MArch

Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part 2)

MArch Architecture
  • UCAS code(s): K648
  • Level(s) of study: Postgraduate taught
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: City Campus
  • Starting: September 2019
  • Course duration: Two years

FIND US ON

This course is designed to be the next step for professionals pursuing an accredited pathway to becoming a registered architect. You'll study full-time for two years to satisfy the educational requirements of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Part 2, before moving on to Stage 2 practical experience.The course is prescribed by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) for the purpose of entry onto the UK Register of Architects.

Why study this course?

  • Develop your personal design style, supported by a University with a strong design heritage; NTU began life as the Nottingham Government School of Design in 1843. Your learning is also underpinned by the School’s significant expertise as a built environment educator.
  • Study trips to live sites in the UK and abroad are included in your course fees, giving you the opportunity to gain design inspiration and experience international architectural practice. Previous study trip destinations have included Turin, Barcelona and Venice. You'll also have the chance to attend external seminars and lectures, as well as professional trade, art and cultural exhibitions in the UK.
  • Benefit from our team of expert academic staff who have established links to industry and significant experience of working in practice.
  • Work in our inspiring RIBA award-winning buildings, offering industry-standard facilities and studios, including a dedicated model-making studio.
  • Hear from visiting experts; recent industry speakers have included a number of RIBA Stirling Awards prize winners.
  • Showcase your work to visiting industry professionals and prospective employers at our annual NTU Degree Shows.
  • Choose from optional modules in Year Two, enabling you to undertake further research and learning in an area of interest.

You may also be interested in

  • If you’re interested in pursuing a career as an architect, you will need to complete an ARB/RIBA Part 1 qualification, before progressing to our MArch Architecture course for Part 2. We offer a BArch (Hons) Architecture qualification at NTU to fulfil the education requirements for Part 1, which is studied full-time over three years.
  • We also offer a Professional Certificate in Architecture. This course is intended for graduates from a Part 1 accredited qualification in Architecture, who are undertaking experience in professional practice prior to entry on a Part 2 course.

Accredited by:

Architects Registration Board logo
Royal Institute of British Architects logo
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Postgraduate architectural design at NTU
Find out more about what's it like to study one of our postgraduate architectural design courses.

What you'll study

Our MArch Architecture course content is focussed on four core strands:

  • developing your design and communication skills;
  • extending your awareness and knowledge of the theory and socio-economic, historic and cultural factors affecting architectural design;
  • advancing your appreciation of technology and construction methods; and,
  • developing your knowledge of management, practise and law.

Together, this framework will build upon the skills and knowledge you have already gained, extending your ability to research, analyse, self-appraise, think critically, work in a team and provide constructive feedback.

Course structure

The course is formed of nine core modules. You’ll also be able to choose between two optional modules in year two, giving you the opportunity to further pursue an areas of interest.

The modules’ credit points are weighted based on the total time you can expect to spend studying the module content, both in terms of contact hours and non-contact hours.

Course overview

Module titleCredit pointsCore or optionalYear

Architectural Theory and Research Methods

20 creditsCoreYear 1

Architectural Technology and Construction Materials

20 creditsCoreYear 1

Management, Practice and Law

20 creditsCoreYear 1

Vertical Studio I

20 creditsCoreYear 1

Intervening in the City

40 creditsCoreYear 1

Dissertation/Research Project

20 creditsCoreYear 2

Vertical Studio II

20 creditsCoreYear 2

Design Thesis

60 creditsCoreYear 2

Heritage and Conservation

20 creditsOptionalYear 2

Digital Design

20 creditsOptionalYear 2
  • Year One

    Architectural Theory and Research Methods

    20 credit points
    Total contact hours: 40
    Total non-contact hours: 160

    • Supported by lectures and student-led seminars, this module will introduce you to a variety of current research in architecture and related areas, and discuss their relevance in relation to design and present day architectural thinking.
    • You’ll look at key issues including the influence of history and theory in spatial, social, cultural and technological aspects of architecture; theories of urban design, cities past and present and the influence of fine art; epistemological and philosophical trajectories underpinning architectural research; and, humanities-based inquiry and the role of technology.
    • By considering relevant methodologies, conducting literature reviews and establishing research questions, you’ll develop and extend your methods of analysis and interpretation in architectural thinking an design.

    Architectural Technology and Construction Materials

    20 credit points
    Total contact hours: 60
    Total non-contact hours: 160

    • Studied over the course of Year One, this module will equip you with wide-ranging knowledge of technological and constructional aspects of architectural practice and thinking. It addresses issues of construction, technology, environmental science, materials, components and systems, and the environmental strategies for, and impact of, specification choices and procurement.
    • You’ll be introduced to innovative and emergent technologies in architecture , and their relevance to design and thinking. You’ll consider issues relating to innovative structures and structural form, energy use in buildings and sustainable and low-carbon construction procurement and appropriate materials.
    • Where possible, you’ll visit live projects and sites to gain first-hand experience of the issues involved.

