Architecture is a creative and fulfilling profession requiring invention, practical skills and technological expertise. An architect must be able to think spatially and communicate ideas to others verbally and visually. Architects work with clients, contractors, government bodies and specialists such as engineers, to design all aspects of our built environment from very detailed fragments to large-scale urban interventions.
Year 1: you will work on design projects and learn to design three-dimensionally, in context and to scale while developing an architectural brief. These will include "live projects" for real clients. Design skills are supported by the teaching of representational techniques such as architectural drawing and model making.
You will also be introduced to architectural history and theory, to the principles of technology and learn about the architect's role in society.
Years 2 and 3: more complex projects are undertaken. Design is taught in vertical design units. Each unit has its own distinctive approach, determined by the practice and research specialisms of the unit's teaching staff. All units work to shared teaching objectives.
Other modules in key subjects such as history and theory of architecture and building technology provide a wider understanding and integrate with your design project work.
Year 3: in addition to the design and technology subjects, you will write a dissertation on a subject of your choice and learn more about architectural practice in preparation for your year out the following year.
As our courses are reviewed regularly, the module list you choose from may vary from that shown below.
The compulsory basic modules are:
- Introduction to Architectural Design 1
- Introduction to Architectural Design 2
- Architectural Representation
- Architecture and Society
- Introduction to Architectural History
- Introduction to Technology.
Years 2 and 3
The advanced and honours compulsory modules are:
- Architectural Technology 1
- Architectural Design 1
- Architectural Design 2
- Digital Culture
- Cities, Culture and Society
- Issues in Architectural History and Theory
- Architectural Design 3
- Advanced Technology
- Management, Practice and Law
- Architectural Design 4
Field trips abroad are offered each year in addition to site and factory visits. Recent field trips have visited places such as Hungary, Bosnia, Portugal and Iceland. Field trips are a very popular option because they offer the opportunity to experience architecture first hand with your tutors.
Field trips, site visits and factory visits are optional and an additional cost to the course fees. Your course tuition fee covers the cost of all mandatory field trips. The cost of an optional field trip is not included in your course tuition fee, and a separate fee will apply. Typical costs of overseas field trips range from £300 to £600. Local and UK field trips, site visits and factory visits typically cost between £1 and £300. Please contact our Enquiry Centre (see 'Contact Us') if you would like more information about the field trip(s) on this course.
Students wishing to study abroad can apply to do so in year two of their studies. This is not a mandatory part of the course.
Great opportunities to study or work abroad
You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange facilitated by the University. Most exchanges take place in the second year.
Studying abroad provides an amazing opportunity to add value to your studies by:
- increasing your employability within an international market
- boosting your language skills
- building your confidence in adapting to new situations
- improving your knowledge of different cultures.
While on exchange you will gain credits which count towards your degree.
We have more than 100 partner universities around the world. Funding is available through the Erasmus scheme, and also via some international programmes such as the Santander Student Awards. Travel costs, accommodation and subsistence are not included in this funding.
There is also a European work placement programme which gives you the chance to work abroad as part of your studies.
For more information, visit our pages on studying abroad and exchanges
Free language courses for students - the Open Module
Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.
Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:
- studying at a Brookes partner college
- studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.
Sample lecture/work TDE Marketing department made a film this semester of Year 1 design studio tutorials and a live project client presentation.
Attendance pattern Design studio with your design studio tutor is held for two full days a week. Teaching in the design studio includes one-to-one tutorials, group tutorials, workshops, presentations and lectures. Design studio forms 50% of the curriculum. The remaining academic subjects are taught through various series of lectures, workshops, tutorials and seminars.
As an architecture student you will produce many drawings and models, which can be quite expensive so you are encouraged to recycle used materials where possible, particularly for sketch models. Some students tend to work digitally, spending more on printing and some by hand, spending more on materials so these costs vary widely between students.
You should expect to spend approximately £500 - £700 on materials in your first year. You will be expected to keep a sketchbook, produce specific drawings, make models, mostly out of recycled and inexpensive materials, but consumables such as glue, knives etc will be needed. As you progress into your 2nd and 3rd year you will be expected to produce more finished presentation models using more expensive materials. You can expect to spend approximately £500 - £1500 on materials in years 2 and 3.
You will also produce drawings and models using a variety of media, including computer drawing software. The cost of materials and computer print-outs are kept as low as possible by the university. Printing is charged at no profit and there is no charge for laser cutting beyond your own material costs. You can expect to spend approximately £300 - £500 on printing in year 1 and approximately £500 - £1500 in years 2 and 3.
PCs with the programmes needed for your course are available in the studios 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Some students choose to buy a lap top and software when they begin to draw digitally but this is not mandatory and free student licences are available for much of the software. An optional laptop and software would cost approximately £500-£1200.
There are no compulsory books to purchase because the library is very well stocked and the direction of your reading is very individual due to the diverse nature of the course. Some students choose to purchase specific books to support their interests so you can expect to spend £25 - £150 on books each year.