Explore this course:
Architecture: Collaborative Practice
School of Architecture,
Faculty of Social Sciences
This course blends practical experience with academic research and learning. It’s a two-year, full-time masters with two semesters of practice-based education in the first year and two semesters of University-based education in the second year.
This is a unique opportunity to develop your experience working with some of the country’s top architectural practices.
To apply for this course you should be currently working at one of our partner practices – view the list below. However, if you are interested in the course and not working in one of the partner practices, we encourage you to contact us.
Validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) at Part 2 and prescribed by the Architects Registration Board (ARB)
First year core modules:
- Live Project 1
This is a core module for 5th Year MArch students and MArch Collaborative Practice students. Students work in Live Project groups with a range of clients including local community groups, charities, health organisations and regional authorities. Live Projects include design/build, master planning, building feasibility studies, sustainability strategies, online resources and participation toolkits. In every case, the project is real, happening in real time with real people. Specific projects vary on an annual basis, but are chosen to develop students’ skills in design, team building, briefing, client liaison, community engagement and project management. The projects in these modules are entirely group based, with students working mostly in teams of 13-15 people. The Y5 Live Project module is closely integrated with the Management, Practice and Law Y5 module ARC555.15 credits
- Architectural Research Methods
The module is an introduction to a broad range of research methods in architecture. It is specifically designed to meet the needs of students in a department of architecture that encourages an interdisciplinary, integrated and ethical approach to research. It also introduces students to the idea of design as a research method and encourages them to start to develop their own praxis through their ongoing coursework, particularly through the dissertation and design manifesto modules. Lecture content is delivered via the Theory Forum - an international conference hosted annually by Sheffield School of Architecture, focusing each year on a theme of contemporary relevance for architectural theory and practice. It provides an intense introduction to the theory, history and contemporary discourse around the theme, through engaging with national and international researchers. Students are asked to write an academic essay in which they describe, compare and critique the methods used by two of the presentations or papers at the Theory Forum.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
- Reflective Design Practice
Emphasis is placed upon the development of research by reflective design where practice based learning becomes a tool to rigorously investigate lines of enquiry. The aim is for students to research, analyse, and reflect on their current practice project and develop alternative outline proposals. Specific programmes and projects will vary on an annual and individual basis. The projects are chosen in liaison with the student's Practice Mentor and Course Leader to develop research by design skills. There is an emphasis on students being able to participate in a meaningful dialogue with design methodologies used in contemporary practice.45 credits
- Environment and Technology in Practice 1
The module is delivered entirely through distance learning to students based within architectural practice covering the following:1. The global context of climate change and the role of architectural practice in terms of mitigation and adaptation.2. The principles and skills of building environmental simulation, analysis and design and their integration into practice based design.3. The principles and application in practice of advanced architectural construction and materiality.4. A critical understanding of the application of integrated technology in architectural practice.10 credits
- Dissertation Proposal: Collaborative Practice
This module develops a critical written study. It is an opportunity for students to investigate an aspect of architecture in which they are interested and would like to explore in more depth. There is an option to relate the subject to a current or future topic that could have relevance to the practice. The dissertation may involve original research and contribute to the subject area through reasoning and critical analysis. Topics usually fall within one of the following subject areas: architectural theory, architectural history, technology/environment, structures, management and practice, CAD/digital realm, landscape and urban design.15 credits
- Reflections on Architectural Practice
This module develops and consolidates the critical written study instigated in Year 5 (Dissertation Proposal: Collaborative Practice). The module assimilates and concludes the initial work towards a critical reflection and conclusion through the production of the written dissertation or research document.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 chosen to develop student 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 chosen to develop students' skills in design, along with an integrated understanding of technological, environmental and cultural issues.30 credits
- Live Project 2
This is a core module for 6th Year MArch students, MArch Collaborative Practice and MALA students. Students work in Live Project groups with a range of clients including local community groups, charities, health organisations and regional authorities. Live Projects include design/build, masterplanning, building feasibility studies, sustainability strategies, online resources and participation toolkits. In every case, the project is real, happening in real time with real people. Specific projects vary on an annual basis, but are chosen to develop student’s skills in design, team building, briefing, client liaison, community engagement and project management. The projects in these modules are entirely group based, with students working mostly in teams of 13-15 people.15 credits
- Design Manifesto
The Design Manifesto is a key part of the Y6 thesis project and is integral to the development of Y6 studio design work (i.e. Design 3 and 4, ARC560 and 561). The teaching of this module will be delivered via an introductory lecture and tutorials with studio tutors. The Design Manifesto presents the work-in-progress, processes and decision-making that have been instrumental in developing the Thesis Project up to the time of the report's submission. The relatively early submission of the Design Manifesto encourages the student to be clear about the development of their thesis project and to engage early on with both spatial design and research.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
This module is for those students taking the MArch Architecture: Collaborative Practice programme. This module involves student reflections on their experience in practice and comparing it to their experience of design within a School of Architecture. The module will be broad ranging, looking at the influence of factors including: briefing, design philosophy, design development, budgets, sustainability and regulatory requirements. Assessment will reflect student's individual experiences and situations through a personal Reflective Journal. The work will also relate to the Professional Experience and Development Record (PEDR) as required by the RIBA.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.
