History of Architecture
Birkbeck, University of London
Key Course Facts
Our MA/PgDip/PgCert History of Architecture explores built and designed objects, their social, economic and political contexts, their connections to culture and thought, and their urban and landscape settings. This course will train you at a high level to look at, think and write about and research architecture and its fascinating histories.
You will discover varied approaches to the study of architecture, and the course allows you to focus in depth on areas and periods that you find particularly interesting. Through option modules, you can choose to study the early and modern - including contemporary - periods and range across a variety of geographic places. You will improve your visual and spatial acuity, deepen your knowledge of architecture's histories, and hone your ability to understand and contribute to stimulating critical debates. You will also improve your research skills.
This course offers you the opportunity to study with internationally recognised experts. Our teaching staff are defining the field, conducting ground-breaking research in the history and theory of architecture, interiors and cities. You will work closely with them, while also benefiting from being part of our diverse and vibrant student body, which includes people of all ages and backgrounds. Teaching is enriched by walks and site visits, visiting speakers, screenings and opportunities to get involved in research and community outreach activities.
The PgCert/PgDip is ideal if you are interested in studying the history of architecture at postgraduate level for personal or professional reasons, but you don't want to commit to a full MA. This flexible evening study course allows you to explore your passion for architecture and its histories and you can go on to complete our PgDip/MA History of Architecture, if you wish.
In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF), Art and Design at Birkbeck achieved 100% for a research environment supporting world-leading and internationally excellent research.
The School of Arts offers a number of bursaries for postgraduate students.
Our Architecture, Space and Society Centre organises a vibrant programme of talks, symposia, debates, tours and more, which are free to attend. You can get access to an incredible range of resources, including the Birkbeck Library and our in-house resources centre, specialist libraries within the University of London, the major national resource of the British Library, and specialist art and architecture libraries not far from Birkbeck, including the Royal Institute of British Architects and the National Art Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Birkbeck's School of Arts is located in a building of rich architectural and cultural significance. It offers easy access to the fascinating architectural and urban palimpsest of London.
You will have the opportunity to apply for a work placement with London museums, galleries and archives. You also have the option to join our study trips, offered each spring. Cities visited in the last few years include Florence, Paris, Venice, Vienna, Rome, Berlin and Moscow.
Find out more about our staff and student activities on the Birkbeck History of Art blog or join us at one of our information evenings, held throughout the year.
The School of Arts is an official partner of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London. Opportunities for students have included a year’s free membership of the ICA, private views, discounts on all talks and events, free members' screenings and £3 cinema tickets on Tuesdays, up to 25% off ICA Artists' Editions and a monthly e-newsletter.
Entry Requirements / Admissions
Requirements for international students / English requirements
IELTS academic test score (similar tests may be accepted as well)
- Mphil / PhD
Get advice on which foundation courses are best for you to still study History of Architecture, MA, if you do not meet the minimum requirements in terms of UCAS score, A levels, or English language requirements.
A second-class honours degree (2:2) or above in a relevant subject or equivalent (for example, professional experience). For students with a degree in a subject other than history of art, the one-year part-time Graduate Certificate in History of Art and Architecture can be used as a conversion course. Students who successfully complete the Graduate Certificate with merit will normally be guaranteed a place on this course. Applications are reviewed on their individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.
Tuition Fees History of Architecture MA
|England UK||£6020||year 1|
|Northern Ireland||£6020||year 1|
Additional fee information
An optional field trip is available as part of this course, for which the department does not charge a fee for attendance. Students are, however, responsible for paying all other costs, including travel, accommodation, food and drink and other subsistence costs, gallery fees, etc. The Murray Bequest offers a limited number of bursaries every year to students who would not otherwise be able to take the field trip. Details on how to apply are usually circulated to students in December or January.
Average student cost of living in London
|Water, gas electricity, internet (at home)||£50|
|Takeaways / food deliveries||£30|
|Going out / entertainment (excl.alcohol, food)||£24|
|Holidays and weekend trips||£78|
|Transport within city||£17|
|Self-care / sports||£20|
|Stationary / books||£13|
|Mobile phone / internet||£13|
|Cable TV / streaming||£7|
|Average student cost of living||£1092|
London costs approx 34% more than average, mainly due to rent being 67% higher than average of other cities. For students staying in student halls, costs of water, gas, electricity, wifi are generally included in the rental. Students in smaller cities where accommodation is in walking/biking distance transport costs tend to be significantly smaller.
Positions of Birkbeck, University of London in top UK and global rankings.
About Birkbeck, University of London
Birkbeck, University of London (BBK) was established in 1823, and takes a different stance towards admissions than many other universities. Applicants are encouraged by BKK to apply even if they don’t possess the traditional qualifications normally required, as applications here are also considered based on an assessment of your knowledge on the subject, and any work experience you might have. Being located in the very centre of London, students will have all the advantages of the city’s public transport connections, as well as the chance to live in such a diverse and vibrant city with all that it offers.
Student composition of Birkbeck, University of London
Students by level of study Academic year 2020/21 - Full-time equivalent student enrollments published by Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) on 10 February 2022
Where is this programme taught
|Program||University||Student satisfaction||Unemployed||Dropout||Tuition (UK)||Tuition (International)||UCAS Tariff||City|
|Naval Architecture with High Performance Marine Vehicles MEng||University of Strathclyde||75%||0%||4%||£9250||£22400||172||Glasgow||On campus Full-time|
|Civil Engineering and Architecture with Foundation Year MEng (Hons)||University of Southampton||81%||0%||10%||£9250||£19500||175||Southampton||On campus Full-time|
|Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering MEng||University of Strathclyde||75%||0%||0%||£9250||£22400||172||Glasgow||On campus Full-time|
|Architecture Msci (Hons)||72%||5%||3%||£9250||£25800||208||-||On campus Full-time|
|Civil Engineering and Architecture MEng (Hons)||University of Southampton||81%||0%||10%||£9250||£22760||175||Southampton||On campus Full-time|
|Architecture MArch (Hons)||Cardiff University||88%||0%||3%||£9000||£23450||173||Cardiff||On campus Full-time|
|Structural Engineering and Architecture MEng (Hons)||The University of Sheffield||83%||4%||5%||£9250||£25670||168||Sheffield||On campus Full-time|
|Structural Engineering with Architecture MEng (Hons)||Queen's University of Belfast||75%||0%||0%||£9250||£21400||147||Belfast||On campus Full-time|
|Structural Engineering with Architecture MEng (Hons)||University of Dundee||94%||5%||5%||£9250||£23650||190||Dundee||On campus Full-time|
|Architecture MArch||Robert Gordon University||91%||5%||10%||£6750||£15040 £15490||181||Aberdeen||On campus Full-time|