MArch Architecture Design and Build focuses on the relationships between design and the physical creation of space. The course will explore the nature of making and production as they relate to architectural design and practice.
The course is designed to ensure that students have the opportunity to learn about architecture by making, to understand materials through a hands-on exploration in their application, and ultimately to develop a critical response to the implications of design decisions on people and places.
A notable feature of this course is the development of design ideas at 1:1 scale and the integration with architecture students form varying backgrounds and experience levels.
This course comprises a series of design projects, skill-based workshops and research seminars, through which you may investigate technologies in an interdisciplinary manner to provide innovative solutions that are supported by appropriate technical evidence, testing and modelling.
You will spend the summer semester producing a supervised dissertation. This will be an in-depth study of an individually determined topic and is your opportunity to conduct a major piece of independent research that reflects your interests and aspirations.
By focusing on the contemporary challenges and opportunities in building design, you will develop a solid understanding of issues such as:
- the consequences of design decisions on constructed space
- the opportunities offered by understanding the relationships of designer and maker
- the benefits of learning through making architecture with scale models and full-scale prototypes
- participation in relevant prestigious national and international design competitions, in which there have been recent successes, is encouraged on this course
- as part of its remit, the Department of Architecture and Built Environment aims to develop your vocational skills and the environmentally responsible attitude necessary in today’s rapidly changing world
- the department enjoys strong collaborative links with overseas institutions; you may have the opportunity to attended conferences, seminars and training courses both in the UK and abroad
A 2:1 degree (or international equivalent) in architecture or a similar subject. This must include modules in architectural design amounting to 25%-50% of the total credits.
Applicants to all MArch programmes in the Department of Architecture and Built Environment at the University of Nottingham are required to submit a portfolio of their design work with their application. The portfolio enables us to see that you have some of the core skills required to be successful on an MArch course and to see the range of skills and types of projects that you have completed in your undergraduate degree.
The portfolio should be submitted with your admissions application and be in PDF format and less than 10Mb (please submit this directly onto the MyNottingham admissions system).
The portfolio should have:
- a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 15 images
- a letter confirming that this is your own work. The letter should come from a tutor or course teacher who has been responsible for you and should be on institution headed paper
- a front cover of the portfolio which shows your full name
The portfolio should contain:
- examples of a few design projects that you have completed as part of your taught university education. Try to show different presentation techniques that represent your design skills (such as plans, sections, perspectives, physical and computer models, etc). The images can be any from architectural, urban, planning or landscape projects that you have completed in your studies
- you may also include a few sketches, paintings, photographs, still life or life drawings to show your skills (maximum 2 pages)
- as well as the above, it is also acceptable to include an example of a project that you have completed as part of work experience or a professional placement (maximum 2 pages)
Portfolios will be judged on whether you have the visual skills required together with a keen sense of judgement and spatial awareness in your work.
This course comprises a series of design projects, skills-based workshops and research seminars, through which you will investigate technologies in an interdisciplinary manner to provide innovative solutions that are supported by appropriate technical evidence, testing and modelling.
You will develop a multidisciplinary approach to exploring the relationships of design and construction through opportunities offered by novel materials and structures, and develop the integrated design skill derived by considering how things are made.
You will be encouraged to creatively engage with working at 1:1 scale and the required techniques in the analysis and exploration of design. Students will develop professional skills in communicating ideas effectively in written reports, verbally and by means of presentations to groups, and the ability to exercise original thought.
This course does not currently convey professional accreditation in the UK.
In the autumn and spring semesters, you will complete 120 credits worth of modules including a number of design projects, which are supported by lectures, workshops, seminars and tutorials to provide you with a parallel knowledge base and intellectual support for the design projects.
Finally, you will complete a 60-credit written dissertation during the summer period towards the end of the course.
Typical modules include:
- Masters Studio 1 (Design+Build A) (20 credits)
- Design Build Theory and Practicum (20 credits)
- Masters Studio 2 (Design+Build B) (30 credits)
- Design, Technology and Materials (20 credits)
- Research and Professional Skills, Tools and Methods (20 credits)
- Design Fabrication (10 credits)
- Dissertation (60 credits)
This course includes a 60 credit module research dissertation, which is completed over the summer. The project area is flexible but should relate to the design, making and construction of architecture and will be supervised by an academic member of staff.
Previous projects have included:
- a discourse on structure of adaptive building components
- performance based model in generative design
- façade design and fabrication
- adaptive facades
- the integrated design process: an insight into a holistic methodology towards sustainable design
- self-build housing
- social architecture
- community-led design and build projects
- building components and construction for community projects
- demountable structures
- the architectural future of 3D printing and additive manufacturing
- advances in construction technology
Careers and professional development
This MArch programme is project oriented – it explicitly calls for design proposals rather than purely theoretical work. The course stresses the importance of connecting design projects to the broader decision-making context of real and complex projects.
This programme has been specifically designed with the profession's needs in mind and most of the graduates from the MArch courses return to work as professionals within both the private and public sector in their own countries. Many do however continue to PhD programmes either at Nottingham or other leading universities.
The acquisition of a masters degree demonstrates a high level of knowledge in a specific field. Whether you are using it to enhance your employability, as preparation for further academic research or as a means of vocational training, you may benefit from careers advice as to how you can use your new found skills to their full potential.
Boost your earning potential
Which university courses boost graduate wages the most? Studying with us could help you to earn more.
- we are 2nd highest in the UK for female engineering graduate earnings, five years after graduation
- we are 2nd highest in the Midlands for male engineering graduate earnings, five years after graduation
Source: Institute for Fiscal Studies
Careers support and advice
We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students whatever your course, mode of study or future career plans.
You can access our Careers and Employability Service during your studies and after you graduate. Expert staff will help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.
More than 1,500 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.
Fees and funding
As a student on this course, you may factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses. You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies or more specific titles which could cost up to £100 per year.
In addition to this you may spend up to £50 per on printing and up to £50 on model making and drawing equipment. Please note that these figures are approximate and subject to change.
Scholarships and bursaries
Government loans for masters courses
Masters student loans of up to £10,906 are available for taught and research masters courses. Applicants must ordinarily live in the UK or EU.
International and EU students
Masters scholarships are available for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure you apply for your course with enough time.
We provide guidance on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study. You can also access specific funding opportunities, entry requirements and other resources for students from specific countries.
This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.