Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part 1)

BA (Hons)

2018 entry

Studying our BA (Hons) Architecture course is a lively, progressive and creative experience that will enable you to learn from a group of more than fifty highly successful and dedicated architects, designers and engineers. This course is ranked in the top five Architecture courses in the Guardian’s University Guide 2017.

Developing your creativity will include experimenting with all the elements of architecture – from drawing and modelling, through to full-size project making, creating exhibitions and deployment in public spaces.

You’ll develop digital skills through the use of high-caliber technology and software such as our Tracklab – a dedicated virtual reality studio with spatial tracking.

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Length of study:

Three years full-time


September 2018


UCA Canterbury

UCAS code:


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Prescribed and validated by:

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Course overview:

Architects Registration Board (ARB) prescribed and Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) validated, our BA (Hons) Architecture course will offer you a thorough introduction to architectural management, practice and law, and prides itself on its creative collaborations.

Giving you the chance to work with cultural institutions and businesses as well as the Canterbury School of Architecture’s overseas partners, our exciting and frequently updated projects will involve you in contemporary issues and live projects, providing you with invaluable, profession-based industry experience.

You’ll study in large, light and airy, dedicated studios on this highly practical course. With the space and freedom to embrace and debate the future, you’ll develop new ways of thinking through design practice.

An industry mentoring scheme is also available and our excellent student-to-staff ratio will help you to build your portfolio and CV, ready for the professional workplace.

Our BA (Hons) Architecture course also offers progression to a fully-validated UCA MArch in Architecture.

Our alumni have secured rewarding careers nationally and internationally for more than 60 years – many of our graduates typically progress to one-year paid placements at architects’ offices, before continuing their studies at Masters level.

Recent employment opportunities have included working at offices of Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster, Will Alsop, and Sauerbruch Hutton, as well as local architects’ practices such as Clague Architects and Lee Evans Partnership, both of which are located in Canterbury.

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Course content - 2018 entry

You'll be introduced to the main teaching and learning methods used across the course and the facilities available on campus. You'll gain the knowledge to complete and present a simple design programme, and draw on a variety of cultural and technical influences and various techniques of communication.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Projects 01

    You'll look at fundamental issues, processes, skills and tools that will be relevant in your studies in architecture, focusing on design in relation to the human body. The role of architecture in defining our spaces and experiences is explored as a means by which the body might be guided through site-specific design proposals.

  • Communication 01

    This unit introduces you to representation as a critical practice. You'll learn a range of techniques in the context of a number of projects, supported by lectures and seminars. These will provide cultural and technological contexts.

  • Technology 01

    Through the use of materials, the unit examines aspects of technology associated with the built environment. It will also explore their relationship with design as both a process and an outcome.

  • Cultural Context 01

    This unit looks at the study of the histories and theories of architectural and spatial design. It aims to address the ways in which designed spaces, buildings and cities are situated culturally. And it provides you with the required tools of analysis and interpretation to make informed readings of your environment.

  • Projects 02

    The content and themes of the previous unit are synthesised through the design of a small building, focusing on relationships between architecture and time. Whilst the first half of the unit focuses on site analysis, research and design strategy, the second focuses on lighting, structure, materiality and finish.

During the second year, you'll increase your confidence and engagement with the course and its facilities. You'll develop the knowledge to address a reasonably complex design programme with elements of self selection. And the potential for specialised learning and the implications of different choices of direction will become clearer, with personal preferences emerging.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Projects 03

    You'll focus on the ways in which architecture can establish social, political, physical and environmental dialogues with wider, as well as immediate, conditions. The importance of identifying and then developing or suppressing these relationships consciously through the design of external space will be interrogated.

  • Cultural Context 02

    This unit is chiefly concerned with theory, specifically the ways in which (design) theories have been made operational through (design) propositions.

  • Technology 02

    This unit explores the coverage of building materials and methods of construction introduced in Year 1. It introduces low energy design strategies as a vehicle to discussing sustainability in the built environment.

  • Projects 04

    Has two themes:

    1) Intelligent skin: we'll introduce you to a design methodology with a technology focus. This will provide you with the opportunity to use technology as a generator for an engagement with cultural objectives, contextual study and communication through design development.

    2) Synoptic: you'll undertake a synoptic project where the main emphasis is on the integration of different design preoccupations and resolving these together to present a well considered outcome. Typically, the project set will be concerned with a manufacturing process of current social or aesthetic concern or interest.

