UCAS code: K100

Start dates: September 2024 / September 2025

Full time: 3 years

Part time: normally 4-5 years

Location: Headington

Department(s): School of Architecture

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Design buildings that help communities to prosper, or that solve environmental, social and economic challenges. Take your first step to becoming a registered architect at one of the top 10 UK universities for Architecture & Built Environment, for both academic and employer reputation (QS World University Rankings by subject 2023).

From your first day on our architecture degree, you’ll be working on a live project with a client, deadline, and budget. You’ll soak up inspiration on field trips to architectural practices and iconic landmarks in the UK and abroad, learning from the people who designed them and the communities they serve. Then turn your inspiration into reality in our studios and workshops. Here, you’ll find industry-standard equipment and software, including laser cutters, CNC routers, and 3D printers and scanners.

At the end of each year, you’ll have the opportunity to showcase your portfolio of work to employers, friends, and family in our end of year exhibition.

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Why Oxford Brookes University?

  • Learn from the best

    Design is taught by practising architects who have up-to-date knowledge on the latest architectural developments.

  • Boost your job prospects

    Develop an excellent portfolio and increase your chances of securing employment as an architect.

  • Recognised by professionals

    The course is approved by RIBA, ARB, and LAM, and you’ll have RIBA Part I credentials when you finish.

  • Digital Design Exhibition

    Take part in the graduates design exhibition that takes place at the end of year show to showcase your design skills that you’ve developed.

  • Small, focused classes

    Each class has its own tutor and around 22 people. You’ll spend 2 days per week in design studio tutorials.

  • Free language courses

    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.

  • Study abroad

    You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Brookes. Most exchanges take place in the second year. Although we will help as much as we can with your plans, ultimately you are responsible for organising and funding this study abroad.

  • Accreditation(s)

    Confers exemption from Part 1 of the Examination in Architecture of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Architects Registration Board (ARB). This course is also accredited by the Board of Architects Malaysia (LAM).

    • Architects Registration Board
    • Royal Institute of British Architects
    • Malaysian board of Architects

Course details

Course structure

You’ll start by learning about the history, theory, and technology of architecture, and apply this to your design project. In year 1, you’ll learn techniques including architectural drawing and model making, and how architecture shapes communities and society.

During your second year, you’ll choose from modules including Digital Culture, Theory and History, and Technology. You’ll be taught alongside students from year 3. You can learn from their experiences and the expertise they’ve developed, helping you to smoothly start your own third year.

You’ll complete a dissertation on the subject of your choice in year 3 and take on a work experience placement after graduation. It’s your opportunity to develop connections with employers, enhance your portfolio and discover what you’re good at.

Architecture, BA (Hons), degree course student working on a project at Oxford Brookes University

Learning and teaching

Teaching takes place in the design studio. You’ll study:

  • technology
  • practice
  • digital culture
  • and the histories and theories of architecture and design.

Teaching methods include:

  • group and individual tutorials
  • group and individual presentations
  • workshops
  • discussions
  • lectures and seminars
  • a dissertation in your final year.

Our lecturers are practising architects and research what they teach. So you’ll have access to the latest insights and knowledge in the field.

It’s important to learn from each other and that’s at the heart of how we organise our teaching. We have an open studio culture so you can watch as projects are developed. You'll enjoy the opportunity to take part in ‘live’ projects, so you’ll gain experience of real projects within the community.


This course is 100% coursework. Assessment methods include:

  • group and individual presentations
  • portfolios
  • journals
  • reports
  • and a written dissertation in the final year.

Field Trips

Optional 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.

For more information on the cost of field trips and site visits, see the Additional Costs section. 

Study modules

Teaching for this course takes place face to face and you can expect around 12 hours of contact time per week. In addition to this, you should also anticipate a workload of 1,200 hours per year. Teaching usually takes place Monday to Friday, between 9.00am and 6.00pm.

Contact hours involve activities such as lectures, seminars, practicals, assessments, and academic advising sessions. These hours differ by year of study and typically increase significantly during placements or other types of work-based learning.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Architectural Representation

    This module introduces architectural design and explores how it is influenced by the philosophies, methods, and technology of the fine arts. The course combines theoretical learning with a studio-based programme to develop your drawing, modelling, and other communication abilities. In order to express concepts clearly and persuasively, you will learn how to critically study precedents and select suitable representational strategies.

