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Applied Design in Architecture (ARB and RIBA part 2)


Key facts

Start dates

September 2023 / September 2024



Course length

Full time: 24 months


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

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


Develop your skills as an architectural designer with the MArchD Applied Design in Architecture course and choose a unique design specialisation to enhance your portfolio.

Our course is accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Architects Registration Board (ARB). It is also accredited by the Board of Architects Malaysia (LAM). This course provides RIBA/ ARB Part 2. 

This is a student-led course. This means you can have very different experiences depending on your choices of studios and courses. You'll have opportunity to specialise throughout this degree, tailoring the course to match your career ambitions or design interests.

The School of Architecture at Oxford Brookes has established an international reputation for the quality of both its research and its teaching. It plays a leading role in defining the national and international agenda in design education and research. The course attracts some of the industry's leading architects and thinkers here to teach you. 

Student drawing design with ruler

How to apply

Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

Admission to the programme will normally be open to applicants who fulfil either of the following requirements:

  • hold a 2.2+ undergraduate honours degree (or international equivalent), in Architecture / discipline highly relevant to Architecture
  • possess an appropriate professional background and experience of designing architecture, or designing in a discipline that has a strong relationship or similarities to architecture.

All applicants will be invited to submit a portfolio for review (preferably in online format. If submitting a PDF, please compress to 5MB max for storage on the application system). For advice on what to include in your portfolio, watch this video where our Head of the School of Architecture, Matt Gaskin, talks about what we're looking for.

Information on portfolio specifications & how to submit it, will be emailed to separately upon initial processing of an application.

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English you will require a minimum academic IELTS score of 6.5 overall with 6.0 in all components.


An equivalent English language qualification acceptable to the University.

Please also see the University's standard English language requirements.

International qualifications and equivalences


English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

Pathways courses for international and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you meet the entry requirements for your postgraduate course and also familiarise you with university life in the UK.

Take a Pre-Master's course to develop your subject knowledge, study skills and academic language level in preparation for your master's course.

If you need to improve your English language, we offer pre-sessional English language courses to help you meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s course.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Application process

We advise applying in advance to secure places, and allow sufficient time for applications to be reviewed.

There is no formal application deadline (recruitment closes when teaching capacity is reached). 

Applicants should also factor any time needed to meet offer conditions, arrange accommodation, and obtain a UK Student visa (if applicable).

Apply now

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

2022 / 23
Home (UK) full time

International full time

2023 / 24
Home (UK) full time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 483088

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.

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

Learning and assessment

Year 1 focuses on gaining an in-depth knowledge of an architecturally important field of study. And utilising that knowledge in design. To do this you will choose one of the six 'design specialisations'. The specialisations are deliberately diverse to cater for the changing nature of the profession in practice. 

The design specialisations are:

  • Advanced Architectural Design
  • International Architectural Regeneration and Development
  • Development and Emergency Practice
  • Sustainable Building: Performance and Design
  • Research-led Design
  • Urban Design.

In Year 2 you will incorporate a broad range of complex cultural, aesthetic, research and technical factors into your major design project and portfolio. Design-specialisation learning is included in the structure of the year. 

You will participate in one of seven design studios. Design studios are taught by some of the brightest designers and tutors in the country. Your design thinking, skills and production will be raised to the highest possible standard.

Male student building a model

Study modules

Taught Modules

Compulsory modules

Research Methods for Design (20 credits)

Choose one of the following design specialisations:

  • Advanced Architectural Design
  • International Architectural Regeneration and Development
  • Development and Emergency Practice
  • Sustainable Building: Performance and Design
  • Research-led Design
  • Urban Design.

Each of the design specialisations include a design project or projects.

Representation (10 credits)

This module will identify your strengths and build up your weaknesses, both in terms of visual and verbal communication methods. You will be able to dedicate time to fine-tuning techniques or building from basics in sketching, model making, 2D and 3D CAD. Your presentation of methods and actual practice will enable you to build confidence in verbal communication skills.

