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Becoming an architect

To qualify as an architect normally requires a combination of five years study at university and a minimum of two years practical experience before completing a final examination.

A typical qualification route for MSA students is:

Part 1

BA (Hons) Architecture

3 years full-time

Stage 1 Practical Experience

One year paid practical experience supported by your Professional Studies Advisor at MSA.

Part 2

Master of Architecture (MArch)

2 years full time or 4 years part time

Stage 2 Practical Experience

An additional one year paid practical experience under the supervision of an architect.

Part 3

Final qualifying examination in professional practice and management organised by RIBA North West.

Registered Architect

After completing Parts 1, 2 and 3 you can register as an architect with the Architects Registration Board (ARB).


The BA (Hons) Architecture and Master of Architecture (MArch) courses at the MSA are recognised as Part 1 and Part 2 qualifications by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

For further information about the qualification process see RIBA’s Guide to Becoming an Architect on www.architecture.com


MA Postgraduate Taught Course

Our MA Architecture and Urbanism postgraduate course is aimed at architects, urban designers, planners and urbanists wishing to gain the intellectual, theoretical and practical knowledge and skills essential to understanding and shaping the future city. The course can be studied either 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

The MA course can also be a pathway to second year entry onto the Master of Architecture (MArch) course.


PhD/MPhil Postgraduate Research

Our PhD/MPhil programme is intrinsically inter-disciplinary and is open to students with an interest in any aspect of architectural research.

Why study at msa?



  • The School of Architecture is consistently ranked amongst the best in the UK and characteristically students rate their experience very highly particularly in respect of resource provision, quality of teaching and personal development.
  • Strong links with architectural practice in the Northwest and architectural practitioners are involved with teaching.
  • The course is jointly run by MMU and the University of Manchester. You will benefit from the considerable resources and expertise in teaching and research available in both institutions and receive an award from both institutions.

Career Prospects

Most graduates continue with their architecture education by undertaking a year in practice before entering the Masters of Architecture programme to complete the academic components that can lead to qualification as an architect. Some graduates move into other fields such as advertising, banking, art history and web design following graduation. Graduates of the MSA are highly valued by the profession who recognise their confidence, creativity and abilities that are well suited to employment contexts.


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