    Management, Practice and Law

    20 credit points
    Total contact hours: 42
    Total non-contact hours: 158

    • This module addresses professional issues relating to the architectural and construction industry, including the architect’s role in the process of procurement, building production and compliance with legislation.
    • The purpose of the module is to strengthen your experience from your Part 1 qualification and from your time in industry.
    • You’ll explore issues of ethics, health and safety, codes of conduct, legal rights and responsibilities, as well as looking at areas of business strategy, marketing and practice. You’ll also consider legal responsibilities including briefing, contracts, negotiation, time and fee management, procurement options, warranties and post-occupancy evaluation.

    Vertical Studio I

    20 credit points
    Total contact hours: 40
    Total non-contact hours: 160

    • The Vertical Studio module is shared with Year Two MArch Architecture students, creating a cohesive studio environment and encouraging peer-to-peer mentorship and support.
    • Working individually or as part of a small group, you will explore a complex technical condition with a focus on the relationship between context, structure, material, environment and users. You’ll apply relevant constructional, material and technological strategies, with knowledge supported and extended through other non-design modules studied, to develop a considered architectural response of appropriate complexity, producing visual, graphic and physical representations of your proposals.
    • You’ll communicate your concepts creatively, and learn to interrogate and critically appraise your own proposals, to a professional level.

    Intervening in the City

    40 credit points
    Total contact hours: 180
    Total non-contact hours: 220

    • This design studio module is the key design project of Year One and is based on the principle of ‘thinking and making.’
    • The project links interrelated elements relevant to architectural study and practice, and draws from across your first year of study. It introduces the complexity of architecture and its operation within the urban context.
    • The project will be based on a thorough analysis of a chosen urban area. Working both individually and in small groups, you’ll develop a network of infrastructure (urban strategy), establishing your own brief, and developing scheme and detailed designs. You’ll consistency address relevant theoretical issues in your design and explore technology and materiality through detailed tectonic resolution.
  • Year Two

    Dissertation/Research Project

    20 credit points
    Total contact hours: 20
    Total non-contact hours: 180

    • This module serves as the culmination of the research methods module in Year One, giving you the opportunity to demonstrate your advanced research methodology, analytical and interpretation skills.
    • You’ll produce an extended piece of academic research in an appropriate area related to your field of study; the format can either be a written dissertation, or a research project combining both written content and empirical work, such as laboratory-based experimentation or field work.
    • Student-led research is at the heart of this module, which will be supported by group and individual tutorials with allocated supervisors.

    Vertical Studio II

    20 credit points
    Total contact hours: 40
    Total non-contact hours: 160

    • The Vertical Studio module in Year Two will be delivered alongside Year One students, however you will now be expected to take a mentor and leadership role, supervised by a visiting practitioner or academic.
    • You will have grown and matured in your design approaches, therefore this module offers the opportunity to demonstrate your ability and widen your understanding of the scope and challenge of current and emerging architectural issues.
    • As in the Vertical Studio module in Year One, you will explore a complex technical condition, with a focus on the relationship between context, structure, material, environment and users. You will develop your own personal leadership and design mentorship skills in your work with Year One MArch Architecture students.

    Design Thesis

    60 credit points
    Total contact hours: 180
    Total non-contact hours: 220

    • This studio project module forms the key design module in Year Two. Your design thesis is the culmination of design work in your MArch course, and is a demonstration of your advanced architectural design ability, your ability to apply technological, material and environmental knowledge, and show a clear understanding of contemporary architectural debates.
    • You will develop and execute an extensive, complex design project, showing originality in the application of subject knowledge, exploring themes including architecture, urban design and technology.

    Optional modules: Heritage and Conservation, or Digital Design

    20 credit points
    Total contact hours: 30
    Total non-contact hours: 170

    • In Year Two, you will have the opportunity to choose between two optional modules. The Heritage and Conservation module focuses on architectural history and conservation, and heritage philosophy and practice.
    • You’ll focus on historic environments in the UK and consider selective international examples, learning how to identify different architectural styles, appraise culturally significant buildings, and manage proposed uses and associated interventions in line with current international approaches.
    • The Digital Design module provides experience of using advanced digital design techniques and methodologies to support the architectural/urban design process. It aims to develop conceptual, methodological and technical skills in digital architectural design.
    • The module is linked to the design thesis, and you will be able to choose from three different options including parametric modelling, mixed environment and architectural narrative and building information modelling.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

Work in our inspiring RIBA award-winning buildings, offering industry-standard facilities and studios

How you’re taught

How will I learn?

