M.A. Architectural Design MA

De Montfort University

Tuition fee:
  • € 4,263 / Year (EEA)
  • € 10,658 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2015
Duration full-time: 12 months
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Part-time, Full-time

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* Innovative reseach-led design teaching
* Intensive history and philosophy seminars
* Range of specialist design areas including architecture, urban design, advanced technologies and sustainable development
* Links to professional accreditation
* Sharpens skills for career progression

Architectural Design MA draws on a wide range of research expertise within the School of Architecture, Art & Design and De Montfort University as a whole. This ranges from technology, sustainability and urban design to the history and philosophy of architecture.

The structure of the course has been designed to allow you to follow one of these specialist areas in small studio groups while encouraging you to engage with broader theoretical debates that are pertinent to contemporary practice.

The aim of the course is to establish a comprehensive understanding of architecture rooted in the humanities, mainly in history looking at how modern architecture has been shaped by the past and in philosophy which allows you to integrate knowledge of specialised disciplines into a unified and meaningful whole.

The integrative nature of the investigations allows you to come to terms with the situational structure of architecture and can serve at the same time as a foundation for a more fully developed human ecology.

Career opportunities

We expect that you may either find employment with a leading architectural practice upon qualification or alternatively progress onto professional qualification. Another option would be to continue in research and study for a PhD.


Teaching and learning within the course seek to reflect the rationale, its aims and objectives and engage the active participation of a professional, qualified and experienced group of students, while making appropriate demands of them.

In the first semester, the modules provide a foundation of knowledge and techniques. Research Methods introduces systematic techniques required for research, analysis and synthesis in design and architecture. This is complemented by the first part of the Architectural Discourse module (that stretches over two semesters).

This module is seminar-based and conveys an understanding of the theoretical architectural debate. You are required to use this background knowledge in the design context introduced in Design Lab 1. Together these first semester modules require an active involvement in the process of learning as you make selective decisions in order to prepare the strategic, positional research statement within one of the Design Research Lab learning environments.

The second semester requires you to further apply knowledge and methods introduced in the first term for a specific purpose, and you begin to do this more independently. You are increasingly required to apply knowledge from a range of new sources. These are informed by the seminars within the second part of the Architectural Discourse module. The Design Lab 2 module is a vehicle through which you develop the strategic application of new ideas, synthesising knowledge from the earlier stages of the course.

The first two semesters involve learning with substantial support from tutors. This provides the foundation for the Thesis Project module in the third semester. At this stage you will have established an individual academic agenda, translated into a design or propositional piece of work through the Design Lab modules. The third semester requires substantial autonomy as you work on an individual, complex problem and respond in a unique and relevant way.

You are required to demonstrate personal accountability and responsibility for independent learning and continuing professional development within the major project.


Normally a recently attained Honours degree in Architecture, or a related subject, with a minimum 2:1 degree classification. If appropriate, prior learning may be assessed and accredited. Mature students not exactly meeting the above criteria may be invited to interview. You will normally be asked to submit a portfolio of work.

All overseas students normally require one of the following qualifications, or equivalent, before they begin a degree course:

* IELTS 6.0
* TOEFL 550, 213 computer-based test
* GCSE English Language grade C.

If you have IELTS 5.5 or above you can take a five-week English language course at DMU beginning in August. This course is free and enables you to develop your English language skills before beginning a degree.

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6
TOEFL paper-based test score : 550

IMPORTANT NOTE: Per 6 April 2015 only the English language tests from IELTS and Trinity College London are accepted for Tier 4 Visa applications to the United Kingdom. Other tests (including TOEFL, TOEIC, Pearson, City & Guilds) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. Since the Trinity College London language tests must be taken in one of their exam centres in the UK, IELTS is now the only language test accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK that can be taken worldwide.

The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.


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