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Postgraduate

M ARCH: Architecture

Close up shot of moulded shapes in a variety of pastel colours
Image courtesy of UAL Olivia Chester – Commons Ecologies
College
Central Saint Martins
Start date
October 2023
Course length
Two years (79 weeks)
Extended full-time

In a world where established customs, systems and structures are increasingly unstable, we need a different kind of architectural thinking.

On M ARCH: Architecture, you will address the challenges of contemporary society through the built environment. This course is part of the Spatial Practices programme.

Why choose this course at Central Saint Martins

  • Part 2 qualification: The course provides you with the second degree in the professional pathway toward registration as an architect – commonly referred to as Part 2.
  • Professional practice: As part of your studies you are required to undertake 10 weeks of industry placement. This will give you the opportunity to engage with both existing forms of practice and to consider new ways of working.
  • Local and industry engagement: The course offers opportunities to work closely with communities, clients and social enterprise projects. This will allow you to consider new approaches to your role as an architect.
  • Collaboration: Working in teams and across disciplines is at the heart of the learning and teaching experience on M ARCH: Architecture.

Course overview

The accelerating impact of climate change and biodiversity loss dramatically question the established roles of the architect and architecture’s relationship with the economic, political and social systems within which it operates. These systems are often built upon continuous growth, demanding extractive and resource-depleting practices which enshrine social and environmental injustices further into the built environment. While the course provides you with the professional pathway toward registration as an architect, it also questions that professional role: how can we move from a position of complicity to one that actively helps to regenerate the environment?

Care and ethical awareness is a central concern of this course; it shapes the way we work and learn, emphasising positive social relations of support and collaboration. Care informs the way we articulate our roles as emerging spatial practitioners through empathy, allyship and dialogue. Care underpins the way in which we intervene in the world, using regenerative design methods to actively restore and renew the places and systems we impact upon.

M ARCH: Architecture breaks open dominant teaching practices in architectural education by creating dialogue between students and practitioner-educators. Our pedagogies centre on your lived experiences. The development of your subjectivity is foregrounded, which creates a more inclusive and safer space where issues such as race, gender, equity and intersectionality are discussed and can become central to design projects.

Through collaboration with local users and contexts, we aim to empower stakeholders (human and non-human) to become active agents in development. We collaborate with other disciplines in the College and external partners. The art school setting provides a rich and multi-disciplinary learning environment from supporting you to critically respond to these challenges through research, knowledge exchange and design interventions.

Course units

The increasing complexity of socio-economic, cultural and environmental issues requires architects to develop a broad skill set. This may be described as context-led – seeking solutions which address local issues arising from global agendas. Architects must move beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries to find innovative and sustainable design solutions. There is a growing need for contemporary design which focuses not only on "hard" infrastructure but also "soft". That is, not only buildings, transport and engineering but also systems of social networks, organisation and human/non-human interaction.

M ARCH: Architecture consists of six units, three of which are core design units as well as a dedicated construction unit and an elective unit which will allow you to sample the art and design school setting. These are combined with an industry-embedded placement giving you valuable industry experience. You will also be supported to plan, develop and complete a self-led major project, which will explore strong social, political and environmental engagement with the world. This may be facilitated through external partnerships and multidisciplinary collaboration.

Unit 1: Situated Modes of Engagement 

This unit will encourage you to experiment with multidisciplinary research and design approaches. You will develop situated research methodologies to expand and challenge the conventional role of the architect. The unit enables you to articulate your individual methods of working while situating your emerging practice in the extended field of Spatial Practices, focusing on the entanglement between decolonisation, anti-racism, climate/environmental justice and care. You will test and refine these approaches through critically-engaged design propositions.

Unit 2: Relational and Material Practices for Common Good

This unit is sandwiched or nested within Unit 1, and addresses the theme of collaboration through co-operation with other postgraduate courses within the University. By working co-operatively with fellow students from parallel and contrasting courses, you will experience at first hand the value of cross-disciplinary thinking and problem-solving that is so central to the course.

Unit 3: Regenerative Construction 

This unit, you will explore technical aspects of making and construction in close detail, understand regenerative design principles and construction methods to achieve zero carbon standards. This unit embeds climate literacy and climate innovation within your learning journey. You will engage with the conditions and constraints of structural, constructional and material systems through a constructional prototyping project. Unit 3 will involve research and testing, collaborative teamwork and constructional implementation as well as life safety.

