Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part 2) MArch

Why choose this course?

What does it take to make thoughtful work in the built environment today?

During this degree you'll think and make, and develop the technical and critical skills required to be both nimble and empowered to act in today's diverse architectural culture.

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.

You'll study in our exceptional, Haworth Tompkins-designed workshops, which are open for creative exploration and offer opportunities to collaborate on projects and share ideas.

Mode Duration Start date
Full time 2 years September 2020
Location Kingston School of Art, Knights Park

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • Innovative course structure which integrates design and supporting studies in a clear and accessible way.
  • We are at the cutting edge of practice-led European architectural discourse. We have areas of distinction in History & Theory, Representation and Tectonics led by dedicated Associate Professors.
  • REGISTER connects the students at Kingston School of Art with the professional and public spheres of architectural practice in London, Europe, and further afield.
  • Our students and staff have won prestigious industry awards.


Architects Registration Board (ARB)

Architects Registration Board (ARB)

Architects Registration Board (ARB)

This course is a prescribed qualification by the Architects Registration Board (ARB).

Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)

Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)

Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)

This course covers Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) criteria Part 2.

What you will study

During this two-year degree, you'll develop as an architectural designer and thinker and progress to engaging in architectural practice as an independent and reflective practitioner.

You'll be expected to build on 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 from years 1 to 3, rather than to introduce a wide range of new subject material.

The design studio aspect of the 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.

Year 4

Final year

The central focus of the course is design practice along with the theoretical, technical and contextual studies which underpin and inform design. You'll enjoy a practice-led teaching curriculum, commended by the RIBA visiting panel. Throughout the degree, you'll gain a comprehensive knowledge of the areas of study required to enter and contribute to architectural practice and architectural design.

You'll also be supported in identifying and developing your particular strengths and interests, alongside your studies in core subjects.

Core modules

Reading Architecture

30 credits

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.

Designing Architecture

30 credits

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.

Representing Architecture

30 credits

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.

Making Architecture

30 credits

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


30 credits

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.


30 credits

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.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Teaching through studio units

The design studio aspect of the 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.

The image gallery below contains examples of student work. 

Entry requirements

What you need to apply for this course

The course has been designed for applicants seeking a route to registration in the UK and who already have Part 1 exemption as well as at least a year's professional experience. However, there are opportunities for students without this work experience to join the course. If you are in any doubt as to your eligibility to join the course, you are encouraged to apply, stating your experience and qualifications. All suitable applicants are then interviewed prior to acceptance onto the course.

Typical offer

Applicants must have:

  • Preferably ARB/RIBA Part 1 or exemption from it, but we will consider applications without Part 1 who have undertaken non-UK or non-validated architecture degrees. Before qualifying as a UK architect, students must have obtained Part 1, as well as Part 2 and 3. Please contact the ARB regarding eligibility for their Prescribed Part 1 exam;
  • in most cases, not less than 40 weeks of appropriate professional experience prior to entry;
  • a high level of basic design skill as well as an ability to engage in a rigorous, graduate programme of study;
  • an understanding of architecture as both an academic subject and an ongoing practice; and
  • a commitment and motivation to the practice of architecture.

We will give preference to applicants who have:

  • a good first degree; and
  • evidence of a range of experience in either architectural practice or an allied design/construction environment.

International students

We welcome applications from international students subject to the Typical Offer requirements above.

English language requirements

All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirement, which is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no element below 5.5. Make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we consider.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements could be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Applicants from a recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.


We normally invite applicants for an interview prior to selection. We can make alternative arrangements for international students based overseas.

Prior learning - AP(E)L

We actively encourage applications from those who feel their prior academic and professional experience will enable them to enter directly into the final year. Please contact the Course Leader directly to discuss further or contact the faculty office for more information.

Teaching and assessment

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically involves reading and analysing articles, regulations, policy document and key texts, documenting individual projects, preparing coursework assignments and completing your PEDRs, etc.

Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the University's online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

At Kingston University, we know that postgraduate students have particular needs and therefore we have a range of support available to help you during your time here.

Your workload

Year 1: 20% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.

  • Scheduled teaching and learning: 237 hours
  • Guided independent study: 963 hours

Final year: 17% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.

  • Scheduled teaching and learning: 202 hours
  • Guided independent study: 998 hours

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.

