An undergraduate degree (UK 2:1 or equivalent) in BArch, BEng in Architecture, BA (Hons) in Architecture or equivalent. Applicants are required to submit a portfolio of their own creative works as a student and a practicing architect/intern (indicating where and when the work was done, who the tutor/supervisor was, who was part of the team and what the applicants' role was in the team, A3-size, typically 10 to 30 pages, in PDF format). An internship in an architecture-related practice is recommended, but not required. We might accept applicants with substantial work experience or an outstanding portfolio even if their grades are lower than the minimum entry requirements.
Minimum entry requirements
- Upper second class (2:1) honours
- 3.0 Cumulative GPA (out of 4) or 3.2 Cumulative GPA in the final two years of your undergraduate programme
- Equivalent academic qualifications
English language requirements
If English is not your native language or if you have not studied in English at degree level, you will need to provide evidence of your English proficiency. You should normally possess one of the following qualifications:
- IELTS: 6.5 (minimum of 5.5 in all sections)
- TOEFL iBT: 90 (minimum of 21 in any skill)
In exceptional circumstances, individual cases will be considered on their own merits. You may be required to attend interviews or tests to further demonstrate your English proficiency.
If you miss the English language requirements by 0.5-1.0 of an IELTS band, or a similar number for other English language exams, you can be admitted to the programme after successful completion of our five- or eight-week intensive English presessional course.
You can also apply to take the XJTLU English language test in lieu of an IELTS/TOEFL or equivalent. Based on the score, students may be admitted or may be required to take and successfully complete the five- or eight-week intensive English presessional course.
Additionally, students may be required to complete English language courses on a pass/fail basis as part of the additional learning activity requirement during their studies at XJTLU.
Months of entry
The Master of Architectural Design programme prepares students for an international career in architecture, creating bridges between Eastern and Western culture. Understanding mobility, creative leadership, as well as advanced technical skills as key professional abilities in a rapidly globalising world, the programme attracts international students preparing for a career related to China, as well as domestic students preparing for both national and international careers. The programme includes architectural design studios as well as humanistic and technical modules. A student-centred learning environment offers rich opportunities, design-driven research and individual experimental enquiry to foster students' conceptual design skills as well as research and writing skills in preparation for both professional practice and PhD-level studies. Graduates of the programme are well-rounded, creatively confident and technically skilled professionals ready to create a global future.
Students graduating from the programme qualify for RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Part 2 validation, which is the second out of three stages in the formal educational process required to register as a professional architect in the United Kingdom.
The programme offers an international perspective, while at the same time enabling students to address the demands and opportunities of a rapidly urbanising China. Graduates from this programme receive an international Master of Architectural Design degree from the University of Liverpool that is recognised by the Chinese Ministry of Education.
Why should I study Architectural Design at XJTLU?
This is the first and only postgraduate architecture course in mainland China validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). It is an English-taught, 2-year, full-time professional programme, that delivers the learning outcomes for RIBA Part 2.
As China experiences unprecedented transformations as well as increasing professional, industrial and academic collaboration with international partners, this programme educates the next generation of forward-looking global architects who have the necessary cross-cultural awareness, social and environmental responsibility, creative and critical capability, technical competence and professional attitude to enable and to define ongoing and future transformations in the building environment, domestically and internationally. Emphasising and engaging with the local Chinese context while maintaining an international perspective, the programme is oriented towards the highest international standards and it attracts both domestic and international students and academic staff.
