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Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part 2) MArch

Mode Duration Start date
Full time 2 years September 2020

Choose Kingston's Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part 2) MArch

The Department of Architecture and Landscape at Kingston School of Art has established a clear position within the UK context of architectural education. Our concern with continuity in architectural culture, and in making work which is sensitive to situation and context, places us in a notional community of European schools in places as diverse as Ireland, Switzerland, Scandinavia and Iberia. The graduating practitioner from Kingston is a generalist capable of thinking and making, with the technical and critical skills required to be both nimble and empowered to act in today's diverse architectural culture.

Our exceptional workshops and creative ethos speak of the inherent dynamic of how we see architectural knowledge generated. This course is staffed by a wide range of distinguished practitioners and academics, with every design studio taught by a practicing architect. The course features a diverse range of design approaches rooted in a common ethos, and often involving 'live-build' projects, recently for the Barbican in London and Kunstmuseum, Bonn.

Our students and staff continue to win prestigious industry awards, including regular successes in the RIBA President's Medals.

Key Features

  • You'll study in brand new, purpose-designed top floor architecture studios, designed by Stirling Prize winning architects, Haworth Tompkins (from 2019);
  • You'll enjoy a practice-led teaching curriculum - commended by the most recent RIBA visiting panel in 2017;
  • You will gain a comprehensive knowledge of the areas of study required to enter and contribute to architectural practice and architectural discourse;
  • You will acquire a critical understanding of architecture as a cultural, social and material practice, with consideration for the ways in which it impacts on human and physical environments;
  • Inter-course and inter-year activities within the Department of Architecture & Landscape, including the annual student Summer Show and Looking In: Looking Out, our annual student and graduate show;
  • You will learn to create coherent, responsible and appropriate architectural designs capable of making a positive contribution to the environment.

What will you study?

During this course, students develop as architectural designers and thinkers and move towards the ability to engage in architectural practice as independent and reflective practitioners.Students are expected to build on and further develop the knowledge, understanding and skill acquired during your first degree and a recommended initial period of work-based learning. The emphasis of this course is therefore to deepen and consolidate existing learning and skill, rather than to introduce a wide range of new subject material.

The core skill of the architect is design. The core of the course is design practice along with the theoretical, technical and contextual studies which underpin and inform design. Architectural design is simultaneously a cultural, technical, managerial and creative activity. In recognition of this, the programme seeks to encourage students to develop a high level of critical awareness of their discipline, as well as of their own practice. It also aims to assist students in identifying and developing their particular strengths and interests, whilst expecting them to meet a minimum level of competence across all core subjects.


Design projects, reports, seminars, presentations, essays, case studies, and dissertation.

How this course is taught

The design studio aspect of the course course is taught through studio units. Students have the opportunity to enter a ballot for the unit of their choice at the beginning of each academic year. The subject focus of the units varies from year to year.

Course structure

Please note that all modules listed below are compulsory for that level.

Core modules (Level 6)

  • Architecture is a critical practice. A work of architecture is conditioned by the primary relationships it establishes with immediate physical, environmental and social conditions, understood with the wider context of society, material culture, architectural thought and history.

    This module supports the continuing development of sophisticated, analytical, design research skills, employed and demonstrated within the conception, ongoing development and physical manifestation of a coherent design project. The module reinforces the history of ideas that have informed the development of architecture and the city, from antiquity to modernity, through the investigation of a series of major turning points. Students are asked to consider the ways in which such cultural and historical understandings inform the development of their own design propositions.

  • Good design successfully engages the ethical, regulatory and professional conditions, established by society, as elements that are integral to a creative process and the development of a coherent, successful architectural proposition. It is the result of a reflective and iterative process, whereby all aspects of a developing project are continually re-evaluated, both in relation to one another and in response to external contexts, in order to ensure their continuing validity and their eventual synthesis.

    This module asks students to become agents of good design, and to integrate developing ideas relating to Architecture as an ethical, intellectual, practical, and professional discipline. As designers, students will identify, evaluate, formulate and record the complex range of factors, across a range of scales, which inform the ongoing design proposal and investigate the regulatory, contractual, and economic environment of professional practice, which underpins architectural production.

  • A coherent architectural proposal represents the synthesis of strategy and detail, materialised at scales that range between the room and the city.

    This module asks students to produce a sustainable architectural proposition which is spatially, formally, and programmatically resolved, and which is responsive to its physical, social, cultural and regulatory contexts. It asks students to begin to situate and represent their work within a broad cultural and intellectual frame, communicating it in ways that allow engagement with a range of audiences. The module also provides students with an opportunity to explore specialist forms of design, expression, and production techniques that can inform the ways in which they think and work as architects.

  • The resolution of a work of architecture occurs, ultimately, through its actualisation. Materials determine the tectonic expression of a building, articulated through a critical attitude to its structure, construction, and the modification of the environment. If these processes of making are to successfully engage with the wider concerns of form, use, culture and place, whilst also responding to increasingly complex and highly regulated procurement infrastructures, then they need to be considered as an integral part of an holistic process of design development, one that encompasses both strategic and detailed thinking.

    This module develops a student's ability to critically research materials and to think strategically about the relationship between individual building elements and larger systems. The module asks students to resolve detailed aspects of the material, structural, environmental, and tectonic concerns of their project, through a series of iterative and developing levels of detail, where complex and often overlapping systems and components are integrated, across a range of scales. It asks the student to begin to consider the interrelationship of craft and manufacture within a professional context where the architect is increasingly understood as a specifier, utilising the products of universalised, mass production in response to the increasingly stringent parameters of regulation and economics.


Core modules (Level 7)

  • Critical scholarship underpins practices of architecture. Written research both supports and is supported by design research.

    This module requires students to apply critical and analytical skills to produce a substantial piece of research that sits alongside the design thesis project. The dissertation provides an opportunity for students to engage in an area of architectural enquiry and scholarship, including history and theory, technology and environmental science, professional practice and related topics; developed and presented as coherent, eloquent and well-illustrated documents.

  • An architecture "thesis" is declared through the precise, physical embodiment of a holistic, intellectually rigorous proposition. Underpinning such an ambition is the ability to reflect upon, critically evaluate, integrate and resolve issues that emerge from immediate contextual conditions, the wider concerns of making, practice, use and the history of architecture, alongside those of society and culture, as a whole.

    This module is the culmination of a student's design education within academia, drawing together the various demands and concerns of a complex work of architecture into a synthetic whole. It requires that sophisticated thinking, clearly articulated strategies and analytical research techniques are applied to the development of a project, expecting a student to evidence their comprehensive understanding of the complex and often contradictory issues at stake in formulating an architectural proposition. The resulting project should demonstrate an ability to encompass and communicate these issues within an articulate, highly resolved, design proposal, utilising the range of abilities, skills and techniques acquired and iterated through a student's academic career. In drawing together these various strands of thinking and doing, the module offers the opportunity for students to begin to articulate their position as architects and emerging professionals.


You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

Regulations governing this course are available here

Details of term dates for this course can be found here

Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9930*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.


This course is taught at Kingston School of Art, Knights Park

View Kingston School of Art, Knights Park on our Google Maps

Contact our admissions team

Submit an enquiry

020 3308 9930*

*Calls cost 7p per minute from a UK landline plus your phone company's access charge. Calls to this number from mobiles are normally deductible from your inclusive minutes.


This course is taught at Kingston School of Art, Knights Park

View Kingston School of Art, Knights Park on our Google Maps
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