skip to content

Postgraduate Study

Course closed:

Master of Architecture is no longer accepting new applications.


Teaching is delivered through seminars, supported by individual supervisions. Students are also offered weekly  studio sessions and a series of hands-on workshops, offering support in research skills and techniques. Throughout the programme individual supervision is provided regularly to assist, direct and monitor progress.

Individual research activities, oral presentations and written essays encourage students to identify and solve problems, and are supported by regular feedback sessions and in supervisions. These strategies, particularly through specialist supervisions, are built upon when the student embarks on their independent dissertation research programme.

The weekly seminars, plus additional research workshops, provide a framework to explore a variety of research approaches from a range of relevant disciplines available in the Department. Students receive general seminars and specific guidance on research methods, the use of libraries, and writing techniques. Upon arrival to Cambridge, students develop a the bibliography appropriate for their research with their academic supervisor, which is supplemented by guidance on further reading in the courses and seminars. Guidelines on coursework essays and dissertations are given in general terms  and more specifically in supervision. Research methods, techniques and analytical skills are developed through the lectures and coursework.

The course is intense and demands effective time management. The course runs from October of year 1 to June of year 2.

One to one supervision

Students will be allocated a departmental academic supervisor during their first week who will support their academic progress for the duration of the course (two to three supervisions per term). Students can also expect weekly regular design supervisions, along with technical/specialist/critical review amongst other things.

The University of Cambridge publishes an annual Code of Practice which sets out the University’s expectations regarding supervision.

Seminars & classes

In addition to research skills seminars, students attend two two-hour weekly seminar courses for the first term and must elect to attend one four-week module during their second. They are expected to audit modules offered by other departments as appropriate for their projects.


Attending additional lectures is optional but students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of lectures offered in the Department and other faculties relevant to their research.

Posters and Presentations

The course requires regular written, visual and oral presentations in the studio. Effective communication of research findings and design development are an important criterion in all areas of the students' work, and will be assessed at all stages.


This course does not offer industrial placements. The course is taught in University terms and students can work during the University vacations. Some students opt to do their research through work experience by choosing topics which involve them working for firms specialising in particular areas working on particular projects or working with charities or NGOs in particular areas. In all cases it is the student's responsibility to find and organise these.


Students will be provided with oral and written feedback via studio days, supervisions, supervisor's termly reports and coursework feedback.


Thesis / Dissertation

Students must submit a dissertation of up to, and no more than, 20,000 words (including footnotes and annotation, but excluding bibliography) on a subject that falls within the research topics advertised in the Easter term before they start the course. A list of these research topics and the supervisors can be found on the department website. The dissertation carries 30% of the final mark. Students who wish to continue to the PhD degree must get at least 70% in the dissertation.


Student must prepare a 3,000 word research proposal at the end of the first year which outlines both the topic of their written dissertation and the form and site of their final study project and provides a detail commentary on how the dissertation relates to the studio project. The research proposal counts for 10% of the final mark and must be passed before proceeding to the second year.

Written examination

The students sit one paper on Management, Practice and Law in the Lent Term of the their first year. These carry 10% of the overall marks and must be passed to complete the course.


Studio work represents the major output of the course and takes up most of the time. Students are expected to produce regular portfolio work in the form of drawings, models  and design work throughout the two years of the course which will be submitted for assessment, typically termly, culminating in a building project realisation at the end of the first year, and the full design project which is completed in the second year. Overall portfolio work counts for 50% of the final mark in the degree. Portfolios are submitted electronically and can be accompanied by physical models and students are expected to present their work to examiners in oral presentations. 

Key Information

21 months full-time

Study Mode : Taught

Master of Architecture

Department of Architecture

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
Jan. 4, 2024
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2024

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Course Funding Deadline
Jan. 4, 2024
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 11, 2023

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2024, Lent 2025 and Easter 2025.