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.

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
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Urban and Rural Theory Lab 15 Credits Compulsory
  • Level 7
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Architecture and Urbanism Studio 1 30 Credits Compulsory
    Architecture Studio 2 30 Credits Compulsory
    Circular Construction Lab 15 Credits Compulsory
    Emerging Research in Architecture 30 Credits Compulsory
    Architecture Thesis 60 Credits Compulsory
    Architecture Research Dissertation 30 Credits Compulsory
    Sustainable Urban Futures 15 Credits Compulsory
    Professional Practice & Management (PP&M) 15 Credits Compulsory
  • Key staff

    Dr Ian Wyn Owen
    M.Arch Programme Leader
    Find out more about Dr Ian Wyn Owen

    Fiona Sheppard
    Louis de Soissons
    Find out more about Fiona Sheppard

    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

    Assoc. Prof. Silvio Carta
    Director of Design Research Group - Machine Learning, Big Data and Smart
    Find out more about Assoc. Prof. Silvio Carta

    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 Download
    Programme specifications
    MArch Architecture and Urbanism Download
    Additional information

    Sandwich placement or study abroad year


    Applications open to international and EU students


    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.