thinking and activity.
In this module you will learn further techniques of writing fiction, including how to plot a full-length novel, work on deep characterisation and the construction of an intellectual framework within your fiction. You may be continuing to work on a project begun in Fiction 1, or starting something new. Rather than expecting you to try new techniques, voices and styles, your tutor will work with you to identify your strongest mode of writing and will encourage you to develop this.
The main focus of Poetry 2 is to further develop and refine your writing with the eventual aim of producing a successful dissertation portfolio of fully realised, finished poems. Poetry 2 differs from Poetry 1 in that you are encouraged to develop a sequence or series of wholly new poems.
In this module you will develop your practice of writing poetry through both the study of a range of contemporary examples and constructive feedback on your own work. Each week, you will be exposed to a wide range of exemplary, contemporary sequences. The approach to the exemplary texts will be technical rather than historical; at every point priority is given to your own particular development as poets.
The reading list does not represent a curriculum as such, but indicates the range of works and traditions we will draw upon to stimulate new thought about your own work. Decisions about reading will be taken in response to individual interests. Likewise, you will be directed toward work which will be of particular benefit to you.
'Paris: Portfolio' contributes to the MA in Creative Writing in Paris. The objective of ‘Paris: Portfolio’ is to produce work inspired by the cultural, historical and aesthetic location of the city, taking regular writing exercises, field trips and prompts as a starting point. This module aims to enable students to develop their practice of writing through both the study of a range of contemporary examples and practices, and constructive feedback on their own work. Each week, students read a selection of work, in a variety of forms (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, prose poetry, hybrid texts; as well as artworks, TV, film and other media). Students will work on a specific exercise and submit it for workshopping each week, which they will draw upon to produce a portfolio of creative work for the main assessment. They will be encouraged to read as independent writers, to apply appropriate writing techniques to their own practice and to experiment with voice, form and content. The approach to the exemplary texts will be technical as well as historical. At every point in the module, priority will be given to students’ own development as writers. It is an assumption of the module that students will already have a basic competence in the writing of poetry or prose, including a grasp of essential craft and techniques. The purpose of this module will be to stimulate students towards development and honing of their emerging voices and styles through engaging with various literary texts and techniques, and to consider how their work can develop with large chunks of time for independent study, reflection and exploration of a city like Paris.
'Modernism and Paris' provides students with an opportunity to study a selection of texts from the UK, USA and mainland Europe, all readily available in English and specifically relevant to both Paris and modernism. The texts are all either inspired by, set in, or refer significantly to Paris and most were written in the city. They seek new and experimental literary expressions for the experience of modern city life and demonstrate a range of literary forms, including the novel, poetry, manifestos, essays and biography. In exploring the cultural contexts as well as avant-garde politics and aesthetics of modernism, the module presents texts by major authors of different nationalities, chronologically ordered, allowing students to appreciate the beginnings and development of modernism from the late 19th century to the first decades of the 20th century. It recognises the importance of modernist cross-fertilisation between literature and the visual arts and encourages students to explore links between modernist literature and the development of, for example, cubism and surrealism. The primary materials are Paris-focused but are chosen to open an international perspective on literary culture and history.
The module is conceived as open to all Humanities MA students in Paris. It examines the medium of film, considering its specific qualities as an art and industrial form and the particular ways in which it is influenced by and influences other artistic and cultural forms in turn of the 20th century Paris. The emphasis of the course varies from year to year, responding to current research and scholarship, but it maintains as its focus the aesthetic strategies of film in contrast with other arts, technological developments, and historical change, particularly as they are developed in the growth of Paris as a city. The course also addresses the strategies used by the cinema to communicate with its historical audience. The course explores both the historical place of the cinema within the development of twentieth-century urban culture in Paris as well as how this historical definition informs the development of the cinema.
The module will focus on Paris as a centre of artistic experimentation. The city served as the launch pad for key artistic movements from the mid-19th century through to the period after the Second World War (Impressionism, Cubism, Surrealism, etc.), and as a magnet for budding and established artists from all around the world. The module will take advantage of the great museum collections that encapsulate such developments (Musées d'Arte Moderne and d’Orsay, Rodin and Picasso Museums, Beaubourg, Quai Branly, etc.) and also of the major exhibitions on show in Paris in any given year.
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.
Assessment is by coursework and the dissertation.
This programme aims to:
You will gain knowledge and understanding of:
You develop intellectual skills in:
You gain subject-specific skills in:
You will gain the following transferable skills:
The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.
Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.
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In The Complete University Guide 2021, the University of Kent was ranked in the top 10 for research intensity. This is a measure of the proportion of staff involved in high-quality research in the university.
Please see the University League Tables 2021 for more information.
In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, research by the School of Architecture and Planning 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.
KSAP incorporates the Centre for Research in European Architecture (CREAte), which focuses on research in architectural humanities and design, the Centre for Architecture and Sustainable Environment (CASE), which promotes research in the field of sustainable architecture, and the new Digital Architecture Research Centre (DARC), which researches the use of digital technologies in architecture and the built environment.
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.
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.
The Centre is the newest research centre at Kent School of Architecture and Planning (KSAP) in the application of digital technology in architecture. The focus of the Digital Architecture Research Centre (DARC) will be the creative use of digital technologies to enhance design and fabrication possibilities for architecture and the built environment.
The centre will have three streams headed by members: 1) Generative design and computational creativity, 2) Digital fabrication and robotics and 3) Digital visualisation and mixed reality.
DARC will promote an innovative interdisciplinary research environment exploring intersections between architecture and digital technologies, to open up and expand the schools research agenda and funding possibilities. The new research centre will promote a fundamental shift in architecture and design thinking to develop design methods for the utilisation of computational technologies in architectural design, fabrication and assembly.
The centre is a new interdisciplinary direction for KSAP, founded on
members' expertise and international research profiles to open up new
avenues of research activity. The centre draws on
university-wide contacts and expertise, and attracts additional
expertise, knowledge and research in the field of digital architecture
through existing and future collaborations, adding to its high quality
research output, and looks to enhance the faculty's Digital Humanities
theme, principally in the areas of Digital Creative Arts and Digital
Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.
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.
The School of Architecture and Planning studios include a dedicated computing suite with a range of environmental construction software, and a Digital Crit Space. There is a fully equipped architectural model-making workshop for constructing models and large-scale prototypes.
The School has excellent contacts with businesses and culture in the local area, including regional organisations such as the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Kent County Council and European Association for Architectural Education (EAAE). 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, Istanbul, Rome, Tokyo, and, in the USA, Virginia.
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.
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.
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.
Learn more about the applications process or begin your application by clicking on a link below.
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