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Architecture

BA (Hons) - single

Confers exemption from Part 1 of the Examination in Architecture of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Architects Registration Board (ARB)

School of Architecture

This BA (Hons) Architecture course gives you the opportunity to learn about the architectural design process and develop your professional skills. You will investigate the representation of ideas, relationships between people and the spaces they inhabit as well as the relationship between people, buildings and their communities and cities. Oxford is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, rich with the work of world renowned historic and contemporary architects, and the School of Architecture is one of the top schools of architecture in the UK.

We have recently reviewed the course content for 2017 entry and therefore the available modules will be updated shortly. Please continue to check the course entry for the most up to date information.

Typical offers

UCAS points: 136 - preferred subjects include Art, Design and Technology

Available start dates

September 2017 / September 2018

Teaching location

Headington Campus, Gipsy Lane

Course length

  • Full time: 3 years
  • Part time: normally 4-5 years

UCAS code

K100

For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • In the QS Worldwide University Rankings 2015, the School of Architecture was ranked as the 6th best in the UK.
  • Recent graduates have worked for internationally renowned architectural practices such as Rogers Stirk Harbour, Grimshaw Architects, Foster and Partners, Make, Kengo Kuma and Raumlabor.
  • You will have 24 hour / 7 days a week access to our extensive new purpose-designed studios and associated workshop facilities.
  • You will also have extensive contact time with tutors, including two design studio days per week.
  • All undergraduate students participate in 'Live Projects': real projects for real clients in real situations.
  • There is a vibrant architecture student society, Oxarch, which runs guest lecture series, social events and design workshop events.

  • "Diverse, innovative and highly ambitious courses... Exceptional pastoral support and an exemplary student experience. The Oxford Brookes experience is strengthened by enthusiastic staff." (Current RIBA Validation Visiting Report.)

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.

Study modules

As our courses are reviewed regularly, the module list you choose from may vary from that shown below.

Year 1

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
  • Dissertation.

Field trips

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.

Study abroad

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.

Additional costs

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.

Teaching and learning

Teaching is centred on the design studio, supported by a range of related subject teaching in technology, practice, digital culture, and the histories and theories of architecture and design. Studio teaching comprises group and individual tutorials, as well as presentations, workshops and discussions of ideas and forms of representation. Other subjects develop through lectures and seminars, group and individual presentations and a written dissertation in the final year.

The importance that we place on learning from each other is at the heart of how we organise our teaching. The school has invested in the development of an open studio culture, enabling you to see how ideas are generated and develop. Our students also benefit from the opportunity to take part in live projects, gaining experience of real projects within the community.

There are particularly strong links between our architectural research and teaching, which means we can equip students with the latest insights and knowledge. Research-based input is found in subjects such as history and theory, technology and sustainable construction, and also in specific design studios such as the Development and Emergency Practice design studio.

Approach to assessment

100% coursework. Assessment methods include group and individual presentations, portfolios, journals, reports and a written dissertation in the final year.

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2017/18: £9,250

Home/EU - cost per module: 2017/18: £750 per single module

International - full time: 2017/18: £12,890

Please note tuition fees for Home/EU students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088
finance-fees@brookes.ac.uk

Funding and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see:

Typical offers

UCAS points: 136 - preferred subjects include Art, Design and Technology

A-level: AAB or equivalent

International Baccalaureate: 32-34 points

BTEC: DDD

A new UCAS Tariff point system is being introduced for students applying to start university in September 2017, which uses  a qualification’s size and grades to calculate total Tariff points under a brand new system. Therefore the Tariff points for 2017 entry look very different from 2016 entry - the 2017 AAB equivalent for this course will be 136 UCAS points for 2017. Please visit the UCAS website for more information.

Other typical offers include equivalent grades in an Art and Design Foundation, BTEC or vocational A-levels.

Specific entry requirements

GCSE: Mathematics, English and a physical science at grade C or above

We strongly recommend that one of your A-level or A-level equivalent subjects is Art, Design, or Design and Technology.

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

Selection process

Applicants will need to provide a portfolio (eg sketches, freehand/technical drawings, life drawings, 3D models, paintings, photographs). Please read our portfolio guidance notes.

On application you will be given instructions on how to upload a digital version of your portfolio. If you are invited for interview, you will be asked to bring the original portfolio with you.

