School of Art, Design and Architecture

MArch Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part 2)

In a world ever-increasingly in flux – economically, environmentally, socio-culturally – there’s an ever greater need for architects able to think creatively, critically and strategically. You’ll be supported in a design and research-led critical inquiry, testing your work in the public domain through live projects in the UK and overseas. You will develop your own sense of praxis, while exploring the potential of architecture to generate more sustainable, inclusive and resilient places.

Our course is fully validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and prescribed by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) to the requirements at Part 2 level. Within six months of degree completion, 100 per cent of our graduates have found professional employment in the UK, Europe and Asia* – with award-winning architects such as AHMM, Allies and Morrison, Feilden Clegg Bradley, Hopkins, John McAslan, Keith Williams, Make, Nicholas Hare and Walters and Cohen.

A top 5 UK young university for subjects of art, design and architecture

Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2022

Creative Conscience Awards logo

Student success at Creative Conscience Awards 2022

The MArch programme has had success for the fifth year running in the International Creative Conscience Awards. Sarah Paxton and Roberta Vasnic won Gold, Isabel Hopper won Silver, and Sarah Dawes, Shana Linwood-McLaughlin and Irenitemi Onodeko won Bronze in the Architecture category. Sarah Dawes and Shana Linwood-McLaughlin won Gold in the Equality and Justice category.

New ARB and RIBA criteria

We are currently in the process of revising the program in line with new ARB and RIBA criteria as required of all validated schools of architecture; these new criteria are not so much new, but place increased emphasis on: climate literacy in the context of climate change; ethics; health and safety considerations; professional skills and knowledge including the development of research skills; and technology.

A.Lambrianidou, Z.Latham, Armature of Informal Trade Macau 2017/18

Careers with this subject

Our architecture graduates benefit from a discursive education that enables them with a wide range of creative thinking and problem-solving knowledge and skills. Building on this students have gone on to work with leading architectural offices and start their own successful practices. Others have enjoyed success in parallel careers including: teaching, both at Plymouth and other schools of architecture: urban design; landscape architecture; community development; and construction and project management. Upon completion of the programme you may be able to continue on to a RIBA Part 3 qualification and become a Chartered Architect in the UK and EU.

Advice from graduate Madhusha Wijesiri:

"Architecture is one of the most competitive fields. You will experience this competitive nature during your education as well as when you step out into the real world. Competition should not be taken as an opportunity to defeat someone, but to improve yourself and to push yourself a bit beyond where you stand today.
Competition should be the nitrous oxide for your engine, which gives you additional energy to improve your performance. Never forget to offer your helping hand and to carry others with you, so that you will see competition within you disappear and turn into strength. This recarveals a wonderful purpose and a meaning to all the design work you do."

Read more from Madhusha in his case study.

Key features

  • Our school was described as ‘charged’ by The Architects’ Journal.
  • Get creative with our amazing facilities and resources. You’ll be based in our eye-catching Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business building in the heart of the campus, surrounded by students and staff from other art courses. And, you’ll have two square metres of desk to call your own.
  • Study a programme fully validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and prescribed by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) – with National Student Survey results for the M Arch (not including BA Architecture) for the past two years at 100 per cent for overall student satisfaction.
  • Interact with the public domain with architecture that’s responsive to people, places and tectonics. Work with local communities and institutions, including city councils, business organisations and non-governmental organisations.
  • Work on live studio-based projects, both in the UK and abroad. Previous projects have been based in China, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Spain and the UK.
  • Over 95 per cent of our recent graduates have found work in the UK, the Middle East and Asia.
  • Benefit from our future-facing programme that features a strong socio-cultural, urban and sustainability dimension.
  • Learn from tutors with industry experience and interdisciplinary research interests.

Course details
  • Year 1

  • In your first year, you’ll undertake design studio projects set around live UK or overseas urban regeneration projects explored formally, programmatically and tectonically. You’ll study your core subjects this year – exploring key theories and tools through: philosophies of sustainability; methodologies of urban analysis; and technical development of your design studio proposal.

    Core modules

    • Professional Studies (ARCH761)

      This module develops the student's knowledge and understanding of current architectural practice and professional responsibilities with respect to the building industry, the legal framework of building contracts and the legislative context of the profession and associated professions, and constructs of ethics which frame professional practice.

    • Emerging Research (ARCH762)

      Students will undertake a programme of Masters-level research. It has no pre-ordained syllabus content, and will be informed by students' own investigations and staff knowledge drawn from their own research interests. Students will receive tutorial support for their approved research topic within the scope of the module content, seminar discussion and wider reading. This work will be advanced in the context of students gaining key research skills.

