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The MArch is a lively student centred environment, where peer-to-peer learning, practice based research and live events projects connect students, expert academics, design professionals and wider communities. Internationally recognised study tour research and access to the exchange programmes, connects the MArch with other leading Schools of Architecture. The extensive MSAplus alumni network, Manchester Society of Architects and Digital Innovation, are examples of a vibrant academic and professional context, where students are supported to develop their own links and approaches to architecture. Students can access sports clubs, societies and activities available at both Manchester and the University of Manchester.

The course is for students who have completed RIBA Part One for example a BA (Hons) Architecture course. The Master of Architecture (MArch) programme is a professionally recognised award (prescribed at Part 2 level by the Architects Registration Board and validated at Part 2 level by the Royal Institute of British Architects) leading towards a career as a professional architect. The MArch course is an opportunity to complete the academic components of architecture education and develop a portfolio suited to employment opportunities in contemporary professional practice at one of the most popular and highly regarded architecture schools in the UK. The award is jointly conferred by Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Manchester and students benefit from access to the physical and intellectual resources of both institutions. 

The content, duration and structure of the programme are defined by regulatory requirements in the EU and the particular arrangements for student finance that apply in the UK context of architecture education. Within this framework Full-time, Hybrid and Part-time routes are offered to promote choice that reflects individual ambitions and particular circumstances, to qualify as architects or pursue further postgraduate study.

Special Features

  • Manchester School of Architecture is a unique collaboration between Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Manchester.
  • Consistently ranked as one of the best schools of Architecture in the UK.
  • Engaged and responsive design teaching, working with expert, research active academic staff and leading design professionals.
  • Students actively take part in the research culture of the school.
  • Opportunities for study exchange in Europe, America and Australia, through the Erasmus & international exchange programmes
  • Our RIBA award winning Manchester School of Art building gives high quality environments:
    • Open Studio: Managed and organized by MSA students for model making, digital and analogue drawing, supporting collaborative peer groups.
    • Review Studio: Used for formal discussion and review of work. 
    • Workshops: High quality making supported by large well-equipped specialist workshops and trained technical staff at Manchester Metropolitan and the University of Manchester.
    • Lecture:  Digitally equipped lecture theatres across both university estates support delivery of formal and open lectures and events.
    • Library: Excellent 24/7 library resources, supported by specialist architectural librarians, enable access to a vast amount of recently published and archival material. IT systems support working away from the main Studios when appropriate.

Duration

2 years (full-time)
3 years (hybrid)
4 years (part-time)

Course Content

This course is for students who have completed a RIBA Part One course in Architecture. The course comprises of studio, research methods, dissertation and professional studies units, delivered through a diverse range of research driven ateliers and workshops. Each group approaches architecture from a different specialised position, offering expertise, skills and knowledge that respond to contemporary events and issues. Course units are delivered through studio days, workshops, seminars and lectures, made available digitally for distance learning. Students vote at the beginning of each academic year from a selection of ateliers and workshops. Student projects connect with research-based design, contemporary investigative methods and live workshops, aligned with strong areas of research activity and professional practice undertaken by the academic team within the wider cultural context.

Studio units centre on face to face discourse, focused on the creative and exploratory design thesis. Units are aligned (e.g. Methods and Dissertation) to capitalise on research themes and methodologies located in both theory and studio practice and delivered through lectures, seminars and talks. Professional Studies combines the benefits of employment contexts and academic environments to deliver technologically and professionally responsive design projects and case studies. Blending digital communication and live discourse, Professional Studies also facilitates distance learning as a part of the Hybrid route.

Study tours and international collaborations with other leading Schools and organisations take place each year and there is the possibility for exchange under the Erasmus (Europe) and the American/Australian exchange programme in the first Full-time year.

All students will be required to make a number of different submissions, including detailed examinations of building proposals, 12000-word dissertation, annotated reports, methods exploration and a design thesis.

Study Routes

Units of study commence at the same time each year and can be combined following the Full-time, Hybrid and Part-time routes. The Hybrid and Part-time routes facilitates periods of part-time study that can be completed alongside for example work in practice and Part 3 experience.

The information below relates to the full-time route. You can also download diagrams of all the study routes options (PDF).

Full Time MArch Year 1 (120 credits)

Professional Studies 1

Professional Studies engages students in building design in a contemporary societal setting and the associated expectations for the operational competence of `the architect` in a professional context. Structured design activities connect with a broad range of parameters related to the construction, use and operation of buildings and the function of `the architect` as a professional within this setting.

Professional Studies 1 and 2 are designed to complement each other in respect of the design challenge set for students. This could typically contrast `new build` design in one unit with `adaptive re use` of existing buildings in another and/or focussing on different typologies (e.g. housing and public buildings).

Professional Studies 2

Professional Studies engages students in building design in a contemporary societal setting and the associated expectations for the operational competence of `the architect` in a professional context. Structured design activities connect with a broad range of parameters related to the construction, use and operation of buildings and the function of `the architect` as a professional within this setting.

Professional Studies 1 and 2 are designed to complement each other in respect of the design challenge set for students. This could typically contrast `new build` design in one unit with `adaptive re use` of existing buildings in another and/or focussing on different typologies (e.g. housing and public buildings).

Research 1: Methods

Methods is an opportunity for students to explore techniques and processes that inform design as a spatial practice. The research methods unit introduces techniques that directly inform design as a spatial practice.

