MSc Architecture, Urbanism & Climate Action

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

Urban environments and their buildings are placing unprecedented stress on earth system processes, while simultaneously being critical sites for climate action. The MSc in Architecture, Urbanism and Climate Action (MAUCA) programme equips graduates and returning professionals with specialist skills to respond to the challenge of planning, designing, and realising a resilient and 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 climate science and policy, GIS, systems thinking, and environmental ethics, as well as to develop skills for low carbon, sustainable and inclusive building and urban design. Optional modules have been selected from a wide range of schools across UCD, including Architecture, Planning, Environmental Policy, Geography, Biosystems Engineering, Economics and Law. Students undertake a Linked Research Project in the summer trimester that offers 3 options: developing individual research studies through a thesis; a placement on a prestigious EU or nationally funded collaborative research project within UCD on a relevant topic; or a placement with a company leading the agenda on low-carbon, sustainable building and urban design. Many students have continued to work for their placement research projects or companies after graduating.

Course Highlight

The UCD School of Architecture, Planning and 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 and urban design study and practice in Ireland.

Additionally, UCD is ranked in the top 50 in the world in the QS World University Rankings for Sustainability, and is number 1 in Ireland and 24th in Europe.

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.

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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.

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 in rapidly expanding sectors in which there is a growing demand. Potential careers include in low carbon and sustainable architecture, landscape architecture and urban design; strategic design and change management; policy and governance; and environmental, building or energy engineering.

The MSc can also be a springboard into exciting careers in research and academia. It allows students to pursue further research opportunities into topics covered by the modules, and to contribute to a better understanding of how the building and urban design professions can best respond to the climate and biodiversity emergencies in an uncertain future. High achieving graduates of the course have gone on to doctoral studies in UCD, either via in-house opportunities on EU funded projects or through national funding schemes from the Irish Research Council.

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.

Khiusha Uaila Founder of Xi Bassile & Co-Founder of ASSAMBA

After years of practising architecture in a business-as-usual format, I craved a more purpose-driven career, so I decided to pursue a master's. I chose UCD because of its unique program on Architecture, Urbanism, and Climate Action and its location in vibrant and beautiful Dublin. During this time, I explored Ireland's stunning landscapes, formed lifelong friendships, collaborated on the awardwinning Ripple Project, and embarked on a profound learning journey. I fell in love with green infrastructure and nature-based solutions, concepts I now apply at Xi Bassile and at ASSAMBA, ventures I cofounded to implement and promote sustainable practices in Mozambique. I'm grateful to UCD's lecturers, staff, and colleagues, who made this experience not just about education but a life-changing adventure. To future students considering this program, my advice is: embrace the opportunity, soak in the knowledge, and let UCD be your catalyst for change."

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