Birkbeck, University of London
History of Architecture MA
Birkbeck, University of London

Course modalities offered

Key Course Facts

Course Description

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.

Highlights

  • 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.

Three coursework essays of 5000 words each, a research project report or work placement report of 6000 words.

Entry Requirements / Admissions

Requirements for international students / English requirements

IELTS academic test score (similar tests may be accepted as well)

    • 6.5
    • Mphil / PhD

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-
Do you not fulfill the minimum requirements in terms of UCAS score, A levels, or English language requirements?
Get advice on which foundation courses are best for you to still be able to join History of Architecture, MA.

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.

Visa Requirements for International Students

Visa requirement

All international students (including citizens from EU countries) intending to study this or any other academic programme for more than 6 months in the UK require a Student Visa.

International students younger than 18 years require a special Child Student Visa. Exceptions from this general rule may apply to holders of other UK work visas, British National Overseas visa, family member visa and recognised refugees or asylum seekers.

Permission to work while studying

Birkbeck College, University of London is listed by the UK government as an institution licensed to sponsor migrant students.

Student visa holders from licensed institutions are entitled to work during their full-time bachelor's, master's or Phd studies for
- 20h/week during the term
- Full-time outside term time (e.g. vacations, work placements, once course ended)

After completion of a bachelor's or master's programme of at least 12 months Student Visa holders of licensed institutions can convert their visa into a Graduate Visa which entitles graduates to work for 2 years in the UK.

Costs

Tuition Fees History of Architecture MA

England UK £6020 year 1
Northern Ireland £6020 year 1
Scotland £6020 year 1
Wales £6020 year 1
International £10920 year 1

Additional fee information

As well as fees, you should expect to pay other study-related expenses, for travel to and from College, books, stationery, etc. Birkbeck provides advice and financial support for students who experience hardship in meeting the travel costs of essential fieldwork or study visits.

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

Rent £518
Water, gas electricity, internet (at home) £50
Supermarket shopping £81
Clothing £35
Eating out £33
Alcohol £27
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
Insurance £51
Other £95
  
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.

University Rankings

Positions of Birkbeck, University of London in top UK and global rankings.

See all university rankings of Birkbeck, University of London

What students say about studying Architecture in the UK?

  • A Day in the Life: Cornell Architecture Student
  • 16 Things I Wish I Would Have Known Before Majoring in Architecture at College | the GOOD & the UGLY
  • Architectural Technology
  • WEEK IN MY LIFE | Architecture Student at USC

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.

  • Stella’s Starting Study Vlog
  • Top reasons why students choose Birkbeck, University of London
  • “How has the Birkbeck experience been for you?”
  • Birkbeck's Student Experience
  • Studying for a PhD at Birkbeck - Veronika Akhmadieva

Where is this programme taught

Main Site - Malet Street
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