MArch Architecture

Start date(s)

September 2021

Study mode

Full-time (2 years)

Part-time (4 years)

Tuition fees 21/22

Home (full-time, per year): £9,250

Home (part-time, per year): £6935 per annum

International (full-time, per year): £16,100

Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies:

0151 231 5175

International admissions

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About this course

This MArch from LJMU invites you to creatively engage in a truly interdisciplinary and project-orientated architectural study.

This programme of study is thoughtfully balanced to address the creative and technical demands of the architectural profession.

In the 2017 RIBA revalidation, the MArch programme was commended by the visiting assessors for: 'the Architecture programme's focus on urban design projects across a range of scales, evident in the work of the MArch students'.

Taught principally through a studio environment that is underpinned and informed by lectures and workshops, the over-arching ambition of the programme is to create graduates with artistic flair, who are technically skilled and grounded in the demands of the professional role of the architect.


The learning and teaching environment is progressively informed by research in pedagogy in the creative field. While teaching the curriculum, the programme also develops less tangible skills in students, such as communication, presentation and self-motivation. A key ambition is to create independent thinkers, adept at resolving problems with creativity and originality.

The Architecture Department's blog and catalogues:

Read our blog

2018 catalogue

2017 catalogue

2016 catalogue

  • Michael's story

    Michael Eze is about to complete his MArch at LJMU having studied for his first degree in Manchester.

    “I was attracted to study Architecture in Liverpool due to the city’s rich history and h...

    Read more

Fees and funding

Money - postgraduate funding informationAll full and part-time students enrolled on postgraduate taught programmes at LJMU are liable to pay an annual tuition fee. You can opt to pay your tuition fees in full at the start of each academic year or pay by instalments. If you need advice about how you will pay your tuition fees, please email LJMU’s Student Funding Team as soon as possible.

To qualify for student funding for your MArch you need to have studied the BA (Hons) Architecture or RIBA Part 1 (at LJMU or elsewhere in the UK) and normally go on to study the RIBA Part 2 with no more than two years between the two courses. Students that take longer than this between Part 1 and Part 2 should seek advice from the LJMU Student Funding Team before starting the MArch as Student Finance will consider applications from those with longer gaps on a case-by-case basis.

If you are planning to commence an MArch course without first completing the BA (Hons) Architecture (RIBA Part 1), you may not be eligible for full funding for the MArch so should seek advice from the LJMU Student Funding Team before you commence your studies.

The MArch is not normally eligible for a Postgraduate Loan.


Further your career prospects

LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2017) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.

Postgraduates from this programme are highly sought after by employers.

On graduation you will gain exemption from ARB/ RIBA Part 2 examinations. This qualification is essential if you want to become a registered architect and gain Chartered status. Once you have passed the ARB/RIBA Part 3 exams, you can practice in any EU or commonwealth country and many other countries outside the EU.

Many of our graduates secure employment at world-class practices throughout the UK and further afield. Some have remained in the city of Liverpool, contributing to its evolution by taking key roles in leading practices that have reshaped the city over the last decade.

If, after graduating, you choose not to go down the route of becoming a registered Architect, many other careers are open to you. Past graduates have pursued successful careers as Project Managers, Property Developers, Building Contractors, Furniture Designers, Lighting Designers, Architectural Visualisation Artists and Journalists.

Dionne Barrett MArch alumni
"Being based in the John Lennon Building, not only do you have the use of good modern facilities, but you also get to mix with students from different courses who can influence your work." ​

Dionne Barrett, graduate and Architectural Assistant at AT Architects

The student experience

Discover life as a postgraduate student at LJMU.

Check out our fully-paid, 20-day internships with local companies With induction and coach…

Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your programme

Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework. Some programmes also have optional modules that can be selected to enhance your learning in certain areas and many feature a dissertation, extended report or research project to demonstrate your advanced learning.

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Core Modules

Theory and Research 1
30 credits

You will engage in the comprehensive appraisal and analysis of a number of urban design precedents, via a series of lectures and seminars exploring issues affecting the form of cities and the design of urban environments.

Theory and Research 2
20 credits

You will present, in two seminars, research into a number of key contemporary urban theoretical matters including strategic sustainability, urban order, the impact of transport and the relevance of context.

