Architecture - Advanced Architectural Design

An innovative and personalised Master's programme for enthusiastic students with an undergraduate degree in architecture who wish to explore future opportunities in architecture, urbanism, design and creative industries.

Course Content
This is a personalised Master's programme for engaged students who would like to make the most of their time at Queen's. The work produced throughout the year will be a collaborative effort between you, your year group, our award-winning academics and practicing architects. Because this yearlong course does not require you to meet prescription for qualification, it encourages you to work both within and beyond the realm of conventional architectural practice. We would like you to push the boundaries of your imagination and the limits of architectural media, while working with other architects, designers, artists and filmmakers.

You will work on modules including design, humanities and technology, questioning norms in architecture throughout. You will complete a major thesis project, the topic and methodology of which will be self-directed. You will be able to use the thesis as a means to experiment with new ideas, technologies and media, and as a gateway to your future career goals.

The course encourages lateral thinking, problem solving, creativity and engagement with design in a self-critical process. It will address issues as diverse as our survival on the planet and alternative ways of thinking about what architecture can be and do.

What will excite you?
You will spend the year on our university campus celebrating its 175th year with people from around the world designing, collaborating and producing. Queen's clubs and facilities including the Student Union, Queen's Sport and Queen's Film Theatre will also provide excellent opportunities to make friends outside of your discipline.

The environment
You will be based in Belfast, a growing city known for its industrial design heritage on one hand and its vibrant arts culture and creative industries on the other. You will enjoy a healthy staff to student ratio, good studios where you will have your own space and excellent workshops for physical and digital manufacturing.

Additional course information:
Now, more than ever, our societies demand innovative designers and creative problem solvers to propose solutions to the challenges we face in a complex contemporary world - health and well-being, climate change, forced migration, public safety and increasing urbanisation, among others. Our school is renowned for award-winning, innovative research and teaching that is academically rigorous, critically informed, design-led and interdisciplinary. In all of this endeavour we seek to develop architecture's voice in addressing these challenges.

The MSc Architecture programme provides a scaffold for our students to develop their own personal position within the broad culture of architecture, and in doing so, contribute to the ongoing debate that shapes the profession and our world. Our concerns range from the scale of craft and construction, material intelligences and sustainable prototyping to the mapping and analysis of urban, territorial and global conditions. In all of this architectural media play a crucial role as does developing a self-critical understanding of how each individual works as a designer.

The MSc Architecture is a studio based programme, underscoring design and design processes as the core concerns, challenging our students to be experimental both in their design methodologies/analyses and their architectural proposals. The one year programme comprises of three semesters. The staff cohort is composed of a diverse spectrum of esteemed practitioners and innovative academics supported by external consultants beyond Queen's, providing a further dimension to a rich learning environment. In this context, the students are encouraged to push the limits of the profession as well as their personal capabilities.

Professional Accreditations
Students can apply directly to the 2nd year of Master of Architecture at Queen's to complete RIBA/ARB Part 2 in the UK.

Learning and Teaching
Academic writing
If you have not written scholarly texts before, do not worry, you will be supervised by experts and will become an expert yourself.

Design studio
You are already familiar with studio culture in architecture. In Master's we will particularly emphasise creative solutions for the future, critical thinking and experimentation. The learning environment will be personalised as to your strengths and aspirations.

Technology and media
Depending on your interests, in this programme, you will be encouraged to use and experiment with a variety of media including filmmaking, animation, casting, performance and contemporary CAD/scripting software.

Subjects taught

Course Structure
Semester 1 - Design Studio 1, Technical Dissertation & Humanities Dissertation

Semester 2 - Design Studio 2, Technical Dissertation & Humanities Dissertation

Semester 3 - Thesis Project

The modules listed below are compulsory. Field trips -within pandemic regulations- will enrich the programme. Students are also encouraged to incorporate other Queen's modules (second language, advanced English, history, engineering, etc.) as long as timetables allow.

MSc Design Studio 1 (30 CATS), Semester 1/12 weeks
MSc Design Studio 2 (30 CATS), Semester 2/12 weeks
Humanities Dissertation (30 CATS), Semester 1+2/24 weeks
Technology Dissertation (30 CATS), Semester 1+2/24 weeks
Thesis Project (60 CATS), Semester 3/12 weeks (Summer)

Entry requirements

Entrance requirements
Applicants whose primary degree was/will be awarded in the UK:

1. Normally a 2.1 Honours degree in Architecture from an approved RIBA/ARB Part 1 course in a recognised institution. A 2.2 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University may be considered alongside a very strong design portfolio and relevant professional experience.

