• Cardiff University Featured Masters Courses
  • Ulster University Featured Masters Courses
  • Goldsmiths, University of London Featured Masters Courses
  • Loughborough University Featured Masters Courses
  • Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Leeds Featured Masters Courses
  • Queen Mary University of London Featured Masters Courses
  • Loughborough University London Featured Masters Courses
De Montfort University Featured Masters Courses
Leeds Beckett University Featured Masters Courses
Nottingham Trent University Featured Masters Courses
University of Worcester Featured Masters Courses
Northumbria University Featured Masters Courses

Architecture: Professional Studies MA

Course Description

The MA in Professional Studies is a route to registration as an architect in the UK, approved by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) at Part 3 level. On the course, students acquire an in-depth understanding of the legal and economic aspects of architectural practice and construction procurement, and the related skills necessary to practice effectively.

The course has an outstanding reputation. This is reflected in the Commendations it has received from successive RIBA Visiting Boards including from the latest, in July 2016, when the Commendation was for its ‘breadth, depth and rigour’.

On the course students explore the professional aspects of practice as an architect, including the construction industry and role of the profession, development controls, construction law, and project and practice management. We aim to inspire our students with a keen interest in current issues relating to the profession. Students are encouraged to explore their own relevant areas of interest, and to develop critical and independent judgement, and the ability to manage complex processes. Research skills are developed through means of a dissertation.

The MA Professional Studies is a part-time qualification which is a route to registration as an architect that also includes a research element in the form of a dissertation.

Distinctive features

• Accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Architects Registration Board (ARB) at Part 3 level.

• Based on acclaimed research expertise within the Welsh School of Architecture and run by a leading author and expert in the field.

• Study while you work in practice; this course is taught by distance learning and short courses, where the emphasis is on workshops and group working.

• Benefit from a small cohort size, individual tutoring (normally including a workplace visit), and the wide variety of expert speakers and topics covered.

• Includes a module on international practice, unique for an ARB approved course.

• Supported by an active alumni network.


The course is taught by distance learning and supplemented by short courses, normally three one-week courses held in October, January and March. We also hold final assessment days in May or June. The activities you carry out on your work placement contribute to your learning experience and are monitored by the School.

Please visit the website to see the modules taught on this course:



On this course you will be taught mainly through distance learning using the University’s virtual learning environment, Learning Central. We’ll post course notes, assignments and support materials there and you can also use the forum facility to ask questions and engage with fellow students. Your coursework will be submitted electronically through digital dropboxes.

Due to the nature of this course, you are responsible for reading any emails sent by module tutors or announcements made through Learning Central on a frequent basis.


Taught and project-based modules are assessed in a variety of different ways depending on the module content and learning outcomes (found in the module descriptions). We use class tests, course work (both written assignments and oral presentations or critical assessments/crits), and project work, or a combination of these to assess your progress on the module.

In the dissertation stage, your dissertation is the sole object of assessment. The dissertation is a written report on a piece of research which you have carried out in an agreed subject area under supervision. You may choose a topic relating to cutting edge professional practice, or a current issue or problem of concern to the profession. Your dissertation may involve collection and analysis of original data, or placing an original interpretation on existing data.

Career prospects

After completing the MA in Professional Studies, you will be able to register with the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and therefore use the title ‘architect’ in the UK. The profession of architecture is covered by the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive 2005/36/EC. Therefore, registration also gives you the right to register in other EU member states on successful completion of the course. A UK architectural qualification is generally valued worldwide.

Past graduates have gone on to found their own architectural practice and lead teams within large global architecture firms. MA students have also gone into research posts or academia. Tutors on this course have established links with architectural practice which can help students to network and make connections in the field. There is also a strong alumni network with international links that you may benefit from.


You will be based in a suitable work placement as part of this distance learning course. You are required to find your own placement location before the course begins, such as an architects practice, or an approved construction industry firm.

Visit the Architecture: Professional Studies MA page on the Cardiff University website for more details!

Student Profiles

Cardiff University Masters Excellence Scholarships - No. of awards TBC

“This scholarship package will give high-calibre students the opportunity to study at a world-leading, research-intensive university and help ease the associated financial burdens.”Professor Colin Riordan, Vice-ChancellorWe are pleased to announce that the Taught Master's Excellence Scholarship Scheme for 2016/17 entry has been confirmed.We are committed to invest up to a total of £500,000 in this high value competitive scholarship scheme to support UK and EU students who are planning to start an eligible master's programme in September 2016.The scholarships are each worth a minimum of £3,000 and will be awarded in the form of a tuition fee discount.Scholarships will be awarded based on academic excellence.

Value of Scholarship(s)

min. £3000


Eligible programmes include taught full-time and part-time taught programmes leading to a master's. Not included are our distance learning programmes and taught programmes leading to a postgraduate certificate, postgraduate diploma, as well as research master's such as the MPhil and MRes.‘Home’ and ‘EU’ students only (as classified for fee paying purposes, tuition fee status is determined after submitting an application to study) who are accepted on to an eligible postgraduate taught programme leading to a master's degree, and with a firm focus on academic excellence.For applicants from countries outside the European Union, we also offer a range of highly prestigious international scholarships.

Application Procedure

We have two deadlines after which scholarship decisions will be made:6 April and 27 July 2016.The Masters Excellence Scholarship application form can be accessed once you have submitted an application to study to an eligible postgraduate taught programme leading to a master’s degree. Please note the additional details on our website and in the guidance documents provided.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Last Updated

04 July 2017

Email Enquiry

Recipient: Cardiff University

Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here
* required field
Send a copy to me for my own records.

Your enquiry has been emailed successfully

Cookie Policy    X