2019 start

Architectural Design

School of Architecture, Faculty of Social Sciences

Develop your own distinctive design practice by exploring the processes and methodologies of architecture. You'll study in a studio and have the opportunity to work on real-life projects with local and regional groups.
Architecture students working on live projects programme in studio

Course description

This studio-based course will help you develop your own distinctive design practice. You’ll explore design processes and methodologies. There are opportunities to work on real-life projects with local, regional and international groups as part of our Live Projects initiative.

You can take the course as a stand-alone MA or as preparation for a PhD via our PhD by Design programme.

You'll investigate architectural themes in depth, working closely with your studio tutor. The aim is to consider design within the context of rigorous and innovative research.

You'll specialise in the theory and practice of design and develop the skills and knowledge to be a creative and original architect.

We’re one of the UK's top architecture schools. Our international research projects shape policy and address public and professional needs. As a Sheffield student you’ll engage with real issues affecting the built environment. You’ll be encouraged to provide social and environmental solutions to the challenges of our time.

What to include with your application

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Core modules

  • Special Design 1 ‘Live Project’
  • Design Project 1 and 2
  • Reflections on Architectural Design
  • Thesis Design Project
  • Environment and Technology in Design

You will be able to choose a route of study based on your area of interest from options available.

Optional modules

Choose from a range of optional modules. These might include:

  • Reflections on Architectural Education
  • Critical Spatial Theory
  • Politics of Architecture and Urban Design
  • Future Climates and Architecture
  • Building Environmental Simulation and Analysis
  • Parametric Architectural Geometry
  • Elements of Computational Design
  • Materials for Low Impact Building
  • Theory and Research in Design
  • Conservation and Regeneration Principles and Approaches
  • Participation in Architecture and Urban Design
  • History and Theory of Urban Design


Learning is through studio-based design work with individual and group tutorials, block seminars and workshops, traditional lecture modules, live projects involving real clients and real community projects, and field trips.


You’ll be assessed on course assignments, design thesis and a dissertation.


1 year full-time

Architectural design postgraduate with machine

Our course teaches us about the community we live in, how to approach our ideas and designs, and how to use new technology to create a better vision. Using these skills I can make a better future for our community, who are our real clients. After my MA I plan to apply for a PhD at Sheffield.

Yusuf Abushamaa
MA Architectural Design

Entry requirements

You’ll need a 2:1 honours degree or an equivalent qualification related to design in the built environment. Related subjects include: design, architecture, art, computing, engineering, social sciences and education or any other discipline that has a demonstrable relationship to some aspect of architectural design and/or research.

Your degree doesn’t have to be design-based. If you have a lot of professional design experience we’ll consider your application. We’d like to see your portfolio to get an idea of your design abilities.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

Entry requirements for international students


You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

Apply now


+44 114 222 0349

The course information set out here may change before you begin, particularly if you are applying significantly in advance of the start date.