Student's work
Mode of Study
Part-time, Full-time
Duration
2 years full-time, 4 years part-time
Start Date
September 2023
Accredited
Yes

Overview

If you’re ready to advance your career in architecture, then our MArch Architecture degree course is the ideal next step on your pathway to become a qualified architect. 

This course leads to the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and Architects Registration Board (ARB) Part 2 exemption and teaches the professional and creative skills needed for a successful architectural career. 

Our studio-based course offers a range of design studios which you can choose to join. Each has its own design ethos, theoretical positions, design briefs, and investigation methodologies.

You’ll unpack architectural topics such as urbanism, landscape, sustainability and culture, and broaden your existing knowledge, experience and skills into a postgraduate qualification.

Eligibility

This course accepts UK, EU, and international students.

Course highlights

  • Develop the creative and professional abilities needed to become a practicing architect
  • Engage in collaborative projects
  • Attend guest lectures by practice directors, academic experts, and engineers, to deepen your industry knowledge – past ones include ACG, Design Engine, and Richard Sennett
  • Showcase yourself to employers and local practices by taking part in Employers Evening and the End of Year Show
  • Study a range of topics to enhance your abilities – from project management in architecture to using technology creatively and model making
  • Learn what it takes to make a successful architectural practice and business

Accreditation

This course is prescribed and recognised by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). This means you'll satisfy the criteria for RIBA/ARB Part 2 exemption, putting you one step closer to becoming registered as an architect.

Joining us as an international student

You'll feel at home in our international community and our diverse city. You'll be joining over 5,000 international students from more than 150 countries who are studying with us.

Learn more about international student life and how we can help you with visas, applications, arrival and settling in. 

Information for international students

What you'll study on this MArch Architecture degree course

Full-time

Year 1
Year 2

Year 1 of the full-time version of MArch Architecture has core and optional modules.

Core

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Analyse, record and critically evaluate the content and meaning of a complex and broad set of cultural, environmental and social contexts of a given built and/or natural environment.
  • Develop critical narratives for given locations and demonstrate their capacity for translation into design propositions that exhibit depth and breadth at a wide-scale strategy.
  • Synthesise relevant information and resource material with which to develop and substantiate design principles and ideas, through the proposal of an outline brief for a specific architectural proposal.
  • Demonstrate and communicate a synthesis of design process and resolution with the creative use of appropriate representation and media techniques.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Develop, record and critically evaluate a particular building design proposal, in response to social, cultural, technical, economic, political, regulatory and professional influences.
  • Analyse and utilise information and creative tools to establish a continuous briefing that can determine function, organisation, and capacity and to synthesise a consistent architectural narrative.
  • Systematically test, evaluate and integrate design ideas that demonstrate climate literacy and an understanding of structural and environmental principles and systems, as well as constructional techniques and building fabric.
  • Demonstrate and communicate a synthesis of design process and resolution with the skilled selection and use of appropriate representation and media techniques.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Expand the awareness and knowledge of how architectural theory and praxis interact with wider intellectual and socio-political systems.
  • Execute research exercises in order to acquire critical and reflective knowledge and formulate an independent and original theoretical position.
  • Organise, collate, edit and present fully referenced research in a clear and rigorous manner.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Develop an understanding of architecture in relation to its theoretical, historical and cultural context.
  • Execute research exercises in order to acquire critical and reflective knowledge on architectural history and theory.
  • Communicate clearly and effectively complex issues through analytical investigation and critical and synthetic presentations.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Demonstrate critical methods for examining, analysing and evaluating structural systems, environmental strategies, materiality and the precepts of sustainable design.
  • Test and apply practical understanding of structural and environmental strategies and construction methods to an integrated design process.
  • Appraise, reflect on and enhance understanding of environmental/structural/construction: qualities integration in architectural design work and the impact of buildings on the environment.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Appraise, reflect on and enhance the understanding of architectural professional practice.
  • Apply professional, legal and management procedures and processes for the procurement of a building.
  • Examine, analyse and evaluate procedures and processes for the procurement of a project from inception to completion.

Explore this module

Optional

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Satisfy the subject-specific learning outcomes deemed appropriate by the host institution, and as set out by the exchange learning agreement.
  • Reflect upon the experience of study abroad and the equivalent delivery of the subject area at the host institution and relate this to the home institution context.

Explore this module

All Year 2 modules in the full-time version of MArch Architecture are core.

