Skip to main content
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.
If you are planning to join this course in the academic year 2020/21 (i.e. between August 2020 and July 2021), please view the information about changes to courses for 2020/21 due to Covid-19.
Students who are continuing their studies with Kingston University in 2020/21 should refer to their Course Handbook for information about specific changes that have been, or may be, made to their course or modules being delivered in 2020/21. Course Handbooks are located within the Canvas Course page.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Applicants must have:
We will give preference to applicants who have:
We welcome applications from international students subject to the Typical Offer requirements above.
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.
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.
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 documents 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.
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.
Year 1: 20% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.
Final year: 17% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.
Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.
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
We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.
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.
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.
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees.
Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.
Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to, or be required to, buy your own copy of key textbooks.
There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet you can use around campus and in halls of residences. Free Wi-Fi is available on each of the campuses.
In the majority of cases coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees.
Travel costs are not included but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses and halls of residence.
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.
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:
All our facilities are open access, meaning you can use them whenever you want, and irrespective of what degree you're studying.
The University has its own on-site galleries, including:
Kingston is just a 30-minute train journey away from central London. Here you can access world-famous museums and galleries.
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.
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.
We do not anticipate making any changes to the composition of the course, i.e. the number of modules or credits in a year for part-time postgraduate courses, as a result of the pandemic.
In order to safeguard our students' health and safety and to minimise the risk of disruption to their studies, the University has postponed all Study Abroad programmes for outgoing students in the first teaching block of 2020/21 (from September 2020 to December 2020). The University will review this decision before the second teaching block and will take into account relevant government advice at that time.
Changes can be made to courses as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to the composition of the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.
We do not anticipate making any changes to module titles and summaries or to the availability of modules as a result of the pandemic.
Changes can be made to modules as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to module titles and/or availability of modules will be highlighted to students during the induction period.
We expect to deliver the course within the planned timescales to enable successful students to progress through and graduate from the course without delay.
In exceptional circumstances the sequence of learning and teaching activities may be changed, e.g. re-sequencing those modules that can be delivered more effectively under the current restrictions with those which would be more difficult to deliver, such as practical modules and placements.
We have not changed entry requirements as a result of the pandemic. However, the range of accepted alternatives have increased as has the way in which we select students, which now includes virtual interviews and online portfolios.
We have not changed entry requirements for international students as a result of the pandemic. However, in response to the pandemic, we now accept a much broader list of English language exams for entry to the course; the level of these exams remain the same.
Due to the current pandemic the course's teaching and learning activities will be delivered through both online and on-campus methods (blended learning) in 2020/21. In order to provide all students with a comparable on-campus experience, the University has committed to ensuring that all courses provide at least 30% of their teaching and learning activities on-campus.
While physical distancing measures remain in place, you will receive your learning and teaching via a blend of on-campus and on-line activities. Should your circumstances prevent your attendance at on-campus sessions, you will still be able to engage with your course in a way that allows you to progress. Where this is not possible, support will be available to consider what options are open to you.
The University will continue to closely monitor government announcements and advice in relation to the current pandemic and, where required, will take any necessary action in order to comply with such advice.
In the event that a further lockdown is enforced the University will aim to deliver the course fully online. This may require some additional changes being made to planned teaching and learning activities, including assessments. The majority of our courses are prepared to be delivered fully online if the situation requires it. Where the quality of the student experience may be compromised significantly, or the course is unable to be delivered fully online, the University may need to suspend the delivery of that course until a time that it can be delivered appropriately. Students will be supported in these situations to ensure they are able to make the right choices for their particular circumstances.
In the event that the current social distancing restrictions are fully lifted and the University is able to resume normal delivery of teaching and learning activities, courses will assess whether it is in the students' interest to resume normal delivery. In some cases it may be better to continue and complete modules under the planned blended delivery mode.
Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours will not be made as a result of the pandemic. However, it is possible that some adjustments might be made at module level, e.g. a few more scheduled activities, in order to help ensure student engagement with blended learning.
Any changes made to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.
