• For Entry: September
  • Duration: 5 years
  • Award: MArch (Hons)
  • Study Abroad: Yes
  • Study Mode: Full Time

We educate resourceful and adaptable architects who are able to respond creatively to the demands of a complex and changing environment.

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework


This 5 year course is professionally accredited by the ARB/RIBA.

The first three years (part 1) are designed to build basic knowledge and skills in Design, Communications, Architectural History/Theory and Sustainable Technology. Each year culminates in a major integrated design project which draws these parallel threads together.

The final two years (part 2) offer more opportunities to choose a programme of study which suits your emerging interests as a maturing designer. At level 4 you will choose an integrated design project from a series of offered options, and also select a ‘design research’ theme which leads into final year unit studios. These studios give you the opportunity to develop individual thesis projects which specialise in the aspects of architecture that most interest you.

Students at part 2 also have the opportunity to choose MArch with Urban Planning – this route leads to qualification as a chartered town planner as well as a registered architect.

The studios are something that separates Dundee with the rest, it does more than just give you a desk to sit at it creates a learning environment that you can discus ideas with students older and younger. It helps bring the years together and architecture school as a whole.



The cornerstone of our teaching is our vibrant studio culture. While we are part of a university, we’re also situated in an art college which means we benefit from both excellent facilities and a highly creative atmosphere. Design tutorials and the majority of learning takes place in the architecture studio where you’ll be encouraged to work in a ‘hands-on’ way developing and testing your ideas through drawings, models and prototypes. You’ll work in small studio groups and on a one-to-one basis with experienced tutors, who are often also practicing architects, providing a supportive learning environment which fosters a spirit of independent enquiry and individual enterprise.  

We treat our surrounding city and landscape as a ‘live-lab’, asking you to engage with real places and real design problems from the outset. We focus on designing buildings and environments which respond to the needs of people, creating innovative architecture, spaces and places that are grounded in an understanding of culture and context. 

We welcome applications for direct entry to part 2 (level 4) from students who already hold a part 1 (or equivalent) qualification in architecture.

This course is accredited by Architects Registration Board (ARB) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and is validated and recognised by the Malaysian Board of Architects (LAM)

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  • Excellent studio, workshop and IT facilities, offering you a lively, creative environment for study.
  • Work in small studio groups
  • Engage with real places and real problems
  • Collaborate across disciplines
  • Specialise in the aspects of architecture that most interest you
  • Get opportunities for overseas study visits, and for overseas study through international exchange

The following are the minimum, up-to-date entry requirements.

You'll need to submit a digital portfolio. We'll send you an email with details of how to do this once you've applied.

Courses starting 2018 and 2019
Qualification Level 1 Entry (RIBA Part 1) Level 4 Entry (RIBA Part 2)
SQA Higher/Advanced Higher BBBB (minimum) - AABB (typical) at Higher including a literary subject. Mathematics or physics (Standard Grade at 3 or National 5/Intermediate2 at C) is recommended
GCE A-Level BCC (minimum) - BBB (typical) including a literary subject at GCSE. GCSE mathematics or physics at C / 4 is recommended.
BTEC A relevant BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma with DDM
International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma 30 points at Higher Level grades 5, 5, 5 to include a literary subject, plus Standard Level mathematics or physics at 4.
A combination of IB Certificate plus other qualifications, such as A-Levels, Advanced Placement Tests or the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP), will also be considered.
Irish Leaving Certificate (ILC) H2H2H3H3 including a literary subject at Higher Level. Ordinary Level mathematics or physics at O2 is recommended
Graduate Entry Via our Via our Architecture RIBA Part 2 MArch (Hons) course
SQA Higher National (HNC/HND) A relevant HNC with grade B in the Graded Unit
Scottish Baccalaureate Pass with CC at Advanced Higher
SWAP Access
Advanced Diploma Grade B with ASL-A Level at B
Welsh Baccalaureate Pass with A Levels at BB
European Baccalaureate 70% overall
Other Qualifications

 EU and International qualifications

English Language Requirement

For non EU students

IELTS Overall 6.0
Listening 5.5
Reading 5.5
Writing 6.0
Speaking 5.5

 Equivalent grades from other test providers


English Language Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional and Foundation Programme(s) throughout the year. These are designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.

