Ulster University - Belfast


This course offers a distinctive and dynamic research-led learning experience leading to exemption from the Architect’s Registration Board (ARB) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) part 2 examination.

The course is delivered as an inter-linked series of studio projects and related studies that leads towards a final year design thesis. The projects run on a Vertical Studio structure known as the SuperStudio. Replicating the dynamics, opportunities, and challenges inherent in an architectural practice, the Vertical Studio approach is one in which all students are taught together across all year groups in distinctly themed Studios.

Graduates are working in many different practices on exciting building and urban projects, both nationally and internationally. The knowledge gained during this professional degree will support a wide range of employment opportunities in architecture practices, urban design bodies, architecture conservation organisations, and many governmental and private relevant institutions, or facilitate the route to PhD level research.

Subjects taught

Year one
Ideas Lab
The Module introduces architecture students to a diverse and inclusive range of debates currently preoccupying architecture and urban design. It enables students to situate themselves within these debates, adopt a theoretical perspective, define their own area of interest.

The module thereby enables the student to set out and clarify their own particular area of research interest and allows for the theme and structure for their ARC701 Dissertation and ARC700 Thesis Design projects to emerge and for them to be critically supported.

MArch Design 1
This module is designed to equip students with the necessary skills and abilities in research and be critically reflective in positioning themselves for the undertaking of the design thesis in Year 2 and to foster a deeper architectural discourse for those returning from Part I experience. Students will undertake a series of exploratory investigations through which they will research, develop, test and articulate their own emerging architectural positions.

Buildings Climate Agency
Together industry and buildings are typically responsible for up to 50% of a country's energy use. Energy efficiency is one of the main strategies which should be considered when attempting to preserve existing energy resources and reducing environmental impact for future generations.

In this module the knowledge of structural systems and choices for building, the understanding of material quality, assessment of design risk, fire safety and the technical details of sustainable environmental design, energy conservation and post-project evaluation of building performance is framed by a sustainability agenda within an overall approach to architectural tectonics as the proper work of architecture.

Year two
Thesis Design Studio
This module will demonstrate the ability to self define a design thesis research question and proposal of suitable complexity and originality, and which is informed by the application of advanced subject knowledge.

Outputs will be evidenced through the Academic Portfolio and the ability to carry out relevant independent research, a thesis report, explore alternative design strategies, critically appraise and reflect on working methods and practices, and communicate these ideas using a comprehensive range of visual, oral and written media.

This module culminates in the achievement of the written Dissertation.

In this module the student will demonstrate a critical understanding of how a new contribution to knowledge is made through research.

The dissertation will reflect the student's own particular theoretical interest in architecture or related subject areas and will be original, rigorously developed and clearly argued and presented.

Entry requirements

To apply to our postgraduate taught programmes, you must meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements and any course-specific requirements.

These vary depending on the course and are detailed online.

A level
Applicants must have an undergraduate architecture degree giving exemption from the RIBA/ARB Part 1.

Applicants must hold a degree with at least 2:2 honours or equivalent.

Applicants should demonstrate a critical awareness of the profession and the discipline of architecture. Such is typically demonstrated (but not exclusively) through experience in architectural practice in accordance with RIBA/ARB regulations for practical training.

Applicants will be asked to submit an architectural design portfolio to support their application and may be invited for interview.

If English is not your first language this course requires
a minimum English level of IELTS (academic) 6.0 with no band
score less than 5.5, or equivalent.

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This course is open to international (non-EU) students (full-time only).

For full entry requirements please see "Course Web Page" below.

Application dates

Your Application
Application is through the University's online application system (see "Application Weblink" below).

Enrolment dates

Start Date: September 2023.

Post Course Info

Careers & Opportunities
Graduate employers
Graduates from this course are now working for:

Office for Metropolitan Architecture
Grimshaw Architects
Black and Douglas
Todd Architects
White Ink Architects
FaulknerBrowns Architects
Office of Public Works

Job roles
With this degree you could become:
Part 2 graduate architect
Architectural Assistant
Urban Designer
Planning Administrator
Sustainability Administrator
Conservation Administrator
Research and Development Officer

Career options
MArch graduates from Ulster University are working in many different practices both nationally and internationally on a range of exciting building and urban projects.

The knowledge gained during this professional degree (i.e. RIBA Part II) will not only support a wide range of employment opportunities in architecture practices, urban design bodies, architecture conservation organisations, and many governmental and private relevant institutions but also facilitate the route to a PhD level research.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters at UK Level 7

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

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