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Central Saint Martins

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BA (Hons) Architecture

College
CSM
Start date
September 2020
Course length
Three years full-time (90 weeks)
UCAS code
K101

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.

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.
Meet the Course Leader, Alex Warnock-Smith

Student work

@csmarchitecture on Instagram

Course catalogues

Architecture stories

Designing with Biodiversity

On show in Designing in Turbulent Times at the Lethaby Gallery, Olivia Page's Recipes of North Portugal proposes new processes and materials to incorporate industrial and bio-based waste in construction

Designing with Communities

On show in Designing in Turbulent Times at the Lethaby Gallery, Holly Le-Var's Centre for Civic Festivity explores how architecture can bring agency to a community

Designing with Time

We talk to recent graduates exhibiting in Designing in Turbulent Times, currently on show at the Lethaby Gallery. Here, we consider how – from timelessness to transience – time can contribute to sustainable design.

Bauhaus Rules

Vic Reeves and BBC4 came to Central Saint Martins to put six recent graduates through their Bauhaus paces

Facilities

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

CAD

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

Course overview

Architecture is always political – it is first and foremost about people and our interaction with the world around us. BA Architecture at Central Saint Martins is committed to socially engaged practice. It promotes direct engagement with real-world social, cultural and political conditions in the contemporary urban landscape. Buildings are only one way in which we intervene in the built environment. The space of the city is charged and shaped through the interplay of multiple factors and tensions. Engaging with these complex dynamics requires innovative design approaches. These often encompass alternative forms of space-making. The course is underpinned by the idea that the human environment is alive with agency; as we shape our environment, our environment shapes us. 

The practice of architecture has always been collaborative. On this course, we rethink the profession and imagine roles beyond disciplinary limits. Architects are increasingly called upon to design the integration of a broad range of practices. These range from the arts to urban development and landscape design to engineering. In order to bring these together into coherent ideas, architects must understand other practices while also effectively communicating their own.  

On BA Architecture, we focus on the relationship between making and thinking. We believe this is central to understanding the ways in which architecture can engage with a range of scales and practices. On this course, we support the development of radical ideas, but also the radical potential of making and building. As a student on BA Architecture, you will be treated as a young practitioner. We will encourage you to develop your own critical and radical approach to architectural design.  

The course collaborates with a range of external partners. These include social initiatives, cultural institutions and public and private sector bodies. You will also work with the other programmes and disciplines in the College. This creates a rich and multi-disciplinary learning experience, with ample opportunity to work on live projects. Here, you will undertake design work in live situations, often engaging with clients. This will allow you to gain an understanding of spatial practice and your role as a 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 solutions which 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 city design which focuses not only on "hard" infrastructure but also the "softer". That is, not only buildings, transport and engineering but also systems of social networks, organisation and human interaction. BA Architecture shifts the focus of design from buildings as objects to the processes that bring them about, and their impact upon building. 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 and creative experiences. These are delivered through design studio tutorials, lectures, seminars, workshops and study visits. 

Stage 1

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.  

Stage 2

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 knowledge, technical skills, critical writing and presentation skills will enable greater resolution in your designs. Stage 2 also focuses on your personal responses to design issues and the development of your unique voice as a spatial designer.  

Stage 3

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 more integrated design projects. This stage offers you the opportunity to merge your previous experience. You will explore in-depth, 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).  

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

  • Unit and project briefings 
  • Set and self-initiated project briefs 
  • Inductions, workshops, lectures and seminars 
  • 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

Assessment methods

  • Reports and essays 
  • Portfolio presentations 
  • Portfolio submissions 
  • Technical reports 
  • Professional practice 
  • Dissertation

Staff

Alex  Warnock-Smith

Alex Warnock-Smith

Course Leader, BA Architecture

Ruth  Lang

Ruth Lang

Stage 1 Co-leader, BA Architecture

Oscar  Brito

Oscar Brito

Stage 3 Leader, BA Architecture

Shumi  Bose

Shumi Bose

Senior Lecturer and Contextual Studies Co-ordinator, BA Architecture

Stage Two Leader: Gregory Ross
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 disability@arts.ac.uk 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:

  • 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
  • Pass 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. A very high proportion of successful applicants complete a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design.

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.

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

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

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

University code:          U65

UCAS Code:                 K101

Transfers

If you have successfully completed 120 credits (year 1) or 240 credits (years 1 and 2) in the equivalent units/modules on a degree course at another institution and wish to continue your studies at Central Saint Martins, you can apply to transfer to year 2 or year 3 respectively.  The Admissions Tutor will consider applications for entry to year 2 or 3 on a case by case basis, subject to places being available on the course.  You must apply through UCAS and indicate POE 2 for entry to year 2 or POE 3 for entry to year 3 on your application. Click here for important information about our UAL External Student Transfer Policy .

Deferred Entry

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 2020 for equal consideration.  However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

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

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.

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

University code:          U65

UCAS Code:                 K101

Transfers

If you have successfully completed 120 credits (year 1) or 240 credits (years 1 and 2) in the equivalent units/modules on a degree course at another institution and wish to continue your studies at Central Saint Martins, you can apply to transfer to year 2 or year 3 respectively.  The Admissions Tutor will consider applications for entry to year 2 or 3 on a case by case basis, subject to places being available on the course.  You must apply through UCAS and indicate POE 2 for entry to year 2 or POE 3 for entry to year 3 on your application. Click here for important information about our UAL External Student Transfer Policy .

Deferred Entry

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 2020 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 – Home / EU applicants

If you have been selected you will be asked to choose a time to attend a full portfolio review at college.  Reviews include a short interview and are likely to take place in the weeks beginning 6 January, 17 February and 24 February, 2020.

Full portfolio review – International applicants

International applicants will be invited from January to March 2020.

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.  We may also interview you by Skype.

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.

Accommodation

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.

Alumni

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