'Scheduled teaching' includes teaching that is online either live or recorded / on demand.
Your individualised timetable for teaching block 1 (i.e. from September 2020 to December 2020) should be available by the end of August 2020. Timetables for teaching block 2 (i.e. from January 2021) will not be available until the autumn. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9am and 9pm. To accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing, we will need to maximise the time available for teaching. This means, we may have to use Wednesday afternoons and enrichment week for additional teaching slots. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.
On campus classes, class sizes will be smaller, in line with social distancing measures. Online (synchronous) activities will be delivered via videoconferencing apps that will enable a full range of class sizes to be used as appropriate.
Changes can be made to modules, including how they are assessed, as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our modules up to date with current developments in that subject area. Due to the current restrictions in place, i.e. social distancing, it is anticipated that many formal on-campus examinations, including practical examinations, will be replaced with alternative assessments which can be completed online. These changes will be considered and approved through the University's processes to ensure that student assessments will be able to demonstrate they have achieved the expected learning outcomes. The approval process will also assess whether the change impacts the status of any professional body accreditation the course benefits from.
Any changes to the overall methods of assessment for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.
No changes are expected to the general level of experience or status of staff involved in delivering the course.
As a result of the social distancing restrictions in place, on-campus teaching activities may need to be split into smaller groups which may require the support of teaching assistants and student mentors, who will be managed by experienced staff.
There will be no changes to published tuition fees for 2020/21.
As a result of the blended delivery of courses in 2020/21, where a significant proportion of the teaching will be done online, students will need a personal laptop or computer and access to the internet to participate in online teaching and learning activities. Students who are able to travel will have access to computers on campus, however, it should be noted that access to on-campus facilities will be restricted due to social distancing requirements.
The University is considering how best to provide support to students who do not have access to suitable hardware and software requirements and access to the internet. Identifying students who require this type of support is an important milestone for the University in our journey to ensure equity of access while we continue to deliver our blended approach. Information about the support that will be available will be provided to students during the induction period.
There will be no changes to any existing University funding arrangements for 2020/21. Currently there are no indications from the UK government that there will be any changes to government funding arrangements.
There will be no changes to published tuition fees or funding arrangements specifically relating to international students for 2020/21.
Placements (including work and clinical placements) and field trips included as part of the course will go ahead as planned. However, to ensure students are able to gain maximum value from these activities, it may be necessary to reschedule them to later in the year when current restrictions have been lifted. We acknowledge that this year it may be more difficult for students to secure appropriate placements. In those situations, students will be guided and supported through the various options that will be available to them, including switching courses or interrupting their studies until a time when they can complete their placement.
Any proposed changes to placements or field trips would go through University's agreed processes where the impact of the change will be carefully considered. Students will be advised of any changes that may become necessary and appropriate support will be available to students to guide them through the various options that may be available to them.
In the interest of the health and wellbeing of our students, the University will ensure that appropriate risk assessments are made before students are sent on a placement.
Courses which require placements or field trips to be completed in order to pass relevant modules will have contingency plans in place in the event that a placement or field trip cannot be completed due to another lockdown or more stringent social distancing measures.
Voluntary placements or field trips may be rescheduled, or, as a last resort, cancelled if it becomes difficult to deliver them and doing so is in the interest of the health and safety of our staff and students.
No changes will be made to the qualification awarded, e.g. MSc, as a result of the pandemic.
Changes can be made to courses, including the qualification awarded (although very rare), as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area. Any changes made to the qualification awarded for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.
International students should maintain awareness of the UK government's and their home country's government advice on possible travel restrictions. The University will closely monitor advice and guidance published by the UK government and assess its impact on our international students. Appropriate advice and guidance will be provided as and when required.
The University will ensure students who are unable to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities are able to effectively engage with their studies remotely. For certain courses an inability to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities may not be in the students best interest, as it may impede their chances of succeeding in the course or lead to them receiving a poor learning experience. In such cases students will be advised and guided through the various options available to them, such as deferring their studies until they can engage fully with the course.