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Course overview

MArch Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part 2) is a two year full-time professional course in architecture that produces graduate architects who are fully equipped for a subsequent career in the architectural profession. This is achieved through the development of a core range of architectural skills that integrate the diverse specialist skills and knowledge required for modern architectural practice.

Why choose this course?

  • MArch Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part 2) is fully validated by the ARB and the RIBA and leads to exemption from Part Two of the three-part qualification programme for professional architects in the UK
  • Voted a top 3 school for Architecture by Architects Journal, 2020
  • Voted a top 5 school for Architecture by The Guardian University Guide, 2021
  • Field trips are an intrinsic part of this programme, with travel and accommodation available to European cities

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.

UK entry requirements
A level offer N/A
Required subjects

An ARB/RIBA-accredited Part 1 degree at 2:1 standard. Admission will be subject to the submission of a full portfolio, letters of reference and a personal statement. Access to year one of the MArch is subject to completing a minimum of 6 months approved practice-based experience.

IB score N/A

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

How you will be assessed

Study abroad

Explore the world, experience different cultures and gain valuable life skills by studying abroad.As well as starting an international network of contacts, you will discover new strengths and abilities – helping to enhance your future employment prospects. See our study abroad pages for full information.

What is it like to study Architecture at UoN?

Hear what final year student, Nana-Yaw, has to say about studying architecture.


Year one of the programme is to be practice based, where you will extend your year out experience into a second year, while undertaking a broad university-based programme of humanities, technical, practice, research, and design focused modules.

The core of the year is practice based research and associated design exploration, with a practice based design research project in autumn semester leading onto a design exploration of your research findings in spring. Specialist research modules during this year in practice will allow you to obtain valuable practice led research skills for your future career.

All of the taught modules in spring semester have been designed to integrate with the live design studio project, and will offer modules in professional studies and technical / tectonic matters that complement your studio design work. This holistic approach is not only geared towards meeting the ARB/RIBA prescription of qualification requirements for Part 2, but will offer an all-round perspective of the profession on a singular scheme.

Building Case Study

This module provides the opportunity for you to develop your understanding of the nature and context of architectural practice, particularly focusing on how environmental principles, strategies, and technologies inform the design and development of buildings.

During your extended period in practice,you will become more aware of the range of skills and knowledge that inform the design and construction of buildings, and of the different professions such as acousticians, lighting specialists and environmental designers that contribute to this process.

This module requires you to apply this knowledge in the critical appraisal of a building case study of their choice that draws upon the experience gained from practical experience, and the knowledge obtained from distance-based learning via the Moodle platform.

The analysis of a building either currently being developed by practice, or via post occupancy evaluation of a practice scheme is encouraged by the University.

The study will develop from an integrative and holistic perspective and explore professional knowledge centred on how environmental design and technologies have informed the design outcomes of the selected building.

Culture and Context in Practice

This seminar module aims to support the development of architectural thinking to an advanced level through a critical examination of architectural culture. It offers the opportunity to support the Architectural Research Study by contextualising the chosen area of research being undertaken in the co-requisite module, Architectural Research Study in the broader theoretical and culture context of architecture.The alternative to this is to develop a separate piece of theoretical work in line with the on campus version of this module, Design, Culture and Context.The work will be developed in liaison with the practice mentor and the module convenor, and allows you to develop a literature review and/or propose a relevant research method for further research exploration and will be supported by a series of humanities / theory lectures delivered on MOODLE.

Professional Studies in Practice

The course will give an overview of architectural practice, with particular emphasis on legal frameworks, forms of contract, and structure of architect’s services (RIBA Work Stages) with an emphasis on more complex client relationships, project partnering, joint venture working.

Lectures and workshops will cover construction law, building regulations and planning law. All delivered content will be streamed to co-ordinate with the practical application of the co-requisite live design studio project. It will also cover professionalism, business management, project financing, risk management and the building team. he scope also includes the financial implications of construction costs as related to decisions about procurement routes, contract and design decisions, CDM Legislation and the implications of the Equalities Act.

The activities of this module will generally be programmed to complement the development of the associated live design studio project, Live Design Studio and Reflective Practice portfolio, to allow you to apply the theoretical concepts to their design project work and analysis of the professional practice environment.

Record of Architectural Practice

For this module you’ll create a record of your semester in practice and your Research in Practice Project. During your placement, you’ll record your practical experiences and evaluate your performance.  At the end, you’ll submit a Professional Experience Development Record (PEDR) for assessment and a personal statement. The module is based on the ARB/RIBA on-line scheme for recording practical training (details at

Architectural Urbanism Studio

This module is a design studio that aims to develop architectural design and critical thinking skills to an advanced level. Its activities follow a design process, in which analytical investigations and research explorations into a particular theme, site and research problem are duly applied to inform the development of architectural proposals.

Students have a choice of studio units, each of which embodies a distinct approach derived from their specific thematic focus and research specialism, such as Urban Building, Tectonics and Fabrication, or Humanities.

Design, Culture and Context

This lecture and seminar module (20 credits, Autumn semester) aims to support the development of architectural thinking to an advanced level through a critical examination of architectural culture. It introduces key critical thinkers such as Bourdieu, Freire, Foucault, Merleau-Ponty and Heidegger, and historians from the high modernists such as Pevsner and Giedion, through Banham to Jencks. It discusses architecture in relation to its institutions like the magazine and the competition, as well as architectural education, and you will critically reflect on your own position within architectural culture.

