This course and the information on this page is indicative based on the 2019/20 academic year. The final details for this course starting in 2020/21 may be subject to change and will be confirmed by the end of September 2019.
The MArch (RIBA Part 2) is the second stage of your professional training to become an architect. You'll be inspired by innovative architecture teaching from academic and industry professionals and develop your critical ability, skills and creativity.
Benefiting from our links with more than 100 architecture practices, our graduates design and create the buildings of the future. They have secured successful architecture jobs with well known practices such as Associated Architects, Hawkins\Brown, Hopkins Architects and Glenn Howells Architects.
As part of BCU’s commitment to providing excellent student experience, the content and structure of this course is being refreshed to ensure that it continues to meet the highest educational standards. This page will be updated with the revised course documentation by 30 June 2019.
The programme goes beyond the professional body criteria, giving you a stimulating and dynamic educational experience of architecture at postgraduate level. You’ll study in a design studio-led research environment and you will be able to create architectural designs that meet necessary technical requirements while still having aesthetic appeal.
There are fantastic international opportunities – our students have undertaken fieldwork in Reykjavik, Istanbul, Amsterdam and Barcelona. There’s also an annual New York study visit sponsored by Ibstock Brick.
You’ll have opportunities to take part in research projects and our connections will help your work get noticed. MArch graduate Thomas Cotton had his final thesis project published on New York’s Museum of Modern Art website for the exhibition Uneven Growth.
Birmingham School of Architecture and Design has strong alumni and connections to the city’s creative and professional networks both through visiting tutors and critics.
Our Co.LAB is a collaborative architecture and design initiative based within the School that gives you the chance to work on live projects with our partner organisations including schools and charities. Our students recently worked on a project with 1930s listed structures at Dudley Zoological Gardens in collaboration with other students from the School of Art.
You'll be based in our multi-million pound City Centre Campus Parkside Building with access to traditional workshops in wood, metal, ceramics and plastics, along with advanced digital studios for rapid prototyping and digital production, CAD and digital visual communication skills.
Our next Open Day for this course will take place on 29 June 2019. Visit us to see our facilities and speak to our staff and students.
Concerns is an annual publication by Birmingham School of Architecture and Design. In this issue, you can view final year student work and read more about the activities within the School.
Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:
Applicants will normally be expected to have:
Architecture with RIBA Part 1 exemption.
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). Candidates should have achieved a score of at least 6.0 in each category.|
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.
|MArch||Sep 2020||FT||2 years||£9,500 per year||Register your interest|
|MArch||Sep 2020||PT||3 years||£6,070 per year||Register your interest|
|MArch||Sep 2020||FT||2 years||£12,800 per year||Register your interest|
The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.
Your portfolio will form the basis of the interview discussion and should include the following:
We are looking for motivated and ambitious students with a broad range of experience - this needs to come across in your application and portfolio.
We generally expect applicants to have undertaken at least nine months of practical experience, though we welcome enquiries from those with alternative experience.
UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*
You should prepare a written document of 2-4 pages that Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shines a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study. You will also find the personal statement useful as preparation for an interview should you be requested to attend. This document should not just focus on your strengths, but be a reflective piece that shows us you are able to critically appraise your own work and your performance.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you and how would you critically reflect on your undergraduate study? Outline and your architectural career so far and where you feel your strengths and weaknesses lie? You should also discuss the areas of architecture that you are interested in and a critical analysis of your portfolio. You may also find it useful to reflect on your skills development through your undergraduate and subsequent practice experience.
Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? The course structure, previous studios, student work, exhibitions or publications Etc.
Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course. We are particularly interested in how you reflect on your organisation and time management, how you are able to priorities your time and tasks both as a student and during your work in practice. We would also like to know about your experience in collaborating with others and working as part of a team.
Provide a summary of your education to date and your work experience. This should focus on your post undergraduate practical experience outlining the roles, responsibilities and projects you have been involved with along with how you contributed to your working environment. Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?
You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
Should you be invited to attend an interview you will be expected to demonstrate a diverse design and technical portfolio with undergraduate, professional and other supporting work. You will also be expected to bring your personal statement/critical self appraisal and use these documents to answer a series of reflective questions about your motivation for study, your skills development, collaborative experience and your self organisational ability, all of which are essential requisites of an MArch Architecture student.
*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.
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.
We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.
Did you know that you can apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,906 for some courses and options?