Core

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Access, plan and implement principles for legal, management and financial set-up of an architectural practice, utilising professional judgement.
  • Manage personal development planning.
  • Convincingly present business proposals and projects within a professional and competitive context, both verbally and in writing.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Synthesize the research and creative process to establish the theoretical and contextual (environmental, social and spatial issues) position and translate the hypothesis into a design proposition.
  • Engage with the iterative process of design from brief development through to an appropriate level of design resolution engaging in rigorous and critical interrogation and systematic testing and evaluation of alternative solutions that leads to a coherent and well-argued design synthesis.
  • Creatively apply knowledge and skills to the design resolution of the thesis project, demonstrating a consideration of aesthetic, compositional, and spatial principles, in the synthesis of ethical, social, technical and sustainable environmental issues.
  • Synthesize and communicate the design process and thesis resolution creatively, clearly and effectively.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Ability to identify, critically appraise, and research an appropriate subject with which to drive a written thesis to test new hypotheses and speculations.
  • Demonstrate, through a written thesis, a critical understanding of how knowledge is advanced through research to produce clear, logically argued and original written work relating to architectural culture, theory and/or design.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Identify, critically appraise, and research theoretical positions and design concepts with which to develop a hypothesis to drive a thesis design project.
  • Engage with the iterative process of design, through rigorous and critical interrogation and systematic testing and evaluation of alternatives that leads to a coherent and well-argued hypothesis.
  • Synthesize the research and creative process, and establish the theoretical and contextual (environmental, social and spatial issues) basis to translate the hypothesis into a design proposition.
  • Communicate clearly and effectively the development of a hypothesis in response to research and creative processes.

Explore this module

Part-time

Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4

All modules on the part-time version of MArch Architecture are core.

Core

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Develop an understanding of architecture in relation to its theoretical, historical and cultural context.
  • Execute research exercises in order to acquire critical and reflective knowledge on architectural history and theory.
  • Communicate clearly and effectively complex issues through analytical investigation and critical and synthetic presentations.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Expand the awareness and knowledge of how architectural theory and praxis interact with wider intellectual and socio-political systems.
  • Execute research exercises in order to acquire critical and reflective knowledge and formulate an independent and original theoretical position.
  • Organise, collate, edit and present fully referenced research in a clear and rigorous manner.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Demonstrate critical methods for examining, analysing and evaluating structural systems, environmental strategies, materiality and the precepts of sustainable design.
  • Test and apply practical understanding of structural and environmental strategies and construction methods to an integrated design process.
  • Appraise, reflect on and enhance understanding of environmental/structural/construction: qualities integration in architectural design work and the impact of buildings on the environment.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Appraise, reflect on and enhance the understanding of architectural professional practice.
  • Apply professional, legal and management procedures and processes for the procurement of a building.
  • Examine, analyse and evaluate procedures and processes for the procurement of a project from inception to completion.

Explore this module

All modules on the part-time version of MArch Architecture are core.

Core

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Analyse, record and critically evaluate the content and meaning of a complex and broad set of cultural, environmental and social contexts of a given built and/or natural environment.
  • Develop critical narratives for given locations and demonstrate their capacity for translation into design propositions that exhibit depth and breadth at a wide-scale strategy.
  • Synthesise relevant information and resource material with which to develop and substantiate design principles and ideas, through the proposal of an outline brief for a specific architectural proposal.
  • Demonstrate and communicate a synthesis of design process and resolution with the creative use of appropriate representation and media techniques.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Develop, record and critically evaluate a particular building design proposal, in response to social, cultural, technical, economic, political, regulatory and professional influences.
  • Analyse and utilise information and creative tools to establish a continuous briefing that can determine function, organisation, and capacity and to synthesise a consistent architectural narrative.
  • Systematically test, evaluate and integrate design ideas that demonstrate climate literacy and an understanding of structural and environmental principles and systems, as well as constructional techniques and building fabric.
  • Demonstrate and communicate a synthesis of design process and resolution with the skilled selection and use of appropriate representation and media techniques.

Explore this module

All modules on the part-time version of MArch Architecture are core.

Core

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Ability to identify, critically appraise, and research an appropriate subject with which to drive a written thesis to test new hypotheses and speculations.
  • Demonstrate, through a written thesis, a critical understanding of how knowledge is advanced through research to produce clear, logically argued and original written work relating to architectural culture, theory and/or design.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Identify, critically appraise, and research theoretical positions and design concepts with which to develop a hypothesis to drive a thesis design project.
  • Engage with the iterative process of design, through rigorous and critical interrogation and systematic testing and evaluation of alternatives that leads to a coherent and well-argued hypothesis.
  • Synthesize the research and creative process, and establish the theoretical and contextual (environmental, social and spatial issues) basis to translate the hypothesis into a design proposition.
  • Communicate clearly and effectively the development of a hypothesis in response to research and creative processes.

