MArch Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part 2)


Fact file - 2019 entry

MArch (ARB/RIBA Part 2) Architecture
UCAS code
2 years full-time
A level offer
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
Course location
University Park Campus 
Course places


This ARB/RIBA Part 2 focuses on the development of a core range of architectural skills that integrate the diverse specialist skills and knowledge required for modern architectural practice.

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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.

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.

Year one

The first semester of Year 1 offers three different pathways:

  1. follow a university-based programme of related humanities, technical, practice and design focused modules
  2. remain in architectural practice following the Year Out and take distance learning modules (this pathway is subject to course director approval following a review of year out practice experience)
  3. undertake an international U21 or Erasmus exchange period of study abroad (this pathway is only available to students following the Nottingham Year Out in Practice and is subject to course director approval)

In semester two, all modules are core and are university-based. They have been designed to integrate with the studio’s comprehensive design project, which is geared towards meeting the ARB/RIBA prescription of qualification requirements for Part 2.

Year two

The second year of the course is dedicated to the Thesis project. All students are expected to define their research interest and then lead an investigation whose findings are synthesised into the basis for design proposals.

Although this project emphasises independent study and student-centred learning, each student is offered the choice of specialist design research studios for supervision. Regular interaction with the lead tutor and teaching assistants ensures the necessary support for completion of this project at each key milestone stage. 

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 developed and demonstrated your advanced architectural skills through the production and declaration of a comprehensive and integrative thesis. They will 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 2) 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.


Entry requirements

BArch, MEng in Architecture and Environmental Design or other equivalent ARB/RIBA accredited Part One degree; Nottingham graduates must have achieved a minimum 2:2 standard in their first degree and applicants from other universities, a 2:1 standard.

Applicants may be invited to attend an interview with their complete portfolio.

Practice-based experience

Access to Year 1 of the MArch is subject to completing a minimum of 6 months approved practice based experience. This may be demonstrated by registering on and successfully completing the programme's Year Out in Practice or providing sufficient completed RIBA Professional Education and Development Records (PEDRs).

Applicants who require a student visa to study in the UK may register on the programme's Year Out in Practice up to 6 months before the start of the following academic year.

All applicants must be advised that they are required to hold ARB recognised qualifications at Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 before being eligible for registration as an Architect in the UK (and accessing the architectural profession within the EU).

English language requirements 

IELTS: 6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

Cambridge certificate of proficiency grade B

For details of other English language tests and qualifications we accept, please see our entry requirements page.

If you require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education, which is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.

Students who successfully complete the presessional course to the required level can progress onto their chosen degree course without retaking IELTS or equivalent.

Alternative qualifications

For details please see alternative qualifications page



The following is a sample of the typical modules that we offer as at the date of publication 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 the module information in this prospectus is provided for indicative purposes only.

Modules taken in residence

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.

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.

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.

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 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). 


Practice-based options

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

Culture and Context in Practice

This module aims to support your Research in Practice project. It will help you situate your research in the wider context of architecture. You’ll study architectural history and theories and explore how the fine arts influence design. You’ll also gain specialist design knowledge and perfect your studio skills. By learning to critically engage with the work of others, you’ll develop your capacity for original and creative thinking.

Building Case Study

This module is taken by those MArch Architecture students who elect to take an extended period in professional practice during the first year of their programme. This module provides the opportunity for students to develop their 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 their extended period in practice, students will have become more aware of the range of skills and knowledge that inform the design and construction of buildings, and of the different professions that contribute to this process.

This module requires that students 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 study will be developed from an integrative and holistic perspective and will explore professional knowledge centred on how environmental design and technologies have informed the design outcomes of the selected building.



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.

Professional recognition

This course is recognised by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Architects' Registration Board (ARB) for Part Two professional accreditation.

Average starting salary and career progression 

In 2016, 95% of undergraduates in the Department of Architecture and Built Environment who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £21,460 with the highest being £28,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home and EU first-degree graduates, 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Careers support and advice

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.  


Fees and funding

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.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £2,000 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

Our International Baccalaureate Diploma Excellence Scholarship is available for select students paying overseas fees who achieve 38 points or above in the International Baccalaureate Diploma. We also offer a range of High Achiever Prizes for students from selected countries, schools and colleges to help with the cost of tuition fees. Find out more about scholarships, fees and finance for international students.

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.


Key Information Sets (KIS)

KIS is an initiative that the government has introduced to allow you to compare different courses and universities.

Time in lectures, seminars and similar

Although this figure may appear low, you will undertake a module during your studies which involves over 90% of independent learning. This module is usually a dissertation, thesis or research project and will provide the opportunity to gain research and analytical skills as well as the ability to work independently. You will have a higher percentage of contact hours for other modules. 

How to use the 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.


Developing the skills and knowledge required for modern architectural practice
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