Architectural Design MArch
Xi an Jiaotong-Liverpool University
Basic Information
Degree: Master
Starting Date:
Please be subject to the starting date on admission letter you got, since the starting date may change.
Sep 1 , 2024
Duration: 2 Years
Teaching Language: English
Tuition Fees: RMB 100,000 per Year
Application Deadline:
The deadline means the date of Beijing time. You are suggested to submit your application 3 or 5 days before the actual deadline so that you can have time for necessary changes on documents.
Jun 15 , 2024
Application Fee:
The application fee charged by the university, CUCAS only collect on their behalf.
USD 0 (Check Policy)
Service Fee:
For the service CUCAS provide to you. If you get a scholarship while applying as a self-financed applicant, you need to pay another scholarship service fee of 200 USD.
USD 54 (Check Policy)
Program Highlights
  • 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.
Program Description


The Master of Architectural Design programme prepares students for an international career in architecture, creating bridges between Eastern and Western culture. Understanding mobility, creative leadership, as well as advanced technical skills as key professional abilities in a rapidly globalising world, the programme attracts international students preparing for a career related to China, as well as domestic students preparing for both national and international careers. The programme includes architectural design studios as well as humanistic and technical modules. A student-centred learning environment offers rich opportunities, design-driven research and individual experimental enquiry to foster students' conceptual design skills as well as research and writing skills in preparation for both professional practice and PhD-level studies. Graduates of the programme are well-rounded, creatively confident and technically skilled professionals ready to create a global future.

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

The programme offers an international perspective, while at the same time enabling students to address the demands and opportunities of a rapidly urbanising China. Graduates from this programme receive an international Master of Architectural Design degree from the University of Liverpool that is recognised by the Chinese Ministry of Education.


This is the first and only postgraduate architecture course in mainland China validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). It is an English-taught, 2-year, full-time professional programme, that delivers the learning outcomes for RIBA Part 2.

As China experiences unprecedented transformations as well as increasing professional, industrial and academic collaboration with international partners, this programme 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 and to define ongoing and future transformations in the building environment, domestically and internationally. Emphasising and engaging with the local Chinese context while maintaining an international perspective, the programme is oriented towards the highest international standards and it attracts both domestic and international students and academic staff.

Design studios are the core of the programme, taking advantage of ongoing research in the department and the specific needs of the profession within China and across the world. Design studios are often taught with involvement of design practitioners from local and international firms and typically address themes such as:

Innovative approaches to urban development and regeneration
New high-rise building typologies for sustainable living
Advanced digital design and fabrication
Architectural theory and criticism
Individually defined themes addressing contemporary social and cultural issues


The Master of Architectural Design programme enables students to develop architectural design projects at an advanced level, including the creative, technical, and research skills needed, and educate you in the areas of theory, history, and criticism of architecture. Key knowledge and skills include:

  • the ability to generate complex design proposals showing understanding of current architectural issues, originality in the application of subject knowledge and, where 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
  • 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 ability to take the initiative and make appropriate decisions in complex and unpredictable circumstances.


Year One
Design Studio 1
Applied Technology in Architecture
Architectural Theory and Criticism
Design Studio 2
Advanced Professional Practice
Topics in Architectural History

Year Two
Design Studio 3
Architectural Design and Research Methods
Practice Based Enquiry and Architectural Representation
Design Studio 4

Additional learning activities
The programme includes 200 hours of Additional Learning Activities per semester, most of which are chosen individually by students. They should normally be spread equally over teaching semesters and the summer and winter breaks. An individual student-learning plan will be established at the outset of each semester with the academic advisor. Examples of ALAs include:
Postgraduate English (LAN901 . Mandatory, if required by the programme director)
Postgraduate English (LAN902. Mandatory, if required by the programme director)
Chinese language (CLT901-906. Mandatory for international students)
Graduate teaching assistantship
Graduate research assistantship (if available)
Graduate practice placement/internship
Participation in Level Three or Level Four lecture-and-seminar based modules in the built environment cluster
Participation in Level Three or Level Four modules from other XJTLU departments or the Language Centre
Selected topics in design tools and methods
Selected topics in advanced digital design
Selected topics in architectural research methods
Selected topics in architectural representation
Independent studies with an ARC tutor
Scholarly presentation of a research paper
Publication of a paper in a peer-reviewed architecture-related journal
Personal and employability skills (MAN903)


This programme provides you with an appropriate foundation for employment in the architectural profession at an advanced level. It also provides the basis for enrolment in a PhD research degree. Our graduates are appreciated for their unique skill set and find excellent opportunities in the building and creative industries, in local and international architecture firms, as well as in architecture administration, research and higher education institutions. Our highly international academic staff offer you individual career advice for entry into many job markets in Asia, Europe, Australia and the Americas.


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.



RMB 160,000 for the entire two year full-time programme.
University tuition fees cover the cost of your study with us.

Alumni discount
If you are a graduate of XJTLU, the University of Liverpool or Xi’an Jiaotong University, you will automatically receive a discount of 20 percent of the tuition fee.

Payment options
Masters students have the option to pay tuition fees in instalments each semester. You can also choose to pay the fees upfront at the time of registration, in this case a discount of five percent of the total fees will be offered.
You will be asked to indicate how you would like to pay the fees when you confirm your acceptance of the unconditional offer.

