Histories and Theories
School of Science, Engineering and Environment
In a nutshell
The Architecture Masters (MArch) is designed for those who are passionate about architecture, have an appetite for ideas, and a desire to experiment. Enriched with technical skills, 'live' briefs and practice-based action learning, it offer you a challenging, yet rewarding experience.
Salford is a leading centre for architecture teaching and research. Led by international experts, we’re consistently ranked in the World Top 100 (QS 2019) for architecture and built environment study. Our two year MArch course blends theory and practice to build your capabilities so you’re ready to be a responsible designer, reflective practitioner and creative innovator in contemporary society.
During your studies, you'll learn in purpose-built design studios and bespoke spaces that house the specialist equipment and tools you'll need to inspire your creativity and execute your ideas. You’ll explore architectural relationship between ecological and human systems, and apply and test your design skills. You’ll critically examine histories and theories in generating cultural values related to making places. You’ll develop critiques on current architecture and design, and gain the knowledge and confidence to propose alternative ideas.
The MArch at Salford is prescribed at Part 2 Level by the UK Regulator of Architects, the Architects’ Registration Board (ARB) until 30 May 2024. If you successfully complete the MArch and hold a recognised undergraduate Part 1 qualification, you can progress to complete the final UK qualification examination as an architect - the Part 3 Diploma - and will then be eligible to register as an architect and to join the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
- Enhance your knowledge of architecture design thinking to explore the relationships between ecological and human systems
- Advance your skills and competences using digital tools and technologies to articulate an architectural position
- Develop critical understanding of the professionalism, duties and personal responsibilities of architects to clients, building users, constructors, co-professionals and the wider society
- Experience a dynamic studio-based culture, delivered from our £55 million New Adelphi building, complete with 3-D printers, laser cutters and your own portable workspace
- Enrich your studies and stimulate your creativity with regional and international visits. In 2018, our MArch students experienced a USA summer school in Boston and New York in conjunction with Northeastern University and the PRATT Institute
This is for you if...
You are passionate about architecture, have an appetite for knowledge and a desire to experiment
You want to engage with forward thinking architectural design practices embedded with advanced technical skills, 'live' briefs and practice-based learning
You're an excellent team player, inquisitive, and keen to share and explore new ideas
All about the course
This course can be studied as an MA (2 years), PgDip (1 year) or a PgCert (six months). To earn a PgCert qualification you will complete 60 credits; to earn a PgDip you will complete 120 credits; the full MArch requires 240 credits.
The programme is based on a modular structure, delivered over two years. Each module provides learning and appropriate skill development consistent with its position in the overall structure. Intensive 'diagonal' workshops are embedded throughout the program to ensure integration across the modules and a holistic approach.
In year one, you will benefit from placement experience in architectural and design offices as part of the design-based modules (i.e. Performative Technologies – Material Matters, Advanced Digital Design Technologies, Urban Ecologies). Through these placements, you will be able to develop your professional skills and understanding of the realities of the field.
As year one draws to a close, you'll experience the Summer School - our research-led initiative designed to put you amongst some of the world's leading architecture students and practitioners. In 2018, our MArch students visited Boston and New York in conjunction with Northeastern University and the PRATT Institute.
In year two, you'll experience a series of design workshops to further your theoretical knowledge and practical application of architectural principles. You'll also focus your studies on the emerging and important field of urban ecologies. Year two culminates with a semester-long design research project (thesis) in which you will articulate an architectural position based on professional practice.
Explore the role of histories and theories in generating cultural values for making places and material artefacts. You will develop a comprehensive and systematic understanding of how theories of architecture contribute to framing practice, and how built places and material artefacts participate in forming theories.
Design Studio 1: Performative Technologies - Material Matters
Develop systematic and comprehensive understanding and related design skills of both performative and speculative modes of making buildings, by investigating various technologies and their actual implementation in design. You will investigate, critically appraise and select alternative structural, constructional and material systems relevant to architectural design, the physical properties and characteristics of building materials, components and systems, and the environmental impact of specification choices.
