Landscape illustration of a field and pond by Shuk Chiu

Mode of Study

Full-time, Part-time

Duration

1-year full-time (September start), 17 months full-time (January start), 2 years part-time (September start)

Start date

January 2023, September 2023, January 2024

Accredited

Yes

Overview

With our specialist MA Architecture degree course, you can augment your creative practice and research by specialising in alternative forms of architecture: Building and Heritage Conservation, Landscape and Urban Design, or Spatial Design Practices.

Regardless of your background in architecture, arts, or humanities, you'll become proficient in architectural design. In a unique studio-based environment, you'll explore spatial theories and their environmental applications, tackle contemporary issues affecting the architecture and construction industries, and utilise innovative technologies to produce works at the forefront of contemporary design.

You'll have many opportunities to put your study into practice on this Architecture Master's, such as collaborating with local and regional bodies on live projects, and taking part in work-based learning opportunities and community-led projects. Your design, professional, and technical skills will also be strengthened through them.

By the end of this course, you'll be well-prepared for a career in many areas of the architecture sector, or you can continue your studies at PhD level.

You can study this Master's course in a year (September start) or 17 months (January start) full-time, or two years part-time (September start only).

Eligibility

This course accepts UK, EU, and international students.

Course highlights

  • Specialise in one of three disciplines to channel your expertise: building and heritage conservation, landscape and urban design, and spatial theories
  • Learn in a practice- and design-based studio environment similar to industry settings, unique to Portsmouth
  • Use facilities—such as the UK's first Centre for Creative and Immersive Extended Reality—to realise your innovative architectural concepts and designs 
  • Collaborate with students on other courses to widen your team-working abilities and exchange knowledge 
  • Get involved in community-led projects to engage with the public and sharpen your understanding of how consumers interact with architecture and space
  • Be taught by leading experts in architecture to learn the latest professional standards
  • Work with actual clients on live briefs to enhance your professional and research experience
  • Take part in competitions and live projects—within the Project Office and School of Architecture—to enhance your technical, creative, and professional reputation

Exit awards

Depending on the modules you choose, you can specialise in the following pathways below, which you'll also get an exit award in after completing the course.

Landscape and Urban Design

Explore new systemic and integrated solutions for cities and landscapes, and lay the foundations for more robust, sustainable environments.

Spatial Design Practices

Learn about spatial theories in architecture and arts practice, including those focussed on resilience and climate change, and apply these to rural, urban and heritage environments.

Building and Heritage Conservation

Gain theoretical knowledge and professional experience in historic building conservation and adaptive reuse. This exit award is accredited by Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC), making your skills valuable to the sector.

Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) logo

Accreditation

Our Building and Heritage Conservation exit award is accredited by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) – the UK's leading body for building conservation practitioners and historic environment experts – and covers its areas of competence. The award also follows the education guidelines of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), UNESCO and Council of Europe requirements.

Graduates from MA Architecture: Building and Heritage Conservation can also apply for full IHBC membership after two years of relevant professional experience, as opposed to five years through the normal route.

Graduation Class of 2021

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

Full-time

There are both core and optional modules in the full-time version of MA Architecture.

You can choose any of the optional modules to build your specialisation, but you'll need to complete certain ones to meet the IHBC accreditation requirements of the Building and Heritage Conservation exit award.

Core modules

  • Research Methods – 30 credits
  • Thesis – 60 credits

Optional modules

All optional modules are 30 credits each.

  • Conservation: Theories [essential for Building and Heritage Conservation IHBC accreditation]
  • Creative Theories: Thinking and Making
  • Landscape and Urban Design Strategy: Design Ecologies
  • Spatial Practices: Thinking and Making
  • Conservation and Practice [essential for Building and Heritage Conservation IHBC accreditation]
  • Integration of Transdisciplinary Experiences
  • Interior Practices: Design Project
  • Landscape and Urban Design: Making Places
  • Spatial Practices: Situated Ecologies
  • Work-based Learning Opportunity

Part-time

There are no core modules in Year 1 of the part-time version of MA Architecture.

