Architecture (RIBA Part 2 Exemption) - MArch

Course Overview

The essential course information

How to apply
  • Full Time (2 years)
  • Part Time (3 years)
Birmingham School of Architecture
City Centre

Previously part of:

Birmingham Institute of Art and Design

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The MArch (RIBA Part 2) at Birmingham School of Architecture is a progressive Master's level programme within one of the UK’s foremost creative academic institutions, located (from September 2013) in new, multidisciplinary studio and workshop spaces in Birmingham’s Eastside.

The programme has a dynamic transnational student community and offers both full- and part-time study options, contributing to high levels of graduate employment. Studio sits at the centre of a student-led, integrated programme of study underpinned by a knowledge and understanding of theories and practices related to architecture, urbanism and associated fields of study.

Led by an experienced and committed tutor team, cross level ‘units’ allow students to select from multiple theoretical, contextual and methodological trajectories that build on the School’s diverse research hubs. The programme is ambitious and outward facing, exploring and constructing innovative modes of architectural education and practice including the ‘Teaching Practice’ and ‘CO.LAB Collaborative Practice’ initiatives, developing professional, creative and technically able graduates, resulting in a confident, highly motivated student community.

Key Facts

  • The course aims to go beyond the professional body criteria, providing the dynamic and stimulating learning experience to address your individual ambitions and career path
  • Provides projects that encourage deep learning and professional competency
  • Provides a flexible framework of modules which allow ‘one-off’/spontaneous opportunities such as design competitions or research projects.

Why Choose Us?

  • Birmingham School of Architecture has a pedigree of over one hundred years of responding creatively to the challenges and opportunities in professional architecture.
  • Many candidates have degrees from other UK schools of architecture, resulting in a dynamic body of high-calibre students.
  • Visiting tutors come from local practice and we involve other notable practitioners, such as eminent architects, visiting professors and world-renowned consultants.

Download the Course Programme Specification

Entry Requirements

  • Applicants will normally be expected to hold at least a second class honours degree or equivalent in architecture. (Architecture with RIBA Part 1 exemption. See conditions for those without Part 1 in notes below.*)
  • Evidence of satisfactory completion of at least nine months of practical training is normally required for acceptance on the full-time course. Should applicants have difficulty in accessing conventional practical experience, the admissions team will consider evidence of initiative in finding alternative experience, through voluntary work, competitions, work in associated fields of the construction and design industries and self-generated work.
  • In the part-time mode, your practical training experience may be counted during the first year of attendance if you have studied your BA part-time. If you are part-time you should be employed by an architectural practice.
  • A diverse portfolio demonstrating academic and professional experience along with a critical self appraisal
  • All students whose first language is not English will require IELTS 6.5 overall (or equivalent)

* In exceptional circumstances, applications from students without RIBA Part 1 will be considered subject to prior equivalent academic and practical experience, but the honours degree must be in architecture due to the prescribed and validated nature of the programme. Please note, where applicants do not hold RIBA Part 1 and complete and pass the ARB prescribed Part 2 qualification, they will still need to hold an ARB prescribed qualification at Part 1 level (plus an ARB prescribed qualification at Part 3 level together with the required period of practical training) before they can be admitted to the ARB Register.

How to Apply

To apply, please complete the most appropriate online application form from the list below.

Online application for UK or EU students
Sep 2015 MArch Full Time (2 years)
Sep 2015 MArch Part Time (3 years)
Online application for non-EU students
Sep 2015 MArch Full Time (2 years)

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our pdf application form instead and email your completed form to

The details of two referees must be submitted in the Referees section of your application form. At least one referee should be from the institution where you obtained your academic qualifications and know you in an academic or professional capacity.

Fees and Finance

Fees for students from the UK or EU countries?
Start Mode Duration Award Fees
Sep 2015 FT 2 years MArch £3,580 per year
Sep 2015 PT 3 years MArch £450 per module
Fees for students from non-EU countries (International)?
Start Mode Duration Award Fees
Sep 2015 FT 2 years MArch £11,500

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Further information

For information on fees please contact Faculty Admissions. Tel: +44 (0)121 331 5150. Email: Faculty Admissions.