    • Sustainable Technologies (ARCH763)

      This module examines environmental and tectonic (building fabric and structural) considerations that informs the design of buildings and their inhabitation, including emergent discourse on issues of sustainability (e.g., climate change and materials specification) and regulatory requirements (e.g., health and safety). This knowledge and understanding will be applied to and tested in the generation of a building design.

    • Context for Praxis (Knowledge Exchange) (ARCH764)

      This module examines the cultural, ecological, economic, political and social issues which frame the context of praxis, considered through a cross-disciplinary perspective. This examination includes exploration of professional and theoretical discourses that enhance critical understanding of issues. This understanding will be tested through application in generating through trans-disciplinary teams a proposition (including an architectural component for architecture students) for a live civic project, reinforced through critical analysis and reference to relevant discourse.

  • Final year

  • In your final year, you’ll have a more flexible timetable. You'll combine the skills and knowledge you've developed in the design studio with the individual, research-orientated study of an area of your choice. Your design studio projects this year are set around live urban regeneration projects overseas or in the UK. For your individual research study, you’ll be supported by research-active staff aligned with your chosen area of study. You will also deepen your understanding of professional practice through professional studies.

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

Master of Architecture ARB RIBA Part 2 Programme Specification Sep22 7538

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.
Entry requirements

The following conditions are required of all applicants: 

Expected 2:1 degree classification but we will consider students with lower degree and a good portfolio..

If you are an overseas/EU students you must obtain an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent.

English language requirements

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

The following conditions are highly desired:

12 months experience working in an architect’s office or similar professionally relevant activity.

Application process

To be considered for entry onto the programme, you'll need to submit the following:

  • A completed application form.
  • An official copy of your transcript for your completed degree studies.
  • A statement of interest outlining why you want to study at Plymouth University and what you believe you will contribute to our programme.
  • A portfolio of work with up to 20 images (this can be digital - jpeg images preferred) of previous student work and any work carried out while working in an office and/or any other personal work.
  • Two suitable references (at least one from your former university).
  • Note that we begin generally receiving applications in January for starting the program in September of the same year. The majority of successful students have applied and been offered a place by May, though we accept applications to the beginning of July. Upon receiving a complete application, a review is carried out by administrative and academic staff generally within two weeks. Relevant candidates are then given a conditional offer (and in the case of exceptional candidates an unconditional offer) with an interview (typically via Skype) to follow. Successful applicants through the interview are then typically made an unconditional offer within a few days.  

If you would like an informal chat about the Master of Architecture course please contact the programme leader at ada@plymouth.ac.uk.

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

New Student 2022-2023 2023-2024
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £14,600 £16,300
Part time (Home) N/A N/A
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. More information about fees and funding.

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business additional costs.

How to apply

When to apply

Most of our taught programmes begin in September. Applications can usually be made throughout the year, and are considered until programmes are full. 

Before you apply

Familiarise yourself with the information required to complete your application form. You will usually be required to supply:
  • evidence of qualifications (degree certificates or transcripts), with translations if not in English, to show that you meet, or expect to meet the entry requirements
  • evidence of English language proficiency, if English is not your first language
  • a personal statement of approximately 250-400 words about the reasons for your interest in the course and outlining the nature of previous and current related experience. You can write this into the online application form, or include it as a separate document
  • your curriculum vitae or résumé, including details of relevant professional/voluntary experience, professional registration/s and visa status for overseas workers
  • proof of sponsorship, if applicable.
If you require further information take a look at our application guidance.

Disability services

If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by University of Plymouth, please visit our Disability Services website. 

International students

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Submitting an application

Once you are happy that you have all of the information required you can apply using our online postgraduate application form (the blue 'Apply now' icon on this page).

What happens after I apply?

You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeks of us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information; two academic/professional references, confirming your suitability for the course; or to take part in an interview (which in the case of overseas students may be by telephone or video conference) and you will be sent a decision by letter or email.

We aim to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Admissions and Course Enquiries team is on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail.

If you would like any further information please contact the Admissions and Course Enquiries team:

Telephone: +44 (0)1752 585858
Email: admissions@plymouth.ac.uk 

Admissions policy

More information and advice for applicants can be referenced by downloading our Student Admissions Policy Prospective students are advised to read the policy before making an application to the University.