An open day gives you the best opportunity to hear first-hand from our current students and staff about our courses. You'll find out what makes us special.
You may also be able to pre-book a department visit as part of a campus tour.Open days and campus tours
2 years full-time
Our design teaching is studio based with several research-led options. Programmes run by specialist staff link together lectures, studio work and research.
Each module is assessed individually by coursework.
School of Architecture
Come to Sheffield and join some of the best architecture students in the UK - our students have won prizes at the RIBA Student Awards and the Royal Academy Summer Show. They've been shortlisted in the European Architecture Medals and the Inspiring Graduate Awards. Our staff are doing world-class research, helping to make the school a leader in our field across the UK and internationally.
We believe in architecture that makes a difference. We know that it has the potential to improve the lives of those who inhabit and use it.
Through our internationally-acclaimed teaching and research, we explore the social, spatial and environmental implications of architecture. As a Sheffield student, you will engage with real issues affecting the built environment.
We encourage you to explore ideas and collaborate with other students. Through group tutorials and peer review you'll learn how to express your opinions, and value the opinions of others. Sheffield is the perfect place to develop your personality as a designer.
We provide a balance of theory, design work and professional experience. We have a strong design studio culture. The studio acts as a laboratory for trialling your creative and critical ideas, and for developing fundamental architectural skills. You'll share ideas during group tutorials and review other students' work. This encourages you to express your own opinion and to value the opinions of others, as you begin to develop your personality as a designer.
I chose this course as it was rooted in reality, allowing me to reﬂect on practical experience. It merged an academic learning environment within a practical setting, allowing me to earn while I learned. I think the course has empowered me by encouraging me to self-reﬂect and also by giving me the opportunity to look 'behind the curtain' at top UK practices.
MArch in Architecture: Collaborative Practice
To apply for this course you should be currently working at one of our partner practices:
- View our list of partner practices
- 5 plus architects
- Allies and Morrison
- Arkle Boyce
- Assael Architecture
- Atelier Gooch
- Baca Architects
- Bennetts Associates
- Blee Hallighan
- Bond Bryan
- Broadway Malyan
- Bryden Wood
- Buckley Gray Yeoman
- Carmody Groarke
- Coffey Architects
- Cullinan Studio
- EPR Architects
- Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
- Grimshaw Architects
- Haworth Tompkins
- HLM Architects
- HTA Design
- Hutchinson and Partners
- Knight Architects
- Levitt Bernstein
- MAKE Architects
- Mawson Kerr
- Metropolitan Workshop
- Mikhail Riches
- Mole Architects
- Morris and Co
- MSMR Architects
- OB Architecture
- Panter Hudspith
- Penoyre & Prasad
- Perkins and Will
- Pritchard Architecture
- Proctor and Matthews
- Reed Watts
- Rogers Stirk Harbour
- RMA Architects
- Ryder Architecture
- Sheppard Robson
- Stiff + Trevillion Architects
- Studio MAP
- The Manser Practice
- Waugh Thistleton
- Weston Williamson + Partner
However, if you are interested in the course and not working in one of the partner practices, we encourage you to contact us.
If you don't work in a partner practice, you have two options:
- Secure a placement in one of the partner practices
- Secure a job in a practice that may wish to become a partner (this can be your existing practice)
We advise that you submit an application to us, detailing in your personal statement what your intentions are for securing a placement (from the two options above). Once we have reviewed your application we'll invite you for an interview if we think you're suitable for the course. At the interview we'll discuss how to secure a placement in more detail. You can begin to contact the partner practices to see if they have any vacancies but please let them know that you're interested in studying this course so they are aware of your contractual and professional 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.
If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.
Fees and funding
You can apply now using our Postgraduate Online Application form. It's a quick and easy process.
The application deadline is Friday 23 August 2024.
+44 114 222 0349
Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.
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.