Course Overview

BA Architecture is an innovative collaboration between The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University.

The course, which is appraised by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and the Royal Institute for British Architects (RIBA), allows you to take the first step to becoming an architect.

You will benefit from the expertise of specialist practice and research-active lecturers, who provide a rich and stimulating environment in which to study architecture.

What's more, you'll be inspired by the world-famous city of Manchester - the industrial revolution birthplace turned 21st century metropolis - and its vibrant, contemporary and innovative architecture scene.

Manchester is a showcase for recent regeneration and historic context, much of which has been designed with the involvement of our current students and graduates.

The city recognises the value of high-quality design, together with innovative and pragmatic approaches to resolving practical issues.

Special Features

Benefit from the facilities of two universities

Architecture sits within the Manchester School of Architecture (MSA) - a unique collaboration between The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU). This allows you to use the workshops and studios, study spaces and students' unions across both campuses.

Experience local and international fieldtrips

Gain a real-world understanding of your learnings through local and overseas fieldwork.

Gain accreditation

By completing this course, You will therefore gain exemption from the ARB and RIBA Part 1 professional qualifications, contributing to you becoming a fully-qualified architect in the future.

Join the UK's largest Architecture student society

Manchester Student Society of Architecture (MSSA) is the largest of its kind in the UK, giving you the opportunity to build valuable relationships with other architects, attend guest talks and enjoy plenty of social activities throughout the year.

Explore our BA students' work

Year 1

BA1 focused on the complex and unique relationships between people, site and space. Projects have tested ideas at a number of scales on urban sites in Manchester stretching along a section of the deeply diverse Rochdale Canal between Oxford Road and the Castlefield Bowl. The starting point for the year was predicated on Manchester’s rich music history; looking specifically at the relationship that this has with architecture.

Year 2

Year 2

Students on BA2 find themselves at a unique point in their studies, being both retrospective and prospective in the undergraduate trajectory. Having begun the year refreshing, reinforcing and extending skills acquired in Year 1, students move through the year, increasingly anticipating the culture and expectations of Year 3.

Year 3

Year 3

Third year comprises humanities, technologies and studio units and builds on the skills, creativity and experiences gained on the course and outlined in the following sections of the yearbook.

BA3 Studio realises a whole year project, with distinct atelier briefs that approach the challenge of design in a range of urban contexts. The seven ateliers each give depth and focus to design, whilst working with shared year goals, cross atelier reviews and atelier symposiums engaging with a broad scope of ideas and approaches. Some ateliers are also aligned with our postgraduate ateliers in the M.Arch. Each atelier has undertaken a European study tour, and visited building sites in the UK.



Year 1

Teaching and Learning

We combine traditional lecture-based teaching with workshop and design studio sessions.

Project-based learning is the basis of architecture education, and the studio is where this learning takes place. From the very start you will be involved in a variety of projects.

Skills in computing and visual studies will be developed through workshops related to studio projects.

The course has strong links with architectural practices across the North West and involves architectural practitioners in teaching.

Important notice

If, as is currently the case, there are no COVID-19 restrictions in place, the Manchester School of Architecture (MSA) intends to deliver all design studio sessions in person next academic year and we look forward to welcoming you back on campus.

As such, there is no option to study fully online in the forthcoming academic year.

All students in the Bachelor of Architecture (Hons.) (BA1,BA2, BA3), Master of Architecture (MArch1, MArch2), and Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA1, MLA2) are required to be on campus to engage with the course induction week from September 13, 2021, and in-person studio teaching from the week of September 20, 2021.

All students in the Master in Architecture and Urbanism (MA A+U), are required to be on campus to engage with the course induction week from September 20, 2021, and in-person studio teaching from the week of September 27, 2021.

To maximize on-campus studio activities and build on the many positives of online 'live' lectures in the last year, we have decided to maintain this approach in the 2021-22 academic year.

Therefore, all lectures for all students on the BA, M.Arch, MLA, and MA A+U will be online.

To support our live interactive (but online) lectures, we will also provide additional asynchronous materials to maximize your learning through being able to access materials such as presentations, video content, online discussion boards, or collaborative documents in your own time.

To help support you with the asynchronous learning, we will provide a detailed timetable of all events for the whole year and additional guidance to help you balance your workload, broken down into daily suggestions of what to study on which days.

We will recommend a suggested timetable to help you structure your study time on a week-by-week basis.

Find out more at  Studying in September 2021 .

Coursework and Assessment

Assessments are designed to provide you with feedback on your progress in understanding the subject and in developing essential skills.

Methods include project reviews, assignments, essays, and online assessments.

Career Opportunities

We're one of the most targeted universities by the nation's top employers.

BA Architecture graduates are highly valued for their confidence and creativity, and benefit from our strong links with national and international architectural practices. They have gone on to successful careers in areas including:

  • advertising;
  • architecture;
  • estate management;
  • project management;
  • real estate;
  • urban design;
  • web design.

Top employers of our BA Architecture graduates include Aedas, AR, Atkins, BDP, BroadwayMalyan, Foster + Partners, Hawkins\Brown, and Sheppard Robson.

Qualifying as an architect normally requires a combination of five years study at university and a minimum of two years practical experience before completing a final examination.

Many graduates study our Master of Architecture (MArch) course, which is recognised as a Part 2 qualification by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). 

The University has its own dedicated Careers Service that you would have full access to as a student and for two years after you graduate. At Manchester you will have access to a number of opportunities to help boost your employability .  

Read more about career destinations of our Architecture graduates on our  Manchester School of Architecture Alumni Profiles

Degree Award

As a student of Manchester School of Architecture (MSA), you will study a degree that is delivered jointly by The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University.

You will, therefore, benefit from the facilities and resources of both institutions such as libraries, computer suites, making and media workshops and much more.

Upon successful completion of your studies, you will receive one degree certificate.

The joint award certificate includes each institution's crest and awarding body title.

What will you study?

Year 1

Gain an understanding of contemporary architectural practice. Year one covers: foundational principles in space-making; material expression; brief writing; contextual research; and the role of the humanities in the design process.
More details

Year 2

In Year 2, the multi-layered nature of the design process is explored and urban theory and specialised sustainability knowledge is applied to design projects, transforming the aesthetic concepts of the first year into the techno-cultural strategies used by professionals. More details

Year 3

In Year 3, you will begin to formulate your individual position on contemporary architecture and urbanism. More details
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