The National University of Singapore (NUS) Master of Arts in Architectural Conservation (MAArC), is an advanced programme that offers a unique perspective on diverse Asian cultures by providing students with comprehensive knowledge and essential hands-on training and experience to develop skills for a range of careers in historic building conservation and related fields. The programme is distinctively Asian and urban in its emphasis, with a focus on ‘living’ and ‘local’ culture.

Historic Asian cities are often regarded as the cradle of civilisation and have played a vital role in the development of human societies. In the recent few decades, cities across Asia have been experiencing tremendous transformations in their social, cultural, and economic structures due to unprecedented urbanisation and rural-urban migration. Even as millions living in these cities currently enjoy a share of ‘progress,’ the heritage of these population centres is under threat.

What is at stake is the erasure of the cultural endowments and values of various communities, and the rapid and irreversible alteration of the character of inner-city neighbourhoods—these have repercussions on how people live and work, and on the preservation of urban fabric.

Singapore, located at the crossroads of East and West, stands out for its unique urban landscape: historic districts, heritage buildings, and national monuments, which blend seamlessly with modern high-rise buildings. The survival of these rich and varied historic sites amid Singapore’s rapid development has been only possible due to deliberate, conscious, and integrated urban planning.

With the city-state as a backdrop, we aim to provide students with an architectural conservation education that is sensitive to the varied challenges confronting historic Asian cities, as well as the diverse opportunities provided by a rich cultural heritage, and the socio-economic elements of the region.

To that end, we aim to equip our students with the historical perspectives, intellectual tools, as well as practical design and conservation skills to manage conservation projects of different scales and context. Our students will understand that the most pressing urban heritage management challenges cannot be solved by a single discipline but require interdisciplinary collaborations across professions and key stakeholders.

The MAArC offers three streams that focus on the various demands and expertise of the profession: Policy and Management; Design in the Historic Urban Context; and Materials and Technology, linking them directly to various aspects of heritage conservation in Asian cities. Students can choose one of the three streams to specialise in.

Why This Programme?

  • Join a university that is ranked among the top in the world for Architecture & Built Environment1.
  • Get hands-on training and research experience in the areas of architectural conservation and urban environment, with the unique heritage resources available to the programme, such as NUS Baba House in Singapore and NUS-Tun Tan Cheng Lock Centre for Asian Architectural and Urban Heritage in Melaka (Malaysia).
  • Tap into the knowledge and experience of an international cast of heritage professionals and building crafts persons, along with NUS lecturers and professors.

1  QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021 


Application Period
An Academic Year (AY) at NUS consists of two semesters and a special term (which occurs during the Semester 2 Vacation, and is divided into two parts of six weeks duration each):

  • Semester 1: Aug–Dec
  • Semester 2: Jan–May
  • Special Term (Part 1): May–Jun
  • Special Term (Part 2): Jun–Jul

For the MAArC programme, there are two application periods for each AY:

Programme Intake Application Dates
MAArC Semester 1
(Aug Intake)
15 Nov of the year preceding the intake year to 15 Jan of the intake year
MAArC Semester 2
(Jan Intake)
15 Jul to 15 Sep of the year preceding the intake year


Admission to the NUS MAArC programme is granted on a competitive basis as places in the programme are limited. Applicants should possess the following minimum requirements:


Bachelor's Degree with Honours in Architecture, Planning/Urban Design, Project and Facility Management, or any built environment-related programmes or qualifications as may be approved by NUS

Note: In exceptional cases, candidates with relevant academic qualifications other than the above may be considered on a case-by-case basis, subject to approval by the Board of Graduate Studies


For holders of undergraduate qualifications other than a Bachelor's Degree with Honours in Architecture, Planning/Urban Design, Project and Facility Management, or any built environment-related programmes or qualifications as may be approved by NUS, two years of relevant work experience

English Language

Applicants whose native tongue and medium of university instruction is not completely in English:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) minimum score of 85 (Internet-based), or
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) minimum Academic score of 6.0.

Note: TOEFL / IELTS scores are valid for two years from the test date and should not have expired at point of application. Expired scores will not be considered for the application.


Not applicable

Note: Please see application information here.