 Discover our English Language Programmes

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

The University of Dundee has been given a Gold award – the highest possible rating – in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Read more about the Teaching Excellence Framework


How you will be taught

  • Studio. The majority of teaching is carried out in small groups and individual tutorials in the studio. Studio design projects are your opportunity to test and explore the knowledge gained through taught courses in the context of real design problems set by staff.
  • Workshops and seminars. Teaching of practical skills (analytical techniques, drawing, model making, IT etc) and technology (structure, construction, sustainable building methods) is done primarily through studio based workshops and seminars helping you integrate them as part of your design process.
  • Study visits
  • Lectures
  • Guest lectures from visiting speakers

How you will be assessed

  • Studio design projects
  • Drawings and models
  • Essays and project reports
  • Short multiple choice tests

What you will study

All modules in the first three years (part 1) are core modules.

Level 1

Level 1 introduces the fundamentals of architecture, promoting development of a solid set of skills to support you throughout your studies and architectural career. Engagement with a series of design projects and exercises, from one day to several weeks in length, introduces a range of working methods to help you analyse, experiment, propose and test ideas.

This module introduces students to the history of architecture from the Neolithic to the Gothic period through a weekly lecture series. These lectures are supported by a tutored studio-based drawing exercise to help develop analytical and graphic communication skills. Building precedents are drawn using both hand and digital techniques to help develop an understanding of orthographic projection and drawing conventions.

This module introduces students to the relationship between space, form and structure through a lecture series and tutored studio-based design exercises. The lecture series introduces students to the fundamental principles of primary and secondary structure, and the relationship between material properties and structural form. In studio, architectural design proposals for a simple enclosure are developed through use of a range of experimental design methods, testing principles presented in lectures.

This module is structured around a series of tutored studio-based design exercises supported by lecture inputs which encourage students to develop architectural ideas into 3-dimensional proposals through experimentation with form and material. Students explore the scale and character of 3D space, develop an understanding of the fundamental elements of architecture, and practice a range of graphic and model-making techniques to communicate these to a wider audience. The supporting lecture inputs place a focus on design methods and analysis of architectural precedent.

This module is structured around a tutored studio-based integrated design project, supported by lecture inputs on design methods and analysis of precedent. The semester-long design project places a focus on the relationship between place, use, and architectural form, and asks students to integrate spatial, structural and environmental concerns. Students analyse the project context and translate building user needs into a programme of spaces to help inform their design decisions. The studio environment promotes experimentation with form and material, encouraging development of ideas into 3-dimensional architectural proposals with a relationship to their site context.

This module introduces students to the history of architecture from the Renaissance period to the present day through a weekly lecture series. These lectures are supported by a tutored studio-based drawing exercise to promote an understanding of the importance of scale, material and natural light as a generator of architectural character. Building precedents are drawn using both hand and digital techniques to help develop rendering skills to communicate atmosphere.

Level 2

In level 2 the theme of ‘making’ is central. This is explored through a series of more complex studio design projects which place an emphasis on the relationship between people and the built environment. You will integrate practical design considerations with creative project ideas, and engage in ‘thinking through making’ to explore material, structure and detail.

This module explores the relationship between the conceptual aspects of the design process (thinking) and the technologies, techniques and materials which are ultimately responsible for the physical manifestation of the architectural idea (making), considering architectural history from the age of enlightenment through to the mid-twentieth century. Students are encouraged to further develop observational, analytical and communication skills supported by studio teaching and digital communications workshops, and are given the opportunity to study key architectural precedents in-situ.

This module explores the relationship between architectural form and the internal environment through the design development of a simple building enclosure, supported by a lecture programme which introduces the basic principles of environmental design, in relation to material specification, structural form and the relationship between construction methods, programme, materials and cost. Students will further develop existing communication skills, design methods and their basic understanding of how buildings are constructed, understanding the articulation of space, structure and envelope in relation to environmental strategies.

This project is designed to give students the opportunity to experiment with digital and manual graphic techniques and to understand how these inform the design process. The module is structured around a series of short studio ‘making’ exercises which use tools and methods employed in fine art and related disciplines, and culminates in a design project which asks students to consider the experiential nature of architectural space, and the role of material and detail in defining architectural character.

This module integrates knowledge gained across the curriculum, exploring structure, materials and construction as a primary design drivers in creating well-considered, well- resolved spaces. Students are asked initially to investigate an architectural type through comparative drawn analysis, and then to build on this understanding through an individual, integrated design project which is spatially and technically resolved, and considers the detail design of spaces which relate to human scale and use.

