Master of Architecture (Professional) (MArch[Prof])

Programme overview

The Master of Architecture (Professional) is a unique combination of taught courses and a written thesis. During your taught courses you have the opportunity to develop your skills as designers and learn how to best meet your clients' needs through practical, real life experiences.

The Master of Architecture (Professional) consists of two parts spanning two-years of study. It is the pathway from a Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS) in Architecture into postgraduate studies in this specialisation.

In Part 1 - your first year, you will take courses exploring:

  • advanced architectural design
  • advanced construction theory, practice and technology integration in the built environment
  • contemporary architectural theories, with a particular emphasis on emergent critical frameworks of cultural and aesthetic production
  • professional practice
  • advanced research techniques, including historical and theoretical approaches.

In Part 2 - in your second year of study, you will complete a research portfolio or thesis, with supervision from the academic staff in the School of Architecture.

Current research topics or areas within the School of Architecture include:

  • building performance/evaluation
  • architectural and urban design processes
  • energy and environmental design of buildings
  • sustainable architecture
  • building economics, management and regulation
  • drawing and modelling for design
  • urban landscapes
  • virtual design visualisation.

Professional accreditation

The MArch (Prof) is recognised by the New Zealand Registered Architects Board (NZRAB) as fulfilling the academic requirements for registration to practise as an architect. A period of practical experience (usually between two and three years) is prescribed by the NZRAB prior to registration. This culminates in the Board’s examination of an individual’s professional competence.

Internationally, the MArch (Prof) from Victoria University is accepted by the Commonwealth Association of Architects (CAA) as fulfilling their academic requirements for membership and registration. This acceptance is subject to some local requirements for evidence of course work and practical experience.

Please note: Graduates of the BAS in Architecture together with the MArch (Prof) will have met the academic requirements for professional registration as a practising architect with the NZIA.


Two years of full-time study or up to four years part-time.

Admission requirements

Entry into a Master of Architecture (Professional) (MArch [Prof]) normally requires one of the following:

  • a Victoria University of Wellington Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS) degree
  • a Graduate Diploma in Designed Environments (GDipDE) in Architecture
  • an equivalent qualification, at the discretion of the Associate Dean (Teaching, Learning and Students) of the Faculty of Architecture and Design.

Entry into the Master’s programme is based on excellent academic performance in these prerequisite qualifications.

Degree requirements

The Master of Architecture (Professional) degree requirements are outlined below for each year’s course of study.

Part 1

120 points in courses numbered 400-499 including:

ARCI 411 Architecture Design Research 15 pts
ARCI 412 Architecture Design Research 30 pts
ARCI 421 Integrated Technologies 15 pts
ARCI 451 Architecture History and Theory 15 pts
SARC 461 Professional Practice 15 pts
SARC 491 Research Methodologies 15 pts

one further 15 point courses from courses numbered 400-499

Part 2

120 point research portfolio or thesis:

ARCI 593 Research portfolio 120 pts


ARCI 591 Thesis (with the approval of the Head of School)120 pts

at least 30 approved points from courses numbered 400-599 in approved courses from the Head of School.

Parts 1 and 2 will include an appropriate level of practical work, as determined by the Head of School.

Students who complete Part one and do not proceed to Part two may graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma in Architecture (PDipArch).

Research requirements

All postgraduate students are expected to conduct their research with a high level of competency in the English language.

Victoria University offer a range of University Preparation courses to assist students in English as a Second Language (ESOL) or the English Proficiency Programme.

For a compiled summary of research work from 2012 Master's students, take a look at Design Research @ VUW.

To make an inquiry contact the Faculty of Architecture and Design Student Administration Office. Include a comprehensive description of your qualifications and your initial research interests.

Career opportunities

Many students who enrol in the Architecture programme will move into a career in mainstream architecture in a private practice or as an employee in a firm or government organisation.

The skills and training you gain in this programme are broad in scope allowing architects to often find opportunities for careers outside the mainstream profession.

Some examples include:

  • urban planning/urban design
  • interior design
  • environmental design
  • stage/movie set design
  • property development
  • project management
  • construction management
  • facilities management
  • teaching
  • research
  • construction law
  • building conservation
  • international aid.

How to find out more

The Faculty of Architecture and Design Student Administration Office offer additional information on:

  • admission
  • qualifications and courses
  • course advice and selection criteria
  • exemptions and prerequisites
  • your Application to study.

Architecture courses are taught at the School of Architecture, Te Aro Campus, 139 Vivian Street, Wellington.

For further assistance, please contact us:

Phone: 04 463 6200
Email: address

To find out what is available to you as a Master’s student see PostgradLife.