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Architecture MArch

This accredited programme offers an enquiry-led education that will challenge the emerging professional to develop a personal perspective and critical position in the globalised architectural world. 

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Our Architecture MArch programme is designed to respond to contemporary issues in the industry, grounded in both theory and professional practice. Our enquiry-led approach to education will teach you to tackle complex problems, unending questions and help you synthesise your ideas to produce critical work. You will be supported to take risks, learn from mistakes and be bold in creatively exploring your ideas.  

Current issues in architectural debate are studied through deep foundations in historical and philosophical thought, contemporary states of urban inhabitation, challenges to a sustainable ecology, the ramifications of modern technology, legal and economic contexts, and the state of the profession.  

Our design studios are delivered through advanced, research-by-design led units and offer a range of specialist pathways for you to develop an independent and critical position on architecture. Studio options range from high-density housing to sustainable futures, and advanced material investigations. We encourage an open-ended spirit of enquiry to advance knowledge through rigorous, exploratory and playful processes. Our experience and knowledge, combined with your personal ambition, will enable us to challenge existing conventions and redefine the future of architectural practice together. 

A number of our Architecture MArch graduates have been awarded multiple national and international design awards, including four prizes at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) President’s Medals, five regional RIBA Awards and the prestigious RIBA Wren Insurance Association Scholarship . 

Key features

  • This programme offers a professional level architectural education with Architects Registration Board (ARB)/RIBA Part II exemption. Graduates can progress to professional registration/licensure examinations, allowing access to markets in the UK, EU or other legal jurisdictions. 
  • You will be supported to tackle real-world issues, while speculating and proposing new futures through bold experimentation and boundless enquiry. 
  • Tutors come from industry and research and our community is a place where academics, practitioners and students are co-designing new ways of thinking. 
  • Teaching is delivered in a dedicated postgraduate studio space, equipped with computer workstations, model-making facilities, large format printers and Ultimaker 3D printers. 
  • Receive expert teaching through our Leicester School of Architecture, which has a national and international lecture series attracting leading academics and professionals from around the world, such as Sir Peter Cook, CJ Lim and Alison Brooks. 
  • This course benefits from global opportunities thanks to its accreditation with Lembaga Arkitek Malaysia, the Board of Architects Malaysia, which allows graduates to pursue a professional qualification in Malaysia. It is also approved by the Commonwealth Association of Architects, a membership organisation representing architects in Commonwealth of Nations, which provides access to an international network of schools for further study and better employment prospects.  

Full-time graduates from the MArch programme, with a minimum six months’ professional experience prior to entry, gain exemption from Lembaga Arkitek Malaysia Part II, allowing progression to professional registration examinations and potential employment in Malaysia. 


At DMU, we are committed to helping our graduates enhance their careers and personal development through further study.

Vice-Chancellor’s 2020 Scholarship
Up to 50 per cent of tuition fees offered to Home/EU DMU alumni for students who wish to continue their studies at DMU by enrolling on a Postgraduate taught course. For more information visit our Vice-Chancellor’s 2020 Scholarship page.

Vice-Chancellor's Sports Scholarship
Apply for the Vice-Chancellor's Sports Scholarship, worth up to £6,000.

More courses like this:

Architectural Practice Postgraduate Diploma
Architectural Design MA
Architecture and Sustainability MSc

  • UK/EU
  • International

Key facts for UK/EU students

Duration: Two years full-time, three years part-time.

Start date: September 2021

Fees and funding: For 2021/22 tuition fees will be UK/EU: £9,250 (full-time), £4,625 (part-time) per year

Find out more about course  fees and available funding.

Students of this course qualify for financial support as part of The DMU Difference. We will provide awards of £150, £200 and £300, for students in years one, two and three respectively, towards materials and specialist printing*.

*Awards are available to students undertaking full-time study and pro-rata for part-time students. Students on placement and therefore not incurring such costs are not eligible for financial assistance.

Important information on The DMU Difference.

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Contact us: For more information complete our online enquiry form or call us on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70.

Key facts for international students

Duration: Two years full-time

Start date: September 2021

Fees and funding International: For 2021/22 tuition fees will be £14,250  per year

Students of this course qualify for financial support as part of The DMU Difference. We will provide awards of £150, £200 and £300, for students in years one, two and three respectively, towards materials and specialist printing*.

*Awards are available to students undertaking full-time study and pro-rata for part-time students. Students on placement and therefore not incurring such costs are not eligible for financial assistance.

Important information on The DMU Difference.

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Contact us: For more information complete our online enquiry form or call us on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70.

Entry criteria

Typical entry requirements 

Applications are considered from candidates with a 2:2 or above (or equivalent) pass in a first architecture degree either validated by the RIBA or similar to a RIBA Part 1 degree in the case of non-RIBA validated EU and Overseas courses. Offers are based on a criteria that includes first architecture degree results, portfolio of work, professional experience, an interview.