You can choose any of the optional modules to build your specialisation, but you'll need to complete certain ones to meet the IHBC accreditation requirements of the Building and Heritage Conservation exit award.

Optional modules

All optional modules are 30 credits each.

  • Conservation: Theories [essential for Building and Heritage Conservation IHBC accreditation]
  • Creative Theories: Thinking and Making
  • Landscape and Urban Design Strategy: Design Ecologies
  • Spatial Practices: Thinking and Making
  • Conservation and Practice [essential for Building and Heritage Conservation IHBC accreditation]
  • Interior Practices: Design Project
  • Landscape and Urban Design: Making Places
  • Spatial Practices: Situated Ecologies

There are core and optional modules in Year 2 of the part-time version of MA Architecture.

Core modules

  • Research Methods – 30 credits
  • Thesis – 60 credits

Optional modules

All optional modules are 30 credits each.

  • Integration of Transdisciplinary Experiences
  • Work-based Learning Opportunity

These modules are still being developed. They'll be updated with detailed information in due course.

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 and some optional modules may not run every year. 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

By graduating from this specialist Architecture Master's course, you'll gain a broad perspective on the way the built and non-built environment affects society, as well as a vision for a sustainable future. You'll be able to explore new systemic and integrated solutions for cities, landscapes and historic built environment, and help shape a greener, healthier, inclusive, and more resilient future for people and societies the world over.

Careers this Master's prepares you for

Prospects (2022) estimates that the average salary range for the architecture sector is £35,000–40,000. The valuable skills, insight, and further experience you'll gain on this course will set the foundation for a successful career in the architectural and planning fields.

Depending on your specialisation, you might also hone your skills in more niche areas.

Careers by specialisation

Having gained creative conservation design experience, professional competencies, and legal, management, and administration skills, you'll have the tools to work in areas such as:

  • architecture, interior or conservation practices
  • consultancy work
  • regeneration projects
  • heritage management bodies (e.g. National Trust, Historic England)
  • conservation training centres

This specialism enables you to take a cross-cutting approach to your career, working across multiple areas. Some of these include:

  • landscape design
  • urban design
  • regeneration projects
  • landscape and urban planning
  • landscape management

This specialism will train you in multiple disciplines, sharpen your critical and innovative abilities, and help you address situated site-specific issues within various environments. You'll be able to work in:

  • architectural practice
  • interior architecture and design
  • urban design
  • public arts practice
  • performative practices

Continuing your studies

Since this Architecture Master's course adapts research-informed teaching and learning methods, you can continue your studies to PhD level after graduation.

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

Career support

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 MA Architecture course runs for:

  • 1 year (Full-time, September start)
  • 17 months (Full-time, January start)
  • 2 years (Part-time, September start)

The following activities will be part of your studies. There might be some variations depending on your study mode (full-time or part-time).

Campus time

Per week, you should be on campus for the following days.

Full-time
  • 1 studio day
  • 1 half-day – usually Wednesday mornings, but may be Monday if you choose the 'Work-based Learning Opportunity' module.
Part-time

1 studio day – either Thursdays or Fridays in Year 1, then Wednesday mornings in Year 2.

If you choose the 'Work-based Learning Opportunity' module in Year 2, you may have to be on campus on Mondays instead.

You can find out more about modules in What You'll Study.

Scheduled teaching

Per week, you can expect to have:

  • 1 no-studio day
  • Half a day – for research methods, thesis, or the modules 'Integration of Transdisciplinary Experiences' and 'Work-based Learning Opportunity'

You'll also be expected to attend evening lectures run within the School of Architecture.

For more information on modules, visit What You'll Study.

Independent study

You should spend roughly 300 hours in total in self-directed study, taking part in various activities like:

  • developing your design project
  • visiting archives, buildings, and sites
  • spending time in workshops and the library
  • engaging with local communities

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.

Teaching methods

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • studio work
  • research-led learning
  • collaboration
  • interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary projects
  • crits and reviews

Assessment

You'll be assessed through:

  • portfolios
  • written submissions
  • blogs
  • making artefacts

You'll be able to engage with studio reviews and receive feedback on your written work before submission.

