Architects and the designers of our surroundings are the driving force behind the design and development of our built environment. Whether they are designing new buildings, giving a new lease of life to existing ones, developing urban spaces, landscapes or contemporary interiors, architects have a profound influence on all our lives.
Kent’s Master of Architecture (MArch) programme is a two-year (known as Stage 4 and Stage 5) full-time undergraduate professional programme focused on architectural design. It forms the second part of the UK’s traditional five-year continuum of professional undergraduate education in architecture leading, for graduates with the required exemptions from professional examinations, toward registration in the UK as an ‘Architect’.
Kent’s MArch architecture programme is validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), and the award is prescribed by the Architects' Registration Board (ARB) as giving exemption from Part 2 of their professional examinations. The MArch well-positions its graduates to continue after the degree to a Part 3 programme in architecture and professional practice.
About Kent School of Architecture (KSA)
Research at Kent School of Architecture and Planning achieves excellence in both the history and theory of architecture and in sustainable urban, peri-urban and environmental design. School staff have design expertise and specialist knowledge; they are at the forefront of current architectural issues, including sustainability, technology, professional practice and research. Our staff are active at academic and professional conferences, both nationally and internationally, and appear and publish in local and national media. The School promotes innovative and interdisciplinary research, emphasising sustainable design.
Much of the project work involved in the Kent School of Architecture and Planning is located on 'live' sites in the local region, using real clients and engaging challenging issues. Students in all stages of the school have been introduced to real urban and architectural design challenges in Lille, Margate, Folkestone, Dover, Rye, Chatham and, of course, Canterbury. Much of this work involves liaising with external bodies, such as architects, planners, council and development groups.
Knowledge and understanding
You will gain knowledge and understanding of:
- the application of academic discipline and a professional approach to MArch work
- an appropriate philosophical approach which reveals an understanding of theory in a cultural context
- the influences on the contemporary built environment of individual buildings, the design of cities, past and present societies and wider global issues
- the histories and theories of architecture and urban design, the history of ideas, and the related disciplines of art, cultural studies and landscape studies and its application in critical debate
- briefs and how to critically appraise them to ensure that the design response is appropriate to the site and context, and for reasons such as sustainability and budget
- inter-relationships between, people, buildings and the environment and an understanding of the need to relate buildings and the spaces between them to human needs and scales
- regulatory requirements, including the needs of the disabled, health and safety legislation and building regulations and developmental control, that guide building construction
- the contribution of other professionals in the design process showing an appropriate use of team working skills, recognising the importance of current methods in the construction industry
- building technologies, environmental design, construction methods in relation to human well-being, welfare of future generations, the natural world and the consideration of a sustainable environment
- the impact on design of legislation, codes of practices and health and safety both during the construction and occupation of a project
- how cost control mechanisms operate within the development of an architectural project
- the basic principles of business management and factors related to running a design practice and how architects organise, administer and manage an architectural project, recognising current and emerging trends in the construction industry such as partnering, integrated project process, value engineering and risk management
- the inter-relationships of individuals and organisations involved in the procurement and delivery of architectural projects, and how these are defined and effected through a variety of contractual organisational structures
- the fundamental legal, professional and statutory requirements as they are relevant to building design and practice, with particular reference to matters relating to health and safety and universal design for access
- the professional duties and responsibilities of architects, as defined and described in the Codes and Standards relating to their professional practice.
You develop intellectual skills in:
- generating and systematically testing, analysing and appraising design options, and drawing conclusions which display methodological and theoretical rigour
- independently defining and appraising ideas in relation to a design and to the work of others
- critically appraising and forming considered judgements about spatial, aesthetic, technical and social qualities of a design within the scope and scale of a wider environment
- identifying and managing individual learning needs so as to prepare for and maintain professional standards commensurate with qualification
- applying relevant research to the ideas, development and quality of the task
- formulating a research proposal with its appropriate methodology.
You gain subject-specific skills in:
- integrating knowledge of the social, political, economic and professional context that guides building construction
- devising structural and constructional strategies for a complex building or group of buildings employing integrative knowledge of structural theories, constructional techniques and processes, the physical properties and characteristics of building materials and components and the environmental impact of specification choices, and the provision of building services
- integrating knowledge of the principles and theories associated with visual, thermal and acoustic environments
- integrating knowledge of climatic design and the relationship between climate, built form, construction, lifestyle, energy consumption and human well-being
- using architectural representations having critically appraised the most appropriate techniques available.
You will gain the following transferable skills:
- using visual, verbal and written communication and appropriate media (including sketching, digital and electronic techniques) to represent analysis and critical appraisal of proposals of complex designs to professional and lay audiences
- producing documentation and reports which are clear, analytical and logical covering a range of architectural issues of culture, theory and design
- working as part of a team
- researching, speculating, appraising and drawing conclusions about a range of architectural issues
- learning skills including the ability to plan and carry through a project programme
- ability to be self-critical about the work and constructive in how to address and progress it
- putting forward rational arguments and form independent views based on a critical approach to the field of study
- reflecting on work progress and develop enhancement strategies.
This programme aims to:
- ensure that you achieve the standard of Part 2 of the professional qualifications through development of your knowledge, understanding and abilities
- promote creativity and excellence in architectural design; from imaginative concepts to thoughtful project development and the integration of technology strategically and in detail
- develop your knowledge of the professional context of architecture and ensure that you are aware of your professional responsibilities
- develop your understanding of architecture within a broader cultural context
- promote and support your independent self-learning and communication skills
- accommodate a wide range of views and develop your specialised architectural interests
- develop your understanding of how the boundaries of knowledge are advanced through research and promote originality in applying your knowledge
- develop your initiative, responsibility and sound critical judgement in making decisions about complex architectural issues.
- enable you to develop strategies for self-improvement and commitment to life skills and learning
- support you in achieving your potential in all parts of the programme.