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

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

Applying for postgraduate taught study

The University aims to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Postgraduate Admissions and Enquiries team are 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 have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by University of Plymouth, please visit our Disability Services website. 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.

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

Telephone: +44 (0)1752 585858

Email: admissions@plymouth.ac.uk 

Submitting an application

Apply for postgraduate study using our online postgraduate application form.

Alternatively you can download a copy of the application form to be submitted by hand, by post or via email with accompanying attachments.

Additional guidance information can also be downloaded on how to fill in the postgraduate application form.

Applying for postgraduate research study

The University aims to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. The Doctoral College is available to answer any queries on our postgraduate research degrees.  If  you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by University of Plymouth, please visit our Disability Services website. Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk

If you would like any further information please contact the Doctoral College:

Telephone: +44 (0)1752 587640

Email: doctoralcollege@plymouth.ac.uk

Submitting an application

Apply for postgraduate study using our online postgraduate application form.

Alternatively you can download a copy of the application form to be submitted by hand, by post or via email with accompanying attachments.

Additional guidance information can also be downloaded on how to fill in the postgraduate application form.

School of Art, Design and Architecture - 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

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.

Madhusha Wijesiri - MArch Architecture and urban design graduate

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

Madhusha Wijesiri - graduate

Madhusha Wijesiri discusses MArch Architecture at the University of Plymouth.

People

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