Architecture (Part II)

Architecture (Part II) MArch

The Master of Architecture (MArch) is a Postgraduate taught course but is classed as an undergraduate course and as such applications must go through the normal UCAS application process, contact Course Leader Chris Lowry at in the first instance to register your application. The course focuses on design innovation and current theories of architecture and urbanism to challenge your thinking and prepare you for practice. The studios, workshops and CAD suites at UCLan are among the UK’s best and you will receive regular one-to-one tutorial support from a team who are leading thinkers and practitioners in their field. In addition, opportunities for international study and lively discussion with a variety of visiting speakers will enrich your experience and inspire your creativity.

The MArch course provides progression for Part 1 Architecture graduates to a Part 2 course (which is a requirement for professional membership).

Current students' work is available to view in our Architecture Student Yearbook 2016.

View the Grenfell-Baines Institute of Architecture's website.

The MArch course builds on knowledge acquired in undergraduate courses, yet it establishes a clear distinction between Part 1 and 2 levels by enabling students to progress their design work and critical thinking skills further to position themselves within contemporary architecture discourse. The course is informed by a dynamic and challenging regional need, specifically in areas such as urban and rural contextual issues, food production, regeneration, post-industrial landscapes, heritage protection, and sustainable urbanism.

In Year 1, this is achieved through a series of guided complex urban and rural design projects, which consider the professional context and technological strategies early in the design process to derive creative solutions to the challenges of sustainability in architecture and urbanism.

Theoretical modules such as Critical and Cultural Contexts, Innovation and Realisation, Research Methods, and Professional Studies allow students to expand and deepen their critical understanding of architecture, its context and practice.

Architect student

The final year modules - research methods, dissertation and design thesis - offer a platform for students to apply and celebrate the culmination of their acquired knowledge and skills via their selected design thesis project, developing independence and preparing for practice. Each module must be passed to achieve the final award, though modules are weighted to allow you to focus on design, discourse and production.

These curriculum themes focus on regional challenges, but are inspired by study of international solutions and emerging global concepts and strategies for future urbanism in a climate of change. Students will have the opportunity to travel to Europe and beyond to visit practices, sites and buildings in order to enhance their learning. The School is also in the process of establishing academic and exchange links for Architecture through the ERASMUS programme. 

The School has established, and continues to support, collaborative projects with local schools, practices and architectural societies such as the North Lancashire Society of Architects (NLSA).

Issues in architectural and urban design practice are also explored extensively through dialogue with an array of multidisciplinary practitioners via the Associate Year Out programme, interdisciplinary design collaboration and live design projects. By maintaining and strengthening our links with renowned architectural practices, the course gears students towards a focus on employment and industry needs as stipulated by professional bodies, and in line with the University’s mission to maximise student employability.

Our courses are popular with overseas students and benefit from one of the most diverse and active student communities. This is matched by an equally diverse tutor team from across the globe whose teaching and research interests reflect a wide-ranging professional and academic agenda.

The University has, and continues to commit high levels of investment in its architecture courses. The level of teaching support is enviable with staff to student ratios unparalleled in the UK. Preston is the home town of the innovative Building Design Partnership (founded by George Grenfell Baines) who built Preston Bus Station, one of the most important modern buildings in Britain. But it is our students who are our greatest asset. We look forward to welcoming you.

For an informal discussion, please contact:

Chris Lowry
T. +44 (0) 1772 89 3354

Key Information

  • Duration:

    2 years full-time

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time

  • Award Type:


  • UCAS Code:


  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:


  • Fees 2019/20

    Full-time: £9,250* per year (UK/EU)

Scholarships and Bursaries

The University offers a range of scholarships and bursaries to support you through your studies.

Discover More

Entry Requirements

How to Apply

There is no deadline for the submission of applications. However, applications for the start of each academic year should be received before September of that year.


The Master of Architecture course is a Postgraduate level course but is classed as an undergraduate course through UCAS and may be applied for through the normal UCAS application process.  However, if you are applying through after the 30th June, we recommend you email UCLan admissions copying in Course Leader Chris Lowry in the first instance to register your application.

Applicants must hold a 2:2 honours degree in architecture or equivalent subject. It is also preferable for applicants to demonstrate some professional experience in architectural practice or a related field.

Applications from all candidates will be considered on their individual merits and in the light of the nature and scope of the programme or work proposed.

Enquiries are welcomed. Please contact the Course Leader for an informal discussion.

International Students are required to show competence in written and spoken English in addition to meeting the course entry requirements: International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) - minimum 6.5.

All applicants are requested to submit a digital portfolio. Digital portfolios should demonstrate your skills in abstract and detailed drawing using digital techniques as well as illustrative sketching, applying a variety of media. You should also include examples of different projects you have undertaken, showing how you have worked through a project from research to final presentation.

Applicants may also be invited to attend an interview.

