You are viewing this course for 2021-22 entry. 2022-23 entry is also available.

MArch
2021 start

Architecture

School of Architecture, Faculty of Social Sciences

This course will enable you to make sophisticated architectural propositions. You will discover the benefits of socially engaged design through research-led design studios and our acclaimed live projects programme.
Architecture postgraduates with tutor

Course description

The degree is currently validated by the RIBA at Part 2 and prescribed by ARB. Your study will be mainly studio-based, with design projects each year. To gain your RIBA Part 2 qualification you’ll produce at least one comprehensive design project and a dissertation.

Through our innovative Live Projects you can work with local, regional and international groups on real-life challenges. You could be building, designing urban masterplans or designing in detail.

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Accreditation

Validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) at Part 2 and prescribed by the Architects Registration Board (ARB).

Modules

First year core modules:

Design 1

The module is the first of 4 sequential modules that make up the course of studio based design projects that form the core of the MArch course. The development of advanced design skills in the MArch is based on a 'studio' system, with different tutors setting agendas and projects that encompass a diverse range of themes. Specific projects vary on an annual basis, but are chosen to develop students' skills in design, along with an integrated understanding of technological, environmental and cultural issues. The different studios each have their own teaching patterns and assessent methods.

15 credits
Design 2

The module is the second of 4 sequential modules that make up the course of studio based design projects that form the core of the MArch cpurse. The development of advanced design skills in the MArch is based on a 'studio system' with different tutors setting agendas and projects that encompass a diverse range of themes. Specific projects vary on an annual basis, but are chosen to develop students' skills in design, along with an integrated understanding of technological, environmental and cultural issues.

30 credits
Live Project 1

This module is the first of 2 sequential modules that make up the 'live project' aspect of the studio programme. Specific projects vary on an annual basis, but are chosen to develop student's skills in briefing, client liaison and project management. The projects in these modules are almost entirely group based, with students working in teams of 4 - 12 people. These modules are closely integrated with the Management and Practice modules, ARC555 and ARC565.

15 credits
Architectural Research Methodologies

The module includes two parts: Research methods - The course is an introduction to research methods. It is specifically designed to meet the needs of students in a department of architecture where a very wide range of research paradigms may be found. It also relates the ideals and methods of research to those of design and offers support to students in developing a thesis within their dissertation. Theory Forum - This introduces different thematic approaches and topics in the histories and theories of architecture and urban design, the history of ideas, and the related disciplines of art, cultural studies and landscape studies and initiates to their application in critical debate.

10 credits
Environment and Technology 1

A course in environmental design technologies and techniques developed around a sustainable framework. The course is grouped around broad environmental and natural themes to encourage an integrated and holistic approach to technology within the design process.

10 credits
Management and Practice 1

This module introduces students to aspects of briefing and team-working within an architectural project, together with an overview of factors related to the running of an architectural practice. Built around lectures and seminars, the 3-day module is designed to provide candidates with entrepreneurial skills and develop their understanding of multi professional collaborative working to help them in in dealing with both clients and users and the implications of a multidisciplinary teamworking. The focus of the module is on understanding, managing and improving the briefing process.

10 credits
Dissertation 1

The MArch postgraduate dissertation is a critical written study on an architectural subject chosen by the student. It is seen as an opportunity to investigate an aspect of architecture in which the student is interested and would like to explore in more depth. The dissertation may involve original research and contribute to the subject area through reasoning and critical analysis. The dissertation is undertaken with expert advice from the staff. Students work under the guidance of individual tutors starting in the first semester of the 5th year.

15 credits

Second year core modules:

Design 3

The module is the third of 4 sequential modules that make up the course of studio based design projects that form the core of the MArch course. The development of advanced design skills in the MArch is based on a 'studio' system, with different tutors setting agendas and projects that encompass a diverse range of themes. Specific projects vary on an annual basis, but are chose to develop students skills in design, along with an integrated understanding of technological, environmental and cultural issues.

15 credits
Design 4

This module is the fourth of 4 sequential modules that make up the course of studio based design projects that form the core of the MArch course. The development of advanced design skills in the MArch is based on a 'studio' system, with different tutors setting agendas and projects that encompass a diverse range of themes. Specific projects vary on an annual basis, but are chose to develop students skills in design, along with an integrated understanding of technological, environmental and cultural issues.

30 credits
Live Project 2

This module is the second of 2 sequential modules that make up the 'live project' aspect of the studio programme. Specific projects vary on an annual basis, but are chosen to develop student's skills in briefing, client liaison and project management. The projects in these modules are almost entirely group based, with students working in teams of 4 - 12 people. These modules are closely integrated with the Management and Practice modules, ARC555 and ARC565.

15 credits
Design Manifesto

This module is comprised of the preparation and completion of a design report, written in association with the final design project.

15 credits
Environment and Technology 2

This module is a course of advanced construction, environmental design and technology. It includes the preparation for and completion of an integrated technology report on a major 6th year design project.

