Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part 1)

BA (Hons) - UCA Canterbury - 2019

Studying BA (Hons) Architecture at UCA Canterbury is a lively, progressive and creative experience that will enable you to learn from a group of highly successful and dedicated architects, designers and engineers.

This course is ranked in the top 10 Architecture courses in The Guardian Good University Guide 2018. You’ll experiment with all elements of architecture – from drawing and modelling, to full-size project making and creating exhibitions in public spaces.

You’ll develop digital skills through the use of industry-standard technology and software. Architects Registration Board (ARB) prescribed and Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) validated, this degree course will also offer you a thorough introduction to architectural management, practice and law.

Through the use of high-calibre technology and software, you’ll gain advanced digital skills with tools such as our Tracklab – a dedicated virtual reality studio with spatial tracking.

You’ll work with a range of cultural institutions and businesses, as well as the Canterbury School of Architecture’s overseas partners. Our exciting projects will involve you in contemporary issues, and live projects will provide you with invaluable industry experience.

Studying in large, light and airy dedicated studios, you’ll have the freedom to embrace and debate the future and develop new ways of thinking on this highly practical course. 

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 course.

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.

Length of study:

Three years full-time


UCA Canterbury

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Entry requirements:

128 UCAS tariff points

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Next event

28 Nov 2018 UCA Open Day

Pre-degree & Undergraduate

Course details

  • Year 1

    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. 

    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.

  • Year 2

    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.

    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. 

  • Year 3

    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.

    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.

  • Study abroad

    This course offers the opportunity to study abroad for part of your second year. To find out more about studying abroad as part of your course please see the Study Abroad section:

  • Fees

    Find out all about the fees for studying with us, as well as the grants, loans and other financial support you may be entitled to:


Open plan studio spaces for each year of the course, used for group tutorials and personal working. Facilities for the course include: laser cutters, 3D printers, virtual reality lab, 3D workshop with machines for working in wood, metals, plastics and ceramics and fully-equipped computer studios with Macs and PCs programmed with software for design and animation.

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Course connections

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

  • Industry links

    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.
  • Careers

    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.

  • Further study

    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 - 2019 entry

I am a UK or EU citizen ...

I am not a UK or EU citizen ...

When to apply:

If applying via UCAS the application deadline is the 15 January. If applying directly to us, you can apply throughout the year but we recommend you apply as early as possible so you have time to arrange accommodation and visas.

More information:

Go to our how to apply pages

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

The standard entry requirements* for this course are:

One of the following:

  • 128 new 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, see more information about IB entry requirements.

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.

International entry requirements

To view the equivalent entry requirements for your country please select it in the list below.

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Non-UK equivalent qualifications

English language requirements

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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