Specialist Study
30 credits

This module is taken in three stages: first you will undertake an extensive piece of applied research with guidance from a selected tutor on a topic either directly or indirectly related to the subject of Architecture. The second stage is to prepare sufficient material to allow a tutor and a Study Panel to understand the focus and intent of the study - with reference to research methods and outcomes. The final stage is to undertake the writing of the 'Specialist Study' which involves the preparation and development of the final assessed piece of the work.

Urban Design Project 1
30 credits

This module provides you with a comprehensive introduction to the theory and practice of urban design, along with historical and theoretical knowledge and a range of technical skills to enable the analysis, generation and communication of urban design projects. It aims to place urban design in a social, political and economic context with an understanding of environmental sustainability and cost/value issues.

Urban Design Project 2
30 credits

You will develop an advanced level of knowledge and skill in urban design, progressing from the core skills acquired in Urban Design Project 1. This will ensure you utilise learnt skills to create an urban design scenario as a context for the subsequent Thesis Project Module where you will produce a complete and coherent urban design project suitable for public exhibition and to academic standards in terms of place/city based research activity.

Architectural Design Project
30 credits

You will receive, develop and appraise a design brief, prepare an initial design response, prepare scheme drawings/models and design a presentation carefully and sufficiently to fully explain the proposals to a professional and non-professional audience. The drawings and models should 'speak for themselves' and the assignments may be assessed without recourse to verbal presentations. During the course of the module, you will be expected to demonstrate an understanding of key technological principles in the design of buildings, and the skill to develop specific technical design solutions in relation to the Architectural Project. You will explore the integrated application of appropriate environmental engineering thinking, structural engineering and constructional detailing in three dimensions. This will be communicated through models and drawings, with annotation of the drawings as integrated texts.

Thesis Project
60 credits

The Thesis Project requires the design of a complex piece of ambitious architecture equivalent to a building of at least 3000m2 in size. The work must demonstrate knowledge, understanding and the ability to design at all relevant scales from site context to constructional details. It must demonstrate the integration of key technical and environmental decisions and key management, practice and legal matters in the explanation of the building.

Management Practice and Law
10 credits

This module aims to develop your knowledge and understanding of the context of the architect and the construction industry, including the architect’s role in the processes of procurement and building production under UK legislation.


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

The MArch involves intense teaching and project work. with a full Monday - Friday teaching timetable.

Your academic timetable varies according to the semester, the module you are undertaking and whether you are studying on a full-time or part-time basis. Sample timetables are available from the Faculty Admissions Hub

Teaching methods

The first year introduces contemporary urban design theories and international best practice. Locating project work in Merseyside or abroad, you are encouraged to engage with cultural organisations, regional stakeholders and statutory authorities to produce creative, socio-economically engaged architectural proposals.

You then follow strands of enquiry around dwelling in the city and undertake a year-long specialist study as the basis for your research proposal.

The final year of the MArch offers opportunities for more in-depth explorations, emanating from group urban studies. Ambitions for comprehensive building design projects develop from an analysis of and intuitive response to place.

Applied learning

As well as providing a framework of expertise for your studies and being located in a UNESCO recognised city of cultural significance, LJMU also offers a number of overseas workshops that enable you to undertake design work in new territories and contexts. Recent workshops have taken place in Porto, Marseille, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Essen and Duisburg.

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We also have Erasmus staff and student mobility agreements with FH Joanneum University of Applied Science in Graz, Austria and Pecsi Tudomanyegyetem, Pecs, Hungary. We regularly host symposia and conferences, for example: Starchitecture on the Mersey? a civic symposium and Housing - A Critical Perspective.

The first year of the course introduces contemporary urban design theories and international best practice. Locating project work in Merseyside or abroad, you are encouraged to engage with cultural organisations, regional stakeholders and statutory authorities to produce creative, socio-economically engaged architectural proposals.

You then follow strands of enquiry around dwelling in the city and undertake a year long specialist study as the basis for your research proposal.

The final year of the MArch offers opportunities for more in-depth explorations, emanating from group urban studies. Ambitions for comprehensive building design projects develop from an analysis of and intuitive response to place.

Take a tour of this year's Degree Show

Each year, MArch graduating students show their final assessed work to prospective employers, peers, friends and family. Take the virtual tour

Person sat using laptop


How learning is monitored on your programme

To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme. Assessment techniques vary from module to module to reflect relevant assessment approaches and the key learning points of each topic.

This is a project-oriented course. You will develop design ideas in the studio, guided by semester tutors and, at regular intervals, by joint review panels of design tutors and external critics who will comment on your progress.

