Triangle

Course overview

Our MArch Architecture Design programme focuses on the development and application of specialist architectural knowledge and advanced design techniques and technologies.

It is established to respond to the increasing competition in the professional procurement of buildings and the growing demand for specialist knowledge and skills in the pursuit of architectural excellence.

This programme offers the opportunity to concentrate on architectural or urban design, humanities, environmental design and technology to a high level of sophistication without the need to work within a single specialist area.

Why choose this course?

Top 3

architecture school in the country

 

Top 10

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 practices

Top 20

UK university

QS World Rankings and the THE World University Rankings, 2022

Course content

In the autumn and spring semesters, you will complete 120 credits worth of modules including two design modules. These are studio-based exercises where practical skills and creativity are challenged and examined through an architectural project. Additional lectures and seminar modules provide a parallel knowledge base and intellectual support for the design project and for the final dissertation.

You will spend the summer semester producing a 60-credit supervised dissertation. This will be an in-depth study of an individually determined topic and is an opportunity to conduct a major piece of independent research that reflects individual interests and aspirations.

Modules

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, 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 units (for example: architecture design, museum design, tall buildings, sustainable architecture design, architectural tectonics, sustainable urban design). 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.

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 Wednesday 20 October 2021.
Urban Design Theory and Practice (autumn) 20 credits

This module aims to introduce and analyse contemporary urban design theories and practice including their evolution from historical practice to develop a critical understanding of the contemporary city and how people engage with it. This will include an analysis of the visual, social, functional, perceptual and environmental dimensions of the practice of urban design.

This module is intended as an introduction to the current issues in the theory and practice of urban design, urbanism and the public realm. The module will enable an advanced understanding of people, places and cities.

Issues and challenges will be introduced by tracing the evolution of urban design including how its historical evolution informs contemporary practice. New and emerging phenomena within the urban design discipline will also be analysed to set the contemporary agenda.

Delivery

Activity Number of Weeks Number of sessions Duration of a session
Lecture 11 weeks 1 week 2 hours
Seminar 5 weeks 1 week 2 hours
Workshop 1 week 1 week 1 hour and 30 minutes

Assessment method

Assessment Type Weight Requirements
Coursework 1 65.00 4,000 word research report
Coursework 2 5.00 PowerPoint presentation (1 page)
Coursework 3 30.00  
Advanced Sustainable Design (autumn) 20 credits

This module introduces basic sustainable and environmental design principles and predictive methods for exploring the environmental performance of buildings.

Emphasis is placed on selective use of performance prediction tools (i.e. computer simulation and physical model testing) to enhance the design decision-making process. These tools are used to study the daylighting, thermal and ventilation aspects of architectural design, which form the basis for the integration of energy efficiency and sustainability in building design.

Urban Design Theory 10 credits

Introducing you to the history and theory of urban design, during a two hour lecture each week you’ll be given an understanding of the design of the city and its elements, and develop skills in the diagnosis and analysis of urban patterns.

Sustainable Cities 10 credits

This module introduces the key theories of how a city works and its impact on the environment.It makes the students aware that sustainable cities are a product of both spatial patterns and social realities. The module examines a range of issues and challenges with a particular focus on environmental impact (local -global integration).

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
Building with the Past 20 credits

This module considers how the built environment in museums and galleries reveals much about the political, social and cultural aspirations and identities of those who commission, design and use it. Exhibitions have long captured the imagination and created new realms: from the cabinet of curiosities of Renaissance princes to the controversial technologically-driven displays of today.

This module explores both conceptual and practical aspects of exhibition design in relation to the wider architectural design of museums. It challenges participants to explore the art and practice of display at the varied scales of an artefact, display space, and wider museum, and undertake a significant piece of self-directed research and writing in this area.

Exhibiting with The Past 10 credits

Throughout its history, exhibition architecture has been an efficient vehicle for the promotion of identifications and power. This module considers how the built environment in museums and galleries reveals much about the political, social and cultural aspirations and identities of those who commission, design and use it. 

This module explores both conceptual and practical aspects of exhibition design in relation to the wider architectural design of museums. It challenges participants to explore the art and practice of display at the varied scales of an artefact, display space, and wider museum, and undertake a significant piece of self-directed research and writing in this area.

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 Wednesday 20 October 2021.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Design studio

Learning will take place through a range of specialist lectures, seminars and design studio modules. You will explore current and future issues facing urban designers, architects and technologists, and develop the skills, knowledge and awareness required in the fast-moving world of contemporary architectural research and practice.

In the autumn and spring semesters, you will complete 120 credits worth of modules. This will include:

  • a major research-led design 'package' in one of the specialist areas offered in each semester
  • a studio project and seminar series, as well as an additional lecture/seminar module.
  • a 60-credit written dissertation you will complete over the summer semester

How you will be assessed

  • Exams
  • Coursework
  • Dissertation

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2022 entry.

Undergraduate degree2:1 in architecture or a similar subject. This must include modules in architectural design amounting to 25% to 50% of total credits.
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).

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

UK fees are set in line with the national UKRI maximum fee limit. We expect fees for 2022 entry to be confirmed in August 2021.

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you will pay international tuition fees in most cases. If you are resident in the UK and have 'settled' or 'pre-settled' status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you will be entitled to 'home' fee status.

Irish students 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 information for applicants from the EU.

These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).

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.

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.

Each year 1,100 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

International students who complete an eligible degree programme in the UK on a student visa can apply to stay and work in the UK after their course under the Graduate immigration route. Eligible courses at the University of Nottingham include bachelors, masters and research degrees, and PGCE courses.

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.

Career progression

100% of postgraduates from the Department of Architecture and Build Environment secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £29,000 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £100,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates who were available for employment, 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates

Related courses

This content was last updated on Wednesday 20 October 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.