BA (Hons) Architecture

BA Architecture explores design for the human environment through the buildings and spaces we inhabit, and the objects we use inside those spaces. Key issues include community and sustainability. BA Architecture is fully validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects and prescribed by the Architects Registration Board, meaning that all graduates will have achieved Part 1 of the professional qualification for architects in the UK.

The UCAS Code for BA Architecture is K101.

This course is part of the Spatial Practices Programme.

Scholarships and Awards available:

Charlotte and Dennis Stevenson Awards
Foundation for Essex Arts Scholarships
Mead Scholarships and Fellowships

5 great reasons to apply

  • As a professionally recognised course in architecture, graduates of BA Architecture will have achieved Part 1 of the professional qualification, and are eligible to progress to postgraduate, Part 2 courses.
  • You'll explore seven closely interrelated areas of study - Studio Design Practice, Contextual Studies, Technical Studies, Media Practice, Personal and Professional Development, Professional Practice, Elective Studies - delivered through project work, lectures, seminars, assignments, and supporting studies.
  • You’ll work actively with clients and commercial organisations. Recent clients have included The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, Red Bull, The Office of the Swiss Cultural Attache, Saatchi & Saatchi, Hermes, the Home Office, TINO, Green Works and With Feeling. 
  • You'll get involved in live projects, closely collaborating with charities, local communities and organisations. Recent collaborations include Crisis, Bankside Residents Forum, Bemerton Villages at Islington and The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust.
  • Alumni have gone on to some of the top postgraduate courses in London and beyond while others work in practices including Gensler, Michaelis Boyd, Haverstock, Sheppard Robson, Space Syntax, Stanton Williams, Woods Bagot, StrideTreglown, Zaha Hadid Architects, and many others.


Course Leader

Alex Warnock-Smith

Course Location

King's Cross, London. Tel: +44 (0)20 7514 7023

Study LevelUndergraduate
Study ModeFull time
Course Length3 years full time
Home/EU Fee

£9,000 per year (2016/17).

Please note that fees are subject to inflationary increase. 

Use our Fees and Funding Calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.

International Fee

£17,230 per year (2016/17).

Please note that fees are subject to inflationary increase.

Use our Fees and Funding Calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.

Start DateMonday 25 September 2017
Autumn Term DatesMonday 25 September - Friday 8 December 2017
Spring Term DatesMonday 8 January – Friday 16 March 2018
Summer Term DatesMonday 16 April - Friday 22 June 2018
Application Route


Application DeadlineApplications for 2017/18 entry will close on 15 January 2017.
UCAS CodeK101
University CodeU65

Content and structure

BA (Honours) Architecture is part of the Spatial Practices programme. It explores design for the human environment through the buildings and spaces we inhabit, and the objects we use within those spaces.

By considering the interaction between built form and material culture we develop a greater understanding of the role architects and designers can play in the broader contexts of contemporary society. Spaces and objects within and around buildings inform and transform our understanding and use of our buildings and cities. The interrelation of architecture, spaces and objects forms our human environment.

Architecture has always been collaborative. But modern practitioners are increasingly called on to design and facilitate the integration of a broad range of other practices, from arts to engineering. Methods and materials we use to construct and maintain our built environment become critical in reflecting and questioning the impact we have on the natural environment. Issues relating to sustainability, the environment, economies and communities are central to the way this course views design.

BA Architecture enables you to adopt a critical perspective on the architectural design of our human environment in all its aspects. You'll understand how it came to be, and how we might lead its future development.

BA Architectures runs for 90 weeks full time over three years, and is divided into three Levels (or Stages), each lasting 30 weeks. The whole course is credit-rated at 360 credits, with 120 credits at each Level (Stage).

Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications the Levels for a BA are: Level 4 (which is stage 1 of the course), Level 5 (Stage 2) and Level 6 (Stage 3).

There's a progression point at the end of each Level and, in order to progress, all units of the preceding Level must normally have been passed.

If you're unable to continue on the course a Certificate of Higher Education (Cert HE) will normally be offered following the successful completion of Level 4, or a Diploma in Higher Education following the successful completion of Level 5.

To gain a BA (Honours), students must successfully complete 360 credits. The final award consists of marks from Level 6 units only, weighted according to their credits.

Course outline

BA Architecture has seven closely interrelated areas of study, delivered through project work, lectures, seminars, assignments, and supporting studies. Areas of study are: Studio Design Practice, Contextual Studies, Technical Studies, Media Practice, Personal and Professional Development, Professional Practice, Elective Studies.