Practical experience is not required for entry to the MArch, though applicants should note that a minimum of 24 months of logged professional experience are required to undertake a Part III examinations and to register as an architect in the UK, of which 12 months of this 24 months may be completed before the completion of the MArch.

Graduates with non-RIBA/ARB validated first architecture degrees who wish to register in the UK as an architect eventually would have to submit their portfolios to ARB for examination at some stage though this is not a requirement for entry to the MArch.

DMU provides a PEDR programme through which students' professional experience can be certificated according to RIBA requirements. For further information please see Architecture (PEDR).

Interview and Portfolio

Applicants with relevant qualifications should submit a portfolio of work (please see our Architecture MArch application portfolio advice for full details). Overseas applicants will be invited to send samples of their work.

International students

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with 5.5 in each band, or equivalent when you start the course is essential. English Language tuition, delivered by our British Council accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.

Structure and assessment


Course modules

Teaching and assessments




Thematic Design Studio 
A series of thematic design studios are offered to explore areas of various design specialisations offered by exhibited designers, respected educators, or via masterclasses with leading/award-winning metropolitan or internationally based architects or practices. A series of supporting contemporary digital communication and fabrication classes are also offered simultaneously

Contextual Design
A series of contextual studios or study abroad studios are offered, exploring a range of diverse philosophical approaches to architectural design. Studios are developed around various contexts and discourses. Prior sites of study have included Athens (study abroad), Washington, and Palermo

Humanities Specialisation
In addition to core studies on architectural texts and treatises, students undertake seminars with published scholars and work at a level of current research in the humanities. Past seminars have included topics in Phenomenology, Urbanisation, Nationalism, Architectural Fiction, Housing, Digital Heritage and Gendered Space

Technical and Environmental Specialisation
In addition to core technical, systems and environmental studies, students undertake seminars with published scholars and work at a level of current research in the sciences. Past seminars have including advanced studies in lighting, building performance modelling, conservation science and material studies. 

Students undertake an academic study of an architectural subject supervised by academics to develop a position in architectural thought

Management Practice and Law
An innovative module supported by professional architects, consultants and educators explores the development of your ethics, business acumen, good practices in practice and business management, awareness of legalities, understanding of contracts and architectural advocacy in the public sphere

Thesis or Comprehensive Design Project
Students are encouraged to develop a stake in the current industry, and develop design projects that allow their leadership and visionary abilities to emerge or develop a project that demonstrates a comprehensive project demonstrating specific skillsets to service the industry

Full-time students

Full time students are expected to fully engage with simultaneous tasks, averaging a full working week of contact and independent study/design time. The schedule of modules are as follows:

Year one

  • Thematic Design Studio
  • Humanities / Technical and Environmental Specialisation
  • Contextual Design Studio
  • Dissertation

Year two

  • Management Practice and Law
  • Technical Studies and Design Research
  • Thesis or Comprehensive Design Project

Part-time students

Part time students are expected on average to be present two days a week, with the addition of an assortment of ten additional pre-arranged days throughout the year. Modules are as above, however the schedule is as follows:

Year one

  • Thematic Design Studio
  • Contextual Design Studio

Year two

  • Humanities / Technical and Environmental Specialisation
  • Management Practice and Law
  • Dissertation

Year three

  • Technical Studies and Design Research
  • Thesis or Comprehensive Design Project

Note: All modules are subject to change in order to keep content current.


The course takes you through a series of academic challenges that will cultivate your independent position on architecture, hone your academic acuity, expand your architectural skill set and develop your individual design flair beyond the undergraduate training that you possess.

These are tested through a supporting range of humanities and technical specialisation seminars, thematic/masterclass and contextual design studios in the global context. Culminating studies are undertaken through a scholarly dissertation, and a demonstration of architectural stake either through an exploratory Design Thesis, or a demonstration of a skillset through a determined Comprehensive Design Project.

Assessments are made on student coursework, which are undertaken either individually or in groups. Students are supported with current digital tools for visualisation and fabrication, as well as traditional mechanised fabrication tools and manual implements.

Contact hours
In the first two terms of each year you will normally attend around 10 hours of timetabled taught sessions including lectures, tutorials and workshop and studio sessions each week, and be expected to undertake at least 25 hours of independent study each week. Your third term each year will be pre-dominantly self-directed (including meetings with your supervisor), during which you can expect to undertake 35 hours of independent study each week 

Part-time study is normally undertaken on a half-time basis.




The course results in a professional level award that is prescribed by the ARB, and accredited by the RIBA for Part II exemption from their examinations.

A team of career architectural educators actively developing teaching, scholarly research or academic projects support the programme, who are in turn supported by a team of adjunct educators who are active professional architects, engineers, urban advisors and technologists.

Lembaga Arkitek Malaysia


Architecture BA (Hons) and Architecture MArch is accredited by Lembaga Arkitek Malaysia allowing students to pursue a professional qualification in Malaysia.

Facilities and features

Art and design facilities

Our award-winning Vijay Patel building has been designed to provide the space and facilities where all of our art and design students can develop their ideas and flourish. 

