Postgraduate study
This course focuses on the role and application of materials and technology in the creation of contemporary architecture.
MArch Architecture Design & Build
1 year full-time
Entry requirements
2:1 (or international equivalent)
Other requirements
Architectural design work portfolio must be submitted
6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses may be available
Start date
UK/EU fees
£7,785 - Terms apply
International fees
£17,910 - Terms apply
University Park Campus



Recent work with Lincoln Cathedral, MArch Digital Architecture and Tectonics

This 12 month 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.

Key facts

  • 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

Full course details

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 reqired 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.

Entry requirements

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.

Academic English preparation and support

If you require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may want to attend a course at the Centre for English Language Education (CELE), which is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK. Find out more by visiting the CELE website.

Course content

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.

The MArch Architecture Design and Build is offered on a full-time basis over one year.

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.

Learning outcomes

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


Typical modules

  • 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 & 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

The above is a sample of the typical modules that 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. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and information is provided for indicative purposes only.


Fees and funding

See information on how to fund your masters, including our step-by-step guide.

Please visit the faculty website for information on any scholarships currently available through the faculty.

Faculty of Engineering Scholarships

UK/EU students

Funding information can be found on the Graduate School website.

Please visit the faculty website for information on any scholarships currently available through the faculty.

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.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.


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.

Career prospects and employability

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers* and can offer you a head-start when it comes to your career.

* The Graduate Market 2013-2017, High Fliers Research

The acquisition of a master's 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.

Our Careers and Employability Service will help you do this, working with you to explore your options and inviting you to attend recruitment events where you can meet potential employers, as well as suggesting further development opportunities, such as relevant work experience placements and skills workshops.  

Boost your earning potential

Which university courses boost graduate wages the most? Studying with us could help you to earn more.

  • We are second highest in the UK for female engineering graduate earnings, five years after graduation
  • We are second highest in the Midlands for male engineering graduate earnings, five years after graduation

(Source: Institute for Fiscal Studies data:



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.

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