Teaching and learning in 2020/21

In order to prioritise the safety of students and staff, we are planning to teach through a flexible combination of online and onsite learning. For more details on changes to this course, see our undergraduate course changes page or postgraduate course changes page.

Course Overview

UK/EU Fees £9,500 *
International Fees £13,000 *
Alumni Discount See details
Duration 1 year

* Price per academic year

Course summary

The Architecture MA offers a unique opportunity for graduates interested in the intersection of architectural design, theory and research, encouraging students to develop their own positions and identities as creative practitioners and thinkers. A range of thematic and contextual concerns are offered and explored through the course using unconventional and imaginative methods of design, research and representation. These include cultural identity, architecture and society, political architecture, contested landscapes and digital design. These diverse fields of inquiry and their impact on our cities are underpinned by integrating ‘other’ voices such as post-colonialism, critical theory, feminist theory and race studies. The course promotes methodological and representational innovation, with participants using techniques such as social mapping, interactive installations, film and conceptual modelling to stimulate projects towards high-levels of spatial, material and formal resolution.

A distinct and unique feature of the Architecture MA is its use of specialist pathways, namely Cultural Identity and Globalisation, Digital Media, and History and Theory. Students can elect to choose one of these routes through the programme – all of which incorporate option modules – graduating with the related named specialisation award, or else select their own combination of modules in order to graduate with the title MA Architecture. No matter how participants navigate their way through the course, it will inevitably be a dynamic journey of self-reflection and positioning to affirm interests and future practice concerns.

The course is delivered within a generous studio culture characterised by inclusion, creative experimentation and intellectual rigour. Participants work individually and in groups, and are directed by experienced and committed tutors who are experts in their respective fields. The course is further supported and enriched by a network of renowned visiting speakers and critics from practice and academia, as well as high-quality studio spaces and state-of-the-art fabrication facilities. 

The Architecture MA is part of a suite of Masters offered by the School of Architecture and Cities at the University of Westminster, sharing dynamic design studio spaces. The School provides first-class shared facilities such as state-of-the-art digital design/fabrication equipment and a team of lecturers and researchers deeply immersed in the very latest developments in architectural design, theory, historical research, and technology.

The Architecture MA is intended to appeal to students and practitioners with an existing architectural degree qualification like BA, BSc, BArch, Dip Arch, March or in related cognate design disciplines who wish to continue advanced level of research with a strong design and theoretical output.

Graduates from the Architecture MA have a high-level of success in securing employment with architectural practices in the UK and overseas or launch their own architecture/design practices. Many continue on to further study (including PhD level) or to teach in schools of architecture. Whatever their destination after completing their studies, our graduates emerge with a strong sense of purpose and with a body of work which enhances their ability to access those parts practice they are most interested in.

If you would like to interrogate contemporary issues in architecture through innovative research and design with a fresh and sensitive approach, then this course is made for you.

Course structure

Full-time postgraduate students study 180 UK credits in one full year. Part-time students will normally complete 180 UK credits over two years. To be awarded the Architecture MA, you must take the two core modules and four option modules.

Students can elect to choose one of these routes through the programme – all of which incorporate option modules – graduating with the related named specialisation award, or else select their own combination of modules in order to graduate with the title MA Architecture:

  • Cultural Identity and Globalisation Pathway: using design and live projects, the pathway interrogates the role of architecture in responding to globalization, socio-economic condition and cultural identity. It unpacks themes such as race, gender, ethnicity, conflict, etc through creative design with a high level of spatial, material, and formal resolution
  • Digital Media Pathway: it provides the opportunity for students conversant with digital design tools and architectural theory to further develop these skill, form a critical understanding of their application; and to explore the value and appropriateness of new technologies in design praxis
  • History and Theory Pathway: it offers a platform for critical examination of architecture theory within the current socio-political context. The pathway promotes unpacking of the historical development of architectural theory and practice concentrating on more contemporary discourses in architecture and space beyond individual iconic forms 

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.

Core modules

This module prepares the students of the Architecture MA and associated pathways for the subsequent Major Thesis Project. It introduces the students to conventional and un-conventional methods of theory and design-led research. It aims to establish set principles and approaches to architectural theory and design practices to position students’ personal interest in a theme or a location within contemporary theoretical discourse. It will encourage exploring the student’s chosen Thesis theme or context interest within the wider socio-cultural context beyond the discipline of architecture, and where relevant, to include practices drawn from related disciplines.

The course and the methods of study for the module will as a consequence depend on the type/format of research theme or context that each student is interested in for their thesis project with outcomes that will include specific agenda and concept leading to Thesis strategy which will form the basis of their Major Thesis project.

The module specifically deals with the research, development, exploration, synthesis and conclusion of a student’s chosen area of study for their Major Thesis Project.

