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BA (Hons) Architecture

Minh Le Pham
Central Saint Martins
UCAS code
Start date
September 2024
Course length
Three years full-time (90 weeks)

BA Architecture explores the spaces, places and buildings we inhabit.

Focusing on the relationships between the built environment, social interaction and material culture, we examine the role architects play in contemporary society. This course is part of the Spatial Practices programme.

BA (Hons) Architecture at Central Saint Martins is prescribed by the Architects Registration Board (ARB). For further details relating to the prescription please refer directly to the ARB website.

arb logo

Why choose this course at Central Saint Martins

  • Innovative practice: The course rethinks the architectural profession and imagines roles beyond traditional disciplinary limits.
  • Live projects: You will work actively with clients and commercial organisations. Recent clients have included Argent, Bloomberg, Bouygues, the Cally Festival, Camden Council, Crisis, Croydon Council, IKEA, LVMH, Peabody Thamesmead, Rapha, SPACE10 and Yamamay.
  • Validated by RIBA: Upon graduating, you will achieve Part 1 of the professional qualification required for practicing architects. This will allow you to progress to postgraduate Part 2 courses.
  • Successful alumni: BA Architecture alumni have gone on to some of the top postgraduate courses in London and beyond. Others have taken up roles in successful architectural practices. These include 5th Studio, Bjarke Ingels Group, DK-CM, Hawkins\Brown, publica, Space Syntax, Stanton Williams, Urban Projects Bureau and Zaha Hadid Architects among others.

Open days

There are currently no open days scheduled for this course, please check back at a later date.

Virtual tours:

You might be interested in checking out the College’s facilities and technical spaces through our virtual tours.

Scholarships, bursaries and awards

Course overview

Architecture is about people and how we interact with our environments. This course embeds racial, social and environmental justice through a curriculum that centres on care, climate, cooperation and agency. BA Architecture will equip you with the real-world skills and understanding to develop new forms of architectural practice.  

Our vision is framed by a culture of critical care. We promote responsibility beyond the client and understanding the consequences of actions for people and planet. We locate ethical values beyond the personal into local and global contexts. 

The climate and bio-diversity crises present significant challenges to which architecture and spatial practice must respond. We see the tensions and inequalities surrounding the built environment and environmental conflict. We foreground regenerative design, systems thinking and climate literacy to shift from doing less damage to making a positive and regenerative impact on planetary health. 

The practice of architecture has always been collaborative. Our course goes further than this, to promote co-operation above competition. You will have the opportunity to explore making together as a social act. The course re-imagines professional roles beyond disciplinary limits because architects are increasingly called upon to design across a broad range of practices: from arts to urban development, landscape design to engineering; and working with ecologists, scientists, activists and more. 

Rapidly changing modes of representation and production, and a changing work environment are our new constants. BA Architecture encourages you to embrace change as a value. We aim for you to become a proactive and agile self-learner as these are valuable workplace skills of the future. This demands both resilience and an openness to new and other forms of knowledge and skills that support invention, originality and diversity. The course integrates both digital and traditional knowledge, skills and technologies. We encourage you to engage in new forms of communicating, learning and making. 

The relationship between making and thinking is central to understanding how architecture can engage with a range of scales and practices. As an architecture course based in an arts school, we will support you to explore of a broad range of ideas and knowledges to open alternative forms of space making. We will encourage you to develop your own critical and situated approach to architectural design and practice. 

The course collaborates with external partners including social initiatives, cultural institutions, public and private sector bodies. There will also be opportunities to engage with other disciplines in the College. This creates a rich interdisciplinary learning experience, with opportunity to work on live projects, engaging with communities and clients. This will allow you to gain an understanding of spatial practice and your role as designer within it. 

Course units

The increasing complexity of contemporary socio-economic, cultural and environmental issues requires architects to develop a broad skill set. This may be described as context-led – seeking relevant and appropriate solutions that address local issues arising from global agendas. 

