Taught course


University of Portsmouth · Portsmouth School of Architecture

Entry requirements

A minimum of a second-class honours degree or above with Royal Institute of British Architects part 1 exemption. Students with appropriate qualifications and design skills may be accepted directly. An online portfolio submission may be required as part of the selection process. Applicants would ideally have some experience working within an Architecture practice. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 or equivalent with no component less than 6.0.

Months of entry


Course content

Why take this course?

The Master of Architecture provides a vibrant, challenging and expansive programme aimed at equipping you with the professional and creative skills for a successful career as an architect and leads to Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Part 2 exemption. Through the design studios you will be exposed to a range of related architectural interests, including urbanism, landscape, practice, sustainability and culture, providing a cross-disciplinary learning environment that is appropriate in today’s professionally complex architectural world. We can also provide all incoming, full-time MArch students with funding toward a Course field trip.

What will I experience?

On this course you will undertake studio-based design projects, with opportunities to:

  • engage with current collaborative projects with academic institutions in other countries – in the past these have included Turkey, Spain, Denmark and Australia
  • work on projects with 'live' clients through our RIBA registered Project Office practice
  • opt to study at a choice of European universities through the ERASMUS exchange scheme

What opportunities might it lead to?

This course is professionally accredited by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). It is structured to ensure the integration and synthesis of contextual, technical and professional complexities inherent within the design process, helping you to engage with the prescribed ARB/RIBA criteria, and attain RIBA Part 2 exemption.

Module Details

The design curriculum is delivered through studios, each having a distinct research topic relating to the research and practice of the studio tutors. The studio topics and pedagogy provide a framework and guidance for student projects in Year One and support in Year Two as you develop your particular thesis questions into design propositions. Studios topics change annually in response to current issues in practice and society, challenging the architectural profession, and offering variety in scale,content and context in the UK and abroad.

Please see our proposed 2016/17 MArch studios below.

MArch Studios 2016-17*

Latent Culture- Exploring the Reading, Mapping and Making of Place. Mapping, reading and drawing out, Studio 1 will explore cartography, archaeology, memory, narrative and material of place. Through a series of thematic studies – text and making based – the studio will bring together an understanding of place using artefacts, films, maps and narratives. This studio believes that thinking creatively can transform everyday life and make the ordinary, extraordinary. Working to the visioning statements of both the school and university, Studio 1 will engage with public and social programmes within our local context, working with live projects, real briefs and competitions to test and demonstrate contemporary place-based design.

MArch 2 Studio, Tutors (Studio 1): Tina Wallbridge, Pablo Martinez Capdevila

Littoral Landscapes: Change Labs for Coastal Experimentation. This studio will experiment with the ‘seeds’ of transformation, focussing on littoral landscapes – coastal villages, towns and cities in the UK and abroad. The studio is the Lab, the seeds are about speculation, growth, invention and entrepreneurialism - small changes which can lead to revolutions. Adaptable, incremental, contextual, controversial – the studio will experiment and explore how programs, briefs, buildings and public space can adapt to the changing contexts, social/environmental/technological interactions, embodied in the landscape of land and sea. This is underpinned by our pursuit of architecture which has integral relationship with the landscape, exposing genius loci. MArch 1: Studio research to define UK studio site(s). MArch 2: HYPOthesis, thesis dissertation and studio research to define individual or group site(s).
MArch 1 & 2 Studios, Tutors (Studio 2): Nick Timms, Paula Craft-Pegg, Darren Bray

Urban Futures. Cities constantly change in response to changes in society. Today, major environmental and economic challenges we are facing require new models for the built environment that are capable to be resource efficient, adaptable to environmental modifications and designed to facilitate placemaking. This studio asks you to investigate such models, thus prefiguring future cities and how architecture and urban patterns can contribute to a higher quality of life in an age of rapid change. It is an experimental studio with a strong research component and a requirement to think out of the box. You will be asked to focus on a specific urban challenge (e.g. ecology, health and flooding) and design buildings and urban development accordingly.MArch 1 & 2 Studios, Tutors (Studio 3): Fabiano Lemes, Silvio Caputo

