Master in Architecture (MArch)

General

Program Description

Overview

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.

Course content

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.

The environment

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.

Architecture Highlights

Please note: Applications for this course, received after 30th June may not be accepted. A deposit will be required to secure a place.

Professional Accreditations

Architects’ Registration Board (ARB) recognised Part 2 degree - Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) recognised Part 2 degree

Student Experience

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.

Course details

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.

Teaching Times

Morning/Afternoon/Evening. The programme contains a compulsory trip to MArch I.

Career Prospects

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.

Where might you be in five years?

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.

Assessment

Assessments associated with the course are outlined below:

  • Project design work
  • Critical design reviews
  • Representation
  • Research
  • Essays
  • 6,000-10,000 word dissertation
  • Reports

Entrance requirements

Graduate

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:

  • Identify indicators of commitment, excellence and achievement within the applicant’s academic or professional portfolio of experience.
  • 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 is 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 a 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.

International Students

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.

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.

  • 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.
Last updated Jul 2019

About the School

The Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences spans disciplines that impact lives today and will shape our future. Our international mix of staff and students make up a vibrant community that is ho ... Read More

The Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences spans disciplines that impact lives today and will shape our future. Our international mix of staff and students make up a vibrant community that is home to some of the most innovative and globally significant research and teaching. It works where industry and research meet, providing the platform to spin out research into commercial opportunities and engage with industry on cutting-edge research with real-world projects such as the work with Wrightbus to produce the cleanest hybrid bus technology that powers the London Routemaster, or the pioneering work in The Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology, securing our digital future through their Centre for Secure Information Technologies. Read less