Five reasons to choose the programme

You will have the opportunity to develop your own design-led research project.
You will be part of a vibrant, postgraduate, design-led research community at ECA.
You'll explore the possibilities of non-textual forms of research output, and their relationship to contemporary debates on design and the built environment.
By engaging creatively and experimentally with a range of diverse design media, you'll understand a range of architectural design strategies and their implications.
The programme covers the principal positions in debates across a range of design-related fields.


This programme is for the benefit of anyone in architecture that would like the opportunity to take time out and reflect, from an academic perspective, on his or her own outputs and situation in local and / or international practice. 

It focuses on examining non-textual forms of research output, and their relationship to contemporary debates on design and the built environment, by developing appropriate practice / design-led research.

Programme format

The programme is open to the full range of design-led research, and can be focused to a particular student’s ambitions, including the development of existing work.

Over its duration, you will develop an examinable portfolio of work, consisting of representations of designs, drawings, models, films, constructions and texts (equivalent to 25,000 words). The format of the portfolio can be experimental, for example, taking the form of book, pamphlets, multi-media exhibition and / or film. 

You will work directly with a supervisor selected by mutual agreement from our team of academics, and all School facilities will be available to you, including extensive digital and specific material workshops.

You will be able to work in relation to postgraduate, design-led researchers enrolled in other degree programmes e.g. our Master of Architecture (MArch) programme, Architectural and Urban Design - MSc, and PhD in Architecture by Design.

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

Preparing your application

Common to all research programmes are a set of research aims, a research context, a research process and a research product/outcome. The research proposal should include reference to all of these elements. All applicants for postgraduate research programmes must submit a research proposal.

Portfolios or writing samples are also required for some research degrees.

View the Architecture and Landscape Architecture guidelines (PDF)


Dr Dorian Wiszniewski

Senior Lecturer, Architectural Design and Theory


Tel: +44 (0)131 650 2311

Facilities and resources

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

Resources for History of Art, Art, Architecture and Landscape Architecture students.

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.

Scholarships and bursaries

ECA PG Masters Scholarships

  • Deadline:
  • Value: £10,000
  • Eligibility: Scholarships available for one academic year of postgraduate Masters study at Edinburgh College of Art.


Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions

Tel: +44 (0)131 650 4086