Course Overview

A taught postgraduate course that conducts research into how global cultural and economic forces influence contemporary cities. The design, functioning and future of urban situations is explored in written, drawn and modelled work that builds on the legacy of twentieth century urban theory and is directed towards the development of sustainable cities.


This course offers a choice of either starting in September or January.

Features

  • As a MA Architecture and Urbanism student of Manchester School of Architecture, you will study a degree that is delivered jointly by The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University. You will therefore benefit from the facilities and resources of both institutions such as libraries, computer suites, making and media workshops and much more. Upon successful completion of your studies you will receive one degree certificate. The joint award certificate includes each institution’s crest and awarding body title.
  • This is an internationally engaged course that actively disseminates students' thesis work through conferences, exhibitions, competitions and publications

Duration

1 year full-time (48 weeks)

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Teaching and Learning

Through this course you will begin to engage directly with a chosen research subject area, gather data and formulate an original approach in your practice. You will synthesise your project culminating in the production of a leading-edge proposition until you present and contextualise your thesis. This internationally based course actively disseminates students' thesis work through conferences, exhibitions, competitions and publication.

This course can be considered as partially meeting the requirements for recognition at Part 2 level (RIBA/ARB) through APEL provisions applied to individual graduates. The course is jointly accredited with The University of Manchester.

Assessment

Self, peer and tutor-based assessment methods.

Research Methodologies and Events

Research Methodologies and Events

Research Methods is an opportunity for you to explore techniques and processes that inform design as a spatial practice in architecture and urbanism.

Cities and Urbanism : Ideologies and Futures

Cities and Urbanism : Ideologies and Futures

A seminar series delivered by the students exploring the history and theory of architecture and urban design, using key texts identified by the Unit Leader.

Studio A

Studio A

This unit is the first in a series of Studio Units, it forms the basis for a design thesis project during the programme of academic study. It typically explores issues in the design of cities, urban space or urban scaled architecture. This unit will engage with urban environments and/or ideas connecting local and global issues and opportunities

Studio B

Studio B

This unit is the second in a series that form an academic design thesis project. It typically builds upon the findings and themes established in Studio A. This enables you, through discussion with the studio tutorial team, to identify and refine project opportunities at a variety of scales that respond to the urban condition in both local and global situations, to nominate and agree a situation within which the thesis project will be developed and executed.

Studio C

Studio C

This is the final unit in a sequence that forms an academic design thesis project. It typically establishes formal and operational aspects of the proposition and includes an investigation of significant interpretative strategies that are critical to the thesis. It typically communicates final resolution to professional presentation standards and includes a critical study in a significant aspect of the realisation of the project.

Dissertation

Dissertation

This unit provides the opportunity to explore, substantiate, communicate and disseminate the research trajectory of a written thesis in architecture and urbanism through the media of an extended piece of disciplined academic writing. Academic writing is supported through the highly structured and intensive tutorial programme: Dissertation Bootcamp. This is designed to provide personalised academic training in the production of high quality written outputs.

MA Teaching Staff

Dr James Robertson

James Robertson

Dr James Robertson

James studied Architecture in Aberdeen and Grenoble, working in practice in Clermont-Ferrand as a student, prior to several subsequent years in UK architectural practice, post-degree. A tenure as Rome Scholar in Architecture at the British School at Rome in 2009 preceded his professional trajectory as an academic at the Manchester School of Architecture, where he has taught in a variety of contexts since 2009, leading the Second Year of the BA (Hons) Architecture course over a number of years. In 2017, he achieved his PhD; an analytical examination of the ecclesiastical architecture of the firm of Gillespie, Kidd & Coia, a subject associated with particular interests in architectural history and heritage. James is currently undertaking research in the architectural practice of Thomas Worthington & Sons, linked to an interest in the development of the nineteenth century practice and its association with the creation of place within a range of contexts.

