Welcome information and timetables

Make sure you familiarise yourself with your course Welcome timetable below.

Manchester School of Architecture (MSA) is a joint School of Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) and The University of Manchester (UoM). This means you are in the unique position of being registered at two universities, with all their facilities at your disposal - but first, you have to register at each university.

For details of any steps you need to take with MMU, please visit their Welcome website.

You will be receiving or will have already received, emails from The University of Manchester which explain to you how to obtain an IT account at Manchester. This is the first step to follow. Once you have IT access, you can register as a student.

You'll be paying your tuition fees to MMU so the financial stage of registration at UoM should state that no fees are due, but you must still complete all the stages of registration, including the financial stage, to register.

If fees are listed in error at this stage, call the UoM registration helpline on +44 (0)161 306 5544.

Once you are enrolled at The University of Manchester, you must also enrol at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Please note that the Manchester School of Architecture follows the Manchester Metropolitan University term dates which can be seen here. Induction will begin on 14 September 2020.

Induction booklet

Welcome timetable

Introduction to Year 1

Course units


Studio is where you will learn how to test and experiment with form, debate ideas and present your own unique proposals. We will challenge your existing knowledge of space and how space is created. Projects begin from a variety of starting points and increase in scale over the year. Through this unit you will become independent designers capable of developing complex briefs and beautiful ideas.

The starting point for your first studio project will require you to consider how movement might be visualised and manifest spatially. Through the design of a space for dance, the idea of considering the specific qualities of a space will be introduced, so you might want to start thinking about how you could best represent your ideas visually. The next project considers a compact home and the final one considers manufacturing space.

Over the summer think about your own home, and how you live, think about the activities and how much (or how little) space they require. Start by measuring yourself, and try to draw people doing different daily activities. We have provided some free books to help get you inspired, so have a look at those!


The Humanities unit introduces you to the historical, cultural and theoretical contexts of architecture. Lectures will act as surveys on different areas of Architectural History all taken from a range of themes such as Health, Trade, Class and Power amongst many more. You will discuss key ideas and thoughts from antiquity to contemporary through the examination of history and evolution of concepts, ideas, cities, and building types, to understand, how these have shaped our contemporary thinking. The course will be delivered through a lecture series, however coursework elements are designed to be a mixture of both academic writing and creative outputs such as drawing, which develops skills in research, analysis and visual representation.

Over the summer, get inspired by finding out more about your own city’s history and key buildings. Start sketching interesting historical features on buildings you know, and copy other ones from pictures of famous examples from various periods of architectural history, such as Antique Capitals and Orders, Gothic Vaults, Renaissance Domes, Baroque Facades or the arrangement of Modernist Spaces.


The technology module asks you to question the experiential and instrumental performance of a building by examining materiality, buildability, technology, sustainability, and detail. Through a series of lectures and case studies the course allows you to analyse architecture starting with the following time-honoured criteria set by Vitruvius of ‘Fermitas, Utilitas, Venustas‘ [Firmness, Commodity, and Delight]:

  • Firmness // Is the building safe, stable and durable?
  • Commodity // Does it accommodate its programme comfortably?
  • Delight // Is the experience of the building delightful?

Get inspired over the summer by drawing a portal frame, finding out the compressive strength of a standard brick, making a simple model of a frame, designing a tall tower to support a tennis ball with one sheet of paper, finding three types of bridge, drawing a staircase in section and finding a structural fault in a building.

Studio Skills

Each week is supplemented by Studio Skills sessions delivered by Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) who are studying on the MArch programme at MSA. These sessions are designed to allow you to progress the many skills required to meet the course deadlines and align with Studio, Humanities and Technologies outputs which require rudimentary knowledge and skills that underpin the discipline.

Get inspired over the summer by simply looking at drawings that inspire you and working out how you think they were drawn by experimenting with techniques and recording them in an experimental sketchbook.  Some of our favourites can be found here.


In the summer term, each year students work with key collaborators in the city in an intensive Events programme which tackles live agendas through exhibitions, installations, built projects, workshops, charrettes, processions, and protests. Over the years this programme has seen students working with real clients doing anything from bricklaying to creating digital environments.