2. Normally an assessment of 60% or above in the final year major design project of their approved RIBA/ARB Part 1 course.

3. A demonstration of a critical awareness of the applicant's position relative to the profession and discipline of architecture. Such demonstration is typically (but not exclusively) achieved through experience in architectural practice in accordance with RIBA/ARB regulations for practical training.

4. Applicants must submit an architectural design portfolio. A three minute video may also be submitted to support their application (submission of the video is optional). Applicants may also be invited for interview.

Applicants whose primary degree was/will be awarded outside the UK:
1. A recognised qualification acceptable to the University which is equivalent to a UK 2.1 Honours degree in Architecture. A 2.2 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University may be considered alongside a very strong design portfolio and relevant professional experience.

2. Normally an assessment equivalent to 60% or above in their (first degree) final year major design project.

3. A demonstration of a critical awareness of the applicant's position relative to the profession and discipline of architecture. Such demonstration is typically in the form of a personal statement.

4. International applicants must submit an architectural design portfolio. A three minute video may also be submitted to support their application (submission of the video is optional). Applicants may also be invited for interview.

Portfolio and Video Requirement for Application
As part of the application process you must upload a single pdf portfolio of your best architectural design (personal, non-group) work to date. The pdf should be no more than 5MBIn addition, you may prepare a three minute optional video in relation to one of the following questions: What is architecture for you? As a designer, what are you curious or ambitious about? What would be your dream project? Please upload your video on Vimeo or YouTube, adjust your privacy settings, and provide the link on the cover page of your portfolio. The purpose of the portfolio/video submission is to:

i. Identify indicators of commitment, excellence and achievement within the applicant's academic or professional portfolio of experience.

ii. Evaluate the applicant's critical awareness of the discipline and profession of architecture.

International Students
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.

English Language Requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in Speaking and Listening and a minimum of 5.5 in Reading and Writing, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required (*taken within the last two years).

International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

• Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level

• Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.

Application dates

The deadline for applications is normally 30th June 2023. However, we encourage applicants to apply as early as possible. In the event that any programme receives a high number of applications, the University reserves the right to close the application portal earlier than 30th June deadline. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Application Portal against the programme application page.

Please note: A deposit will be required to secure a place on this course.

How to Apply
Applications should be submitted online via the Postgraduate Applications Portal for admission to the vast majority of postgraduate programmes.

New applicants will need to register via the Portal to create an application account. If you are already a Queen's student with an active Qsis account, you can log in using your student number and Qsis password. Guidance on how to complete an application is provided within the Portal and it is possible to save application data and return to complete it at a later date, if you wish. After core details about yourself and your academic background have been provided, you can submit an application, or multiple applications, if required.

If you applied in a previous cycle through the Portal and are re-applying, you should use your previous log in details. Please review and update your personal and contact details, academic and professional qualifications before submitting a new application.

Important – please ensure that the email address you provide is correct and active, as this will be used by us to communicate the progress of your application to you.


1 academic year, full-time.

Teaching Times
Teaching varies but is typically on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Post Course Info

Career Prospects
Employment after the Course
By completing the programme, you will graduate with an MSc Architecture degree within a year from a Russell Group university in the UK. Strong graduates will be eligible to apply to the MArch for direct entry into the second year, if they wish to complete Part II of the RIBA/ARB criteria leading to eligibility to sit Part III, the Professional Examination and registration as an architect in the UK. Therefore, the MSc is ideal for postgraduate students who have not chosen their career paths yet. If you would like to push the boundaries of your education and think outside-the-box, MSc is for you.

Where might you be in five years?
Anywhere in the world in one of many different disciplines. Our graduates have ended up designing skyscrapers in Hong Kong and the Middle East, emergency housing for refugees in Africa, film sets for Hollywood productions, computer game environments as well as working as urban planners, photographers, editors, illustrators, visual artists worldwide and teaching/researching in universities.

Graduate Plus/Future Ready Award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Graduate Plus/Future Ready Award. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.

More details
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  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters at UK Level 7

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

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