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Language Skills

This programme is delivered in two tracks, in English and Spanish.
Proficiency in one of the two languages at the high-intermediate or advanced level is thus required

The 2021-2022 enrolment period will open shortly. For the first time, this programme will be offered entirely in English. Please stay tuned for updates. Due to the health crisis caused by covid-19, the fall semester may be affected. If so, the programme may be delivered face-to-face and run simultaneously via live for students with temporary lockdown restrictions.


The programme is conceived as a one-year Master of Science that focuses on a cutting-edge area of expertise for disciplines dealing with the built environment – architecture and construction engineering in particular. Its aim is to strategically transform the vision of professionals and guide future researchers in the necessary and urgent transformation of our society towards sustainability – reducing the use of resources, the generation of waste, increasing the productive capacity of the territory and designing a more sustainable urban model based on the transformation of the existing city. The programme is practice-oriented and addresses real projects in urban contexts, through processes of diagnosis of social metabolism and carbon-neutral interventions for climate change. 

The curriculum is structured in three axes. The determining flows of social metabolism – energy, water, and materials. The urban spaces, buildings, and infrastructures where these flows are expressed, and which are the object of transformation through the project. The knowledge of theoretical concepts, the ability to diagnose, design interventions and carry out integral projects of intervention in the built environment.

A review day in the design studio 


The city plays a fundamental role in a social strategy of progressive transformation of the social metabolism towards a carbon-neutral model to maintain the productive capacity and the environmental services of the territory and natural systems. On the one hand, because the city is a place of high-density material flows that define social metabolism. On the other hand, because the city is a place of a strong social perception to express public mechanisms of political participation. These two conditions make the city a key place of intervention to implement and develop social strategies for transforming social metabolism towards sustainability.

The programme focuses on the city in order to identify, criticise and diagnose its metabolism – with specific tools for conceptualisation, measurement, and evaluation – and to propose sustainable transformative interventions. This process involves recognising material flows, spaces on which they act and conditions in which they operate to generate a critical discourse. The aim is to develop the capacity to intervene strategically in the city, to propose new socially acceptable models through responsible intervention in its spaces. This work is specific to the field of architecture, at the different scales of buildings, neighbourhoods, urban spaces, and territorial relations.

Module 1. Urban Metabolic Flows

A metabolic vision of the city. Characterization of the flows involved in urban metabolism and the relationship between urban evolution and the evolution of such flows. Reading this evolution in the past and the future in specific cases.

This module is structured in three subjects that address, on the one hand, the determinant flows of urban metabolism – more specifically, water and energy – and, on the other hand, their relationship with the city, allowing a global diagnosis of the built environment of industrial society, regarding each of the flows and in relation to sustainability.

Module 2. Areas and Strategies of Action

Diagnosis and definition of interventions from three complementary viewpoints: the urban scale, the capacity for transformation of buildings and their potential for use.

Module 2 is also structured in three subjects that address the scales of action considered relevant for a sustainable assessment: urban regenerationreuse of architectural and urban spaces and integrated rehabilitation of existing buildings. Each subject provides the resources and criteria to understand a sustainable intervention in its own field.

Module 3. Design Studio

Proposal and resolution of viable and sound projects for urban intervention in the built environment, with a view to improving its sustainability.

Student teams, organized by academic interests, develop an audit and diagnostic work aimed at defining an intervention strategy and the corresponding lines of action based on a real case, in collaboration with local administrations.

Module 4. Final Dissertation

Individual work based on analysis, studies or innovative solutions in projects of sustainable intervention on the built environment. Advanced approaches to issues relating to the needs and scope of these projects, with the possibility of leading the work towards an eventual doctoral thesis, if given the appropriate conditions.

Pre-enrolment dates

Registration for the academic year 2021-2022 will open soon. At the time of definitive registration, September 2021, all documents issued in countries outside the European Union must be legalized through diplomatic channels or with the appropriate apostille. The Academic Committee meets monthly, starting in April, to evaluate all applications available to date.

Keywords: Sustainability, Social Metabolism, City, Building Sector, Urban Regeneration, Reuse, Rehabilitation, Built Environment Intervention.