Unit 4: Professional Spatial Practice (Industry Placement)

In this unit, you will define your own direction for your major project. The unit is centred around an industry placement giving you the opportunity to step out of the college context and extend your community of practice to external stakeholders. With your advisor, you will work with a selected organisation that will provide you with insights into contemporary forms of spatial practice. You will assess the nature of their practice and understand ethical implications of fieldwork and within contemporary architectural practice. The contextual study component of the unit will help you establish research agenda and brief for your own self-directed major design project.

Unit 5: Design for Planetary Care 

This unit asks you to develop a self-led major project which concludes with a design proposition centred around ideas of planetary care. Building on previous units, it asks students to synthesise the contextual studies thesis, the industry placement experience into a clear brief and proposition. Unit 5’s technology component will build on the work in Unit 3 and will centre climate innovation within the major project via dedicated material and technology focused workshops. The contextual studies strand concludes with a declaration of intent via a public, student-led event, allowing students to contextualise their work within a larger discourse. 

Unit 6: Situated Critical Practice 

Unit 6 is a culmination to the major project and of the course. It sees the refinement and dissemination of the design project and its key innovations to a large audience at the end-of-year College show. The unit will conclude with a speculation on future career ambitions and pathways by asking students to propose new forms of architectural practice in relation to their design propositions and outlining pathways into practice rooted in the extensive professional and peer networks created across the two years of the course. Barriers to implementation of the work will be addressed in the professional practice component addressing planning, building control, health and life safety, cost, contract and construction documentation. Unit 6 prepares students to enter professional live beyond Central Saint Martins.

The working week 

Central Saint Martins and the Spatial Practices programme offer a vibrant learning and working environment. The teaching and learning methods on M ARCH are designed to make best use of the context of the art school setting. You will move fluently between one-to-one tutorials, to group work in smaller learning groups or with the entire year cohort. We regularly hold peer reviews, work on site with local stakeholders or work hands-on, making use of the many workshop at Central Saint Martins. A culture of curiosity and experimentation informs the way learning takes place throughout the week. You should expect to spend 30 hours per week on your learning.

Mode of study

The course is offered in extended full-time mode which runs for 80 weeks over two academic years. You will be expected to commit 30 hours per week to study, which includes teaching time and independent study.  

The course has been designed in this way to enable you to pursue studies, while also undertaking part-time employment, internships or care responsibilities.

Credit and award requirements

The course is credit-rated at 240 credits.

On successfully completing the course, you will gain a Master of Architecture (M ARCH degree).   

Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications, an M ARCH is Level 7. All units must be passed in order to achieve the M ARCH but the classification of the award is derived from the marks for the fourth, fifth and sixth units.  

If you are unable to continue on the course, a Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) will normally be offered following the successful completion of 60 credits, or a Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) following the successful completion of 120 credits.

Learning and teaching methods

The learning and teaching methods devised for this unit include:

  • Unit and project briefings  
  • Set and self-initiated project briefs  
  • Inductions, lectures and seminars  
  • Collaborative workshops and interdisciplinary study teams  
  • Peer learning  
  • Self and peer assessment  
  • Guest speakers  
  • Group discussions, reviews and critiques  
  • Working with clients on live projects  
  • Mentoring  
  • Independent study 
  • Student-led public events and public dissemination of work  
  • Learning through organising, curating and public speaking