Option modules

A studio design project that examines the nature and meaning of cultural identity, issues of globalisation etc in spatial and architectural terms; developing visual 'languages' and programmatic strategies that result in a design project of considerable conceptual, formal, spatial, material and technological resolution. You will work individually on your project, which will be based on a different topic of investigation each year, responding to current concerns about architecture within a specific urban and cultural context, as well as its broader global context. In each instance students will be required to investigate a particular cultural or urban issue relating to the notion of cultural identity and representation.

Building on the conceptual emphasis of Semester One’s ‘Theories of Identity’ module, this module will develop a deep methodological understanding of the phrase ‘culturally sensitive and critical designer’. This will begin through introductory lectures on the historical evolution, key theoretical frameworks, and methods of ethnography. Participants will then develop their own ethnographic methodology to access, engage, and understand a particular ‘site’. An emphasis will be placed on creative and experimental approaches to methods such as participant observation, architectural and spatial analysis, interviewing, documentary, social media, and archival research. In addition to normative fieldwork methods, imaginative use of film, mapping, photography, performative, and narrative strategies will be encouraged. A key objective will be to understand the relationship between subjects’ site-specific cultural practice, spatial relations, architecture, and wider transcultural / diasporic and global networks and influences. Participants will also be encouraged to engage with broader issues of truth, objectivity, knowledge, bias, etc., which arise within a ‘creative research relationship’.

The aim of this module is to provide you with direct experience and appreciation of architecture in London and the tools for documenting, analysing and understanding London as a global city through its present and past. You will explore a varied range of textual and visual research methods to develop new ways of imagining the city environment.

London will be your research laboratory: the module will be conducted through urban walks with intensive documentation through sketching, photography, audio and video recordings. A series of group tutorials will allow you to develop and present your analysis through the findings of the site visits as well as other relevant sources eg publications, maps, paintings, films, online videos, exhibitions etc. The module looks at how architecture is situated within a wider environment and introduces you to different methodological approaches to the investigation of the buildings and open spaces of the city. This will involve the careful study of the history (and hidden histories) of places; a critical consideration of the role of imagery in mediating our perceptions of the city; and the development of an individual representation toolkit for ‘picturing cities’ that can then be used in your subsequent research and/or practice.

A project module which introduces photographic, filmic and motion studies as ways of looking at the differences between static images, movies and contemporary video culture.

The aim of the module is to introduce you to the notion of ‘culturally sensitive and critical designer’ within critical theory and design. This will be done through a series of lectures/seminars and design workshops to serve as a broad introduction to key concepts in design (both classic and contemporary) within the disciplines of both architecture and cultural studies that relate to issues of cultural identity and globalisation. A significance component of the module will include a proposition/design to the theme of space and identity. The ultimate objective of the module is to inspire and stimulate participants to explore broad themes within the subject area and, through an elective element, begin to identify their own themes of interest to explore beyond the module.

This module will introduce you to major theoretical issues that are facing contemporary architectural practice across the world. The intention is for students to identify subjects and themes that they will develop in subsequent modules and through the Major Thesis Project. The module is taught by a series of lectures, seminars and oral presentation sessions by students.

This module aims to provide you with an introduction into media arts with focus on adaption of new and old technologies, specifically in the field of interactive installation, information visualisation, network culture, critical software, tactical media, are all considered in relation to architecture.

Programme Specification

For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the programme specification.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of a lower second class honours degree (2:2) in architecture or a related art, design or built environment discipline. You may be required to attend an interview, and to bring a portfolio of work demonstrating prior experience and interests. Overseas candidates may submit a portfolio or samples of their project work in digital format for inspection. 

If your first language is not English you should have an IELTS 6.0 with at least 5.5 in each element.

Applicants are required to submit one academic reference.

View more information about our entry requirements and the application process

A minimum of a lower second class honours degree (2:2) in architecture or a related art, design or built environment discipline. You may be required to attend an interview, and to bring a portfolio of work demonstrating prior experience and interests. Overseas candidates may submit a portfolio or samples of their project work in digital format for inspection. 

If your first language is not English you should have an IELTS 6.0 with at least 5.5 in each element.

Applicants are required to submit one academic reference.

More information

Careers

The Architecture MA aims to further the education of design graduates who will find employment in architectural practice, or related disciplines. Our graduates have worked in architectural practices in the UK, or in their home countries. Some set up their own practice and some have picked up academic teaching posts.

The specialist pathway options offered are intended to provide students with further employability skills related to traditional architectural design, urban design and multidisciplinary practices. Our graduates have been the lead architectural expert on a multidisciplinary team, NGO’s Municipalities or government organisations in regeneration and reconstruction work as specialists in the field of urban design and urban renewal. Or experts in Digital media, web/media, graphics, creative design practice including exhibition design/curatorship.