Design studios are the core of the programme, taking advantage of ongoing research in the department and the specific needs of the profession within China and across the world. Design studios are often taught with involvement of design practitioners from local and international firms and typically address themes such as:
- Innovative approaches to urban development and regeneration
- New high-rise building typologies for sustainable living
- Advanced digital design and fabrication
- Architectural theory and criticism
- Individually defined themes addressing contemporary social and cultural issues
Knowledge and skills
The Master of Architectural Design programme enables students to develop architectural design projects at an advanced level, including the creative, technical, and research skills needed, and educate you in the areas of theory, history, and criticism of architecture. Key knowledge and skills include:
- the ability to generate complex design proposals showing understanding of current architectural issues, originality in the application of subject knowledge and, where appropriate, to test new hypotheses and pursue creative experiments
- competence in a comprehensive range of visual, oral and written media to test, analyse, critically appraise and explain design proposals
- the ability to creatively evaluate materials, processes and techniques that apply to complex architectural designs and building construction, and to integrate these into practicable design proposals
- critical understanding of how knowledge is advanced through research to produce clear, logically argued and original written work relating to architectural culture, theory and design
- understanding of the context of the architecture and the construction industry, including the architect’s role in the processes of procurement and building production, and legislation
- problem solving skills, professional judgement, and the ability to take the initiative and make appropriate decisions in complex and unpredictable circumstances.
- Design studio I
- Applied technology in architecture
- Architectural theory and criticism
- Design studio II
- Advanced professional practice
- Topics in architectural history
- Design studio III (individual briefs)
- Architectural design and research methods
- Practice based enquiry and architectural representation
- Design studio IV (thesis project, individual briefs)
- Thesis (dissertation)
Additional learning activity:
The programme includes 200 hours of additional learning activities per semester, most of which are chosen individually by students. They should normally be spread equally over teaching semesters and the summer and winter breaks. An individual student-learning plan will be established at the outset of each semester with the academic advisor. Examples of ALAs include:
- Postgraduate English (LAN901 . Mandatory, if required by the programme director)
- Postgraduate English (LAN902. Mandatory, if required by the programme director)
- Chinese language (CLT901-906. Mandatory for international students)
- Graduate teaching assistantship
- Graduate research assistantship (if available)
- Graduate practice placement/internship
- Participation in Level Three or Level Four lecture-and-seminar based modules in the built environment cluster
- Participation in Level Three or Level Four modules from other XJTLU departments or the Language Centre
- Selected topics in design tools and methods
- Selected topics in advanced digital design
- Selected topics in architectural research methods
- Selected topics in architectural representation
- Independent studies with an ARC tutor
- Scholarly presentation of a research paper
- Publication of a paper in a peer-reviewed architecture-related journal
- Personal and employability skills (MAN903)
This programme provides you with an appropriate foundation for employment in the architectural profession at an advanced level. It also provides the basis for enrolment in a PhD research degree. Our graduates are appreciated for their unique skill set and find excellent opportunities in the building and creative industries, in local and international architecture firms, as well as in architecture administration, research and higher education institutions. Our highly international academic staff offer you individual career advice for entry into many job markets in Asia, Europe, Australia and the Americas.
The Department of Architecture fosters a constantly growing professional network in architecture and related fields. Being located close to the metropolitan area of Shanghai, with its dynamic architecture job market that attracts many international firms, means we can assist you to pursue job opportunities, internships and work placements in China and abroad.
Teaching and Research Assistants
Our students are eligible for positions as graduate teaching and/or research assistants at XJTLU, working up to 10 hours per week. These can contribute towards Additional Learning Activities and include a salary.
Closing date for applications (for September 2019 entry)
30 June 2019 for international and students from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan
Information for international students
Visa for entry into China
There are a number of visas available to international students who want to study in China, depending on the duration of your intended period of study. Staff in our International Student Recruitment and Support team can advise you on the correct visa to apply for.
Students should contact us at International@xjtlu.edu.cn for more information on their options.
Fees and funding
XJTLU offers a generous scholarship of up to 50 percent of the total tuition fee for all full-time masters programmes based on academic merit. Should you wish to apply for XJTLU master scholarship, please submit a scholarship application letter in your application stating the reasons why you should be considered.
If you are a graduate of XJTLU, the University of Liverpool or Xi’an Jiaotong University, you will automatically receive a discount of 20 percent of the tuition fee.
Masters students have the option to pay tuition fees in instalments each semester. You can also choose to pay the fees upfront at the time of registration, in this case a discount of five percent of the total fees will be offered.
You will be asked to indicate how you would like to pay the fees when you confirm your acceptance of the unconditional offer.
Qualification and course duration
Course contact details
- PG Enquiries