Undergraduate study - 2025 entry
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

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).

It is carefully structured to give you a wider understanding of architecture as part of culture and society.

Your studies will include contemporary conversations taking place not only in architecture but also in:

  • landscape
  • construction
  • urbanism
  • economics
  • politics
  • ethical practice

Study pathways

All students begin on the MA (Hons) Architecture programme.

At the end of Year 2, you will choose one of two pathways:

  • three-year BA Architecture
  • four-year MA (Hons) Architecture

The three-year option is good if you want to prioritise qualifying, or if you wish to develop your broader academic interests.

The four-year option means you qualify with an MA (Hons) degree. You can also choose a variant of this pathway that includes studying abroad.

Why Edinburgh?

Both pathways are shaped by the educational, research and practice expertise of our committed staff.

You will join a large creative community of artists and scholars. This includes design tutors with practice and specialist expertise.

Your learning will be supported by world-class workshops and technical facilities.

Edinburgh is a place of outstanding architectural interest and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Models of design thinking and working grow directly out of operating within this unique context.


Our three-year BA Architecture and our four-year MA (Hons) Architecture programme have Architects Registration Board (ARB)/Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Prescription/Accreditation at Part 1.

Both offer graduates exemption from this stage of their professional qualification.

Year 1

In Year 1 you will:

  • learn about the principles of architectural design
  • work on projects that look at architectural elements and assembly in different contexts

At the same time, you will be taught the fundamentals of:

  • principles of technology
  • environmental practices
  • architectural history

In some courses, you will study with students from landscape architecture and structural engineering.

Year 2

In Year 2 you will:

  • begin to integrate your developing design skills in more complex and rewarding urban contexts
  • work with more ambitious building programme briefs
  • take a field trip to a European city where design projects are situated
  • continue to apply your knowledge of technology and environment to your design work

Optional courses

You will also choose an optional course that allows you to broaden your learning in subjects across the University.

Optional courses may follow a structured programme pathway in architectural histories or digital culture.

Choosing your pathway

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

Three-year pathway

You will study design and its cultural and technical contexts.

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

Architects Registration Board: student information

Studio options and portfolio

You will choose from a series of thematically directed studio options. These help you to consolidate a specific exploration and appropriate tectonic resolution at a deeper level.

You will study these studio options alongside courses in architectural theory professional practice and logistics.

You will also develop, curate and present an academic portfolio.

Four-year pathway

The MA (Hons) programme is a full honours programme. It includes an integrated practice working 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

This year, MA (Hons) students return from the period of integrated practice work completed in Year 3.

Semester 1

You will study a humanities semester to complete a self-directed dissertation.

You will also choose an optional course from across the University. Optional courses may follow a structured programme pathway in architectural histories or digital culture.

Semester 2

In Semester 2 you will:

  • complete an immersive design project with another architectural design studio
  • take a course in logistics
  • 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 (2024/25)

Our facilities

Teaching on this programme takes place across a range of facilities, all located in the Central Area.

You will have access to:

  • design studios
  • well-equipped workshops
  • computer labs
  • libraries

Investing in our learning environment

The University is investing in the Edinburgh College of Art estate and facilities. This will further develop our supportive, stimulating and sustainable learning and research environment.

You can find out more on the ECA website.

Facilities and resources at ECA


MA (Hons) Architecture includes a credited, integrated practice work period in Semester 2 of Year 3.

Study abroad

You will have the option to work or study abroad in the honours years of our MA (Hons) programme. The integrated practice working period in Architecture allows for work abroad.

We also offer international exchanges in Year 3.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

You will be taught through:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • studio-based projects
  • repetitive design teaching
  • field trips
  • critical reviews
  • practical experience

Learning outcomes

You will gain skills in:

  • design
  • spatial awareness
  • problem-solving
  • project-based production

These combine into a strong and adaptable skillset.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through:

  • coursework
  • exams
  • portfolio work
  • presentations

If you choose the MA (Hons) pathway, you will complete a dissertation in Year 4.

The BA and MA (Hons) Architecture programmes both offer routes into the architecture profession.

Our graduates typically continue their studies to qualify as architects working in a wide range of established and emerging contexts. These include:

  • private practice
  • local and national government
  • large commercial organisations in the UK and overseas

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AAAAA (achievement by end of S5 preferred). BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: A*AA.
  • IB: 39 points with 666 at HL.

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points with 655 at HL.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Highers: no specific Higher subjects required. National 5s: English at C. Either Mathematics at A or Mathematics and Physics, both at B. Evidence of artistic ability is normally required at either Higher or National 5 level.
  • A Levels: no specific A Level subjects required. GCSEs: English at C or 4 and Mathematics at A or 7, or Mathematics and Physics both at B or 6, or Mathematics, Science plus Additional Science (or science double award) at B or 6. Evidence of artistic ability is normally required at either A Level or GCSE.
  • IB: HL: no specific subjects required. SL: English at 5 and Mathematics at 6. Evidence of artistic ability is normally required at either HL or SL, e.g. Visual Arts or Design Technology.

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

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


For SQA, GCSE and IB 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 at C
  • GCSE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate at C
  • IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

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

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 5.5 in each component.We do not accept IELTS One Skill Retake to meet our English language requirements.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 176 with at least 162 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 65 with at least 54 in each component. We do not accept PTE Academic Online.*

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

Unless you are a national of a majority English speaking country, your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start of the month in which the degree you are applying to study begins. If you are using an IELTS, PTE Academic, TOEFL or Trinity ISE test, it must be no more than two years old on the first of the month in which the degree begins, regardless of your nationality.

English language requirements

(*Revised 24 May 2024 to change PTE Academic requirement from total 62 with at least 54 in each component, and to clarify that we do not accept PTE Academic online.)

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 Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for BA/MA Architecture

Additional costs

You will be required to buy course materials and pay for the cost of:

  • drawing and modelling equipment
  • printing, drawing and model-making materials, costing around £300 per year
  • possibly a laptop

As part of the programme, you will take field trips and excursions, including a visit to a European city. You will need to pay for the costs of these trips.

If accepted for entry, we will send you a letter outlining estimated costs for the next 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