Year 1

Final year

Year 1
  • Scheduled teaching and learning: 237 hours
  • Guided independent study: 963 hours
Final year
  • Scheduled teaching and learning: 202 hours
  • Guided independent study: 998 hours

How you will be assessed

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

Assessment typically comprises exams (eg test or exam), practical (eg presentations, performance) and coursework (eg essays, reports, self-assessment, portfolios, dissertation). The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows, though depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose.

Type of assessment

Type of assessment
  • Coursework: 100%

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Class sizes

To give you an indication of class sizes, this course normally enrols 50 students, lecture sizes are normally 50 and design studios under 20. However, this can vary by module and academic year.

Who teaches this course?

This course is staffed by a wide range of distinguished practitioners and academics, with every design studio taught by a practising architect.
Postgraduate students may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.

Fees for this course

Home and European Union 2020/21

  • MArch full time £9,250

Overseas (not EU) 2020/21

  • MArch full time £15,700

Home and European Union 2019/20

  • MArch full time £9,250 (post 2012)

Overseas (not EU) 2019/20

  • MArch full time £15,300

Funding and bursaries

Kingston University offers a range of postgraduate scholarships, including:

If you are an international student, find out more about scholarships and bursaries.

We also offer the following discounts for Kingston University alumni:

As an RIBA-validated School of Architecture, there are student funding opportunities offered by the RIBA to assist with your studies at Kingston University.

The RIBA Student Support Fund is open to students studying an RIBA-validated Part 1 or Part 2 architecture course, or with RIBA candidate status, in the UK. (Or in the case of applying for support with practical experience, students who have graduated from an RIBA-validated Part 1 or Part 2 architecture course, or with candidate course status). Eligible applicants can apply for a maximum of £3,000 to support themselves. The fund runs twice per academic year, in the Autumn term and the Spring term.

RIBA offers additional funding opportunities for architecture students.


There is a wide range of facilities at Knights Park, where this course is based.

Workshops and studios

The workshops and studios are open for creative exploration and offer you plenty of opportunities to collaborate on projects and share ideas, whether you are studying or researching. Building on this open approach, there are many adaptable architecture studio and workshop spaces, designed by Stirling Prize-winning Haworth Tompkins, alongside active breakout spaces.

At the heart of the building are state-of-the-art workshop facilities, which include:

  • 3D workshops, with ceramics, concrete, resin-casting, plastics, metalwork, woodwork and a bronze-casting foundry, as well as a Big Build space for architecture, set design and large-scale model making
  • animation and post production studios
  • digital Media workshop
  • knitting and sewing workshops with digital and analogue facilities, plus a working dress archive which includes pieces from 1750 to the present day
  • HackSpace (for collaborative, creative, solutions-focused projects)
  • letterpress and printmaking workshop, with digital and analogue facilities, to experiment creatively
  • moving Image workshop, with studios, editing suite, and industry-standard equipment
  • photography workshop, including studios, colour, and black and white darkrooms, processing facilities

All our facilities are open access, meaning you can use them whenever you want, and irrespective of what degree you're studying.

The University's museum and galleries

The University has its own on-site galleries, including:

  • Dorich House – the former studio home of the sculptor Dora Gordine and her husband the Hon. Richard Hare, a scholar of Russian art and literature. Now Grade II listed, the building was completed in 1936, to Gordine's design, and is an exceptional example of a modern studio house created by and for a female artist.
  • Stanley Picker Gallery – one of the leading examples of a university gallery in the UK. Its public activities are dedicated to the research, commissioning and presentation of innovative new practice across the fields of art, design and architecture for general, academic and specialist audiences.
  • project spaces at Knights Park campus, which you can book for the exhibition of large-scale work.

Resources in London

Kingston is just a 30-minute train journey away from central London. Here you can access world-famous museums and galleries.

After you graduate

Graduates from this degree succeed in architectural careers in professional practice, architecture teaching and associated construction and creative industries; they are actively sought by prominent architectural practices in London, the UK and abroad.

Our department nurtures an active and supportive alumni network which is growing year on year.

Links with business

The Department of Architecture and Landscape is invested in acting in continuity with architectural culture, and in cultivating practitioners who make work in a thoughtful manner, attuned to the social and physical contexts where they work.

The REGISTER podcast series features some of the best emerging architectural talent in the UK and Europe. Some will be practitioners engaged in making work, others may be researchers, or planners or developers – people involved in enabling a space for architecture. We are interested in making a space to talk discursively about the culture of practice.

In addition, the majority of teaching staff are practicing professional architects and/or active researchers, including Stirling Prize shortlisted Simon Henley and AOC's Tom Coward; all design studios are taught by practising architects.