Management, Practice and Law 1 (10 credits)

Through a series of workshops you will work on topics that are essential to the practice of architecture. Management, practice and law is part of the design delivery of the programme and you will be expected to approach the coursework from a design position. This module asks that you approach this subject with a very different mind-set than the traditional position.


Advanced Technology for Design (30 credits)

This module designs through technology and fully complements and parallels your work in the design studio. There is a very strong emphasis here upon the creative possibilities for architectural technology. We ask for an open and experimental approach to technology, but also a clear understanding of its context and aims.

Advanced Architectural Design Representation and Realisation (50 credits)

Conflict, Violence and Humanitarianism (20 credits)

Working with Conflict: practical skills and strategies (10 credits)

Refugees: Forced Migration, Protection and Humanitarianism (20 credits)

Critical Inquiry Development and Emergencies: Theory and Policy (20 credits)

Shelter After Disaster (20 credits)

Disasters, Risk, Vulnerability and Climate Change (20 credits)

Human Rights and Governance (20 credits)

Humanitarian Action: responding to crises in 21 st Century (10 credits)

Building Physics (20 credits)

The Sustainable Built Environment (20 credits)

Building Simulation and Design in Context (40 credits)

Architecture, Culture and Tradition (20 credits)

Regeneration and Development Project (30 credits)

Applications in Regeneration (20 credits)

Master Classes (10 credits)

Urban Resilience (20 credits)

Research-led Design I (40 credits)

Research-led Design II (40 credits)

Design Studio I (30 credits)

Design Studio II (50 credits)

Advanced Technology for Design (30 credits)

Management, Practice and Law 2 (10 credits)


The end of year exhibition is the culmination of each year’s academic programme. It is not only a showcase for your work, but is in itself an important opportunity for you to develop spatial and presentation skills in a very immediate and hands-on way. All students must play a full role in designing, organising, making and maintaining the exhibition. To this end the exhibition is an integral part of your design studio and design specialisation programme.

Optional modules

Programming and Partnerships (10 credits)

Urban Design Studio I (10 credits)

Urban Design Development Seminars (10 credits)

Contemporary Approaches to Urban Design (30 credits)

Urban Design in Challenging Contexts (30 credits)

Independent Study

Compulsory modules

Independent Study (10 credits)

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Learning and teaching

We use various teaching and learning methods such as:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • tutorials. 

You will select an individual pathway through the Applied Design in Architecture module. You can define your own position through choosing modules from within design specialisations. 

In your Year 2 design studio, you will participate in varied design specialisation thinking with students from your unit. You will be taught with direct entry master's students from around the world.

You'll achieve a high-standard final portfolio by building on:

  • skills
  • thinking
  • application
  • design production.

The end of year exhibition is a showcase for your work.

Field trips

This varies depending upon specialisation choice and design studio choice.

Year one specialisation International Architectural Regeneration and Development runs a field trip to a European country. There are also two day trips.

In other specialisations there may be a field trip, but Advanced Architectural Design and Research-led Design do not run field trips.

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


Assessment methods used on this course

Work is assessed and marked as a percentage. You must pass all compulsory components of the course, without exception.

To begin the Design and Technology year you must pass all components of the Research into Design year. The pass mark for all modules is 50%. 

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

At the end of the course, you will take part in internal and external portfolio based examinations. In the final semester of the course, you will present your portfolio and display of work to an internal assessment panel. During an individual examination, this final assessment will be presented to an external examiner.


Research specialisations linked to the five research clusters within the School of Architecture offer cutting edge teaching from subject area experts. 

The specialisations are: 

  • environmental design 
  • technology
  • development 
  • emergency practice
  • humanities 
  • architectural design. 

After you graduate

Career prospects

The modules Management Practice, and Law 1 and 2, include guidance on the necessary professional skills that are required both for ARB Part 2 and for preparation in commencing ARB Part 3.

The design studio generates a portfolio of work that not only demonstrates the learning for ARB Part 2 but also written, research and visual skills.

The design portfolio is intended as the vehicle for students to synthesise all facets of their learning in order to seek practice employment.

In addition the school maintains a jobs wall that advertises vacancies locally, nationally and internationally. 

Our Staff

Mr Toby Shew

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

Read more about Toby

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.