Undergraduate study - 2018 entry

BA/MA Architecture

UCAS code: K100

Duration: MA: 4 years; BA: 3 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Edinburgh College of Art

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing BA/MA Architecture

This programme is offered by the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA).

All students are admitted to the MA (Hons) Architecture programme. At the end of Year 2 you will have a choice of pathways enabling accelerated progress or development of broader academic interests - either our three-year BA Architecture or our four-year MA (Hons) Architecture, including a variant of the MA (Hons) with an exchange year abroad. Both programmes have Architects Registration Board (ARB) prescription and full Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) validation.

The character of both programmes is shaped by our cultural and institutional context, as well as the expertise of our lecturers and tutors. Situated in a unique and inspiring physical context, the programme has developed a reputation for its focus on architecture. It is carefully structured to foster in you a breadth of understanding of architecture as part of a larger world and lies within the contemporary conversations taking place not only in architecture but in economics, political concerns and ethics.


Both programmes have Architects Registration Board (ARB)/ Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Prescription/Accreditation at Part 1, and offer graduates exemption from this stage of their professional qualification.

Year 1

In Year 1, you will learn about the building blocks of architectural design. You will work on projects that look at architectural elements and assembly in different contexts. At the same time you will be taught the fundamentals of technology and environment, art practice and architectural history.

Year 2

Year 2 works towards integrating your developing design skills in more complex and rewarding urban contexts with ambitious building programmes. It includes a field trip to a European city where design projects are situated. You will continue to apply your knowledge of technology and environment to your design work. You will also take an option course that allows you to broaden your learning in subjects across the University. At the end of Year 2, you can select whether you wish to take the three-year BA or four-year MA honours programme.

Year 3

The three-year BA route offers a direct route to ARB part 1.

Architects Registration Board: student information

You will study design and its cultural and technical contexts. The MA (Hons) programme is a full honours programme with an integrated placement period where you study through distance learning as you gain professional experience. In this year, you will be able to develop your own personal interests in architecture with a range of studio options within the design courses.

Year 4

In Year 4, following the period of placement, MA (Hons) students return to a humanities semester to complete a self-directed dissertation and choose an option from across the University. In semester 2 you will choose a further architectural design studio to complete an immersive design project, a course in Logistics and develop, curate and present an academic portfolio.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2017/18)

Our facilities

Teaching takes place across a range of facilities all located in the Central Area.

You have access to design studios, well-equipped workshops, computer labs and libraries.

The University is investing in the ECA estate and facilities to further develop our flexible, stimulating, supportive and sustainable learning and research environment for students and staff.

Further information is available on the ECA website.

Facilities and resources at ECA


MA Architecture includes a credited practice work period in semester two of Year 3.

Study abroad

There are options for working and studying abroad in the honours years of our MA (Hons) programmes. There is an integrated practice period in architecture allowing for a work placement abroad; we also offer international exchanges, including within Erasmus, through partner institutions for Year 3.

Guaranteed study abroad funding for students required to complete a year abroad

How will I learn?

Architecture courses are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, studio-based projects, field trips and practical experience.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by a combination of coursework, exams, portfolio work and presentations.

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme details (2017/18)

Architecture students gain excellent skills in design, spatial awareness, problem-solving and project-based production, which combine into a strong and adaptable skill set.

The BA and MA Architecture programmes offer routes into the architecture profession and graduates typically continue their studies to qualify as architects working in private practice, local and national government or large commercial organisations both in the UK and overseas.

Architectural History graduates can have careers in conservation, land management, heritage or historical consultancy.

Typical offer

The typical offer is likely to be:

  • SQA Highers: AAAA.
  • A Levels: AAA.
  • IB: 40 points (grades 766 at HL).

Minimum entry requirements

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S5 or ABBBB/AABB from S4-S6, with a minimum of BBB achieved in one year of S4-S6. National 5: Mathematics at Grade A or Mathematics and Physics both at Grade B and English at Grade C. Evidence of artistic ability is normally required at either Higher or National 5 level.
  • A Levels: ABB. GCSEs: English at Grade C and Mathematics at Grade A or 7 OR Mathematics and Physics both at Grade B or 6 OR Mathematics, Science plus Additional Science (OR science double award) at grade B or 6. Evidence of artistic ability is normally required at either A Level or GCSE.
  • IB: Award of Diploma with 34 points overall and grades 655 in HL subjects. SL: English at 5 and Mathematics at 6 or Mathematical Studies at 7. Evidence of artistic ability is normally required at either Higher or Standard Level, e.g. Visual Arts or Design Technology. (Revised 11th April 2017 to provide more accurate information.)

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

International Foundation Programme

If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.

International Foundation Programme

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

You must provide evidence that your written and spoken English is at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

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

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component
  • TOEFL-iBT 92 or above with 20 in each section
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): Total 61 with at least 51 in each "Communicative Skills" section
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

About English language requirements


For SQA and GCSE students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 Grade C
  • SQA Standard Grade 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C
  • GCSE Grade C or 4
  • IB Standard Level Grade 5

As this degree is very popular, we strongly recommend that international students apply by 15 January 2018.

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Unistats data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for BA/MA Architecture

Additional costs

You will need to purchase course materials, which will include drawing and modelling equipment and possibly a laptop. In addition, you will incur annual expenditure on printing, drawing and model making materials of, typically, £300. Field trips and excursions are undertaken as part of the programme. In Year 2, you will visit a European city on a trip that is self-funded by students. If accepted for entry, you will be sent a letter outlining estimated costs for the forthcoming academic year.


For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding