Architects and the designers of our surroundings are the driving force behind the design and development of our built environment. Whether they are designing new buildings, giving a new lease of life to existing ones, developing urban spaces, landscapes or contemporary interiors, architects have a profound influence on all our lives.
Kent’s Master of Architecture (MArch) programme is a two-year (known as Stage 4 and Stage 5) full-time undergraduate professional programme focused on architectural design. It forms the second part of the UK’s traditional five-year continuum of professional undergraduate education in architecture leading, for graduates with the required exemptions from professional examinations, toward registration in the UK as an ‘Architect’.
Kent’s MArch architecture programme is validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), and the award is prescribed by the Architects' Registration Board (ARB) as giving exemption from Part 2 of their professional examinations. The MArch positions its graduates well to continue after the degree to a Part 3 programme in architecture and professional practice.
Graduates from the MArch are able to take the ARB/RIBA Part 3 examination after amassing a minimum of 24 months recorded office-based work experience, 12 months of which must be in the UK.
Term abroad option
There is the opportunity to spend a term abroad in the spring of Stage 4 or autumn of Stage 5. Possible destinations include schools of architecture in France (Lille), Italy (Rome) and the USA (Virginia).
Going abroad as part of your degree is an amazing experience and a chance to develop personally, academically and professionally. You experience a different culture, gain a new academic perspective, establish international contacts and enhance your employability.
You are expected to adhere to any progression requirements to proceed to the Term Abroad. The Term Abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and will not count towards your final degree classification. To find out more, please see Go Abroad.
Think Kent video series
In this talk, Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin from the Kent School of Architecture examines new ways of writing and talking about buildings and asks if being a critical failure in architecture really matters.
About Kent School of Architecture (KSA)
Research at Kent School of Architecture achieves excellence in both the history and theory of architecture and in sustainable urban, peri-urban and environmental design. School staff have design expertise and specialist knowledge; they are at the forefront of current architectural issues, including sustainability, technology, professional practice and research. Our staff are active at academic and professional conferences, both nationally and internationally, and appear and publish in local and national media. The School promotes innovative and interdisciplinary research, emphasising sustainable design.
Much of the project work involved in the Kent School of Architecture is located on 'live' sites in the local region, using real clients and engaging challenging issues. Students in all stages of the school have been introduced to real urban and architectural design challenges in Lille, Margate, Folkestone, Dover, Rye, Chatham and, of course, Canterbury. Much of this work involves liaising with external bodies, such as architects, planners, council and development groups.
Architecture at Kent was ranked 7th in The Guardian University Guide 2017.
Architecture students who graduated from Kent in 2015 were the most
successful in the UK at finding work or further study opportunities (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey).
Teaching Excellence Framework
Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.
Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.
The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.
On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.
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AR538 - Cultural Context
The module's objective is to promote independent and critical thinking as well as advancing research skills. The module focuses on methodologies of research in the context of the cultural discourse and architectural theory from the mid-twentieth century onwards. This module will constitute an introduction to research methodologies leading to an understanding of how different constituencies of society view contemporary culture. A series of lectures will introduce different research approaches and methods. The assignment will comprise an investigation into a particular methodology or approach as assigned.Read more
AR540 - Employability
This module will have a taught lecture, seminar and tutorial format. Students use their parallel design module (or exceptionally a design project already completed in a previous MArch design module) as vehicle for a production of a detailed report in which they assess their design of a building as though it were a live project, in terms of appointment, procurement, planning permission, statutory permissions, fee biding, information scheduling, resourcing and cost etc.Read more
AR546 - Technology 4
The aim of the module is to promote a comprehensive understanding of sustainability in which cost factors and environmental impact are considered inextricably bound into its definition. The lecture course covers the following areas: architecture from a global perspective, research methodologies, sustainability criteria in construction and environmental design, benchmarking and legislation in technical design, integration of structure, services and passive environmental features, reviewing the performance of technical design solution, the passive house and its technical challenges, technology from socio-cultural and economic, financial and cost control perspectives.
Students can elect one of two thematic approaches and demonstrate that they have met the Learning Outcomes through a written Case Study essay and verbal presentation of its content to a panel of critics, as a critical evaluation of the effectiveness of technologies in one or a series of buildings:
Option 1: Technologies and their application in architecture (Design)
Students investigate the challenges associated with the application of particular technologies in actual buildings with integrating construction and environmental design strategies. Students are required to analyse how cost factors shape the design process, both in regards to construction cost, specification strategy, and in relation to operational energy use in the post-construction phase.
