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MArch|Postgraduate Taught


Entry year
Entry requirements
2 years (Full-time)
Places available
50 (Full Time)

An exciting, creative Master’s degree with accreditation from the ARB and RIBA, for students with a first degree in architecture who wish to progress their studies to final qualification as a practising architect.

Your focus will be to investigate the relationships between critical practice, design and research in the making of architectural proposals. The work produced throughout this two year Master’s is a collaborative effort between you, award winning practicing architects and our academic staff.

Our studio is divided up into a number of thematic studio groups, each led by a pair of tutors. Each of the groups also feature an expert external ‘consultant’ who will contribute to teaching throughout the year.

This course encourages lateral thinking, problem solving, creativity and engagement with issues in a self-critical design led process. It is broad in its engagement as is architecture addressing societal issues as diverse as our survival on the planet and local engagement with culture and craft - from the making of an entire city to the design of a door handle.

Through exposing you to many ways of seeing the world as a designer, ultimately the master’s programme challenges you to define your own voice as an architect enabling you to be critically self-aware of your future practice.

You’ll be engaging with real projects, real clients, local communities, international collaborators and conversing with renowned architects in the development of your own projects alongside embarking on worldwide field trips . Our students have gone to places such as Munich, Genoa, Barcelona, Istanbul and Oslo to look at how other cultures shape their built environment.

You will be based in Belfast, a textbook and laboratory for architecture. It is a city the size of a town, full of compelling history and steeped in traditions of craft and making.

You’ll enjoy a healthy staff to student ratio, good studios, where you’ll each have your own space with excellent workshops and technicians to support you in developing your work.

An optional, complementary module for non-native speakers of English. Designed to support English language and academic skills development with a focus on specific academic skills related to the students' area of study.

Applications for this course received after 30th June 2024 may not be accepted. In addition, a deposit will be required to secure a place.

Our reputation in Architecture exceeds 50 years and we currently rank in the UK top 10 (Complete University Guide 2022 and Guardian University Guide 2022). Architecture at Queen’s is also joint 1st in the UK for graduate prospects.

Architecture highlights

Student Experience

MArch I includes a compulsory, self-funded field-trip, usually to a mainland European city.

Professional Accreditations

- Architects’ Registration Board (ARB) recognised Part 2 degree
- Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) recognised Part 2 degree

Student Testimonials

Course Structure



The focus of the MArch is to investigate and develop the relationships between critical practice, design and research through the making of unique and challenging architectural propositions.

The studio is divided up into thematic groups which collectively encompass a broad range of approaches to architectural design. The groups reflect the expertise and preoccupations of the tutors and expert consultants involved. Accordingly, the briefs developed and the work produced become a collaborative investigation between practitioners, students and academics into some of the pressing spatial issues affecting the production of the contemporary built environment, both on this island and elsewhere.

Students are offered a choice of group at the beginning of MArch I and then again at the beginning of MArch II, their thesis year. It is imagined that they will choose a different group each year to make the most of the breadth and the depth offered by the studio system. Choices are also offered for humanities and technologies dissertations.

The four semesters of the Masters programme are thought of as a single entity, within which diverse challenges allow the student to identify core strengths and to develop these through open discussion with a strong emphasis on self-directed study and ambitious agendas.

Ultimately the purpose of this diversity and choice is to expose you to different ways of seeing and engaging with the world as an architect. Our course is structured to provoke you in becoming critically self-aware as a designer and to establish your own voice as an architect. Our intention that this will provide you with the firm foundations for your future practice.

Year 1 Modules

M.Arch Studio 1 (30 CATS)
M.Arch Studio 2 (30 CATS)
Architectural Research: Humanities
Dissertation (30 CATS) (project work)
Architectural Research: Technology
Dissertation (30 CATS) (project work)

Year 2 Modules

M.Arch Studio 3 (30 CATS)
M.Arch Studio 4 (30 CATS)
Thesis Research (30 CATS)
Professional Skills (30 CATS)

People teaching you

Course Director


Teaching Times

Morning / Afternoon / Evening. The programme contains a compulsory trip in MArch I.

Learning and Teaching


  • -



Assessments associated with the course are outlined below:

  • Project design work
  • Critical design reviews
  • Representation
  • Research
  • Essays
  • 6,000-10,000 word dissertation
  • Reports




The information below is intended as an example only, featuring module details for the current year of study (2023/24). Modules are reviewed on an annual basis and may be subject to future changes – revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year.

  • Year 1

    Core Modules

    MArch Studio 1 (30 credits)
    MArch Studio 3 (30 credits)
    MArch Studio 4 (30 credits)
    MArch Studio 2 (30 credits)
    Professional Skills (30 credits)
    Thesis Research (30 credits)

Entrance requirements


Applicants whose primary degree was awarded in the UK:

1. Normally a 2.1 Honours degree in Architecture from an approved RIBA/ARB Part 1 course in a recognised institution. Applicants with a degree in Architecture below 2.1 Honours standard will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

2. Normally an assessment of 60% or above in the final year major design project of their approved RIBA/ARB Part 1 course.

