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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 2021/22 (i.e. between August 2021 and July 2022), please view the information about changes to courses for 2021/22 due to Covid-19.
Students who are continuing their studies with Kingston University in 2021/22 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 2021/22. 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.
An overview of the Architecture Masters course.
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:
In your portfolio we would like to see a collection of academic work from your undergraduate degree, professional work undertaken in architectural practice, as well as independent work, such as architectural competition entries, travel sketches, photography projects or any other work in any other media that illustrates your range of skills and expresses your architectural ideas and sensibilities.
In order to help you preparing your portfolio we recommend that you consider the following aspects:
Please also upload an additional personal statement which addresses the following questions:
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 residence. Free WiFi 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.
The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, we do not anticipate having to make any further changes to the course, i.e. number of modules or credits in a year, in response to issues arising from the pandemic. However, if this becomes necessary, the changes will be highlighted to students via email before enrolment.
Unless government advice instructs otherwise, Study Abroad programmes will take place in 2021/22. The safety of all our students is paramount, therefore, as per normal practice, all Study Abroad activities must also be approved by the University's insurers to ensure that students are adequately protected during their period abroad. We will provide updates as the pandemic situation stabilises and/or further government advice is released.
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 in response to feedback from students and other key stakeholders. Any such changes made to the composition of the course will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.
The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, we do not anticipate having to make any further changes to module titles and summaries or to the availability of modules in response to issues arising from 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, module summaries and/or availability of modules will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.
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 in 2021/22, e.g. moving those modules which can be delivered more effectively to the first teaching block and moving back those – such as practical modules and placements – which may be more difficult to deliver due to some ongoing restrictions.
In some cases, it may be necessary to delay placement modules which may then impact the length of the course. In these circumstances the University will guide students through the appropriate options available to ensure students are able to make informed choices.
We have not changed entry requirements as a direct result of the pandemic.
We have not changed entry requirements for international students as a direct result of the pandemic.
As we transition from the pandemic restrictions, we expect to steadily increase the proportion of on-campus teaching. We will continue to provide a proportion of online learning, as experience has shown that this enriches and supports the student learning experience.
If the pandemic affects teaching and learning activities in 2021/22 more than we currently anticipate, the proportion of online learning will increase. However, unless a lockdown is enforced, we will ensure that all courses provide a reasonable percentage of their teaching and learning activities on campus.
Should your circumstances prevent your attendance at on-campus sessions, you should still be able to engage with your course remotely in a way that allows you to progress. Where this is not possible, for example on courses with high practical content, your course team will be able to advise you on the options available to you.
The University will continue to closely monitor government announcements and advice in relation to the 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 in 2021/22 the University will aim to deliver the course fully online once more. 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, 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. Students will be supported in these situations to ensure they are able to make the right choices for their particular circumstances.
Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled learning and teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours were not and will not be made as a direct result of the pandemic.
‘Scheduled learning and teaching' includes teaching delivered online, either live or recorded/on demand.
Your individualised timetable for teaching block 1 (i.e. up to December 2021) should be available by the end of August. Timetables for teaching block 2 (i.e. from January 2022) will not be available until the autumn. We make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible.
In 2020/21 it was agreed that scheduled learning and teaching could take place on any day of the week between 9am and 9pm, to maximise the time available for teaching in order to accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing. This meant we sometimes had to use Wednesday afternoons and enrichment week for additional teaching slots. If we need to accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing in 2021/22 we expect to adopt a similar approach. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.
The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, do not anticipate having to make any further changes to the course, i.e. to the overall methods of assessments, in response to issues arising from the pandemic. However, if this becomes necessary, the changes will be highlighted to students via email before enrolment.
Changes are made to modules, including how they are assessed, as part of normal enhancement processes to keep our modules up to date with current developments in that subject area and in response to feedback received from students and other key stakeholders. Any changes to the overall methods of assessment for Year 1 of the course will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.
If social distancing or lockdown restrictions are in place in 2021/22, online alternative options to formal on-campus examinations, including practical examinations, will be made available to students where possible.
No changes are expected to the general level of experience or status of staff involved in delivering the course.
Staff are engaged in Continuous Professional Development activities to develop their teaching expertise, as part of the normal enhancement processes, to ensure that course teams have the required breadth of expertise.
There will be no changes to published tuition fees for 2021/22.
As we transition from the pandemic restrictions, we expect to be able to increase student access to on-campus facilities. Students will therefore have access to University computers and library facilities.
If, due to an increase in social distancing requirements or the enforcing of a lockdown, it becomes necessary to significantly increase the proportion of teaching delivered 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 might be restricted if social distancing requirements are enforced.
The University is committed to supporting students who are unable to access suitable technology to ensure equity of access in a blended delivery mode.
There will be no changes to any existing University funding arrangements for 2021/22. 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 2021/22.
We are anticipating that placements (including work and clinical placements) and field trips included as part of the course will go ahead in 2021/22. However, to ensure students gain maximum value from placement activities, it may be necessary to reschedule them to later in the year, when any impacts from the pandemic restrictions are minimised.
Any proposed changes to placements or field trips would go through the University's agreed processes where the impact of the change will be carefully considered.
In the interests of the health and wellbeing of our students, all placement arrangements must be approved by the University's insurers and the appropriate risk assessments 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.
No changes will be made to the qualification awarded, e.g. BSc (Hons), MSc, etc., as a direct 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 by email before enrolment.
The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and in accordance with any professional body requirements. We do not anticipate making any further changes to courses in response to any issues arising from the pandemic and which would put at risk any professional body accreditation status.
International students should maintain awareness of the UK government's and their home country's government's 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.