Get inspired over the summer by reading the blog of Events 2019 and get involved in some architectural events where you live from exhibitions to volunteering for community building projects.

Reading list

A specific reading list will be provided for you along with each studio brief, however, there are four key texts which are essential for Year 1 and should be read over the summer.

  • Dunn, N. Architectural Modelmaking.
  • Delany, M. & Gorman, A. Studio Craft & Technique for Architects.
  • Hunt, T. Tony Hunt’s Structures Notebook.
  • Unwin, S. Exercises in Architecture: Learning to Think as an Architect.

These can be bought as a bundle exclusively from the Blackwells in Manchester for a discounted price. They also offer free delivery.

Equipment list

Architectural education combines drawing, model making, test modelling, photography, filmmaking, sketching, experimentation, computer presentations, analysis and written work which all requires a lot of equipment. Although we do not suggest you buy overly expensive materials and experiment with found objects and recycled basics, there are some things which are worth investing in as follows:

Essentials from day one

  • Sketchbooks // A3 // A4 // A5
  • Mechanical Pencil // 0.35mm // 0.50mm
  • Pencil Leads
  • Drawing Pens // 0.25mm // 0.35mm // 0.7mm
  • Metric Scale Rule // 300mm // 1:10 // 1:20 // 1:50 // 1:100 // 1:200
  • Portable Drawing Board (A2/A3)
  • Tracing Paper
  • Tape Measure

Good to have / Future purchases

  • Ink // Various Colours
  • Adjustable Set Square // 300mm
  • Sketching Pencils
  • Notebook // Files
  • Roll of Tracing Paper
  • Cartridge Paper
  • Model Making Grey Card
  • Scrap Card
  • Model Making Glue
  • Cutting Mat // A2
  • Steel Rule / 1000mm // 300mm
  • Scalpel // Blades
  • Suitable Waterproof Clothing
  • Calculator // Scientific
  • Computer // Laptop Preferable // PC or MAC
  • External Hardrive // Backup
  • Digital Camera // Camera Phone
  • Map + Guide // Manchester
  • Map + Guide // Stuttgart

Student support

Manchester School of Architecture is dedicated to providing a high level of support to all our students and this is facilitated by trained support staff at both The University of Manchester and the Manchester Metropolitan University.

Support Staff can advise students on a range of issues relating to university life including:

  • managing your time
  • presentation skills
  • reflective journals
  • research
  • exam tips
  • essay writing
  • dealing with stress
  • getting the best from your course
  • finding your way around the campus and the city
  • jobs and careers
  • accommodation

Support Staff will be running timetabled sessions on research for architecture students as well as dedicated writing classes. Support Staff are available to meet with students by appointment on a one-to-one basis in confidence. Please feel free to contact Student Support by email or by telephone.

If you are disabled or have a Specific Learning Difficulty, such as dyslexia, or health condition such as mental health difficulties, and might need support with your studies you should seek advice from MMU Disability Services [based in the hub in the Business School 0161 247 3491) as soon as possible. The Disability Service provides a comprehensive advisory, assessment and support service to students with disabilities. If you would like an initial confidential discussion with an adviser please contact the above telephone number to arrange an appointment. You may find that you need some extra help when faced with the demands of Higher Education, using medical evidence and an initial assessment, a Learning Support Adviser can help to identify your needs and suggest strategies, which will prove helpful. The adviser will produce a Personal Learning Plan (PLP) with you, which identifies to teaching staff your support needs and advises them of any reasonable adjustments they may need to make. The PLP is then sent to your department with your permission and will be incorporated into your sessions.

Student Support and Guidance (SSG)

If you have any questions about support, wellbeing or engagement with your course, you can get in touch with the Student Support and Guidance (SSG) Team at studentsupport-seed@manchester.ac.uk.

For the latest engagement and support information, events and activities, follow SEED Student Support and Guidance on Facebook. You can also check out our Eventbrite page.

For more information about the whole range of support available from the University, please visit Manchester’s Student Support website.

Teaching and learning queries

You can use our live chat facility to contact our undergraduate and postgraduate programme support teams for help and advice on things such as registration queries, course unit selection, exams, general programme information, etc. 

Live chat is available Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.

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