Option 2: Technology in the cultural context (Policy)
Students are required to consider how the wider cultural context of regulation, statutory legislative frameworks, procurement mechanisms, national economic incentives, and voluntary certification schemes all have an impact on building technology. Students develop an advanced understanding of design, technical factors, financial and cost control mechanisms which operate before, during and after the development of a project.Read more
AR836 - Design 4A
This module involves a consideration of design at an urban scale and is taught through a Unit system with individual Unit briefs interpreting this specification. Each Unit brief will offer the opportunity to analyse and critically appraise new hypotheses through the speculation of complex design proposals, and consider context in terms of history, policy, legislation, environment, economics and community. Unit briefs for this module may develop themes in parallel with Design 5a, with which it is co-taught in Units, and may continue these themes into the following term's design module(s).Read more
AR837 - Design 4B
This module involves the design of a singular or multiple architectural propositions, and is taught through a Unit system with individual Unit briefs interpreting this specification. Each Unit brief will offer the opportunity to develop a conceptual and critical approach to complex architectural design proposals that is developed into a comprehensive and integrated design project. Unit briefs for this module may develop themes in parallel with Design 5b, with which it is co-taught in Units, and may continue these themes from the preceding term's design module.
This module may be substituted by the MArch 'A Term Abroad module for students spending the Spring Term of Stage 4 abroad. Refer to MArch Programme Specification for more details.Read more
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AR838 - Design 5a
This module involves a consideration of design at an urban scale and is taught through a Unit system with individual Unit briefs interpreting this specification. Each Unit brief will offer the opportunity to analyse and critically appraise new hypotheses through the speculation of complex design proposals, and consider context in terms of history, policy, legislation, environment, economics and community. Unit briefs for this module may develop themes in parallel with Design 4a, with which it is co-taught in Units, and may continue themes into the following term's design module(s).
This module may be substituted by the MArch 'A Term Abroad module for students spending the Spring Term of Stage 4 abroad. Refer to MArch Programme Specification for more details.Read more
AR839 - Design 5B
This module involves the design of a singular or multiple architectural propositions, and is taught through a Unit system with individual Unit briefs interpreting this specification. Each Unit brief will offer the opportunity to develop a conceptual and critical approach to complex architectural design proposals that is developed into a comprehensive and integrated design project. Unit briefs for this module may develop themes in parallel with Design 4b, with which it is co-taught in Units, and may continue themes from the preceding term's design module(s).Read more
AR647 - Technology 5
This technology portfolio further develops how the concurrent and parallel design module (or exceptionally a design project already completed in a previous MArch design module) would be realised in terms of the technology and environmental considerations of the building programme. It further develops, demonstrates and integrates the building technologies and environmental control strategies underlying the design project. Each student is to produce a series of technical detail drawings from Scales 1:20 1: 5, together with a physical model of a key part of their building, for instance a section through the envelope at a corner, at a scale of 1:20 or as directed by the module convener. Students have to demonstrate a developed ability to critically evaluate and refine technical propositions through an iterative process. Additionally design drawings and models will be expected to demonstrate an advanced consideration for and provision of technology addressing the environmental exposure, temperature control, waterproofing, ventilation, circulation, structural support and integration, and sensibilities and sensitivities to appropriate building construction technologies. This will include an articulated attitude to the use of Material Tectonics. Students will need to summarise the iterative process and the final solution through clearly annotated drawings, sketches and models (both presentation and working models) appropriately.Read more
AR600 - Architectural Pedagogy
One of three optional modules taught in Autumn Term of stage 5, this module aims to provide students with a formal programme in teaching architectural design and communication. Students will develop a good understanding of architectural pedagogy, first through practical experience in first year undergraduate studio teaching and second through research in higher education. The focus is on teaching and learning models specific to architecture, such as studio-based tutorials and design reviews. The module is taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, group seminars and review sessions. Teaching and assessment of this module is divided into two components: 1) theory of architectural education 2) teaching practice. For the theory component students produce an academic essay based on a topic in architectural education. Through these essays students will explore a particular area of architectural education in greater depth. Students will choose a topic in consultation with the module convenor and will develop their research over the course of the term. Feedback is provided during weekly tutorials and two formative review sessions. During the reviews students will present their research and receive feedback from a panel of critics. In Autumn Term weekly lectures and a series of group seminars will be provided, introducing students to (a) educational theories and models of architectural education (b) research methodologies in education and (c) practical pedagogical methods used in studio teaching. For the practical component stage 5 students take on the role of Teaching Assistants throughout the first year undergraduate programme under the supervision of a dedicated studio tutors and the module convenor.Read more