    Upon completion of the module, you will have an understanding of the creative application of the fine arts and their relevance to architecture. Additionally, you will demonstrate an ability to appraise architectural evidence, arguments, and assumptions critically. Moreover, you will have the skills to evaluate and apply appropriate techniques of representation for both objective and experiential spatial qualities. The module will also equip you with valuable soft skills such as critical thinking and effective communication.

  • Introduction to Architectural Technology (15 credits)

    This module provides an essential foundation in architectural technology, covering construction, structures, environmental science, and sustainable design. It aims to establish a solid understanding of fundamental concepts to support future technology modules and to equip you with the technical skills necessary to enhance their design capabilities. Additionally, you will acquire knowledge of building materials, components, and systems, along with their environmental implications.

    By the end of this module, you will be able to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of structural, environmental, and constructional principles essential for building design. You will grasp the significance of sustainable design and the impact of buildings on the environment.

  • Introduction to Architectural Design 1 (15 credits)

    This module is structured around a series of design exercises aimed at introducing the core principles of architectural design.. You will engage in both individual and group activities, undertaking fundamental exercises in spatial planning and sequencing. Through an iterative investigative process involving analysis, sketching, drawing, modelling, and testing, participants will explore three-dimensional spatial design in context and to scale. 

    Upon successful completion of this module, you will gain an understanding of the interplay between personal, architectural, and urban scales. By exploring challenges arising from architectural spatial design and utilisation, this module aims to facilitate a comprehensive comprehension of architectural design processes. 

  • Architecture and Society

    You will gain knowledge about how architecture is influenced by different factors, such as cultural and intellectual theories, and technologies. You will also learn about the role of fine arts in architecture and how they impact the creative process. In addition, you will acquire an understanding of the needs and aspirations of users, as well as the profession of architecture and the architect's role in society. Lastly, you will also learn about basic business principles related to current and emerging architectural practice.

    By taking this course, you will develop your critical thinking skills and your ability to reflect on the wider contexts of architecture. Furthermore, this course will enhance your ability to communicate and collaborate with others, helping you to develop effective teamwork skills. Combining creative skills with commercial knowledge will help prepare you for a successful career in architecture.

  • Introduction to Architectural Design 2 (15 credits)

    In this module, you will explore the intricate interplay between a specific architectural design and its contextual surroundings. You will learn to analyse sites, client briefs, and cultural influences. These insights will lay the foundation for a significant design project focusing on a medium-sized building. You'll develop the brief, apply technological understanding, study relevant architectural precedents, and express a cohesive concept. 

    By the end of this module, you will learn to harmonise aesthetic and technical elements, catering to specific site conditions and user needs. By delving into architectural precedents and sustainable design principles, you will refine your critical thinking and creative problem-solving abilities. As you work on comprehensive design projects, you'll enhance your presentation skills and gain insights into the dynamic relationship between architectural forms and their surroundings. 

  • Introduction to Architectural History and Theory (15 credits)

    This module is designed to expand your comprehension of architectural history and theory. Delivered mainly through lectures, it introduces pivotal architectural figures, movements, and theories from the 20th and 21st centuries. The module aims to reiterate the significance of independent research in architectural history and theory, developing key skills such as the critical analysis of relevant literature. The written coursework component will help enhance your capabilities in independent research and effective argumentation in response to specific questions.

    By the end of this module, you will be able to demonstrate a critical appreciation for the spatial, formal, and material attributes of seminal historical buildings, thereby enriching your design representation and architectural skills.

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Architectural Design 1

    In this module, you will develop an informed creative process for designing buildings of diverse scale, complexity, and type using a range of media. Emphasising cultural context and theoretical concepts, you will produce an architectural design portfolio that showcases a conceptual and critical approach to satisfying the aesthetic aspects of a building while meeting the needs and aspirations of users and fitting into their local context. This module builds on architectural principles learned in previous modules and encourages critical assessment of theoretical concepts in practical settings. 

    By completing this module, you will be prepared to tackle the challenges of real-world architectural design and make a meaningful impact in the field. 

