MSc Architecture, Urbanism & Climate Action

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

Urban environments and their buildings are at once both acutely responsible for the climate crisis, and present some of the most achievable solutions. Climate action is urgently required to mitigate their environmental impact and unearth creative solutions. This MSc programme equips graduates and returning professionals with specialist skills to respond to the challenge of planning, designing, and actioning a sustainable built environment. The School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy (APEP) brings together four key disciplines to provide a unique graduate learning experience. Core modules are specifically designed to enhance knowledge of Sustainable Development Goals, climate science and policy as well as skills for sustainable building and urban design. Options allows students choose from a wide range of architecture, planning and policy based modules, as well as energy and sustainability modules from around the University. The programme links in with prestigious national and EU funded research projects and industry collaborations. This facilitates students in furthering research and knowledge, and the programme has a track record of supporting careers in sustainable design practice, consultancy, policy and academia.

The UCD School of Architecture, Planning & Environmental Policy has an established international track record as a leading research centre in sustainable building and city research with large national and international funded projects. It is in the Top 150 QS World University Rankings by subject area, and has long led the way in architectural study and practice in Ireland.

Module Information:

Under the "What modules can I take?" section below you will see general module information, for a more detailed description including module selection rules click here.

Curricular information is subject to change

Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge of climate change, its causes and design and policy strategies to mitigate it, particularly related to the built environment.
  • Ability to work effectively as an individual, in multidisciplinary teams, to tackle the essential challenge of our time.
  • Demonstrate the ability to consider the environmental impact of buildings, including matters of resource depletion, energy consumption, life cycle performance, carbon intensity and in-use performance when designing buildings.
  • Understand and participate in current debates within the areas of sustainability and climate change.
  • Demonstrate an advanced ability to apply concepts and theoretical knowledge to climate change related challenges in Europe and globally.

The range of climate change response, and environmental sustainability, related careers is broadening. This sector is set to expand rapidly in coming years. This MSc gives students a unique set of skills to allow them stay ahead of the curve and apply for exciting and fulfilling job opportunities. Potential careers include sustainable architecture and practice, sustainability consultancy, engineering consultancy, energy efficiency agency, public and environmental policy, sustainable development, energy supply and management and NGOs.

This MSc has a track record of providing a springboard to exciting careers in research and academia. It allows students pursue a range of further research opportunities into architectural and urban design aspects of climate action. High achieving masters students will also be invited to continue onto PhD study in UCD either via in-house project opportunities or by applying for funding through national funding schemes.

View All Modules Here

This section links to general module information, for a more detailed description including module selection rules click here.

90 credits total: 60 credits taught and 30 credits linked research project

In the final trimester students will complete a linked research project. This can take the following 3 forms;

  • Option 1: Placement with a linked employer. The student will undertake a programme of work for an industry or public body. The work will be agreed between the student, academic supervisor and the placement host if a suitable option is available.
  • Option 2: Working on established industry-collaborative research projects as part of a research team in the fields of architecture or urbanism, or related areas including; energy efficient buildings, smart cities, climate action policy research etc.
  • Option 3: Individual study in a research area of choosing by the student and agreed with the module coordinator.

MSc Architecture, Urbanism & Climate Action (T339) Full Time
EU          fee per year - € 9300 va
nonEU    fee per year - € 29100 va

va"Bench Fees EU and non EU students on this programme are also required to pay a charge of €450 to cover the cost of consumables in addition to the published fee above"
***Fees are subject to change

Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see

  • An honours undergraduate degree (NFQ level 8) with a minimum upper second class honours or international equivalent in subjects related to the built environment including architecture, urban design, engineering, environmental sciences, or humanity degrees involving social or natural sciences.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0 in each element), or equivalent.

Dr. Oliver Kinnane - Programme Academic

"I established this masters programme because I believe strongly that we need to act now to dramatically reduce the unsustainable stresses we are placing on our planet. To achieve this we need graduates who will act for change. Particularly we need to change how we design, construct and live-in our buildings and cities. We need to establish an urbanism that is sparing of energy and natural resources. I am an avid researcher and educator. I studied both engineering and architecture and have worked in energy, industrial and product design. I run national and international research projects that evaluate unsustainable practice and design and develop solutions. My teaching is primarily research led particularly at graduate level. My research is essentially transdisciplinary, drawing on a wide range of interests and a multidisciplinary background."

The School of Architecture, Planning & Environmental Policy offers a wide range of group rooms, classrooms, study and studio spaces, a dedicated architecture library and map room, access to fully equipped computer facilities, a building laboratory space with a wide range of equipment including laser cutters and a CNC router, and access to monitoring and simulation equipment in both the Energy and Earth Institutes.

The following entry routes are available:

MSc Architecture, Urbanism & Climate Action FT (T339)
1 Years
Full Time

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised