Archinect
anchor

MArch Manchester School of Architecture vs MArchD Oxford Brookes

geop

Hi,

I have offers to study MArch at Oxford Brooks University and Manchester School of Architecture and I want to hear what other people have to say about those two universities, their Master programmes and the cities in general.

I have read really bad things about MSA (overcrowded, not paying proper attention to all students etc.) but I am not sure if they are true. Also I hear that Manchester is not a nice city to live and has a high crime rate. However the school has really good ranking and their work seems decent.

Oxford as well is not a big city so there is chance to get bored and not find a place to go out when you want. Also, I am not sure about the quality of the programme as it accepts students very easily.

Please let me know your opinion about  those two programmes and how it is to live on those cities. 

 
Jun 14, 20 3:37 pm
robhaw

I wouldn't recommend either. However, if you definitely want to go to one of the two, I would suggest looking at where you want to work. Oxford Brookes has connections in London, whereas Manchester primarily in the North West.

Also, given the Cov-19 situation in the UK, it's likely the Sept 2020 semester might be done online, so if I were you I would defer my entry for 1 year and at the same time apply to other schools.

Jun 14, 20 7:49 pm  · 
1  · 
TED

Both programs take in lots of students and facilities at Brookes a bit dire as no studio space and a workshop (12-15) that can only take a handful at a time. Having lived in both cities would go for Man 1] much cheaper 2] your comments on crime is a bit daft, both cities have large homeless communities that the communities are addressing. 3]definitely more things happening in Man so you won't get bored 4]having been to end of year shows at both, Man U work for part II is definitely better.  5] good network of practice engagement within Man 6] staff at Man live in the city verses Brookes commute from London. 

I posted elsewhere that I think if your deciding on starting your part II in Sept try a Russel group uni now - enrollment is down and most certain they will broaden intake to perhaps 2.2 (assume by your comment that's where you fall).  Try Edinburgh and Queens Belfast - great Unis and Cities - I think Queens class is about 30/year.  Manu 130/year.  Brookes 100/year.  Edinburgh and Queens have full time research active staff who invest in the Unis and city with agendas which is absent in Post 92 universities.

Good Luck!

Jun 16, 20 7:30 am  · 
 · 
justqualified

Manchester School of Architecture class for MArch is about 200 students not 130.

1  · 
justqualified

So it's 200 students for Year 5 and 160 in Year 6. Total 360 students in MArch.

 · 
geop

Thank you for your reply. You made some very good points. 

Maybe I will try to apply at Edinburgh as well. I have also offers from UWE Bristol, Greenwich and I am keep waiting to hear back from Sheffield University, as well. I tried my luck at Bath University and UCL but despite my First class degree and my good portfolio, my application was rejected.

My goal is to see which of those universities have the best tutors and staff in general. I think it is very helpful to have tutors that are inspiring and can give you good advice for your the development of your project or about what you like in architecture. Both of programmes in Manchester and Oxford are overcrowded and I am worrying that the staff will not have time to give the same attention to every student. 

Jun 21, 20 4:31 am  · 
1  · 
robhaw

If you have a first-class degree in my opinion you shouldn't waste it by going to a school you are not happy with. You want to get in the school that's the best fit for your level and aspirations. Where did you do your Part I?

Also, I want to point out that it doesn't seem clear what your interests are for an MArch, since some of the schools you are mentioning have very different agendas. Have you visited these schools, talked with staff and students, looked at their work, found out what graduation studios they offer? Usually, end of year shows are just for that, although these could be digital/non-happening this year due to Covid-19. Perhaps, you could look into their yearbooks and then schedule visits during the open days next year to meet teaching staff.

You could have a think about which your ideal school is, work on improving your portfolio in the summer and apply as early as possible next year. If you need feedback on your portfolio you can post in on here, I think there's now even an Archinect review feature.

Jun 21, 20 10:13 am  · 
 · 
geop

Thank you for your reply. I have done my undergrad in UWE Bristol and my intention was to do my postgrad in Bath as I am a more technical oriented student. The rest of the unis which I applied were like my back-up options as they are more conceptual (except Sheffield). I have visited a couple of end of the year shows and I know exactly the philosophy of each university as I have also seen numerous times their yearbooks.

1  · 
geop

It is true that things did not go well for me with my MArch applications. However, I am not sure if I want to waste a valuable year of my long term architectural studies. I have seen people that graduated from universities that are not so good and become really accomplished later, so I think that the fame of the university that you are graduating, is not as important as your eager to become successful later.

 · 
robhaw

Well, at least half of the next academic year will be wasted anyway with online education due to Cov-19. On the other hand, if you stay at work for 1 year you won't be wasting any time but gaining experience instead. As you said yourself, education is valuable, so it's better to wait 1 year and reapply rather than waste 2 full years at a medriocre school. Since you aknowldege yourself that things didn't go well with your MArch applications, improving on this is entirely up to you. You have the whole summer ahead to improve your portfolio which is a major deciding factor for graduate applications. You already have a first, which gives you a good standing against others, therefore it's only a matter of pushing a bit harder. If you also apply early, you will have better chances of admission. Finally, since you know you are technically minded, I would recommend extending your applications to European schools as well. There are some very good TUs in Europe (Germany, Netherlands) that are also far more technical than Bath at Masters level (if what you care for is high quality education). UCD in Ireland is also a good technical school with RIBA accreditation, teaching in english.

1  · 
TED

Agree with both of you — UCD and TUs are great options. UWE is a factory also so perhaps Bath rates your 1st from there poorly. Sheffield is a good uni but I felt the work is too pedestrian-feely touchy. Be adventurous! Your not wasting a year if you pause.

 · 
TED

To note Bath is really a 5 year program so most places are students carrying on. Year 4 is a placement year also-. If your not happy in being out of uni maybe try a 1 year post grad then go on to part 2 - UCL has great 1 year programme- have a look.

 · 
robhaw

Only the first semester of MArch Year 1 at Bath is a placement. Cardiff on the other hand is a full placement year. Also, except for high admission standards, MArch at Bath has a very small intake which is an additional reason why it's hard to get in.

1  · 
Nne.o

I am an undergrads student ,however in general in regards to facilities, Brookes has for architecture, there is the main studio space for all architecture students from undergraduate to masters. spread across 2 floors.
The computers are really good, they just recently installed them. On the computers, you have access to all of the adobe suite, such as photoshop. Also Autodesk Softwares such as cad and Rhino which has v-ray render system .
the computers are shared across undergraduate and master, any one could use them.
you're probably wondering as there is a lot of people using this space how is the spaces subdivided or the amount of people kept minimum.
Each year group has a different studio day which you are required to come in, for example, year 2 studio day consist of Monday and Thursdays, whilst year one is Tuesdays and Fridays I believe. However, even if you can still use the studio ven if it isn't your studio day
the studio has 24-hour access, which you can get when you complete the health and safety test when you enroll.here is also a workshop that is not located in the same spaces as the architecture studio but is a 5-minute walk on the other side of campus.

The workshop really good for model making mainly in wood, but you can also use the laser cutter and other materials.overall my experience is ok and good 

Jun 24, 20 6:17 am  · 
1  · 
TED

Glad you're enjoying your studies. Think hot-desking is not a quality environment for architecture students who need simply a pattern day to day engagement of their work. Also, Softwares are pretty basic for any programme. I know Brookes workshop only allows for 12-15 students at a time so with 500-600 students in the school, not great numbers. What is particularly important at this post COVID Time is a University committed to quality in teaching and you will find that in Russell group universities. Universities like Brookes (post 92) unfortunately are more interested in transactional issues than the quality of the teaching staff-70% - 90% on temporary contracts. Sorry - Will be interested in hearing where you plan to do your part II.

 · 
TED

Interesting read on state of University Marketing the University

Jun 26, 20 3:18 am  · 
 · 

Block this user


Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in:


Latest School Job Posts

View more academic jobs