Architecture BA Honours
View course-specific entry requirements
TYPICAL OFFER for september 2016
|A Levels||AAB (Art, Design or Design and Technology is preferred as one of the choices, together with subjects from other fields) plus at least five GCSEs with grades A*-C (including English, Mathematics and a double award in science, or two separate sciences).|
|International Baccalaureate||32 points or more, including Visual Arts to a higher level.|
Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma
Access to HE Diploma
DDM plus at least five GCSEs with grades A*-C (including English, Mathematics and a double award in science, or two separate sciences).
Pass with 45 credits at level 3 with a minimum of 42 Level 3 credits at Merit or Distinction plus Maths and English GCSEs at at least grade C
The course is designed for creative and self-motivated students, and to gain a place you will need to demonstrate your interest in architecture. You should prepare a portfolio of your own work which illustrates your skills, talents and interests through a variety of media and forms; it may include sketches, drawings, collages, modelling, 3D work and painting. We want to see evidence of your creative process as well as the ﬁnal outcome, so please include developmental work as well as ﬁnal pieces. You may be asked to attend an interview and present your portfolio or to submit the work online with interview by Skype.
Architecture is a fascinating subject involving wide-ranging academic, practical and vocational activities. It requires creativity and imagination as well as technical knowledge and skills, and involves the study of the arts, history and technology. Architecture is normally studied with a view to becoming a professional architect, but it is also an excellent vehicle for further academic study at postgraduate level, and other forms of career development.
The usual pattern of academic and professional development involves full-time study at undergraduate level for three years (Part 1), followed by a year of practical training. Two further years of full-time postgraduate study (Part 2) are then undertaken, followed by another year of practical training and a period of part-time study, culminating in a ﬁnal examination (Part 3) to qualify for registration as an architect with the Architects Registration Board (ARB).
Course structure and content
Studio-based design activities constitute half of the course, the remaining half being devoted to history and theory, technology, and professional and management studies. Our diverse and stimulating teaching and learning methods include studio-based tutorials, seminars and 'crits' in addition to lectures, workshop sessions and visits to prominent buildings, exhibitions, galleries, museums and construction sites. There are optional field trips in Years 2 and 3, and a period of work experience in Year 3.
The course is prescribed by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) as meeting Part 1. Studio-based teaching centres on the development of design proposals in response to project briefs. These integrate structural, constructional and environmental criteria, and historical, theoretical and social considerations; sustainability is a key element throughout the course. Skills attainment is an important facet, with an emphasis on representation (through hand and CAD drawing), communication, personal and professional skills.
Design is taught in small groups and in Years 2 and 3 you have the opportunity to select from the range of studio choices on offer. Your work from the design studio forms the basis of your design portfolio that will be a testament of your achievement when applying for employment and postgraduate study.
Subjects of study
The following subjects are indicative of what you will study on this course. For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the full course document.
Year 1 (Credit Level 4)
Subjects of study include:
- A History of Architecture
- Design, Materials and Fabrication
- Introduction to Design and Skills
- Introduction to Technical Studies
Year 2 (Credit Level 5)
Subjects of study include:
- Architectural History and Urbanism
- Design and Detail
- Design and the Environment
- Site Diary
Year 3 (Credit Level 6)
Subjects of study include:
- Design and Technical Exploration
- Illustrated Research Essay
- Major Design Project
- Preparing for Practice
The teaching team includes:
- Julian Williams, Course Leader
- Elantha Evans, Lecturer in the Department of Architecture
- William Mclean, Principal Lecturer in the Department of Architecture
- Sarah Milne, Lecturer in the Department of Architecture
- Natalie Newey, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Architecture
- Peter Silver, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Architecture
- Douglas Spencer, Lecturer in the Department of Architecture
- Ben Stringer, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Architecture
- Jane Tankard, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Architecture
- Dr Victoria Watson, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Architecture
Additional costs information
Download course fee information to check what your tuition fees cover and what you may need to pay for separately on this course.
Year Out Short Course (initial period of Practical Training Experience)
If you intend to seek registration as an architect you will need to undertake your ﬁrst year of Practical Training Experience in an architect's ofﬁce (or related discipline). The Department offers a short course during this time in which staff act as Practical Training Advisers.
A number of attendant lectures, ofﬁce visits, seminars and discussion groups are also provided. The entry requirement is completion of a degree in architecture with Part 1 exemption. Find out more about our Architecture Year Out short course.
Architecture is normally studied with a view to becoming a professional architect. The BA course is an excellent basis for postgraduate academic study and alternative career opportunities.
Graduates of our undergraduate architecture course have followed the traditional path, completing their Part 2 and Part 3 to become registered architects working in private practice or a local authority department. Some graduates of the undergraduate course use the world-recognised badge of RIBA Part 1 to seek employment overseas, before returning to study for their Part 2.