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Eamonn Canniffe

Eamonn Canniffe

Eamonn Canniffe

Eamonn is a Principal Lecturer at MSA. He was born in Manchester in 1960 and was educated in Architecture at Cambridge and Harvard Universities. In 1996 he held a Rome Scholarship in the Fine Arts at the British School at Rome. Between 1986 and 1998 he taught at the University of Manchester School of Architecture, and between 1998 and 2006 at the University of Sheffield School of Architecture. He is the author of 'Urban Ethic: Design in the Contemporary City' (Routledge 2006) and 'The Politics of the Piazza: the history and meaning of the Italian square' (Ashgate 2008), which he presented at the De Bosis Colloquium in Italian Studies at Harvard University in 2009. He is co-author (with Tom Jefferies) of 'Manchester Architecture Guide' (1999) and (with Peter Blundell Jones) of 'Modern Architecture through Case Studies 1945-1990' (Architectural Press 2007), a Chinese edition of which 现代建筑的演变 1945--1990年 was published in 2009. Future publications include the editing of 'The City Past and Present: Global perspectives on urban history and change' (Ashgate 2009). He has recently been appointed as Architecture Series Editor for Ashgate Publishing nurturing the publication of high quality and original research by international authors during the next few years.

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Dr Mazin Al-Saffar

Dr Mazin Al-Saffar

Dr Mazin Al-Saffar

Mazin is an Iraqi Architect, Urbanist, an Associate Lecturer at MSA, a Fellow at AdvanceHE. He obtained a PhD from MSA in 2018 and a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education in 2019. He collaborated as an expert of the Expert Committee of the BAM Best Architecture Master’s Ranking for its 2020 and 2021 editions. In 2016, he was listed as an Associate Editor for the current volume of Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies in the USA. Previously, he worked as a Lecturer at the Department of Architectural Engineering/the University of Technology in Iraq. He also worked as a Senior Architect in Baghdad and Dubai for 14 years. His knowledge and research are interdisciplinary and overlap with architecture, architecture heritage, urban conservation, heritage, future cities, urban Futures, and smart sustainable cities.

Dominic Sagar

Dominic Sagar

Dominic a fully qualified architect, was a founding partner in Sagar Stevenson Architects in Manchester who were instrumental in spearheading the regeneration of a run-down area of Manchester city centre, now known as ‘The Northern Quarter’. The practice have undertaken various projects mainly in the Northern Quarter and Ancoats, including mixed use projects, social housing, leisure, commercial, college and education, master planning and feasibilities. Now a Senior lecturer, research centres on post-industrial cities and how underground, communities, music and creative industries, can act as a tool for regeneration, with a specific focus on Manchester and Detroit. Other various wide ranging research activities:- engaging with the Manchester Homelessness Charter and homelessness and food poverty issues; research on Zones of Experimentation urban and rural and ‘Influential Sheds’, Papers and lectures delivered around these subjects and others relating to community projects, including further projects within the Northern Quarter; researching the past, present and more importantly the future in relation to community architecture, the current economic climate and indeed climate change; exploring how Industrial cities, responsible for the onslaught of consumerism and capitalism can look to readdress the balance.

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Jim Dyson

Jim Dyson

Jim Dyson is a practising registered architect and studio tutor at universities in Manchester, Preston and Hong Kong. With over 30 years at the ‘sharp end’, Jim brings a wealth of professional experience to students of this practical art. He is also developing a body of work in contemplation of the urban condition, with regular art gallery exhibits and research into typological studies. All these activities have in common through pedagogy, activism, architecture, and its representation, the ambition to question our current environmental governance and enrich studio projects with good civic sense, appropriate to a program which values this contextual approach. James Dyson BA DipArch ARB RIBA.

