Master of Architectural Design

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Overview

The Master of Architectural Design programme prepares students for an international career in architecture, creating bridges between Eastern and Western culture. Understanding mobility as one of the core conditions of global modernity, the programme attracts international students preparing for a career related to China, as well as domestic students preparing for both national and international careers. The programme focuses on architectural design studio as well as on humanistic and technical modules in preparation of either professional practice or PhD-level studies.

This programme is made to deliver all the learning outcomes as defined by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) to qualify for RIBA part 2 validation, which is the second out of three stages in the formal educational process required to register as a professional architect in the United Kingdom.

The programme offers an international perspective, while at the same time enabling students to address the demands of rapid modernisation in China. When you graduate from this programme, you will receive an international masters degree from the University of Liverpool that is recognised by the Chinese Ministry of Education.

Why should I study Architectural Design at XJTLU?

As China experiences unprecedented transformations as well as increasing professional, industrial and academic collaboration with international partners, this programme educates coming generations of architects who have the necessary cross-cultural awareness, social and environmental responsibility, creative and critical capability, technical competence and professional attitude to enable and to define ongoing and future transformations in the built environment domestically and internationally. Emphasising and engaging with the Chinese context and the local built environment, the programme is oriented towards the highest international standards and it attracts both domestic and international students and academic staff.

Design studios are the core of the programme, formed around the ongoing research of the department and the specific needs of the profession within China and across the world. Design studios may have the following themes:

  • Urban development and regeneration
  • Innovation in fabrication and construction
  • Computer-aided architectural design
  • Architectural theory and criticism
  • Social and cultural issues.

Knowledge and skills

The Master of Architectural Design programme will teach you how to develop architectural design projects at an advanced level, including the creative, technical and research skills needed, and educate you in the areas of theory, history and criticism of architecture. The most important knowledge and skills taught are:

  • Ability to generate complex design proposals showing understanding of current architectural issues, originality in the application of subject knowledge and, where appropriate, to test new hypotheses and speculations
  • Ability to evaluate and apply a comprehensive range of visual, oral and written media to test, analyse, critically appraise and explain design proposals
  • Ability to evaluate materials, processes and techniques that apply to complex architectural designs and building construction, and to integrate these into practicable design proposals
  • Critical understanding of how knowledge is advanced through research to produce clear, logically argued and original written work relating to architectural culture, theory and design
  • Understanding of the context of the architecture and the construction industry, including the architect’s role in the processes of procurement and building production, and legislation
  • Problem solving skills, professional judgement, and ability to take the initiative and make appropriate decisions in complex and unpredictable circumstances.

Modules

Careers

This programme provides you with an appropriate foundation for employment in the architectural profession at an advanced level. It also provides the basis for enrolment in a PhD research degree. Our graduates find excellent opportunities in the building and creative industries, in local and international architecture firms, as well as in architecture administration, research and higher education institutions. Our highly international academic staff offer you individual career advice for entry into many job markets in Asia, Europe, Australia and the Americas.

Internships

The Department of Architecture fosters a constantly growing professional network in architecture and related fields. Being located close to the metropolitan area of Shanghai, with its dynamic architecture job market that attracts many international firms, means we can assist you to pursue job opportunities, internships and work placements in China and abroad.

Teaching and research assistants

Our students are eligible for positions as graduate teaching and/or research assistants at XJTLU, working up to 10 hours per week. These can contribute towards additional learning activities and include a salary.

Fees

Scholarships

XJTLU offers a generous scholarship of up to 50 percent of the total tuition fee for all full-time masters programmes based on academic merit. Should you wish to apply for XJTLU master scholarship, please submit a scholarship application letter in your application stating the reasons why you should be considered.

Entry requirements

Minimum entry requirements

UK

Upper second class (2:1) honours

China

  • 1st tier universities: 75 percent or above
  • 2nd tier universities: 80 percent or above

Note: Chinese applicants are not required to take the MoE postgraduate entrance exam.

North America

3.0 Cumulative GPA (out of 4) or 3.2 Cumulative GPA in the final two years of your undergraduate programme

Other regions

Equivalent academic qualifications

Academic background

An undergraduate degree (UK 2:1 or equivalent) in BArch, BEng in Architecture, BA (Hons) in Architecture or equivalent. Applicants are required to submit a portfolio of their own creative works as a student and a practicing architect/intern (indicating where and when the work was done, who the tutor/supervisor was, who was part of the team and what the applicants' role was in the team, A3-size, typically 10 to 30 pages, in PDF format). An internship in an architecture-related practice is recommended, but not required. We might accept applicants with substantial work experience or an outstanding portfolio even if their grades are lower than the minimum entry requirements.

English language requirements

If English is not your native language or if you have not studied in English at degree level, you will need to provide evidence of your English proficiency. You should normally possess one of the following qualifications:

  • IELTS: 6.5 (minimum of 6.0 in all sections)
  • TOEFL iBT: 94 (minimum of 21 in any skill)

In exceptional circumstances, individual cases will be considered on their own merits. You may be required to attend interviews or tests to further demonstrate your English proficiency.

If you miss the English language requirements by 0.5-1.0 of an IELTS band, or a similar number for other English language exams, you can be admitted to the programme after successful completion of our four- or six-week intensive English presessional course.

You can also apply to take the XJTLU English language test in lieu of an IELTS/TOEFL or equivalent. Based on the score, students may be admitted or may be required to take and successfully complete the four- or six-week intensive English presessional course.

Additionally, students may be required to complete English language courses on a pass/fail basis as part of the additional learning activity requirement during their studies at XJTLU.

Christian Gänshirt has 26 years of experience as an architect, educator and researcher and has been director of the Master of Architectural Design programme since its beginning in September 2014. He studied architecture in Karlsruhe, Germany, and Lausanne, Switzerland. He worked with José Paulo dos Santos and Álvaro Siza in Oporto, Portugal, practiced in Berlin, Germany, and taught at Virginia Tech, Kassel University, Berlin University of the Arts, and Cottbus University of Technology. His book 'Tools for Ideas - An Introduction to Architectural Design' is being used internationally in architectural design education.

Dr Christian Gänshirt Licensed and registered architect, Associate professor, Programme director, Master of Architectural Design

How to apply

Applications should be submitted via our online application system:

  1. Click/tap the APPLY link
  2. Create an account or log in to your existing account
  3. Complete your application

Once your application account is successfully created, enter all the information required in the application form carefully and make sure the information you provide is correct, complete and up to date. Upload the required documents to the corresponding fields.

You may log-in to view your application form at any time and upload any remaining supporting documents.

For further details of how to successfully apply to study at XJTLU, please visit the how to apply page.