The Architecture MA may also form a platform for continuing study with a career in academia or a specialist research subject. The course can prepare suitable applicants for the opportunity to study for MArch (RIBA Part 2) or a Doctorate/PhD degree Research by Design/Research by Practice.

Our Careers and Employability Service is here to support you to achieve your full potential.

With a growing network of over 3,000 employers around the world and a team of experienced careers consultants, we provide you with a variety of opportunities to work and develop new skills. As a University of Westminster student, you’ll have access to our services throughout your studies and after you graduate.

We can help you:

  • find work placements, graduate jobs or voluntary experience related to your course
  • discover international opportunities to enhance your employability
  • write effective CVs and application forms
  • develop your interview and enterprise skills
  • plan your career with our career consultants
  • gain insights into your chosen industry through mentoring
  • meet employers and explore your career options at our employer fairs, careers presentations and networking events 

Find out more about the Careers and Employability Service.

Find out more about other employability initiatives at the University of Westminster.

What our students say

Photo of Imane Keaik

Imane Keaik

Architecture MA

One of the most interesting parts of this course is the conceptual and theoretical side that is at the essence of the lectures, modules and workshops. This drives your perspective and way of thinking about architecture and cultural identity. The theoretical framework will eventually feed the evolution of the project to produce an outstanding project for architecture portfolios. The Fabrication Lab, printing shop and workshop areas are vital places for students to spend time and for me they were the most exciting places to go.

Photo of Jiajun Zhao

Jiajun Zhao

Architecture MA

This course has expanded my thinking with a deeper understanding of research. Coming from China, I think that the architectural education there is less flexible and lacks creativity. The course has given me a broader understanding of architecture and enabled me to re-evaluate the definition of architecture. I hope that more students who have received Oriental architecture education will experience this wonderful learning journey to further stimulate their creativity.

Photo of Merve Karatas

Merve Karatas

Architecture MA

One of the many characteristics of this MA is how it develops your conceptual thinking as well as your cultural awareness of impact of architecture in our cities. There is also the encouragement to use different forms of experimentation, from creative drawings to conceptual model making. The Fabrication Lab at the University is very rich and well equipped. When I compare Westminster to my previous university, I would never have imagined the opportunities that existed here.

What our students say

Photo of Shubham Lohe

Shubham Lohe

Architecture MA

I made the right decision to take my masters in London, particularly at Westminster as we had the opportunity to structure the course how we wanted, to get the best out of our development. I come from India where architectural education is more practical and structural. This course is more conceptual and abstract based which has enabled me to stand out as I encourage the knowledge of both aspects of design. I would encourage you to experience this fantastic learning journey with the support of wonderful professors.

Architecture MA student Anna Ekonomova

Anna Ekonomova

Architecture MA

The best parts about Westminster are the quality of teaching and the new opportunities in terms of technical support (metal/wooden workshop spaces, laser cutting and 3D printers). All these help to make a new world of creative opportunities.

Architecture MA student Sebastian Mongillo

Sebastian Mongillo

Architecture MA

The Architecture MA at Westminster helped me to open my mind and improve my skills as an architect. The course encourages you to take a different approach to research and design. It offers a well-designed study plan, great staff and facilities full of resources, all in a very friendly multicultural environment.

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Student work

View work from our students at our end-of-year exhibition for postgraduate Architecture and Interiors courses. Our students have also won an extraordinary number of international awards, including RIBA Presidents Medals, confirming our reputation as one of the world's leading centres for architectural education. Read more about our architecture and interiors students' awards.

You can also see some of our students' work on our Open Studio website.

PG2016 catalogue

PG2015 catalogue

Find out more

About Architecture and Interiors

Watch our video to find out more about studying Architecture and Interiors courses with us.

Meet one of our students

Architecture MA student , Rana Soliman, talks about why she joined this course.

Watch our online information session

Architecture MA Information Session video with Course Leader Nasser Golzari.

Meet the academic

Lecturer and practising architect Nasser Golzari talks about the University, his work and research in social commitment in architecture.

Fees and Funding

UK and EU tuition fee: £9,500 (Price per academic year)

When you have enrolled with us, your annual tuition fees will remain the same throughout your studies with us. We do not increase your tuition fees each year.

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

As well as tuition fee loans, there is a range of funding available to help you fund your studies.

Find out about postgraduate student funding options.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible postgraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

International tuition fee: £13,000 (Price per academic year)

When you have enrolled with us, your annual tuition fees will remain the same throughout your studies with us. We do not increase your tuition fees each year.

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

Find out about funding for international students.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible postgraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

Facilities

Course Location

Our Marylebone Campus has benefitted from a multi-million-pound refurbishment resulting in new workshops, digital studios and development of the Marylebone Library. The campus is home to Westminster Business School and our award-winning Architecture, Planning and Tourism courses. For more details, visit our Marylebone Campus page.

Contact us

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