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Central Saint Martins

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BA (Hons) Architecture

Start date
September 2019
Course length
3 years
UCAS code

Applications closed 2019/20
Applications for 2019/20 entry to this course have now closed. Visit the ‘Courses with places available’ page for a full list of UAL courses that are open for application.

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.

This course is part of the Spatial Practices Programme.

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 Camden Council, SPACE10 Ikea, LVMH, Argent, Croydon Council, Bloomberg, Bouygues, Rapha, Cally Road Festival, Peabody Thamesmead, Crisis and Yamamay Boutique
  • 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 5th Studio, Hawkins Brown, publica, Bjarke Ingels, Space Syntax, Stanton Williams, Woods Bagot,DK-CM, Urban Projects Bureau, Zaha Hadid Architects and many others.
Meet the Course Leader, Alex Warnock-Smith

Student work

@csmarchitecture on Instagram

Course catalogues

Architecture stories


A large machine which has a wooden box on top of it
3D Large Wood workshop at Central Saint Martins

3D Large: Wood

Find out more about our 3D Large: Wood workshop

Wood model making at Archway

Print Workshops (Archway)

Find out more about the printmaking facility at Archway.

Two long desks each with rows of Mac computers.
CAD Facility at Central Saint Martins


Find out more about our CAD facilities at King's Cross.

Course overview

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 four (which is stage one of the course), level five (stage two) and Level six (stage three).

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 four, or a Diploma in Higher Education following the successful completion of level five.

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

Course units

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.

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.

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.


Alex  Warnock-Smith

Alex Warnock-Smith

Course Leader, BA Architecture

Ruth  Lang

Ruth Lang

Stage 1 Co-leader, BA Architecture: Spaces and Objects

Oscar  Brito

Oscar Brito

Stage 3 Leader, BA Architecture: Spaces and Objects.

Stage Two Leader: Gregory Ross
Contextual Studies Co-ordinator: Shumi Bose
Communications Co-ordinator: Andrew Sides
Technical Studies Co-ordinator: Adrian Robinson
Professional Practice Coordinator: Stuart McKenzie

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

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:

*          3 A Levels at grades AAB

*          Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)

*          Distinction, Distinction, Distinction (DDD) at BTEC Extended Diploma

*          Pass at UAL Extended Diploma

*          Access to Higher Education Diploma (preferred subjects include Art, Art and Design, or Design and Technology)

*          Or 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 & Design or Design Technology are recommended).

Entry to this course will also be determined by assessment of your portfolio. A very high proportion of successful applicants complete a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design.

APEL - 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.

English Language Requirements

IELTS level 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

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.

What we are looking 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.

Making your application

Applications for 2019/20 entry for this course are now closed. Applications for 2020/21 entry will open in Autumn 2019.

For EU applicants concerned about Brexit, please see our dedicated page: Brexit Information for Students.

You should apply though Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) and you will need the following information:

University code:          U65

UCAS Code:                 K101

We do not consider applications for Year 3 Entry for this course.

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 15 January 2019 for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Applications for 2019/20 entry for this course are now closed. Applications for 2020/21 entry will open in Autumn 2019.

There are three ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course at Central Saint Martins:

  • Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) online application system
  • Through one of our official representatives in your country
  • A direct application

You can only apply to the same course once per year whether you are applying via UCAS, UAL representative or using the UAL online application system. Any duplicate applications will be withdrawn.

For further advice on how to apply please visit the UAL International Application page.

If you are applying via UCAS you will need the following information:

University code:          U65

UCAS Code:                 K101

We do not consider applications for Year 3 Entry for this course.

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 15 January 2019 for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Immigration history check

Whether you are applying online via UCAS or through a UAL representative or direct application you will need to complete an immigration history check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL.  If you do not complete the check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

After you apply

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal.  We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents / portfolio / book an interview, through the portal.  You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

What happens next

Initial application check

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course.  If you do, you will be invited to submit a mini portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review system.

Mini portfolio

The mini portfolio should be no more than 20 pages comprising of your best work showing your sensitivity to three dimensional design, your skills and thinking. You can create the pages in any layout (For example: presentation boards) but they should be uploaded as jpeg images. It should include:

  • Pages from your sketchbooks
  • Drawing
  • Ideas, visual research and experimentation
  • Photos of your finished work accompanied by a short explanation of the piece and your thinking.

Please note the quality of the work is more important than the quantity.  We would like you to organise your work by project, with supporting work presented alongside final outcomes.

Following the review of the mini portfolio we select a small number of applicants to move on to the next stage of the process.  These applicants will be invited to a full portfolio review.

Full portfolio review

If you have been successful with your mini portfolio, we will invite you to a full portfolio review at college, normally taking place between February and March.

If you are unable to attend the full portfolio review in person, you will be asked to submit a FULL digital portfolio (up to 30 pages) through UAL’s online portfolio review system.

Please note that we do not accept portfolios by post.

Portfolio advice

Your portfolio should demonstrate creative development, whether for a college project or in your personal work. By creative development, we mean ideas that have originated through your own experience and research and progressed towards potential visual proposals. Ideas, visual research and experimentation are more important than finished design solutions and can be shown in two-dimensional work, or through three dimensional objects and maquettes.

It is important that the creative work you include reflects and demonstrates your thinking, initiative and personal commitment to a particular project, theme or idea. Both in your portfolio and at the interview we are interested in you as an individual, your personal interests, your creativity and initiative in finding out about your proposed area of study. We would also like to know about your favourite designers and artists, where you have seen their work at first hand and how you have acquired more information about the work that interests you.

Please remember:

  • The quality of the work is more important than the quantity
  • Where possible, large or 3D work should be photographed and scanned
  • Please organise your work by project, with supporting work presented alongside final outcomes.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the final outcome of your application through UCAS track.

Fees & Funding

Home/EU fee

£9,250 (2020/21).

Tuition fees for undergraduate degree courses have been set at £9,250 per year for full-time study. This applies from the 2018/19 academic year, subject to changes in the law. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students, in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Please visit our Undergraduate tuition fees page for more information.

International fee

£22,920 (2020/21).

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please read the information on our additional costs page.


Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Scholarships and awards

There are a number of scholarships and awards available to students on this course. Use our search tool to find out more information.

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.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

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.


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