Our graduates find employment with established world class architects such as Hopkins Architects, Foster and Partners and Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners. Others seek out young and developing design practices.
Graduates of this course in 2013 and 2014 went on to work for prestigious practices including: Wilkinson Eyre, Foster and Partners, Studio E Architects Ltd, Rivington Street Studio, Atkins, KSS Design Group, David Chipperfield Architects, Neil Tomlinson Architects, Grimshaw Architects, PRP Architects and Flanaghan Lawrence, amongst many others.
Alternative career paths include multi-disciplinary practice in architecture, interior and urban design, and planning. Others work for a specialist design firm or a specialist unit within a large practice. Career opportunities exist working on the client side of architecture for a contractor, developer or housing association. Graduates also progress to further study or research in technological and environmental subjects related to building design, construction, project or construction management.
Our dedicated Career Development Centre is actively working with an ever-expanding network of over 3,000 employers to provide you with exceptional employability support and guidance. As a result we were nominated as finalists for a significant industry award – the NUE Awards Most Improved Commitment to Employability 2016.
We provide our students with work placements and international opportunities to support them in becoming highly employable, globally engaged graduates, and with one million businesses operating within 20 miles of the University of Westminster, over 84% of our students are in work or further study six months after graduation. Our graduates work in a variety of sectors and organisations, from small/medium-sized companies and start-ups to large not-for-profit organisations and corporates.
During your time at Westminster you will be able to use our comprehensive online vacancy service and meet with our experienced careers consultants, providing you with thorough training and support on CV writing, application forms, interview preparation and assessment centres.
In addition to this, you will receive careers support from academic staff and faculty work placement teams, offering targeted course-specific careers advice and assistance in securing a work placement during your time at Westminster. You can find out more about course-specific career opportunities by visiting the Prospects website.
For more details, visit the employability section on our site.
Career Development Centre
Our Career Development Centre can help and support you throughout your study and after graduation.
We can help you to:
- find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
- explore how to develop the skills that employers are looking for
- plan your career development
- identify your career options
- market yourself effectively in CVs, application forms and at interviews
- develop your enterprise skills
We also organise a range of presentations and networking events with employers, professional bodies, alumni and other organisations throughout the year to help you with career planning.
Find out more about the Career Development Centre.
Our Work Placement Teams are based in your Faculty Registry Office and can help you find a suitable placement, as well as support you in making applications, writing CVs and improving your interview technique.
More details on work placements can be found on our Work placements page.
Career options in your subject area
Our team of careers consultants work closely with Faculty departments to deliver tailored employability support, including subject-specific workshops, employer events and careers information, advice and guidance.
There are many reasons to study at University of Westminster:
- Structured work experience during the course prepares you for work in practice.
- The course offers you excellent career prospects. Graduates of this course in 2013 and 2014 went on to work for prestigious practices including: Wilkinson Eyre, Foster and Partners, Studio E Architects Ltd, Rivington Street Studio, Atkins, KSS Design Group, David Chipperfield Architects, Neil Tomlinson Architects, Grimshaw Architects, PRP Architects and Flanaghan Lawrence, amongst many others.
- Situated at the heart of London, you benefit from our strong connections with professional bodies and employers. Leading practitioners are involved in the delivery of the course.
- Our extensive studios and fully staffed workshops are equipped with CNC, laser cutting and rapid prototyping equipment. Computers are installed with a wide range of graphics and design software.
- Our architecture and interiors students have won an extraordinary number of international awards, including being commended in the RIBA Journal's Eye Line drawing competition for two years running, confirming our reputation as one of the world's leading centres for architectural education.
- 20% of our research was judged as 'World Leading' and a further 45% as 'Internationally Excellent' in the Research Excellence Framework 2014.
Students enjoy the public programme of curated group exhibitions, solo exhibitions, education projects, talks and events at Ambika P3 - a 14,000 square ft space for contemporary art and architecture beneath Marylebone Campus.
- Our exchange programme allows students to study at participating schools of architecture overseas. Destinations include Ottowa, Melbourne and Auckland.
The course is delivered at our central London Marylebone campus, which is easily accessible by public transport. The site provides an excellent learning environment with a substantial 24-hour library and a book shop. All undergraduate and postgraduate architecture studios are situated at Marylebone Campus, creating a vibrant academic and creative studio culture.
Fully staffed workshops are equipped with CNC, laser cutting and rapid prototyping equipment. Computers are installed with a wide range of graphics and design software. Printing, scanning and similar facilities are also available.
A £20 million redevelopment of Marylebone CampusA £20 million development of student facilities at Marylebone Campus was completed in 2012. Improvements include a 'Learning Platform' with eating, informal learning and social spaces, large lecture facilities and new food and beverage outlets.
Why not consider going on exchange as part of this degree? You could spend the second semester of your second year at one of our partner institutions and gain international experience and global skills to further enhance your employability. As part of it
s exchange offerings Westminster is also an active participant in the Erasmus+ programme which is supported by the European Commission. This degree has Erasmus+ exchange partners and you could apply for an Erasmus+ grant to help towards living expenses whilst on exchange. For further details visit the Student exchange section.