15 credits
Management and Practice 2

The module is designed through comparative analysis in a seminar and a workshop format, and will focus on innovative building procurement and project funding. A range of procurement routes will be discussed, including collaborative procurement (PPC2000 contract, NEC Partnering contract, NHS Estates procure 21, PFI, Supply Chain Management and collaboration, MoD Prime Contracting), self building and cooperatives. Dispute resolution mechanisms - Adjudication, Arbitration and Mediation - inherent within some of these procurement systems discussed will also be covered. The module will also discuss broader economic issues with regards, in particular, to social enterprising.

15 credits
Dissertation 2

The MArch postgraduate dissertation is a critical written study on an architectural subject chosen by the student. It is seen as an opportunity to investigate an aspect of architecture in which the student is interested and would like to explore in more depth. The dissertation may involve original research and contribute to the subject area through reasoning and critical analysis. The dissertation is undertaken with expert advice from the staff. Students work under the guidance of individual tutors starting in the first semester of the 5th year.

15 credits

Optional modules:

Parametric Architectural Geometry

This module aims to support an emerging need to better understand concepts and skills for architectural geometry construction using parametric modelling processes. In particular, the course emphasizes computational schemes that can assist designers in managing geometry data and propagating designs. Students are introduced to both the theoretical framework and implementation of architectural geometry construction. This module is delivered through a series of lectures, hands-on workshops and individual assignments/projects. As a result students will learn contemporary parametric modelling techniques for customizing generative design systems, navigating design variations, analysing design artefacts and exploring design manifestations.

15 credits
Materials for Low Impact Buildings - Theory

This module engages through lectures and seminars with a range of materials for low impact buildings which may include load-bearing and frame construction using straw bales, rammed earth, adobe, cob, compressed earth blocks, hemp-lime blocks, earth renders and plasters, timber techniques. The aim is to give students in depth theoretical knowledge about the environmental performance, practical applications and historical use of materials for low impact buildings through lectures and seminars.

15 credits
Participation in Architecture and Urban Design

The unit introduces the history, theory and application of participation in architecture and urban design. Based on a critical analysis of precedents, students will be expected to develop their own participatory methods for use in urban design

15 credits
Behaviour in the Built Environment

The urban/built environment influences the behaviour of people; equally, people’s behaviour can shape the environment. Understanding the interaction between people and their environment promotes the design of spaces and buildings that meet the needs of the people who occupy them. This module will discuss principles of behavioural and environmental psychology in the context of the design and management of indoor and outdoor spaces, including the application and interpretation of behavioural research methods. A key objective is for students to be better equipped to deliver a sustainable environment that meets user requirements.

15 credits
Reflections on Architectural Education

This module is for those students taking the MArch in Architecture or other Masters programmes offered by the Departments. It aims to explore the wider context of architectural education as well as studying current thinking on the techniques for tutoring and reviewing in the design studio. Students undertaking this module would gain first hand experience of these techniques through assisting in the teaching of undergraduate students within the department. Assessment will take the form of a self reflective essay about their experience of helping ot teach undergraduate architectural students, with reference to appropriate literature.

15 credits
Critical Spatial Writing

Critical spatial writing understands space as an entanglement of exchanges, conflicts, and negotiations. The sites of architecture, whether a city, frontier, room or encounter, are viewed both as both subjects of research and spaces for intervention. With readings, lectures and group seminars, the module will provide an introduction to critical spatial writing through an exploration of contemporary arts, architectures and urban interventions with particular attention to issues such as difference and diversity, decolonisation, ecology and intersectional feminism. It will examine different forms of writing about architecture and how we might write about space critically, creatively and relationally. Each session is organised around a number of set texts for lecture delivery, and student-led writing / discussion.

15 credits
Power, Space, Society

The unit focuses on socio-political, economical, ideological and cultural factors shaping and influencing buildings and cities. In a tradition of critical theory, this module analyses hidden aspects of built environment causing social exclusion / inclusion and oppression / emancipation. Through lectures and group seminars, the module will provide an introduction to critical analyses of built environment in a global context. Each session is organised around a particular issue analysed in diverse contexts.

15 credits
Building Environmental Simulation and Analysis

The course unit aims to provide a general understanding of, and practical experience in computer modelling software systems. This involves the following: Thorough understanding of basic concepts of computer simulation, develop the ability to apply these concepts in real life situations. Understanding the use of computer simulation and the need to use the appropriate software to answer a specific enquiry. Understanding the relationships between the required outcome of a simulation exercise and the input details necessary to produce a valid answer.

15 credits
Parametric Architectural Geometry

This module aims to support an emerging need to better understand concepts and skills for architectural geometry construction using parametric modelling processes. In particular, the course emphasizes computational schemes that can assist designers in managing geometry data and propagating designs. Students are introduced to both the theoretical framework and implementation of architectural geometry construction. This module is delivered through a series of lectures, hands-on workshops and individual assignments/projects. As a result students will learn contemporary parametric modelling techniques for customizing generative design systems, navigating design variations, analysing design artefacts and exploring design manifestations.