BA (Hons) Architecture / Master of Architecture Programmes revalidated by the Royal Institute of British Architects

The BA and MArch programmes just completed a very successful RIBA revalidation visit. Our programmes have been revalidated for the next 5 years with commendations for:

  • Impact of our live project-based work on both learning and the wider community.
  • A vibrant and supportive studio culture grounded in mutual respect and trust between students and staff.
  • A critically-engaged, well-rounded, empathetic student body, supported by an exemplary approach to collaborative working enabling students to become mature future professionals.

View our studio exhibition

<p>2022 MArch Architecture exhibition&nbsp;</p>
<p>

2022 BA (Hons) Architecture exhibition

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Architecture studio space in Roland Levinsky Building - preparation for the graduate show

Our facilities and resources

Our designated architecture studio spaces provide a unique learning environment. 

A range of well-resourced specialist laboratory, CAD, and materials workshop facilities are all in close proximity, putting industry standard facilities at your fingertips.

Find out more about the facilities and resources available to you

Digital Fabrication Laboratory

You will attain the skills and have access to out Digital Fabrication Lab, where you’ll be able to use robotics, CNC milling, laser scanning, laser cutting and additive manufacturing. Andy Humphreys describes how our students make use of this superb facility.

Architecture studio
Architecture studio space in Roland Levinsky Building
Architecture, Design and Environment Programmes

The Architects' Journal visits Plymouth

“The scales and bandwidth of thinking about architecture seen here, beyond slick presentation or the beat of the eco-drum seen in many architecture schools – from research, to collaboration, to communication, to social engagement and interaction, all feeding into the design development – is what impresses and is the key take-away from the Plymouth show.”
Rob Wilson from The Architects' Journal visited our end-of-year show and found our research, collaboration, communication, social engagement and interaction all feeding into design development.

<p></p><div>‘Scales and bandwidth of thinking’: Plymouth Student Show 2022 – as featured in Architects' Journal</div><p></p>

Student success at the Creative Conscience 2022

The Master of Architecture has had success for the fifth year running in the International Creative Conscience Awards in both the Architecture and Equality & Justice category including: Gold - Sarah Dawes, Shana McLaughlin-Linwood (Equality + Justice), Gold - Sarah Paxton and Roberta Vasnic, Silver - Izzy Hopper and Bronze - Sarah Dawes, Shana McLaughlin-Linwood and Irenitemi Onadeko (Architecture).

<p>Sarah Dawes, Shana McLaughlin-Linwood (Equality + Justice) gold award winners, creative conscience awards<br></p>

Sarah Dawes and Shana McLaughlin-Linwood

M Arch students' success in Creative Conscience Awards 2021

Congratulations to Sarah Paxton, Roberta Vasnic (right), Niall Hamilton (middle), Jaishan Naseer, Leah Dinning, Irenitemi Onadeko and Chris Trigg (left) for their success in the Architecture Category of the Creative Conscience Awards.
Sarah and Roberta won Gold for their re-envisioning of a post-sea level rise Stonehouse (in Plymouth) in 2100, grounded in new agencies of aquaculture and education. Niall won Silver for his community-based proposition based on self-build interventions across Stonehouse in Plymouth. Jaishan won Bronze for his text-based manifesto for the Plymouth Sound as a new form of commons. Leah, Temi and Chris won honourable mention for their regeneration proposal to enliven the streetscape and forgotten buildings in the heart of Stonehouse. 

<p>MArch - Creative Conscience Awards 2021<br></p><p>Sarah Paxton, Roberta Vasnic, Niall Hamilton, Jaishan Naseer, Leah Dinning, Irenitemi Onadeko and Chris Trigg<br></p>

M Arch students' success in Creative Conscience Awards 2020

Congratulations to Liam Chamings, Dale Cummings and Jaishan Naseer for their success in the Architecture Category of the Creative Conscience Awards.
Liam and Dale's joint speculative project (left) for a reconsideration of the coastline of Devonport in Plymouth – post-sea level rise in 2100 – won silver. 
Jaishan's well-researched study (right) of Devonport's past offering clues about its future reinvigoration won bronze.

<p>Liam Chamings and Dale Cummings Silver Award (left)<br></p><p>Jaishan Naseer Bronze Award (right)</p>

MArch students share silver medal in Creative Conscience Awards 2019

Congratulations to Chanida Barrett and Jordan Beh, and Tom Grant and Ashley Harrison for their silver-winning entries in the Architecture Category of the Creative Conscience Awards!

