Manchester School of Architecture (MSA), now ranked seventh in the world in the QS 2022 Architecture rankings, one of the largest architecture schools in the UK, is a creative collaboration between Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) and The University of Manchester (UoM), located half a mile from the city centre. It brings together two schools of architecture with over 100 years of combined educational experience, over 100 specialists in their respective disciplines, and over 1000 students from over 80 nations. Inherently multidisciplinary and widely conceived, architectural study at the MSA covers topics as varied as urban design, urban development, ecological and landscape design, and the preservation and management of historic sites. This study is mostly conducted at the recently opened Manchester Architecture Research Centre (MARC). The centre draws on a broad range of interdisciplinary research and teaching interests from the Manchester School of Art at Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Manchester’s Faculty of Humanities, and the School of Environment, Education, and Development at The University of Manchester. Strong architectural experts’ engagement strengthens research proposals in several areas and creates unrivalled prospects for collaborative architectural research between the two universities. The research work serves as an inspiration for both our postgraduate research and postgraduate taught programmes, and all the students are invited to actively participate in the school’s research culture.

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Manchester school of Architecture_©

Courses at the school 

1. BA (Hons) Architecture 

This course, which has been approved by RIBA and ARB, provides one with a full understanding of how architects operate and gets one ready for a year in the workforce. Because Manchester Metropolitan University and The University of Manchester jointly work, will get access to the extensive resources and knowledge that are accessible in both institutions.

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Student work (BA Hons)_©

2. Master of Architecture (MArch)

It is a professionally recognised award that was created for students who had completed RIBA Part 1, such as a BA (Hons) in Architecture course and, typically, one year of practice. It is prescribed at the Part 2 level by the Architects Registration Board and validated at the Part 2 level by the Royal Institute of British Architects.

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Student work (MArch)_©

3. PgCert Architecture and Contemporary Practice (RIBA Part 3)

The MSA Architecture and Contemporary Practice Program consists of a brief course that prepares candidates for their RIBA Part 3 Examination, followed by the Professional Practice Examination by the Architect Registration Board (ARB).

Successful applicants who have also passed their RIBA Part 1 and Part 2 exams will be qualified to register as architects under the Architects Registration Act of 1997 and to become Chartered members of RIBA after completion.

4. MA Architecture and Adaptive Reuse 

MA Architecture and Adaptive Reuse is a programme about existing buildings, situations and places and how these structures and locations can be encountered with time to evolve, support new uses and accommodate new users. 

Students will research adaptive reuse methods in this course—options used in advance of future changes rather than reacting to the status quo.

5. MA Architecture and Urbanism 

MA in Architecture and Urbanism allows one to study, and conduct in-depth research into the influence of global cultural and economic forces on contemporary cities.  Through written, illustrated, and modelled work that builds on the history of twentieth-century urban thought and is geared toward creating sustainable cities, the students will investigate the design, operation, and future of urban settings throughout the course. 

Therefore, the training offers an excellent foundation for occupations involving the creation of sustainable urban environments.

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Student work (MA Architecture and Urbanism )_©

6. Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)

A qualification leading to professional registration as a landscape architect is provided by the Master of Landscape Architecture. 

The MLA will prepare you for the last step of professional certification as a landscape architect and is approved by the UK Landscape Institute and recognised globally by the International Federation of Landscape Architects. The students will profit from the resources and experience available in both universities because it is jointly run by Manchester Metropolitan University and The University of Manchester.

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Student work (MLA)_©

7. Research Degrees (MPhil/PhD)

The research extends beyond technical design to the intricate processes and routines that underlie the creation, adaptation, and use of built environments.

Working with professionals will allow one to take advantage of diverse backgrounds in theory, design, policy, and practice. Research students have their rooms and facilities located physically at the heart of the School and are centrally involved in all scholarly activities.

Student environment and extracurricular activities 

MSSA – Manchester Student Society of Architecture 

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Student environment_©MSSA

At the Manchester School of Architecture, the MSSA is a wholly student-run organisation. To improve the quality of life for our 800+ members, the society engages closely with other students, teachers, and partners both inside and outside the school. The principle objective is to honour the architecture students by providing opportunities that take them into the city. Through academic and social activities, the students are exposed to a wide range of experiences and concepts. By giving students the chance to stage events they support, the organisation supports and fosters innovative ideas inside the school. Some of the largest and greatest events that have ever been put on, include club nights, guest lectures from outstanding speakers, debates, campaigns, contests, and more. 

