An exciting, creative Master’s degree with accreditation from the ARB and RIBA, for students with a first degree in architecture who wish to progress their studies to final qualification as a practising architect.
Your focus will be to investigate the relationships between critical practice, design and research in the making of architectural proposals. The work produced throughout this two year Master’s is a collaborative effort between you, our academics and practising architects.
Our studio is divided up into five thematic studio groups, each led by a pair of tutors. Each of the groups also features an external ‘consultant’ who will contribute to teaching throughout the year.
This course encourages lateral thinking, problem-solving, creativity and engagement with issues in a self-critical process. But it is also broad in its engagement. It will address issues as diverse as our survival on the planet and local engagement with culture and craft - the making of anything from an entire city to a door handle.
What will excite you?
You’ll be engaging with real projects and real clients locally, and embarking on worldwide field trips – plus our Erasmus scheme gives you the chance to study at a European university. Our students have gone to places such as Munich, Barcelona, Istanbul and Croatia.
You will be based in Belfast, a compelling city for exploring socially-engaged urbanism.
You’ll enjoy a healthy staff to student ratio, good studios, where you’ll each have your own space, excellent workshops and technicians.
Applications for this course received after 30th June 2020 may not be accepted. In addition, a deposit will be required to secure a place.
Architects’ Registration Board (ARB) recognised Part 2 degree - Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) recognised Part 2 degree.
The programme is an active participant in Erasmus with links to established schools of architecture in Europe. MArch I includes a compulsory, self-funded field-trip, usually to a mainland European city.
The focus of the MArch is to investigate and develop the relationships between critical practice, design and research through the making of unique and challenging architectural propositions.
The studio is divided up into thematic groups which collectively encompass a broad range of approaches to architectural design. The groups reflect the expertise and preoccupations of the tutors and consultants involved. Accordingly, the briefs developed and the work produced to become a collaborative investigation between practitioners, students and academics into some of the spatial issues affecting the production of the built environment, both on this island and elsewhere.
Students are offered a choice of the group at the beginning of MArch I and then again at the beginning of MArch II, their thesis year. It is imagined that they will choose a different group each year to make the most of the breadth and the depth offered by the studio system. Choices are also offered for humanities and technologies dissertations.
The four semesters of the Master's programme are thought of as a single entity, within which diverse challenges allow the student to identify core strengths and to develop these through open discussion with a strong emphasis on self-directed study and ambitious agendas.
M.Arch Studio 1 (30 CATS)
M.Arch Studio 2 (30 CATS)
Architectural Research: Humanities Dissertation (30 CATS) (project work)
Architectural Research: Technology Dissertation (30 CATS) (project work)
M.Arch Studio 3 (30 CATS)
M.Arch Studio 4 (30 CATS)
Thesis Research (30 CATS)
Professional Skills (30 CATS)
Morning / Afternoon / Evening. The programme contains a compulsory trip to MArch I.
Completion of the MArch constitutes Part II of the RIBA/ARB criteria leading to eligibility to sit Part III, the Professional Examination and registration as an architect in the UK.
Employment after the Course
Where you might be in five years' time?
Anywhere in the world, in one of many different disciplines.
Our graduates have ended up designing skyscrapers in Hong Kong and the Middle East, emergency housing for refugees in Africa, film sets for Hollywood productions and computer games, as well as working as urban planners worldwide, teaching in universities or becoming artists and photographers.
Assessments associated with the course are outlined below:
Project design work
Critical design reviews
6,000-10,000 word dissertation
Applicants whose primary degree was awarded in the UK:
Normally a 2.1 Honours degree in Architecture from an approved RIBA/ARB Part 1 course in a recognised institution. Applicants with a degree in Architecture below 2.1 Honours standard will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Normally an assessment of 60% or above in the final year major design project of their approved RIBA/ARB Part 1 course.
A demonstration of a critical awareness of the applicant's position relative to the profession and discipline of architecture. Such demonstration is typically (but not exclusively) achieved through experience in architectural practice in accordance with RIBA/ARB regulations for practical training.
Applicants will be asked to submit an architectural design portfolio to support their application and may also be invited for an interview.
Application Portfolio Requirement
As part of the application process, you are required to upload a single pdf portfolio of your best architectural design (personal, non-group) work to date. The pdf should be no more than 5MB and no more than 15 pages long. The purpose of the portfolio submission is to:
1. Identify indicators of commitment, excellence and achievement within the applicant’s academic or professional portfolio of experience.
2. Evaluate the applicant’s critical awareness of the discipline and profession of architecture.
Applicants whose Primary Degree was awarded outside the UK:
A recognised qualification, equivalent to a 2.1 Honours degree in Architecture. Applicants with a degree in Architecture below 2.1 Honours standard (or equivalent) will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Normally an assessment equivalent to 60% or above in their (first degree) final year major design project.
A demonstration of a critical awareness of the applicant’s position relative to the profession and discipline of architecture. Such a demonstration is typically in the form of a personal statement.
International applicants will be asked to submit an architectural design portfolio to support their application and may also be invited for an interview.
International applicants should note that if they wish to undertake Part 3 (to lead to ARB registration as an architect and as an RIBA chartered architect) they must be successful in an application to ARB for their first architecture degree to be assessed by ARB as satisfying Part 1.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in Speaking and Listening and a minimum of 5.5 in Reading and Writing, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required *Taken within the last 2 years.
International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for the English language for visa purposes.
For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be offering Academic English and Pre-sessional courses online only from June to September 2020.
Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
Northern Ireland (NI)
England, Scotland or Wales (GB)
Other (non-UK) EU
All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2020-21. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Terms and Conditions for Postgraduate applications
Due to high demand, there is a deadline for applications.
You will be required to pay a deposit of £400 pounds to secure your place on the course.
This condition of the offer is in addition to any academic or English language requirements.
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.
Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.
If a programme includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.
Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.
There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Students are responsible for additional costs for books, materials and software for drawing/model making and printing (including final portfolio). The amount for materials, equipment and printing will vary depending on how students decide to represent their work, but a budget of £1,850 for the two-year course is appropriate. In Year 1, students are required to undertake a compulsory field trip to a European city. They are responsible for funding travel, accommodation and subsistence costs and should budget for approximately £500.
How do I fund my study?
The Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study.
A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £10,609 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.