The 2019-20 cohort for MA A+U has seen another significant rise in enrolments for the course, a success no doubt connected to the maintenance of our position as twelfth globally in the Best Architecture Masters Ranking

The increase in numbers led to a widening of research possibilities with the provision of 11 optional projects looking at a variety of urban issues in different locations. As well as our own territory in Manchester other settings were explored in Barcelona, Detroit, Hong Kong, Malaga, Matera, Stoke-on-Trent, Venice, Whitehaven leading you a wealth of proposals through which students learn as a group about the transformative potential of urban design. As a course we were delighted to be able to publish these projects on issuu.

The expanded range of introductory projects has meant that an ever wider range of thesis projects and dissertations are flowing from the minds of our students. In this endeavour they are guided by a range of established and new tutors from research and practice contexts. The studio has operated this year with seven tutorial groups balancing experience and expertise with paired tutors, while dissertations have been managed in nine ‘dissertation bootcamp’ supervisory groups. The evolution of the structure of the course, responding to dramatically increasing demand, will undergo a further step change with the introduction, in addition to the September 2020 intake, of an additional cohort commencing in January 2021.

With such a large international student cohort the Covid-19 pandemic has presented particular problems which the students have borne with grace and forbearance, supported by the efforts of an extraordinary course team.