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MArch Architecture and Urbanism

Why choose Herts?

  • Professional Accreditation: This programme has prescribed qualification by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) Part II, for the purpose of Architects registration in the UK.
  • Expert Teaching: Our academic staff have won national and international teaching and design awards and bring extensive global experience to enhance your learning.
  • Fantastic Facilities: Students have access to our Architecture Studio, Digital and 3D Workshop and Computer Labs for 3D printing, rapid prototyping, laser cutters, CNC machines, and Apple Suite.

Alumni Stories

Josip Pijević

Meet Josip. He was drawn to Herts because he wanted to grow his skillset, and was impressed by the University’s campus and location. He completed a postgraduate course at Herts too and is now looking to pursue further study.

Read more stories
Current job roleIn employment and working towards further qualifications
Year of graduation2019, 2022
Course of studyBA (Hons) Architecture, M.Arch Architecture and Urbanism
A picture of Josip Pijević

From undergrad to postgrad

The BA (Hons) Architecture course was still relatively new at Herts when Josip enrolled, and he saw it as an opportunity to grow his skillset and pursue a career in the profession. The campus facilities and the University’s proximity to London were also a plus for him.

Josip thoroughly enjoyed his undergraduate degree, in particular learning about sustainability, the use of AI in architecture, and human-centred design, all of which play a big part in the curriculum. He decided to complete his M.Arch at Herts too because of the quality of teaching he experienced during his undergraduate studies, and the opportunities M.Arch offered for Josip to help deliver undergraduate lectures and contribute to research.

As Josip says, ‘Herts is one of the few universities that offered an M.Arch Architecture and Urbanism course. It’s a great architecture programme, and the fact that it’s combined with urbanism helps you understand the wider context for any architecture project, from small-scale projects such as house extensions to larger ones like airports.

‘The tutors are amazing, and we had guest critics come from some of the top practices in the world, which allowed me to connect with professionals at an early stage. This opened doors for me, and I received a couple of job offers before I finished my M.Arch.’

Downtime

Josip lived close to campus during his studies, which he felt helped, particularly when the deadlines started rolling in. He says, ‘I would meet friends for a walk, go for food, or for a couple of games of table tennis. This was a lifesaver after a long study session and was certainly a highlight of final year for me.’

Josip’s advice

Josip’s advice for future and current students is to ‘do your very best’ at university and participate in as many extra-curricular activities as you can. Josip says, ‘This will allow you to connect with many interesting people and it will widen your knowledge of various subjects.

‘And always remember, your hard work will pay off in the end!’

Josip is now in employment and looking to get his Architecture Part Three qualification, which combined with his studies at Herts, will provide him with a strong foundation to achieve his future ambitions.

Alumni Stories

James J Igbafe

Meet James. James completed a bachelor’s and master’s degree at Herts and has since embarked on a career as an Architectural Designer.

Read more stories BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design MArch Architecture and Urbanism
Current job roleArchitectural Designer / RIBA Part Two
Year of graduation2017, 2021
Course of studyBA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design, M.Arch Architecture and Urbanism
A picture of James J Igbafe at their desk

James first studied BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design at Herts, graduating in 2017. He says, ‘The course was structured well and engaging. At the time, the University was introducing changes to their studios, which made the experience of studying there even better.’

Before he completed his bachelor’s degree, he was awarded Student of the Year by the School of Creative Arts for his commitment to learning, his willingness to help others succeed, and his positive attitude.

Balancing a master’s degree and full-time work 

He describes returning to Herts to study M.Arch Architecture and Urbanism as a ‘no-brainer’. He was already in employment, and says it was easy to manage his academic work around a full-time job due to the structure of the course. He adds, ‘It was clear from the start what I’d get with the M.Arch course, and I knew from my bachelor’s degree that the University had the relevant resources. Not only that, but my tutors had also taught at other prestigious architecture institutions, so are well experienced.’

Valuable on-site experience 

James says that the first year of his master’s was the most memorable, as he took part in group projects and visits to construction sites. He says, ‘These visits provided me with a greater understanding of what to expect in a professional and construction setting, building on what I had already learnt in industry. These opportunities also allowed me to explore my creativity, and I have used what I learnt at site visits during the concept development stages of my work.’

James visited a construction site for one of his site visits where a trade yard in Shoreditch, London, was being demolished to make room for a co-living/co-working building. He says, 'We were able to ask questions, conduct a thorough site analysis, and had the opportunity to further ask the accompanying tutor questions over a drink by the canal.'

James is working towards earning his chartered registered architect status with the RIBA/ARB by completing the Part Three Study in Architecture Postgraduate Diploma & Professional Practice.

His advice

James’ advice to current and future Herts students is to always continue learning. He says, ‘Never get comfortable. Well-rounded and knowledgeable graduates are attractive to employers. Challenge the ‘norm’ - be creative and enthusiastic about the work you produce.

‘Management skills are also key for future architects, as at some point you will run projects through from start to finish. Therefore, you need to learn how to prioritise your time and manage colleagues well.’

Professional Accreditations

Master of Architecture & Urbanism meets the requirements of ARB (Architect’s Registration Board) and undergoes a regular formal review process to ensure the quality and relevance of the program.

Completing an accredited degree means you enter the workforce with a stamp of quality on your CV. In a competitive market, an accredited degree is an assurance of quality to employers and an advantage for your career path. For us, it means we continually strive to improve the quality of the degree in order to retain accreditation. You’ll receive the most up-to-date and innovative educational experience with ongoing support throughout your studies.

About the course

Master of Architecture & Urbanism is grounded and future-focused, shaping students who care for people, place, materiality, and truth. If you’re motivated by social and ecological issues, this is the course for you. This programme enables students to explore potential as agents for change and challenges you to find an appropriate architecture that belongs.