Financial Support for Home Students

Full-time architecture students who started Part 1 before 1 September 2012

Please visit the RIBA website for information about financial support.

International Students

International Students at BCU

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK. Our reputation for excellence is soaring globally, thanks to the superb links we forge with industry, our international alliances, and our focus on practical, vocational learning.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

University Approach to Employability

Birmingham City University is committed to preparing students for successful employability and professional careers. We have an innovative approach to employability that will help you obtain an interesting and well-paid graduate job.

Read our Employability Statement to find out more.

Employment Opportunities

Our graduates work for companies such as Associated Architects, Birmingham City Council and Glenn Howells Architects.

The course is stage two of the professional development programme to becoming an architect. The course is recognised by ARB and RIBA for exemption from Part II examination.

Further Studies

For further information on courses Tel: +44 (0)121 331 5595 or go direct to the courses section of the website.

Course Structure

Principally taught through a research by design approach to studio, the programme integrates creative, academic, technical and professional studies, exploring and constructing innovative modes of architectural education and practice. Led by an experienced and committed tutor team, cross level studio units allow students to select from multiple theoretical, contextual and methodological trajectories that build on the School’s diverse research hubs.

‘Teaching Practice’ studio tutorials locate students in a real practice environment as an extension to the core studio days. Project sites are located across the UK and Europe, this years students undertaking fieldwork in Reykjavik, Istanbul, Amsterdam and Barcelona, with further opportunities to join the annual New York study visit.

The programme is underpinned by knowledge and understanding of theories and practices related to architecture, urbanism and associated fields of study through research and theory, culminating in a thesis project and associated dissertation or negotiated special study. Students develop professional and technical capabilities through the support of unit specific consultant teams who offer specialist tuition in construction, structures, cost and environmental design.

The School of Architecture has strong alumni and connections to the city’s creative and professional networks both through visiting tutors and critics and through the ‘CO.LAB’ live projects. These outward facing projects directly engage students with the dynamic context of the city often outside of their discipline area, contributing to the development of transferable skills. Many students are employed in Birmingham City University’s ‘Opportunities’ programme in mentoring undergraduate students, assisting in our digital workshop, collaborating with staff in research projects and creating architectural events and publications. This contributes to a confident, highly motivated student community.

Course Modules

Postgraduate Certificate:

Critical Urbanism


Research and Theory

Postgraduate Diploma:

Architectural Synergies

Management Practice and Law: Theory

Master’s Project:

Architectural Speculations part 1

Architectural Speculations part 2

Architectural Speculations: Tectonics

Management Practice and Law: Applied


Assessment Methods

A dissertation or research paper is required on a theme related to the course. Project themes are negotiated with tutors.

Debbie Flevotomou

Graduated 2006

Since graduating, Debbie Flevotomou has set up her own architecture practice and has recently won a competition to design a new spiritual centre in Battersea.

I found the course to be well structured, with good teaching and enthusiastic staff. There also was an excellent atmosphere on the campus.

After I left the University, I gained a range of diverse experiences from small offices to star architects in various practices across the UK, and was been involved in a range of design projects from hospitals, five star hotels and an airport.

I now have my own practice - Debbie Flevotomou Architects – which is based in London, designing landmarks and luxury developments in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. Recently I have been crowned the winner of a design competition organised by West London based JB Builders, in collaboration with the South London Society of Architects and the Royal Institute of British Architects’ south London branch, which challenged architects and designers to design a new spiritual centre in Battersea.

The University has been the foundation of my career; my MA experience has helped me get where I am today.


Prospective students from the UK or EU
  • Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions for answers to a range of questions about our courses and studying here.
  • If you need further help, you can contact the Course Enquiries Team online by using the Course Enquiry Form.
  • Alternatively, call us on +44 (0)121 331 7880.
Prospective students from non-EU countries
  • International enquirers from non-EU countries may enquire via the International Enquiry Form.
  • Alternatively, call us +44 (0)121 331 6714.


For an overview of our postgraduate courses and a range of other information please download our Postgraduate Prospectus (10Mb).