Skip Navigation

During the MArch, you will develop, expand and refine your design and theoretical skills whilst creating a portfolio that will enable you to find employment in a leading architecture practice.

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 through the Erasmus programme.
  • Our RIBA award winning Manchester School of Art building gives high quality environments.

Duration

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

Course Content

The MArch is your final stage of formal academic architecture education leading towards professional registration as an architect. It 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) and developed for students who have completed RIBA Part One for example a BA (Hons) Architecture course and, typically, one year in practice.

The studio element of the course is delivered through research-driven clusters called ateliers that align strong areas of research activity and mutual interests via trios of staff. This will enable you to develop ideological positions that are critically underpinned by seminars, workshops and symposiums.

The first year of study will enables you to locate yourself within a broad range of perspectives in relation to contemporary architecture and urbanism.

The second year will build upon this knowledge and developing skillset to orientate you towards a suitable role in the parameters of the profession.

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 programme.

All students will be required to make a number of different submissions, including detailed examinations of building proposals, 12,000-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

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.

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'.

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 for the current academic year 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 an explanation 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 (predominantly from your third year), some design process, design strategy, design resolution and technical 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

Fees (2018 Entry)

UK and EU students

UK and EU students: Full-time fee: £9,250 to £13,875 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).

UK and EU students: Distance learning 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: £22,000 to £33,000 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: £5500 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 international and Channel Island students: Distance learning fee: £5500 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

CiA
CPU
ISR
MSA(p)
QED
USE

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 .



View Work Online


Degree Show 2017 - View Work Online

Degree Show 2015 - View Work Online

Degree Show 2014 - View Work Online

Degree Show 2013 - View Work Online