MA Architecture and Adaptive Reuse / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course description

MA Architecture and Adaptive Reuse is a course about existing buildings, situations, and places, and how over time these structures and locations can be encouraged to evolve, sustain new uses and accommodate new users.

Throughout this course, you will investigate strategies for adaptive reuse - strategies that are not applied as a reaction to current conditions, but in anticipation of future changes. 

Adaptation is now at the forefront of architectural practice; two of the most pressing challenges in the 21st century are climate change and urbanisation.

Given that already more than half of the global population live in urban environments, and by 2050 it is projected that more than 70% of the world population will live in cities, all societies need to be able to accommodate growth while at the same time reducing consumption.

The existing building stock needs to become both more efficient and more resilient. 

During the course, you will investigate the four main aspects to sustainable reuse - environmental, societal, inhabitation and economical, while also exploring heritage, history, memory, community and the influence these factors have on remodelling activities.

You will explore the impact that context and the environment have upon projects, while developing an understanding of some of the technical issues including construction, environmental control, and materials in order to make creative and appropriate proposals for new users of buildings.

Furthermore, you will also examine specific examples of adaptive reuse and theories of reuse and explore strategies for the conservation and adaptation of the existing environment.

For more information visit the Manchester School of Architecture website .

Special features

Join the Manchester Student Society of Architecture (MSSA), the largest of its kind in the UK.

Teaching and learning

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers who are experts in their chosen field.

We also work with external professionals, many of whom are alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Course collaborators

As a student at Manchester School of Architecture (MSA), you will study a degree that is delivered jointly by The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University.

You will benefit from the facilities and resources of both institutions including libraries, computer suites, and making and media workshops.

Upon successful completion of your studies, you will receive one degree certificate that includes each institution's crest and awarding body title.


The Manchester School of Architecture studios are in the Manchester Metropolitan University's School of Art building - the Benzie Building.

The specialist workshops within Manchester School of Art and The University of Manchester will provide you with opportunities to explore materiality, fabrication, and the realisation of ideas.

Studio teaching is research-informed and underpinned by design research methodologies and engagement with industry.

Our studios are equipped with PC workstations with industry standard computer-aided design, visualisation, image editing, and print and web design software. They also have standard and large format printing facilities and Wi-Fi. In addition, you will have access to specialist Apple Mac-based video editing, scanning and digital design resources.

There are workshops for model-making and construction projects in both the Benzie and The University of Manchester's Humanities Bridgeford Street buildings.

We house an impressive range of fully equipped workshops for wood, plastics, foam, metal, ceramics, glass, computer-aided manufacture, textiles, printmaking, and bookbinding.

You will be able to purchase art materials and consumables at cost prices from the Manchester School of Art's material stores. You can also borrow video and photography equipment from the AV store, and access photography studios, film processing and video editing facilities.

Manchester Metropolitan University has a nationally recognised art and design collection, and specialist collections include the Manchester Society of Architects' Library, which holds important and rare books on the history of architecture.

The Visual Resources Centre covers a broad spectrum of subjects, including architecture, art and design, film, popular media and social history. 

For more information visit our facilities webpage.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: