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BA (Hons) - single

School of Architecture

What you will study

This course teaches you to develop an idea from initial concept through to fabrication. It brings together studies in architecture, product design and fine art utilising digital and non-digital technologies with exposure to first-hand industry experience. You will learn unique skills in design and fabrication working with different scales, materials and technologies. You will work on a range of design projects and have the opportunity to gain industry experience with a work placement. 

Students will be supported to develop their own identities as designers and explore entrepreneurial, socially responsible, sustainable and innovative ideas. Using traditional and advanced digital computational technologies in the university’s fabrication and design laboratories you will be provided with an excellent environment to broaden your thinking and creative ability. 

What next

You will gain cutting-edge digital-making and entrepreneurial skills that enable you to enter a design role with confidence. Employment opportunities include art and design studios, fabrication and manufacturing workshops and the creative industries. You can expect to work on a range of design projects including large scale specialist fabrication packages to user-focused products such as furniture or product design.

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 128 - preferred subjects include Art, Product Design, 3D design, Design and Technology, Textiles.

Available start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Teaching location

Headington Campus

Course length

  • Full time: 3 years

UCAS code


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

The course is run by the School of Architecture, long established, with a consistently high reputation among architectural, design professionals and the industry.  

You will:

  • learn to develop a project from initial ideas to a 1:1 prototype, utilising hand drawing and physical modelling, coupled with computational design and digital fabrication methodologies.
  • work with live design projects, encouraging innovation and creativity.
  • develop significant employability skills, understanding the characteristics of business and entrepreneurship.
  • undertake a 10-week placement with “live-project” experience in the UK or abroad.
  • be based in the School of Architecture with potential collaborations available with academics and students across Fine Art, Computing and Engineering. 
  • you’ll have 24/7 access to our purpose-designed studios in our RIBA National Award-winning building. 


“I believe Design BA will be an inspiring course as the ethos is more centred on design and making,
allowing me to explore not only exciting aspects of aesthetic but the use of new
innovations in materials and technologies.” 

Dylan Cartwright - Applicant.


Year 1 -  Exploring the principles of design. 

You will break, make and create through a series of practical exercises in and out of the studio. Your will identify design solutions which contribute to the UN sustainable development goals. You will engage in collaborative working through drawing, sketching and making 3D propositions. By year end you’ll have developed your own designs into physical objects, informed by your research activity, with a focus on fabricating objects at 1:1, exploring, making, utilising tools and testing materials. 

Year 2 - Consideration for your placement. 

You will search for the experience which best suits your development, locally, nationally or internationally. Your 10-week placement, which can be extended over the summer, is essential to your professional and personal development.

Year 3 - Research towards your future.

You will start to look beyond contemporary practice and explore the future of design and making. You will apply your abilities to a project where you design, speculate, make and test, culminating in a theoretical research portfolio in your own area of interest. 


Study modules

Our modules are unique, combining  architecture, product design and fine art, with your placement module and working with industry.  

Year 1

  • Design and Make: creativity and innovation
  • Materials Tools and Processes: communication and representation
  • Professional Practice: collaboration and project management 
  • Design Thinking: social life of materials

Years 2 and 3

  • Design and Make: material emergence 
  • Design Thinking: the future of making
  • Professional Practice: business and entrepreneurship (online) Professional Practice: placement experience and engagement
  • Design and Make: speculative resolution
  • Materials Tools and Processes: post digital 
  • Design Thinking: dissertation


Work placements

In Year 2 there is a 10-week (minimum) placement in industry. This will prove invaluable to studies and often supplies a final year project. Our students find the placement module invaluable to their development not only professionally but personally, taking back into the studio a wide variety of new skills and ideas.


Field trips

Field trips abroad are offered each year, in addition to site and factory visits, providing an.opportunity to experience design and culture first-hand with your tutors. Recent field trips have included Hungary, Portugal, Italy and Spain.

Such trips are optional and are an additional course cost. Typically overseas field trips range from £300 to £600. Local and UK field trips, site visits and factory visits typically cost between £1 and £300.



Study abroad

You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange facilitated by the University. Most exchanges take place in the year 2.

Studying abroad can 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.

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 65% of the curriculum. The remaining academic subjects are taught through various series of lectures, workshops, tutorials and seminars.


Additional costs

Students produce many drawings and models.  You are encouraged to recycle used materials, particularly for sketch models. Some students work digitally, spending more on printing and some by hand, spending more on materials so costs vary widely between students.

