If you want to design and construct the buildings of the future, our accredited architecture degree will help you become the architect you want to be. Fully accredited by the Architects Registration Board (ARB), our course has also been awarded four commendations by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
You will explore the urban environment and develop your skills in exterior and interior design together with building a wide range of skills and knowledge in architectural communication and representation, architectural theory, technology, praxis and much more. This gives you a unique opportunity to stand out in the graduate marketplace.
Our strong industry reputation enables graduates to secure architecture jobs with prestigious companies such as Axis Design Architects Ltd, D5 Architects, Glen Howells Architects, Associated Architects and Frinter.
With the diverse architecture of Birmingham as your initial inspiration, you'll focus on urban environment and look at neighbourhoods, cities, and regional and global networks.
Industry connections in your second and third years help you foster direct links and contacts within practice and find work experience. We also work closely with RIBA West Midlands, MADE (the Midlands Architecture Centre), and Birmingham City Council.
Our recent RIBA visiting board commended our links with professional practice and the supportive learning community we offer. We were also commended for our flexible approach to learning, with strong support for part-time students.
We're a boutique school, accepting only 65 students each year, creating an intimate learning environment. This small cohort means you get fantastic individual support.
You'll have the chance to be part of Co.LAB, a collaborative architecture and design initiative within the School that gives you the chance to work on live projects. This engagement with 1:1 scale interventions and real world practice helps you in your learning journey to become a more rounded and responsive designer.
The course goes beyond lectures and gives you great opportunities. Four Architecture students were recently selected to support CAD software providers Nemetschek Vectorworks at the Ecobuild 2015 trade show.
You'll also benefit from the insight of guest speakers such as Professor CJ Lim and renowned American landscape architect Martha Schwartz. Film work also plays an important part in the perception of the city and you’re encouraged to use this medium.
In your final year, you'll showcase your work at the Graduate Show - an event attended by practitioners where previous students have been head-hunted by leading practices. Mohamed Rahouma was head hunted by Birmingham firm Associated Architects after the company director spotted his work. He was invited for an interview and offered the role of architectural assistant within a week.
Our investment in facilities has also been praised by RIBA. Based in our multi-million pound City Centre Campus Parkside Building with access to advanced digital studios for rapid prototyping and digital production, as well as drawing workshops, CAD and digital visual communication skills, you will have access to to a range of technology in addition to industry specific software such as BIM and IES.
“The diverse interpretation Birmingham School of Architecture takes on what architecture is, and what it can be, makes the school a captivating place to study. It’s a challenging but highly rewarding course that provides an invaluable platform for anyone interested in how social, cultural and environmental concerns can influence the built form and its effect on society.” Callum Sohal
Our next University-wide Open Day will take place on Saturday 11 June 2016. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.
Please note: we are currently reviewing our entire course provision for 2017/18. Details will be included in your registration email.
Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
At the point of application, you must have GCSE at Grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics.
340 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels.
|UK Qualification||Requirements 2016/17|
|GCE A Level/ AS Level||AAB at A-level or 340 UCAS tariff points from A/AS level with a minimum of 2 A-levels. The following subjects are preferred:
|Access to Higher Education Diploma||Pass overall with 60 credits, 45 at level 3 all of which at Distinction|
|BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years)||Only considered in combination with other Level 3 qualifications|
|BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years)||DDD grades. Subjects: Construction (and Built Environment) or Art and Design|
|BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years)||D* or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 340 UCAS points|
|BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design||Distinction (285 points) plus GCE/VCE A and/or AS Levels in subjects other than art with at least one in which assessment is essay based (see A/AS-level subject recommendations above) to 55 points.
Merit (225 points) plus GCE/VCE A and/or AS Levels in subjects other than art with at least one in which assessment is essay based (see A/AS-level subject recommendations above) to 115 points.