  • Architectural Design 2

    In this module, you will engage in a double-module studio project that focuses on practising architectural design while exploring integration issues that arise between design and building technology.  Additionally, you will develop the ability to approach architectural design conceptually and critically, ensuring it integrates and satisfies the technical requirements of its construction and the needs of the user. Finally, you will learn methods of investigation and the need to critically review precedents relevant to the function, organisation, and technological strategy of design projects. 

    On successful completion of this module, you will be able to develop resolved architectural design proposals that are informed and integrated with relevant and comprehensive technology, site analysis, and appropriate location within a physical context.

  • Digital Culture

    In this module, you will develop a critical understanding of digital media and its integration into architectural practice and contemporary culture. Through open lectures and workshops, you will explore how digital media influences architectural design and theory, and how it is shaping our cultural landscape. The module will provide opportunities to develop practical skills using 3D design software, allowing you to effectively conceptualise and represent design ideas. Additionally, you will examine contemporary digital art, expanding your knowledge of the intersection between art, design, and digital technology.
    By engaging with this module, you will gain a deeper understanding of the creative application of digital media in architectural design projects. You will learn to explore the relationship between interior and exterior spaces, and effectively communicate design ideas using designated software tools

  • Architectural Technology 1

    This module teaches you how to critically analyse buildings and building systems through the lens of construction, environmental science, and sustainable design. Building on your first year knowledge, this module aims to establish an appreciation of building performance and the real-world application of core technology concepts enabling you to implement them in your own design work. 

    On successful completion of this module, you will be able to develop a conceptual and critical approach to architectural design that integrates and satisfies the technical requirements of its construction and the needs of the user. These skills will be invaluable in a professional landscape, enabling you to make informed choices about building materials, components, and systems that reduce environmental impact, and integrate technical requirements and the needs of the user in your architectural designs. 

  • Cities, Culture and Society (15 credits)

    In this module, you will explore key architectural principles that are used in Urban Planning and are longstanding techniques in the formation of cities, communities and the built environment. Steeped in history, this module delivers a comprehensive orientation on methodologies for both technical and design aspects of urban projects. You will also take regulatory and economic factors into consideration. A multi-faceted approach to learning enables you to explore the impact of urban projects in a research-based context as well as in practice. 

    On successful completion of this module, you will have a working knowledge of crucial architectural ideologies in relation to urban design. You will develop critical assessment skills through the examination of case-studies and workshop sessions designed to help build problem-solving skills. Overall, this module will help develop your architectural ability and provide a launching pad for a successful career. 

  • Issues in Architectural History and Theory (15 credits)

    Through a series of enlightening lectures, you will be introduced to pivotal architectural landmarks, urban plans, and texts that illuminate architectural evolution. The lectures will establish a fundamental chronological framework of architectural history while also introducing contemporary interpretive methodologies. Complementing the lecture series, interactive seminars, practical classes, and workshops will immerse you in key texts, research techniques, and critical analysis of architectural history and theories.

    By the end of this module, you will cultivate a profound understanding of the cultural, social, and intellectual forces that have shaped architectural design. As you explore the influence of arts, both past and present, on architectural creativity, you'll gain insights into their broader relevance. 

Optional modules

Independent Study in Architecture (15 credits)

This module offers you the opportunity to pursue a self-directed exploration of a topic within the realm of architecture. Your chosen subject matter should be accompanied by a synopsis, outlining the topic and learning outcomes. This individual study module accommodates diverse interests and fosters critical thinking and research skills.

Embarking on an independent study journey in architecture empowers you to take the reins of your learning. You will refine your ability to define and shape the scope of your inquiry, select appropriate research methods, and analyse findings. This experience not only enhances your research skills but also cultivates effective time management and task coordination – vital skills in academia and beyond. The independent study nurtures self-reliance and reflective thinking, adding a unique dimension to your architectural education.

Year 3

Compulsory modules

  • Architectural Design 3 (30 credits)

    This module focuses on developing advanced skills in producing comprehensive architectural design projects. Through individual and group project work, you will learn about contextual, aesthetic, cultural, historical/theoretical, and urban/landscape issues. You will also study professional duties, regulations and legislation applicable to architectural design. Additionally, this module will develop skills in critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving in design. Finally, you will also acquire knowledge of the influence of history and theory on the spatial, social, and technological aspects of architecture. 