Architects must move beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries to find innovative and sustainable design solutions. There is a growing need for contemporary spatial design which focuses not only on “hard”, but also “softer”, infrastructure. That is, not only buildings, construction, transport and engineering, but also systems of social networks, cultural practices, human interaction, and health and well-being. 

BA Architecture shifts the focus of design from buildings as objects to the processes that bring them about and their impact upon social, cultural and ecological environments. This provides greater opportunity for holistic learning and the shift towards regenerative practices.  

The course provides a rich learning environment and set of experiences for you to develop as a spatial practitioner. It will introduce you to a range of cognitive and practical skills, critical theories, ethical considerations and creative experiences.  

Stage 1  

Unit 1: Practicing Ethics 1 – Introduction to Study in Architecture in Higher Education (ISHE)   
Unit 2: Design for Collective Action (Design Studio 1.1)  
Unit 3: Materials, Environments and Structures (Technical Studies 1)  
Unit 4: Collective Spaces (Design Studio 1.2)  
Unit 5: Fundamental Agencies (Contextual Studies 1)  

Stage 1 introduces you to core skills and concepts. These will allow you to develop a critical understanding of spatial practice. You will focus on studio-based projects, both independent and co-operative, supported by workshops and lectures. You will approach design for human and non-human environments, exploring and representing different scales and typologies of spaces, buildings and places. You will gain an understanding of climate literacy and consider the role of the architect and their duty of care.  

Stage 2  

Unit 6: Design Concept and Spatial Design (Design Studio 2.1)  
Unit 7: Critical Agencies (Contextual Studies 2)  
Unit 8: Detailed Design (Design Studio 2.2)  
Unit 9: Technical and Environmental Integration (Technical Studies 2)  
Unit 10: Creative Unions  

Stage 2 provides further development of your conceptual thinking, interpretive and design skills. Material experimentation, technical skills, ethical understanding, legislative knowledge, critical writing and presentation skills will enable greater resolution in your designs. You will engage in a major College-wide collaborative project, understanding how working with other disciplines can transform practice. 

Stage 2 also focuses on your personal responses to design issues, the challenges of the climate and bio-diversity crises and the development of your unique voice as a spatial designer within these broader contexts.

Stage 3  

Unit 11: Design Thesis (Design Studio 3.1)  
Unit 12: Accounts of Agency (Contextual Studies 3 – Dissertation)  
Unit 13: Design Synthesis (Design Studio 3.2)  
Unit 14: Strategic Technical Thesis (Technical Studies 3)  
Unit 15: Practicing Ethics 3e 

Stage 3 brings together your skills, concepts, and knowledge into critically engaged, integrated design projects that synthesise social, cultural, ecological and environmentally sustainable strategies. This stage offers you the opportunity to reflect on your previous experience, develop professional skills and explore potential directions for your future career through a self-directed project and written dissertation.  

The Working Week  

The College buildings and Spatial Practices studios are vibrant and busy working environments where students learn together by being active and giving time to their studies. The course team will offer structured teaching and informal learning through events and projects. Students learn the best and are most productive when they are fully committed to their practice and to each other. You should expect to spend 40 hours per week on independent and collaborative practice and in teaching events such as workshops and discussions. 

Mode of study 

BA Architecture runs for 90 weeks in full-time mode. It is divided into three stages over three academic years. Each stage lasts 30 weeks. You will be expected to commit 40 hours per week to study, which includes teaching time and independent study. 

Credit and award requirements 

The course is credit rated at 360 credits, with 120 credits at each stage (level).   

On successfully completing the course, you will gain a Bachelor of Arts with Honours (BA Hons degree).   

Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications the stages for a BA are: Stage 1 (Level 4), Stage 2 (Level 5) and Stage 3 (Level 6). In order to progress to the next stage, all units of the preceding stage must normally be passed: 120 credits must be achieved in each stage. The classification of the award will be derived from the marks of units in Stages 2 and 3 or only Stage 3, using a dual algorithm.   

If you are unable to continue on the course, a Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) will normally be offered following the successful completion of Level 4 (or 120 credits), or a Diploma in Higher Education (DipHE) following the successful completion of level 5 (or 240 credits).  