The module aims to provide further insight into the relationship between the conceptual aspects of the design process (thinking) and the technologies, techniques and materials which are ultimately responsible for the physical manifestation of the architectural idea (making), considering the development of modern architecture from the mid-twentieth century up to the present day. Students are supported to Develop skills in the analysis and communication of architectural ideas and undertake a studio design project in response to key theoretical text.

Level 3

Level 3 study is centred on two design projects which offer the opportunity to incorporate many of the complex ideas and concepts studied in the Part 1 course. The projects focus on rich urban contexts which require you to consider interior and exterior space at both public and private scale. The integrated design project asks you to consider site, programme and technology in development of a holistic design proposal. To broaden yourdesign portfolio you will also engage with a series of short design projects which encourage risk-taking and the wider exploration of ideas. In parallel with your studio work you will undertake illustrated essays and reports.

The module presents students with the opportunity to develop holistic integrated design projects within a site context from inception to detailed design, maintaining a consistency of conceptual thinking throughout. The primary integrated design project asks students to integrate an understanding of construction, structure, environment and services in response to variable programmatic requirements and a specific site context. Students develop design solutions by working through a variety of appropriate exploratory drawing and modelling techniques, presenting the work through an exhibited folio. The exhibited work is supported by an integrated design report which details the process of design, and explains its detailed resolution.

In this module a series of lectures explores key theoretical ideas and how these inform contemporary architectural practice, supported by a design research project and development of an analytical case study. The design research project asks students to explore and communicate theoretical ideas visually, while the case study requires core themes and ideas of a precedent example to be critically analysed.

The module presents students with the opportunity to develop an understanding of urban design issues and context through both group and individual analysis, precedent study, theoretical design studies, and the development of an individual design within an urban context. There are a series of group work components to the module which build up an understanding of the fundamental principles of urban planning and design, including density, analysis, serial vision, townscape, robustness etc. before culminating in a sketch deign project.

Level 4

Following a similar pattern to level 3, the year is structured around a major integrated design project sited within an urban context. Following a series of introductory Urban and Planning Studies investigating the urban imagination, the city, and design, you will work within small, elective tutorial groups exploring alternative ideas for your integrated design proposal. The project is developed in the second semester to an appropriate level of technical and programmatic resolution.

In parallel with the sketched, drawn and modelled exploration of ideas, you will compile an integrated design report which places the work within an intellectual context, draws out the central ideas and explains their detailed resolution.

Alongside the integrated design project you will develop a body of work within a separate “Design Research Unit”: a seminar group exploring themes within architectural theory such as typology, representation, materiality and landscape. The DRUs are aligned to and run by the level 5 thematic studios. You will have the opportunity to make physical experiments known as “thinking machines” and write accompanying texts which define and contextualise yourideas.

In semester 1 students initially work within small, elective tutorial groups to engage in a series of urban and planning studies investigating the urban imagination, the city, and design and developing a brief appropriate to their site. The analytical group work is closely followed with the consideration and production of individual strategic building designs for an area of their given city. They are encouraged to explore & evaluate alternative design proposals and key parameters.

Alongside both the urban theory analysis and strategy and the integrated design modules students in Year 4 develop a body of work within separate “Design Research Units” where seminar groups explore themes within architectural theory such as typology, representation, materiality; and landscape. The DRUs are aligned to, and run by the Masters Level thematic studios. Students make physical experiments known as “thinking machines” and write accompanying texts which define and contextualise their ideas.

In semester 2 the design project initiated within Urban Theory Analysis and Strategy is further developed to an appropriate level of technical and programmatic resolution. In parallel with the sketched, drawn and modelled exploration of ideas students compile an integrated design report which places the work within an intellectual context, draws out the central ideas and explains their detailed resolution.

Students in level 5 opt to follow one of two pathways, MArch or MArch with Urban Planning.


The thesis is a year-long study that explores architectural ideas through research by design. Students formulate their studies as a series of questions and objectives, and situate them in the wider context of contemporary architectural thought and practice. The thesis is conceived and communicated through architectural methods such as drawings and models, and through an analytical and critical text developed in parallel. Working in Architectural Thesis Research Units defined by staff expertise and research interests they collectively consider the role of architecture in framing ways of living, exploring the notional distance of the collective environment to the tangible intimate space of the individual through research by design of different spatial, formal & material typologies and in diverse physical contexts. 