Pass (165 points) plus GCE/VCE A and/or AS Levels in subjects other than art with at least one in which assessment is essay based (see A/AS-level subject recommendations above) to 175 points.
|International Baccalaureate Diploma||30 points overall|
|Irish Leaving Certificate||340 UCAS points - Higher Levels|
|Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher||340 UCAS points|
|Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options)||120 tariff points combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 340 UCAS points|
|EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications||Requirements 2016/17|
|Applications from international applicants with equivalent qualifications to 340 points are welcome.|
|IELTS||Minimum overall score of 6.0, with 6.0 in writing and no less than 5.5 in the remaining three skills.|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).||30 points overall
Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.
|TOEFL||Band scores of: Listening – 17. Reading – 18. Speaking – 20. Writing – 20.|
|Pearson||Band scores of: Listening – 51. Reading – 51. Speaking – 51. Writing – 53.|
International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).
Applications from mature students (+21) with alternative qualifications and/or work experience will be considered on their merits. As a minimum, applicants should have a portfolio demonstrating their creative abilities in a range of media.
From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
If you are a full-time undergraduate applicant for the 2016/17 year, and show particular potential, we may be able to make you an unconditional offer if you make us first choice and satisfy certain criteria.
To be considered you must hold, or be predicted to achieve:
340 tariff points or above from three A levels (equivalent to grades AAB or above)
be predicted DDD profile at BTEC level
If you're considering applying for this course to start in September 2017 onwards, it's important to know that the UCAS tariff system is changing.
UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – will be introducing a new system on how points are calculated.
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2016||FT||3 years||£9,000 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2016||PT||4 years||£6,750 per year|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2016||FT||3 years||£12,000 per year||Apply via UCAS|
The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.
Portfolios are not mandatory for any undergraduate course within the Birmingham School of Architecture and Design if you are a UK-based home student. However, if you'd like to provide a portfolio before or on your applicant visit day, you may do so electronically or physically (however we would prefer electronically). Find out more details here.
A portfolio is required for International applications. Find out more details here.
Our courses include activities such as performance, exhibitions, field trips and production of works or artefacts which may require you to purchase specific equipment, instruments, books, materials, hire of venues and accommodation, or other items. Many of these activities are essential and compulsory parts of your learning experience.
The link below gives you an estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course.
All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.
UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.
There are three ways to apply:
You will need to complete our International Application Form and submit it together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.
Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.
If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.
Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.
You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our pdf application form instead.
Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.
We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.
The core modules covered are Design Studio, Cultural Context and Technology. The Design Studio makes up 50 per cent of the course. This will combine theory and practice and will involve ʻliveʼ projects with external agencies. Modules in Collaborative Practice and Praxis support the programme delivering key skills and experience of real world practice projects.
In your first year, you'll be given a broad foundation in architecture and in the context of the ‘urbanised field’, as well as the physical and ideological relationship between them. There is a theme of "principles" throughout which introduces you to a range of concepts which provided the basis to architectural education.
You'll interpret the non-designed and designed environment, look at key areas of sustainable development and technology, and examine a range of architectural representational skills and media. Digital teaching in a range of CAD, nurbs modelling and rendering packages is blended with lectures in hand drawing, presentation and graphics to enable a competency in architectural communication.
History of Modern Architecture
Environmental Design Strategies
History of Pre-Modern Architecture
Structures and Materials
Design Resolution 1
You’ll examine the role of policy in forming urban and architectural constructs, and the role of the architect in construction. A work placement gives you the chance to experience industry, with companies such as Glen Howells Architects, Green Planning Studios, Seymour Harris and Bournville Architects. You’ll have chance to work on elective programme (Co.LAB), enabling you to engage with design and production practices across the School and external clients.
Students on the architecture programme this year worked with the ‘Friends of The Hayes’ to develop a bridge structure in the grounds of The Hayes – a Grade II listed country house in Staffordshire – using timber sustainably sourced from surrounding woodland. The theme of "process" in year two allows you to explore more deeply the understanding of principles achieved at year 1.