  • Communication 02

    The possibilities afforded by the computer to allow simultaneous working on a variety of resolutions and modes will be exploited. You'll also be introduced to parametric digital design.

  • Creative Practice 01

    This unit is designed to provoke experimentation, risk-taking, exploratory and playful work following the rigours of professional practice and the creative industries.

  • Study Abroad (optional)

    This optional unit will allow you to spend a period of time in an overseas educational institution.

You'll gain the depth of knowledge to resolve a complex design programme, and with a substantial amount of self-determined direction, establishing preferences and viewpoints expressed in verbal and written design discourse, within each subject area, and relating subject areas to design. You'll study some topics more generally related to architecture in detail. And you'll also build an appreciation of how architecture can become more significant in today's world. Your communication skills will be enhanced, so that a project can be presented coherently to the public or external professionals.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Projects 05

    Has two themes:

    1) Terrain: you'll examine 'home' from the starting position of the values of an individual user. You'll explore ways in which this individual might seek to influence the wider world.

    2) Urban: you'll explore 'home' as a respondent to the wider cultural, social and/or political visions for, and/or conditions of, the city. You'll examine the ways in which these interface with conditions for the individual. Housing is addressed as a key contested constituent of the city.

  • Creative Practice 02

    You'll learn the legal and procedural characteristics of practising as an architect in the UK. Weekly lectures and workshops will be supplemented with independent study and weekly submissions.

  • Research Thesis

    You'll undertake a period of self-directed research on a subject that is related to the historical, theoretical and critical concerns of architecture. The subject matter will be informed by the specific interests that you have developed on the course to date and will be supported by the particular expertise of staff within the School of Architecture through its Research Groups.

  • Projects 06

    This will establish current political, social and economic issues relevant to the future of an unfamiliar city that may apply to the future success of similar cities.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

Course leader

International study

Find out more about studying in the UK, or studying part of your course abroad at one of our partner institutions (study abroad option not available on all courses).

Course connections

On this course, you'll be exposed to a world of opportunities

Our course enjoys excellent relationships with a number of high-profile organisations, including the regeneration of London’s Olympic Park, the Lea Valley, the Thames Gateway, Channel ports and the Pas-de-Calais. You’ll also benefit from the latest industry insight through our open lecture series, Multistory, which is a long-established alumni and student-led programme. This highly acclaimed series is one of the most successful in the world, and brings innovative approaches to practice into the School every Thursday evening in term time.

Professional and industry links include:

  • Architects Registration Board
  • Architectural Association of Ireland
  • Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists
  • Chartered Institute of Building
  • Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment
  • International Interior Design Association
  • Residential Interior Design
  • Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland
  • Royal Institute of British Architects
  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
  • Royal Society of Ulster Architects
  • Royal Town Planning Institute 

Many of our graduates typically progress to one-year paid placements at architects’ offices, before continuing their studies at Masters level. Our alumni have secured rewarding careers internationally and nationally for more than 60 years. 

Recent employment opportunities have included working at the offices of Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster, Will Alsop and Sauerbruch Hutton, as well as at local architects’ practices such as Clague Architects and Lee Evans Partnership (both in Canterbury). Our graduates have also established their own research collaborations and projects.

Qualification as an architect requires two years' further study, followed by a final year of paid placement, a short professional practice course and examination for Part 3. We offer a Master of Architecture course to students who achieve a 2.1 or above at degree level. You can also gain an MA in Architecture, which is added to your Part 2 qualification.

How to apply - 2018 entry

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Entry requirements - 2018 entry:

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirements* for this course are:

One of the following:

  • 128 new UCAS tariff points (equivalent to 320 old UCAS tariff points), see accepted qualifications
  • Merit at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design
    (Level 3 or 4)
  • Distinction, Distinction, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • Distinction at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 128 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 29-32 total points in the International Baccalaureate Diploma with at least 16 IB points at Higher level.

And five GCSE passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 4-9 including Mathematics and English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2).

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply.

*We occasionally make offers which are lower than the standard entry criteria to students who have faced difficulties that have affected their performance, and who were expected to achieve higher results.

Your portfolio

For this course we will require you to attend an Applicant Day and bring your portfolio for assessment. Further information on how to compile a portfolio and the specific requirements for examples of work to be included will be provided on the Applicant Portal.

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