School of Art, Design and Architecture

MArch Architecture

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.

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No 1 overall Young University for Art, Design and Architecture in the UK

Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2018

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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!

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

It’s not too late to apply for September 2019

If you haven’t applied to the University of Plymouth for September 2019 entry, prior to the UCAS deadline, there may still be vacancies on your chosen course.

It’s not too late to apply

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.

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

  • Get creative with our amazing facilities and resources. You’ll be based in our eye-catching Faculty of Arts building in the heart of the campus, surrounded by students and staff from other art courses. And, you’ll have 2.0 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.
  • 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.
  • Our school was described as ‘charged’ by The Architects’ Journal.

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
    • ARCH651A Inception and Strategic Design

      This module will enable students to position themselves within a contextual and theoretical framework. This exploration will be pursued through investigation of a complex urban context including the study of precedents, identification of project sites and briefs, and the generation of (re)development strategies for a chosen site and brief.

    • ARCH652A Detailed Design

      This module builds on the urban strategy identified in ARCH651A to develop an integrated detailed architectural design, including its spatial-form, technical strategies, and a building programme responsive to cultural, ecological, economic, political and social issues. Within the context of this work students will identify and explore the theoretical context that informs their work.

    • ARCH653A Connecting Sustainable Practices

      This module offers an introduction to the philosophies, principles, issues, policy and tools related to sustainability in the built environment. It promotes a critical discussion of what sustainability is, and what are the appropriate considerations for architecture and design. It covers issues that relate to both individual buildings and the wider urban system.

    • ARCH654A Urban Methodologies

      The Module will offer a broad introductory overview of the theories related to the issues related to the understanding and the design of urban space. The module introduces students to methodologies for understanding and analysing urban space. Students are required to undertake a case study of an urban setting and contextualise this by demonstrating a critical awareness of the broader issues in relation to urban design and planning.

    • ARCH656 Technical Design

      This module runs concurrent with ARCH652A Detailed Design to demonstrate technical resolution to the major design project (or equivalent). Students will be expected to research, formulate and test their sustainable and technical strategies, constructional and structural systems, environmental strategies and in relation to regulatory requirements, and apply them to the design of a design project.

  • Final year
  • In your final year, 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.
    Core modules
    • ARCH751A Advanced Inception and Strategic Design

      This module will enable students to establish their own architectural discussion within a contextual and theoretical framework. This inquiry will be pursued through investigation of a complex urban context including the study of precedents, identification of project sites and briefs, and the generation of (re)development strategies for a chosen site and brief. Students will be expected to resolve their work to a high professional standard.

    • ARCH752A Advanced Detailed Design

      This module builds on the urban strategy identified in ARCH751A to develop an integrated detailed architectural design, including its spatial-form, technical strategies, and a building programme responsive to cultural, ecological, economic, political and social issues. This work will be pursued within an inquiry enabling students to develop a design praxis and architectural discussion grounded in a theoretical context.

    • ARCH753B Emerging Research in Architecture

      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.

    • ARCH754B Technical Design

      This module runs concurrent with ARCH652A Detailed Design to demonstrate technical resolution to the major design project (or equivalent). Students will be expected to research, formulate and test their sustainable and technical strategies, constructional and structural systems, environmental strategies and in relation to regulatory requirements, and apply them to the design of a design project.

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

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

Master of Architecture programme specification 3420

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

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

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

New Student 2018 2019
Home/EU £9,250 £9,250
International £13,000 £13,400
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
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.

How to apply

When to apply

Most of our taught programmes begin in September, with some January starts also available. 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 international-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.

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

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

Professor Robert Brown – Narrating Enterprise

We are engaging with real clients and the real community, with local professionals, the local authority and often with local universities.

See Professor Robert Brown’s take on recent international live projects involving our MArch students.

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.

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

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.

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

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