MArch Architecture


Our Architecture MArch programme is designed to respond to contemporary issues in the industry, grounded in both theory and professional practice. Our enquiry-led approach to education will teach you to tackle complex problems, unending questions and help you synthesise your ideas to produce critical work. You will be supported to take risks, learn from mistakes and be bold in creatively exploring your ideas.

Current issues in architectural debate are studied through deep foundations in historical and philosophical thought, contemporary states of urban inhabitation, challenges to a sustainable ecology, the ramifications of modern technology, legal and economic contexts, and the state of the profession.

Our design studios are delivered through advanced, research-by-design led units and offer a range of specialist pathways for you to develop an independent and critical position on architecture. Studio options range from high-density housing to sustainable futures, and advanced material investigations. We encourage an open-ended spirit of enquiry to advance knowledge through rigorous, exploratory and playful processes. Our experience and knowledge, combined with your personal ambition, will enable us to challenge existing conventions and redefine the future of architectural practice together.

A number of our Architecture MArch graduates have been awarded multiple national and international design awards, including four prizes at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) President’s Medals, five regional RIBA Awards and the prestigious RIBA Wren Insurance Association Scholarship .

Key features

  • This programme offers a professional level architectural education with Architects Registration Board (ARB)/RIBA Part II exemption. Graduates can progress to professional registration/licensure examinations, allowing access to markets in the UK, EU or other legal jurisdictions.
  • You will be supported to tackle real-world issues, while speculating and proposing new futures through bold experimentation and boundless enquiry.
  • Tutors come from industry and research and our community is a place where academics, practitioners and students are co-designing new ways of thinking.
  • Teaching is delivered in a dedicated postgraduate studio space, equipped with computer workstations, model-making facilities, large format printers and Ultimaker 3D printers.
  • Receive expert teaching through our Leicester School of Architecture, which has a national and international lecture series attracting leading academics and professionals from around the world, such as Sir Peter Cook, CJ Lim and Alison Brooks.
  • This course benefits from global opportunities thanks to its accreditation with  Lembaga Arkitek Malaysia, the Board of Architects Malaysia, which allows graduates to pursue a professional qualification in Malaysia. It is also approved by the Commonwealth Association of Architects, a membership organisation representing architects in Commonwealth of Nations, which provides access to an international network of schools for further study and better employment prospects.

Full-time graduates from the MArch programme, with a minimum six months’ professional experience prior to entry, gain exemption from Lembaga Arkitek Malaysia Part II, allowing progression to professional registration examinations and potential employment in Malaysia.

Structure and assessment


Thematic Design Studio
A series of thematic design studios are offered to explore areas of various design specialisations offered by exhibited designers, respected educators, or via masterclasses with leading/award-winning metropolitan or internationally based architects or practices. A series of supporting contemporary digital communication and fabrication classes are also offered simultaneously

Contextual Design
A series of contextual studios or study abroad studios are offered, exploring a range of diverse philosophical approaches to architectural design. Studios are developed around various contexts and discourses. Prior sites of study have included Athens (study abroad), Washington, and Palermo

Humanities Specialisation
In addition to core studies on architectural texts and treatises, students undertake seminars with published scholars and work at a level of current research in the humanities. Past seminars have included topics in Phenomenology, Urbanisation, Nationalism, Architectural Fiction, Housing, Digital Heritage and Gendered Space

Technical and Environmental Specialisation
In addition to core technical, systems and environmental studies, students undertake seminars with published scholars and work at a level of current research in the sciences. Past seminars have including advanced studies in lighting, building performance modelling, conservation science and material studies.

