Architecture - MA

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Why study this course?

This design-led research focussed course will allow you to develop your own creative and intellectual thesis. Drawing on the strengths of our School in architecture, design and research, it is taught in parallel with the MArch (RIBA 2) Architecture course. The range of tutors and interests represented across studios provides a strong platform from which to develop your own MA thesis, with an option (subject to complying with RIBA 1 requirements) to transfer to the RIBA 2 course.

The Metropolitan Architecture Student Society (MASS) is very active in organising lectures, events and socials, and has a wide network of industry sponsors. To see what they're up to, follow MASS on Instagram and Twitter.

To date, this course has been particularly attractive to international students and can be seen as an entry-level primer for those wishing to pursue further research.

More about this course

Our Architecture MA degree provides you with a practical and theoretical understanding of both architecture and interior design, presenting you with a rare opportunity for high-level study of both these areas.

The course is open to graduates of architecture, interior design and other closely related subjects and is taught in parallel with the Architecture RIBA 2 MArch.

Drawing upon the established strengths of the School in architecture and interior design, you’ll explore their common interest in spatial design and work within an established critical theoretical framework.

The main subject areas you’ll cover are in design, history and theory. Each module contains complementary skills and knowledge for you to master and together they will thoroughly test your ability in this field.

You’ll learn from a wide selection of tutors, studios and interest groups, and there will also be a strong emphasis on your own self-directed study.

The design-based and research-orientated structure of the MA will help you focus on improving your skills and developing excellence in the work you to produce. Likewise, the coursework provides a strong design platform from which you can develop your thesis creatively and intellectually.

Watch the video introduction to the Architecture Research Unit by course leader Professor Philip Christou and lecturer Professor Florian Beigel to learn more about the learning processes that will guide your studies on the Architecture MA.


The design projects are assessed through an end-of-year portfolio presentation, while your history and theory work will be assessed through a written dissertation.

Different assessment methods will be used for option modules, depending on the nature of the module.

Fees and key information

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Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

  • a good honours degree in architecture, interior design or a closely related subject
  • design talent, ability and motivation demonstrated through presentation of a portfolio
  • a personal statement that articulates your academic and professional interests and ambition

Non-UK based students who are unable to attend an interview must submit a portfolio of their architecture and/or design work along with their application form. To find out what to include in your portfolio, view our portfolio guidance.

To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Tier 4 student visa you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2020/21 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    This module invites the student to engage, from within an individual design unit, with the substance of formulating a design research proposition; it develops a student's design skills and understanding along with an ability to critically engage in design research. The module aims to equip students for postgraduate level study in design, through the development of their skills and understanding in regard to design research. The underlying aim is to raise the awareness and expectations of design research by improving the quality of the process, with reference to similar processes in other disciplines. In parallel, students will develop their understanding of the unique aspects of design research, in relation to the specific issues encountered in the built environment.
    This background will enable students to critically select and carry out appropriate forms of research for developing well-informed design models. The module will emphasise the function of dissemination in research and encourage high standards of documentation. The module is based in the design studio, with the principal themes and issues being introduced through a seminar programme, attendance of which is a requirement of the module.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • summer studies

    This module is the culmination of the Master’s programme. It allows the student to articulate an extended field of self-directed design research into an ambitious and rigorous proposition. The academically conceptualised module offers Master’s students the opportunity to develop a design thesis: a theoretically framed and argued proposition developed through design project work, the designate modules and personal investigation. This thesis might, for example, clarify aspects of the wider context of the field of investigation, or it might further investigate a particular area of interest. It could take the form of an illustrated written document or an extended design or urban analysis project, suitably documented. The aim is to enable students to position themselves, intellectually and creatively, within contemporary discourse on the design of architecture and interiors and/or the production and analysis of the city, in relation to the agenda of design research.

    Bridging the subject areas of architecture, interior design and urbanism, the thesis is not defined by the limits of professional practice. It may, for example, fruitfully explore the boundaries of a subject area and its cross-fertilisation with other disciplines; it may focus on more traditional but still pertinent ground, or it may investigate the implications of new cultural, technological, or public policy considerations. Whilst it is expected that the dissertation will explore the context of the chosen field of research and investigate relevant precedents, the thesis should in itself be propositional.

    The module is largely self-directed but will typically be developed from the work previously undertaken within design units, from knowledge gained through attendance at seminars (convened during term time) and the production and discussion of a thesis abstract or (as required within an associated module component: AR7009 or AR7016). At the commencement of the Summer Study Period the student is required to present a thesis outline (extending the abstract submitted at the end of Semester 1) which establishes a plan for the final document.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    This module invites the student, from within an individual design unit, to build upon the skills and knowledge developed through design research and established within a design project. The module exercises the student’s ability to propose design schemes that embody clear and appropriate conceptual outlook or scheme against which design proposals may be tested. Such a conceptual scheme should be derived with the context of a research framework and govern the rationale of the design proposal. The design proposals should be sufficiently developed through a process of rigorous testing to demonstrate the validity of the concepts in some detail and against a range of criteria, relevant to the built environment.

