Taught course

Architectural Design

Cardiff University · Welsh School of Architecture

Entry requirements

This programme would be suitable for graduates in architecture or a similar design-led subject (such as landscape architecture or interior design). Applicants should normally hold a first or second class upper division Honours degree. Students would be expected to show high levels of creative design thinking through their academic transcript and through the submission of an A3/A4 portfolio of academic project work.

Portfolios should provide evidence of imaginative & conceptual thinking, spatial sensibility, technical resolution and overall communication of ideas. Portfolios must be accompanied by endorsement from the student’s previous educational establishment confirming that the work is their own.

Months of entry


Course content

This one year full-time MA in Architectural Design is aimed at students who are looking for a rich, engaging and design-focused post-graduate programme, but do not wish to qualify as a UK registered architect. It shares many of the design elements of our established MArch (Master of Architecture/ Part 2) programme, but provides greater flexibility in terms of study choices, allowing you to engage with the interests of our research staff.

In the programme, we will focus on using design-led research to inform your learning and investigation. You will develop your existing design skills by focussing on how design thinking might address current global challenges. This approach offers an intense and lively forum for the exploration and discussion of design issues. This is why we place particular emphasis on using design as a means to conduct research. Researching through design is a creative activity that closely integrates the process of designing with the act of researching, so that they can mutually inform each other. You will explore problems by making and testing design propositions, introducing and developing established knowledge as and when required. Through project work, you will draw on knowledge from many disciplines.

Students will have the options to develop their design thinking in the School’s principal research areas which currently include:

  • Low carbon/energy design and construction
  • Building performance, prediction and evaluation
  • Making/prototyping
  • Materials
  • Sustainable cities
  • Urban regeneration
  • Architectural practice
  • Asian architecture, art and culture
  • Building conservation
  • History and theory of architecture and urbanism
  • User-centred design of the built environment

You will work in small groups called ‘design units’ under the guidance of an experienced tutor and also work independently to develop a research-focussed approach to your studies. This will require you to question and evaluate evidence and think creatively and iteratively. Emphasis will be on individual discovery and personal reflection as a learning process.

Fees and funding

Visit our website for information on Funding and fees.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Postgraduate Enquiries
+44 (0)29 2087 0084