Applied Design in Architecture (ARB and RIBA part 2)


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Start dates: September 2024 / September 2025

Full time: 24 months

Location: Headington

Department(s): School of Architecture

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How can we build a more sustainable future? What should urban regeneration look like? Can architects respond to humanitarian crises?

From sustainable built environments, urban design, digital craft to humanitarian architecture, during the MArchD programme you will construct a substantial portfolio of design work that fulfils the requirements of ARB/RIBA Part II and LAM, and offers a design specialisation that has a transformative impact on your professional practice.

The School of Architecture at Oxford Brookes has an international reputation for research and teaching. You’ll be guided by academics and practitioners who’ve proved themselves at some of the country’s top practices or who are leading in their fields of research. And you’ll benefit from our strong links with local and national practices who regularly visit and employ our graduates.

You’ll immerse yourself in an environment that actively encourages discourse, fosters innovation, and promotes practical experimentation, allowing you the freedom to explore and realise your design aspirations.

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Why Oxford Brookes University?

  • Customise your concept

    Within a framework of core modules, you can tailor your course to match your career ambitions and design interests with great staff to student ratios.

  • Expert-led studios

    You’ll be guided by tutors and lecturers who are experts in their field. They’ll help you gain specialist skills in key areas of design practice and inspire you to produce your best work.

  • Advanced technology

    Including VR, AI, prototyping and making spaces/workshops, high spec computers and the latest software. The school is more than just a physical structure - it is a space for exploration and creative discovery.

  • Sustainable learning

    Driven by Research, creativity and curiosity, the School of Architecture brings leading edge thought in Low-Carbon Building, Vernacular Architecture, Place Culture and Identity and the Center for Development and Emergency Practice. Our research guides industry at the highest level.

  • A city to call home

    Oxford has a rich student culture, and you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in study at the world-famous Bodleian, one of the oldest libraries in Europe. Our studios are open 24/7 and are supported by an on-site print room with advanced 2D and 3D printing facilities, equipment and tech loan services.

  • Accreditation(s)

    Architects Registration Board, Royal Institute of British Architects, Malaysian board of Architects

    • Architects Registration Board
    • Royal Institute of British Architects
    • Malaysian board of Architects

Course details

Course structure

The Part II Programme at Oxford Brookes provides a dynamic learning experience, focusing on core modules and design specialisation in the first year and a thesis portfolio in the second year. Emphasising tutorials as our main teaching method, you will be individually supported throughout your journey.

Integrated Learning Approach:

You'll study architectural design through individual and group projects in design studios. Modules run concurrently, with a focus on key project development stages. The programme ensures a balance of academic rigour, practical skill development, and collaboration with industry professionals - preparing you for impactful contributions in the field.

Studio Environment and Workshops:

The School of Architecture is defined by its studio culture and excellent facilities. You’ll find up-to-date computers with all of the software you’ll need, a fully equipped print room with 2D and 3D printing technologies, photographic and 3D scanning equipment and a great architecture workshop to facilitate making and material experimentation.

Male student building a model

Learning and teaching

Our programme gives you the opportunity to define your architectural education through selection of a design specialisation in Year 1 and a design thesis studio in Year 2. Our core modules ensure that your work meets all of the required professional criteria which gives you the freedom to explore in detail areas and aspects of the field that most resonate with your design agendas in your studio and specialisation.


You’ll be given feedback to support the submission of assignments, which will generally take the form of a portfolio, emphasising process work and iteration as well as final output. Through sector leading cross marking and moderation policies we shall ensure that we maintain consistent standards and learning outcomes across each module are fairly assessed. Work is marked as a percentage and you must pass all compulsory components of the course, without exception, to progress from Year 1 to Year 2.

An internal cross-studio portfolio examination will determine your final design grades. This takes place at the end of the second semester in Year 2.

Our programme is accredited by the RIBA, the ARB and by LAM, and we appoint external examiners to ensure that our assessment standards and processes are fair and consistent. We choose two external examiners from the profession and two external examiners from academia who have sight of all school submissions and meet you at the end of Year 2.

Field Trips

The MArchD course at Oxford Brookes values and encourages field study.

Each studio and specialisation offers an optional field trip. These field trips may be local or international, depending on the focus of the studio or specialisation. Other optional opportunities for field study are offered to the entire cohort, including visits to maker spaces, architectural parks or interesting cities.

See the Additional costs section of this page for details of costs.


The School of Architecture encompasses seven global pioneering Research Institutes, Centres, and Groups that span a wide range of disciplines - including architectural engineering, low carbon building, development and emergency practice, vernacular architecture, conservation, design, and AI. Our research endeavours are characterised by a multidisciplinary approach and hold significant global relevance. Collaborating closely with industry and communities, the School research yields practice-oriented outcomes. These robust partnerships contribute to shaping policies in architecture, sustainability, and humanitarian practice.

Our dedication to the seamless integration of research and teaching is manifested in the continuous transfer of knowledge from our research initiatives to the academic setting. This symbiotic relationship enhances the overall student experience and deepens their understanding of the subjects at hand. The collective impact of our research activities underscores our dedication to maintaining a dynamic and enriching educational environment at Oxford Brookes.


Our students are in high demand in the UK and internationally. Many go on to work in AJ100 companies, like Fosters, Zaha Hadid and Wilkinson Ayre. Some set up their own businesses, often pursuing careers that contribute to society and a more sustainable future.

The specialisations within the course prepare students for a rapidly changing industry where specialist skills are increasingly popular.

Some of our students have gone on to work in Film and Digital Design, while others have used their skills to work in disaster relief operations.

Careers include:

  • architectural and engineering practices
  • research or sustainability consultancies
  • development work
  • creative professions
  • academia.

Our Staff

Adam Holloway

Read more about Adam

Mr Toby Shew

I curate and manage eight postgraduate design studios for the RIBA part II course, ensuring a plurality of ideas and methodology in this professionally recognised course.

Read more about Toby

Entry requirements

International qualifications and equivalences

How to apply

Application process

Please use the "apply now" link below. Once you have started your application, you will be asked to provide your portfolio, references and a personal statement. You will be invited to MArchD "Virtual Cafes" where you'll get to meet staff and students on the course who can answer any questions you might have about studying here, and also to in person open days. After you have completed your application, you will be invited to an interview to discuss your portfolio and architectural aspirations and agendas.

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time

International full time

Home (UK) full time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time

International full time

2025 / 26
Home (UK) full time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400

Fees quoted are for the first year only. If you are studying a course that lasts longer than one year, your fees will increase each year.

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support.

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

Funding your studies

Programme changes:
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our changes to programmes page.