Master of Architecture

General

Program Description

Overview

The Master of Architecture is a lively student-centred environment, where peer-to-peer learning, practice-based research and live events projects connect students, expert academics, design professionals and wider communities. On this course that is jointly run by The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University, you will enjoy the benefit from the resources and expertise of both institutions. During the Master of Architecture, you will develop, expand and refine your design and theoretical skills whilst creating a portfolio that will enable you to find employment in a leading architecture practice.

Features and Benefits

  • Manchester School of Architecture is a unique collaboration between Manchester Metropolitan University and The University of Manchester.
  • Consistently ranked as one of the best schools of Architecture in the UK.
  • Engaged and responsive design teaching, working with expert, research-active academic staff and leading design professionals.
  • Students actively take part in the research culture of the School.
  • Opportunities for study exchange in Europe through the Erasmus programme.
  • Our RIBA award-winning Manchester School of Art building gives high-quality environments.

Length

  • 2 years: full-time
  • 4 years: part-time

Career Prospects

Most graduates work as architects in private practice, though others work for local authorities, government organisations, commercial companies or contracting organisations, or for research agencies. Some graduates undertake research for higher degrees. Opportunities may also exist to work in Europe or overseas.

Entry Requirements

You will normally have at least an upper second class undergraduate UK honours degree (or international equivalent) in architecture and/or ARB/RIBA Part 1. Admission will normally be dependent on a successful application and possibly an interview.

A portfolio of work should be submitted with your application, this can be sent to us using online file transfer apps such as dropbox or we-transfer. It should include a table of contents with information regarding the duration of each project and in which academic year/level it was completed and a selection of projects worked on during your year in practice. We also require a concise letter of intent and two references, one of which must be from a former Year 3 tutor, the other a reference from your current employer.

Overseas applicants will require IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with no less than 5.5 in any category, or an equivalent accepted English qualification.

Course Details

The Master of Architecture is your final stage of formal academic architecture education leading towards professional registration as an architect. It is a professionally recognised award (prescribed at Part 2 level by the Architects Registration Board and validated at Part 2 level by the Royal Institute of British Architects) and developed for students who have completed RIBA Part 1, for example, a BA (Hons) Architecture course and, typically, one year in practice.

The studio element of the course is delivered through research-driven clusters called ateliers that align strong areas of research activity and mutual interests via trios of staff. This will enable you to develop ideological positions that are critically underpinned by seminars, workshops and symposiums.

The first year of study will enable you to locate yourself within a broad range of perspectives in relation to contemporary architecture and urbanism.

The second year will build upon this knowledge and developing skillset to orientate you towards a suitable role in the parameters of the profession.

Study tours and international collaborations with other leading schools and organisations take place each year and there is the possibility for exchange under the Erasmus programme.

All students will be required to make a number of different submissions, including detailed examinations of building proposals, 12,000-word dissertation, annotated reports, methods exploration and a design thesis.

Year 1
Core Units

Professional Studies 1

Professional Studies engages students in building design in a contemporary societal setting and the associated expectations for the operational competence of 'the architect' in a professional context. Structured design activities connect with a broad range of parameters related to the construction, use and operation of buildings and the function of 'the architect' as a professional within this setting.

Professional Studies 1 and 2 are designed to complement each other in respect to the design challenge set for students. This could typically contrast 'new build' design in one unit with 'adaptive reuse' of existing buildings in another and/or focussing on different typologies (e.g. housing and public buildings).

Professional Studies 2

Professional Studies engages students in building the design in a contemporary societal setting and the associated expectations for the operational competence of "the architect" in a professional context. Structured design activities connect with a broad range of parameters related to the construction, use and operation of buildings and the function of "the architect" as a professional within this setting.

Professional Studies 1 and 2 are designed to complement each other with respect to the design challenge set for students. This could typically contrast the "new build" design in one unit with "adaptive reuse" of existing buildings in another and/or focussing on different typologies (e.g. housing and public buildings).

Research 1: Methods

The method is an opportunity for students to explore techniques and processes that inform design as a spatial practice. The research methods unit introduces techniques that directly inform design as a spatial practice.

Research 1 & 2 encourage students to develop the subject of their enquiry in dissertations in parallel with their interests, career aspirations and the content of studio units. The subject chosen will reflect the symbiosis between design practice and theory, and allow for scholarship within individual specialisms to be placed within a deeper understanding of architecture as a whole

Research 2: Dissertation

This unit provides an opportunity for students to explore a research topic that may relate to their personal interests in design through the media of an extended piece of disciplined academic writing (8000 12000 words).

Research 1 & 2 encourage students to develop the subject of their enquiry in dissertations in parallel with their interests, career aspirations and the content of studio units. The subject chosen will reflect the symbiosis between design practice and theory, and allow for scholarship within individual specialisms to be placed within a deeper understanding of architecture as a whole.

