Edinburgh College of Art
School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture
Edinburgh, GB
Edinburgh College of Art
School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture
School of Arts, Culture and Environment
20 Chambers Street

N 55° 56' 45.46'', E 55° 56' 45.46''

 International Admissions  

e: Miguel.Paredes@ed.ac.uk
t: +44 131 650 2306
Prof. Angus Macdonald 
Head of school
Degree programmes
Master of Architecture
Faculty profile

Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) merged with the University of Edinburgh in August 2011. At a result of merger, Edinburgh College of Art has combined with the University’s School of Arts, Culture and Environment to form a new (enlarged) Edinburgh College of Art within the University

Architecture has been taught at Edinburgh College of Art since its foundation in 1907. Since 1969 the School enjoyed associate status and awarded degrees of Heriot-Watt University. The School exists in an art college environment alongside the Schools of Drawing and Painting, Design and Applied Art, Visual Communication, Sculpture and Landscape Architecture. In addition to Architecture the School offers specialist programmes in Architectural Conservation and Urban Design. The research interests of the staff and students is centred around these specialisms and links established with other Schools under the umbella of Art & Architecture.

Edinburgh is widely acclaimed as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, the combination of medieval Old Town and the Georgian New Town giving it a unique urbanity. The University of Edinburgh offers the ideal environment for the study of architecture and architectural history. The Department of Architecture was established over forty years ago and is housed in a series of inter-linked buildings in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town. The Department’s teaching and learning ethos explicitly draws on this rich urban environment.

Student Activities

Architecture students play an important role in the management of the Department. The Students Architects, Society (EUSAS) organises lectures and social events.


Accommodation can be provided

Admission Requirements

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Tuition fees

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Application Deadline

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Undergraduate, Master of Art, 4-year programme, Undergraduate,

Master of Arts, with Honours, in Architectural Design (ARB/RIBA PART 1 accredited)
Master of Arts, with Honours, in Architectural Studies
Master of Arts, with Honours, in Architectural History

Master of Architecture, MA, 2-year programme:, Master,

Master of Architecture (Design) (ARB/RIBA PART 2 accredited)
Master of Architecture (Studies)
Master of Architecture (Digital Media)
Master of Architecture (Digital Media Studies)

Postgraduate, Taught Masters, 1 Year programmes, Postgraduate,

MSc/Dip in Advanced Architectural Design
MSc/Dip in Design and Digital Media
MSc/Dip in Sound Design
MSc/Dip in Sound Environments
MSc/Dip in Architectural Project Management (distance learning)

The School offers a four year undergraduate degree usually including a year of practical training between the third and fourth year. This is followed by a nine month diploma which can be converted to masters through presenting a dissertation or major project during the summer. Each academic year has three terms, leaving the summer for completing masters components. The School has a reputation for a studio-based programme that provides a balanced understanding of architecture and a stimulating environment for creativity. The content focuses on building an awareness of issues related to architecture in the early years, followed by an increasing recognition of the essential nature of architectural design leading up to the degree which allows a diversifi cation and specialisation during the Diploma and Masters.

The School offers a four-year undergraduate programme leading to the degree of Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) with honours. This is normally followed by a one-year programme leading to the award of the Diploma in Architecture and onto Masters. Awards with Architecture in the title are validated by Joint Validation Panel of the Architects’ Registration Board (ARB) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Students who have successfully completed the fi rst three years may take a BA degree.

Level 1 is an introductory course, achieving awareness of many of the key skills and knowledge for the study of architecture. There are three main subjects of study: Design, Technology and Cultural Context. In all three subjects you will be expected to demonstrate skills in communication, especially in conveying complex ideas in a coherent and well-structured form. For most of the time you will work in a studio environment within the School of Architecture or First Year Studies.

Three parallel courses form the second level of the programme: Design, Technology and Environment and Cultural Context. Architectural design projects throughout the year are set within the general theoretical framework of an exploration of ‘Particularity in Architecture’.

The third level of the programme concentrates on preparing students to integrate cultural, technological and environmental issues into a coherent architectural design. This is the level at which Professional Studies is introduced formally for the fi rst time to make you aware of the context in which architecture is practised. You will be involved in a number of projects combining different methods of learning and teaching, including short intense workshops, group working, colloquia and individual meetings with tutors.
Normally, after Level 3 students take a year of Practical Training in an offi ce. During this period you keep a record of your experience and are supported by the Professional Studies Advisor at seminars in the School or other centres.
At the honours level, Level 5, the objective is to complete the design of a special building based on a sound knowledge of historical precedent and in which all the physical systems are examined in detail. The development of the submissions during the year will provide evidence of a process leading to the fi nal presentation. As part of the development of a personal intellectual agenda you will undertake a study of individually selected aspects of architectural history and theory.

At post-graduate level the School offers three taught programmes and the higher degrees of MPhil and PhD by research. Taught Programmes Post-graduate taught programmes in the School may be studied full or part-time. A full time Diploma is of 9 months duration, a Masters 12 months. The part-time modes are 18 and 36 months respectively. Some individual modules can be made available for CPD recognition. Architecture The fi nal diploma year in architecture forms the initial taught element of the master’s degree. Students may choose from a wide range of design projects and may instigate their own subjects. The year is organised on a unit system. In 2005-06 the units include, ‘Art and Architecture’, ‘Locus Architecture’, ‘Architecture and Urbanism’, ‘Contemporary Architectural Intervention’, ‘Transport Technology & Environment’. A Diploma in Architecture and Architectural Conservation or a Diploma in Architecture and Urban Design are also available to students who wish to participate in one or other of these taught postgraduate programmes during their diploma year. Architectural Conservation The Scottish Centre for Conservation Studies offers a programme for architects, planners, surveyors, engineers, historians and craftsmen who wish to deepen their understanding of Architectural Conservation. The work is based on the fi ve core subjects of: the theory and philosophy of conservation; physical and documentary sources; design intervention; technology and area conservation. These subjects are taught by lectures, case studies and discussion and tested in project work. Urban Design The objective of the programme is to provide graduates and practitioners from various disciplines with a design and development based interdisciplinary educational experience of a high quality. The essential nature of the urban design process is illustrated by considering the contexts, in which urban design operates, the participants in the system and the products which result. On half of the programme is studio based allowing students to demonstrate their skills and abilities. Lectures and seminars form the remainder of the programme and provide the knowledge base which supports studio work.

Higher Degrees of MPhil and PhD by Research Research degrees can be taken in a full or part-time mode, on or off-campus. To be eligible for admission candidates must hold an approved degree with fi rst or second class honours in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, planning or a related subject area of research interest. Research Research in the School fi nds its expression in doctoral programmes, publications by staff and in the research content of taught programmes at Master’s level. The School of Architecture, has an outstanding record of successful completion of M.Phil / Ph.D theses, having graduated about thirty doctoral students over the past twelve years. The fi elds of research embrace ‘cultural studies related to architecture and urbanization with a particular focus on the Middle East and developing countries. ‘urban design, spatial structure and the morphology of settlements ‘the conservation of historic towns ‘theory and history of architecture ‘the modern movement and the evolution of building types in the 20th century.

The School has established a strategic framework for research development in the architecture and built environment areas. The fi rst result of this is to foster research interest and help create a framework for research development, especially for new members of staff and those on part-time contracts. Second is the establishment of research themes and associated clusters of researchers (in and outside the School of Architecture) able to generate research activity and, critically, research outputs. The research themes identifi ed are: ‘art and architecture ‘urban design and sustainability ‘history, theory and conservation.