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Architecture MArch (ARB/RIBA Part 2)

The Architecture MArch is committed to encouraging an innovative and professional, dedicated and creative approach to a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive understanding of architecture.

About

One of the leading Part 2 architecture programmes in the UK, this degree allows students to develop a position of deep understanding about what architecture is and what it could be. Students provide content and context to their academic efforts by writing about architecture, by designing architecture, and by scrutinising architecture – as discipline, practice, culture, career choice. They strengthen their core skills in design, technology, history and theory, and professional studies, working closely with world-class tutors, academics and practitioners. 

Our belief is that architecture can make a key contribution to solving some of the most urgent problems of our times, with disciplinary boundaries being broken, alternative socio-political, ecological, material-system driven ideas being proposed, and new technological advances being made to better the built environment and the natural environment we all rely upon.  

Unique to The Bartlett School of Architecture, more than half of the programme is delivered through design modules or groups, known as design units, which run throughout both years. Although distinct from one another, our units deliver a common set of principles with the support of a dedicated practice-based tutor.

Architecture MArch students benefit not only from the unique teaching style and structure at The Bartlett, but also from unrivalled industry networking opportunities, including the largest architecture graduate showcase in the UK, The Bartlett Summer Show.

Apply now


Highlights 

  • Work with world-class tutors, both academic experts and practising architects
  • Take speculative risks with your projects and test the boundaries of how architecture and sustainability are defined
  • Learn, practise and research within a design unit, with the dedicated support and expertise of a practice-based tutor
  • Enjoy the school’s unrivalled reputation and networking opportunities and exhibit in the annual Bartlett Summer Show  
The unit system allows close connections to form whilst still maintaining an open and friendly feeling within the programme.

Sam Coulton, Architecture MArch graduate, 2018

I wanted to study Architecture at The Bartlett, because their programmes seemed to open doors to more than one profession. The school is extremely good at supporting and developing the wildest interests of its students, which makes the environment exciting and stimulating. 
“This programme at The Bartlett encouraged me to be explorative and define my own intellectual position in relation to my work. I intend to take these ideas forward in the future when I begin to practice architecture professionally. 

Sonia Magdziarz, Architecture MArch graduate, 2018 


Modules

Year 4

Advanced Architectural Design 1 (60 credits)

Coordinators: Dr Kostas Grigoriadis and Prof Dr Marjan Colletti

Working within a Design Unit, students experiment with different approaches to design and representation and develop a conceptual and critical approach towards the aesthetic, functional and programmatic dimensions of their projects. Students build on the momentum they have gained from practice on their year (or two years) out.

They develop and resolve an inventive and authoritative architectural proposition, leading to a sophisticated building design, which responds to site, content and brief and critically examines the project’s historic, urban and social context. 

Whilst developing their proposals, students are encouraged to identify areas of research that they will develop further in their final year 5. 

History and Theory of Architecture (30 credits)

Coordinator: Dr Eva Branscome

Guided by thematic seminar groups and their tutor’s research expertise, students develop critical awareness of the role of history, theory and criticism in architectural discourse. Students use independent learning and research to complete a substantial essay on a topic of their choice.

Design Realisation (30 credits)

Coordinators: Pedro Gil and Stefan Lengen

This module encourages students to consider how buildings are designed, constructed and delivered. Students reflect on the relationship between building design and technology, the environment and the profession through an iterative critical examination of their major building design project developed within their Design Unit. Each unit has a dedicated practiced-based tutor, whose support is fully integrated in the operations of the unit for the majority of the year.


Year 5 

Advanced Architectural Design 2 (75 credits)

Coordinators: Dr Kostas Grigoriadis and Prof Dr Marjan Colletti

Year 5 is understood as the school's pinnacle in research based architectural education. Underpinned by the comprehensiveness of year 4, this module offers students an entire academic year to develop a complex spatial design proposition in synthesis with their Thesis dissertation.

Working within their Design Unit, students develop an advanced architectural proposition that is driven by rigour, freedom and excellence. Students are encouraged to take speculative risks with their projects in order to test the boundaries of how architecture is defined, understood, practiced and researched. Final projects take many forms, including drawings, models, films, prototypes, digital artefacts or systems, performances or interdisciplinary collaborations.

Thesis (45 credits)

Coordinators: Oliver Wilton and Dr Robin Wilson

Students research a specific area of architectural interest that informs their design research, resulting in a thesis. This module supports the development of different research approaches through which students undertake their study, including: humanities-based critical and historical analysis, empirical data collection and analysis, social science methodologies, iterative design research, and technical/scientific applications. 


Key information

Modes/duration

This programme is taught full-time over a period of two academic years. 

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class degree in architecture from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Corporate membership of the following UK professional institutions: Architects Registration Board (ARB); the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) would also meet the requirement. 

