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Why this course?

The PgDip in Advanced Architectural Design is for UK/EU architecture graduates seeking Part 2 professional qualification. International students should apply for the MArch Architectural Design (International).

This two year course gives you the opportunity to explore architecture in a broad-based manner through theoretical and practical work. It demands a high level of design ability and self-motivation while giving you the chance to explore and develop projects related to your own interests.

You’ll appraise current theoretical approaches to architecture and urban design then assess and show their relevance in existing and proposed contexts. You’ll also develop and demonstrate formal and technical architectural ability.

If you complete all diploma work to a satisfactory standard you may have the opportunity to convert your diploma into a MArch. This requires an extra three months of study.

What you'll study

As well as the areas of study you'll:

  • develop a critical and technical architectural ability
  • complete comprehensive architectural or urban design projects
  • write a dissertation
  • demonstrate awareness of management procedures relevant to design practice
  • carry out a detailed examination of an issue or issues of particular architectural significance

Year 1

This year is centred on consolidating your architectural design skills. You’ll also be introduced to the idea of architecture as a responsive solution to fundamental social issues. You’ll choose an area of personal interest that you’ll research for your dissertation.

Year 2

You’ll undertake an architectural project. This requires you to take a viewpoint on contemporary architectural issues and choose a theme that reflects your own interests and creative ambitions. As well as studio-based activities you’ll follow your chosen theme through project work and optional classes. You’ll also attend a taught course in professional studies and a series of guest lectures.

Study trips provide opportunities for intensive examinations of the culture and built fabric in a variety of urban and rural locations both in the UK and overseas. Recent trips include Barcelona, Rome, Paris and Venice and the less familiar Gdansk, Toledo and Monte Caruso.

Study abroad

You’ll have the opportunity to study abroad (subject to academic performance). The department has the most expansive international exchange programme in the UK. We have agreements with 22 institutions across Europe, Canada, the Far East and South America.



There are two fully-networked design studios; one dedicated to student self-study, the other to interactive design teaching. 


In addition to the main University library, we have our own, on-site, reference library. Our collection is developed in direct response to the teaching delivered in the department.


A full range of hand and portable power tools are available (complete with instruction). 

We offer plotter printing, scanning and laser cutting services.

Find out more about the full range of facilities we have to offer.


Validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) (Part 2).

Accredited by the Architect’s Registration Board (ARB) for the purpose of eligibility for registration with that body.

Student competitions

We’ve an extensive programme of student awards provided by professional bodies, including:

  • The RIAS Silver Medal: the premier Scottish award for student achievement
  • The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) President's Medals
  • The City of Glasgow- Eimear Kelt- Silver Medal: awarded annually by a panel of professional judges on behalf of Glasgow City Council.

Our students have been successful in many prestigious competitions including:

  • Building Design ‘Top 6’ UK
  • APS
  • RSA Awards
  • A+DS and RIAS
  • SEDA

Learning & teaching

Each part of the course allows you to explore and develop projects related to your own interests in contemporary architecture.

The course is made up of studio design work, lectures, special projects and workshops.

The focus of study is on design project work including the analysis, synthesis and appraisal of design ideas. You’ll show your understanding of these ideas through drawings, physical and digital models, written and graphic work.


The March degree normally requires further assessment over the summer semester. This will be on an aspect of the diploma project that is explored to a greater level of detail.

You’ll have exams in semesters 1 and 2 on all aspects of the course and are expected to present a complete academic portfolio based on advanced design study.


Career opportunities for Architecture graduates range from working in large multidisciplinary practices to smaller specialist firms.

Many of our graduates are employed by highly respected practices throughout the world, while others have set up their own businesses.

The Department has a growing reputation for developing entrepreneurial graduates who go on to make their mark in the sector independently in practices such as Page and Park, Tog Studio and Lateral North.

Visit the Advanced Architectural Design MArch/PgDip page on the University of Strathclyde website for more details!





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