Graduate Showcase

Explore work by our recent students on the UAL Graduate Showcase

  • Clouded Title: On Land Imaginaries and Dwellings
    Clouded Title: On Land Imaginaries and Dwellings, Tatiana Muringani, 2021 M ARCH: Architecture, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • The Open Mill: Thamesmead
    The Open Mill: Thamesmead, Chris Gabe, 2021 M ARCH: Architecture, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • A South Asian Woman's Place
    A South Asian Woman's Place, Dhara Bhatt, 2021 M ARCH: Architecture, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Food RE:C _ nourishment & recreation school
    Food RE:C _ nourishment & recreation school, Gabriele Pauryte, 2021 M ARCH: Architecture, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Hybrid Bridge
    Hybrid Bridge, Clausen Buchartts, 2021 M ARCH: Architecture, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • The Working Class Masterplan
    The Working Class Masterplan, James Barrell, 2021 M ARCH: Architecture, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Sand and the City
    Sand and the City, Rebecca Faulkner, 2021 M ARCH: Architecture, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • THE FORESHORE OF OPPORTUNITY
    THE FORESHORE OF OPPORTUNITY, Victoria Noakes, 2021 M ARCH: Architecture, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • A Just Food Transition
    A Just Food Transition, Mariam Aslam, 2021 M ARCH: Architecture, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • Home Away From Home
    Home Away From Home, Yibeijia Li, 2021 M ARCH: Architecture, Central Saint Martins, UAL

Student work

  • 01_Rallou-Grigoropoulou_Collectively-Industrial_Credit-Rallou-Grigoropoulou-CSM_MArch_Website-Update-2019.jpg
    Rallou Grigoropoulou - Collectively Industrial (Credit: Rallou Grigoropoulou)
  • 05_Lois-Innes_Brent-Cross-South-Cooperative_-Credit-Lois-Innes-CSM_MArch_Website-Update-2019.jpg
    Lois Innes - Brent Cross South Cooperative (Credit: Lois Innes)
  • 09_Grizedale-Arts_Information-kiosk-and-a-community-bread-oven_Credit-Takeshi-Hayatsu-CSM_MArch_Website-Update-2019.jpg
    Grizedale Arts -Information kiosk and a community bread oven (Credit: Takeshi Hayatsu)
  • 13_Neba-Sere_Alternative-Housing-Models-in-Lewisham_Credit-Neba-Sere-CSM_MArch_Website-Update-2019.jpg
    Neba Sere - Alternative Housing Models in Lewisham (Credit: Neba Sere)
  • 02_Filippa-Hellsten_Permanent-Meanwhile_-Credit-Filippa-Hellsten-CSM_MArch_Website-Update-2019.jpg
    Filippa Hellsten - Permanent Meanwhile (Credit: Filippa Hellsten)
  • 06_Moetaz-Fathalla_Reclaiming-the-Hoarding_Credit-Moetaz-Fathalla-CSM_MArch_Website-Update-2019.jpg
    Moetaz Fathalla - Reclaiming the Hoarding (Credit: Moetaz Fathalla)

Matthew Brown: Performance Planning

Course publications

Architecture stories

  • Class of 2022: Futures at Work
    Jingyi Yu, MA Performance Design and Practice

    Class of 2022: Futures at Work

    On Central Saint Martins: URL you'll find Futures at Work, a collection of graduating work that presents reflections and propositions for work.

  • Class of 2022: Food
    Seowon Park, MA Narrative Environments

    Class of 2022: Food

    On Central Saint Martins: URL you'll find a collection of projects that look at food in a myriad of ways. Here, we pause on handful of that work by graduating students, from spatial design that connects community to its local food system to an

  • Winners of the MullenLowe NOVA Awards 2022 announced
    Malu Luecking, MA Biodesign

    Winners of the MullenLowe NOVA Awards 2022 announced

    Last night, the winners of the 2022 MullenLowe NOVA Awards were announced. The celebrated work spans disciplines, from spatial practice for climate emergency to films that reframe the perceptions of tower blocks.

  • Central Saint Martins Shows 2022
    Central Saint Martins Shows 2022 (photo: Martim Miguel)

    Central Saint Martins Shows 2022

    After two years without end-of-year shows at the College, we opened our doors to celebrate the people and place that make up our community.

Facilities

  • A large wooden construction on display in a workshop at Central Saint Martins
    Credit: Image courtesy of Central Saint Martins Image courtesy of Central Saint Martins,
  • A room with people working at computers
    Image courtesy of Central Saint Martins,

Unit 1 Tutors

Seetal Solanki |  Suhair Kahn | Feifei Zhou | Joseph Henry | Adriana Cobo Corey | Kleanthis Kyriakou | Tom Dyckhoff

Unit 2 and Unit 4 Tutors

Ulrike Steven | Summer Islam | Catalina Mejia Moreno | Rhianon Morgan Hatch | Adriana Cobo Corey | Tom Dyckhoff | Cameron Bray | Sven Mündner | Kelly Harrison | Mariam Aslam

Unit 3 Tutors

Summer Islam | Paloma Gormley

Unit 5 Tutors

Saana Shaikh | Neba Sere | Alice Fung | Filippa Helsten

Professor

Liza Fior

Fees and funding

Home fee

£9,540 per year

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Home fees are currently charged to UK nationals and UK residents who meet the rules. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees and determining your fee status.