Entry Requirements

Year One entry

We welcome applications from high-quality candidates in all subjects with appropriate high school or equivalent qualifications. Students will normally be expected to have a high standing in their high school performance with a minimum B average in all subjects as well as relevant subjects.

Year Two entry

Students who have completed A-levels or International Baccalaureate (or equivalent) will be considered for entry into Year Two, different programmes have different subject-relevant requirements.

    A-level: BBB

    IB Diploma: 30 points

    AP Exams/ACT Tests/SAT II Subject Tests - High school diploma with a GPA of 3.0/4.0 or above, plus:
        1. 3 AP exams: 4, 4, 4 or
        2. SAT I: 1280 or ACT: 27, and 2 AP exams: 4, 4 or
        3. 3 SAT II Subject Tests (taken prior to cancellation in 2021): 600, 600, 600


1. BEng Architecture, BA Filmmaking, BA TV Production & BA Digital Media Arts: require a digital copy portfolio review and an interview with members of Departments of Architecture and Design & School of Film and TV Arts, which can be conducted in person or via the Internet.

2. BA International Business with a Language: normally international students study Chinese and Hong Kong/Macau/Taiwan students study Spanish or Japanese as the language option.

    For year 2 entry international students, students who are Chinese zero beginners will take an extra 5 credits Chinese language course.
    For year 2 entry Hong Kong/Macau/Taiwan students, students should be able to demonstrate an equivalent level of Spanish (DELE/SIELE A1) or Japanese (Japanese-Language Proficiency Test N5).

3. BA Translation and Interpreting: for international and HK/Macau/Taiwan students whose native language is not Chinese, an HSK level 6 or the pass of the aptitude test arrange by the Department of Translation and Interpreting is required.

4. Programme in Engineering, Computer Science, Applied Mathematics, Industrial Design and Technology Science and so on require Mathematics and Physics.

5. Programme in Architecture, Accounting, Economics, Finance, Chemistry, Mathematics, Science and Digital Media Arts and so on require Mathematics.

You can also find more information on entry requirements on our Country/Region list.

English Language Requirements

For international applicants, if you are a non-native English speaker, or if you have not previously studied in English, you must have satisfactory English language skills to study at XJTLU. Various English qualifications are accepted:

Year One entry

    IELTS: 5.0 (min 4.5 in all sections)
    TOEFL: 62 (iBT)

Year Two entry

    IELTS 6.5 (min 5.5 in all sections)
    TOEFL: 90 (iBT) (min 21 in any skill)

English qualifications are not required for students from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan who take the Joint Examination or the GSAT.

Students who are entering into Year One with less than IELTS 6.0 or equivalent in their English proficiency will take 10 credits EAP, and students with IELTS 6.0 or above will take 5 credits EAP.


Fee Structure

Tuition Fee
Master RMB 100,000 pre year
RMB 200,000 in total (About $ 40,817)
Accommodation Fee
Studio RMB 85 to RMB 105  (More Details)
Studio RMB 70 to RMB 102  (More Details)
Other Fees
Service Fee:
For the service CUCAS provide to you. If you get a scholarship while applying as a self-financed applicant, you need to pay another scholarship service fee of 200 USD.
USD 54 (Check Policy)
Living Expense RMB 2,180 to RMB 2,780

Application Materials

"*" means necessary documents that you must provide in your application.

*1. Application Form

Please upload your finished application form here.

*2. Photocopy of Valid Ordinary Passport

With name, passport number & expiration date, and photo included(Photocopy of valid passport identification page. Passport must be an ordinary passport and be valid for at least six months. Applicants currently residing in China must include a copy of the page containing a valid visa or residence permit.)

*3. Passport photo

A recent passport-sized photo of the applicant

*4. University degree certificate or enrolment statement (if you are a graduating student)

Certificate in languages other than Chinese or English should be translated into Chinese or English and be certified by notarization.
Prospective diploma winners must submit official certificate from their current university.

*5. Original transcripts in undergraduate or graduate period and their notarized copies

Transcripts in languages other than Chinese or English should be translated into Chinese or English and be certified by notarization.

6. Certificates of English language qualifications

Such as IELTS, TOEFL or other acceptable English qualifications (as required)

7. CV(optional, but recommended)

*8. Two letters of academic reference

As part of the admissions criteria we require two references. These should be academic references if you have been in degree level (full-time) education at any point within the last three years and must bear the official letterhead of your referee's workplace and his/her handwritten signature. Your referees should be someone who is able to comment on your academic abilities, and your motivation and suitability toward your chosen programme. If you have graduated more than three years, you may provide one employer reference in place of an academic reference. IMBA applicants are required to provide two employer references.

You can download a template or sample from here.

*9. Personal statement

The personal statement is your opportunity to convince admissions officers and academic staff why you should be made an offer to study. Your personal statement should be no more than 800 words in length.

10. Supporting Documents: Certificate of Good Conduct

Provided by your current/previous school/company in Chinese/English to improve your success rate.

You can download a template or sample from here.

How to Apply
Pay Pay application fee and service fee online.
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