Cardiff University

Welsh School of Architecture,
Cardiff, UK

Architecture is central to the major issues affecting society today. The performance of the built environment is a subject of national and global concern in relation to its impact on climate change, the use of resources, economic development and the health and well-being of individuals.

The WSA offers all the qualifications necessary to become a registered architect in the United Kingdom, and has a reputation for producing graduates with the ability to cope well with the diverse demands of practice.

Postgraduate Taught (PGT) at Cardiff University Welsh School of Architecture

Professor Chris Tweed (Head of School): “We want our architecture graduates to design and make beautiful buildings that respond to changing technological, social, cultural, economic and professional contexts. We want our Masters graduates to use their expertise to shape sustainable buildings, cities, and communities. And all of our graduates should leave us as creative problem solvers who can apply their newly acquired understanding, knowledge and skills to the challenges practice and life throw at them.”

Real design projects with real clients, field trips and practical and experimental activities are an integral part of all our taught courses which underpins the broad spectrum of built environment professions, embracing environmental and sustainable design, conservation, urban design and professional studies.

All of our PGT courses follow a similar structure and comprises taught modules worth 120 credits and a 60 credit research dissertation. Both full and part time options are available. In addition, the MSc in Environmental Design of Building also has the option of full distance learning.

Two type of postgraduate academic degrees will be awarded in Master level: Mater of Arts (MA) in Architecture and Architectural Science Masters (MSc).


MA in Architecture: Professional Studies

The MA in Architecture: Professional Studies is a two-stage postgraduate Diploma/Masters course; where the Diploma has RIBA/ARB recognition for the RIBA Examination in Professional Practice (Part 3). On the course, students are encouraged to develop a critical awareness of current challenges and will have the opportunity to acquire an in-depth understanding of the legal and economic aspects of architectural practice and construction procurement, as well as to develop the related skills necessary to practice effectively on entry into the architectural profession. The course is undertaken while the student is in an approved work placement, and is taught through a combination of distance learning and intensive residential short courses normally held in October, January and April. Students eligible for admission will hold a degree validated at RIBA/ARB Part 2 level, and will have completed the requisite period of Professional Experience.

For more information please see WSA Diploma/ MA in Professional Studies page: Course Website

MA in Urban Design

This course is run jointly by the Cardiff School of Planning and Geography and the Welsh School of Architecture. It is accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). The course responds to the need for professional skills for designing ‘places’: intimate public spaces to urban neighbourhoods; details of materials to strategic policy analysis. Design is central to the course, with the six taught modules leading to a final Research-based Design thesis. Study visits are a highlight, with day visits, a London study visit in the autumn and a European visit in the spring.
This course is suitable for graduates in design, architecture, planning, landscape architecture, highway engineering, surveying, real estate management, civil engineering, while all graduates will be considered.

For more information please see WSA Diploma/ MA in Professional Studies page: Course Website

Architectural Science Masters (MSc)

The WSA also offers taught programmes in advanced practice that are open to candidates from non-architectural backgrounds. Among these is a suite of five MSc degree programmes that draw on the School’s established and widely recognised research strengths. Designed for practitioners who have some involvement in the production or management of the built environment, each of these programmes offer a perspective on approaches to minimise the impact that the built environment has on the sustainability of our planet and its inhabitants.

MSc in Theory and Practice of Sustainable Design (TPSD)

As environmental and social problems become ever more prominent in our global community, there is an increasing need for attention to the principles of sustainability in the procurement, design and construction of buildings, which is the focus of the specialist taught modules. The course presents the principles of sustainable practice and methods for applying them, from setting sustainable development targets as part of project briefs to realising them through design and sustainable procurement and site practice. The course is designed for graduates or experienced professionals in disciplines related to the built environment, such as architecture, town and country planning, engineering, construction and client representatives. It is also appropriate for people from social sciences, ecology, environmental sciences, politics, management studies etc. without a design background but working in relation with or having an interest in the built environment.
Live project work plays a central role in the programme, where it is designed to empower students to become critically reflective practitioners, enabling them to develop their own personal stance with respect to holistic sustainability.

More information are available in MSc in Theory and Practice of Sustainable Design page: Course Website

MSc in Environmental Design of Buildings
(Local and distance learning options)

The materials of which buildings are made, the services they incorporate, their siting and configuration, and the way they are run have an effect on our economy, on the sustainability of our global resources, on the conservation of the natural environment, and on the wellbeing of society. This trade-off between immediate local advantage and longer term sustainability places a responsibility on building designers. Appropriate for all members of the building design team, the course aims to return students to their disciplines as specialists in environmental design. Underlying the course is the belief that only by bridging the knowledge gap between disciplines, can environmental design advance. The subject of the course is the physical environment in and around buildings, with the focus on consideration of how to minimise the wider global impact of building environments, ensuring they are not only comfortable but healthy, energy-conscious, and sustainable. The taught modules, practical teaching and experimental activities encourage an understanding of both the principles and application of this approach to design.
A distance learning study route is available and offered in one year full-time, 2 year part-time or 3-year part-time modes. Distance students have the opportunity to join local students on study visits and local students can take the advantage of online supports for distance learners.

More information on this course is available on Course Website

MSc in Sustainable Mega-Buildings

Suitable for candidates with degrees in architecture, urban design, engineering, environmental science or other related disciplines, or relevant professional experience in the field of sustainable mega-buildings. Until recently, large buildings have been viewed as mega-scale energy consumers with little regard for sustainable design and performance. However, this is changing with a new generation of mega-buildings that have been designed with energy conservation and sustainability as their principal criteria. The programme focuses on principles of sustainable planning and design of mega-buildings. This course aims to train students to respond to the environmental challenges associated with mega-buildings, and to adapt to shifting demands on this role as sustainable policies are increasingly supported by the public and governments worldwide.

More information on this course is available on Course Website

MSc in Sustainable Building Conservation

The value of Britain's Heritage Construction Sector as an element of GDP was valued in 2012 at £12.5bn and provides over 530,000 full time equivalent jobs. There are in the region of 30,000 listed buildings in Wales, 375,121 in England and 47600 in Scotland. The question of how to marry demands for energy conservation with those of historic building Conservation is a key context for debate in practice which raises demand for skills and knowledge in this area to become more widespread.
The course is open to candidates from architectural and a range of related built environment backgrounds such as Architects, Surveyors, Project Managers, Curators, Archaeologists, Planners, Conservation Officers, Engineers, Building managers, Developers and other related Built Environment professionals. The programme is recognised by the RIBA as offering "Advanced CPD".
Beyond offering a RIBA approved and IHBC accredited master’s degree, the Welsh School of Architecture's MSc in Sustainable Building Conservation focuses new career paths by enabling students to develop expertise with regard to energy conservation and the sustainable use of materials in the context of historic buildings. Taught elements take place across six two day sessions (Friday-Saturday) per year offering a two year part time option to students who may be employed or in full time practice. Full time students attend twelve of these sessions and complete the course in one year.

More information can be seen on Course Website

Finance and funding

As a prospective student of the Welsh School of Architecture funding may be an important consideration as you plan your future academic studies or research. This page will help you explore potential funding opportunities that may be available to you: click here

Additional Information

Additional information on Cardiff University Welsh School of Architecture can be found on its website