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Course content

Delve deeper into the history and theory of architecture with the research and thesis-based Master of Architecture. 

This qualification will be of interest to you if you are already working in the profession and want to deepen your understanding of a particular aspect of architecture. Or you may have recently completed a Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS) or Postgraduate Diploma in Architecture History and Theory (PDGipAHT), and want to continue on to do research.

You'll further develop your critical thinking and discussion skills with in-depth study into your area of interest. Increase your understanding of how architectural history and theory are applied to design, so you can express your own ideas and conclusions within a theoretical framework.

Expertise through research

Choose a thesis that reflects your current knowledge of the intellectual, technical, aesthetic and cultural conditions of architecture. Your research topic must have a basis in theory as well as method.

You'll get quality supervision and support from staff with international reputations for teaching, research and publishing.

You may be able to include media such as a drawing portfolio or video with your thesis submission. If you choose to use design as your primary research method in your thesis, it must be explained within a theoretical context.

Past research topics include:

  • architectural and urban design processes
  • sustainability in architecture
  • architectural history, theory and criticism
  • energy and environmental design of buildings, including sustainable design

The MArch does not qualify you for registration as an architect.

Duration and workload

The MArch can be completed within three trimesters or one calendar year of full-time study, or in a minimum of six trimesters if you're studying part time. You have a maximum of three years from enrolment to complete and present your thesis.

If you are studying full time, you can expect a workload of 40–45 hours a week for much of the year. Part-time students will need to do around 20–23 hours of work a week. Make sure you take this into account if you are working.


Postgraduate study at Victoria will help you build valuable relationships and networks with peers, university staff and future colleagues. You'll have opportunities to attend events, seminars, workshops and social functions.

The Postgraduate Students' Association can also give you information on study at Victoria and provides a voice for you on campus.


If you are already working in the profession, you'll add a new level of expertise to your practice.

The skills and knowledge you gain will open doors to a range of other jobs including architectural conservator, archivist or museum researcher. You might also find work as a critic or writer, curator, historian or librarian.




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Recipient: Victoria University of Wellington

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