MArch Architecture

Start date(s)
September 2023
Study mode
Full-time (2 years)
Part-time (4 years)

Tuition fees 23/24

Home (full-time, per year): £9,250

Home (part-time, per year): £6935

International (full-time, per year): £17,400

Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies:
0151 231 5175
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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 an 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.

Visit this year's degree show website and browse MArch student work

  • 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

All 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 2018) 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.

"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.

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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: Theoretical Studies and Research Methods
30 credits

This module will explore critical methods in Architectural and Urban Design and the connections of Art and Architecture.  You will have the opportunity to define a research question and develop an understanding of different research methods appropriate for your subsequent specialist study.

Urban Design 1: Creative Urbanism and Regeneration Within an Analytical and Theoretical Context
30 credits

The module commences with a series of urban design lectures that manifest in a design theory essay. Concurrently, analytical studies and creative tasks lead into the group urban design project, proposing the regeneration of an urban area, which is underpinned by a theoretical position derived from the design theory exercise. An individual urban design study follows on, such that the whole module effectively delivers an entire urban design process of research, analysis, theoretical positioning, design at different scales, and communication.

Integrated Design 1: Options for Resilient Living
30 credits

The module commences with analytical explorations of precedent studies in response to the focus of the design brief typologies, expected to underpin your design work. Following from this, design work from urban scale (emerging from your Urban Design 1 work) to building and interiors will lead to a complete proposal presented following competition methodology. A set ot technical and environmental studies follow, so that the entire module effectively delivers a holistic study, from typological analysis, to critical considerations, design at different scales, and communication.

Practice and Legislation: Understanding the Designer's Role in the Contemporary Built Environment
30 credits

An exciting opportunity to reflect upon contemporary, ethical design practice and also to be directly involved in 'live' architectural projects within the North West region. You will be working, in groups, with real clients on a variety of projects identified by them with a member of staff as a mentor. You will act as a 'mini practice' and resolve and advise your respective clients on professional issues.

Theory and Research 2: Thesis Studies- Critical Writing and Design Research
30 credits

This module provides the opportunity for you to produce a substantial piece of written work based upon extensive research of your chosen subject area as defined in 7111MAS. It is the chance for you to develop ideas and explore in detail an area of the subject of Architecture which lies beyond the immediacy of the design process.

Urban Design 2: Thesis Urban Strategy
30 credits

In this module you will develop ideas suggested in 7211MAR and expand them into a comprehensive Urban Design strategy for a transect of the city. Your Urban Designs will go onto to provide the context for your thesis research and eventual project design drawing together the various strands of Architecture into a wider thesis year.

Optional modules

Integrated Design 2: Thesis Architectural Design- Ideas Through Building
60 credits

In this 60 credit module for full time students, you will propose and develop a Thesis defining your own agendas and exploring ideas through the medium of building designs.


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.

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

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

Additional 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 PTE Academic 64 (minimum 59 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. You should strive to make your statement personal but don’t fall into the trap of including common interests such a socialising or reading. Instead, think about unique or interesting things that you have done. 

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 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.