Environment and Technology 1

This lecture-based module aims to develop practical knowledge, understanding and ability of the environmental, construction, structural and technological dimensions of architectural design. The module is designed to support practical applications in the studio and reinforces your skills in the integrative nature of architectural design. You’ll have a two-hour lecture and a three-hour workshop each week.

Professional Studies 1

This 20 credit module will give you an overview of architectural practice and management and construction law. You’ll learn about topics such as:

  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
  • business management
  • finance
  • communication
  • building procurement routes
  • contracts
  • RIBA work stages
  • risk management
  • CDM legislation and universal access legislation

You’ll have two hours of lectures per week for this module (Spring semester). 

Architectural Design Studio

This design studio aims to develop the student’s core design, critical thinking and application skills as prescribed by the ARB/RIBA for Part II students. Its end result is the production of a Comprehensive Design Project.

The studio’s main project is structured by a rigorous design process that leads progressively from analytical investigations into site, programme and context, through to synthesis of a summary concept, which is ultimately applied towards resolving a complex building programme.

Environment and Technology 2

Following on from Environment and Technology 1, this lecture-based module aims to develop your practical knowledge and understanding of the environmental, construction, structural and technological dimensions of architectural design. The module is designed to support practical applications in the studio, reinforcing skills in the integrative nature of architectural design. You’ll have a two-hour lecture and a three-hour workshop each week. 

Professional Studies 2
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 may change or be updated 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 the latest information on available modules.

In year two, you can select from a range of specialist design research studios. This final year of study emphasises independent research and student-centred learning that support the completion of a major design thesis.

By the end of the course, you will have completed two parts of the three-part RIBA qualification programme for professional architects in the UK. You will have had the opportunity to gain unique practice based research skills, invaluable to a sector rich in research and innovation, as well as advancing your architectural skills through the production and declaration of a comprehensive and integrative thesis.

You will also have built upon specialist design skills and knowledge, architectural writing skills developed through the production of essays, brief writing and a design dissertation. Along the way you will have acquired various transferable skills including a range of communication skills, team- working, self-direction and time management.

MArch Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part II) graduates will typically enter employment within the architecture practice and register on an ARB/RIBA Part 3 programme to complete their architectural education and gain entry to the profession.

Diploma thesis Studio

This year-long studio design module aims to develop architectural skills to an advanced level. Within the module there is the opportunity to select from a range of different design research studios that are introduced at the beginning of the year. Each design research studio will have its own structure and theme and will develop particular knowledge and skills in addition to the general module aims and learning outcomes.The module also allows you to identify a topic of interest related to architecture and to formulate a thesis that will be developed into a design research thesis. You will be expected to plan a programme of independent study and to undertake relevant research into their chosen topic.

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 may change or be updated 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 the latest information on available modules.

Fees and funding

UK students

Per year

International students

To be confirmed in 2020*
Keep checking back for more information
*For full details including fees for part-time students and reduced fees during your time studying abroad or on placement (where applicable), see our fees page.

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 should 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, and the department covers the cost of basic design materials as well as the return travel and accommodation related to compulsory field trips.

If you choose to take the South Africa live build field trip, you will need to contribute around £1,200 towards this and raise additional funds of around £1,000 through charitable activity.

The department has two PC labs running design software, and while we do not require that you purchase your own device, we have found that many students do so. Depending upon your device preference, allow from £600 for the purchase and budget also for software where this is not available through free student licence agreements.

Please note that these figures are approximate and subject to change.

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. For up to date information regarding tuition fees, visit our fees and finance pages.

Faculty-specific funding

In addition to the above, students applying to the Faculty of Engineering may be eligible for faculty-specific or industry scholarships.

A High Fliers Scholarships is offered to all those returning students from the faculty who graduated with a first class undergraduate degree. For more details please see 'High Fliers Scholarship: MArch Architecture - ARB-RIBA Part 2' on our scholarships page.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £1,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International/EU students

We offer a range of Undergraduate Excellence Awards for high-achieving international and EU scholars from countries around the world, who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers. This includes our European Union Undergraduate Excellence Award for EU students and our UK International Undergraduate Excellence Award for international students based in the UK.

These scholarships cover a contribution towards tuition fees in the first year of your course. Candidates must apply for an undergraduate degree course and receive an offer before applying for scholarships. Check the links above for full scholarship details, application deadlines and how to apply.


On completing the course, you will have had the opportunity to extend your practical experience and to have developed specialist design knowledge and skills. You will have developed and demonstrated your advanced architectural skills through the production and declaration of a design thesis or demonstrated advanced research and writing through the production of a written thesis. You will have acquired transferable skills including a range of communication skills, team working, self-direction and time management.

In recent years, Nottingham students have gone on to work for a range of practices including:

  • Architects' Journal top 100 companies including Foster + Partners, BDP, Weston Williamson, Hawkins Brown, Sheppard Robson, Grimshaw Architects, Wilkinson Eyre, HOK, Make Architects and Gensler
  • Nottingham practices including Franklin Ellis, Benoy, Allan Joyce, Rayner Davies, CPMG and Leonard Design Architects
  • Other regular UK and international recruiters including Paul Davies and Partners, China Architecture and Design Research Group, Studio Map and Tasou Associates

Average starting salary and career progression

87.3% of undergraduates from the Department of Architecture and Built Environment secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £23,150.*

* HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Studying for a degree at the University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take.

Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).


This course is accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects. 


This course is accredited by the Architects Registration Board (ARB).

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The University has been awarded Gold for outstanding teaching and learning

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) 2017-18


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.