Please apply for this course via UCAS as an undergraduate.

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Course Overview

Year 1 (Level 7)


  • Design 1
  • Critical and Cultural Contexts
  • Innovation and Realisation

Year 2


  • Design 2
  • Architectural Research Methods
  • Written Thesis 

Apply now for September 2019 Apply now for September 2019

Learning Environment and Assessment

A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits and each 20 credit (a standard module) equates to 200 hours of study, which comprises of a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical sessions and independent study. Independent study is an important aspect of your degree course. The exact combination of study time will be detailed within your module descriptors, and will depend on your option choices.

Industry Links

The course has excellent links with the ARB, RIBA and local practices throughout the North West region of the UK, and the UK more generally.

Our Associate Year Out programme currently has a number of students currently employed by both Architecture and Design practices across the country.

The Architectural Studies Unit at UCLan have an Advisory Board composed of experts from industry and lay people who are informing the development and fine-tuning of our courses to ensure our graduates are employable and sought after in the market. The Professional Studies module also allows students to strengthen their knowledge of the architect’s role in the process of building via frequent interaction with architectural practitioners in the classroom, in the office and on site.

We also invite local practitioners to attend our regular design reviews or to be guest speakers.

Professional Accreditation

The Master of Architecture at UCLan is prescribed by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and has full validation by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) for the Part II Professional Examination.

Learning Environment and Assessment

A special feature of this course is the unique blend of practice and theory, which underpins the student projects. As a student on an MArch course in the School, you will belong to a Postgraduate Design Community. You will study some modules alongside students from other art and design disciplines as well as the more closer construction, environmental and engineering disciplines. Through participation in a common programme, you will experience a sharing of knowledge and access to a wide range of staff and resources.

Practical and theoretical elements will be assessed both during and at the end of each module. The final form of the assessment strategy and criteria is the result of collaboration between student and staff. The course is centred upon active learning. You will be engaged in a wide variety of activities. The ‘design brief’ acts as the main vehicle for the student experience, complemented by lectures, seminars and demonstrations, which aim to encourage the development of problem-solving skills and creative investigation.

The course is delivered by a highly-skilled and experienced staff team and is supported by guest lectures and industry contacts. Learning is studio-based and you will have access to an extensive model-making workshop for experimentation/model-building, as well as CAD/CAM and RP (Rapid Prototyping) facilities accessing all the workshops and the Laser Cutting and extensive digital printing facilities. We have new studio facilities, CAD suites and workshops, boasting a full range of modern model making equipment. The studios have 24/7 swipe card access, offering you an individual workspace. Studios and workshops are dedicated to the architecture department.


If you wish to progress to a professional qualification you’ll need to spend two years working in architectural practice or related field of work. This work experience can be undertaken at any time prior to taking the RIBA Part 3 examination. Usually students spend their fourth year in practice but you can if you wish progress directly onto the master's after gaining an appropriate undergraduate degree. Working abroad is recognised by the ARB, but 12 months of the required work experience need to be undertaken within the EU.

Once validated, completion of the master’s course in Architecture aims to prepare you for exemption from the RIBA Part 2 examination and for access to the next stage in your career in professional practice.

Joshua Allington

MA Architecture graduate, 2015

Joshua Allington, a 2015 master’s graduate, has always held a keen interest in design, taking up the chance to study architecture in order to combine both creativity and technical challenge. “I did a bit of research, and with UCLan Architecture being a new programme, it was exciting to be part of the cohort who could help decide the direction of the course,” said Joshua.

John Bridge

BSc (Hons) Architectural Technology, 2006

John Bridge studied part-time on the BSc (Hons) Architectural Technology course and now works as a chartered architect.  John graduated from the course with a first, also winning an international design competition, receiving the award on the day of his graduation. He explains graduation as his favourite memory whilst at University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). “I was really lucky; it was a great ceremony over at the Guild Hall and back at the Harris building.”

Important Information

Contact Us

This course is based in the School of Art, Design and Fashion
Telephone us for further information +44(0)1772 892400
or email us at: | Book a visit

Course Handbook

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry: 2018 Entry | 2019 Entry
For information on possible changes to course information, see our Essential and Important Course Information.

Tuition Fees & Finance

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.
For 2018/19 fees please refer to our fees page.

Further Information for students

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Central Lancashire on our Student Contract page.

Entry Requirements

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our Essential and Important Course Information. UCLan requires all undergraduate applicants to have a minimum attainment of five GCSEs at grade C and above, or equivalent, (including Maths and English). In 2017 and beyond we will view the new Grade 4 as being equivalent to a C grade and will therefore require students to achieve GCSE Grade 4 or above. However, if the subject is relevant to our degree programme and requires a higher GCSE grade (e.g. GCSE B grade), and/or includes a Professional body that governs the entry requirements, Grade 5 or above may be required.