Students undertake an academic study of an architectural subject supervised by academics to develop a position in architectural thought

Management Practice and Law
An innovative module supported by professional architects, consultants and educators explores the development of your ethics, business acumen, good practices in practice and business management, awareness of legalities, understanding of contracts and architectural advocacy in the public sphere

Thesis or Comprehensive Design Project
Students are encouraged to develop a stake in the current industry, and develop design projects that allow their leadership and visionary abilities to emerge or develop a project that demonstrates a comprehensive project demonstrating specific skillsets to service the industry

Full-time students

Full time students are expected to fully engage with simultaneous tasks, averaging a full working week of contact and independent study/design time. The schedule of modules are as follows:

Year one

  • Thematic Design Studio
  • Humanities / Technical and Environmental Specialisation
  • Contextual Design Studio
  • Dissertation

Year two

  • Management Practice and Law
  • Technical Studies and Design Research
  • Thesis or Comprehensive Design Project


Part-time students

Part time students are expected on average to be present two days a week, with the addition of an assortment of ten additional pre-arranged days throughout the year. Modules are as above, however the schedule is as follows:

Year one

  • Thematic Design Studio
  • Contextual Design Studio

Year two

  • Humanities / Technical and Environmental Specialisation
  • Management Practice and Law
  • Dissertation

Year three

  • Technical Studies and Design Research
  • Thesis or Comprehensive Design Project

Note: All modules are subject to change in order to keep content current.

Facilities and features


The course is well resourced and equipped with a wide range of regularly updated advanced CAD software and computer, printing and scanning facilities. We provide extensive and up-to-date workshop facilities, including wood, metal, plastic, glass and ceramics, as well as laser cutters, CNC and rapid prototyping.

Together with our well stocked library, the Leicester School of Architecture has a dedicated architectural resources centre.


The main Kimberlin Library is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (other than in exceptional circumstances) and offers a huge range of online resources, all of which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose.

The library is run by dedicated staff who offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching and reference management and assistive technology, and mathematical skills for non-maths students. There is also a Just Ask service for help and advice, available via email or telephone.

Learning zones

Our Learning Zones and the The Greenhouse also provide space for group or individual work and study.

There are 1,600 study places across all library locations, more than 700 computer stations, laptops to borrow, free wi-fi and desktop power outlets.

You can also book rooms with plasma screens, laptops and DVD facilities for group work and presentations, secure an individual study room with adjustable lighting or make use of our assistive technology.

Opportunities and careers

Employment and placements

Many of our students aim to follow the conventional route to qualification and registration as an Architect. This involves a monitored, paid placement in an architectural practice, commonly called the ‘Year-Out’ which is undertaken following graduation from the BA programme and before returning to complete the MArch programme to gain exemption from the RIBA/ARB Part 2 examinations.

The final year of professional experience is gained following graduation from the MArch programme. Both periods of professional experience in a practice, contribute to the RIBA/ARB minimum requirements for practical training. At DMU, professional experience is monitored and recorded through the online PEDR which is an assessed component of the Postgraduate Diploma in Architectural Practice, the last stage of architectural education leading to exemption from the RIBA/ARB Part 3 Examinations and subsequent registration as an Architect in the UK.

The School provides excellent support to students during their professional training in practice, such as the Architecture and Design Resource Centre, with its excellent links to architectural practices and its ’text-alert’ service advertising new positions. The school offers final year mock-interviews, engagement with the RIBA East Midlands Mentoring programme and the opportunity of involvement with the Leicester Atelier which provides links with industry as part of your undergraduate or postgraduate studies.


This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons – helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world.

Through #DMUglobal, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.

Graduate careers

Our Architecture MArch graduates have found employment with architects/practices such as:

  • Shigeru Ban
  • MAKE
  • Heatherwick Studios
  • Foster + Partners
  • Grimshaw Architects

Many of our graduates have been employed in continental Europe, USA, Australasia, Japan, China, India and the Middle East upon graduation. Non-Architecture pathways Leicester School of Architecture graduates have also developed careers outside of the sector:

  • Advertising and media
  • Game industry
  • Visualisation and digital fabrication
  • Local and national governance
  • Academic research

Graduates also progress onto to taught-courses offering specialised professional interests, or academic research in higher education. Many graduates develop career pathways in industries such as property, construction, and planning, whilst many creative, strategic development or governance industries have also found skillsets of Architecture MArch graduates to be very valuable.

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