Design Resolution 2
Your final year considers the architectural physical and cultural context, focused on the theme of exploration. You will look at 'dynamic cities' and the implications of new digital technologies, and you will develop and test strategies in sustainable development and technology against architectural projects. You develop employability and entrepreneurial skills in special 'working' seminars to prepare you for professional employment.
Critical Study in Architectrue
Design Resolution 3
Our architecture degree is assessed on 100 per cent coursework, with no practical or written exams. We feel this best mirrors the way you'd work in the real world and so better prepares you for a career in architecture. The structure of the course supports the building of a geared architectural portfolio - providing your 'passport to practice'.
The course can be studied full-time over three years or part-time over four years. Studying architecture part-time offers an attractive opportunity if you are looking for an alternative route to becoming a qualified architect. Part-time students will attend one day a week at university, and spend four days a week working in an architect’s office. This will help you to become a strong individual who can embrace, adapt and transform practice.
|41||Time in lectures, seminars and similar||MidnightBlue|
|57||Time in independent study||RoyalBlue|
|2||Time on placement||LightSkyBlue|
Students visited aluminium manufacturers Ash and Lacy, where they were tasked with designing and producing aluminium models for the entrance of our brand new Birmingham Conservatoire.
Our course is accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects, allowing you to achieve RIBA Part 1 exemption. This offers you distinct support when applying for placement in practice.
RIBA is a global member organisation, with 44,000 members. It champions better buildings, communities and the environment and provides the standards, training, support and recognition to put members at the peak of their profession.
Our accreditation shows employers that students graduating from our course have the levels of knowledge and skills they need.
Architects Registration board was established by Parliament in 1997 to regulate the architects’ profession in the UK.
They are an independent, public interest body and their work in regulating architects ensures that good standards within the profession are consistently maintained for the benefit of the public and architects alike.
These independent reviews show what our students really think:
"Working in such a creative bubble spurs on creativity and provides a wealth of inspiration for your own work. There are so many artistically genius minds around to ask for her and advise, great atmosphere/environment."
If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.
It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.
As a graduate of the course, you'll be encouraged to apply for employment as an assistant in architectural practice and, on completion of your year out, will be invited to apply for the Postgraduate Diploma in Architecture (RIBA Part 2 exemption). We also offer a Postgraduate Diploma in Architectural Practice (RIBA Part 3 exemption), giving you the opportunity to undertake your entire architectural education at the School of Architecture.
You'll take part in a variety of trips and interesting visits during your course. These will inspire your work and can create fantastic opportunities. Students recently visited aluminium manufacturers Ash and Lacy. They were then tasked with designing and producing aluminium models for the entrance of our brand new Birmingham Conservatoire.
Elizabeth is an Assistant Architect at Axis Design Architects Ltd in Birmingham. She got the job part-way through her degree, working during her final summer at university, part-time through her final year and started full-time when she graduated.
The course gives you a full understanding of the role of an architect and the creative flair and technical skills needed to succeed.
You'll understand sustainability, technical and cultural issues and the challenges of expanding the urban environment.
You'll develop a comprehensive portfolio that shows employers a range of skills in design practice and academic study.
The course also gives you the chance to enter awards and gain recognition. Holly Rose Doran received the Students of Excellence 2009 Award for Advanced Urban Solutions from Birmingham City Council. There’s also the Deutsche Bank Creative Enterprise Awards.
You'll develop a range of transferable skills, such as how to communicate ideas and solve problems, as well as developing negotiation and planning skills. And thanks to the unique nature of the course, you’ll learn how to work effectively and efficiently either on your own or as part of a team.
Your skills will be in demand - architecture, building and planning courses are one of the top 12 degree subjects for getting a job according to a recent article in the Telegraph.
Our connections with over 100 architecture practices give you lots of opportunities for experience and placements. All second year students undergo a two week placement as part of their studies to gain experience of industry.
Companies we work with include 3D Reid, ADP, BDP, D5 Architects, Daniel Hurd Associates, Glazzards, Hawkins Brown, Vivid Architects and many more.