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Access, plan and implement principles for legal, management and financial set-up of an architectural practice, utilising professional judgement.
  • Manage personal development planning.
  • Convincingly present business proposals and projects within a professional and competitive context, both verbally and in writing.

Explore this module

All modules on the part-time version of MArch Architecture are core.

Core

The learning outcomes of this module are:

  • Synthesize the research and creative process to establish the theoretical and contextual (environmental, social and spatial issues) position and translate the hypothesis into a design proposition.
  • Engage with the iterative process of design from brief development through to an appropriate level of design resolution engaging in rigorous and critical interrogation and systematic testing and evaluation of alternative solutions that leads to a coherent and well-argued design synthesis.
  • Creatively apply knowledge and skills to the design resolution of the thesis project, demonstrating a consideration of aesthetic, compositional, and spatial principles, in the synthesis of ethical, social, technical and sustainable environmental issues.
  • Synthesize and communicate the design process and thesis resolution creatively, clearly and effectively.

Explore this module

Changes to course content

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Careers and opportunities

Careers this Master’s prepares you for

At the end of this MArch Architecture degree, you'll understand architectural design to industry standards. You'll also have learnt essential software currently used in the field, and have the tools needed to run your own company in an expanding, competitive sector. Between 2018 and 2019, the UK architecture industry alone generated just over £3.6 billion in Gross Value Added and created the same in total revenue over five times the amount from outside the country (Creative Industries Council, 2021). Your enhanced skills and knowledge will help accelerate such growth.

You’ll also be eligible to do your RIBA Part 3 qualification, which will set you up to become an ARB-registered architect. This registration brings many career-enhancing benefits:

  • Legal authorisation to call yourself an architect
  • Gold-standard reputation amongst your potential clients, workplaces, and members of public
  • Eligibility to work with any employer or contract, as some require you to be registered
  • Ability to do international work
  • Professional integrity from following the Architects Code of professional conduct

Visit the ARB website for more details of registration benefits.

Graduate roles

Many graduates of this course have started their careers as architectural assistants. Others have become self-employed.

Career planning

During your course, you'll have expert career support from your tutors and from our Careers and Employability Centre, which you can access for 5 years after you graduate.

Female student standing at careers and employability help desk

You'll benefit from:

  • Networking events
  • 1-to-1 appointments
  • CV and cover letter advice
  • Interview preparation and practice
  • Workshops to enhance your employability skills
  • Recruitment events including the Student and Graduate Opportunities Fair
  • Support starting your own business

Learn more about your career support

How you'll spend your time

We recognise that you'll probably be juggling more demands when you do your Master's degree, as you may be working or you may have family responsibilities.

We'll give you as much indication here as we can of how much time you'll need to be on campus and how many hours you can expect to spend in self-directed study, but please note that these indications are always subject to change. You should receive your full timetable several weeks before you start with us.

It is our expectation that all international students will join us here on campus in Portsmouth.

Course structure

This course runs over:

  • 2 years (full-time)
  • 4 years (part-time)

You can expect:

  • Weekly design tutorials and lectures, held on campus

If you're a full-time student, you should be on campus two days a week: Thursday and Friday.

Teaching

Master's study is deeper and more specialised than an undergraduate degree. This means you'll focus on something that really matters to you and your career as you work closely with academics committed to the subject.

You'll spend more time in independent study and research than you did for your undergraduate degree, but the majority of your teaching time will be in-person and face-to-face.

Some lectures and design tutorials may be uploaded to Moodle at the start of the year, but you're expected to attend these sessions in person.

Assessment

You'll be assessed through coursework.

Teaching staff

These are some of the expert staff who'll teach you on this course:

A man with short black hair and beard smiling

Guido Robazza

Course Leader

I'm Course Leader for MArch Architecture, specialising in urban planning, architectural design, and architectural representation. I also serve as coordinator of the Architecture Project Office, am a researcher and currently a co-investigator on the Interreg project, Plasticity: Resourcing Plastics from the City, and the Global Challenges Research Project, Building Resilient Coastal Communities.

View Guido's profile

A woman in B&W smiling

Paula Craft-Pegg

Senior Lecturer

My teaching and research reflect my experience and interest in collaborative and cross-discipline design. My design work, research and studios explore the inseparable relationship between landscape and architecture, using cultural, historical, and topographic concepts to design and support ecologically and economically sustainable places. I teach professional practice as an integrated design tool - enabling, supporting, and creating successful design projects through practice.

View Paula's profile

Term dates

September start

The Master's academic year runs from September to the following September. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter. Over the summer you'll be writing your project/dissertation.

See key dates

Facilities

Architecture studios

Our open-plan learning spaces encourage a studio culture of collaboration, creativity and dialogue – preparing you for the ways of working you'll experience in your career.

