Five reasons to choose the programme

Critical and research based engagement with the contemporary city in an age of globalisation.
International reputation for investigative and creative pedagogies.  
Critical enquiry through making, and attention to materiality, situation and presence through traditional disciplinary practices alongside innovative techniques and technologies.
Contributions from eminent international architects, educators and scholars.
Links with other specialist postgraduate programmes within ESALA and Edinburgh College of Art.


The two-year Master of Architecture (MArch) programme offers a unique design and research-led learning experience leading to exemption from the ARB/RIBA part 2 examination. Based in one of the most beautiful and architecturally important cities in the world, you’ll join an exciting and dynamic programme combining flexibility with academic rigour.

Our programme has a reputation for its focus on architecture and the city and as a student you’ll play an active role in projects linked to current debates about cities and specific sites within them. You’ll benefit from a series of guest lectures and workshops from eminent practitioners and scholars. And you’ll also have the option to choose from one of two learning pathways. No matter which pathway you choose, you’ll be guided in the creation of intelligent and creative architectural design at all times, informed by thematically directed studios.

As a student, you’ll take advantage of studios and workshops recognised as amongst the best anywhere. Our workshops include up-to-date technologies, such as laser-cutting and rapid 3D prototyping machines, and you’ll access computer suites kitted out with the latest software and large format printing machines for digital design development and output.

Choose to come to Edinburgh and you’ll find a dynamic environment in which to engage creatively with the many facets of contemporary architectural discourse and practice.

Programme structure

The MArch is delivered through thematically-focussed elective design studios, an ideal platform for graduate-level research-led teaching. Complimentary courses in theory, technology and professional practice are offered to develop your core professional competencies. Uniquely, the programme offers two curricular pathways, allowing you to complete either a one or two-year design-studio thesis, prioritising either breadth or depth of enquiry.

Design studios

The design studio is the heart of the MArch curriculum, and accounts for 160 credits of the programme. As a student, you will have the opportunity to explore different design approaches, and to develop your own specialism, by choosing from a range of design studio options. Each studio is led by a dedicated academic staff member whose expertise and research agenda frame the themes of investigation, and typically involves a field trip to sites of national or international interest.

Studio options for 2018/19

  • Island Territories vi: Manhattan: Scapeland (Studio leaders: Adrian Hawker and Victoria Clare Bernie with Tiago Torres Campos)
  • City Fragments: Palermo Institutions (Studio leaders: Chris French and Maria Mitsoula)
  • The Other Paris (Studio leaders: Giorgio Ponzo and Ana Miret Garcia)
  • The Streamlines, Vortices and Plumes of the Blue Lagoon and Bath (Studio leaders: Lisa Moffitt and Simone Ferracina)

Complimentary courses

The remaining 80 credits comprise compulsory non-studio courses.  Architecture Technology Research supports you in developing methods for identifying and integrating relevant technologies in architectural projects; Studies in Contemporary Architectural Theory allows you to follow one of a series of theory seminars, developing an in-depth knowledge of particular contemporary architectural discourses; Architectural Management, Practice and Law offers a part-2 level understanding of architectures professional context, including a scenario-based event that prepares you for the Part 3.

Complimentary course descriptors

Curriculum pathways

Our design studios operate through one of two curriculum pathways.

Modular Pathway

The Modular Pathway provides you with the opportunity to choose from a selection of independent, year-long design studios. A range of different studios will be offered each cycle, exploring urban and rural sites of national and international significance, structured through themes related to staff expertise and research interests. Over the course of the programme, you will take two of these studios, sampling a range of topics and methods.

The MArch modular studios will be open to both 1st and 2nd year students, offering opportunities for peer learning between cohorts. While offering student choice, the two years of study also provide a coherent pedagogic arc. For MArch 1 Modular students, each studio choice will introduce you to a range of different architectural themes, research methods and design approaches, while for the MArch 2 constituency, studios will expect an enhanced level of design resolution, supported by a 40 credit core studio which incorporates external consultancy on structural, technical and environmental resolution.

The Modular Pathway allows you to complete a highly resolved thesis project while developing a portfolio typified by breadth of enquiry.

