Master of Architecture
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. 100% of our research is of international standing (REF 2021, combining 4*, 3* and 2* submissions – Architecture, Built Environment and Planning) and 100% of our research impact has been classed 'outstanding' or 'very considerable' (REF 2021, combining 4* and 3* submissions – Architecture, Built Environment and Planning).
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. Our professional course is also validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA); this is formal recognition from RIBA that our course achieves the standards needed to prepare students for the professional practice of architecture.
The Architects Registration Board (ARB) has prescribed our Master of Architecture as a Part 2 course under the Architects Act 1997 until December 2028. Our professional course is also validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA); this is formal recognition from RIBA that our course achieves the standards needed to prepare students for the professional practice of architecture.
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:
- architectural design
- research methods
- architectural technologies
- professional skills.
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.
Benefit from partnerships with practices, Invisible Studio and Haworth Tompkins in a series of vertical design studios. This will include the sharing of a design problem and an investigative and applied research approach that will become the basis for your design thesis and dissertation.
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 Master of Architecture in 2023, 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.