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PgCert|Postgraduate Taught

Cinematic Architecture

Entry year
Entry requirements
1 year (Part-time)
Places available
20 (Part Time)

An innovative postgraduate certificate programme focusing on Cinematic Architecture for enthusiastic people who wish to explore future opportunities in NI and beyond in creative industries including film, architecture, game and design

This is a personalised certificate programme for engaged students who would like to make the most of their time at Queen’s. The work produced throughout the year will be a collaborative effort between you, your year group, our award-winning academics and practicing architects. This two-semester course encourages you to work both within and beyond the realm of creative practices that you are experienced in. We would like you to push the boundaries of your imagination and the limits of creative media, while working with other architects, filmmakers, designers, and artists.

You will work in two practice-based studio modules, one in each semester, questioning norms through research, analysis, and design. You will be able to use the CineArch studio to experiment with new ideas, technologies and media, and as a gateway to your future career goals. 

The course encourages lateral thinking, problem solving, creativity and engagement with design through a self-critical process. It will address issues as diverse as our survival on the planet and alternative ways of thinking about what innovative design practices can be and do.


Through Cinematic Architecture (filmmaking, cinematic analysis, storyboarding, montage, collage, etc.), you will design projects (film sets, exhibition spaces, buildings) focusing on both tangible and intangible qualities of spaces. You will spend the year designing, collaborating, and producing with people from around the world on our university campus that has celebrated its 175th year a few years back. The university’s clubs and facilities including Queen’s Sport, Queen’s Film Theatre, and the Student Union with its brand new building will also provide excellent opportunities to make friends outside of your course.


You will be based in Belfast, a growing city known for its industrial design heritage on one hand and its vibrant arts culture and creative industries on the other. As stated in the Complete University Guide 2022: Belfast is one of Europe's most hip, vibrant and affordable cities, lauded for its energy, and rich in culture and history. Queen's stunning campus is within Belfast's Queen's Quarter, with cafés, bars, restaurants, superb shopping, and entertainment venues. You will enjoy a healthy staff to student ratio, good studios, a world-class library, and excellent workshops for physical and digital manufacturing.


Now, more than ever, our societies demand innovative designers and creative problem solvers to propose solutions to the challenges we face in a complex contemporary world - health and well-being, climate change, forced migration, public safety and increasing urbanisation, among others. Our school is renowned for award-winning, innovative research and teaching that is academically rigorous, critically informed, design-led, and interdisciplinary. In all this endeavour we seek to develop creative people’s voices in addressing these challenges.

The PgCert Cinematic Architecture course provides a scaffold for our students to develop their own personal position within the broad culture of design, and in doing so, contribute to the ongoing debate that shapes creative industries and our world. Our concerns range from the role of art, design and architecture in communities, environmental, social, and economic sustainability, humanitarian architecture for all, tangible and intangible qualities of space to the mapping and analysis of urban, territorial and global conditions. In all this, media including filmmaking, modelmaking, sketching, and drawing play a crucial role as does developing a self-critical understanding of how each individual works as a designer.

The PgCert CineArch is a studio-based programme, underscoring design and design processes as the core concerns, challenging students to be experimental both in their design methodologies/analyses and their design proposals. The one-year programme comprises of two semesters. The staff cohort is composed of a diverse spectrum of esteemed practitioners and innovative academics supported by external consultants beyond Queen’s, providing a further dimension to a rich learning environment. In this context, the students are encouraged to push the limits of their profession as well as their personal capabilities.

Architecture at Queen’s is ranked 8th in the UK in Guardian League Table 2023.

Cinematic Architecture highlights

Industry Links

Close collaborations with the industry and practicing architects in studio tutoring, project reviews and research, including RIBA, RSUA, Belfast City Council, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, QFT, Film Hub NI and Nerve Centre.,,,,,,

Career Development

. If your undergraduate degree is in Architecture, you can continue your studies the following year, take 3 more modules and get the MSc Advanced Architectural Design degree, instead of a postgraduate certificate. These modules are Technical Dissertation (30 cats), Humanities Dissertation (30 cats), and Thesis Project (60 cats).
. Opportunity to apply to PhD in Architecture at Queen’s. If you are interested in this route, please consult the programme director for details.

World Class Facilities

. Prestigious postgraduate certificate degree awarded in one year in a UK Russell Group University
. Studying in an international environment among native English speakers in continuously maintained facilities that are adapted to the technical and health and safety requirements of the pandemic

Student Experience

In this programme you will be working with several local and international students and academics who are established researchers and practicing architects. Queen’s and Belfast are at the intersection of the UK and Ireland as well as Americas and Europe, both physically and culturally; therefore, the university and the city offer a unique and memorable student experience. Belfast is in the top 15 friendliest cities in Europe (Condé Nast Traveller, Readers' Choice Awards 2021), and Northern Ireland is the happiest place to live in the UK (Lloyds Bank Happiness Index, 2020). Belfast has the lowest cost of living in the country (Mercer Cost of Living City Ranking 2021) as well as the lowest student rent (NatWest Student Living Index 2020).

Interdisciplinary Collaborations
In studio, students will get the chance to work with MSc Advanced Architectural Design students with architectural background as well as filmmakers, architects, artists and designers in their programme. Most years, there are also opportunities to work with students/tutors from Software/Computer Engineering, Media and Broadcast Production, Psychology, and Film Studies at Queen’s.