The Emergent Studio: Architecture of, on and around the Edge. The Emergent Studio explores the idea of making architecture within cultural contexts that are not ‘our own’; always in a location that in some way exemplifies an edge condition. Our theoretical platform for exploring these conditions has been, and continues to be, rooted within phenomenology, drawing from the writings of the humane Nordic modernist tradition, in informing our methodologies of interrogation and design. The adoption of the principal of ‘Ethical Praxis’ informs our ethos of providing transformational learning opportunities driven from a phenomenological perspective, supported by our research activity.
MArch 1 & 2 Studios, Tutors (Studio 4): Roger Tyrrell, Greg Bailey, Darren Bray

Portsmouth: The Anatomy of "The Island City.” This studio continues our reflections on Portsmouth's response to climate change induced rise in sea levels adding an analysis of infrastructures and their impact on developing Urban & Architectural visions for the city. Studio MUD focuses on direct engagement with design as a way of understanding both the design process and design issues set. Currently the issues we are addressing relate to Urban & Architectural responses to Climate Change Induced Rise in Sea Levels and other required urban infrastructure.
MArch 1 & 2 Studios, Tutors (Studio 5): Francis Graves, Walter Menteth

Tactical Urbanism. Tactical Urbanism will investigate, in a radical and provocative way, how a university environment will change in the future and create alternative and hypothetical social scenarios as starting point for your design project. The aim is not to create a futuristic environment but to challenge the current paradigms and try to address the real problems and issues that our society will face in a near 2050 future.
MArch 1 Studio, Tutors (Studio 6): Guido Robazza, Roberto Braglia

Coastal Latent Dynamics: Material Voids. This new studio will frame the architectural process, starting with a close up of the Micro (the detail, the material qualities of place, prototyping), continuing to a wide shot of the Macro (the notion of municipality in a coastal context) and then zooming into the Meso (dealing with the opportunities of voids, empty buildings and their environs). We will all be taking part in a constant and continuous intellectual journey reciprocating among extreme scales; Micro, Macro and Meso. Through two field trips to Liverpool and Le Havre, the Studio will explore abandoned structures, their transformations and ultimate use to enhance society and connect these Cities to their waterfronts. We are a new Studio that works vertically, setting at its core the sharing of knowledge, experience and strategies among tutors and students across both years, making ‘stuff’ and expanding our horizons, while mastering intricate elements of the profession.
MArch 1 & 2 Studios, Tutors (Studio 7): Martin Andrews, Phevos Kallitsis

*Please note: studio offers may change due to staff and student numbers.

Programme Assessment

You will be taught through a combination of individual and group tutorials in your selected studio, while year-wide units are lecture-based, complemented by seminars and workshops. Our studio-teaching method will mean that you will be working with tutors with professional and academic experience in their field and all unit programmes are complemented by contributions from external professionals.

Studio programmes will often entail shared sessions with European and, sometimes, other overseas institutions, in countries such as Denmark, Turkey, Morocco, Italy and Spain. Representatives of local public and private bodies and agencies frequently contribute to studio tutorials and crits. All this helps to ensure that your learning and studio research outputs can have regional impact and global reach.

Design assessment is through studio review (crit) as work progresses and portfolio assessment at the end of the academic year. ‘Taught’ units, in support of the design curriculum, are assessed through various forms of illustrated written coursework – both individual and group, such as reports and the Dissertation. Various forms of formative feedback are provided at a number of key points for all units.

Student Destinations

Careers in architecture are demanding ever-increasing specialism and professional competence.

The unique learning experience we offer on this course will enable you to develop as an expansive, creative and professional individual capable of success in a range of creative and professional environments. The breadth of engagement with the discipline and range of studios ensures that you will become confident in responding to the demands of the profession. The regional, national and international destinations of the School’s alumni are testament to this, as are our graduate employment take-up statistics.

Fees and funding

UK students
full time: £9,250 p/a*, part time: £3,080 p/a* *Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.
International students
full time: £12,600 p/a*, part time: £6,300 p/a* *Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.

Qualification and course duration


full time
24 months
part time
48 months

Course contact details

Admissions Team
+44 (0)23 9284 5566