    The module aims to strengthen the student’s command of the design process, in practical and theoretical terms. The development of the design scheme will, within the wider context of the design research, establish the parameters and focus of the Design Thesis Proposal.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday evening

    Techniques (analogue and digital) in architectural design, representation and production continually and rapidly evolve. The module does set a specific set of software tools. This module will present a variety of digital techniques relevant to a wide range of design agendas. It will also discuss the potential relationship of these techniques within their applicability to architectural design. The student will be asked not only to master their techniques but to demonstrate a critical understanding of the context of their research and its value as a resource within their own work in related design modules.
    The module will introduce students to a range of digital techniques. The module aims to challenge students to develop a competent technical ability within their specialised technique research. This specialisation should be developed either from one of the introductory workshops, their initial research, or a technique introduced/needed within their design modules.
    Specific module aims are:
    • to prepare students with a technical and theoretical knowledge of the advanced digital design environment defined through generative, iterative, formative and communicative techniques;
    • to prepare students with the knowledge of specialised skills which aim to challenge and enhance their current design vocabularies/techniques; supplying students with the knowledge of techniques and the critical assessments needed to appropriately invent, adapt and develop design techniques for use within their design modules;
    • to demonstrate and teach advanced techniques in digital design, modelling, imaging, drawing and production;
    • to research and demonstrate advanced digital design techniques including: scripting, parametric modelling, generative animations, systemic organisations, advanced geometric modelling, computational simulations and computer aided manufactured prototyping;
    • to equip students with an understanding and ability to use contemporary/ emergent design principles and digital design techniques and how these effect/evolve contemporary architecture, spatiality, materiality and organisational theories; the module discusses and considers these techniques/ theories within a wider theoretical and architectural context.

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  • By undertaking Changing Places students will acquire the knowledge and skills to enable them to facilitate both individuals and communities in the transformation of the places and spaces in situations of scares resources and rapid culture and technology change.

    Autumn semester. Assessment: Illustrated Written Paper (5000- 4000 words) - 100%

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday afternoon

    Film can often reveal a hidden, poetic truth that even though inherent in reality, is at times not apparent, except through the lens of a camera. Thus, the module aims to introduce film as an alternative form of study of the city and architecture. Still an infant art, film has developed together with modernity and, arguably, its influence on modern perception has been more profound than that of any other art. Therefore, it remains an invaluable tool for studying and understanding modern life.
    More often than not film relies heavily on story and characters. Through this perspective of the inhabitant, the module uses a wide variety of films and attempts to read between the ‘lines’ of architecture and urban planning and explore areas often neglected by those disciplines.
    This module uses film as an alternate means to study the city and architecture in order to gain insight into the nature of modern life. It discovers neglected lines of enquiry between film and urban planning through their interpretation in films that, in themselves, comprise a modern discipline that addresses modernity.

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  • The module examines different concepts of space and their development. It explores the history of space as an object of reflection by contrasting theory with our everyday personal experience. It illuminates how our interpretation of space can change according to time, culture, ethical, and aesthetic principles, and how this change is expressed in architecture and the way we think about it.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday morning

    This module emphasises the social and political perspective of space making at architectural and urban scales. It is an introduction to key concepts in urban history and theory from the 19th century until the present. It addresses historical and contemporary processes relevant to social life, politics, architecture and the urban environment. Episodes of architectural and urban theory are placed in the context of political and cultural transformations, and in through a reading of the intersections between concepts of childhood and the designing, planning and ordering of space. The module also investigates how different urban practitioners (architects, artists, users and dwellers, children and adults) intervened in the transformation of the city. The focus is on developing a cultural and political critique to open an interdisciplinary debate.

    Aims of the module:

    to provide a theoretical and historical framework for the understanding of
    contemporary questions of city planning and urban transformation;
    to analyse important episodes in the history of urban planning and large-scale
    city transformation from the 19th century until today;
    to explore general theories of architecture and urbanism;
    to consider relationships between architecture and ideology, space and power;
    to consider architecture and urbanism as a tool of politics;
    to encourage critical judgements on processes of regeneration and large-scale
    urban planning strategies.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday evening

    The module investigates contemporary uses and tools of digital media in relation to architecture.

    The module is structured around lectures, presentations, demonstrations and computer workshops:
    1. to investigate the contemporary use and tools of digital media within design systems, modelling, and representation;
    2. to consider the historical, theoretical and practical relationship between architecture/interior design and representation;
    3. to consider a philosophical, ethical, and spatial understanding of digital tools within contemporary design;
    4. to discuss the technology used in the practice of architecture and interior design, particularly in reference to representation but also including aspects of communication, collaborations and documentation;
    5. to gain an ability to discriminate and to utilise the investigated tools of digital design, modelling, and representation in a sophisticated manner.