Membership – free for all students regardless of age or background 

Twitter –
Facebook –
Instagram –

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Logos of the subgroups_©MSSA

Subgroups – 

  1. Before you’re thirty (BY30) – Monthly motivational “open-lecture” events geared for students with a variety of subjects centred around the fields of architecture.
  2. BLM_Arch MSA – The goal of BLM Arch@MSA is to advance equality, diversity, and inclusion in the academic and professional environment by ensuring that debates about racism in architecture continue in our institution.
  3. Equality, Diversity, Inclusivity Fora – Started with an intention to acknowledge diversity, the group organises various events and podcasts to learn about the same.
  4. MSA&U – Focuses on the health and happiness of its students. It started in November 2019, and since then, it has worked hard to transform the culture of rivalry and all-nighters among architecture students with cooperation, understanding, and support. Some of these initiatives include setting up kettles and tea in each open studio to entice students to take quick breaks and chat; pairing students from different years to start conversations between year groups; spreading optimism on social media (@msaandu on Instagram); setting up weekly yoga sessions for students and staff; and creating well-being booklets that are accessible on LinkedIn (MSA&U).
  5. MSADU – A group of energetic students interested in discussing architecture from a thought-provoking perspective. Each argument keeps the conversation about design in motion and is immensely illuminating and stimulating.
  6. MSSA Climate Action Group (CAG) -Engagingly, the organisation is promoting awareness of the relationship between the built environment and climate
  7. MSSA Photography – The architecture school’s MSSA Photography organisation unites ardent photographers and fans of photography. Professionals and hobbyists alike are welcome to exchange and connect outside of the studio by fusing enthusiasm with enjoyable get-togethers. For additional details, see our Instagram feed at @mssaphotography!
  8. MSSA Zine – Independent student-run publication MSSA Zine focuses each issue on a single spatial re-invention. Themes are chosen to question established ideas about space. It encourages readers to make decisions by embracing abstraction, reinterpretation, and open-ended questions. While the team curates, adapts and restructures the zine to the theme’s shifting meaning, the material is created with and for students, academics, and professionals. It is created utilising a collaborative, “what’s more?” and “all are welcomed” method. The zine aims to open everyone’s thoughts by using a single microcosm to illuminate several concerns.
  9. WOAH (WithOutAHome) – To fight Manchester’s homelessness epidemic, WithOutAHome (WOAH), challenges itself to make the city more accepting of the homeless. Additionally, initiating a discussion on the idea and significance of home. How do we relate to others around us and where do we fit into this world? How may the gaps between each of our communities be filled?

Employment opportunities 

Students get the chance to sharpen their abilities by working on actual customer briefs. Other possibilities include working with community organisations in Manchester and elsewhere, as well as learning from guest speakers. Students get the chance to showcase their work to potential employers during an annual practice preview after the school year.

Red flags

All good said and stated in the above-mentioned text there have been many blogs and reviews floating online written by the students and alumni, questioning the credibility of what has been conveyed by the university via the official website. The article though focuses on the positives and would like to believe the widely circulated information, the author wants the prospective students to not ignore the red flags. Some of the concerns raised by the students which should be verified to grasp the current scenario at the college are – 

  1. The quality of education is very subpar and the institute has been promoted as being jointly run by the University of Manchester and MMU(Manchester Metropolitan University) which is misleading. 
  2. There is an abnormally large concentration of international students, who pay an enormous amount of fees as compared to the students belonging to the European Union, this might arise the question of a profit-driven admission process in the institute, supported by the argument that in some cases the students lack academic skills or have a very poor command of the English language. 
  3. Overcapacity affects teaching quality severely and rather than improving the quality of teaching, a large chunk of money is spent on purchasing fancy computers or constructing luxurious student accommodations. 



Mansi is pursuing her graduation from SMVDU, Jand K. She is an avid nature lover and in the perfect environment to pursue her architecture dreams. She looks to becoming the voice for the unspoken emotions depicted in the world of architecture. A keen observer and hard worker is what describes her well.