Our placements give you the chance to develop your skills and make vital connections which could lead to future employment.
OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.
It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.
Student Joseph Bowman has been working as an OpportUNIty student while he studies, gaining additional experience within the department.
He said: "I have mainly been involved with two OpportUNIty projects - firstly in the form of a DigiLab Mentor and secondly as part of a team organising a guest lecture series within the architecture department.
"The DigiLab is a facility within the School which provides laser cutting and 3D printing facilities free of charge to architecture students. In my role as mentor for this facility, I am employed as part of a small team to maintain the equipment, assist people in projects, host workshops for groups of students and undertake experimentation with each of the production techniques.
"In my role organising the guest lecture series, I and fellow student Jac Doody were responsible for organising and promoting the open lectures. There were six lectures in total, ranging from academic CJ Lim to founding partner of Duggan Morris Architects, Joe Morris. Jac and I were responsible for contacting and arranging their visit to the School and also the production of promotional material."
Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.
Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.
Our outstanding industry connections help you make contacts that can lead to job opportunities. Graduates go on to work with prestigious firms in roles such as architects and graphic design interns, or even set up their own companies. Here are just a few of their stories:
Ben Derbyshire is the Managing Partner of HTA Design LLP, a multidisciplinary firm of 120 architects, graphic designers, planners, landscape architects, web designers and sustainability consultants.
Examples of his practice’s notable projects, both in the UK and abroad, include Greenwich Millennium Village, Waterport Terraces in Gibraltar, the redevelopment of Queen Elizabeth's Children's Hospital and the South Acton regeneration project in London and Hanham Hall zero carbon community in Bristol.
Chief Executive Officer of global architectural practice DP Architects Francis Lee has worked all over the world on multi-million pound projects.
Graduate Yinka Danmole set up his practice, Danmole Design Studios and now works on commission based projects with local organisations. Also setting up their own firm are architecture graduates Mohamed Rahouma and Shamil Chauhan who launched an independent design studio called 'Backpack Studio 'based in Manchester.
You’ll learn how to use industry equipment and software including rapid prototyping, CAD and digital production. Your observational and technical drawing techniques will be developed, along with other key skills.
Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.
The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.
Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:
We have a diverse community of students from all over the world. Our international reputation, professional accreditation and outstanding graduate success rate attracts students from a variety of countries including Brunei, Kenya, Malaysia, Russia and Singapore.
Tatiana Pachina, from Moscow, said: “I decided to study architecture in the UK for several reasons. First of all, because the UK education is recognised by employers, universities and governments all over the world and it gives you plenty of opportunities for further study and career progression. Secondly, studying in the UK gives me an opportunity to meet people from different countries, with different backgrounds and learn something new about their cultures
“I chose the BA Architecture course because I think studying in Birmingham can provide a unique experience and a really focused course can encourage students to be creative. The first year of the course was a great experience that enabled me to improve my drawing skills, graphical drawing, model making and ability to think three dimensionally and gather some architectural knowledge.”
International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.
BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.
We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.
You’ll be based in the multi-million pound Parkside building – part of our City Centre Campus – with technology and facilities that reflect advanced professional practice. We offer facilities which will accurately reflect the work environment you will enter after graduating. These include Computer-Assisted Design (CAD) and a computer-generated Virtual Building Site, creating real life scenarios for you to work on.
You’ll also benefit from:
Victoria Farrow is the course director for the undergraduate architecture course. Having worked in practices of different type and scales as a chartered Architect, Victoria has also worked to deliver and develop a variety of different architectural courses in education. Prior to working at Birmingham City University she worked at the University of Lincoln and Nottingham Trent University and has spent time teaching in the USA.
As a key member of the AAE (Association of Architectural Educators) which looks to promote the value, richness, quality and diversity inherent in architectural education, Victoria hosted the inaugural conference for the AAE in 2013 and has continued to support the development of the association since 2011. This link with research and teaching architecture helps to strengthen the programme at Birmingham City University.