Advanced Digital Design Technologies
Develop a critical understanding of digital modes of pursuing innovation in design, by investigating and experimenting with various digital technologies including BIM, Blockchain, The Internet of Things, parametric and generative design. Through this module, you will develop the ability to deploy with creativity and originality, a range of digital and interactive media including digital fabrication to develop a conceptual and critical approach to architectural design and advanced technologies.
Advanced Practice Management and Law
Acquire sophisticated knowledge and understanding of the responsibilities of the architect, as well as how such areas as property law, building regulations and the Construction Design Management Regulations (CDM) affect architectural practice, and to explore innovative methods and models of procurement, entrepreneurship, manufacture, and interdisciplinary practice. You will explore matters of concern inherent in, for instance, legislation affecting urban design and its participation in the control of the public realm, in order to engage in cutting edge experiences of practice, management and law from leading and speculative practitioners. You will be able to develop critical understanding of the nature of professionalism and the duties and personal responsibilities of architects to clients, building users, constructors, co-professionals and the wider society and the role of the architect within the design team and construction industry, recognising the importance of current methods and trends in the construction of the built environment and developing independent learning ability required for continuing professional development. You will assess the constructional and structural systems, the environmental strategies and the regulatory requirements that apply to the design and construction of a comprehensive design project through practice management. You will also critically examine the financial factors implied in varying building types, constructional systems, and specification choices, and the impact of these on architectural design; understand the cost control mechanisms which operate during the development of a project; prepare designs that will meet building users’ requirements and comply with UK legislation, appropriate performance standards and health and safety requirements.
Design Studio 2: Urban Ecologies
Develop a systematic understanding of the complexity of urban ecologies by engaging in professional practice, identifying ecological issues and themes, and developing design work related to those themes which is of significant value to society and to the professional practice, becoming capable to make decisions in complex and unpredictable situations. You will explore the relational nature of ecologies; theories and histories of urban design and the evolution of communities; current planning policies and development control legislation, including social, environmental and economic aspects, and their relevance to architectural design.
The aim of the dissertation is to provide you with an opportunity to engage in a piece of written research which establishes the important discourses embedded in the your matters of concern/themes at the forefront of the discipline. You will develop the knowledge and skills necessary to undertake a structured, managed and well-presented project which demonstrates an understanding of the relevant literature, selection and application of an appropriate research methodology followed by analysis and dissemination of results in a succinct manner. You will explore critically current research and advanced scholarship in the architecture and design fields. The dissertation will equip you with the knowledge and understanding needed to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques on the current research on architecture and design and possible alternative original hypotheses. You will develop the skills to make sound judgements in the absence of complete data and communicate conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
Design Studio 3
You will develop, apply and test the student’s architectural design skills in the context of a complex design project. You will apply the necessary skills, competencies and understanding of a selected range of theoretical, technical, cultural, historical and professional issues, and the ability to integrate them into their designs. You will expand your design methods to include (fine) art practices, in particular those which focus on the development of spatial interventions.
Design Studio 4
You will apply and test your architectural design skills in the context of a complex design project. You will develop the skills, competencies and understanding of a selected range of theoretical, technical, cultural, historical and professional issues, and the ability to integrate them into their designs.
Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.
What will I be doing?
Learning takes place in our purpose-built design studios located in our flagship New Adelphi building. These carefully designed spaces house the specialist equipment and tools you'll need to inspire your creativity and execute your ideas. An international study trip is also incorporated in the learning and teaching strategy. In 2018, our students attended a knowledge exchange with Universities based in Boston and New York.
Personal development is encouraged at each level of the MArch through structured workshops and other activities, with the research skills you develop enabling you to be self-directed. Work-based learning/industry experience – in which you will act as 'consultant-researcher-designers' – will complement specific modules, aimed at testing the theoretical concepts against their practical implementation.
