- Design studio I
- Applied technology in architecture
- Architectural theory and criticism
- Design studio II
- Advanced professional practice
- Topics in architectural history
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 studios as well as on humanistic and technical modules in preparation for both professional practice and PhD-level studies.
This programme delivers 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?
This is the first and only postgraduate architecture course in mainland China validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). It is an English-taught, 2-year, full-time professional programme, that delivers the learning outcomes for RIBA Part 2.
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:
- the 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
- the ability to evaluate and apply a comprehensive range of visual, oral and written media to test, analyse, critically appraise and explain design proposals
- the 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 the ability to take the initiative and make appropriate decisions in complex and unpredictable circumstances.
The fourth edition of the yearbook of the Department of Architecture presents student works created during the academic year 2016-2017. The yearbook exemplifies the model for architectural education, for which the department was commended by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The yearbook is a showcase of the creative culture that has guided our students in taking their first steps as responsible and creative architectural designers in both Chinese and international contexts.
- Design studio III (individual briefs)
- Architectural design and research methods
- Practice based enquiry and architectural representation
- Design studio IV (thesis project)
- Thesis (dissertation)
Additional learning activities
The programme includes 200 hours of Additional Learning Activities per semester, most of which are chosen individually by students. They should normally be spread equally over teaching semesters and the summer and winter breaks. An individual student-learning plan will be established at the outset of each semester with the academic advisor. Examples of ALAs include:
- Postgraduate English (LAN901 . Mandatory, if required by the programme director)
- Postgraduate English (LAN902. Mandatory, if required by the programme director)
- Chinese language (CLT901-906. Mandatory for international students)
- Graduate teaching assistantship
- Graduate research assistantship (if available)
- Graduate practice placement/internship
- Participation in Level Three or Level Four lecture-and-seminar based modules in the built environment cluster
- Participation in Level Three or Level Four modules from other XJTLU departments or the Language Centre
- Selected topics in design tools and methods
- Selected topics in advanced digital design
- Selected topics in architectural research methods
- Selected topics in architectural representation
- Independent studies with an ARC tutor
- Scholarly presentation of a research paper
- Publication of a paper in a peer-reviewed architecture-related journal
- Personal and employability skills (MAN903).
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.
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.
RMB 160,000 for the entire two year full-time programme.
University tuition fees cover the cost of your study with us.
If you are a graduate of XJTLU, the University of Liverpool or Xi’an Jiaotong University, you will automatically receive a discount of 20 percent of the tuition fee.
Masters students have the option to pay tuition fees in instalments each semester. You can also choose to pay the fees upfront at the time of registration, in this case a discount of five percent of the total fees will be offered.
You will be asked to indicate how you would like to pay the fees when you confirm your acceptance of the unconditional offer.
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.
Minimum entry requirements
Upper second class (2:1) honours
- 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.
3.0 Cumulative GPA (out of 4) or 3.2 Cumulative GPA in the final two years of your undergraduate programme
Equivalent academic qualifications
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 5.5 in all sections)
- TOEFL iBT: 90 (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 five- or eight-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 five- or eight-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 27 years of experience as an architect, educator and researcher. He was a visiting professor at the The University of Hong Kong and at Kassel University, Germany, and taught at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Virginia Tech), the Berlin University of the Arts, and the Brandenburg University of Technology. He practiced in Berlin, Germany, worked with the architect José Paulo dos Santos in Oporto, Portugal, and was a project architect in the office of Álvaro Siza in Oporto. He studied in Karlsruhe, Germany, and Lausanne, Switzerland. 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:
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- Complete your application
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For further details of how to successfully apply to study at XJTLU, please visit the how to apply page.