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 and help you synthesise your ideas to produce critical work. You will be supported to take risks, learn from mistakes and boldly explore 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. 

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. 
  • 90% of students were satisfied overall with the course (National Student Survey, 2022).
  • 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. 
  • A number of graduates have been awarded 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 . 
  • 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.  

Talk to our course team

If you would like to find out more about how this course can help you achieve your career ambitions, send a message to our course team [Ben Cowd] who would be happy to chat to you. Alternatively, you can register for our next postgraduate event or call our course enquirers team on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70  / WhatsApp: 0797 0655 800.

MArch Leicester on Instagram


DMU offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships and bursaries to help you realise your academic ambitions.

International Scholarships

Find out about available scholarships and country specific fee discounts for international students. 


Student work gallery

Student success:

Architecture students partner with National Forest for installation at Swannymote Wood

Jonathan Edward’s special mention at Archisource, Drawing of the Year Award 2022

COP 26 president Alok Sharma shown DMU student work at Expo 2020

Architecture alumnus from DMU named among world's best

Sky's the limit for DMU architecture student Daniel Hambly

More courses like this:

Architectural Practice Postgraduate Diploma
Architecture and Sustainability MSc

DMU has been shortlisted for the Postgraduate Award in the 2024 Whatuni Student Choice Awards (WUSCAs), as voted for by students.

  • UK
  • EU/International

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

Start date: September 2024

Fees and funding: 

2024/25 Full-time tuition fees UK students: £9,250 per year.

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.

When completing the portal application for this course, please note that it is important to select Integrated Masters (IM) from the options on the portal, not the PG dropdown.

Duration: Two years full-time

Start date: September 2024

Fees and funding: 

2024/25 tuition fees for international students: £15,750

Find out more about available funding for international students.

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.

When completing the portal application for this course, please note that it is important to select Integrated Masters (IM) from the options on the portal, not the PG dropdown.

Entry criteria

Typical entry requirements 

You should have the equivalent of a 2:2 or above in architecture from an ARB/RIBA Part 1 accredited course or exemption from it.

We will consider applications without Part 1 who have undertaken non-UK or non-validated architecture degrees. Before qualifying as a UK architect, students must have obtained Part 1, as well as Part 2 and 3. Please contact the ARB regarding eligibility for their prescribed Part 1 exam.

Applicants are encouraged to have completed post-undergraduate professional work experience. Applicants with a lower second-class degree (2:2) will be expected to have completed a minimum of nine months professional experience.

Should applicants have difficulty in finding professional architectural experience, we will consider evidence of initiative in finding alternative experience through work in associated fields of the construction and design industries, self-generated work and competitions.

Interview and portfolio

Applicants with relevant qualifications will be invited to attend an MS Teams interview with the MArch academic team. You will be asked to share your digital portfolio of work during the interview, please see our Architecture MArch application portfolio advice for full details.

English language requirements

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 Realisation
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

Architectural Design Research Study (ADRS)
The Architectural Design Research Study allows students an opportunity to undertake a detailed investigation of a chosen architectural research topic. 

Integrated Technology 
This advanced technical module is aligned with the final year design thesis project. Students demonstrate the ability to apply and integrate technical knowledge and understanding on a complex building design. 

Design Thesis
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 Realisation
  • Contextual Design Studio
  • Dissertation

Year two

  • Management Practice and Law
  • Architectural Design Research Study (ADRS)
  • Integrated Technology
  • Design Thesis

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 Realisation
  • Management Practice and Law
  • Dissertation

Year three

  • Architectural Design Research Study (ADRS)
  • Integrated Technology
  • Design Thesis

Note: All modules are indicative and based on the current academic session. Course information is correct at the time of publication and is subject to review. Exact modules may, therefore, vary for your intake in order to keep content current. If there are changes to your course we will, where reasonable, take steps to inform you as appropriate.


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. You are supported with current digital tools for visualisation and fabrication, as well as traditional mechanised fabrication tools and manual implements.

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.

Assessment is through coursework, which is undertaken either individually or in groups. 

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


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. 

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


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

Find the people who will open doors for you

DMU's award-winning careers service provides guaranteed work experience opportunities DMU Careers Team

DMU Global

Our innovative international experience programme DMU Global aims to enrich studies, broaden cultural horizons and develop key skills valued by employers. 

Through DMU Global, we offer an exciting mix of overseas, on-campus and online international experiences, including the opportunity to study or work abroad for up to a year.

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 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.” 


Careers and employability

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. 

Take your next steps