Professional, statutory and regulatory bodies 

BA Architecture is professionally validated by the RIBA. Successful completion of the course provides RIBA Part 1 qualification, the first of three stages of RIBA professional registration.   

Please note that as a result of course specific regulations, unit compensation as detailed in UAL Course Regulations, is not available to students on this course.  

Learning and teaching methods

The learning and teaching methods devised for this course include:  

  • Unit and project briefings  

  • Set and self-initiated project briefs   

  • Inductions and orientation sessions  

  • Workshops, lectures, seminars and debates  

  • Collaborative working   

  • Tutor groups  

  • Individual, group and personal tutorials   

  • Peer learning   

  • Self and peer assessment   

  • Staff presentations and guest speakers   

  • Group discussions, reviews and critiques   

  • Working with clients on live projects   

  • Independent study 

  • Guided walks  

  • Facilitation for cross-disciplinary working  

  • Symposia and student-led events

Graduate Showcase

Explore work by our recent students on the UAL Graduate Showcase

  • House of the Commons' Creed
    House of the Commons' Creed, Harry Sellers, 2022 BA (Hons) Architecture, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • UAL Graduate Showcase project
    UAL Graduate Showcase project, Tasnia Alam, 2022 BA (Hons) Architecture, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • A Bridge to Sitopia
    A Bridge to Sitopia, Shifana Kunnathedath, 2022 BA (Hons) Architecture, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • The Tea Cooperative
    The Tea Cooperative, Mateusz Majcherek, 2022 BA (Hons) Architecture, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • LIMINAL CLAY // Waldorf School for Epping Forest
    LIMINAL CLAY // Waldorf School for Epping Forest, Alina von Olnhausen, 2022 BA (Hons) Architecture, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • The Squarehouse Camp
    The Squarehouse Camp, Nikhil Chavda, 2022 BA (Hons) Architecture, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • The Green Revival of Bromley Hall School
    The Green Revival of Bromley Hall School, Julia Radzisz, 2021 BA (Hons) Architecture, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • The Biomechanical Park
    The Biomechanical Park, Jeevan Chahal, 2021 BA (Hons) Architecture, Central Saint Martins, UAL
    REWILDING THE COMMONS, Hugo Hale, 2021 BA (Hons) Architecture, Central Saint Martins, UAL
  • 'Taxonomy of Living'
    'Taxonomy of Living', Saamia Makharia, 2021 BA (Hons) Architecture, Central Saint Martins, UAL

Architecture stories


  • A large machine which has a wooden box on top of it
    Image courtesy of Central Saint Martins, 3D Large Wood workshop at Central Saint Martins
  • A white shell shaped object on a worktop
    Image courtesy of Central Saint Martins,
  • Two long desks each with rows of Mac computers.
    Image courtesy of Central Saint Martins, CAD Facility at Central Saint Martins


Fees and funding

Home fee

£9,250 per year

This fee is correct for entry in autumn 2024 and is subject to change for entry in autumn 2025.

Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students.

Home fees are currently charged to UK nationals and UK residents who meet the rules. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees and determining your fee status.

International fee

£28,570 per year

This fee is correct for entry in autumn 2024 and is subject to change for entry in autumn 2025.

Tuition fees for international students may increase by up to 5% in each future year of your course.

Students from countries outside of the UK will generally be charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about tuition fees and determining your fee status.

Scholarship search

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

136 UCAS tariff points which can be made up of one or a combination of the following accepted full Level 3 qualifications:

  • Three A Levels at grades AAB
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Distinction, Distinction, Distinction (DDD) at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • Distinction at UAL Extended Diploma
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma (preferred subjects include Art, Art and Design or Design and Technology)
  • Equivalent EU/international qualifications, such as International Baccalaureate Diploma (35 points)

And five GCSE passes at grade 4 or above (grade A*–C) including English Language, Mathematics and a double award at Science, or two separate sciences such as Physics or Chemistry, and one other subject (Art and Design or Design Technology are recommended).