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  • The module offers a critique of the theories of modern perception rooted in ocular-centric concepts of space. The ‘forgetting of air’ refers to alternate ways of approaching the materiality of space through interrogating the overlooked medium of the air and how it is understood through the body and by the mind in different contexts.
    The module examines the institution of social hierarchies amongst our cognitive and physical senses and how they influence the design and perception of architecture, its histories and theories, and how architecture is written.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday morning

    This module examines the relationship between buildings and history. It questions the simple chronology of time or period and looks at how architects use history to both quarry and validate ideas. The module examines architectural history through direct encounters with its objects, and the history of architectural history through texts, both contemporaneous and contemporary.
    The aim of the module is to investigate the idea and history of history and its relation to architectural history. It sets out to construct an alternative history of western architecture, critical of conventional chronological histories but spanning from the ancient world to the present day, on the basis of direct encounters with buildings and related cultural products in London. Students are encouraged to observe buildings closely and interpret them creatively, thereby arriving at a deeper appreciation of various historical periods and cultural paradigms, and, alongside the buildings, to examine contemporary written accounts, testing their value as interpretative tools and reservoirs of cultural meaning.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday morning

    This module's main task is to assist students in developing a creative skill in interpreting the built and lived world. It engages with the interpretation and representation of complex objects like London through the art of writing.
    This module engages with the creative act of writing about a complex architectural subject such as London as an exemplary lived and built city. By presenting a familiar but impossibly large and complex subject, the module aims to encourage students to think creatively. It is about building new connections between things rather than learning to reiterate existing partitions. The discipline of the endeavour is rooted in three processes: the composition of evidence, critical reflection, developing a story from a range of literary and non-literary sources. The aim in this is to help students determine a balance between the weight of detailed facts and given arguments, and their own conceptual leaps and critical judgments. The enterprise should involve students in creating a productive and sociable working pattern.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Tuesday morning

    Poetry and Architecture examines how architecture can be connected to a broad range of other discourses through the critical application of poetic ideas. In this context, poetry represents not a literary genre, but a methodology – a tactic that shifts between interpretation (poetics), performance (poetry), and making (poiesis). The module offers students a radical alternative to most current discourses about architecture; an opportunity to conceive of architecture as an actor in an expanded field of practice, knowledge, objects and ideas; and to understand the creative processes that animate, and connect, the practice and interpretation of architecture.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Tuesday afternoon

    The module examines historical and philosophical ideas that deal with architecture as a means of cultural dialogue and discourse since the Enlightenment.
    The module examines historical and philosophical ideas that deal with architecture as a means of cultural dialogue and discourse since the Enlightenment. The aim of this module is to introduce as the key critical concept, the self-awareness of irony, to the evaluation of the role of architectural proposition and thought in modern culture.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester

    The module explores the relation of the broader intellectual context of technology to architecture.
    This module examines the concept of technology historically and philosophically in order to get a clearer idea of its relation to architecture. It questions current assumptions that the progress of technology is inevitable.

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  • The module offers an interdisciplinary study of music and architecture in a historical context, with a focus on the theory of the soundscape of modernity in relation to architecture and urban design, and the practical application of sonic studies in the built environment. It aims to introduce a culture of listening in architecture and urban design. It explores the rich opportunities that lie in an interdisciplinary study of music and architecture and aims to introduce a new body of research and writing to architectural history and theory.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday afternoon

    The module examines the work of thinkers within and beyond architecture, relating these ideas to the experience of architecture and to the making architecture.

    Aims of the module:
    The module aims to show how established theoretical orthodoxies might be challenged or re-interpreted in light of students' experience of buildings and other physical forms of culture, using theory. In the module we examine influential philosophical and intellectual themes in the theory of architecture, comparing them and assessing their worth, and tracing current theoretical concerns in architecture to their origins in philosophy.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday morning

    This module reviews the main ways of writing about architecture, using a wide range of texts by outstanding practitioners to exemplify each type. Students will practice the various modes themselves.

    The module will provide a comprehensive view of the opportunities facing a writer about architecture, defining the main ways of writing about the subject and exemplifying them in carefully chosen texts by a variety of outstanding writers. The module will encourage students to experience the writing first hand, involving them in a structured series of practical experiments in the various modes of writing.

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After the course

Many graduates of our Architecture MA course go on to either continue or start work within architecture, interior design or fields that are connected to both.

If you want to develop your research further, then you’re encouraged to apply and undertake a PhD at London Met.

Additional costs

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

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For an insight into what's going on with the Metropolitan Architecture Student Society you can also follow MASS on Instagram and Twitter.

How to apply

Use the apply button to begin your application.

Non-EU applicants looking to study part-time should apply direct to the University. If you require a Tier 4 visa and wish to study a postgraduate course on a part-time basis, please read our how to apply information for international students to ensure you have all the details you need about the application process.

When to apply

You are advised to apply as early as possible as applications will only be considered if there are places available on the course.

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