Research 1 & 2 encourage students to develop the subject of their enquiry in dissertations in parallel with their interests, career aspirations and the content of studio units. The subject chosen will reflect the symbiosis between design practice and theory, and allow for scholarship within individual specialisms to be placed within a deeper understanding of architecture as a whole

Research 2: Dissertation

This unit provides an opportunity for students to explore a research topic that may relate to their personal interests in design through the media of an extended piece of disciplined academic writing (8000 – 12000 words).

Research 1 & 2 encourage students to develop the subject of their enquiry in dissertations in parallel with their interests, career aspirations and the content of studio units. The subject chosen will reflect the symbiosis between design practice and theory, and allow for scholarship within individual specialisms to be placed within a deeper understanding of architecture as a whole

Full Time MArch Year 2 (120 credits)

Studio 1

30 credits

Studio 2

30 credits

Studio 3

30 credits

Professional Studies 3

This unit prepares students for employment in respect of the knowledge and understanding of the profession and related procedures, industries and organisations in the contemporary setting of architectural design.

The unit consists of an extensive series of lectures delivered by experts and authoritative figures who are engaged in contemporary design, development and construction practice. The course is coordinated by the school in conjunction with the northwest regional office of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA NW) who additionally deliver the final part (part 3) of the recognised qualification leading to the use of title 'architect'.

Studio 1

Studios engage with problem-based learning in their approach. This unit is the first in a series that form a design thesis project. It typically establishes the programme or content of the final design thesis and may include an investigation of the setting or context of the project. Research led teaching is undertaken in MArch ateliers where students critically engage with the development of programme in real world settings that reflect contemporary discourse in academic and professional practice.

Studio 2

Studios engage with problem-based learning in their approach. This unit is the second in a series that form a design thesis project. It typically establishes formal and operational aspects of the proposition and includes an investigation of significant technological strategies that are critical to the thesis.

Studio 3

Studios engage with problem-based learning in their approach. This unit is the third and final in a series that form a design thesis project. It typically communicates final resolution to professional presentation standards and includes a critical study in a significant aspect of the realisation for the project.

Assessment

Cross-Atelier reviews and presentations, assessment of digital design portfolios, annotated reports, written dissertation, group work, tasks and assignments.

You can find further details about the curriculum in the Programme Specification Document

Entry Requirements

You will normally have at least an upper second class undergraduate UK honours degree (or international equivalent) in architecture and/or ARB/RIBA Part 1. Admission will normally be dependent on a successful application and possibly an interview.

A portfolio of work should be submitted with your application, this can be sent to us using online file transfer apps such as dropbox or we-transfer. It should include a table of contents with information regarding the duration of each project and in which academic year/level it was completed and a selection of projects worked on during your year in practice. We also require a concise letter of intent and two references, one of which must be from a former year 3 tutor, the other a reference from your current employer.

How to Apply

Prospective MArch candidates are asked to submit the following information with their applications:

  • A concise letter of intent or personal statement introducing your academic interests, your interest in future dissertation subjects and explaination of your reasons for wanting to study at the MSA.
  • A digital portfolio of work (minimum of 35 pages) should be submitted with your application, this can be sent to us using an online file transfer apps such as dropbox or we-transfer. Your portfolio should ideally include a table of contents with information regarding the duration of each project and in which academic year/level it was completed (predominently from your third year), some design process, design strategy, design resolution and techinal strategy and resolution plus a selection of projects worked on during your year in practice.
  • At least 2 referees are required, one of which must be from a former year 3 tutor, the other a reference from your current employer.

Students who graduated with a BA from the MSA and attained a degree classification of 1st or 2:1, need not apply. Students in this category will be receiving automatic offer letters in the post to the address that is on file. All other students must formally submit an application.

Download Application Form

The deadline date for applications for 2017 entry is Friday 14th July 2017.

Fees (2017 Entry)

UK and EU students

UK and EU students: Full-time fee: £9,250 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

UK and EU students: Part-time fee: £2312.50 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU and Channel Island students

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £21,000 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Part-time fee: £5250 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A Masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Also see Postgraduate funding and financial support.

Enquiries

If you require any further information about this course please use our Course Enquiry Form.

Ateliers

CPU
Continuity in Architecture
MSAp
QED
[Re_Map]

ARB Prescription

The process leading to the title 'architect in the UK is defined in 3 parts ‐ normally two university degrees (Parts 1 and 2) and a further award focussed on professional practice (Part 3). Students seeking entry to the MArch (Part 2) who do not hold an undergraduate qualification (Bachelors award) that is prescribed by the ARB (Architects Registration Board) at Part 1 may not be eligible for continued education at Part 3 level and the subsequent use of the title 'architect' in the UK context.

The ARB operates a process by which it can determine applications from individuals for Part 1 recognition that can occur before, during or after Part 2 study but students should be aware that enrolment onto a Part 2 programme of study does not subsume Part 1 or imply that recognition at Part 1 will necessarily be granted.

The ARB is the only body legally empowered to prescribe qualifications in the UK and particular conditions must be achieved to be eligible for consideration. Applicants are advised if necessary to seek further information from the ARB (www.arb.org.uk) if their intention is to gain exemption from all 3 parts of the education process prescribed by the ARB and be eligible to use the title 'architect' in the UK .



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