AR601 - Artefact
Students following this module focus their research question around making and assembling an artefact, as a piece of research-through-practice, together with a 3500 word written essay in combination with the submission of the artefact., which it will frame and discuss theoretically. The module comprises 10 half-hour bi-weekly tutorials to develop an individual, integrated written and artefactual investigation with an assigned tutor; students develop a research question related to architecture or another field of environmental/spatial design. Students are expected to develop their ability to gather and synthesize data, as well as to analyse it in a coherent and convincing manner. In addition, they are expected to situate their own investigation in the broader context of architectural history, culture, and discourse.Read more
AR602 - Dissertation
Students produce their dissertation over Autumn and Spring terms. Students are required to develop their communication and research skills to a high professional standard. The module comprises 10 bi-weekly tutorials with an assigned tutor, directing students to develop a research question related to architecture or a related field of environmental/spatial design. Students are expected to develop their ability to gather and synthesize data, as well as to construct a coherent and convincing overall analysis. In addition, they are expected to situate their own investigation within the broader context of architectural history, culture, and discourse. Interdisciplinary investigations that further inform architectural thinking are encouraged.
This module may be substituted by the MArch 'A Term Abroad' module for students spending a term abroad. Refer to MArch Programme Specification for more details.Read more
Teaching and assessment
All students within a particular unit follow the same design project brief, while additional lecture and seminar modules support design through the teaching of technology, culture, dissertation and employability.
Assessment is by a variety of methods, including a portfolio of drawings, models and artefacts, written case study, essay, reflective blogs, oral presentation and dissertation.
This programme aims to:
- ensure that you achieve the standard of Part 2 of the professional qualifications through development of your knowledge, understanding and abilities
- promote creativity and excellence in architectural design; from imaginative concepts to thoughtful project development and the integration of technology strategically and in detail
- develop your knowledge of the professional context of architecture and ensure that you are aware of your professional responsibilities
- develop your understanding of architecture within a broader cultural context
- promote and support your independent self-learning and communication skills
- accommodate a wide range of views and develop your specialised architectural interests
- develop your understanding of how the boundaries of knowledge are advanced through research and promote originality in applying your knowledge
- develop your initiative, responsibility and sound critical judgement in making decisions about complex architectural issues.
- enable you to develop strategies for self-improvement and commitment to life skills and learning
- support you in achieving your potential in all parts of the programme.
Knowledge and understanding
You will gain knowledge and understanding of:
- the application of academic discipline and a professional approach to MArch work
- an appropriate philosophical approach which reveals an understanding of theory in a cultural context
- the influences on the contemporary built environment of individual buildings, the design of cities, past and present societies and wider global issues
- the histories and theories of architecture and urban design, the history of ideas, and the related disciplines of art, cultural studies and landscape studies and its application in critical debate
- briefs and how to critically appraise them to ensure that the design response is appropriate to the site and context, and for reasons such as sustainability and budget
- inter-relationships between people, buildings and the environment and an understanding of the need to relate buildings and the spaces between them to human needs and scales
- regulatory requirements, including the needs of the disabled, health and safety legislation and building regulations and developmental control, that guide building construction
- the contribution of other professionals in the design process showing an appropriate use of team working skills, recognising the importance of current methods in the construction industry
- building technologies, environmental design, construction methods in relation to human well-being, welfare of future generations, the natural world and the consideration of a sustainable environment
- the impact on design of legislation, codes of practices and health and safety both during the construction and occupation of a project
- how cost control mechanisms operate within the development of an architectural project
- the basic principles of business management and factors related to running a design practice and how architects organise, administer and manage an architectural project, recognising current and emerging trends in the construction industry such as partnering, integrated project process, value engineering and risk management
- the inter-relationships of individuals and organisations involved in the procurement and delivery of architectural projects, and how these are defined and effected through a variety of contractual organisational structures
- the fundamental legal, professional and statutory requirements as they are relevant to building design and practice, with particular reference to matters relating to health and safety and universal design for access
- the professional duties and responsibilities of architects, as defined and described in the Codes and Standards relating to their professional practice.