The creative industries require imaginative graduates who can develop new ideas and products. Students use our sophisticated and contemporary workshops, labs and studios to experiment and test in the same way they will in industry, while the open and transparent spaces in the building encourage collaboration between disciplines. In doing so, the building prepares students for industry and helps develop them as future leaders in their respective fields. 

Take a look at our stunning showcase of the building at

You will also benefit from resources and support in the Architecture and Design Resource Centre, our online learning space. 

More flexible ways to learn

We offer an equitable and inclusive approach to learning and teaching for all our students. Known as the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), our teaching approach has been recognised as sector leading. UDL means we offer a wide variety of support, facilities and technology to all students, including those with disabilities and specific learning differences.

Just one of the ways we do this is by using ‘DMU Replay’ – a technology providing all students with anytime access to audio and/or visual material of lectures. This means students can revise taught material in a way that suits them best, whether it's replaying a recording of a class or adapting written material shared in class using specialist software.


Campus Centre

The home of  De Montfort Students' Union, (DSU) our Campus Centre offers a welcoming and lively hub for student life. Conveniently located at the heart of campus, it includes a convenience store, a Subway and a Starbucks. Here you can find the DSU-owned charitable accommodation service Sulets and DSU’s shop, SUpplies, selling art supplies, stationery and clothing, and printing and binding services. The building is also home to the DSU officer team. 


Opportunities and careers


DMU Global

Our innovative international experience programme DMU Global aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons, helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world.

Through DMU Global, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK-based activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.

While overseas DMU Global opportunities are not currently possible, DMU will continue to review government advice and if travel is permitted, we hope to offer a small number of extra-curricular opportunities in the summer of 2021. 

Students have previously undertaken DMU Global trips to European cities including Copenhagen, where they explored first-hand historical and contemporary Danish design, and Berlin, which provided the opportunity to examine the city’s art, artists and museums to gain a broader design perspective. DMU Global trips have also taken students further afield to India and New York. 


Graduate careers 


Our MArch programme offers exemption from ARB/RIBA Part II examinations, and enables graduates holding ARB/RIBA part I, to progress to licensure examinations and professional registration as an architect in the UK. Recent graduates have secured employment with architect practices such as Foster + Partners, Make Architects, Heatherwick Studio, SOM and Grimshaw Architects. 

Full-time graduates from the MArch programme, with a minimum of six months ’professional experience prior to entry, gain exemption from Lembaga Arkitek Malaysia Part II, allowing progression to professional registration examinations and potential employment in Malaysia.  

Successful graduates can also further their expertise and research with a PhD

Graduate Tom Cox secured a Part II Architectural Assistant position with Bristol-based practice Wotton Donoghue Architects. During his final year at DMU, Tom was selected to represent the university in Hong Kong at the GREAT Festival of Innovation, the Government’s flagship international trade event. Tom said: “throughout my time at DMU, my tutors broadened my understanding of architecture and design, highlighting my strengths and improving my weaknesses. They boosted my confidence, professionalism and interest in the subject.” 


DMU Works

Starting a business 

DMU students are encouraged to pursue their entrepreneurial spirit and the Enterprise Team can help you explore your business idea, business growth, the option of freelancing or being self-employed. There are lots of events, workshops, one-to-one consultation opportunities and enterprise competitions that you can get involved in to progress in your chosen career path. 

Entrepreneurial skills 

Even if you don’t intend to start your own business, many of the Enterprise Team activities will be relevant to you if you simply want to develop your business acumen. Skills such as risk-taking, project management and budgeting can be invaluable in employment. 

DMU Open events

These events are a great way for you to find out more about postgraduate study at DMU.  

See when our upcoming events are taking place. 

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Our prospectus will give you a clearer idea of what it's like to live and study at DMU and a snapshot of the courses we offer.

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How to apply 

We welcome applications from students with a wide range of qualifications and experience.

Find out more

More about your DMU



Vice-Chancellor's 2020 Scholarship

Up to 50 per cent off tuition fees is offered to DMU home and EU alumni for those who wish to continue their studies with us by enrolling on a postgraduate taught course. For more information visit our Vice-Chancellor’s 2020 Scholarship page.

New Art and Design facilities in the Vijay Patel building


The best way to find out more about DMU is to attend one of our virtual postgraduate events. Get all the answers to your questions through an online chat with our student and staff advisers, or check out our postgraduate live stream schedule for programme specific talks, to find out how our courses can enhance your knowledge and benefit your career path.

These virtual events are a chance to learn more about our extensive careers and employability support, and find out about fees and funding opportunities, including our VC2020 scholarship which offers up to 50 per cent off PG study, and sports scholarships of up to £6,000. You can also take a tour of our beautiful campus and facilities from the comfort of home via our Virtual Open Day



The Faculty of Arts, Design and Humanities is home to research staff with international reputations in a wide range of creative and scholarly fields, blending traditional disciplines of critical enquiry and analysis with practice-based research and creative work employing cutting-edge technology. Find out more


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