Entry to this course will also be determined by assessment of your portfolio.

AP(E)L – Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Exceptionally applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional reference.

Or a combination of these factors.

Each application will be considered on its own merit but cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

Please note that these qualifications alone will not be sufficient to secure entry to the course.

English language requirements

IELTS score of 6.0 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking (please check our main English language requirements webpage).

Selection criteria

This course believes that the people who design the built environment should be as diverse a group as those who use it. As such, we welcome submissions from applicants from diverse backgrounds.

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 global, historical and contemporary architecture and architects;
  • Identify social, cultural and environmental 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.

What we are looking for

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

Apply now

Application deadline

31 January 2024 at 18:00 (UK time)

If there are places available after this date, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

Apply to UAL

Home students can apply to this course through UCAS with the following codes:

University code:


UCAS code:


Start your application

Apply now

Application deadline

31 January 2024 at 18:00 (UK time)

If there are places available after this date, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

Apply to UAL

International students can apply to this course through UCAS with the following codes:

University code:


UCAS code:


Start your application

Apply with a UAL Representative

Based across the world, our local UAL representatives can support you with your application from your home country. Check to see if there is a representative available in your country currently.

Find your representative

How to apply

Follow this step-by-step guide to apply for this course

Step 1: Initial application

You will need to submit an initial application including your personal statement.

Personal statement advice

Your personal statement should be maximum 4,000 characters and cover the following:

  • Why have you chosen this course? What excites you about the subject?
  • How does your previous or current study relate to the course?
  • Have you got any work experience that might help you?
  • Have any life experiences influenced your decision to apply for this course?
  • What skills do you have that make you perfect for this course?
  • What plans and ambitions do you have for your future career?

Visit our personal statement page for more advice.

Step 2: Digital portfolio

We will review your initial application. If you have met the standard entry requirements, we will ask you to submit a digital portfolio.

You’ll need to submit this via PebblePad, our online portfolio tool.

Digital portfolio advice

Your portfolio should consist of recent work that reflects your creative strengths.

It should:

  • be maximum 25 pages
  • demonstrate your knowledge, skills and interest in 3D design
  • include a variety of work such as pages from your sketchbook, drawings and visual research
  • include work in progress as well as finished pieces to illustrate your development process from initial idea to final outcome
  • include photos of your finished work accompanied by a short explanation of the piece and your creative process.

For more support, see our Portfolio advice and PebblePad advice.

Step 3: Interview

You may be invited to an interview following our review of your application. All interviews are held online and last 15 to 20 minutes.

For top tips, see our Interview advice.

You also need to know

Communicating with you

Once you have submitted your initial application, we will email you with your login details for our Applicant portal.

Requests for supplementary documents like qualifications and English language tests will be made through the applicant portal. You can also use it to ask questions regarding your application. Visit our After you apply page for more information.

Visas and immigration history check

All non-UK nationals must complete an immigration history check. Your application may be considered by our course teams before this check takes place. This means that we may request your portfolio and/or video task before we identify any issues arising from your immigration history check. Sometimes your history may mean that we are not able to continue considering your application. Visit our Immigration and visas advice page for more information.

External student transfer policy

UAL accepts transfers from other institutions on a case-by-case basis. Read our Student transfer policy for more information.

Alternative offers

If your application is really strong, but we believe your strengths and skillset are better suited to a different course, we may make you an alternative offer. This means you will be offered a place on a different course or at a different UAL College.

Deferring your place

You must apply in the year that you intend to start your course. If you are made an offer and your circumstances change, you can submit a deferral request to defer your place by 1 academic year. You must have met your conditions by 31 August 2024. If you need an English language test in order to meet the entry requirements, the test must be valid on the deferred start date of your course. If not, you will need to reapply. Requests are granted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Contextual Admissions

This course is part of the Contextual Admissions scheme.

This scheme helps us better understand your personal circumstances so that we can assess your application fairly and in context. This ensures that your individual merit and creative potential can shine through, no matter what opportunities and experiences you have received.


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.