Our academics are leading architecture practitioners who regularly contribute to research and enhance current practice. Stephen Hodder MBE recently joined the University as Visiting Professor in Architecture, complementing our existing team of architecture professionals. Visiting speakers will also contribute to your learning, bringing real-world examples that will enable you to develop a deeper understanding of architecture and give you greater insight into what is required to become a chartered architect.
Learning outcomes are achieved through a combination of design studio-based activities and seminar-led sessions that include lectures (including from invited practitioners), seminars, tutorials and workshops, supported by student presentations, symposia and peer feedback.
School of Science, Engineering and Environment
From cyber security to biomedicine to architecture, our expanding suite of multidisciplinary courses shapes the next generation of scientists, engineers, consultants and conservationists. Through advanced research, we’re pioneering robotics and AI, smart environments and the appliance of data. With a team of over 200 dedicated academic, technical and administrative staff, you’ll experience a supportive, professional environment where you can realise your potential.
Our carefully designed architecture studios provide an inspiring environment to develop ideas, work collaboratively and share best practice. We also have workshops featuring high specification equipment, including laser cutters and 3-D printers, to help you bring your ideas and concepts to life.
Salford is also home to the unique Energy House – the only fully climate controlled research facility in the world. This full-sized, furnished, two bedroom terraced house is based inside an environmental chamber that can replicate almost any weather conditions. It is packed with a vast array of sensors that can monitor a wide range of variables.
What about after uni?
Architects are highly valued in many sectors and work widely throughout the built environment profession, including architectural practices (i.e. Foster and Partners, KPF, etc.), design and engineering consultancy firms (ARUP, Buro Happold, BDP, etc). Architects are also sought by central government, local authorities, property developers, building contractors, housing associations, financial institutions, major retailers and manufacturing companies.
Those wishing to continue their architectural career progression must seek opportunities to engage with the required 24 months of professional practice before sitting the Part 3 exam.
Our experienced team maintain strong links with the architecture, engineering and construction sectors, including local and international architectural practices. This strong link with the professions ensures a stimulating range of external guest lecturers, as well as networking opportunities.
Throughout the course, you will get to work on ‘live’ development projects. Previous students have helped to design a new club-house for Salford City FC, created designs for Macclesfield Cricket Club and developed concepts for the Salford Woolpack community pub.
What you need to know
The MArch is designed for those who are passionate about architecture and wish to engage with forward thinking architectural design practices in which advanced technical skills, live briefs and practice-based learning are embedded. The MArch provides the second stage towards qualifying as an architect.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS
International applicants are required to demonstrate proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0, with no element below 5.5, is proof of this.
Applicants for the Master of Architecture (MArch) programme will typically have a first degree in architecture from an accredited undergraduate programme (normally with ARB/RIBA Part 1 exemption). Typically students will have achieved a minimum of an upper second class honours degree (2:1). Whilst it is not a requirement for entrants to have completed ARB Part 1, all Parts (1, 2 and 3) will need to be completed in order to be admitted to the UK Register of Architects.
Applicants are required to submit an electronic portfolio of work as part of the application process. Applicants who can evidence a passion for architecture, and can demonstrate they can achieve at a high level, will be considered for an interview to receive a place on the course.
Your portfolio should include relevant work from an undergraduate architecture course which shows achievement of ARB/RIBA Part 1 (or non-UK equivalent), plus any work completed in practice which might be relevant. Portfolios should demonstrate a range of creative and representational media, including various forms of drawing and three-dimensional making. Relevant written work should also be included. For more information on the ARB/RIBA Part 1 criteria please see http://www.arb.org.uk/infomation-prescription-of-qualifications
Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)
We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.
The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.
Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).
|Type of study||Year||Fees|
|Full-time home/EU||2020/21||£8,460per year|
|Full-time international||2020/21||£13,320per year|
You should consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.
If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our international scholarships worth up to £5,000. Our international scholarships include the Salford International Excellence Scholarship and the Architecture International Excellence Scholarship.
To find out more information, visit our International Scholarships page.
All set? Let's apply
Course ID K102