Postgraduate study

Architectural History & Theory

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time

Funding available

Programme website: Architectural History & Theory

This programme is intended for students who seek advanced training in the history and theory of architecture. It provides methodological and conceptual tools essential for contemporary research and affords the opportunity for the in-depth study of a select topic in the history and theory of architecture.

The programme will provide you with a firm basis in the methodological and theoretical paradigms of architectural history. Through a combination of coursework and supervised dissertation research with optional internships, you will acquire both a breadth of historical understanding and rigorous research practices.

This programme comprises two compulsory courses focused on methodology and four option courses, which draw on staff research expertise, followed by a 12,000–15,000 word supervised dissertation.

Additionally, you may enrol in courses offered by allied disciplines such as history of art, archaeology, architectural conservation, history, literature and others.

The flexible profile of the programme reflects the diversity of positions within the fields of architectural history and theory, making it suitable for students from a broad range of backgrounds and with a variety of interests and career objectives.

The MSc Architectural History and Theory seeks to provide the following core learning outcomes:

  • Critical understanding of both contemporary debates and scholarly traditions within the history and theory of architecture.
  • Advanced methodological training in architectural research.
  • Acquisition of rigorous research skills and practices.
  • In-depth knowledge of a sub-field of architectural history or theory.
  • Ability to relate architectural research to interdisciplinary fields of inquiry.

The programmes provides preparation for doctoral research, work in industries that document and interpret the built environment, work in museums and conservation agencies or journalism/media

An upper second-class honours degree or its international equivalent.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)

If you completed a CAE or CPE before January 2015 please contact the Admissions Office for the accepted grades.

Find out more about our language requirements:

For detailed information on fee status, policies and payment see:

Additional programme costs (APCs) are used by programmes in Edinburgh College of Art to cover associated costs such as: basic consumables; equipment purchase, hire and maintenance; computing hardware and software; field trip and excursion expenses; and programme specific events. More detail will be available in programme handbooks.

  • Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 4086
  • Email: hsspg@ed.ac.uk
  • Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions
  • College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Postgraduate Office, The University of Edinburgh
  • David Hume Tower, George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JX

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

You must submit a reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 4086
  • Email: hsspg@ed.ac.uk
  • Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions
  • College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Postgraduate Office, The University of Edinburgh
  • David Hume Tower, George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JX