Once your application has been received, you will be asked to submit a portfolio of your design work. Please do not send or upload your work until it has been requested.

Although it is not a requirement, professional work experience taken after completing your undergraduate degree is also expected. 

Application guidance for 2023 entry

Applicants can only apply for a maximum of two postgraduate degree programmes at The Bartlett School of Architecture. 

Application deadline

Applications for 2023 entry will open on 17 October 2022 and close on 24 February 2023. We strongly advise early application, as our programmes are over subscribed and competition is high. 

Deferral

It is not possible to defer an offer. If you wish to be considered for the following year then you must reapply in the next admissions cycle.

Tier 4 Student visa holders

Tier 4 Student visa holders are required to meet the English language proficiency with sufficient time to allow them to obtain a CAS number and visa.

Accepting your offer

To accept your offer, you must pay the non-refundable fee deposit and decline any other offers for programmes at The Bartlett School of Architecture. If you do not respond within the given time indicated on your UCL offer letter, then your offer will be withdrawn.

Fees and funding

  • Tuition fee information can be found on the UCL Graduate Prospectus.
  • For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding section of the UCL website.

Key staff

Programme Directors
Departmental tutor
  • Azadeh Asgharzadeh Zaferani
Advanced Architectural Studies (History and Theory) 
  • Dr Eva Branscome (Module coordinator)
Design Realisation (Technology and Professional Studies)
Thesis tutors

Accreditation

Architecture MArch is accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Architects Registration Board (ARB). Students who successfully complete it are exempted from Part 2 of the ARB/RIBA examinations. 


Careers

The school’s graduates have an excellent record of employment and destinations vary from internationally renowned offices to small-scale specialist practices. Other career destinations include film-making, website design and furniture design. 


Contacts 


Design Units

Please find summaries of the briefs our design units will be working to in 2022-23 below, alongside links to unit blogs and social channels. Current Architecture MArch students will receive full briefs at the start of term via Moodle. 

PG11

Image: ‘Workers levelling Beacon Hill, Boston’, JH Bufford, 1858 
Future Fictions

Laura Allen and Mark Smout

Each year PG11 builds upon a continuum of research and design innovation across themes of environment and future-thinking. This year the unit continues to occupy the spatial and conceptual territories between land use and its corresponding architectures, technologies, infrastructures and ecologies.  

This brief is represented by four stories of Boston, the site for a 2-week workshop hosted by MIT, and major projects for both year 4 and year 5 students. Here interrelating narratives and histories are both a provocation and a site for investigation. By exposing the complexity of human/environmental relationships they provide a physical, cultural and political context for this year’s work.  

  • Utopian literature and its influence on culture, cities and architectural imagination. 
  • Current and historic transformations of environments for city evolution. 
  • The American Technopolis and the rise and fall cycles of cities and their infrastructures. 
  • Solastalgia, an emerging phenomenon of ‘Eco-anxiety’ that articulates the emotional and behavioural consequences of climate change.  
     
  • Visit Mark Smout and Laura Allen's website
  • Visit PG11's Instagram page

Image: ‘Workers levelling Beacon Hill, Boston’, JH Bufford, 1858 

PG12

Image: Sam Coulton, London Physic Garden, MArch U12, 2018.
Architecture is a Time Traveller

Jonathan Hill and Elizabeth Dow

Assembled from materials of diverse ages, from the newly formed to those centuries or millions of years old, and incorporating varied rates of transformation and decay, a building curates the past, informs the present and imagines the future, transporting us to many times simultaneously.  

Design is a time traveller. An architect does not necessarily design for today and may have a different time and place in mind. Alternatively, an architect can envisage the past, present and future in a single architecture.  

PG12 students will be asked to design for a future time and place, and creatively consider their relations with the present and past. They will begin with the design of a significant piece of civic architecture at the mouth of the Thames estuary. They will be encouraged to be inventive and bold, considering both the need for longevity and the ability to anticipate change, whether climatic, cultural, societal, or architectural.  

Image: Sam Coulton, London Physic Garden, Architecture MArch, PG12, 2018

PG14

Image:
Constructed Futures

Dirk Krolikowski and Jakub Klaska

The focus of this year’s work revolves around the concept of ‘Constructed Futures’. The term describes architecture and, as such, a fundamentally human future as the result of the architect’s synthesis of underlying principles. Constructional logic, spatial innovation, typological organisation, environmental and structural performance are all negotiated in a highly iterative process driven by intense architectural investigation.

Inspiration for inherent principles of organisational intelligence can be observed in both biotic and abiotic systems, in all spatial arrangements where it is critical for the overall performance of any developed order. Through the deep understanding of constructional principles, students in this unit will generate highly developed architectural systems of unencountered intensity where spatial organisation arises as a result of sets of mutual interactions. Such interactions are understood through targeted iterations of spatial models uncovering logical links while generating ambitious and speculative architecture.

