Our MArch architecture programme is validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The award is also prescribed by the Architects’ Registration Board (ARB) as giving exemption from Part 2 of their professional examinations.
Graduates from the MArch programme can take the ARB/RIBA Part 3 examination after amassing a minimum of 24 months’ recorded office-based work experience, 12 months of which must be in the UK.
Our degree programme
This 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. For graduates with the required exemptions from professional examinations, this leads toward registration in the UK as an ‘Architect’.
You study modules covering design, technology, employability and cultural context. These place a prominent focus on your design skills, while also developing your understanding of sustainability, critical thinking and professional practice.
Teaching is delivered through a unit system and generally involves a hypothetical design project. You work with a mix of Stage 4 and 5 students and learn through an iterative process, facilitated by seminars, tutorials and peer-to-peer learning. Additional lecture and seminar modules cover technology, cultural context, dissertation and employability.
You have the chance to take a work placement or study abroad for a term in your second year. Previous study destinations have included:
Virginia Tech (US)École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture et de Paysage de Lille.
Our open-plan studios are at the creative heart of our teaching. It’s a place where our students can work on projects, share ideas and inspire each other.
The hi-tech Digital Crit space provides a more formal environment for sharing work and getting feedback. It is also used to present finished work in a group environment.
Overall, our facilities include:
modern design workshopsdedicated model workshopslaser-cutting facilitiescomputer studio and labsDigital Crit spaces for presenting designs, including uTouch HD screensan excellent library collection of books, journals and electronic resources.
Many of our students like to join the Kent Architectural Student Association (KASA). It is run by students and in previous years has organised:
social eventsdesign competitionstalks from experts in architecture, graphic design, product design and art.
Kent School of Architecture and Planning also puts on special events that you are welcome to attend. These may include:
open lecturesresearch seminarsexhibitionsconferences and symposia.
Kent School of Architecture and Planning has a wide professional network and invites guest speakers from inspirational practices such as:
FarrellsCarl Turner ArchitectsRogers Stirk Harbour + PartnersGuy Hollaway Architects.
All students within a particular unit follow the same design project brief, while additional lecture and seminar modules support design through the teaching of technology, culture, dissertation and employability.
Assessment is by a variety of methods, including a portfolio of drawings, models and artefacts, written case study, essay, reflective blogs, oral presentation and dissertation.
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.