  • The course is delivered predominantly through project-based learning. This includes group and one-to-one tutorials, seminars, field trips and site visits, along with regular critiques or reviews, replicating a professional architectural practice. Review sessions usually include an exhibition of your work, accompanied by a presentation, and followed by a panel discussion.
  • In addition to the design studio, you’ll also utilise our model making workshop to produce large and small scale prototypes, to test your design concepts.
  • Course content is delivered through a series of lectures throughout the year, supported by seminar groups; an open platform to discuss and build upon ideas.

Trips and study visits

Study trips to live sites in the UK and abroad are included in your course fees, giving you the opportunity to gain design inspiration and experience international architectural practice. Previous study trip destinations have included Turin, Barcelona and Venice.

MArch Architecture students visit Venice

Assessment methods

Assessment methods vary by module, but typically include a submitted portfolio or exhibition of your design work, supported by a presentation – some modules require you to submit an individual project, whereas others require collaborative work. You may also be required to produce reports, case studies and essays and, in some instances, take an assessment under timed conditions.

Year OneCoursework90%Practical work10%
Year TwoCoursework90%Practical work10%

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

Year OneLectures/seminars/workshops34%Independent study66%
Year TwoLectures/seminars/workshops26%Independent study74%

Study trips to live sites in the UK and abroad are included in your course fees

Careers and employability

Our course is validated by RIBA to provide exemption from Part Two examinations, and is prescribed by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) for the purpose of entry onto the UK Register of Architects.

This course is suitable for students wishing to fulfil the educational requirements of the RIBA Part 2, before moving on to Stage 2 practical experience.

Where do MArch Architecture graduates from NTU work?

After completion of this course, the majority of graduates seek employment in architectural practises to work towards their Part 3 examinations, in preparation for an eventual full RIBA/ARB professional qualification.

Our MArch Architecture course has been designed to maximise the employability prospects of our graduates, equipping you with professional skills as well as enhancing and developing your design skills, technical knowledge and ability to communicate your ideas.

Graduates have gone on to hold various architectural roles in companies such as Davidsons Development, Marchini Curran Associates and HKR Architects amongst others, whilst working towards their Part Three examinations.

Architectural design students working in Arkwright building studios

Our Employability team

Our expert Employability team will work closely with you at every stage of your career planning, providing personal support and advice. You can benefit from this service at any time during your studies, and for up to three years after completing your course. Find out more about the service.

Throughout the year, our Employability team runs a series of events specifically for students studying in the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, such as the Property, Design and Construction Fair, offering employers the opportunity to advertise graduate roles to our students.

Hear from visiting experts; recent industry speakers have included a number of RIBA Stirling Awards prize winners

Entry requirements

Applying with prior qualifications

  • Usual requirement for entry on to this course is a 2:2 honours degree in a RIBA/ARB Part 1-accredited course, in a cognate or semi-cognate discipline including: Architecture, Interior Architecture and Building Surveying.
  • However in some cases, we accept applicants without an RIBA/ARB Part 1 who can provide an exceptional portfolio, supported by a number of years' experience in architectural practice.

Work submission

If your initial application is successful, you'll be asked to upload a digital design portfolio of your work to our NTU Applicant Portal. If you'd like to prepare your portfolio in advance here are some guidelines.

Interview

If your portfolio is accepted, you'll be asked to hold an interview with the academic team. For Home applicants, you will be invited to an interview at the University. For EU and International students, you'll hold an interview via telephone.

Your interview will help us to decide whether we feel you are suitable for the course, and will help you to decide if this is the right course for you.


Route to becoming a Registered Architect in the UK

The Architects Registration Board (ARB) is the independent statutory regulator of architects in the UK, and is also the UK’s Competent Authority for Architects. In order to call yourself an ‘architect’ in the UK you must be registered with the ARB.

In order to register in the UK, you typically need to hold the following:

  • An ARB prescribed UK qualification at Part 1;
  • An ARB prescribed UK qualification at Part 2; and
  • An ARB prescribed UK qualification at Part 3, including 24 months practical training experience.

This means that even if you complete and pass the prescribed Part 2 qualification that you are embarking on, you will still need to hold an ARB prescribed qualification at Part 1 level (plus an ARB prescribed qualification at Part Three level together with the required period of practical training), before you can be admitted to the ARB Register.

If you already hold a first degree which covers the same subjects as a UK Part 1 qualification but which is not prescribed by the ARB, you may be eligible for ARB’s Prescribed Examination, through which you can gain equivalence to the UK Part 1. If you successfully pass the Prescribed Examination at Part 1 level, you can use this for the purposes of UK Registration.

