The MArch (Part 2) is a long-established and well-respected course that is prescribed by the ARB and validated by the RIBA to give exemption from the second stage of professional education. The emphasis of the course is on innovative design work, and on developing a caring and critical approach to the study and practice of architecture.
The course fosters diversity of choice, interpretation and approach, whether in design projects or more academic research. The former focuses on sophisticated design programmes (in formal, technical, professional or urban terms) that demand rigour and self-criticism. The latter focuses on your major dissertation, an extended piece of specialised research into architecture and its historical or theoretical contexts.
The course has three main objectives: to develop your design ability through project-based experimentation; to present an evaluation and critique of your coursework within a broad cultural context, and in light of technical, economic and legal constraints; and to promote the articulate explanation and representation of quality and value in design projects.
The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.
Year 1, Semester 1
Year 1, Semester 2
Year 2, Semester 1
Year 2, Semester 2
Most students who complete the Architecture MArch (Part II) are subsequently employed in architectural offices and become registered architects after taking the Part III exam. Others progress to take further Master’s or PhD degrees and then go into research or teaching.
The Architecture MA incorporates a number of different study options including an extensive range of individual module choices and specialist pathways in Cultural Identity and Globalisation, History and Theory, and Digital Media.
If you are looking for our MArch (RIBA Part 2) course, please view this course page.
Situated in the progressive intellectual milieu of London, the Architecture MA programme offers a flexible programme of study and a unique opportunity to pursue advanced postgraduate research combining high-level theoretical investigation with innovative design approaches.
The Department of Architecture at the University of Westminster provides first-class facilities such as state-of-the-art digital design/fabrication equipment and a team of lecturers and researchers deeply immersed in the very latest developments in architectural design, theory, historical research, and technology. The Architecture MA is part of a suite of Masters offered by the Department of Architecture aimed at graduates looking to further their education and enhance their employability by acquiring new knowledge and skills. Focused on architectural research, the Architecture MA also offers a firm grounding for those seeking to pursue further research and/or an academic career.
The Architecture MA provides a course that is wide-ranging and flexible, facilitating alternative modes of study and a range of options, including the choice of either a written or design-based thesis. The programme also allows for specialism through its three designated pathways: Architecture (Cultural Identity and Globalisation); Architecture (Digital Media) and Architecture (History and Theory), or alternatively, you can also create your own pathway, under the heading Architecture MA, by selecting and combining relevant modules that meet your individual requirements.
The range of optional and specialist modules offered allows you to develop your individual learning trajectories through the in-depth study of specific subject areas, involving theoretical components as well as practical applications. A series of theory rich modules will stimulate you to analyse current trends in architecture, design theory and practice on the basis of your research and critical judgement, and use these insights to produce high quality written work in a scholarly manner.
In parallel, a set of design-oriented activities encourages you to develop your artistic, aesthetic and intellectual vision through the use of different media, in order to produce individual proposals with a high level of spatial, material and formal resolution. The course is taught within a dynamic learning environment that comprises seminar-based sessions along with studio-based activities, suitably integrated by a wide range of lectures, tutorials, site visits, research training sessions, and independent study periods.
The Department of Architecture is consciously international in its educational thinking and academic links, and its graduates are amongst the most sought-after anywhere in the world. The flexibility offered in the course is designed to extend each student’s creative abilities and enhance their employability and performance as design professionals.
Typical employment destinations for Architecture MA graduates include architectural practice but also other design disciplines, media and the arts. Depending on their pathways, graduates have found employment in a multitude of creative industries including computer visualisation, design research and consultancy. In addition, the course may form a platform for continuing study with a career in academia or research.
Research is central to the study of architecture within the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA). It motivates our intellectual and creative activities and underpins our collaborations with a range of important international and UK-based institutions. We actively promote interdisciplinary approaches to research in architecture.
Our expertise and interests range across the following areas:
Our focus includes conservation theory and history; urban conservation; conservation technology; and the challenges of bridging the gulf between heritage and new architecture.
We have particular strength in the history of architecture in Britain and the British colonial world (18th and 19th centuries); Germany, Central Europe and Russia; modernism in Europe, North America and Africa; Renaissance Italy; the history of landscape; the history of technology; the international history of mass housing and urban development; the theory and philosophy of architecture; the philosophy of place; and critical inquiry and methodology.
