Taught course


Oxford Brookes University · School of Architecture

Entry requirements

The course is intended for students who have completed their professional role-orientated education and wish to undertake speculative design-based research. Thus it is expected that applicants from the field of architecture will already possess an accredited graduate diploma or postgraduate degree in architecture (UK), a professional master's in architecture (US), or the international equivalent.

Admission to the course will normally be open to applicants who fulfil one of the following requirements:

  • hold a good approved undergraduate honours degree, or equivalent overseas qualification, in architecture or in a discipline relevant to architecture
  • have an appropriate professional background and experience of designing architecture or designing in a discipline that has a strong relationship or similarities to architecture
  • are students in their final year of the MArchD in Architecture at Oxford Brookes University, who have demonstrated their proficiency in written and design work.

The course also welcomes applicants from other design fields such as product design, graphic design and interior design, and would expect such applicants to possess an excellent first degree.

Months of entry


Course content

At the heart of the course is a unique and radical idea about teaching design. Embedded in the curriculum is a process, which enables students to develop their own design methods. The course has a distinct, and clear character. Students acquire unfamiliar basic skills in modules attached to the main design course. These relate to the expanded world of architecture, in particular photography, film-making, and the devising of narratives.

The development of imagination, individuality, and inspiration are key. It needs to be said that underlying this is a preference for complexity, asymmetry, and incompleteness. These are qualities that have a positive correlation with independence, originality, verbal fluency, breadth of interest, impulsiveness, and expansiveness, which stimulate the search for, and production of, new approaches, and reject facile solutions.

This essentially experimental process is based on the development of an experiential understanding of the world. At the heart of this approach to teaching is a whole set of values which redefine the function of architecture in terms of the human relationships that underlie society, how people really live, relate to each other and use the physical context of their environment.

Over the 10 years of this course running, the results have been spectacular and innovative.

Why apply for this course?

  • Oxford Brookes University is unusual in offering this design-based speculative research course in architecture that builds on its excellent reputation for architectural courses at postgraduate and undergraduate level.
  • Brookes' School of Architecture is recognised as one of the country's leading schools and is consistently ranked by The Architects' Journal as one of the five best schools in the UK.
  • Students from the school figure regularly in national and international prizes and awards, and go on to work for many of the best-known practices in the country.
  • We have an international reputation in research, in areas ranging from sustainable design to modular buildings and from design for well-being to vernacular architecture.
  • Staff in the school regularly secure research funding from the UK's research councils and the European Union as well as industry, with an annual research grant income averaging £1,000,000 in recent years. This research expertise feeds directly into the teaching programme at all levels, from undergraduate to PhD.
  • The School of Architecture has dedicated studio space and postgraduate facilities.

Information for international students

English language requirements - at least 6.5 in IELTS, with a minimum of 6.0 across all four components of the test.

Preparation courses for International and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you to meet the entry requirements for this course and also familiarise you with university life. You may also be able to apply for one student visa to cover both courses.

Take our Pre-Master's course to help you to meet both the English language and academic entry requirements for your master's course.

If you need to improve your English language, we have pre-sessional English language courses available to help you to meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s.

If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information, local contacts and programmes within your country, please have a look at our country pages.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MArch
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • PGDip
    full time
    6 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

School of Architecture
01865 483810