Image: 'Constructed Futures' by PG14 @Midjourney

PG15

Image:
Expanded Ecologies

Enriqueta llabres-Valls & Egmontas Geras 

A symbiosis between ecology and digital design methodologies has led to an emergent, fertile ground for design practice. PG15 aims to question the viability of the Earth System whilst framing a discourse for an expanded ecology in the context of ‘planetary urbanisation’ in which global ecology has become a capital-driven process. 

What is ecology? How do we understand it and how does architecture? PG15 students will explore questions such as: Can we consider soil as a living organism, an agent of our architecture? How can we accommodate Earth’s biochemical cycles? How is ecological knowledge produced, observed, & culturally disseminated? PG15 is interested in complex physical systems and ecological dynamics. Time-oriented modelling techniques and prospective design-thinking are hypothetically fundamental. These design approaches coincide with the digital turn in architecture (albeit unexclusively): digital technologies have aided to bring forward emergent, transdisciplinary ideas for understanding the environment. 

Image: Tiberia Masterplan, Israel by Enriquetta Llabres-Valls, LlabresTabony Architects & Relational Urbanism

PG16

Image:
Towards an Architecture of the Poetic 

Matthew Butcher and Nasios Varnavas

PG16 focuses on the exploration of an architecture that seeks to rediscover a more felt, emotional and physical engagement with the environments we choose to inhabit.  

To frame this investigation, this year PG16 asks students to focus their explorations on the role of the poetic in architecture and the forms this can take; and specifically, its role in determining how buildings and landscapes should be formed and understood in relation to the current climate crisis.  

Students will seek to explore how an architectural poetic can help mediate the experience and meaning of matter manifested in the spaces, objects and materials that frame and formulate our understanding of urban, suburban and rural contexts, as well as define our relationships with each other. 

Image: Charles Simmonds, Growth House, 1975. Ink on paper. Image courtesy of the artist.

PG17

Image:
The Dialogical Architect

Yeoryia Manolopoulou and Thomas Parker

Architecture is a world-making art that can be directed towards forming radically ethical, inclusive and beautiful spaces. In this process, how exactly we as architects empathise with other people and with the differences and ambiguities that exist in making and living is critical.  

PG17 is sceptical of monologues and dominating monologic design processes and invites students to practice as dialogical architects. The dialogical architect fosters an empathic self who imagines and converses with multiple positions and counter-positions within a single project. They enable a conversation between different ideas and times and embody this interaction of perspectives in the process and expression of building.  

Students will be welcomed in an exceptionally lively and social design studio environment. PG17 will travel on the southwestern edge of Europe where Portugal meets the Atlantic. Students’ design proposals will be sited in the region of Porto on sites of their choice. Whether students choose to develop a sole-authored design proposal or a collaborative project (with collaborators from inside or outside the school), their process of design will involve divergent viewpoints and methods for which they will be encouraged to create and use polyphonic architectural scores. 

Image: Rope Drawing, PG17, 2022. Collaborative installation at Grymsdyke Farm, here featuring student Rebecca Lim.

PG18

Image:
Contextual Futurism

Ricardo de Ostos and Isaie Bloch

From cinematic exuberance in films like Dune to decontextualised use of local cultural symbolisms in international architecture commissions, we live in a digital age of mass sampling and reappropriation. The narrative of a utopian urban future has been largely exchanged by dooming conflicts (from race, war, climate and economy to educational reforms) and calls for localism and national identity through object of political materiality.  

Parallel to this are new cities designed for global tech and leisure, designed from zero like The Line NEOM in Saudi Arabia, Telosa USA, or the NAC in Egypt. Unit 18, also known as Generational Phantoms, will explore near future architectures from the evolution of identities and culture as to identify new frontiers in the city. With a deep focus between drawing, modeling and making, students will design Civic Centres as nodes for friction and development in the city. Contextual Futurism may create stability or bring rebellious discomfort to the city. What is the new frontier to which you want to venture? 

Image: 'Timber Colliery' by Pablo Wheldon, Y5, PG18

PG20

Image:
Phygital (physical and digital) Bodies, Cities, and Architectures

Marjan Colletti and Javier Ruiz

PG20 embraces time-based design processes that allow designers to think of forms and spaces, as well as behaviours and events in constant flux – programmable, interactive, and intelligent (no knowledge pre-required!). Drawings in PG20 are thus 4D, highly dynamic ever-changing scenarios produced with the help of advanced computational tools and cinematographic techniques, including Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.

This year the unit will collaborate with colleagues from London, Melbourne, Sydney, Tokyo, and New York to investigate phygitality, a contemporary hybrid between physicality and digitality. Students will enquire what phygital bodies, architectures, and cities may be like. Projects will be based in Venice, one of the most known and culturally active cities, and host to the internationally renowned Art and Architecture Biennales.