Teaching is intensive and you will learn via one-to-one and group discussions plus regular presentations of work, so that continuous group and self-assessment is built into your course.

The environmental, structural and constructional aspects of your design projects will be assessed in technical workshops.

You will also need to submit: written, drawn and modelled coursework submissions, a written and illustrated dissertation, written and illustrated essays and reports plus reflective statements.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

Ian Wroot

Ian Wroot

Programme Leader

Ian has taught architecture in Austria, Slovenia, Malaysia and Turkey and with collaborative partners from Sweden, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Portugal, Belgium and Greece.  A registered and chartered architect, Ian worked for over 20 years in a range of multidisciplinary practices before forming his own design company in 2001. His research focuses on the analysis of cognition in the creative process. He is interested in: cognitive bias, judgment heuristics and the validity of commonly used design quality indicators. In recent years he has focused on the effective measurement and enhancement of processes and practices in the briefing, conceptual design and post occupancy evaluation stages of the building design process.

I enjoy all forms of studio-based teaching. My passion is project-based learning that brings a wide variety of knowledge and abilities into play to explore germane lines of intellectual and practical inquiry.

School facilities

What you can expect from your School

The programme is based in the RIBA award-winning Liverpool School of Art and Design’s John Lennon Art and Design Building, a purpose-built facility in the Mount Pleasant Campus, which brings together the varied disciplines studied at the School. 

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Entry requirements

You will need:

  • a minimum 2:2 honours degree in Architecture
  • to attend an interview

Addition information

  • Assessment of suitability to the course may also be undertaken by review of a portfolio of work and an interview
  • Students with first degrees without RIBA/ARB Part 1 exemption should be aware that the MArch awards exemption from RIBA / ARB Part 2 only. If you wish to register as an Architect in this country or become an RIBA Chartered architect you will have to acquire RIBA / ARB Part 1 separately
  • IELTS 6.5 (minimum 5.5 in each component)
  • Pearson 58-64 (minimum 51 in each component for UKVI purposes)
  • RPL is accepted on this programme

If you have any specific queries, please contact

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Please note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

View country specific entry requirements

Contact LJMU's International Admissions Team for guidance on visa information. Further information is also available from our international web pages.

Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

You will apply for the majority of postgraduate courses using our online application form. You should complete the form thoroughly and provide a detailed personal statement which reflects your suitability and aptitude for the programme.

We are looking for students with an enthusiasm for design, who wish to engage in the debate on the future of the built environment. You should have a willingness to read around the subject widely and gain first hand experience of buildings, towns and cities.

You will need:

  • information retrieval techniques, as you will be expected to read around the subject and draw upon your findings for essays and projects
  • analytical skills, so that you can critically assess your own work and the work of others
  • IT skills, as you will be expected to develop and submit project work using a wide range of specialist software applications
  • communication skills, as you will be expected to contribute to tutorials and host presentations
  • time management skills, as you will have to work to deadlines on a regular basis
  • team-working skills, as you will have to work closely with others

Advice on your personal statement

Your personal statement is the part of the application that will make you stand out as an individual. Organise your main achievements and interests into bullet points before you start completing it.

Summarise why you have chosen the course(s) for which you are applying and link between your present and proposed course(s).

Keep the statement brief and to the point. Don’t fall into the trap of including common interests such a socialising and reading. You should strive to make your statement personal. Think about things that you have done that are unique.

Image of Students in classroom

Make sure that you include any work experience that you have had (this includes part-time and holiday work) particularly if this relates to your chosen field of study. We are looking for evidence of commitment and team-working skills, so give us details of these.

Remember: we will consider your application not only on your exam grades but also on the strength of your personal statement and references. We may invite you in for an interview or ask you to complete a piece of work if we believe your exam grades do not accurately reflect your ability and potential. Remember that a good application form could even make up a shortfall in your exam grades and help secure your place at LJMU.

What happens next?

If you are from the UK or EU and meet the application criteria, you will receive a letter requesting that you attend an interview to which you should bring your full academic portfolio. This will also include an opportunity to meet academic staff and current students, as well as a tour of LJMU facilities.

International students will receive confirmation of their offer from the International Office, along with details on accommodation, fees and other important information.

Applications will be considered together in March and short-listed applicants will be invited to interview in April. Applications received prior to this date will be held on file until shortlisting takes place.

If you are applying from overseas, a decision will be made based on your application form and portfolio in the first instance. A Skype interview may be required.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.

Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.

Important info about this course