You can check whether any qualifications you may already hold are recognised by ARB and at which level, and you can find more information about the ARB’s Prescribed Examinations and its requirements for registration via ARB’s website.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions team or call +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Applying with prior qualifications

  • Usual requirement for entry on to this course is a 2:2 honours degree in a RIBA/ARB Part 1-accredited course, in a cognate or semi-cognate discipline including: Architecture, Interior Architecture and Building Surveying.
  • However in some cases, we accept applicants without an RIBA/ARB Part 1 who can provide an exceptional portfolio, supported by a number of years' experience in architectural practice.

Work submission

If your initial application is successful, you'll be asked to upload a digital design portfolio of your work to our NTU Applicant Portal. If you'd like to prepare your portfolio in advance here are some guidelines.

Interview

If your portfolio is accepted, you'll be asked to hold an interview with the academic team. For Home applicants, you will be invited to an interview at the University. For EU and International students, you'll hold an interview via telephone.

Your interview will help us to decide whether we feel you are suitable for the course, and will help you to decide if this is the right course for you.

English language entry requirements

  • If you are an international applicant, you will require an English language qualification, normally an IELTS with a score of 6.5 (with a minimum of 5.5 in each skill). For a list of our language requirements please visit our English language page.
  • If you need to do a pre-sessional English language course to meet the English requirements please visit our pre-sessional English course page.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please contact our international team for advice.

How to apply

Applications for this course can be made via UCAS Track. You'll need to apply through the undergraduate section of the UCAS website, which is where this MArch Architecture course is listed.

Writing your application

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. Make sure you include as much information as possible, including uploading evidence of results already achieved, as well as a personal statement.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU in our Postgraduate guide. Here you’ll find advice about how to write a good personal statement and much more.

Work submission

If your initial application is successful, you'll be asked to upload a digital design portfolio of your work to our NTU Applicant Portal. If you'd like to prepare your portfolio in advance here are some guidelines.

Interview

If your portfolio is accepted you'll be asked to hold an interview with the academic team. For Home applicants, you will be invited to an interview at the University. For EU and International students, you'll hold an interview via telephone.

Your interview will help us to decide whether we feel you are suitable for the course, and will help you to decide if this is the right course for you.

Keeping up to date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Getting in touch

If you need more help or support, you can call our Admissions Team on +44 (0)115 848 4200, or email applications@ntu.uk.

Good luck with your application!

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Applications for this course can be made via UCAS Track. You'll need to apply through the undergraduate section of the UCAS website, which is where this MArch Architecture course is listed.

Apply for your as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

  • For a step by step guide on making an application to the University please visit our how to apply page.
  • For advice on applying for a visa please visit our visa information page.
  • For advice on how to write a good personal statement please visit our personal statement page.

Work submission

If your initial application is successful, you'll be asked to upload a digital design portfolio of your work to our NTU Applicant Portal. If you'd like to prepare your portfolio in advance here are some guidelines.

Interview

If your portfolio is accepted you'll be asked to hold an interview with the academic team. For Home applicants, you will be invited to an interview at the University. For EU and International students, you'll hold an interview via telephone.

Your interview will help us to decide whether we feel you are suitable for the course, and will help you to decide if this is the right course for you.

Keeping up to date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Getting in touch

If you need more help or support, you can call our Admissions Team on +44 (0)115 848 4200, or email applications@ntu.uk.

Good luck with your application!

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Fees and funding

Please note that these fees are for 2018 entry and are to be used for reference only. The amounts stated below will increase each year in line with inflation. 2019-entry fees will be released in early 2019.

Fees for 2018 entry

Study routeHome (UK/EU students)International
Full-time £9,250 per year£13,450 per year

Funding your studies

There are numerous sources of funding available for postgraduate students, both from external sources such as the Government and funding bodies, and from the University.

There are two main costs involved with postgraduate study: the cost of your tuition fees which is paid directly to the University, and living expenses such as accommodation, travel and food.

As an MArch Architecture student, you may be eligible for financial support from Student Finance, subject to certain conditions.

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. You might be able to get a scholarship to help fund your studies. We award scholarships to those students who can demonstrate excellent achievement, passion and dedication to their studies.

Please take a look at our postgraduate funding page for information about sourcing grants, bursaries and scholarships, and much more.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service by calling +44 (0)115 848 2494.

Please note that these fees are for 2018 entry and are to be used for reference only. The amounts stated below will increase each year in line with inflation. 2019-entry fees will be released in early 2019.

Fees for 2018 entry

Study routeHome (UK/EU students)International
Full-time £9,250 per year£13,450 per year

Funding your studies

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service by calling +44 (0)115 848 2494.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418