Students will design flexible, adaptable, and performative phygital exhibition pavilions to cater for artists and architects exhibiting in loco, as much as for digital-native artists and architects, and decentralised international collaboratives.

Image: 'Venice AI Capriccios' by @very_virtually_venice

PG21

Left: 1969 Superstudio collage on Domus magazine Right: 2022 DALL-E 2 OpenAI generated image from text: “The duomo of Florence in a woodland covered in snow with 1960s computers and students wearing mortarboards”
(dis)Continuity

Abigail AshtonTom Holberton and Andrew Porter

This year, PG21 will travel to Florence in Italy, the iconic city of the Renaissance - a home to scientific, financial and artistic revolutions, 9999, UFO, Archizoom, and Superstudio. Florence created a great discontinuity in thinking and ideas, but is now a city that is highly preserved and resistant to change. Radical new urban regulations conserve the total city volume but attempt to reject nostalgia. 

Each student will develop their own unique design process to explore continuities and discontinuities. This could be through representation in space, perspective, time and film; sustainable continuity of materials; heritage and digitisation; perception and artificial intelligence. PG21 aims to create a pluralistic design culture across the analogue and digital, with design-thinking that takes different approaches.

Images: 
Left: 1969 Superstudio collage on Domus magazine
Right: 2022 DALL-E 2 OpenAI generated image from text: “The duomo of Florence in a woodland covered in snow with 1960s computers and students wearing mortarboards”

PG22

Image:
The Urbanism of Friendship 

Izaskun Chinchilla Moreno and Daniel Ovalle Costal

Infrastructures such as roads and buildings have historically been the focus and entry point into design for most planners and architects. Lifestyles however are seldom studied in full and often regarded as secondary: a consequence of infrastructure design.

This year PG22 students will rethink and redesign cities from one specific lifestyle perspective: friendship.

The emergence, continuity, and intensity of friendships in cities strongly depends on physical features of the city itself, from mobility to building typologies. Social and anthropological factors such as citizens’ financial aspirations, the division of domestic labour, or the age and ethnic make-up of the city, are equally relevant.

Students are invited to design urban pavilions and facilities, neighbourhoods, and a visual manifesto of the ideal city for friendship. Conscious that by designing we are also configuring social networks, daily routines, meeting points and rituals, the unit will be critically evaluating tools for design that go beyond the technological, geometrical, visual or aesthetic.

PG22 will develop a common scale to measure the quality of architecture for how it is able to create inclusivity, civic culture, intimacy, soft normative values, social visibility, cultural mediation, ephemeral or long-term friendships.

Image: Pavilions for Concéntrico Festival in Logroño, Spain by Izaskun Chinchilla Architects. Photographs by José Manuel Cutillas

    PG24

    ‘Mine Land, My Land’ by Paris Gazzola, Architecture MArch, PG24, 2022 
    It’s About Time

    Penelope Haralambidou and Michael Tite

    PG24 is a group of architectural storytellers using film, animation, VR/AR and physical modelling techniques to explore architecture’s relationship with time.   

    It is not often that a major international exhibition sets a theme that uncannily mirrors PG24’s established unit agenda. ‘It’s About Time’ is the title of the 10th Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, which zooms in on time ‘as an essential yet neglected parameter in designing sustainable futures.’ Grabbing the opportunity, this year PG24 will pay tribute to the biennale, by unapologetically appropriating its title and brief. In November, the unit will head to the Netherlands for a full immersion into the exhibits and all things Dutch. Students’ work will be informed by the exhibition’s formulation of three main designer strategies based on different ‘velocities of change’: the Ancestor, the Activist and the Accelerator.  

    It's about time to respond to urgent real-world challenges through imaginative world-building using the Netherlands as a testbed and laboratory.  

    Image: ‘Mine Land, My Land’ by Paris Gazzola, Architecture MArch, PG24, 2022 

      PG25

      Image: Instruments to measure the criminal body. Photograph: Collection of the Science Museum London
      What is your Measure? 

      Emma-Kate Matthews and Nat Chard

      PG25 helps each student develop methods and practices that are resonant with their particular interests and ideas. The unit encourages experimental practices and is particularly interested in the way design happens through the process of making, drawing and their digital equivalents.

      This year students will develop their own measure, a way of valuing those aspects of life that matter but cannot be measured in conventional way. We live in a culture that is obsessed with measuring things and values them because they can be measured rather than because they matter. Students will value the immeasurable, and carry what is learned into their architecture.

      To help with this, the unit will study how ideas are embodied in artefacts in academic museums in the UK and on a field trip to Belgium, where students will also visit a range of architectural experimentation.   

      Image: Instruments to measure the criminal body. Photograph: Collection of the Science Museum London