Join a new generation of architects with our Master of Architecture (MArch) course.
Continue your architectural studies on this postgraduate programme, the second stage in becoming a qualified architect in the UK.
We aim to equip you with the skills of a twenty-first century architect: one who utilises space through quality design, innovates responsibly within a world of finite resources, and shapes environments to leave a positive legacy for future generations.
At the Reading School of Architecture, we study architecture in a UK professional context, but with a global outlook. You will examine architecture's role within a rapidly urbanising world — and through a cultural, social and environmental lens — where new approaches are needed.
Through research themes, project sites, case studies and practices from around the world, we aim to support your development as a rounded, creative, progressive architect with international relevance.
Our School sits within the renowned School of the Built Environment, which has strong industry links and is ranked 3rd in the UK for research impact in Architecture, Built Environment and Planning (Times Higher Education Institutions Ranked by Subject, 2014, based on its analysis of Research Excellence Framework 2014).
We have worked closely with industry partners to ensure our curriculum is responsive to the ever-changing forms and expectations of architectural education and the profession.
This new course is under consideration for prescription by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and we are liaising with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) with regard to validation.
Our curriculum draws on expertise from architecture, urban planning, social sciences, art and other related disciplines to facilitate the multi-faceted nature of design.
Unpack topics such as regenerative design, social value, community empowerment and collaborative practice, expanding your knowledge and developing your passion for design and architectural world.
Your studies will be focused on four core strands of architectural practice:
This framework will extend your ability to research, think creatively and critically, analyse, self-appraise and work collaboratively in a team.
You will learn through a combination of taught modules, lectures, seminars and workshops, and further your professional and creative skills in a series of vertical design studios conceived as research units and run across the two years. These design research units, which are a unique facet of the course, will involve partnerships with two internationally renowned practices – Invisible Studio and Haworth Tompkins. As part of the design research unit, you will be supported to develop and apply creative, research, technical and professional skills and knowledge – transferable across architectural practice and a range of other industries.
You will also benefit from guest lectures led by internationally renowned architects and construction specialists. This offers a great insight into the industry and a chance to build your professional network.
Internationally diverse team of experts
Our experts play a leading role in developing and supporting innovation, in both the profession and in education, in the UK and beyond.
Your learning will be enriched by our academics who bring expertise from across the globe. Their wealth of industry experience – our team comprises academics, specialist design tutors and practice-based tutors – will increase your awareness of approaches, styles and diversity of architecture worldwide.
Developing you as a researcher and practitioner
At Reading, we are passionate about supporting you to become an innovative designer and an active researcher with a formidable skill set. You will develop expertise in a range of subjects related to our partnerships with architectural practices as well as our Urban Living research area, including place-making, urban regeneration, retrofit and building adaptation, community empowerment, mapping cities and places, and collaborative design.
Our team will support you to:
communicate the value of your work, and be instrumental in conveying architecture as affordable, accessible and vital
conduct rigorous research, underpinned by critical thinking
develop transferable skills
enter the world of work as a capable practitioner researcher.
To help you acquire these skills, you will engage with a series of specialised design research units based on collaboration between academic experts, practice-based tutors, external partners and students. The work within the units will involve sharing of a design problem and an investigative and applied research approach that will become the basis for your design thesis and dissertation.
Dynamic learning environment
Our lively, research-driven and project-based learning environment encourages professional discussion, collaboration and real-world application. Learning takes place through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, live projects, workshops and field work.
You will also be able to choose from a series of optional modules – delivered across the University of Reading – which includes options in relevant, associated built environment subject specialisms. This serves to broaden your knowledge of the industry, and foster cross-disciplinary exchanges.
We aim to replicate the working environment of professional architects. You will benefit from:
seven-day-a-week access to dedicated studio space, in a newly refurbished building.
use of facilities equipped with digital technologies, including immersive 3D environments.
access to workshops equipped with hand and fixed power tools, a laser cutter and 3D printers for digital model making facilities for ceramics and screen printing.
Work experience and Study Abroad
Our MArch offers the opportunity to undertake a credit-bearing period of practical training. You will be required to find and secure work experience, with the support of the University and in agreement with the research unit leader.
As part of the practical training, you may also have the opportunity to gain teaching experience, engaging with various teaching and learning styles of studio architecture.
If you wish to study abroad, the placement will be arranged via the University exchange programme.
Students enrolling on our MArch in 2020, who hold a first-class honours degree, may have the opportunity to secure an annual £1,000 scholarship. This scholarship is subject to conditions, including successful progression between each academic year.
IELTS: Overall 6.5 with no element less than 5.5 (or equivalent).
Entry requirements: You must have achieved a 2:2 or higher on a Part 1 ARB validated (prescribed) award.
If you hold a qualification obtained outside the EU, or a non-recognised UK qualification, you will need to pass ARB’s own Prescribed Examination at the relevant level to be eligible for this programme.
You will be invited to submit a sample portfolio (max. 10MB) as part of your application, showing evidence of your creative ability, problem-solving skills, architectural knowledge and potential for postgraduate study. If you are invited to interview you will be able to present a full portfolio.
The application process
The number of places are limited and early application is recommended. As part of the application process for acceptance onto the Master of Architecture course, you will normally be invited to interview and asked to present a portfolio which shows evidence of your creative ability, problem-solving skills, architectural knowledge and potential for postgraduate study. We encourage you to upload a sample portfolio (maximum 10MB in file size) when you submit your online application.
Architectural Design 1: Design Research and Methods
This module introduces the fundamentals of design research methods (research into the processes of design), exploring their potential to develop new forms of architectural production and practice evidenced in design output (portfolio).
Architectural Design 2: Design Research and Practice
The module provides a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create, develop, evaluate and communicate design proposals
Architectural Design 3: Design Research Projects
This module provides you with the opportunity to define an individual design position in relation to a current architectural issue supported by a relevant research theme and methodological framework defined by the ‘research unit’.
Research Methods 1: Foundation
This module will provide you with an important grounding in research methods (theory) and their development through recent history while offering an opportunity to reflect on the nature and meaning of creative practice.
Research Methods 2: Research Project (Dissertation)
This module builds on and expands on research skills gained in AAM RM1, preparing you to deliver a sustained and rigorous piece of independent research through the production of a written dissertation.
The module explores the environmental and socio-cultural implications of design and specification.
Professional Skills 1
The module helps you to develop a grounded understanding of processes, techniques and mechanisms of practice organisation and management. This includes legal frameworks, financial management, construction procurement processes and current policies legislation.
Professional Skills 2
Drawing upon all other modules in the programme, this module is designed to provide you with the opportunity to explore diverse modes of architectural research in a practical application.
Please note that all modules are subject to change.
How much will it cost?
New UK/EU students: £9,250 per year
New international students: £19,815 per year
These course fees cover the cost of your tuition. Some courses will require additional payments for field trips and extra resources. You will also need to budget for your accommodation and living costs. See our information on living costs for more details.
Financial support for your studies
You may be eligible for a scholarship or bursary to help pay for your study. Students from the UK and other EU countries may also be eligible for a student loan to help cover these costs. See our fees and funding information for more information on what's available.
Students enrolling on our MArch in 2020, may have the opportunity to secure an annual £1,000 scholarship. This scholarship is subject to conditions, including successful progression between each academic year.
What career can you have?
Careers for MArch graduates
On completion of this course you will be required to complete a period of professional experience, as well as Professional Studies (Part 3) and the related examination, to be eligible to achieve statutory registered status as a UK architect.
The MArch provides a strong foundation in research methods to prepare you for PhD study, as well as the experience and skills to give you an advantage to join research-led practices, and to support and enhance research in practice.