We focus on research in and through design, as informed by contemporary architectural and cultural theory; studio pedagogy; research-led teaching; and methodologies of urban research and fieldwork.
We have expertise in the spatial, social and philosophical implications of media; the relationship between computers and design practice; cognitive models of human-computer interaction; 3D modelling; mobile computing; the sonic environment; and e-commerce.
We offer expertise in lightweight steel structures; the building envelope; concrete construction; design and manufacturing; and sustainable design in both qualitative and quantitative senses, looking at environmental response, design theory, rural planning and user-centred solutions.
The MSc by Research programme comprises a compulsory research methods course, the choice of one optional course and a 20,000-word dissertation based on independent research.
The Master of Architecture (MArch) RIBA Part II course is a highly creative, research-led and professional two-year masters rooted in studio laboratories and driven by individual enquiry. The MArch course is prescribed by the ARB and validated by RIBA, giving exemption from RIBA Part II.
We are part of the vibrant range of arts and humanities courses that the university has to offer. Our distinct research-led approach filters through all aspects of this course, with rigorous inquiry fusing innovation, regulation and social commentary. This student-focused approach offers the opportunity for you to investigate your personal architectural agenda, developing your own critical position and design language prior to entry into the profession.
The studio laboratories are driven by tutors’ personal research agendas and all staff are actively engaged within this field of enquiry as academics or practitioners. The stimulating mix of practitioners and academics across the course builds conversations, with visiting lecturers and critics further feeding the dialogue. Recent visiting lecturers have included Neil Denari, Perry Kulper, Chris Thurlbourne, Michael Jemtrud, and our close links with practice ensure stimulating review panels. We place critical thought at our core and look forward to you joining the conversation.
We want you to emerge from the course as an assured designer, confident in your approach, ideals and aspirations and with the ability to communicate this to the wider world. Over the two years you will be challenged to define your own critical position, and evolve your personal language of design and representation. The course will assist you in this through a gradual deepening of understanding, and by providing you with the tools with which to critically reflect upon design strategies and to navigate the wider contemporary debate on architecture.
The design laboratories form the backbone to the course. The other individual elements of the course increasingly intertwine with this over the two years to provide a final systematic understanding of architecture as a holistic entity.
Year 1: Strategy
There are four elements of the course (modules) covered in the first year and these are organised such that you will only ever address two at any one time. Design forms the backbone of the year and is divided into two elements that run consecutively across the whole year. The third element, or module, is technology and this runs through the first half of the year and is then replaced by Humanities and Design Theory in the second half of the year.
Year 2: Integration
Year two is also formed of four elements (modules). Design encompasses the whole year in the form of the master thesis, with the technology and professional studies elements of the course plugging into this as the year progresses. Architectural humanities runs in the first term in the form of the Humanities Research Project. Once this is completed technology then takes its place in the course diagram and runs through to the end of the year integrating itself into the design proposal.
Making sure that what you learn with us is relevant, up to date and what employers are looking for is our priority, so courses are reviewed and enhanced on an ongoing basis. When you have applied to us, you’ll be told about any new developments through our applicant portal.
The course is centred around the studio and through this aims to reflect the nature of architectural practice. Teaching is rooted in problem-based learning, such as through critical studio briefs, and a research-based approach to problem solving. You will therefore be asked to critically engage with and reflect upon the subject matter, and to learn through your own research and enquiry. One-to-one tutorials, group discussions, seminars as well as lectures by academic staff and visiting practitioners all act to assist in evolving your ideas.
The studio laboratories are derived from the tutors’ own field of enquiry as academics or practitioners. You are given the opportunity to apply for the studio laboratory of your choice at the start of each academic year.
There are a range of studio laboratories to choose from each year, all of which explore different contemporary design research fields informed by the studio tutors’ current research. Each studio laboratory is supported by two tutors and has a dedicated studio space within which to conduct your explorations alongside fellow students from both years of the course.
On successful completion of the course you will have formed a systematic understanding of architecture, a critical awareness of current problems and a comprehensive understanding of techniques, methodologies and practice. This rigorous and critically engaged basis will form a solid foundation upon which to build your professional architectural career.