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Course overview

Our Architecture Design and Build programmes focus on the relationships between design and the physical creation of space. Our programme will explore the nature of making and production as they relate to architectural design and practice.

The programme is designed to ensure that students have the opportunity to learn about architecture by making, to understand materials through hands-on exploration in their application, and ultimately to develop a critical response to the implications of design decisions on people and places.

Within the programme, you will be able to develop design ideas at 1:1 scale and the integration with architecture student’s from varying backgrounds and experience levels.

Why choose this course?

Top 3

architecture school in the country

 

Top 5

Best Architecture schools in the UK

Vocational skills

will develop your vocational skills and the environmentally responsible attitude

Collaborative links

The department has strong collaborative links with overseas institutions

National competitions

participation is encouraged in prestigious national and international design competitions, in which there have been recent successes

Course content

This programme 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

Modules

Core

Masters Design Project 1 20 credits

The purpose of this module is to develop architectural, urban design skills and awareness through the design of architectural and urban interventions at an appropriate scale and resolution, in response to a brief. Students are encouraged to engage with a specific design specialism, and to adopt novel approaches to the generation of design concepts, and to develop these in detail in response to the circumstances of both the physical, cultural and intellectual context of the

This is a studio-based design module within a specialist design units (for example: architecture design, museum design, tall buildings, environmental design, architectural tectonics, sustainable urban design, etc.). The projects will involve the design of an architectural or urban intervention at an appropriate scale and resolution in response to an advanced design brief. The module provides higher-level skills and understanding necessary for postgraduate study within specialist streams and explores the integration and development of advanced specialist concepts, ideas, technologies and thinking within the architectural and urban design environment. Throughout the semester, students are expected to undertake in-depth conceptual development, design research, design testing and evaluation, and final presentation.

Masters Design Project 2 30 credits

The purpose of this module is to develop advanced architectural and/or urban design skills and awareness through the design of architectural and urban interventions at an appropriate scale and resolution. Students are encouraged to engage with a specific design specialism, to adopt novel approaches to the generation of design concepts, and to develop these in detail in response to the circumstances of both the physical, cultural and intellectual context of the project.

This is a studio-based design module within a specialist design unit (for example: architecture design, museum design, design and build, tall buildings, environmental design, architectural tectonics, urban design, etc.). The project will involve the design of an architectural or urban intervention at an appropriate scale and resolution in response to an advanced design brief. The module provides higher-level skills and understanding necessary for postgraduate study within specialist streams and explores the integration and development of advanced specialist concepts, ideas, technologies and thinking within the architectural and urban design environment. Throughout the semester, students are expected to undertake in-depth conceptual development, design research, design testing and evaluation, presentation and communication.

Design and Build Theory and Practicum 20 credits

Design and Build Theory and Practicum gives a thematic background of the specialisation that is design/build in architecture

This module is intended as a theoretical grounding in the practice of design+build as a means of investigating architecture and design.  The module will enable an advanced understanding of new and alternative approaches to practising architecture.  The traditions of designer-makers will be explored, including the professionalisation of architecture, and the emerging trends in the discipline leading to alternative practices

This module aims to module aims to explore the nature of design-build as an educational practice, including its emergence from 1960’s radical pedagogical movements and its evolution into an accepted dimension of architectural education.  This will include tracing the origins of design+build, and its relationship with the discipline and profession of Architecture and the emergence of Architect led design+build as an alternative to established means of practice as defined by the RIBA and AIA

Design Fabrication (autumn) 10 credits

This module is intended as an introduction to the themes ideas and practices involved in the emerging field of architectural fabrication. It will cover traditional and digital approaches, and the steps and skills needed to use fabrication as a design tool and as a design output.

This module aims to analyse the process of design fabrication, understanding the tools and methods at the disposal of the designer-maker and the process(es) needed to support the fabrication of design ideas.

The module will explore the process of design and how it can be shaped through an understanding of fabrication processes and potentials.

Delivery

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 11 weeks 1 week 2 hours
Workshop 5 weeks 1 week 3 hours

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 1 65.00 Case Studies
Coursework 2 35.00 Facade Design Portfolio
Research Skills 20 credits

This module enables students to acquire the core skills used in research and practice these through an exploration of a specialist subject relevant to architecture and the built environment.

