The increasing complexity of contemporary socioeconomic, cultural and environmental issues requires architects to develop a broad skill set. This may be described as context-led – seeking 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" infrastructure but also the "softer". That is, not only buildings, construction, transport and engineering, but also systems of social networks, cultural practices, human interaction, 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 sustainable development.
The course provides a rich learning environment and set of experiences in order 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. These are delivered through design studio tutorials, lectures, seminars, workshops and study visits.
Unit 1: Introduction to BA (Hons) Architecture
Unit 2: Design Studio 1
Unit 3: Contextual Studies 1: Architecture and Context
Unit 4: Technical Studies 1
Stage 1 will introduce 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, workshops and lectures. You will approach design for the human environment, exploring and representing different scales and typologies of spaces, buildings and places, and considering the role of the architect and their duty of care.
Unit 5: Design Studio 2
Unit 6: Contextual Studies 2: Modern Dialectics
Unit 7: Technical Studies 2
Unit 8: Professional Practice 2
This stage provides further development of your conceptual thinking, interpretive and design skills. Material experimentation, technical skills, legislative knowledge, critical writing and presentation skills will enable greater resolution in your designs. 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.
Unit 9: Design Studio 3
Unit 10: Contextual Studies 3: Dissertation
Unit 11: Technical Studies 3
Unit 12: Professional Practice 3
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 contemplate on your previous experience, develop professional skills, and explore potential directions for your future career through a self-directed project and written dissertation.
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.