3. A demonstration of a critical awareness of the applicant's position relative to the profession and discipline of architecture. Such demonstration is typically (but not exclusively) achieved through experience in architectural practice in accordance with RIBA/ARB regulations for practical training.

4. Applicants will be asked to submit an architectural design portfolio to support their application and may also be invited for interview.

Application Portfolio Requirement

As part of the application process you are required to upload a single pdf portfolio of your best architectural design (personal, non-group) work to date. The pdf should be no more than 5MB and no more than 15 pages long. The purpose of the portfolio submission is to:

1. Identify indicators of commitment, excellence and achievement within the applicant’s academic or professional portfolio of experience.

2. Evaluate the applicant’s critical awareness of the discipline and profession of architecture.

Applicants whose Primary Degree was awarded outside the UK:

1. A recognised qualification equivalent to a 2.1 Honours degree in Architecture. Applicants with a degree in Architecture below 2.1 Honours standard (or equivalent) will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

2. Normally an assessment equivalent to 60% or above in their (first degree) final year major design project.

3. A demonstration of a critical awareness of the applicant’s position relative to the profession and discipline of architecture. Such demonstration is typically in the form of a personal statement.

4. International applicants will be asked to submit an architectural design portfolio to support their application and may also be invited for interview.

5. International applicants should note that if they wish to undertake Part 3 (to lead to ARB registration as an architect and as an RIBA chartered architect) they must be successful in an application to ARB for their first architecture degree to be assessed by ARB as satisfying Part 1.

Note: Applicants who have completed 1 year of MArch at another institution in the UK or ROI (recognised by the university), are eligible to apply for credit (maximum 120 credit points) for direct entry onto year 2 of the MArch. Applicants who wish to apply in this manner will be required to contact the Course Director with their expression of interest. These limits may be subject to School specific limitations and appropriate compatibility of the prior learning with the module/s for which exemption is sought and/or award applied for, which may have specific subject requirements. Further information can be found here: Procedures for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) | Academic & Student Affairs | Queen's University Belfast (

The deadline for applications is normally 30th June 2024. However, we encourage applicants to apply as early as possible. In the event that any programme receives a high number of applications, the University reserves the right to close the application portal earlier than 30th June deadline. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Application Portal against the programme application page.

Please note: A deposit will be required to secure a place on this course.

International Students

Our country/region pages include information on entry requirements, tuition fees, scholarships, student profiles, upcoming events and contacts for your country/region. Use the dropdown list below for specific information for your country/region.

English Language Requirements

Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in Speaking and Listening and a minimum of 5.5 in Reading and Writing, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required (*taken within the last two years).

International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

  • Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.



Career Prospects


Completion of the MArch constitutes Part II of the RIBA/ARB criteria leading to eligibility to sit Part III, the Professional Examination and registration as an architect in the UK.

Contributing to our society anywhere in the world, as an architect or in one of its many parallel disciplines

Our graduates are currently working alongside world leading architects in the construction of significant cultural buildings, designing skyscrapers in Hong Kong and the Middle East, emergency housing for refugees in Africa, film sets for Hollywood productions and computer games, as well as working as urban planners worldwide, teaching in universities or becoming artists and photographers.

Graduate Plus/Future Ready Award for extra-curricular skills

In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Graduate Plus/Future Ready Award. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.

Tuition Fees

Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £4,710
Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £4,710
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £9,250
EU Other 3 £25,800
International £25,800

1EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled status, will be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB will be charged the GB fee.

2 EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI are eligible for NI tuition fees.

3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.

All tuition fees quoted relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

More information on postgraduate tuition fees.

Additional course costs

Students are responsible for additional costs for books, materials and software for drawing/model making and printing (including final portfolio). The amount for materials, equipment and printing will vary depending on how students decide to represent their work, but a budget of £1,900 for the two year course is appropriate. In Year 1 students are required to undertake a compulsory field trip to a European city. They are responsible for funding travel, accommodation and subsistence costs and should budget for approximately £500.

Terms and Conditions for Postgraduate applications 

1.1  Due to high demand, there is a deadline for applications. 
1.2  You will be required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the course.
1.3  This condition of offer is in addition to any academic or English language requirements.

Read the full terms and conditions at the link below:

All Students

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.

Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.

If a programme includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.

Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.

There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

How do I fund my study?

The Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £6,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study. Tuition fee loan information.

A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £11,836 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.

More information on funding options and financial assistance - please check this link regularly, even after you have submitted an application, as new scholarships may become available to you.

International Scholarships

Information on scholarships for international students, is available at



How to Apply

Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

Apply now

When to Apply

The deadline for applications is normally 30th June 2021. In the event that any programme receives a high volume of applications, the university reserves the right to close the application portal earlier than 30th June deadline. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Entry Portal (DAP) against the programme application page.

Terms and Conditions

The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.
Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.

Download a prospectus