M.Sc. Architecture: Computing and Design

University of East London

Application deadline: as soon as possible
Tuition fee:
  • £ 7,550 / Year (EEA)
  • £ 11,700 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2015
Duration full-time: 12 months
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Part-time, Full-time

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This programme aims to provide students with advanced CAD skills and at the same time to introduce ways of thinking about the role of the computer in architectural design beyond the current practice in offices. The programme uses CAD as an introduction and vehicle for design research, and is concerned with space and form and their determinants. Graduates have entered academia or practice as specialists, and set up new media and modelling businesses

MSc Architecture: Computing & Design at UEL
This programme introduces ways in which computers can be used to explore and generate architectural designs. It is founded on the notion that architectural outcomes can be seen as the result of dynamic processes; that its three dimensional form can be described not just geometrically, in the conventional top down way, but as a set of rules derived from an analysis of the design problem couched in a different dynamical perspective. Since 1991 the programme has pioneered work in this expanding field of generative modelling, and has developed a range of new tools for designers which are available for students to explore and extend.

The use of Evolutionary Algorithms, Cellular Automata, Neural Networks, Diffusion and Reaction processes and other topics introduces the student to formal models of emergence of form and spatial organisation that provide both radical approaches to design, and an extension of the critical armoury of the architect. These topics are taught both through lectures and seminars where a range of prominent workers in this field join the staff in presenting the latest research, but crucially through learning to program these algorithms within commercial CAD applications such as AutoCAD. This means that students gain a fundamental understanding of the design and operation of these key generative approaches. The project based nature of the course allows students to experiment with these ideas and develop their own approach to the subject in a practical way. Students are encouraged to develop their work for publication and presentation at international conferences.

A number of students are currently working at UEL on Ph.Ds in the area of computing and design, and participate in regular research seminars and international research projects.

This programme forms part of a new and enriched Masters in Architecture programme within the School of Architecture and the Visual Arts, including, MSc Material Matters, MA Sustainability & Design MA Alternative Urbanisms. And MA Interpretation & Theories The programme is organised in two generic taught modules followed by the Thesis module. The taught Modules comprise a series of distinctive component options designed for each specific award. Students are able to take two elective options across the practice based components, based on the individual students interest and ability.


This programme is designed to give you the opportunity to:

* Use advanced CAD as a design tool by customising and extending the base functions.
* Design user interfaces and the use of IT to present design information. Understanding of theoretical ideas in the design research field and the ability to research and document design research.

What will you learn?
Knowledge and understanding

* An understanding of the idea of 'laws of form' and how generative processes can be used to explore architectural design.
* Dynamic systems and how to model them
* The use of computers to explore configurations of form and space
* The history of design methods and Artificial Intelligence/ Artificial Life
* The status of architectural design in the recent history of scientific understanding of perception and new models of understanding

Intellectual skills

* The programme aims to show students a view of the built world that is process based, and to give them the tools to explore design methods especially fitted to the computer.
* The use of Evolutionary Algorithms, Cellular Automata and other topics introduces the student to a set of formal models of the emergence of form and spatial arrangements that provide a new set of approaches to design, and an addition to the critical armoury of the architect.

Practical skills

* The ability to use advanced CAD as a design tool by customising and extending the base functions.
* How to design user interfaces and the use of IT to present design information.
* Understanding of theoretical ideas in the design research field and the ability to research and document design research.

Skills for life and work

Students will be able

* to structure and communicate ideas with clarity in spoken and written form
* to manage time and work to deadlines
* to find information and use information technology
* to assess large amounts of interdisciplinary research cogently
* to know when and how to get help


The programme is intended for building professionals and those interested in this specialist area in relation to the design and management of the built environment. Applicants must demonstrate that they will benefit from and contribute to the programme. Particular requirements are: - Honours Degree in Architecture or exemption from the RIBA Part 1 or an Honours Degree in a subject connected with the built environment.

This programme has also been designed to attract professionals from practice who are seeking to upgrade their qualifications, or who are looking for the opportunity to validate aspects of their professional remit, or to research and develop internationally relevant issues that they have encountered in professional practice

Applications are welcomed from the EU and overseas, in particular, lecturers from Higher Education Institutions wishing to increase their qualifications.

Students whose first language is not English will have achieved a score of 7.0 in ILTS or equivalent. Eligibility for students without degree equivalent qualifications will be assessed on the basis of a short essay, statement and a portfolio. Places will be offered after a successful interview with a member of the programme team. Professionals returning to the industry after career break are considered an important sector for recruitment.

All applicants will be interviewed.

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 7
CAE score: (read more)

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is part of the Cambridge English suite and is targeted at a high level (IELTS 6.5-8.0). It is an international English language exam set at the right level for academic and professional success. Developed by Cambridge English Language Assessment - part of the University of Cambridge - it helps you stand out from the crowd as a high achiever.

180 (Grade C)

IMPORTANT NOTE: Per 6 April 2015 only the English language tests from IELTS and Trinity College London are accepted for Tier 4 Visa applications to the United Kingdom. Other tests (including TOEFL, TOEIC, Pearson, City & Guilds) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. Since the Trinity College London language tests must be taken in one of their exam centres in the UK, IELTS is now the only language test accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK that can be taken worldwide.

The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.


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