Year 1: Expect to spend approximately £500 - £700 on materials.You will be expected to keep a sketchbook, produce specific drawings, make models and final prototypes.

Year 2 & 3: You will be expected to produce finished presentation models using more expensive materials. You can expect to spend approximately £500 - £1000 on materials per year.

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 laptop 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.


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.

Teaching and learning

Within the school there is a definitive studio culture.  Our teaching is centred on the Design and Make Studio, supported by technical facilities and specialist staff. As well as theory and practice the learning environment includes professional practice element and cultural and social seminars giving you a well-rounded learning experience.

Studio teaching comprises group and individual tutorials, presentations, workshops and discussions of ideas and forms of representation. 

Our international team of design tutors draw on the very latest practice and research specialisms. You will develop a broad range of skills that allow you to express and develop your design ideas.


Approach to assessment

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

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2018/19: £9,250. 2019/20: £9,250.

International - full time: 2018/19: £13,150 2019/20: £13,410

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.

Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning home and EU students at the maximum permitted level.

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

Funding and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see:

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 128 - preferred subjects include Art, Product Design, 3D design, Design and Technology, Textiles.

A-Level: ABB or equivalent

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

IB Diploma: 32-34 points


Other typical offers include Foundation in Art and Design (Merit).


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

Portfolio: 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.

Interviews: If you are invited for interview, you will be asked to bring the original portfolio with you. 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

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

Home / EU applicants

Full-time: apply through UCAS »

International applicants

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 design.

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


Support for students studying Design

Within the faculty and school there are Student Support Coordinators who are there to support you with academic queries throughout your studies. There is a Wellbeing service who offers pastoral support. There is also a Partnership and Placement Manager, who can support you in finding a placement or graduate opportunities; alongside this we offer a full Careers service

There is a dedicated Architecture and Arts librarian and wide catalogue of journals, books, DVDs etc. to support you throughout your studies. 

You will be given an academic advisor who will give you advice and support during your course. Within the school there are technicians, such as the Print Room and Workshop, these are dedicated individuals who will give you technical support that will enable you to make your designs into reality. 


Specialist facilities

We offer first-class facilities, helping you get the very best from your studies. The School of Architecture is based in a purpose-built building.

Our facilities include the following:


The school has two large open plan studios equipped for both traditional and digital working. These are available 24 hours a day and 7 days per week. Our digital facilities enable students to use the latest high end software programmes including:

  • 3D Studio Max and MicroStation for modelling
  • Leading CAD, web, image, and movie editing software
  • all running on a bank of 60 powerful workstations. 

Equipment and software are updated on a regular basis and are fully networked to digital projectors, a wide range of high-quality printers and plotters, and a laser cutter. In addition pooled rooms for use of programmes such as AutoCAD, ArchiCAD and Photoshop are available throughout the university for student use. 

Print Room

The print room includes high quality plotting facilities linked to the third and fourth floor studios. New for this year is a Raise3D N2 Plus Dual Extruder 3D Printer, HP PageWide XL5000PS MFP, 3d scanner – EinScan- Pro+ & R2, plus a wide range of industry standard machines. In addition a wide range of cameras and photographic equipment is available on loan to students.


The workshop houses a range of equipment for model making and fabrication. As well as traditional equipment, a range of digital equipment – three laser cutters, two CNC routers, five different types of 3D printing and 3D scanners, is available to students with no additional charge. All relevant training is provided by workshop staff.


The school maintains a dedicated and well equipped technology laboratory suitable for structures tests and demonstrations in steel, concrete and timber. The laboratory includes several large reaction frames, concrete mixing and casting facilities and cladding testing equipment.

Glass Tank Exhibition Gallery

The Glass Tank exhibition space is on the ground floor of the building, providing a prominent position to exhibit university activity and the achievements of our students. This is where the annual End of Year Show is hosted and the highly regarded annual Human Rights Festival. The space has housed many unusual installations from a humanitarian aid pod to a major structure which is part of a local live project.


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.

Career prospects

Graduates in Design find employment across the creative, cultural and fabrication industries. 

The types of companies in this industry include: Heatherwick Studios, Barber Osgerby, Aldworth James and Bond, DigiFab, Chris Brammalls, to name a few. 


Further study

Graduates can pursue further postgraduate studies in Design and Making, Product Design, Construction Project Management, PhD Research.


Related courses

  • Interior Architecture
  • Art and Design Foundation
  • Architecture