International fee

£22,230

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Home fees are currently charged to UK nationals and UK residents who meet the rules. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees and determining your fee status.

Scholarship search

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

  • An upper second class honours degree from an Architects Registration Board (ARB) prescribed course in architecture 
  • Or an equivalent EU / international qualification 
  • Or a professional qualification recognised as equivalent to an honours degree

And normally at least one year of relevant internship or, professional experience.

English language requirements

IELTS score of 6.5 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking (please check our main English language requirements webpage).

Selection criteria

This course believes that the people who design the built environment should be as diverse a group as those who use it. As such, we welcome submissions from applicants from diverse backgrounds.

We select applicants according to potential and current ability in the following areas:

  • Demonstrable interest, commitment and motivation in exploring personal (research) agendas/interests. 
  • Ability to creatively respond to a design problem. 
  • Knowledge of the Architectural profession’s obligation to society, technology and the environment.
  • Showing that your personal and professional aspirations are compatible with the aims and objectives of the course;
  • Ability to effectively communicate your design ideas, processes and proposals via a range of media, including CAD, model making and presentation skills.

Apply now

You should apply by clicking on the link to the direct form below. The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form.

Deferred entry

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Transfers

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units and modules on your current postgraduate course and wish to continue your studies at Central Saint Martins, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible.

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and unit transcripts.

You will need to provide an official document (translated into English) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

Start your application now

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following information when completing the online application form:

General information

  • Personal details (including legal full name, preferred name, date of birth, nationality, addresses)
  • Current English language level
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details
  • Employment history

Personal statement

Your personal statement should give us information about yourself and why you want to join the course (between 300-500 words) and should include:

  • What are you doing at the moment educationally, professionally, personally?
  • Why do you wish to study on this course?
  • What is your relevant experience?
  • Do you have any relevant skills?
  • Why do you think you are a suitable candidate for acceptance?

We cannot consider your application if you do not provide all the information above.

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal.  We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents / portfolio / book an interview, through the portal.  You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

Application deadline

19 December 2022 and 3 April 2023

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 rounds of applications. This is to ensure equal consideration and fairness for all of our applicants. You must apply for 19 December 2022 for Round 1 or by 3 April 2023 for Round 2.

The round 1 deadline has been changed to 19 December to give you more time to make your application.

When you'll hear from us

If this course requires a digital portfolio as part of the application process, we will contact you to invite you to submit this through UAL’s online submission tool, PebblePad. For Round 1 applications, you will need to submit your portfolio by 9 January 2023 at the latest and by 20 April 2023 for Round 2.

This course receives a high volume of applications. We need to make sure that we give all applications equal consideration, so the course team will review them in 2 rounds, after each application deadline date. This means you won’t hear from us about the outcome of your application until after the relevant application deadline date. Outcomes for Round 1 will be released by (at the latest) end of March and outcomes for Round 2 will be released by end of June 2023.

Remember to check the outcome of your application in the UAL Portal. If you apply in Round 1 and don’t hear back from us, we will consider your application within Round 2.

Find out more about what happens after you apply.

There are two ways international students can apply:

You can only apply to the same course once per year.

If you are applying directly you click on the link to the direct form below. The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form.

Transfers

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units and modules on your current postgraduate course and wish to continue your studies at Central Saint Martins, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible.

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and unit transcripts.

You will need to provide an official document (translated into English) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

Deferred entry

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Visas

Read our visit our immigration and visa advice page to find out whether you need a visa to study.

Start your application now

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following information when completing the online application form:

General information

  • Personal details (including legal full name, preferred name, date of birth, nationality, addresses)
  • Current English language level
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details
  • Employment history

Personal statement

Your personal statement should give us information about yourself and why you want to join the course (between 300-500 words) and should include:

  • What are you doing at the moment educationally, professionally, personally?
  • Why do you wish to study on this course?
  • What is your relevant experience?
  • Do you have any relevant skills?
  • Why do you think you are a suitable candidate for acceptance?