Selected candidates will be invited for an interview. The interviewer will look for evidence of motivation, general creativity and breadth of interest, and will expect to be shown work which demonstrates creative ability of some kind. Any such work may be presented, including art work where no formal course has been followed.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 (including 6.0 in reading and writing). 

Please also see the University's standard English language requirements

International and EU applications

Preparation courses for EU students

We offer a range of courses to help students meet the academic and English language entry requirements for their courses and also familiarise them with university life.

Find out more about the international foundation pathways we offer and our pre-sessional English language courses.

Country specific entry requirements

If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information and local representatives who can help you to apply, please have a look at our country specific information pages.

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

How to apply

Full-time students should apply for this course through UCAS.

Part-time students should apply directly to the university

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Oxford Brookes operates the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All undergraduate single modules are equivalent to 7.5 ECTS credits and double modules to 15 ECTS credits. More about ECTS credits.

Why Oxford is a great place to study this course

Oxford is an inspiring city in which to live and study. It is rich in the history of architecture, containing the work of world-renowned architects, and examples of the highest-quality contemporary and leading-edge practice.

The city offers a rich mixture of cultural opportunities to be experienced in its internationally renowned museums, libraries, art galleries, concert halls and theatres. There is a thriving and diverse student culture in Oxford with a wide range of social events to match.

Specialist facilities

We offer first-class facilities, helping you get the very best from your studies. The School of Architecture has expanded into a purpose-built new building connected to its existing studios.

Our facilities include the following:

  • dedicated design studios for the School of Architecture with model making and drawing facilities, a dedicated print room and powerful rendering computers with specialist programs such as Rhino, 3D Studio Max, CAD, Microstation, Adobe suite, and web, image and movie editing software
  • the new purpose-built Architecture Workshop and Structures Laboratory with CNC mill, acid etching, 3D printers and 3D scanner, and concrete, metal and timber facilities.
  • design studios are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and form the hub of design teaching and learning in the school.
  • digital workshop for the School of Architecture linking the design studios to a wide range of high-quality printers and plotters, laser cutters and 3D printers.

Live projects, student competitions, building projects and case studies are a significant feature of our teaching: we have strong external links with employers, the community, local authorities, developers and industry.

Eminent architects and designers regularly visit the school to lecture. Recent lecturers have included architect Chris Wilkinson, engineer Jane Wernick and digital animation architects, Factory 15.

General support services

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.

Professional accreditation

The honours degree in Architecture gives exemption from Part 1 of the Examination in Architecture of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Architects Registration Board (ARB).

Career prospects

Students from the school figure regularly in national and international prizes and awards such as the RIBA President's Medals for Education, and go on to work for many of the best-known practices in the country.

Recent graduates have worked for large internationally renowned architectural practices such as Rogers Stirk Harbour, Grimshaw Architects, Thomas Heatherwick and Foster and Partners as well as cutting-edge, up-and-coming practices such as Make, Kengo Kuma and Raumlabor.

Successful completion of the honours degree RIBA / ARB Part 1 programme is the prerequisite qualification for progression through a total of five years' study and two years' practice which lead to registration as an architect in the UK.

Most students, having achieved the honours degree in Architecture, go on to a placement year in practice before returning for a further two years of postgraduate study. Others use their highly sought after design skills to work in related disciplines such as urban design, product design, journalism, set design, planning, academia, disaster and emergency practice. Oxford Brookes graduates and founder directors of animation-architecture studio, Factory 15 use their architectural and digital modelling skills to create original work for the film industry.

The study of architecture at degree level can also be seen as a good grounding for other careers. You acquire a wide range of transferable skills:

  • skills in design, communication and high-level digital representation
  • teamworking, leadership and problem-solving skills
  • the ability to apply technology to design
  • an awareness of the construction industry and different forms of practice
  • critical reading and writing skills in relation to the wider social, cultural, political and economic contexts which underpin the practice of architecture.

Further study

Students wishing to go into architectural practice will need to gain practical experience, usually by spending a year working in an architectural firm. They will then go on to complete a two-year Masters in Architecture. During the Masters, students may specialise or opt for postgraduate research. Careers then open up in any aspect of architecture, which is a diverse and dynamic profession.

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