This module covers the skills and resources needed to conduct independent academic research, including how to present findings effectively. It will cover choosing a research topic, how to shape research literature search techniques, including the use of the web. As a result, students will be able to conduct their own primary research, including quantitative and qualitative methodologies; data collection and simple statistical analysis. Opportunities to practice these skills will be presented through participation in a mixture of lectures, seminars and workshops designed to introduce specialist subject areas relevant to the field of architecture and related disciplines.

Case Study Project (spring) 20 credits

The Case Study Project is a module focused on learning from existing buildings and/or urban spaces through post-occupancy and performance monitoring and evaluation. The module offers opportunities for students to explore environmental design issues in depth, to further develop their preferred speciality and to develop academic writing skills.

Much of the work produced in this module has been published in international conferences or journals.

Architecture & Built Environment Dissertation 60 credits

This module aims to enable students to plan, implement and write up a substantial piece of original research that will make a contribution to the intellectual life of the discipline.

This module seeks to enable students to:

  • demonstrate and develop research skills in their chosen area of study
  • select a topic of inquiry in consultation with relevant members of academic staff
  • search and critically review the appropriate literature
  • develop appropriate research questions for their chosen area of study
  • consider the ethical aspects of their investigation;⦁ select an appropriate methodology for their investigation
  • collect data
  • rigorously explore and critically analyse it
  • interpret findings against what is already known in the field of study
  • critically evaluate/reflect on the study itself
  • make appropriate suggestions for further research
The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Thursday 25 February 2021.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

We are preparing your tutorials, laboratory classes, workshops and seminars so that you can study and discuss your subjects with your tutors and fellow students in stimulating and enjoyable ways. While we will keep some elements of online course delivery, particularly while Covid-19 restrictions remain in place or where this enhances course delivery, teaching is being planned to take place in-person wherever possible. This will be subject to government guidance remaining unchanged.

We will use the best of digital technologies to support both your in-person and online teaching. We will provide live, interactive online sessions, alongside pre-recorded teaching materials so that you can work through them at your own pace. While the mix of in-person and digital teaching will vary by course, we aim to increase the proportion of in-person teaching in the spring term.

  • Design studio
  • Tutorials
  • Group study
  • Small group learning
  • Lectures
  • Seminars

This programme 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

 

How you will be assessed

All assessments in the 2021/22 academic year will be delivered online unless there is a professional accreditation requirement or a specific need for on-campus delivery and in-person invigilation.

  • Reflective portfolios
  • Coursework
  • Group coursework
  • Essays

Assessment is based on coursework presented either as a portfolio, architecture work, or written submissions.

Contact time and study hours

This course requires individual and group work. You will be expected to work both in and outside of studio and seminar modules. As a guide, one credit is equal to approximately 10 hours of work. Studios can be vertically integrated, and you may be involved with projects that include undergraduate students. Build projects are often “extra-curricular” and cannot be guaranteed due to the nature of working on real projects. Travel for international design/build work is encouraged, but as it is an added expense is not a requirement of the course. Teaching for this course usually takes place on Tuesdays and Fridays during term-time. This is subject to timetabling and depends on which optional modules you choose.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.

Undergraduate degree2:1 in a relevant subject
Portfolio

Applicants to all MArch programmes 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.

Applying

Applicants to all MArch programmes 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).

Portfolio

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.

Our step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know about applying.

How to apply

Fees

Qualification MArch
Home / UK £8,500
International £22,500

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland starting your course in the 2021/22 academic year, you will pay international tuition fees.

This does not apply to Irish students, who will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our Brexit information for future students.

Additional costs

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.

If electing to travel to any international design/build projects, the cost of travel is the responsibility of the student. In previous years this has been £1200.

Funding

There are many ways to fund your postgraduate course, from scholarships to government loans.

We also offer a range of international masters scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.

Postgraduate funding

Careers

We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students.

Expert staff can 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.

Graduate destinations

MArch Architecture Design provides the foundation for advanced career opportunities in architectural practice and academia. Students are encouraged to consider continuing to study for a higher degree by research – MPhil or PhD.

The acquisition of a masters degree demonstrates a high-level of knowledge in a specific field.

Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates

Related courses

The University has been awarded Gold for outstanding teaching and learning (2017/18). Our teaching is of the highest quality found in the UK.

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is a national grading system, introduced by the government in England. It assesses the quality of teaching at universities and how well they ensure excellent outcomes for their students in terms of graduate-level employment or further study.

This content was last updated on Thursday 25 February 2021. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur given the interval between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.