Course Structure

Semester 1: CineArch Studio 1 (30 cats)
Semester 2: CineArch Studio 2 (30 cats)


The modules listed below are compulsory. Field trips -within pandemic regulations- will enrich the programme; last year, we have spent a week in Berlin, Germany, and two days in Liverpool, UK. Students are also encouraged to incorporate other Queen’s modules (languages, history, introduction to film studies, etc.) as long as timetables allow. 

CineArch Studio 1 (30 CATS), Semester 1/12 weeks
CineArch Studio 2 (30 CATS), Semester 2/12 weeks

People teaching you

Senior Lecturer in Architecture AAD and CineArch Programme Director

Architecture in SNBE

Teaching Times

One day a week. Teaching is typically on Tuesdays.

Learning and Teaching


  • Design Studio

    You may already be familiar with studio culture in art/design/architecture. In CineArch we will particularly emphasise cinematic architecture through creative solutions for the future, critical thinking, and experimentation. The learning environment will be personalised as to your strengths and aspirations. The shared studio environment with other programmes (BSc Architecture and MArch) at Queen’s will facilitate your learning.

  • Technology and Media

    Depending on your interests, in this programme, you will be encouraged to use and experiment with a variety of media including filmmaking, animation, casting, performance and contemporary CAD/scripting software. Technology, materials, and detailing will be an integral part of design projects.


Assessments associated with the course, which will include individual and group work, are outlined below:

  • Project-based design work (individual and collaborative)
  • Critical design reviews
  • Representation and multimedia
  • Academic research and analysis
  • (Optional) Competition entry, public exhibition, conference presentation or journal article


15 Chlorine Gardens - architectural design studios and IT/printing facilities

David Keir Building - architectural design studios, lecture theatres, IT/printing facilities, computer labs, workshops for digital fabrication, architectural model making, timber, concrete, metal, etc. and student hub

McClay Library with immense individual and group study spaces with IT facilities

150-years-old Graduate School building shared with all Master and PhD students

Queen’s Sport (PEC) with a swimming pool, gym, tennis/squash courts, climbing walls, etc. - busy day and night




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

Entrance requirements


1. Normally a 2.2 Honours degree or above in a creative discipline, including Film Studies, Animation, Design (Product Design, Stage Design, Graphic Design, etc.), Architecture, Interior Architecture, and the Arts (Visual Arts, Fine Arts, Creative Arts, Digital Arts, etc.). Applicants with entry qualifications other than 2.2 Honours will be considered on an individual basis based on their portfolio.

2. A creative background evidenced by a (Art, Design, Film, Architecture, etc.) digital portfolio or equivalent. A video explaining why the candidate would like to do the course (maximum three minutes) may also be submitted to support the application. (The submission of the video is optional.)

The University's Recognition of Prior Learning Policy provides guidance on the assessment of experiential learning (RPEL). Please visit for more information.

There is a possibility that this course may be funded by the Department for the Economy ‘Skill Up’ for eligible applicants resident in Northern Ireland. Please indicate in the ‘Funding your Studies’ page (two sections forward) if you wish to be considered for DfE ‘Skill Up’ funding should it become available. Where there are more eligible applications received than funded places available, the academic selectors for this programme will make offers in rank order based on academic merit and potential as evidenced in the totality of the information provided in each application. We will operate a waiting list as required to allow us to fill all available funded places. Applicants with degrees in other disciplines or relevant work experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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.

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

Employment after the Course

By completing the programme, you will graduate with a PgCert Cinematic Architecture degree within a year from a Russell Group university in the UK. The certificate is ideal for postgraduate students who are interested in the creative industries such as set design, production design, game design, exhibition design, interior design, and architectural design. If you would like to push the boundaries of your education and think outside-the-box, CineArch is for you.

Anywhere in the world in one of many different disciplines. Our graduates have ended up designing film sets or doing CGI for Hollywood productions, designing game environments as well as working as architects, photographers, editors, illustrators, visual artists worldwide and lecturing/researching in universities.

Prizes and Awards

Applicants will be eligible to apply for other prizes awarded by the university and external funders.

For applicants aged 18 and over who are eligible to work in Northern Ireland, CineArch is a free certified course funded by the SkillUp programme of the Department of the Economy. SkillUp covers student’s tuition fees.

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 DfE Funded students: Free / Other students: £2,434
Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £2,434
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £3,083
EU Other 3 £8,600
International £8,600

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 £500 for the course is appropriate. Having said that, we have started to print less and less with the pandemic as well as environmental concerns. Students should also budget approximately £500 for a possible international field trip.

This PGCert can consider applicants for a DfE funded place if the applicant is:
1. An international applicant who has indefinite leave to remain, living in NI and considered NI for fees.
2. A European applicant who has pre-settled status, living in NI and is considered NI for fees.

The following applicants could be considered however, they would not be eligible for DfE funded place and would have to pay the relevant tuition fee as detailed below.
1. Has UK immigration permissions to live in the UK on a temporary basis (eg skilled worker visa) AND are
resident in NI (international for fees), or
2. However, if the applicant is ordinarily resident in GB they would be considered GB for fees.

Students are responsible for additional costs for materials, books and software for drawing, modelmaking and printing. The amount for materials, equipment and printing will vary depending on how students decide to represent their work, but a budget of £500 for the course is appropriate. Having said that, we have started to print less and less since the pandemic and kept that attitude for environmental concerns.

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