You've got a question? We've got the answer!
Below you will find answers to the questions we get asked the most about the Master in Collective Housing and the extraordinary experience related to it.
Is it possible to join the Master in Collective Housing online?
No, this program is based in a face-to-face teaching methodology. It takes place in Madrid.
Is MCH an official master?
MCH is a Master of Advanced Studies (MAS). It is a double Diploma, considered official by ETH Zurich and University specific by UPM Madrid (Título Propio).
Read more: What is the difference between an official master and an university-specific master?
Is MCH a so called in Spain "Master Habilitante"?
No, the MCH Diploma does not generate changes in the legal status of its participants.
The Master of Advanced Studies in Collective Housing is a postgraduate program, for professionals from all over the world who can already work as architects in their origin countries.
Who are the workshop leaders of the upcoming edition?
Workshop leaders are usually announced in our social media and website around one-two months before the beginning of the classes.
Which are the topics for each workshop?
Every workshop leader is free to design the topic and structure of the workshop. The final syllabus will be given to the MCH participants on the first day of each workshop.
Can I get further information about the contents of each specialty?
Each specialty leader is reponsible for the structure of that subject. They are improved every year, so all details will be presented directly by the specialty leaders on the first day of each specialty.
Reading the syllabus of previous editions may help to get an overall view of them.
When will the detailed calendar for the upcoming edition be published?
Inscribed participants will receive a detailed calendar at the beginning of each month. The general schedule is published in the website. A certain degree of flexibility will be kept, to be able to assume the complex agendas of all professors involved.
Will the LEED course be included in the contents of the upcoming edition?
As the LEED course is not part of the 60 ECTS of the program, it is not compulsory to include it. The Academic Committee will evaluate the convenience of including it in each edition, and the decision will be announced on the opening day.
I have a 5-years Bachelor Degree from a non-EU country. Am I eligible for MCH?
Yes, you are. If your 5-years Bachelor Degree is allowing you to work as an architect in your origin country (on your own or hired by an office), you are eligible for MCH.
It is not compulsory to be registered in the Architects Chamber of your country.
It is not compulsory to have the legal capacity to sign your own projects.
I have a 3-years Bachelor Degree from an EU country. Am I eligible for MCH?
No, you are not. Candidates who study architecture in the European Union must hold a Master Degree in Architecture before applying to MCH.
MCH is postgraduate Diploma, so it is designed to provide further education to professionals, not to change the students' legal status, from an architecture student to an architect.
I have just became architect, so I don't have working experience yet. Can I apply?
Yes, recently graduated architects have been accepted in the past, as they had a brilliant academic portfolio and a suitable profile.
I am a civil engineer. Can I apply?
Yes, you can send your application. The Academic Committee will analyze your case with special attention, as your previous career should have a strong link with architecture. Some of our MCH Alumni are civil engineers, they proved that they could have a brilliant performance at MCH without being architects.
Are the application documents accepted in Spanish?
Yes, all application documents can be submitted either in English or Spanish.
How many projects should I include in my portfolio?
This is left to your choice. We recommend to include a minimum of 3 projects, to an approximate maximum of 10 projects. It is smarter to select the best ones, rather than including lots of projects with a lower quality. Both professional and academic ones are accepted.
How do I certify my English proficiency?
The English level requested to join MCH is B2-C1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. MCH does not request any English Certificate to apply, but you should be able to speak, understand and write in fluent English.
How long does it take to go through the admission process?
It takes around two weeks, from the moment the Apply form is sent, to the reception of the admission letter in the case of accepted candidates.
That times includes a first evaluation of the application, a Skype interview to the most outstanding candidates and a second evaluation of the candidate, after the interview and before issuing the admission letter.
Which is the cost of the MCH teaching fee for foreign students?
The total cost of the MCH teaching fee is exactly the same for all participants, regardless their origin country. It is 19.300 euros for the 2021 Edition.
When are the available MCH scholarships announced?
MCH reaches agreements with different institutions to offer scholarships in every edition, so those scholarships will be announced as soon as the agreement is signed. That usually happens from February to July.
MCH also offeres two types of scholarships which do not depend on external agreements. Those are the Excellence Scholarships and the Diversity Scholarships. They are published at the moment of opening the admissions period.
Does MCH offer scholarships for foreign students?
Yes, the Excellence Scholarships are opened to applicants from all countries. The Diversity ones are opened to applicants born or living in Africa.
However, the Scholarships offered as a result of an agreement signed with an external institution, such as the COAM ones, for instance, are only opened to applicants complying with the requirements set by those institutions.
Does MCH offer loans to finance the MCH teaching fee and the living expenses in Madrid?
Are there discounts for holders of a large family card?
The total cost of the MCH teaching fee is exactly the same for all participants, including holders of a large family card. However, they can profit from discounts in the MCH Diploma-issuing fee. The exact amount depends on the type of large family card they hold.
Should I apply to MCH before knowing if I will get a scholarship I have applied for?