Studio Design Practice forms the core of your studio-based learning and is directed by your studio tutors or through your own, self-directed projects. In individual and group tutorials, workshops, seminars and critiques you're encouraged to develop your design thinking, plus ways to support your position as a practitioner.

Contextual Studies locates your learning within an understanding of the historical and contemporary issues relevant to design for the human environment.

Elective Studies are offered as part of contextual studies. Working in mixed groups with students from other courses in the School, Elective Studies promotes critical thinking through the presentation of ideas, debate and discussion, and requires you to consider your subject and role in a wider contexts and to position your practice within the 'bigger picture' of cultural production and meaning-making.

Technical Studies looks at the theory and practice of materials, structures, production and construction. This area of study supports design development through practical as well as theoretical understanding of how design is both conceived and realised.

Media Practice takes in lectures, seminars and workshops that introduce you to the many ways design ideas are communicated through physical and digital media.

Personal and Professional Development provides the skills and knowledge you need to be an active member of a learning community, to become a self-sufficient learner, and to be able to enter the professional world and manage your subsequent career development.

Professional Practice explores the practice of architecture and the broader context of running a business. In seminars and workshops you'll consider how the profession influences the design and realisation of architecture, spaces and objects.

Main study - Stage One

Stage One introduces the core skills and concepts that allow you to develop design proposals and a critical understanding of design for the human environment. Through projects, workshops, seminars and independent study you're encouraged to explore issues related to the way we conceive of and understand the buildings, spaces and objects that form the world around us. You'll also consider the professional roles and responsibilities within architectural practice.

Main study - Stage Two

You'll continue to develop design skills and conceptual thinking, but the emphasis shifts to the exploration of personal responses to design issues.

Live projects, undertaken in teams and individually, offer a chance to do design work in 'real' situations, often with real clients, as a way to understand your own position in professional practice and to begin to identify your future direction.

Main study - Stage Three

The three parts of this stage allow you to consolidate your past experience and to explore, in depth, possible directions for the future.

'Consolidation' is a detailed building design project, bringing together your skills, conceptual ideas and understanding of architectural practice. 'Dissertation' is a major academic paper, on a topic of your choice that begins to frame your specific interests and critical perspective on design. 'Trajectory' develops in tandem with 'Dissertation' and offers the chance to undertake a large-scale, self-directed project.

These projects help you identify and define the specific area of design for the human environment you might pursue through professional practice or postgraduate study.


Course Leader: Alex Warnock-Smith

Co-Stage One Leader: Amanda Hopkins
Co-Stage One Leader: Ruth Lang

Stage Two Leader: Gregory Ross
Stage Three Leader: Oscar Brito
Contextual Studies Co-ordinator:Shumi Bose
Communications Co-ordinator: Andrew Sides
Technical Studies Co-ordinator:Adrian Robinson


BA Architecture students leave with a broad and valuable understanding of architectural design practice in its many forms. The skills acquired equip graduates to become versatile practitioners in many exciting and diverse professions in London and beyond.

Recent BA Architecture alumni activity demonstrates the breadth of student activity within the subject:

  • Ruben Everett is working with Michaelis Boyd Associates
  • Katarina Joannides is working with Bjarke Ingalls (BIG), Netherlands
  • Lily Papadopolous is working with Farrells
  • James Williams is working for The Telegraph
  • Myelin Mye has started Hau-Nork Studio, Bankok
  • Ewelina Schraven is working at Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands
  • Lewis Scott is working at UXUS
  • Patrick Gorman is working with Ian Simpson Architects
  • Richard Grenfell is working with Alan Thomas Chartered Surveyors
  • Enrika Beigate has founded Beig Ltd
  • Neil Quinn is working with Stephen Taylor Architects
  • Benjamin Perrot is working with MUF
  • Federica Zama is working with Poggenpohl
  • Scarlett Hessian is working with Michaelis Boyd
  • Jordan Cottage is working with The Decorators

Developing your skills - external activities

BA Architecture is designed to help you develop both transferable and industry specific skills. You'll be introduced to the issues, organisations and legal frameworks within which architecture and the creative industries operate. Media practice workshops and seminars develop your skills in drawing, model making and computer aided design and visualisation.

BA Architecture's strong links with the Arts Council, Design Council and other agencies in London and beyond create useful project opportunities, contacts and networks.

BA Architecture also works actively with clients and commercial organisations. Recent clients have included the Swiss Embassy, Saachi & Saachi, Hermes, the Home Office, TINO, Green Works and With Feeling. We also get involved in community activities in London, working with The Sorrell Foundation, The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, and local secondary schools.