You develop intellectual skills in:
- generating and systematically testing, analysing and appraising design options, and drawing conclusions which display methodological and theoretical rigour
- independently defining and appraising ideas in relation to a design and to the work of others
- critically appraising and forming considered judgements about spatial, aesthetic, technical and social qualities of a design within the scope and scale of a wider environment
- identifying and managing individual learning needs so as to prepare for and maintain professional standards commensurate with qualification
- applying relevant research to the ideas, development and quality of the task
- formulating a research proposal with its appropriate methodology.
You gain subject-specific skills in:
- integrating knowledge of the social, political, economic and professional context that guides building construction
- devising structural and constructional strategies for a complex building or group of buildings employing integrative knowledge of structural theories, constructional techniques and processes, the physical properties and characteristics of building materials and components and the environmental impact of specification choices, and the provision of building services
- integrating knowledge of the principles and theories associated with visual, thermal and acoustic environments
- integrating knowledge of climatic design and the relationship between climate, built form, construction, lifestyle, energy consumption and human well-being
- using architectural representations having critically appraised the most appropriate techniques available.
You will gain the following transferable skills:
- using visual, verbal and written communication and appropriate media (including sketching, digital and electronic techniques) to represent analysis and critical appraisal of proposals of complex designs to professional and lay audiences
- producing documentation and reports which are clear, analytical and logical covering a range of architectural issues of culture, theory and design
- working as part of a team
- researching, speculating, appraising and drawing conclusions about a range of architectural issues
- learning skills including the ability to plan and carry through a project programme
- ability to be self-critical about the work and constructive in how to address and progress it
- putting forward rational arguments and form independent views based on a critical approach to the field of study
- reflecting on work progress and develop enhancement strategies.
KSA enjoys a high employment rate for recent MArch graduates, with large percentages securing jobs in major London design practices, among them Grimshaw Architects and Terry Farrell and Partners. Practices are attracted to our graduates due to the portfolio of diverse modules that consider a range of issues. Other students have gone on to work for major public agencies and universities.
Architecture students who graduated from Kent in 2015 were the most successful in the UK at finding work or further study opportunities (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey).
Transferable skills training
Studying at KSA will equip you for a successful career in architecture. In addition to your professional skills, you will also develop a wide range of transferable skills in areas such as communication, team-working, problem-solving and computer literacy.
Kent’s MArch architecture programme is validated by RIBA, and the award is prescribed by the ARB as giving exemption from Part 2 of their professional examinations.
The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications, typical requirements are listed below, students offering alternative qualifications should contact the Admissions Office for further advice. It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.
To be eligible to study on the MArch programme, you will need an undergraduate degree in Architecture, 2:1 or first class classification (or equivalent GPA or grade), with a demonstrated strength in Design Portfolio. Successful applicant’s transcript should indicate a mark or grade in their final year of design, or final design project, in the 2.1 range (60% or above, or equivalent GPA or Grade).
Applicants will also need a minimum of six months' experience in architectural practice.
Traditionally students entering the MArch with a first degree that gives exemption from ARB/RIBA Part 1 graduate with the award of MArch (with ARB and RIBA Part 2 exemption).
International entrants without ARB/RIBA Part 1 exemption (or with RIBA but not ARB Part 1 exemption) will also qualify for the same award.
Any student already following the MArch, without ARB Part 1, or without a first degree giving exemption from ARB Part 1, may apply directly to the ARB to take ARB Part 1 as an external candidate. This would involve paying a fee, submitting a portfolio, and attending an interview in London. Procedures are explained at the ARB website www.arb.org.uk/student Please note: we do not arrange this, and cannot guarantee success but will offer advice to students enrolled on the MArch in advance of their direct approach to ARB.
This may be of advantage to students specifically seeking an MArch award with RIBA Pt 2 exemption, as successfully obtaining ARB Part 1 directly from ARB before graduation would graduate with the award of MArch (with ARB & RIBA Part 2 exemption).
MArch graduates without ARB Pt 1 or a qualification giving exemption, will need to obtain both a recognised ARB Part 1 and Part 3 before they can apply to the ARB to be registered in the UK as ‘Architect’.
Please contact the School for further information, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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|BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)||
The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country.
If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.
Meet our staff in your country
For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.
English Language Requirements
Please see our English language entry requirements web page.
Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.
General entry requirements
Please also see our general entry requirements.
The 2018/19 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.*
Your fee status
The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.
General additional costs
RIBA offers a hardship fund for eligible students.