You'll also get feedback on all your formal and informal assessments.

Teaching staff

Staff on this MA Architecture degree course have diverse practice experience in architectural and design offices, as well as proven track records within research.

Here are some of the teaching staff that will teach you.

Belinda Ann Frances Mitchell Portrait

Ms Belinda Mitchell

Senior Lecturer

Belinda.Mitchell@port.ac.uk

School of Architecture

Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries

PhD Supervisor

Read more
Paula Beth Craft-Pegg Portrait

Mrs Paula Craft-Pegg

Interim Head of School

Paula.Craft-Pegg@port.ac.uk

School of Architecture

Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries

PhD Supervisor

Read more
Antonino Di Raimo Portrait

Dr Antonino Di Raimo

Reader in Architecture

antonino.diraimo@port.ac.uk

School of Architecture

Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries

PhD Supervisor

Read more
Oren Richard Lieberman Portrait

Professor Oren Lieberman

Professor

Oren.Lieberman@port.ac.uk

School of Architecture

Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries

PhD Supervisor

Read more
Tarek Teba Portrait

Dr Tarek Teba

Reader in Architectural Heritage

tarek.teba@port.ac.uk

School of Architecture

Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries

PhD Supervisor

Read more
Alessandro Zambelli Portrait

Dr Alessandro Zambelli

Reader

alessandro.zambelli@port.ac.uk

PhD Supervisor

Read more

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.

January start

Courses that start in January have the same amount of teaching as September-start courses, but they normally run over a longer time period.

January-start courses normally run between 14–18 months, beginning in January and ending in the spring / summer of the following year. There are breaks at Christmas, Easter and in the summer. In the last few months 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.
Student working on architectural model
Explore Studios

Eldon Production Centre

Our centre is ideal for modelmaking, with high-grade kit for crafting wood, metal, plastics, polyurethane, concrete and plaster works.
Explore Centre

CCIXR

Create stunning works for film, TV, music, gaming and immersive reality in the UK's first integrated facility of its kind.
Explore CCIXR

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 independent 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

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

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.

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 (January and September 2023 start)

  • Full time: £8,100
  • Part time: £2,700 in year 1 and £5,400 in year 2

(including Transition Scholarship)

  • Full-time: £8,100
  • Part-time: £2,700 in year 1 and £5,400 in year 2
  • Full time: £16,200
  • Part time: £5,400 in year 1 and £10,800 in year 2

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.

Loans, scholarships and bursaries

Browse funding such as the Government Postgraduate Loan, our scholarships for new and returning students, and subject specific loans.

Explore funding

Funding for international students

Learn more about sponsorships, scholarships and loans for students applying from outside of the UK.

international business students
Discover your options

Fees and funding for postgraduate taught courses

Discover how you can fund your postgraduate studies at Portsmouth – including loans, scholarships and bursaries – and read our guidance on topics like how to budget, and how to get support if you're disabled or have dependents.

Explore funding

Entry requirements

Eligibility

This course accepts UK, EU, and international students.

January and September 2023, January 2024

Qualifications or experience

A good honours degree in a relevant subject such as:

  • Architecture
  • Interior Architecture
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Urban Design
  • Civil Engineering
  • Building Surveying
  • Geography
  • Spatial Practices
  • Fine Art
  • Other design-related subject

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 don't have relevant qualifications and/or experience:

You'll need to provide a portfolio to support your application.

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.

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 dates in September and January, as long as there are places available. If you wait until your start month 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 January 2023

Apply now (Full-time)

Start this course in September 2023

Apply now (Full-time)

Apply now (Part-time)

Start this course in January 2024

Apply now (Full-time)

I'm a current Portsmouth student, or a recent Portsmouth graduate

If you're currently in your final year of study at Portsmouth, or you graduated since July 2021, you're eligible to make a fast track application. You'll have:

  • a shorter application form to complete
  • access to the 20% Alumni fee discount
  • a guaranteed conditional offer, for most Master's courses 

Learn more about fast track

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.