M.Arch is driven by architectural and urban future developments, from the Garden City Movement to Smart Cities to Resilient Communities. The programme not only takes ideas from an alternative future vision to the uncontrolled and unhealthy growth of cities in a harmonious environment but also its radically innovative social and economic model of sustainable growth, land ownership and local community creation. Our location provides a local lens where we examine global issues such as urbanisation, the state of regional towns and megacities, ecological architectures, the future of the housing industry, and the architectures of resource transition.

This programme is designed to meet the needs of advanced graduates and young professionals aiming to become registered architects or urban designers.

Students engage with design problems and challenges, considering scenarios past, present and future, learning to develop architectural processes and propositions that consider ecologies and environments for the benefit of human and non-human users. We’re focused on creating inquisitive, agile, and skilled graduates, confident in playing key roles in transforming the architectural field.

Why choose this course?

  • Accreditation: This programme has been prescribed qualification by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) Part II, for the purpose of Architects registration in the UK.
  • Workplace Mentorship: Mentoring in the workplace is an established partnership between the students at the University of Hertfordshire and selected RIBA Charted Architectural Practices. For students, this is an opportunity to spend an extended time away from the studio and enter the workplace to gain experience and insight into the profession, site visits, build your CV and access practical advice.

  • Strong Industry Connections: Benefit from our excellent links with a range of architectural practice including Zaha Hadid, Foster+Partners, DAAB Design, BDP,  Simon Knights Architects, Louis de Soissons, HolmesMiller, Labit, Seth White Architects, Pinchin Architects for talks, networking and work placement opportunities.

  • Dedicated academic and professional teaching staff who’ve won national and international teaching and design awards and have extensive experience around the world.

  • Access our fantastic facilities including Architecture Studio, Digital and 3D Workshop, and Computer Labs for 3D printing, rapid prototyping, laser cutters CNC machines, Apple Suite and ongoing support throughout the programme.
  • Student work is showcased and celebrated. 
  • Benefit from excellent student to teacher ratio with our small class sizes.

What will I study?

This programme focuses on developing urban design strategies and architectural typologies that respond to and address the changing social, environmental, economic, and the technological landscape across the UK housing industry. The M.Arch will enable students to gain a critical understanding of the environment where local communities operate physically, culturally and socially and develop a multi-layered urban and architectural strategies. By the end of the course, students will be familiar with the current debates surrounding resilient communities, sustainable growth, future, smart and digital cities, urban sprawl, Green Belts, infrastructure mobility and social diversity. The studio will engage students with critical thinking, collaborative work and constructive discussion, and students will be expected to demonstrate appropriate problem recognition, investigative, analytical, interpretative design and presentation skills.

The M.Arch programme will also immerse students in the latest trends and advances of computational design, digital fabrication and research in Architecture which will support those students interested in pursuing the Research, Development and Innovation (R&D+i) avenue both in academic or in-practice setting.

Study Visits

Study visits are organised by the studios and may include project site visits, excursions to exhibitions, lectures, debates, cultural events, or meetings with professionals. At least one visit is organised each year within the School which is open to all courses and stages. In recent years, groups have travelled around the UK, to London and Liverpool, to European destinations including Barcelona and Paris, as well as further afield to New York.

Learn from Leading Industry and Academic Experts

The M.Arch programme has been designed to open up global opportunities for your career and your life! Students get a grounded, but future-focus curriculum; but in addition, they get to learn from industry experts. Industry experts are right inside the design studio – all of our design tutors have real-life work experience in their fields.

This programme is designed to meet the needs of advanced graduates and young professionals aiming to become registered architects or urban designers.

  • Level 6
    ModuleCreditsCompulsory/optional
    Urban and Rural Theory Lab15 CreditsCompulsory
  • Level 7
    ModuleCreditsCompulsory/optional
    Architecture and Urbanism Studio 130 CreditsCompulsory
    Architecture Studio 230 CreditsCompulsory
    Circular Construction Lab15 CreditsCompulsory
    Emerging Research in Architecture30 CreditsCompulsory
    Architecture Thesis60 CreditsCompulsory
    Architecture Research Dissertation30 CreditsCompulsory
    Sustainable Urban Futures15 CreditsCompulsory
    Professional Practice & Management (PP&M)15 CreditsCompulsory
  • Key staff

    Fiona Sheppard
    Louis de Soissons

    Gosia Starzynska
    RCA PhD Candidate
    Find out more about Gosia Starzynska

    Prof. Lubo Jankovic
    Director of Centre for Future Societies Research
    Find out more about Prof. Lubo Jankovic

    Miguel Vidal
    Studio Leader and Labit
    Find out more about Miguel Vidal

    Monica Cherry
    Programme Leader M Arch
    Find out more about Monica Cherry

    Simon Knight
    Hertfordshire Architects Association – HAA
    Find out more about Simon Knight

    Tom Benson
    MIT Senseable City Lab Researcher
    Find out more about Tom Benson

    Tom Jarman
    MAE Architects
    Find out more about Tom Jarman

    Further course information

    Course fact sheets
    MArch Architecture and Urbanism (revised 2023) Download
    Programme specifications
    MArch Architecture and Urbanism (revised 2023) Download
    Additional information

    Sandwich placement or study abroad year

    n/a

    Applications open to international and EU students

    Yes

    Student experience

    At the University of Hertfordshire, we want to make sure your time studying with us is as stress-free and rewarding as possible. We offer a range of support services including; student wellbeing, academic support, accommodation and childcare to ensure that you make the most of your time at Herts and can focus on studying and having fun.

    Find out about how we support our students

    You can also read our student blogs to find out about life at Herts.