Julie Fitzpatrick

Julie Fitzpatrick

Julie has worked at the MSA for over 20 years and owns designPush an architectural design practice established in 2002. Her latest ambition is to set up and nurture a community workshop and garden in her local community, with the theme of retraining, reusing and repurposing. Julie has a strong belief in making and crafting, as a natural form of healing and therapy. In her MA (by Research) thesis Julie combined urban design theory with 18th Century Garden Design to orchestrate a new planning strategy for the landscape around motorways and she continues to be interested in motion based design and the residual space around transprort systems introduced to an already built up environment.

David Chandler

David Chandler

Cambridge BA 1977, Courtauld MA 1978. MMU MA 2015 (distinction) Published 2019; ‘Urban Fabric: Maria Lai and Ulassai, Sardinia 1981’ (Chapter 13. Architecture, Festival and the City, Routledge). Travel Award 2015 to Gairo Vecchio + Osini Vecchio, Sardinia. ‘New Light Prize Exhibition, Patron’s Prize’ (painting) 2018. 2011 public sculpture commission ‘Ex Libris’ Aquinas College Stockport. Work in public collections. Research interests; urbs picta; imaging the city. Archaeology, anthropology and material culture. Indispensable eyesores, industrial infrastructure. Green answers to brown questions. Padua. Chicago. Italian languages and cultures. Landscape painting, intaglio printmaking and sculpture.

@dchandlersk2 | dchandlersk2.weebly.com

Demetra Kourri

Demetra Kourri

Demetra is an Architect and PhD Candidate in Architecture. Her interest lies in cross-disciplinary methods that investigate infrastructural production in multiple cultural contexts. At an intersection of STS and Architecture, she develops new methodological tools for analysing infrastructural development and the parallel transformation of the city from an architectural lens. Having worked and studied across four cultural contexts (Cyprus, Czech Republic, England, US) she observed how specific disconnects between theory and practice can be equally fascinating and challenging. This has allowed her to develop an appreciation for honing the multiplicity of experiences driving the architect and the practice.

PhD Profile
Tamara Salinas Cohn

Tamara Salinas Cohn

Tamara is an Architect with a Master's degree in Urban Design and Planning from P. Universidad Catolica de Chile and hands-on experience developing projects in the public and private sector in Chile - including urban and rural planning, sustainable development, community participation, and land uses. She has experience teaching in the fields of Architecture, Urban Projects, and Real Estate. In addition, she has participated in research related to National Policies of Urban Development, heritage preservation, and urban regeneration. Tamara is very passionate about regional development and decentralisation. Her work has been particularly attentive to the diverse politico-cultural interactions taking place in a territory. Always emphasising the importance of empowered communities and public policies based on local needs.

Antonio Blanco Pastor

Antonio Blanco Pastor

Spanish architect, graduated from the European University of Madrid and Master in Urbanism and Territorial Planning from the University of Málaga. Although he started working as a freelance architect, shortly after an Asset Management company in Marbella (Málaga) hired him, where he has been able to demonstrate his skills in design, construction, refurbishment, urbanism, as well as team leadership. His interest in urbanism and history has led him to start a thesis on garden cities in British territory, which he combines here with his work as a tutor in the MA A+U. In his spare time, Antonio enjoys drawing, reading, as well as attending the wide musical panorama offered in Manchester.

Curtis Martyn

Curtis Martyn

A Licensed Architect, Curtis gained experience working for a variety of practices on a wide range of projects from small residential extensions to large-scale urban master planning. Founder of an architectural design studio, which specialises in bespoke residential and commercial design, and part time tutor on the MA Architecture and Urbanism course. His practice focuses on experiential design through involvement in commissioned and self-initiated projects, which combines his passion for business innovation with his artistic flare. An avid reader, passionate about self-development and entrepreneurship, with an interest in property development and the future of global cities.

Johnathan Djabarouti

Johnathan Djabarouti

Johnathan Djabarouti is a registered architect (RIBA) and accredited conservation professional (IHBC), currently undertaking an AHRC funded PhD in Architectural Heritage at the Manchester School of Architecture, where he also teaches as an Associate Lecturer in Architecture. His broad research interests include the conservation of built heritage, critical heritage theory and intangible heritage – with a specific research focus on the relationship between intangible heritage and the conservation of listed buildings.