15 credits
Building Information Modelling, Management and Analysis

This module aims to introduce Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology in practice with a focus on the technical aspects of how building data, both geometric and non-geometric, are created and integrated to support processes of designing, constructing and operating buildings. Fundamental knowledge and contemporary skills of using BIM will be delivered through a series of lectures, seminars, and hands-on workshops. Through executing individual assignments and term projects, students will learn BIM techniques to construct data-enriched virtual models and formulate critical thinking in how BIM can support innovative collaboration during various design, construction and operation phases along the building life cycle.

15 credits
Materials for Low Impact Buildings - Theory

This module engages through lectures and seminars with a range of materials for low impact buildings which may include load-bearing and frame construction using straw bales, rammed earth, adobe, cob, compressed earth blocks, hemp-lime blocks, earth renders and plasters, timber techniques. The aim is to give students in depth theoretical knowledge about the environmental performance, practical applications and historical use of materials for low impact buildings through lectures and seminars.

15 credits
Renewable Energy

This is a core module for MSc Sustainable Architecture Studies (MSc SAS) and optional for students from: M.Arch (RIBA Part 2) MA Architectural Design (MAAD), MA Urban Design (MAUD), MSc Architectural Engineering Design (MSc AED) Energy efficiency, i.e. energy conservation techniques alongside renewable energy sources are often seen as the key to the solution of the world's future energy supply and pollution difficulties. This course introduces and discusses building energy use and building fabric efficiency and the role of small (building and city) scale energy sources of a renewable or particularly efficient nature and how these sources might be used at a variety of scales to supply a variety of needs. The course is interactive in nature and provides knowledge of renewable energy (RE) technologies and analytical skills for appropriate RE applications, including energy efficiency, in the built environment.

15 credits
Conservation and Regeneration Principles and Approaches

This module introduces a range of theoretical and practical approaches to architectural design interventions in the historic built environment. It will explore conceptual and philosophical debates within architectural conservation and heritage studies, addressing the conflicting and complementary approaches that have historically been employed. You will be encouraged to develop a critical understanding of conservation and built heritage issues and to evaluate the role of architectural conservation in historical rural and urban regeneration.

15 credits
Trajectories in Urban Design Practice

This unit focuses on exploring the emergent and potential roles of Urban Design practitioners, and on relating them to students¿ own Urban Design experience, both within practice and within the School of Architecture. The unit will be broad ranging, looking at the unprecedented scale and complexity of conditions that are shaping the urban environment globally, creating the need for a critical evaluation of the methods, tools, and design culture that surrounds the practice of Urban Design. The module will discuss the consequences of these conditions on the practice of Urban Design, and will invite students to speculate about the potential trajectories that they could take in the future as Urban Design practitioners. Assessments will be based on a reflection on student¿s individual experiences and future aspirations.This unit is also suitable for those students taking a part-time route whilst continuing to work in practice. It is also suitable an option module for the MArch course. It will also be offered as CPD module.

15 credits
Participation in Architecture and Urban Design

The unit introduces the history, theory and application of participation in architecture and urban design. Based on a critical analysis of precedents, students will be expected to develop their own participatory methods for use in urban design

15 credits
History and Theory of Urban Design

This unit provides an introduction to the main concepts, theories and practices of urban design, illustrated by local, national and international examples from different historical, political, geographical and environmental periods and areas. Using a themed rather than a chronological approach, the course explores how similar urban forms have been used and reused, reinterpreted, adapted and challenged by different social, economic and political groups in different parts of the world to meet differing (real and imagined) needs, behaviours and rituals. The emphasis is on design and on the end product of the design process ¿ the visual and physical form of the urban environment.

15 credits

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.

Teaching

Our design teaching is studio based with several research-led options. Programmes run by specialist staff link together lectures, studio work and research. The courses have similar structures. Each module is assessed individually by coursework. Course handbooks are available on our website with further information on modules and assessment procedures.

Assessment

Each module is assessed individually by coursework. 

Duration

2 years full-time

Student profiles

The freedom to pursue and nurture my own skills and areas of interest is something that was important to me when making my decision to study MArch at Sheffield. The course offers a well-rounded and grounded learning experience, by encouraging originality and creativity that is relevant towards current social issues. Live Projects have been one of the most enjoyable parts of the course. The connection between education and the real world has been invaluable in preparing me for my future career in architecture.

Ashley Mayes
BA and MArch Architecture

Entry requirements

You’ll need BA Architecture, 2:1 or equivalent, from a RIBA/ARB-approved institution, along with 9 months in practice. You should have RIBA Part 1 or equivalent.

We will ask to see your design portfolio.

If you don't have RIBA Part 1 and you're offered a place it will be your responsibility to gain Part 1. You can do this while you're here on your MArch course. Find out more about this on the ARB website.

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

We also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

Apply

Find out how to apply on the School of Architecture's website:

Apply now

Contact

architecture-admissions@sheffield.ac.uk
+44 114 222 0349

Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

Our student protection plan

Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

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