Master of Architecture
A RIBA-accredited course preparing you for professional placement
Why take this course?
The Master of Architecture provides a vibrant, challenging and expansive programme aimed at equipping you with the professional and creative skills for a successful career as an architect.
You will be exposed to a range of related disciplines such as urban design, interior design, sustainable design and historic building conservation, providing a cross-disciplinary learning environment that is appropriate in today’s complex world of professional architecture.
What will I experience?
On this course you can:
- Undertake studio-based design projects and engage with our current collaborative projects with academic institutions in a range of countries including Turkey, Spain and Australia
- Have the opportunity to ‘earn and learn’ by working on real-life contracts through our Projects Office
- Opt to study overseas at a variety of European universities through the ERASMUS exchange scheme
What opportunities might it lead to?
This course is professionally accredited by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). Its structure is designed to ensure the integration of contextual, technical and professional issues with the design synthesis, helping you to engage with the prescribed ARB/RIBA criteria, and leads to RIBA Part 2 exemption.
For my final project the tutors sourced a site for me in Palma de Mallorca where I was able to fulfil my interest in how historic towns with a challenged social agenda can be revitalised.
Vinesh Pomal, MArch Architecture student 2013
- 2 years full time, 4 years part time
A 2:1 degree or above with Royal Institute of British Architects Part 1 exemption. Students with appropriate qualifications and design skills may be accepted directly. All suitable applicants will be required to submit an online portfolio as part of the selection process. Interviews may be conducted as small group or individual interviews.
English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 or equivalent with no component less than 6.0.
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man full-time students: £8,750, International full-time students: £10,500
*Please note that all fees are subject to annual increase.
+44 (0)23 9284 2421
- Portsmouth School of Architecture
Structure & Teaching
Your first year focuses on a year-long live design project that will enable you to engage with architecture from a macro urban level. During the year you will also deliver your own building design that is articulately resolved in detail, structure, construction and environmental considerations. It is supported by taught units covering theory and culture, technology and environment, and professional and management studies that are directly aligned to support the design project.
There are two design units, which are informed and supported by the following two taught units:
- Arche: In this unit you will explore the cultural context of architecture through the discussion of theoretical constructs and the development of individual student manifestos.
- Techne: This unit will allow you to engage with the technical and professional issues in delivering a complex building proposition.
This structure is designed to ensure the integration of contextual, technical and professional issues with the design synthesis, helping you to engage with the prescribed ARB/RIBA criteria.
In the second year you will focus on depth and specialism. You will bid for a place within one of five studios, each having a distinct specialist thematic framework that relates to the research interests of staff. These frameworks provide particular themes through which you will develop your particular thesis questions into design propositions. The current studio themes are landscape, urbanism, culture and identity, practice and methodology, and tectonic design in transcultural contexts.
Here are the five specialist design studios:
- Architecture and Landscape explores the concept of ‘making place’ from a landscape perspective.
- Architecture and Urbanism interrogates architecture within an urban condition.
- Architecture, Culture and Identity discusses the practice of architecture within specific cultural contexts.
- Finding Methodology + P focuses upon design methodology and live projects linking with the School's Project Office.
- Emergent Studio holds a phenomenological approach to design, exploring trans-cultural influences.
Teaching and Assessment
Teaching largely relies on work-based learning units providing the opportunity to integrate design and practice within the course, subsequently enhancing your professional skills.
The studio element of the course currently encompasses a range of physical contexts including London, Italy, Denmark and Morocco to name a few. This ensures that your learning and studio research outputs have regional impact and global reach.
How are you assessed?
Design assessment is through studio review and taught units are assessed by various forms of in-course formative and summative assessment. A diverse range of feedback is provided.
The MArch facilitates breadth of learning in the first year and through self-chosen studios, depth of learning in your second year. We currently offer studios with the thematic frames of Architecture and Landscape, Architecture Culture and Identity, Architecture of Emergence, Architecture and Urbanism and Finding Methodology and Practice.
Facilities & Features
You’ll have access to superb facilities to help prepare you for professional practice. Our dynamic studios house advanced architectural computer facilities, with Macs and PCs offering the latest design software. Other facilities include:
- CNC milling machine for building three-dimensional models
- laser cutting machines which automate the production of complex models
- life drawing studios and a virtual reality suite
- professional printers as well as extensive computing, film and video facilities
Offering a range of consultancy services to clients, the Project Office gives you access to real clients and live projects. This is a great means to gain real hands-on experience in order to support your design development and professional capacity. In the past we have overseen or managed major building or design works in the city including the Hilsea Lido, the Isle of Wight Zoo, the University’s own 3rd Space and the Bursledon Brickworks.
ERASMUS Exchange Scheme
We have active exchange opportunities with a variety of European universities, which are funded through the ERASMUS programme and allow you to experience learning within another context. Current partners include:
- Aalborg Universitet, (Denmark)
- University of Trondheim (Norway)
- TecUniversidad de, Sevilla, (Spain)
- UniverzaV Ljubljana, (Solvenia)
- Tecnische Universitat Wien, Vienna, (Austria)
- Thessaloniki (Greece)
- Istanbul Ticaret Universitesi, Istanbul (Turkey)
- Iceland Academy of Arts, Ljubljana (Slovenia)
- RWTH Aachen (Germany) Estonian Academy of Arts, Estonia (Tallin)
Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.
Careers & Opportunities
Careers in architecture are demanding ever-increasing specialism and professional competence.
The unique learning experience we offer on this course will develop you as an expansive, creative and professional individual capable of success in a range of creative and professional environments. The breadth of engagement with the discipline and range of studios ensures that you will become confident in responding to the demands of the profession.
One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the support that we provide to our Master's and Research Degrees students in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service – Purple Door – can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities. Help is also available if you wish to find a part-time job while studying your degree. We offer our postgraduate students and alumni one-to-one appointments with a careers adviser, or an online service for those not able to travel back to the University. Our alumni can call on our career services for five years after graduation.
In addition, regular employability events offer you the chance to meet employers, find out about different career sectors and improve your applications or CV. The Graduate Summer Programme provides a range of guidance and employability seminars and workshops.
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