Taught course

Architecture: Cities and Innovation

University of the Arts London - Central Saint Martins · Communication, Spatial and Product Design

Entry requirements

Applicants should have an Upper First Class (2.1) Honours Degree, or equivalent, from an ARB Prescribed course in architecture (or equivalent), and normally at least one year of relevant professional experience. Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate their competence in English to IELTS Level 6.5 by the production of an IELTS Certificate or evidence of an equivalent level of achievement. Applications are welcomed from candidates from all cultures, life experiences and educational backgrounds. MA Architecture: Cities and Innovation at Central Saint Martins is open only to candidates with a first degree in architecture, prescribed by the Architects Registration Board, or equivalent. When making an application, you are asked to submit a link to a website containing your portfolio. Selection will be on the basis of the following criteria: that you have a clear research agenda, related to the aims of the MA course; that you can generate and communicate a range of ideas; you can analyse a design problem from a number of perspectives and generate a range of design responses to a particular problem; that you can show an understanding of technology, environment and professional practice and how they relate to architectural designs; that you can show that your personal and professional aspirations are compatible with the aims and objectives of the MA course; that you can demonstrate the necessary fluency in your design process to be able to benefit from the MA course. Selection and portfolio review teams normally consist of two people. For overseas applicants, a decision regarding the offer of a place on the course will be made on the basis of a portfolio review, undertaken by the MA Architecture: Cities and Innovation selection team. All applicants will be required to provide referees, who will in turn be asked to complete a referee questionnaire.

Months of entry


Course content

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.

About this course

  • 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 2 units. Unit 1 (60 credits) lasts 20 weeks. Unit 2 (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 2 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.

Information for international students

Our International Office deals specifically with the needs of students from overseas. Tel +44 (0)20 7514 7027.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Qualification and course duration


full time
24 months

Course contact details

The Information Office
+44 (0)20 7514 7023
+44 (0)20 7514 7254