Taught course

MArch Sustainable Architecture (Part 2 course)

Centre for Alternative Technology
MArch (ARB/RIBA Part 2)

Entry requirements

Undergraduate degree carrying an exemption from ARB Part I or a relevant undergraduate degree. If you have a relevant undergraduate degree that does not carry an exemption from ARB’s Part 1 examination you will be required to successfully complete the ARB’s Part 1 examination before you can register as an architect in the UK.

Digital portfolio of work.

IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) is required for applicants whose first language is not English.

This course is highly practical and requires attendance in person at CAT. If you live outside of the UK or EEA and require a student visa you cannot study this course as we do not hold the required Tier 4 licence. You may instead wish to look at our MSc Green Building, which is available via distance learning.

Months of entry


Course content

Masters in Sustainable Architecture

An ARB Part II Masters in Architecture taught at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT), the pioneer of sustainability practice. Intended specifically for students pursuing a career in Architecture, this course offers a unique combination of design-based academic study and practical hands-on learning.

CAT’s 40 years of sustainable education experience has led to the development of courses that not only tackle environmental issues, but focus on sustainability at the core of every aspect of learning. Teaching is delivered in the WISE building - itself an example of recent developments in sustainable construction - and includes a mix of studio- based design work, lectures, seminars and practicals.

Surrounded by mountains and woodlands, this location fosters a unique learning experience in a truly sustainable environment.

Students are introduced to a range of skills that are increasingly in demand within the building industry. The focus is on designing buildings in their context, to allow for adaptation to the effects of climate change and to create healthy environments for all.

As of 2019 we also offer a part time, 3 year route to study MArch. This allows for greater flexibility and means you can still have spare time when studying for your degree. A great option for people who want to maintain part time employment or have responsibilities at home.

Masters Aims

The M.Arch: Sustainable Architecture is aimed at the architecture student who understands that the world is in a time of transition and that building design plays an important role in environmental impact. Therefore there is great potential within the profession for environmental change and this is pivotal to the entire sustainability debate.

• Aimed at students who wish to pursue a career in architecture and wish to attain a highly credited Part II degree with ARB accreditation.

• Graduates of this course will understand built environment design in the context of adaptation to sustainability issues.

• Monthly intensive residential study weeks immerse students in their projects.

• Collaboration with external designers, architects and community projects add valuable practical experience to the students' resumes.

• Intensive twenty-two month course allows graduates to respond to the urgent need for a greater understanding of sustainability issues in the built environment.

Programme Content

The following modules are delivered via a lively mixture of practical workshops, studio-based design work, site visits, seminars and lectures.

  • Integrated Design Project 1
  • Integrated Design Project 2
  • Design & build Project
  • Final Design Project
  • Technical Report
  • Architectural Analysis through Writing 1
  • MArch Research Paper
  • Professional Studies

This course is created and delivered by CAT and is validated by the University of East London. The course is due to be reviewed in early 2022 so this description of the course is as its currently delivered. Some aspects may change before the start of the 2022 academic year.

What qualification will you receive?

Successful completion of the programme at the Centre for Alternative Technology leads to the award of Masters of Architecture (M.Arch) by the University of East London.

Methods of assessment

Students are continuously assessed via essays, reports, presentations and project design work.

There is a final exhibition of students’ designs exhibited in the prestigious WISE building and assessed by external examiners.

The M.Arch: Sustainable Architecture is accredited by the Architects Registration Board (ARB). The M.Arch: Sustainable Architecture offers a masters level Part II architecture course and will be subject to periodic reviews, for the purposes of entry onto the United Kingdom Register of Architects. Prescription is normally granted on a four-yearly basis subject to ARB being satisfied that standard requirements have been met.

Why study at CAT?

Studying at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) is a truly unique experience. For the past 40 years CAT has been at the forefront of the environmental movement, pioneering low-carbon living and renewable technology. At the Graduate School of the Environment (GSE), students benefit from our extensive practical and academic knowledge, graduating with the skills needed to become leading players in the sustainability sector. Find out more about our facilities here.

Hands-on learning

At CAT, hands-on learning takes place side by side with academic study. Residential on-site block learning weeks are taught at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT), a truly unique and inspiring learning environment. Nestled in a disused slate quarry on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park, CAT is a living laboratory for practical, sustainable solutions. It contains some of the most innovative and renowned environmentally conscious buildings in the country, as well as one of the most diverse range of installed renewable technologies, on site water and sewage treatment, sustainably managed woodland and acres of organic gardens.

Practical building and knowledge sharing

Alongside their design and academic work, students of the Master in Architecture also participate in a variety of building projects. This allows them to get practical experience and understanding of the complexities of what happens once their designs leave the architectural studio. During these projects and other teaching activities architecture students may work and meet alongside MSc students who will go into complimentary building professions allowing for networking and a wealth of transferable knowledge.

Immersive learning environment

Residential module weeks include lectures, seminars, group work and practicals. These module weeks provide a truly immersive environment to escape daily life and apply yourself to new learning. Many eminent experts give guest lectures or hold seminars during these modules, as it is a course which seeks to draw on the expertise and learning of the whole environmental sector.

Creating high standards of Sustainable Architecture

We pride ourselves on the high standard of work that our graduates continue to produce. To see for yourself, have a look at some of the projects our students produce.

Is this the course for you?

Interested in studying this course? Join us for our next open day or contact us.

This course is created and delivered by CAT and validated by the University of East London.

Find out more about the course on the CAT website.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MArch (ARB/RIBA Part 2)
    full time
    22 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    • Distance learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Alis Rees