Research and Theory
Management Practice and Law: Theory
Architectural Speculations part 1
Architectural Speculations part 2
Architectural Speculations: Tectonics
Management Practice and Law: Applied
Dissertation or special study
You'll be assessed through a mix of reviews, reports, exams and essays. You'll undertake a major dissertation or special study (to follow on from the Co.Lab live project or another opportunity) on a theme related to the course. The dissertation and special study themes are negotiated with your tutor.
Studies are interconnected across areas of design, technical and professional and research and theory.
Cross level studio units allow you to select from multiple theoretical options that build on the School's diverse research hubs. We have a number of highly experienced visiting tutors and critics from a wide range of local , national and international architectural practices that work with our students on a regular basis There's also specialist in house tuition in technology support within each of our studios.
Our accreditations allow you to achieve RIBA Part 2 exemption. This offers you distinct support when applying for placement in practice.
Our accreditation shows employers that students graduating from our course have the levels of knowledge and ability they need.
Architects Registration board was established by Parliament in 1997 to regulate the architects’ profession in the UK.
They are an independent, public interest body and their work in regulating architects ensures that good standards within the profession are consistently maintained for the benefit of the public and architects alike.
RIBA is a global member organisation, with 44,000 members. It champions better buildings, communities and the environment and provides the standards, training, support and recognition to put members at the peak of their profession.
Our accreditation shows employers that students graduating from our course have the levels of knowledge and skills they need.
You may wish to further your research by applying for a PhD with the School of Architecture and Design or expand your knowledge with our other postgraduate degrees available, such as Conservation of the Historic Environment, MA Interior Architecture and Design or MA Design Management.
Each studio has a UK and European study site. Final year students visit the European site to either explore is as a condition and to bring back ideas from the visit, or they take it as a context for their thesis projects. Sites have included Reykjavik, Florence, Paris, Rotterdam, Milan, Istanbul, Vienna, Barcelona, Berlin, Gibraltar, Venice and Madrid.
The popular Birmingham School of Architecture and Design New York Trip has been running for over 33 years. Sponsored by Ibstock Brick, the trip visits a number of significant sites across Manhattan, with highlights including:
You'll be able to produce complex design proposals showing understanding of current architectural issues. You'll also have sound knowledge of procurement, building production and legislation.
The course gives you a thorough understanding of the links between design and technology and how architects work with other construction professionals.
You'll develop your specialist architectural skills and in-depth knowledge and be well on your way to becoming a qualified architect. This course is the final stage in design and research education.
Working on live projects and with architectural firms will have enabled you to increase your understanding, add to a portfolio of relevant work and make useful connections. Our students are gaining recognition for the innovative, original and compelling work that they produce.
You'll develop a range of transferable skills, such as how to communicate ideas and solve problems, as well as developing negotiation and planning skills. You’ll learn how to work effectively and efficiently either on your own or as part of a team.
Your skills will be in demand - architecture, building and planning courses are one of the top 12 degree subjects for getting a job according to a recent article in the Telegraph. Your work will give you experience in a multi-disciplinary creative environment, making you attractive to a wide range of employers.
Although we don't offer a formal placement year as part of this course, our students are offered a range of opportunities thanks to the industry links we help develop on their behalf.
OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.
It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.
Many of our students are employed in Birmingham City University’s OpportUNIty programme 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.
Our graduates have secured roles as graduate architects and designers with prestigious companies such as Bryant Priest Newman, Broadway Malyan and Associated Architects. Some have even gone on to set up their own practices after gaining experience.
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 international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:
International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.
BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.
We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.
Birmingham School of Architecture and Design is based at the state-of-the-art £62 million Parkside Building, a new development on our City Centre Campus within Eastside.
The new building has added an extra dimension to the School. Our campus has extensive studio and workshop provision and cutting-edge equipment reflecting the broad range of study opportunities on offer, our brand new state of the art workshops and studios include 3D printing, casting and plaster workshops, wood/metal/plastics workshops, ceramics, glass, digital workshops, waterjet and laser cutting, large format printing, screen printing and lithographics, photography and film studios. The building has been designed to actively promote shared space opportunities, for students to engage with others across the University as part of the learning experience.
From industry-standard software, to our workshops and studio spaces, everything you need will be at your fingertips from day one. Working with our expert technicians, you'll be supported from concept through to completion.
Studied architecture at Kingston and the Architectural Association. Worked in architectural practice for 10 years, public and private sector. Founded art practice / project Art in Ruins with Glyn Banks – exhibitions, published critical writing, curating, teaching. Founding Chair of association of architectural educators.