The Master of Architectural Design programme prepares students for an international career in architecture, creating bridges between Eastern and Western culture.

Architectural Design


The Master of Architectural Design educates the next generation of forward-looking global architects who have the necessary cross-cultural awareness, social and environmental responsibility, creative and critical capability, technical competence and professional attitude to enable ongoing and future transformations in the globalised building environment.

Combining an international perspective with insight into China’s rapid urbanisation, the programme includes both architectural design studios and humanistic and technical modules. A student-centred learning environment offers opportunities for design-driven research and individual experimental enquiry to foster your conceptual design skills as well as research skills in preparation for both professional practice and PhD-level studies.

Students graduating from the programme qualify for Royal Institute of British Architects (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.

2+2+2 ROUTE

2+2+2 is a new entry system designed especially for the XJTLU’s M/Arch Des programme to retain and attract the best graduate students from the XJTLU and the University of Liverpool respectively.

“By combining the principles of sustainability, digital innovation, and artificial intelligence to foster a new generation of architects, our curriculum blends the foundation of architectural theory with advanced technological skills, harnessing the transformative power of AI and digital tools,” states the Programme Director, Giancarlo Di Marco.

Why should I study Architectural Design at XJTLU?

  • Graduate from the only postgraduate architecture programme in mainland China validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) for the RIBA Part 2
  • Gain hands-on experience through internships and design studios taught by practitioners from local and international firms, focussing on a number of key themes including urban development and regeneration, sustainable living, and digital design and fabrication
  • Engage with the local Chinese context while maintaining an international perspective
  • Learn from international academic staff with opportunities to contribute to current research projects and papers and to work as teaching and research assistants
  • Earn a University of Liverpool degree that is recognised by the Chinese Ministry of Education

Knowledge and skills

By the time you graduate from the Master of Architectural Design, you will have:

  • full understanding of a sustainability-aware design process
  • critical ability to integrate Generative AI in the conceptualisation of architectural projects
  • the ability to generate complex design proposals – showing an understanding of current architectural issues and originality – and, when appropriate, to test new hypotheses and pursue creative experiments
  • competence in a comprehensive range of visual, oral and written media to test, analyse, critically appraise and explain design proposals
  • the ability to creatively 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
  • an 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 confidence to take the initiative and make appropriate decisions in complex and unpredictable circumstances.

Yearbook 2022-2023

The yearbook of the Department of Architecture presents student works created during the academic year 2022-2023. 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.

The MArch Des, RIBA Part 2 accreditated programme is a fusion of architectural innovation, sustainable sensibilities, digital adeptness, and international exposure, all aimed at developing architects ready to shape the future of our built environment.

Giancarlo Di Marco

Programme director


The university offers a broad range of activities aiming to enrich master students’ theoretical and experiential learning and professional development. Trainings, workshops and seminars, covering varieties of themes and topics, both generic and subject-specific, are often offered at both university and school/department levels. You may also be provided with opportunities to work as a teaching assistant, research assistant, or intern at XJTLU. Depending on the programme, field trips and company visits may be organized, and invited talks may be given by the industrial experts and professionals. Such activities will not only support you in your programme study, but also develop your personal and professional skills and enhance your overall employability.

Being the only RIBA-accredited architecture school in China puts us in a fantastic position to learn about both the East and West. As a British student, the global accreditation means I can go back to the UK once I graduate, or stay here and get some valuable experience in an international firm in China.

Jamie Sleep

Student, Master of Architectural Design


Graduates from this programme have an appropriate foundation for employment in the architectural profession at an advanced level. Graduates enjoy excellent employment opportunities in the building and creative industries, in local and international architecture firms, as well as in architecture administration, research and higher education institutions. The programme also provides a solid foundation for pursuing a PhD.


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.


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.

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