Postgraduate study

Architecture, Master of (ARB/RIBA Part 2) MArch

Awards: MArch

Funding opportunities

This is an exciting and innovative programme of study, based in one of the most beautiful and architecturally important cities in the world.

The programme combines flexibility with rigour, allowing students to select from an exciting menu of studio courses and a choice of curricular pathways through the degree.


The programme has Architects Registration Board (ARB) prescription and Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) validation. RIBA validation was achieved in 2011 and again in 2017.

For further information about ARB and the prescription of architectural qualifications, visit:

You will undertake a series of advanced-level research exercises and design projects, engaging with structural, environmental, cultural, theoretical and aesthetic questions. Non-studio courses encompass technology, contemporary architectural theory and management practice and law.

The programme emphasises studio-based investigation within a stimulating environment that enables creativity, experimentation and critical engagement with architectural design.

It offers the opportunity to select from:

  • studios linked across the full two years
  • a series of discrete thematic studios that vary from year to year

Many studios engage in collaborative working with other international institutions, research partners and particular user groups. There is a clear emphasis on the relationship between architecture and the city and the evolution of the student’s individual position in current theoretical debate.

During the course of the programme you will complete a comprehensive design project, accompanied by an illustrated report explaining its theoretical, environmental and technical dimensions. Projects are developed by way of drawings, models, digital representations and written reports. The trajectory of your work during the programme is documented in an academic portfolio at the end of the second year.

Graduates of the Master of Architecture programme will have the capacity to:

  • Conceptualise, research and structure a rigorous architectural design thesis enquiry.
  • Develop a critical architectural response to a culturally, politically, and/or environmentally charged urban context.
  • Devise and articulate a complex spatial, programmatic, material, structural and environmental architecture to high level of resolution.
  • Formulate and reflect upon a mode of contemporary architectural practice with reference to contemporary architectural theory.
  • Achieve, at Part 2 level, the General Criteria and Graduate Attributes as defined by the Architects Registration Board of the UK.

The MArch forms the second stage in a process that will enable you to register and practise as a professional architect in the UK.

A UK 2:1 honours degree in architecture prescribed by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) at Part 1 or equivalent standard demonstrated in your portfolio.

You must submit a portfolio as part of your application:

  1. On the first page of the portfolio incorporate your name and UUN (if applicable)
  2. Include a brief CV and your personal statement after the first page
  3. Include examples of your work (see below) after your personal statement

If you do not hold an ARB Part 1 qualification, you will need to obtain qualifications at Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 level before being eligible for registration. For further details, please contact the ARB:

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 61 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.*

(*Revised 08/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 09/05/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

The programme is postgraduate taught but undergraduate funded.

  • 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 strongly recommend you submit your completed application as early as possible, particularly if you are also applying for funding or will require a visa. We may consider late applications if we have places available.

You must submit a portfolio and a CV as part of your application. You won't be able to submit your portfolio immediately, but you'll receive an email prompt within a few days of submitting your application that will explain how to upload your portfolio.

You should read the application guidance before applying as there are particular guidelines on portfolio and reference requirements:

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

Further information

  • 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