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Course content

The Manchester School of Architecture (MSA) is well integrated with the vibrant architectural community of a culturally diverse city, a powerful regional profession and an extensive and active array of international partners. The Master of Architecture (MArch) programme at MSA is highly respected for the capability of its graduates who succeed in the transglobal setting of research and practice in architecture.

The MArch is a lively student centred environment, where peer-to-peer learning, practice based research and live events projects connect students, expert academics, design professionals and wider communities. Internationally recognised study tour research and access to the exchange programmes, connects the MArch with other leading Schools of Architecture. The extensive MSAplus alumni network, Manchester Society of Architects and Digital Innovation, are examples of a vibrant academic and professional context, where students are supported to develop their own links and approaches to architecture. Students can access sports clubs, societies and activities available at both Manchester and the University of Manchester.

The course is for students who have completed RIBA Part One for example a BA (Hons) Architecture course. The Master of Architecture (MArch) programme is a professionally recognised award (prescribed at Part 2 level by the Architects Registration Board and validated at Part 2 level by the Royal Institute of British Architects) leading towards a career as a professional architect. The MArch course is an opportunity to complete the academic components of architecture education and develop a portfolio suited to employment opportunities in contemporary professional practice at one of the most popular and highly regarded architecture schools in the UK. The award is jointly conferred by Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Manchester and students benefit from access to the physical and intellectual resources of both institutions.

The content, duration and structure of the programme are defined by regulatory requirements in the EU and the particular arrangements for student finance that apply in the UK context of architecture education. Within this framework Full-time, Hybrid and Part-time routes are offered to promote choice that reflects individual ambitions and particular circumstances, to qualify as architects or pursue further postgraduate study.

Special Features

-Manchester School of Architecture is a unique collaboration between Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Manchester.
-Consistently ranked as one of the best schools of Architecture in the UK.
-Engaged and responsive design teaching, working with expert, research active academic staff and leading design professionals.
Students actively take part in the research culture of the school.
-Opportunities for study exchange in Europe through the Erasmus programme.

Our RIBA award winning Manchester School of Art building gives high quality environments:
-Open Studio: Managed and organized by MSA students for model making, digital and analogue drawing, supporting collaborative peer groups.
-Review Studio: Used for formal discussion and review of work.
-Workshops: High quality making supported by large well-equipped specialist workshops and trained technical staff at Manchester Metropolitan and the University of Manchester.
-Lecture: Digitally equipped lecture theatres across both university estates support delivery of formal and open lectures and events.
-Library: Excellent 24/7 library resources, supported by specialist architectural librarians, enable access to a vast amount of recently published and archival material. IT systems support working away from the main Studios when appropriate.

Course Content

This course is for students who have completed a RIBA Part One course in Architecture. The course comprises of studio, research methods, dissertation and professional studies units, delivered through a diverse range of research driven ateliers and workshops. Each group approaches architecture from a different specialised position, offering expertise, skills and knowledge that respond to contemporary events and issues. Course units are delivered through studio days, workshops, seminars and lectures, made available digitally for distance learning. Students vote at the beginning of each academic year from a selection of ateliers and workshops. Student projects connect with research-based design, contemporary investigative methods and live workshops, aligned with strong areas of research activity and professional practice undertaken by the academic team within the wider cultural context.

Studio units centre on face to face discourse, focused on the creative and exploratory design thesis. Units are aligned (e.g. Methods and Dissertation) to capitalise on research themes and methodologies located in both theory and studio practice and delivered through lectures, seminars and talks. Professional Studies combines the benefits of employment contexts and academic environments to deliver technologically and professionally responsive design projects and case studies. Blending digital communication and live discourse, Professional Studies also facilitates distance learning as a part of the Hybrid route.

Study tours and international collaborations with other leading Schools and organisations take place each year and there is the possibility for exchange under the Erasmus programme.

All students will be required to make a number of different submissions, including detailed examinations of building proposals, 12000-word dissertation, annotated reports, methods exploration and a design thesis.

Visit the Architecture - MArch page on the Manchester Metropolitan University website for more details!




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