We think of London as an extension of the studio. We encourage all our students to consider how London, one of the great design capitals of the world, can deepen an appreciation of architecture and design.

Entry requirements

This degree course requires portfolio evidence.

Entry to BA Architecture is highly competitive. Selection is determined by the quality of the application, indicated primarily in your portfolio of work and written statements. A very high proportion of successful applicants complete a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design.

Applicants are normally expected to have achieved, or be expected to achieve, the course entry requirements detailed below:

  • Passes at GCSE level in 5 subjects (grade C or above) including English Language, Mathematics and a double award at science, or two separate sciences such as Physics or Chemistry, and one other subject (Art & Design or Design Technology are recommended).

In addition to the requirement above, applicants must have achieved 320 UCAS tariff points (or equivalent). Typically, this may be achieved by completion of:

  • Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
  • 3 GCE A levels, with one award at A and two at B (ABB); or other equivalent qualifications. (320 UCAS tariff points)

This educational level may be demonstrated by possession of equivalent qualifications; e.g. BTEC Higher National Diploma, International Baccalaureat or High School Diploma.

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered if the course team judges the application demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might be demonstrated by, for example: related academic or work experience; the quality of the personal statement; a strong academic or other professional reference; or a combination of these factors.

English language requirements

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability in order to apply for a visa, enrol, and start your course. The standard English language requirement for entry is IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in any one paper, or equivalent. For further information visit the English Language requirements page.

Applicants who will need a Tier 4 General Student Visa should check the Visa and Immigration page which provides important information about UK Border Agency (UKBA) requirements. 

International applicants can download the International Application For Admission PDF below:


What we look for

We don't just look for a passion for architecture. We're also seeking people who are open to new ideas, informed risk taking and challenge, and who are willing to get involved in the different disciplines and practices of architectural design during their degree.

Student selection criteria

We select degree applicants according to your potential and current ability to:

Work imaginatively and creatively in architecture and design:

  • Engage with experimentation and invention
  • Show imagination and ambition in proposals for your work

Demonstrate a range of skills and technical abilities:

  • Demonstrate an engagement with 3D and architecture/spatial design
  • Demonstrate a basic ability to draw and model objects and spaces
  • Demonstrate a basic ability to discuss ideas verbally and through written work

Provide evidence of intellectual enquiry within your work:

  • Demonstrate relevant research
  • Reflect critically on your learning

Demonstrate cultural awareness and/or contextual framework of your work:

  • Identify historical and contemporary architecture and architects
  • Identify social and/or cultural influences on your work

Articulate and communicate intentions clearly:

  • Discuss your work in group situations
  • Present your work appropriately and effectively

Demonstrate commitment and motivation in relation to the subject and the course:

  • Develop your own ideas and address project briefs
  • Show willingness to collaborate
  • Reflect your knowledge of this course

Portfolio and interview advice

Your work should demonstrate creative development, whether for a college project or in your personal work. By creative development, we mean ideas that have originated in your own experience and research and progressed towards potential visualisation. Ideas, visual research and experimentation are more important than finished design solutions and can be shown in 2D work, or through 3D objects and maquettes. It's important that the creative work you include reflects and demonstrates your thinking, initiative and personal commitment to a particular project, theme or idea.

Both through your work and in talking to you at interview we're interested in you as an individual. Our focus is on your personal interests, your creativity and your initiative in finding out about your proposed area of study. We'd like to know about your favourite designers and artists, where you've seen their work at first hand and how you've gathered more information about the work that interests you.

For students who haven't had design as a study subject, or who are unsure of their ability to demonstrate a subject area interest within architecture, an optional design project is available for candidates to complete before portfolio review and interview.


2017/18 entry

Home / EU applicants

Apply to BA Architecture through the University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). From the UCAS home page go to 'Apply', where you’ll be able to register and create a password that gives you unique access as you complete your application form. 

The University UCAS code is UAL. The University code is U65. Course Code – K101 BA/ASO.

International applicants

If you are from outside the European Union, you have three options to apply for undergraduate courses:

  • Apply through UCAS
  • Apply directly to Central Saint Martins.‌ Choose this option if you are only applying to undergraduate courses at UAL (Application form below)
  • Apply through one of our overseas representitives

Visit the undergraduate application page for full details of these options.

If applying direct to Central Saint Martins, please complete the form below and sent it along with copies of supporting documents (such as previous qualifications / references) by mail to: International Office, Central Saint Martins, The Granary Building, Granary Square, London, N1C 4AA, UK.

