Architecture - MArch - ARB/RIBA Part 2

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.


Our MArch architecture programme is validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The award is also prescribed by the Architects’ Registration Board (ARB) as giving exemption from Part 2 of their professional examinations.

Graduates from the MArch programme can 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.

Our degree programme

This 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. For graduates with the required exemptions from professional examinations, this leads toward registration in the UK as an ‘Architect’.

You study modules covering design, technology, employability and cultural context. These place a prominent focus on your design skills, while also developing your understanding of sustainability, critical thinking and professional practice.

Teaching is delivered through a unit system and generally involves a hypothetical design project. You work with a mix of Stage 4 and 5 students and learn through an iterative process, facilitated by seminars, tutorials and peer-to-peer learning. Additional lecture and seminar modules cover technology, cultural context, dissertation and employability.

Term abroad

You have the chance to take a work placement or study abroad for a term in your second year. Previous study destinations have included:

  • Virginia Tech (US)
  • École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture et de Paysage de Lille.

Study resources

Our open-plan studios are at the creative heart of our teaching. It’s a place where our students can work on projects, share ideas and inspire each other.

The hi-tech Digital Crit space provides a more formal environment for sharing work and getting feedback. It is also used to present finished work in a group environment.

Overall, our facilities include:

  • modern design workshops
  • dedicated model workshops
  • laser-cutting facilities
  • computer studio and labs
  • Digital Crit spaces for presenting designs, including uTouch HD screens
  • an excellent library collection of books, journals and electronic resources.

Extra activities

Many of our students like to join the Kent Architectural Student Association (KASA). It is run by students and in previous years has organised:

  • social events
  • design competitions
  • talks from experts in architecture, graphic design, product design and art.

Kent School of Architecture and Planning also puts on special events that you are welcome to attend. These may include:

  • open lectures
  • research seminars
  • exhibitions
  • conferences and symposia.

Professional network

Kent School of Architecture and Planning has a wide professional network and invites guest speakers from inspirational practices such as:

  • Farrells
  • Carl Turner Architects
  • Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
  • Guy Hollaway Architects.
Architecture at Kent was ranked 7th for graduate prospects in The Guardian University Guide 2021.

Entry requirements

You are more than your grades

At Kent we look at your circumstances as a whole before deciding whether to make you an offer to study here. Find out more about how we offer flexibility and support before and during your degree.

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

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 following completion of first degree.

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 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:

  • Certificate

    Access to HE Diploma


  • Certificate

    BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)


International students

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. 

However, please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

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. 

I love the University and I found the School to be a very close community. So, coming back for the MArch was a no-brainer really.

Jasmine Davey - Master of Architecture


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Course structure

Duration: 2 years full-time

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.

AR538 - Cultural Context

AR540 - Employability

AR546 - Technology 4

AR836  - Design 4A

AR837  - Design 4B


The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

  • Home full-time £9250
  • EU full-time £15400
  • International full-time £20500

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

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.

Additional costs

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.


RIBA offers a hardship fund for eligible students. 

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.

Contact hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Programme aims

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. 

Learning outcomes

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.


Intellectual skills

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.

Subject-specific skills

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.

Transferable skills

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.

Teaching Excellence Framework

All University of Kent courses are regulated by the Office for Students.

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.

TEF Gold logo

Independent rankings

Architecture at Kent was ranked 16th in The Complete University Guide 2021 and The Times Good University Guide 2021.

Architecture at Kent was ranked 16th in The Times Good University Guide 2021 and 7th for graduate prospects in The Guardian University Guide 2021.

Architecture at Kent was ranked 1st for research intensity in The Complete University Guide 2021.


Many of our graduates go on to work in well-known architectural practices, such as:

  • Grimshaw Architects
  • Farrells
  • HLM Architects
  • HOK
  • Jestico + Whiles
  • Herzog & de Meuron

Our graduates have also followed careers in professions related to design, graphics and visualisation.

Help finding a job

Kent School of Architecture and Planning has links to professional practices and this network is very useful to students when looking for work in an architectural practice. You are encouraged to network at our events, and we run special sessions to help you with writing your CV.

The University also has a friendly Careers and Employability Service, which can give you advice on how to:

  • apply for jobs
  • write a good CV
  • perform well in interviews.

Career path into architecture

Qualifying as a professional architect involves a specific route of study and work experience.

  • This MArch degree programme provides exemption from the RIBA/ARB Part 2 examinations.
  • Following the MArch, you continue to work in an architectural practice until you have a total of 24 months of professional experience (including the period of professional experience gained before entering the MArch programme).
  • You are then eligible to take Part 3 of the ARB/RIBA examinations, which lead to full professional registration as an architect.

Career-enhancing skills

You graduate with an excellent grounding in architectural knowledge and a range of professional skills in:

  • visual and verbal presentations
  • digital media
  • model-making
  • freehand drawing.

  To help you to appeal to employers, you also develop key transferable skills in:

  • computing
  • analysing data
  • writing well.

You can also gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.

Professional recognition

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.

Apply for this course

Our application system (Kent Vision) allows you to save and return to your application at any time.

Apply for Architecture ARB/RIBA Part 2 - MArch

Contact us


United Kingdom/EU enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 768896


International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254