Yes, getting the MCH admission letter is often requested to apply to a scholarship. If you are going to apply for a scholarship, please, indicate it when submitting your Apply form, including the name of the scholarship program you are applying to.
I have already been assigned a scholarship, but I will get the funds later than the deadlines set in my personal payment calendar. How should I proceed?
The personal payment calendar can not be designed to accomodate the payment schedule of external scholarship programmes. Therefore, each participant must arrange financial resources to comply with the MCH payment calendar on time. The MCH teaching fee must be fully paid before the beginning of the classes.
Some Scholarship programmes provide their funds after the beginning of the classes, requesting to make a direct transfer to MCH. In those cases, MCH will refund the money paid by the student in advance, as soon as the transfer from the scholarship programme is confirmed.
I am admitted. Can I postpone the payment of the booking fee? I need more than 7 days.
The payment of the booking fee within 7 days after admission is a rule set by the University that can not be modified. MCH is not allowed to block a position for an admitted candidate without a proof of payment of the booking fee, as it would mean taking that opportunity away from other candidates.
However, candidates who need more time, can take it, of course. Most of them can not afford their inscription at the master without receiving a scholarship, so they need to wait till they get it. When those admitted candidates are ready to proceed to the payment of the booking fee, they must contact MCH again and ask if a position is still available for them. During that intermediate time, their status as admitted will be kept, but their position at MCH will not be booked.
Can I pay the teaching fee in more than 3 terms?
The Academic Committee can evaluate alternative payment calendars for those participants who need it. Each request will be individually analysed.
How much does the MCH Diploma-issuing fee cost? When must it be paid?
The University requests a last payment of 176,27 euros to issue the hard copy of the MCH Diploma. This transfer must be done after successfully completing MCH.
This payment can be done at any time, but it is important to know that the process to get the MCH Diploma will take approximately one year from the moment the transfer is done.
How should I send my stamped Diploma and Academic Records?
They must be uploaded as independent PDF files to the UPM platform Atenea. Each file should be smaller than 1 MB.
I still couldn't get my documents stamped. Can I submit them in a latter moment?
Yes. Please upload your Diploma and Academic Records without the stamp to Atenea, so that your pre-registration process can be closed.
Which is the deadline to provide my stamped Diploma and Academic Records?
You have time to get the stamp, at latest, till the MCH is over. When you get the stamp, please send scanned copies of the documents to firstname.lastname@example.org, the MCH team will upload them to Atenea for you.
My Architecture Diploma has not been issued yet. Is that a problem?
No, it is not, as long as you get it before the MCH is over. You will need to provide a certificate of your University stating that you successfully finished your studies and that your Diploma is being issued.
When can I start my pre-registration process in Atenea?
The MCH team will request it to you by mail. This happens usually two months before the beginning of the classes.
When will I be formally inscribed?
The MCH team will take care of the last step for your formal inscription at UPM. This can only be done when the payment of the full teaching fee has been confirmed, so it happens only some days before the beginning of the classes. You will get a confirmation receipt when it is done, its name in Spanish is "matrícula". From that moment on, you can already request your UPM mail.
Will I get an UPM Student card?
Yes. From 2020 on, UPM Student Cards will not have a physical format anymore. To have access to your Virtual University Card, you will need to download the corresponding official UPM App.
Will I get an ETH Student card?
No. UPM is leading University for MCH, and ETH acts as an Alliance Partner. That's the reason why you will only get the UPM card. All official procedures are done through UPM.
Which software will I need to use?
CAD software: AutoCAD, ArchiCAD, Revit, Sketchup, Rhino, Vectorworks or similar ones.
Image: Adobe Acrobat, Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator or similar ones.
Teamwork, communication tools: Zoom, Miro
Presentations and essays: Microsoft Office Word, Excel, Powerpoint or similar ones.
Cloud services: Dropbox, Onedrive, Wetransfer or similar ones.
Software for 3D printing: Ultimaker Cura
Which software should I install in my laptop?
You don't need to install any special software till the moment your position at the MCH group is booked. Only then, you will receive your log-in to the MCH Community area of the website, where you will find detailed instructions about the compulsory software to install for MCH.
Which software can I download when being MCH student?
It is described in the IT section of the website. You will be able to access it with your MCH Community log-in.
Which books can I read in advance to be better prepared for MCH?
There is an extensive list of housing-related bibliography in the Housing + section of the website. You will be able to access it with your MCH Community log-in.
Should I arrive to Madrid some time in advance?
Yes, we recommend to be in Madrid at least one week before the beginning of the classes, specially if you come from abroad. There will not be MCH introduction sessions or anything similar, that time is just to settle in the city.
Should I learn Spanish?
It is not compulsory, you will not need it for the MCH classes. However, it would be nice to learn, at least, the basics, to feel more comfortable when moving around in the city. An important part of the Spanish population do not speak English (older generations mainly), so you may need so learn some vocabulary to rent your apartment, fill in some official forms or to order a coffee in many cafeterias.