International Undergraduate application form [PDF, 185 KB]

When you have submitted your application you will be asked to upload a portfolio containing a number of images of your work for consideration. However if you are based in the UK you may be asked to attend full portfolio review at Central Saint Martins.

Your portfolio should contain up to 30 images of artwork. Include images from sketchbooks, rough work and finished pieces. Show us the development of your ideas and your research and arrange the images so that the admissions tutors can easily follow how you developed your ideas from initial research through to the finished piece.

Study Abroad

For information on applying to Study Abroad please visit the Study Abroad section.

We're here to help.

Our website includes all the information you need to successfully apply. However, if you still have unanswered questions about the admissions process, please use our course enquiry form.

The University has a dedicated team to help prepare you for your studies. For help on visa requirements, housing, tuition fees and language requirements visit the University's International section.

The Language Centre offers international students quality language training from qualified and experienced teachers. The Pre-sessional Academic English Programme is available to all international (non-EU) students who have been offered a place on a full time course at the University of the Arts. For further information visit the Language Centre website.

We also offer a number of short courses that enable students to improve their portfolios and English skills before applying to their chosen course. For further information visit our Short Course section.

Deferred entry

Entry can only be deferred in exceptional circumstances. Please contact us before submitting your application if you’re considering applying for deferred entry.

What happens next?

Home/EU applicants

All application forms, personal statements and references are read and considered by the course team against the selection criteria listed under What We Look For. Depending on the quality of your application, you may then be invited to submit a portfolio.

When you attend with your full portfolio, your application may be successful, you may be invited to interview in order to clarify any aspect of your application or your work, which is not evident from the material submitted, or you may be rejected.

Selection is conducted by two members of staff and offers of places are made on the basis of the selection criteria. Notes are kept in relation to decisions made following the interview process.

Please note that if you are unable to attend the portfolio review the College may not be able to re-schedule.

International applicants

When you have submitted your application you will be asked to upload a portfolio containing a number of images of your work for consideration.

Your portfolio should contain up to 30 images of artwork. Include images from sketchbooks, rough work and finished pieces. Show us the development of your ideas and your research and arrange the images so that the admissions tutors can easily follow how you developed your ideas from initial research through to the finished piece.

Receiving results of your application

If you applied through UCAS the result of your application will be communicated to you via UCAS track.

If you made a direct application, the result will be emailed or sent by post.

If you applied through one of our overseas representatives, they will tell you the result of your application.

Course projects

Valencia International Workshop: Between the Vine and the Sea


The dual centers of Teulada Moraira represent the changes that have been seen in Spain over the last 40 years. The coastal town of Moraira, with an increasing expatriate community, has an economy based on tourism. Teulada, a medieval town with long history, has traditionally been associated with the wine producing landscape that surrounds it. The combined pressures of urban expansion and economic difficulty present the region with a challenge. How can the productive and historic landscape be preserved, while promoting growth. Students and staff from CSM and UPV, working with the support of the Municpality, have explored new approaches to linking Teulada and Moraira through the terraced vineyards, riuraus, and local landmarks; to provide strategies of maintaining and enhancing the potential of the landscape (as both economically productive and touristically inviting), in support of the managed growth of the the Municipality.


  • Students from CSM BA (Honours) Architecture, University of the Arts London
  • Students from Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura, Universitat Politecnica de Valencia
  • CSM and UPV Staff
  • Antoni Beromeu, Mayor of Teulada Moraira
  • Sylvia Tatnell, Local Councillor of Teulada Moraira
  • Maite Serrat, Director of the Municipal Auditorium, Teulada Moraira

Industry collaborations

Working with paying clients on live briefs will give you valuable commercial experience which may mean your work being taken forward for production or, if so desired, in the purchase of your intellectual property. All paid projects are conducted within a carefully developed legal framework, which includes student agreements to protect your work and help you realise its commercial value.

Recent client projects in the Spatial Practices programme include: London Borough of Camden | National Trust | Arup | Mindfolio | New World Development | Grange Hotels | Oasis | Hot Spots Movement |  Redbridge Council | Southbank Centre. Find out more about the Ochirly client project.

Once you’ve graduated, you may be picked as part of a small team to work on a live creative brief, organised by our Business and Innovation department, under the supervision of an experienced tutor. This can be a valuable first step in working professionally in a chosen discipline and has resulted in graduates being hired by clients.

Enquire about this course

If you haven’t found the information you’re looking for or want to ask us a question about this course, please fill out our enquiry form.

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