    By the end of the module, you will produce a comprehensive architectural design portfolio that shows the ability to prepare and present building design projects of diverse scales and complexities. Soft skills such as teamwork, time management, communication and presentation skills will also be developed.

  • Architectural Design 4 (30 credits)

    In this module, you will learn how to design comprehensive architectural projects through project work, exploring site analysis, technological, environmental, structural and regulatory issues. You will spend a year in a design unit undertaking several design exercises/projects, using investigation, analysis, sketching, drawing, modelling and testing to design three dimensional space in context and to scale. 

    By the end of this module, you will develop the ability to understand the constructional and structural systems, environmental strategies and regulatory requirements of comprehensive design projects. You will also learn to integrate the needs of the user and technical requirements into your conceptual and critical approach to architectural design. This module will prepare you for professional practice by teaching you to prepare designs that comply with UK legislation, health and safety requirements and appropriate performance standards.

  • Advanced Architectural Technology (15 credits)

    This module consolidates and enhances knowledge of fundamental design principles learned in previous modules. In order to refine your ability to devise architectural and spatial proposals, you will explore various methodological approaches for enquiring into materiality, fabrication, construction, structures and environmental performances. The module is delivered via a multi-faceted learning framework that allows you to explore core architectural concepts in both a research and practical context. 

    On successful completion of this module, you will have gained a strong understanding of the key design strategies that are needed to provide comprehensive architectural proposals as well as how to navigate the regulatory landscape and ensure your designs comply with appropriate standards. 

  • Dissertation (30 credits)

    In this module, you will embark on an individual research journey within the realm of architecture and its cultural context. You will explore concepts of research practice, develop your critical thinking skills, and learn how to construct compelling arguments based on reliable sources. Throughout the module, you will have the opportunity to refine your research, writing, and presentation abilities, culminating in the production of a well-structured and well-presented dissertation.
    Through independent research, you will enhance your ability to analyse and evaluate diverse sources, synthesise information, and present your findings in a clear and coherent manner. These skills will not only contribute to your academic success but also prepare you for professional practice, where research, critical analysis, and effective communication are essential.

  • Management, Practice and Law (15 credits)

    This module immerses you in the multifaceted landscape of architectural and interior architectural practice. It delves into the various dimensions that shape these professions within our diverse society. Through a comprehensive exploration of political, economic, social, technical, legal, and environmental contexts, you will be prepared for a successful transition into professional practice upon completion of your degree.

    Upon successful completion of this module, you will gain insights into the intersection of design and real-world complexities, from planning policies to legal and professional responsibilities. By immersing you in the multidisciplinary nature of the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry, this module primes you for effective engagement within this dynamic sector. Furthermore, the module nurtures your critical thinking abilities, fostering connections between personal narrative, design thinking, and business modelling. 

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.


Achieving RIBA Part I means you’re on your way to becoming a registered architect. So you may choose to continue your progress with the 2 years of further study and 2 years of practice experience you’ll need. Graduates are working for practices in the UK and abroad, including:

  • Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
  • Norman Foster + Partners
  • Kengo Kuma and Associates
  • Hawkins\Brown Architects
  • Liljewall Arkitekter.

But designing buildings in real life isn’t your only option. Some of our students have gone on to design virtual cities for the video games and film industries, working with studios including Factory 15. Others work for heritage companies and recreate iconic landmarks lost to time in virtual environments.   

Or you can use your skills in another respected discipline such as digital design, urban design, product design, journalism, set design, planning, academia, or disaster and emergency practice. Students regularly feature in national and international prizes.

Student profiles

Our Staff

Philip Baker

Philip is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Architecture, where he teaches on the cultural context modules across the BA programme.

Read more about Philip

Related courses

Entry requirements

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. The combination of A-level grades listed here would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

Standard offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 136

A Level: AAB

IB Points: 33


Contextual offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 112

A Level: BBC

IB Points: 30


Further offer details

We welcome applications from candidates with alternative qualifications, and from mature students.

International qualifications and equivalences

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

2025 / 26
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400


Please note, tuition fees for Home students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning Home students at the maximum permitted level.

Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students. 

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support. 

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

Information from Discover Uni

Full-time study

Part-time study

Programme changes:
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our changes to programmes page.