Study in the city
If you study at the University of Westminster, everything that London has to offer is on your doorstep.
Our central London campuses are ideally located for the city's fantastic learning institutions including libraries, archives and museums, as well as opportunities for shopping, eating out, enjoying London's nightlife or just simply relaxing.
After choosing your course, one of your biggest decisions will be where to live, and we aim to make that choice as easy as possible. Whether you want to apply for our Halls of Residence or live in private housing, we can help you to find the right accommodation.
Fees, funding, bursaries and scholarships
In recent years the University of Westminster's scholarship scheme has been the largest university scholarships scheme in the UK, and our Scholarships Department won the Times Higher Education inaugural Award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students.
All students on courses of a year or more and who are registered for more than three modules will be allocated a personal tutor.
Your personal tutor will be there to support you from induction onwards, helping you to integrate into the University, academically and socially, at an early stage. They will be able to give you advice and support on academic and personal matters affecting your study, as well as developmental advice through regular individual and group tutorials.
Polylang is a University-wide programme through which you can study a language as a free choice module.
Personal advice and counselling
While most students overcome any problems with help from friends, family or a personal tutor, the University's free counselling and advice services are there if you need them.
With one of the UK's largest international student populations, the University of Westminster has plenty of experience in giving you the help and support you need to make the most of your time with us.
Study Abroad and Summer School programmes
Westminster's Study Abroad programme has been running for more than 15 years, and is one of the largest in the UK – each year we welcome hundreds of visiting students from universities all over the world.
If you are already studying outside the UK, the programme offers you the opportunity to study with us for one or two semesters, or for a period in the summer.
Sport and recreation
The University has extensive sport and recreation facilities, with a sports hall and gym at Harrow, a state-of-the-art gym at Regent Campus, and the University sports ground by the River Thames at Chiswick.
University of Westminster Students' Union (UWSU) aims to make sure you have the best university experience possible by providing a range of activities and support, from sports clubs to society groups, educational advice and social events.
End of Year Exhibition Catalogues
Architecture and interiors exhibition catalogues - undergraduate and Master of Architecture (RIBA/ARB Part II) courses
OPEN 2016 student exhibition video
Gallery from OPEN2016
Ming Zhong Song
Subject of Study: Architecture BA Honours
Current Practice: Foster + Partners
Current job title: Assistant Architect Part 1
“Westminster will help me to pursue my dream of being an architect. Westminster trains students in independent study skills and group collaboration. The students’ high level of achievement, often listed in the RIBA President's Medals student awards, are based on Westminster’s strong links with the architecture profession.
My experience at university has fundamentally changed the way I approach architecture. It allowed me to tailor my own education, allowing me to build up my own personality and strengths, rather than becoming a ‘generic architect’. I greatly appreciated the possibility to work in multiple and separate studios, which in turn provided, me with a greater range of projects.
During my learning experience we used a variety of media to explore different ideas. This did not only help focus my skills, but also gave me a more profound understanding of general architecture. In turn, helped me achieve greater value from the course and has had a crucial role in my personal development.
I think the module called "prepare for practice” where all the students are allocated a week of work experience in a practice, is very unique advantage to study at Westminster. Many students not only learn a lot through the week but also find a job at the company. I got the position at Foster and Partners through this opportunity as well.
As for future aspirations, I need to keep on pursuing my dream in architecture. To have lifelong goals, to learn, and to have a fruitful career. I am unexpectedly but delightedly excited for whatever may come next, whenever that may be."
Subject of study: Architecture BA Honours and Master of Architecture (MArch) RIBA Part 2.
“At Westminster I worked with fantastic tutors, including RIBA award winner Peter Barber, and met incredibly talented like-minded people in a friendly environment. Most tutors are architects themselves and provide you with the well-rounded skills you need to work in practice. The resources are fantastic, with plenty of space to work.
Part 1 at Westminster, including the opportunity to gain work experience in practice as part of the degree course, allowed me to build my skills and confidence so that I was ready for work in practice and for completing my Part 2. When deciding where to study my Part 2, Westminster was my first choice because I knew the tutors would help me achieve my very best in a nurturing environment.”
Our architecture and interiors students have won an extraordinary number of international awards, including being commended in the RIBA Journal's Eye Line drawing competition for two years running, confirming our reputation as one of the world's leading centres for architectural education.
Architecture and Interiors - why Westminster?
The fabrication laboratory allows students to explore the exciting field of digital fabrication, including ABS and plaster 3D printing, CNC knife cutting, large-scale CNC routing, CNC metal milling and robot fabrication.
Watch our video for advice about producing a portfolio for our Architecture BA Honours and Interior Architecture BA Honours courses. It also includes interview tips.