Immigration history check

Whether you are applying online or through a UAL representative you will need to complete an immigration history check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL.  If you do not complete the check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

We cannot consider your application if you do not provide all the information above.

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal.  We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents / portfolio / book an interview, through the portal. You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

Application deadline

19 December 2022 and 3 April 2023

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 rounds of applications. This is to ensure equal consideration and fairness for all of our applicants. You must apply for 19 December 2022 for Round 1 or by 3 April 2023 for Round 2.

We recommend you submit your application as early as possible before these deadlines to allow the Admissions team to resolve any initial queries about your application as quickly as possible.

When you'll hear from us

This course receives a high volume of applications. We need to make sure that we give all applications equal consideration, so the course team will review them in two rounds. This means that offers won’t be sent to successful applicants until after the relevant application deadline date. Outcomes for Round 1 will be released by 31 March 2022 and outcomes for Round 2 will be released by 30 June 2022.

Remember to check the outcome of your application in the UAL Portal. If you apply in Round 1 and don’t hear back from us, we will consider your application within Round 2.

Find out more about what happens after you apply.

After you apply

What happens next

Initial application check

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course.  If you do, you will be invited to submit a portfolio through the UAL Portal.

Digital portfolio

You will need to submit a digital portfolio of up to 25 images with supporting work illustrating your previous experience and practical skills.  The Video Task (details below) should be on the first page of your portfolio.

For more portfolio advice please visit our portfolio advice page.

Video task

We'd like you to submit a 2-3 minute video to help us learn more about you:

  • Please speak clearly in English and face the camera
  • Your video task is submitted along with your portfolio
  • Read our guidance for how to submit your video task and which file types we accept

As part of your video task please respond to the following direction:

Tell us what interests you about Critical Spatial Practice and specifically why you want to join the MArch course at Central Saint Martins.  You should refer to any professional and/or extra-curricular activity relating to spatial practice that you undertake.

Interview

Following the review of the portfolio we select a small number of applicants to move on to the next stage of the process.  These applicants will be invited to an online interview.  The interview typically lasts approximately 15 to 20 minutes.  As part of the interview you will be asked to choose and present one of your projects from your portfolio.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the outcome of your application through the UAL Portal.

Feedback

This course receives a high number of applications, and unfortunately we cannot provide feedback to everyone who is unsuccessful. We can only provide feedback after you have had an interview.

If you would like to request feedback, please contact us via your portal.

Each and every application is carefully considered by a member(s) of our academic team. With so many strong applicants to choose from, it is often a very difficult decision to make. If you are unsuccessful, you are welcome to apply to us again in the future.

Deferring your place

This course accepts requests from offer holders to defer their place for one academic year. Deferral requests are granted on a first-come, first served basis until all deferral places are filled, or a deadline has been reached, whichever is sooner.

Careers

M ARCH: Architecture prepares graduates for employment in architectural practice, urban design, planning, development, and public consultation. In addition, the course provides a solid grounding for continued academic development toward research and PhD study.

Drawing upon extensive industry links within the Spatial Practices Programme, the Course seeks to offer students a unique learning opportunity to engage with live projects and real clients, developing innovative approaches to public engagement and a radical reconsideration of architectural practice.

"In 10 years we probably will not call ourselves an architecture practice, it will be something else entirely" (Architect, Small London-based practice) 
From "The Future for Architects", Building Futures, RIBA, 2010.

Change is inevitable and  being prepared for change is a challenge. M ARCH: Architecture encourages students to take a radical approach to architectural practice; seeking ways in which the architect of the future can work across the industry and beyond.  The course is predicated on the reality that the practice of architecture is changing. There are increasing pressures on the profession from shifts in the way that projects are developed, as well as the changes to the global economy. How will we practice in the future?

"The invasion of the architect's role shouldn't be seen as a threat but as a natural change that can be exploited - we must find our new opportunities and education should shift to accommodate that." (Architect, Large global practice) From "The Future for Architects", Building Futures, RIBA, 2010.