Year 2
Core Units

Studio 1

Studios engage with problem-based learning in their approach. This unit is the first in a series that form a design thesis project. It typically establishes the programme or content of the final design thesis and may include an investigation of the setting or context of the project. Research-led teaching is undertaken in Master of Architecture ateliers where students critically engage with the development of the programme in real-world settings that reflect contemporary discourse in academic and professional practice.

Studio 2

Studios engage with problem-based learning in their approach. This unit is the second in a series that form a design thesis project. It typically establishes formal and operational aspects of the proposition and includes an investigation of significant technological strategies that are critical to the thesis.

Studio 3

Studios engage with problem-based learning in their approach. This unit is the third and final in a series that form a design thesis project. It typically communicates final resolution to professional presentation standards and includes a critical study in a significant aspect of the realisation for the project.

Professional Studies 3

This unit prepares students for employment in respect to the knowledge and understanding of the profession and related procedures, industries and organisations in the contemporary setting of architectural design.

The unit consists of an extensive series of lectures delivered by experts and authoritative figures who are engaged in contemporary design, development and construction practice. The course is coordinated by the school in conjunction with the Northwest regional office of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA NW) who additionally deliver the final part (part 3) of the recognised qualification leading to the use of title 'architect'.

Assessment Weightings and Contact Hours

10 credits equate to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A Masters qualification typically comprises of 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits and an MFA 300 credits. The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:

Study:

  • Full-time: 25% lectures, seminars or similar; 0% placement; 75% independent study

Assessment:

  • Full-time: 100% coursework; 0% practical; 0% examination
Additional Information about this Course

ARB (Architects Registration Board) Prescription

The process leading to the title 'architect in the UK is defined in 3 parts ‐ normally two university degrees (Parts 1 and 2) and a further award focussed on professional practice (Part 3). Students seeking entry to the Master of Architecture (Part 2) who do not hold an undergraduate qualification (Bachelors award) that is prescribed by the ARB (Architects Registration Board) at Part 1 may not be eligible for continued education at Part 3 level and the subsequent use of the title 'architect' in the UK context.

The Architects Registration Board operates a process by which it can determine applications from individuals for Part 1 recognition that can occur before, during or after Part 2 study but students should be aware that enrolment onto a Part 2 programme of study does not subsume Part 1 or imply that recognition at Part 1 will necessarily be granted.

The Architects Registration Board is the only body legally empowered to prescribe qualifications in the UK and particular conditions must be achieved to be eligible for consideration. Applicants are advised if necessary to seek further information from the Architects Registration Board if their intention is to gain exemption from all 3 parts of the education process prescribed by the Architects Registration Board and be eligible to use the title 'architect' in the UK.

Manchester School of Architecture

Our School of Architecture is an innovative collaboration between Manchester Metropolitan University and The University of Manchester, bringing together over 100 years of educational experience to create one of the largest architecture schools in the UK.

The school is consistently ranked as one of the best architecture schools in the UK and offers a range of professionally recognised undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. During its time MSA has gained a reputation for variety, vitality and quality, with specialist, research-active staff providing a rich and stimulating environment for students.

Fees

UK and EU Students
  • UK and EU students: Full-time fee: £9,250 to £13,875 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).
  • UK and EU students: Part-time fee: £2312.50 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).
  • UK and EU students: Distance learning fee: £2312.50 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).
Non-EU and Channel Island Students
  • Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £23,000 to £34,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).
  • Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Part-time fee: £5750 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).
  • Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Distance learning fee: £5750 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).
Additional Information

A Masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Part-time students may take a maximum of 90 credits each academic year.

Additional Costs

Specialist Costs:

  • 1,700

Students often choose to buy a laptop in their first year however there are PCs and Macs on campus which do have the necessary software on them and students can loan laptops (which do not support advanced digital design programmes). Students may choose to buy a camera, although there are some available for loan. Students may need to obtain specialist software. Students may choose to buy a hard-drive. Students are required to buy some model-making equipment. Students may choose to use specialist model making equipment such as the 3D printers and the laser cutters. Students will be required to print their work for reviews. In the first year, dissertation printing will be required.

Placement Costs

  • Students can choose to go on the Atelier based study trips.

Professional Costs

  • Students can choose to become a student member of the RIBA. It is free.

Other Costs

  • £20

Students will probably need to support their Events Programme. Students may choose to buy books, although the library is excellent.

Last updated September 2019

About the School

Manchester Met has a proud heritage dating back to 1824. We are also one of the largest universities in the UK with over 38,000 students. We are ranked amongst the world’s top 200 universities under 5... Read More