Explore the Studios

Supporting your learning

Master's study is more focused on independent learning than undergraduate study, but you'll get lots of support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to postgraduate study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

You'll have regular contact with your personal tutor in learning activities or scheduled meetings. You can also make an appointment with them if you need extra support.

In addition to the support you get from your personal tutor, you'll also have access to a Faculty student support advisor. They can give you confidential, impartial advice on anything to do with your studies and personal wellbeing and refer you to specialist support services.

If you need support with software and equipment or you want to learn additional skills (including skills not covered on your course), our creative skills tutors provide free workshops, activities and one-on-one tutorials. Skills you can learn include life drawing, film camera operation and video production.

You'll have help from a team of faculty academic skills tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • Improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • Delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • Understanding and using assignment feedback
  • Managing your time and workload
  • Revision and exam techniques

Computing support staff are always available to give technical support in the Faculty's computer suites during normal working hours. There's also some support available from 5.00pm to midnight at busy times of the year.

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University's Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • Academic writing
  • Note taking
  • Time management
  • Critical thinking
  • Presentation skills
  • Referencing
  • Working in groups
  • Revision, memory and exam techniques

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1-2-1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University's library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (September 2022 start)

  • Full-time: £9,250
  • Part-time: £3,080 per year

(including Transition Scholarship)

  • Full-time: £9,250
  • Part-time: £3,080 per year

  • Full-time: £16,200
  • Part-time: £8,100 per year

University of Portsmouth graduates may receive a 20% alumni tuition fee discount

Fees are subject to annual increase. Read our tuition fees terms and conditions.

You'll be able to pay your fees in instalments. Find out how to pay your tuition fees.

Funding your studies

Explore how to fund your studies, including available scholarships and bursaries.

If you're a UK student, you may be eligible for a Government Postgraduate Master's Loan, which you can use to help with course fees and living costs.

If you're a UK student who achieved a first in your undergraduate degree you may be eligible for a £3,000 University of Portsmouth scholarship.

Additional costs

These course-related costs aren't included in the tuition fees, so you'll need to budget for them when you plan your spending. Additional costs could include:

  • Accommodation: Accommodation options and costs can be found on our accommodation pages.
  • Recommended reading: You can borrow key texts from the library and if you choose to purchase these texts they may cost up to £60 each.
  • General costs: such photocopying, memory sticks, printing charges, binding and specialist printing. We suggest budgeting £75 per year.
  • Final project transport or accommodation: where necessary, which related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Entry requirements​

Eligibility

This course accepts UK, EU, and international students.

September 2023

  • A minimum of a second-class honours degree in a related subject, or equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications. Must be with RIBA Part 1 exemption, or equivalent.
  • Applicants would preferably have a year of professional, relevant experience.

Please get in touch if you're not sure if your undergraduate subject is relevant to this degree.

Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will also be considered, such as previous study, employment, voluntary work and training courses, including courses and qualifications you didn't complete. Learn more about our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

If you're applying as an international student with a non-UK degree, you’ll need to show you meet the UK entry requirements listed above.

To find out if your non-UK degree or other qualification is accepted, please visit our page for your country and view the UK equivalent of your qualification. 

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 (or equivalent) with no component score below 6.0.

You do not need an IELTS or equivalent certification if:

  • you have a UK degree
  • you have a degree from a majority English speaking country (not taught by Distance Learning)
  • you are a national of a majority English speaking country

Degrees taught solely in English from non-majority English speaking countries will be considered on a case by case basis. Find out more about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

An online portfolio submission and/or interview may be required as part of the selection process.

For more information on how to put together a portfolio, read our Master of Architecture portfolio guide.

How to apply

Unlike undergraduate applications, which go through UCAS, applications for this Master's course are made directly to us.

There's no deadline for applications to this course. We accept applications right up until the start date in September, as long as there are places available. If you wait until September to apply, you may find that the course is full.

If you're applying as an international student, remember that you'll need to leave plenty of time to get your visa organised.

You can find more advice about applying in our Master's application checklist. International students and current students and recent graduates of the University of Portsmouth also have some different application options, which are detailed below.

Extra information for international students

If you're an international student, you can apply directly to us using the same application form as UK students.

You could also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region. To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.

If you don’t meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Ready to apply?

Standard applications

Start this course in September 2023

Apply now (Full-time) – 2 year

Apply now (Part-time) – 4 years

After you apply

Once we receive your application, we may ask you for further information. We will then either make you an offer or suggest alternatives if your application is unsuccessful.

You'll usually get a decision within 10 working days, so you shouldn't have to wait too long. Some courses have an interview stage – we'll let you know if you need to prepare for one.

Learn more about how we assess your application.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.