PhD Profile
Aissa Sabbagh Gomez

Aissa Sabbagh Gomez

Aissa is a practicing registered architect. As alumna of the MSA, she specialises on socially and environmentally sustainable design that promotes happiness to improve quality of life outcomes. Amongst other commercial and public projects across the UK, Aissa was part of the Design Team to redevelop the Marylebone Road Courts, London’s oldest functioning law court, into what is now the City of Westminster Magistrates’ Courts. As the founder of BlueAvenues, she is currently delivering a house for life project to PassiveHaus standards. Aissa is a PhD Researcher for the Liveable Cities Project at Lancaster University. Her research focuses on spatial justice and neighbourhood design that promotes wellbeing, social equity and positive interactions between diverse groups.

Colin Harwood

Colin Harwood

Colin is a practitioner and educator. BA Liverpool University, Dip.Arch. Polytechnic of Central London, RIBA part III. Various published innovative buildings, a varied practice includes clothing design for Paul Smith, early involvement with Urban Splash, achieving listed building status for a coal mine, various campaigns. Tutor at Sheffield University for 5 years where running Mandarin lessons taught by Chinese students was his proudest contribution. Has been nominated for a BAFTA.

David Johnson

David Johnson

David Johnson, in addition to his role with the MA A+U programme at the MSA, is currently a PhD researcher in Architecture at the University of Manchester focusing on the aesthetic reception of our everyday objects of engagement through photography. He previously studied architecture at Oklahoma State University and at the Architectural Association and has practiced in the United States, South Korea and United Kingdom on primarily cultural and educational projects. He has been part of the artist collective Compulsive Holding since 2008 which seeks to understand the impulse to read, record, and collect the never-ending stream of images and objects within daily life.

Ewa Effiom

Ewa Effiom

Ewa Effiom, ARB is a London-based Belgo-Nigerian architect, writer and producer. He is a practicing architect and a member of the Architecture Foundation’s New Architecture writers. Mythology, collective identity, assembly, contemporaneity and their inextricable links to the built environment are recurring themes in his work. He has been published in the Architect’s Newspaper, the AJ and Ex Libris and was shortlisted for the Tallinn Architecture Biennale’s 2021 Curatorial Competition. He is MSA Alumni and since graduating has always had an active interest in architectural discourse, hence the role on the MA in Architecture + Urbanism.

Kaija-Luisa Kurik

Kaija-Luisa Kurik

Kaija-Luisa is a PhD student in Manchester School of Architecture and a project manager leading heritage focused projects internationally. Her PhD research focuses on temporality and indeterminacy in the context of post-socialist urban development in Tallinn, Estonia. Her past experience includes working as a Heritage Action Zone project officer in Rochdale - managing a programme of building grants in combination with an ambitious engagement and place-making programme. In addition to research and tutoring in MSA she works in the Estonian National Heritage Board as well as teaches Estonian Academy of Arts.

Youcao Ren

Youcao Ren

Youcao trained as an urban historian at the University of Sheffield where she obtained PhD in landscape architecture. Her work widely involves the everydayness in placemaking practices. Her present research in urban transition combined ethnographic and historical perspectives and has primarily focused on the rapidly urbanising global south. In 2019, Youcao joined the University of Manchester to work as a research associate in urban studies. As a member of Susinfra her study has adapted a gendered lens in exploring women’s everyday access to urban infrastructures. In 2021 she Joined MSA as a design studio tutor.

Student Profile Work by Albena Atanasovva
Anna Krysa MA Architecture and Urbanism
Student Profile Work by David Chandler
I was keen to find out how my fields of study had evolved since I left them in the early 1980s. David Chandler MA Architecture and Urbanism

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MA Architecture & Urbanism Symposium
Re-work! Mediating the future city Held on 10 June 2021