Chanida and Jordan’s project proposed a new site of social exchange between the autonomous region of Macau and mainland China, with the building sensitively designed in response to daily seasonal climatic changes. Tom and Ashley’s project presented a rigorously research argument for a new education facility as a pilot for the Macau government’s program of educational reform. 

<p>Chanida Barrett and Jordan Beh, and Tom Grant and Ashley Harrison Silver-winning entries in the Architecture Category of the Creative Conscience Awards.<br></p>

Plymouth students win top prize in Creative Conscience Awards 2018

Congratulations to Charlie Glenton, Samantha Hamilton and Eva Pontika for their Gold-winning entry in the Architecture Category of the Creative Conscience Awards!

<p>Eva Pontika, Charlie Glenton and Samantha Hamilton's&nbsp;Gold-winning entry in the Architecture Category of the Creative Conscience Awards<br></p>

Their project explored the potential for renewal of Macau's Inner Harbour through resurrecting the water and land as a vibrant eco-system. Their proposal creates a natural wetland park built from the natural sedimentation of the river that functions as flooding management and raises environmental awareness.

Creative Conscience is a global movement that aims to improve the communities we live and work in, helping to transform the wider world.

<p>Eva Pontika, Charlie Glenton and Samantha Hamilton's Gold-winning entry in the Architecture Category of the Creative Conscience Awards<br></p>

Student showcase

  • Building proposition study – C. Glenton, S. Hamilton, E. Pontika

    Building proposition study – C. Glenton, S. Hamilton, E. Pontika
  • Building proposition testing – C. Glenton, S. Hamilton, E. Pontika

    Building proposition testing – C. Glenton, S. Hamilton, E. Pontika
  • Building proposition study – A. Lambrinidou and Z. Latham

    Building proposition study – A. Lambrinidou and Z. Latham
  • Building proposition study – A. Lambrinidou and Z. Latham

    Building proposition study – A. Lambrinidou and Z. Latham
  • Building proposition study – A. Lambrinidou and Z. Latham

    Building proposition study – A. Lambrinidou and Z. Latham
  • Building proposition study – M. Mouyiasi

    Building proposition study – M. Mouyiasi
  • Building proposition study – T. C. Man

    Building proposition study – T. C. Man
  • A. Lambrinidou and Z. Latham

    A. Lambrinidou and Z. Latham

Set at the beginning of the year, students adopted existing film to generate a double-voiced dialogue on their experience of arrival and displacement in a new setting.

Lines of Place(y)

Creators: Zoe Latham, Alitsia Lambrianidou, Maria Mouyasi, Lizzie Cross, Oliver Flexman, Theresa Badero, Tareq Jilani, Jingrong Zhang Echo 

Masters of Architecture programme, 2017–2018

Disrupted

Credits: Celine Tee, Afif Fathullah, Betty Yin Tong Poon, Sarah Chi Man Tse, Jordan Beh, Angus Turnbull

Masters of Architecture programme, 2017–2018

Armature of Informal Trade

Alitsia Lambrianidou and Zoe Latham 

This urban design strategy rigorously explores a dialogue between ritual, place, cultural landscape, and palimpsest all accrued in layers of tangible and intangible socio-cultural heritage.

Watch a video to discover more about the project

<p>A.Lambrianidou, Z.Latham, Armature of Informal Trade Macau 2017,18<br></p>

Set at the beginning of the year, students explored a range of technical and narrative devices to generate a film exploring their experience of everyday realities in the context of utopia visions.

Inherited Utopia

Video by: Chanida Barrett, Jordan Beh, Elyse Kassis, Emma Warren, Henry Warren-Eakers

Masters of Architecture programme, 2018–2019

Home By Any Name

Created by: Astrid Morandet, Celine Tee, Dina Venuti

Masters of Architecture programme, 2018–2019

Plan your career

My degree has influenced potential employers to hire me because Plymouth has placed me amongst a cohort of qualified candidates in the job market.

Madhusha Wijesiri at Graduation 2015

My time at Plymouth gave me the tools and the confidence to get to where I am today.

Listen to graduate Madhusha Wijesiri discuss the benefits of studying MArch Architecture at the University of Plymouth.

Feeling inspired? Find out more about Madhusha's alumni story

People

Please contact Dr Mathew Emmett, Lead for MArch Architecture with any questions you may have about the programme: mathew.emmett@plymouth.ac.uk

*These are the latest results from the National Student Survey. Please note that the data published on Discover Uni (Unistats) is updated annually in September.