Examples of previous modular pathway studios

  • Kyoto: Appropriating Ancient Traditions for a Super Ageing Population
  • The Revanchist City and the Urbanisation of Suburbia
  • Hotel Paris
  • Mobility, Mood and Place iii: Copenhagen
  • North Studio v: Gothenburg, Sweden, 'Inhabited Field'
  • The Big Roof
  • PARA-situation [Wroclaw]: Dialectics of Syntax
  • Architecture & Infrastructure iv: Tokyo Hauntology
  • North Studio iv: Earth & Ocean
  • Orkney Grounds: Architecture & infrastructure iii | Watch studio video
  • New Spatial Practices in Architecture (and Art) iii: Japan/Basel
  • Mobility, Mood and Place (MMP) ii: Hackney Wick | Watch studio video
  • North studio iii: Finland
  • Erosion & Sedimentation: Architecture & Environmental Impact
  • New Spatial Practices in Architecture (and Art) ii: Japan/Basel
  • Mobility, Mood & Place (MMP) i: Design for an Ageing Population
  • North studio ii: Baltic edge
  • a City on a bend in a River: Córdoba + the Guadalquivir
  • Zoological Urbanism: Architecture & Environmental Impact
  • North Studio i: 64 Degrees North

Integrated pathway

The Integrated Pathway, unique to the March programme at Edinburgh College of Art, is a two-year long pathway anchored typically around a major city or territory. Focused on a major (usually European) city, this pathway will lead you through a series of architectural studies and design projects that allow you to engage the full range of architectural scales; from the urban strategy right down to the detail in a comprehensive project. The pathway emphasizes research-led teaching and design.

Examples of previous integrated pathway studios

  • PARA-situation [Calcutta]: Inside-out
  • Island territories v: Havana, re-making islands, dismantling insularity
  • Tokyo: Order and Accident
  • Athens: Salvaging Urbanism
  • PARA-Situation [Mumbai]: Agency Water + | Watch studio video
  • Island territories, iv: Nicosia
  • PARA-Situation [Olbia]: The Loving Metropolitan Landscape
  • Island territories iii: Faroe Atlantic
  • Lisbon-Tagus: Salt City 2
  • Island territories ii: Venice
  • Marseille: Irrigations
  • Florence: Curating the City
  • Cadiz: Salt City
  • Shanghai: Borderlands
  • Island territories i: Valetta
  • Warszawa: The Post-Socialist City and its Material Prehistories

Visiting staff

A programme of annual visiting staff are arranged through the Simpson Visiting Professor and Geddes Visiting Fellow initiative. Recent esteemed visitors to the programme have included:

  • Professor Anuradha Mather (PennDesign, Shristi Bangalore)
  • Professor Dilip da Cunha (PennDesign, Harvard GSD, Shristi Bangalore)
  • Professor Mark West (University of Manitoba)
  • William Firebrace (University of Westminster)
  • Peter Wilson (Bolles+Wilson)
  • Josep Mias (Mias Architects)
  • Professor Peter Eisenman (Yale, Eisenman Architects)
  • Cynthia Davidson (Harvard GSD, Anyone Corporation)
  • Professor Mike Cadwell (Ohio State University)
  • Professor Inaki Abalos (Harvard GSD)


Architecture students gain excellent skills in design, spatial awareness, problem-solving and project-based production, which combine into a strong and adaptable skill set. Our MArch degree is the second stage in a process that will enable you to register and practice as a professional architect in the UK.

How to apply and entrance requirements

If you'd like to study on a postgraduate programme at Edinburgh College of Art, you must apply through EUCLID, our online application system. You can find out how to do this on the University of Edinburgh website, where you'll also be able to:

  • see detailed entrance requirements for each programme on the Degree Finder
  • get information on what to expect after you apply
  • find out about study modes, start dates and fees
  • find out if, and how, you need to submit a portfolio, showreel or research proposal
  • find out where to go for further advice and guidance

Take me to the University of Edinburgh website on how to apply for postgraduate study


Adrian Hawker

Lecturer, Architectural Design (Contemporary Practice)


Tel: +44 (0)131 650 2312

Facilities and resources

Welding torches, a forge, forming and shaping tools, and a 1-ton gantry crane with access to main workshop areas.

We have model workshops in both the Hunter Building and Minto House. Here you can work with machinery and hand tools for the cutting, shaping, and general fabrication of woods and metals.

This large wood workshop hosts a huge range of machinery and hand tools for the cutting, shaping, and general fabrication of woods, as well as metals, plastics, and cardboard.

Students at the University of Edinburgh have access to a range of library resources across the campus and online.


Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions

Tel: +44 (0)131 650 4086