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M.Arch Achitecture

Course Description


Recognised by the Architects Registration Board and RIBA for exemption from Part II examination, the course is stage two of students' professional development programme to become an architect.

Students will develop their critical ability, skills and creativity. Study is based in a design studio-led research environment and students will be able to create architectural designs that meet necessary technical requirements while still having aesthetic appeal.

A unique collaborative 'Teaching Practice' programme means each cross-level studio unit is aligned with a leading professional practice in the region where students can visit on selected days for supporting tutorials.

This course is divided into three trimesters to allow students to work towards a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or a Master's qualification.


PgCert: Critical Urbanism; Co.Lab; Research and Theory.

PgDip: Architectural Synergies; Management Practice and Law: Theory.

Master's Project: Architectural Speculations Part 1; Architectural Speculations Part 2; Architectural Speculations: Tectonics; Management Practice and Law: Applied; Dissertation or Special Study.


Students will be assessed through a mix of reviews, reports, exams and essays. Students will undertake a major dissertation or special study (to follow on from the Co.Lab live project or another opportunity) on a theme related to the course. The dissertation and special study themes are negotiated with the course tutor.

Visit the M.Arch Achitecture page on the Birmingham City University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Ben Derbyshire

2455.jpg Ben Derbyshire is the Managing Partner of HTA Design LLP, a multidisciplinary firm of 120 architects, graphic designers, planners, landscape architects, web designers and sustainability consultants.

Examples of his practice’s notable projects, both in the UK and abroad include Greenwich Millennium Village, Waterport Terraces in Gibraltar, the redevelopment of Queen Elizabeth's Children's Hospital and the South Acton regeneration project in London and Hanham Hall zero carbon community in Bristol.

Alongside this, Ben is Chairman of the Housing Forum, a board member at Design for Homes and he sits on the New London Sounding Board, the council of New London Architecture.

Ben studied Architecture at Birmingham School of Architecture, part of Birmingham City University, finishing his course in 1973.

Following university, he went on to do postgraduate course at the Cambridge University School of Architecture and from there, aged 23, he joined the recently-formed practice of ex Cambridge graduates Bernard Hunt and John Thompson – then only five strong. The practice grew and changed and he grew with it. Now both founders are retired and Ben has emerged as managing partner of a multidisciplinary firm.

The University and the course gave me a solid grounding in reality. It allowed me the scope to work with real problems amongst local communities and thus I forged an interest in community architecture that has served me throughout the rest of my career. "

“I am proud to be at the helm of an energetic and creative practice with a succession team of younger partners who are up for the challenge of becoming the best in our field and taking the practice forward. I have never had a more enjoyable professional experience!


Entry Requirements

Applicants will normally be expected to hold at least a second class honours degree or equivalent in an appropriate discipline and will need a creative portfolio. Evidence of satisfactory completion of at least nine months of practical training is normally required for acceptance on the full-time course.

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