Which is the approximate cost of life in Madrid?
The approximate monthly cost of living in Madrid ranges from 700 to 1200 euros (accommodation and food), taking into account that this will depend on the cost of your accommodation and lifestyle.
How expensive should a small rented apartment be?
A small studio for a single person can be found starting from 600 euros; an apartment for two starting from 800 euros (accommodation only, services as internet, water, electricity,... may be included or not).
How much does a rented room in a shared apartment cost?
Sharing a rented apartment will cost around 350-500 euros (accommodation only, services as internet, water, electricity,... may be included or not).
Are there colleges for students located close to ETSAM?
There are several accommodation facilites around ETSAM. We can highlight two residences for students, located close to the ETSAM building: Casa do Brasil and Colegio Mayor Argentino.
Can I share an apartment with other MCH participants?
If you are interested in sharing accommodation with other MCH participants, please write a mail to email@example.com indicating it. We will set you in contact one month and a half before the beginning of the classes.
Which is the best way to go to ETSAM by public transport?
The closest metro station to ETSAM is Ciudad Universitaria. If you come by bus, the closest bus stops are Escuela Agronómica (Lines 133, 83, 162), Juan Herrera (Lines 161, 160, 46) and Cardenal Cisneros (Lines 133, 83, 162, 161, 160).
Can I park my car at ETSAM?
Yes, there is car park for UPM students at ETSAM, which you can use during ETSAM opening hours. It is free of charge.
I am not an EU-citizen. Will the MCH Diploma allow me to work in Europe?
The MCH Diploma will not modify your current legal status, it is a Diploma which certifies that you enrolled a postgraduate educational course.
If you want to sign your own projects as an architect in Europe, as a non-EU citizen, your previous architecture Diploma needs to be recognised first. There are certain procedures for that, which may vary for the different countries. The Spanish name for that process is "Homologación", which is to be requested to the Education Ministry. Sometimes, non-EU foreign architects have to submit a final project in order to get this recognition.
However, most architecture offices do not request recognised Diplomas to hire an architect. The most commom handicaps to find a job in Europe are the language and the working VISA you can obtain with your current passport. The process can be easier or more complicated depending on the size of the company which is hiring you, their will to help, and the country you want to work in.
Impossible is nothing, as you will be able to check reading our Historical section.
Do you have agreements with architecture offices to get a job after MCH?
No, because getting a job at an architecture office after MCH is not necessarily the way to get a career improvement, it depends on each person. This is an important issue for the MCH team, and that’s why interviews with our MCH participants are scheduled towards the end of the course, to support their decisions, directed to their next professional path.
Of course, each person has different skills and circumstances (natural skills, work capacity, languages spoken, visa situation, economic needs and expectations...), which result in a singular development of each professional career. MCH writes recommendation letters for those participants who request it, of course, customised to each person, at the end of the programme. In many cases, those recommendation letters have turned out to be absolutely decisive, as stated by our alumni.
Will I get my MCH Diploma immediately after submitting my Final Master Work?
No, the procedures to issue the MCH Diploma take approximately one year time. You will get a certificate, stating that you successfully finished MCH, and your MCH Academic Record.
Can I apply for an internship at an European architecture office after MCH?
Most offices are obliged by their national laws to sign a Learning Agreement with an Educational Institution in order to hire a person as an intern. For that to be possible through UPM, via COIE, you have to officially be a student. We invite you to check our Development Center section for further information this regard.
The situation changes if you try to do that when you can not be considered a UPM student anymore. In that case, your internship can not be framed at UPM, and you may need to register yourself in other educational program, that allows you to have that Learning Agreement signed.
Can I join a PhD programme after MCH?
The specific requirements to access a PhD programme are decided by the University itself and the department it belongs to. In some Universities, this oppotunity to write a Doctoral Thesis is simple, and in others, due to the programme´s prestige and the number of applicants, it is much more difficult. Official Postgraduate Degrees are normally necessary to join PhD programmes in the Spanish education system, since they help to generate ideas and contents to be later developed during the PhD. Current Spanish regulation, in most cases, does not recognise credits obtained in an University-specific Master as valid to enrol a PhD programme. Therefore, an University-specific Postgraduate Degree, in general, does not provide access to the PhD. However, there are exceptions in which an University-specific Master does provide such access. This is the case of MCH, thanks to an agreement that has been reached with the DPA of ETSAM. MCH graduates are allowed to access the DPA PhD program, thanks to the teaching quality and scientific content of the master, proved over twelve editions and widely recognized internationally. Further details about that MCH agreement can be found here.
If you have questions that we haven't been able to answer, we would love to hear from you! Please write a mail to us and a member of our MCH team will be in touch.
© 2006-2022 MCH and its logo are registered trademarks.
Dr. José María de Lapuerta and Andrea Deplazes
phone:+34 910 674 860
Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid
Avda. Juan Herrera 4. 28040, Madrid. Spain