MArch with Urban Planning

You will have the opportunity to follow this alternative pathway completing three modules in urban planning. In parallel you will undertake an independent design-led research project (60 credits) which will build on your emerging specialist knowledge and understanding in both disciplines. As in the core MArch programme, design work will be developed within an Architecture and Planning thematic studio, and contextualized and recorded through an accompanying text. Successful completion leads to a jointly accredited  award in Architecture and Planning disciplines.

You will undertake an independent design-led research project (60 credits) which will build on your emerging specialist knowledge and understanding in both disciplines.

This module explores the nature of the land and property development process, project management techniques and methods of assessment of development value.

You will learn about developing and managing the policy making process: the definition of issues, the exploration and evaluation of policy choices, the role of stakeholders, the preparation of plans and strategies, implementation problems, and monitoring and evaluation.  

This module aims to discuss sustainable development in its wider theoretical, political and regulatory context, and to use this understanding to examine how actors use a range of strategies to promote the sustainability of our cities and regions. 

It also aims to engage with the question of how and whether the growth of cities is compatible to the achievement of sustainable development goals.  Lastly, the module aims to develop a comparative understanding of the challenges for city management and governance practices across the globe as regards the sustainable provision of infrastructure and future land uses.

Graduates and students of Dundee have traditionally had an excellent reputation within the profession for being valuable and respected members of top practices in the UK and throughout the world.

For those wishing to qualify as architects the minimum period of study is 5 years in a ARB/RIBA recognised institution and also a minimum of 24 months practical training in practice, most commonly in an architect's practice.

Dundee has in recent years offered students an option to use the summer vacation period to gain a minimum of 3 months practical training in practice to count towards the first 12 months training for the RIBA professional requirements. At this stage students can also take the opportunity to gain experience in practices not just in the UK but also abroad.

Our graduates are highly regarded by the profession as skilled and confident individuals.

Your first three years of study qualify you as ARB/RIBA/LAM part 1 equivalent graduates, the final two years are accredited as equivalent to ARB/RIBA/LAM part 2.

Should you choose the MArch with Urban Planning option you’ll graduate with a qualification which also leads to RTPI chartered status.

Registration as an Architect in the UK requires completion of a minimum 24 months experience in architectural practice (the majority of students complete 12 months between years 3 and 4, and 12 months after year 5) and to subsequently sit a ‘part 3’ professional examination.

Our courses are designed to build your communication and team-working skills, and to expose you to ‘real world’ scenarios where you’ll engage directly with clients, communities and professional consultants, preparing you for a successful career in practice.

The study of architecture requires a lot of self-commitment and utmost desire to want to become an architect, much more than one would think is necessary. Having said that, the University provides superb facilities, guidance and ample studio space with a very healthy studio environment which encourages students to work with their peers while tapping into each other’s creative minds.

Architecture at Dundee allows you to bridge the gap between student life and real world practice as students have the opportunity to collaborate on projects with different departments within the University and sometimes with the assistance of guest architects, engineers and professionals relevant to the industry. There are also annual field trips organised in order to assist students to learn about architecture in different cities around Europe.

In summary, selecting to study architecture at the University of Dundee will be the best decision you could ever make.

Shawn Leishman
Recent MArch graduate

The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application.

 Find out more about fee status

Fees for students starting 2019-20

Fee categoryFees for students starting 2019-20
Scottish and EU students £1,820 per year of study
Rest of UK students £9,250 per year, for a maximum of 3 years, even if you are studying a four year degree. See our scholarships for rest of UK applicants.
Overseas students (non-EU) £17,275 per year of study

Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government.

Rest of the UK students can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loans Company.

Tuition fees for Overseas (non-EU) students are guaranteed not to increase by more than 3% per year, for the length of your course.

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your education at the University over and above tuition fees in an academic year.

Examples of additional costs:

One off costOngoing costIncidental cost
Graduation feeStudio feeField trips

*these are examples only and are not exhaustive.

Additional costs:

  • may be mandatory or optional expenses
  • may be one off, ongoing or incidental charges and certain costs may be payable annually for each year of your programme of study
  • vary depending on your programme of study
  • are payable by you and are non-refundable and non-transferable

Unfortunately, failure to pay additional costs may result in limitations on your student experience.

For additional costs specific to your course please speak to our Enquiry Team.

All applicants are required to submit a digital portfolio.

Unistats data set (formerly the Key Information Set (KIS) Unistats data set - formerly the Key Information Set (KIS)

  Degree UCAS Code Unistats Data
Apply NowArchitecture MArch (Hons)K100