The NUS MAARC programme is offered on the following basis (with estimated time to complete the programme indicated below):

 Full-time  12–36 months 
 Part-time  24–48 months

Note: International applicants must be accepted into an approved full-time course in Singapore to apply for a Student’s Pass. Part-time courses and courses conducted in the evening or on weekends are not eligible. For more information, refer to the Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) website.


The MAArC is a 40-modular credit (MC) coursework-based Master’s Degree programme comprising: 

  • Core/essential modules (12 MCs),
  • Stream modules (16 MCs), and
  • Elective modules (12 MCs).
Core/Essential Modules

These modules are all required for the MAARC.

View Modules

Module Code Module Title MCs
AC5001 Architectural History of Singapore 4
Conservation Approaches and Philosophies
Urban Conservation and Regeneration


Stream Modules

Students must complete a minimum of 16 MCs from one of the following stipulated MAArC streams.

View Modules

Policy and Management
Module Code Module Title MCs
AC5004 Architectural Heritage Management 4
Conservation Policy Methodology for Sustainable Development
Disaster Risk Management of Cultural Heritage
AC5007 Dissertation 4
Design in Historic Urban Context
Module Code Module Title MCs
AC5008 Design for Conservation 8
Design for Adaptive Reuse
Materials and Technology
Module Code Module Title MCs
Historic Buildings Survey and Recording
AC5011 Conservation of C20th Buildings 4
AC5012 Practical Building Conservation Skills I 4
AC5013 Practical Building Conservation Skills II 4


Elective Modules*
Students must complete a minimum of 12 MCs of elective modules, comprising: 4 MCs of other stream modules as advised by DoA, 4 MCs of Internship (as indicated below), and 4 MCs of modules offered in the Design and Environment field of study or in the DoA as advised by DoA.

View Modules

Module Code Module Title MCs
AC5014 Internship 4

*  A list of pre-approved electives will be released by the Programme Director at the start of each semester. Students may select modules from this list without having to discuss the choice with the Programme Director.

Note: For more information about the modules listed above (as well as other modules offered in the current academic year), please visit NUSMODS.


To graduate from the NUS MAArC programme, students must meet the following requirements:

Programme and/or Specialisation

Read and pass a total of 40 MCs, comprising:

  • 12 MCs of core/essential modules,
  • 16 MCs of stream modules, and
  • 12 MCs of elective modules

Module and/or Qualification

Not applicable

Cumulative Average Point (CAP) 

Minimum 3.0 (out of maximum of 5.0)

Please see also the University’s minimum standards for Continuation and Graduation Requirements; specific programmes may implement stricter or additional requirements.


Not applicable


Kindly note that all fees for the NUS MAArC programme quoted on this page are exclusive of prevailing GST, unless otherwise stated. The University reserves all rights to review fees as necessary and adjust accordingly without prior notice.


S$38,317.76 (excluding GST) /
S$41,000.00 (including GST) 

Financial Assistance

Students in this programme have in the past been eligible for, or received funding support from:

National Heritage Board Scholarship (Singapore Citizens)

For more about loans and other financial assistance, please refer to the NUS Office of Admissions.


S$150 (inclusive of GST)

• Non-refundable and non-transferable


S$10,000 (excluding GST)

• Payable upon acceptance of offer
• Non-refundable and non-transferable
• Will be credited towards tuition fees

Miscellaneous Student Fees

As published by NUS Registrar’s Office

• Payable every regular semester

Programme at a Glance*

Upcoming Webinar(s):

Watch this space for updates!

Updating soon!

Next Intake:

Application Period:

15 Nov 2021–15 Jan 2022

Apply now!

* For full details, please refer to main write-up. 

Related Content

• NUS and UNESCO establish Chair on Architectural Heritage Conservation and Management in Asia

• Conservation and Heritage Studio Works by Students

• Faculty Profiles

• PDF Brochure

Similar Programmes

• Master of Arts in Urban Design

• Master of Landscape Architecture

• Master of Science in Building Performance and Sustainability

• Master of Science in Integrated Sustainable Design


For Frequently Asked Questions relevant to Design and Environment programmes, please click here.

For more Frequently Asked Questions, click here.

For enquiries, please email us at pgc@nus.edu.sg.

15 November 2021