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Architecture with a Foundation Year - BA (Hons)

  • UCAS Code: K10F
  • Level: Foundation
  • Starting: September 2021
  • Study mode: Full Time (4 years)
  • Location: City Centre

Studying with us in 2021/22

It is possible that the 2021/22 academic year may be affected by the ongoing disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Any arrangements put in place by the University for the 2021/22 academic year will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

Are you looking for an architecture degree course at a respected School with connections to over 60 local architecture firms?

Validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and prescribed by Architects Registration Board (ARB) to give full exemption from the ARB / RIBA Part 1 examination, you will be based at our innovative Birmingham School of Architecture and Design, where you start your journey towards becoming a registered architect.

Birmingham School of Architecture and Design offers fully accredited programmes at RIBA Parts 1, 2 and 3, enabling you to fully qualify as a registered architect within one school.

About foundation courses

This four year course has been specifically designed you to undertake additional level 3 study designed to ensure you are successful on your chosen degree.

After successful completion of your foundation year, you will have the flexibility to switch (should you wish to change direction) onto a number of related undergraduate degree options within Birmingham School of Architecture and Design.

What's covered in the course?

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, helping you to find work experience. We also work closely with RIBA West Midlands, the Midlands Architecture Centre (MADE), and Birmingham City Council. From the first year onwards, you will begin to construct your own online webpage of work and projects, which can then be transformed into an online portfolio and/or CV.

Our recent RIBA Validation Board visit 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.

You'll have the chance to be part of Co.LAB, a collaborative architecture and design initiative within the School working on live projects. This engagement with one-to-one 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. Students from all years are offered places to attend events such as national building information modelling (BIM) events, which provide a forum for you to engage directly with practitioners and industry specialists, as well as informing you of changes in current practice.

You'll also benefit from the insight of guest speakers such as Professor CJ Lim and renowned American landscape architect Martha Schwartz, together with other practising architects from firms such as Foster and Partners, Make, Associated Architects, Invisible Studio, Mole Architects, Ash Sakula and various others.  Film work also plays an important part in the perception of the city, and you’re encouraged to use this medium along with a wide variety of other creative outputs drawing upon our fantastic workshop facilities.

In your final year, you'll showcase your work at the Graduate Show, an event attended by practitioners where previous students have been headhunted by leading practices including Grimshaws, Hopkins Architects, Hawkins Brown and Glenn Howells Architects.

You will study in our state-of-the-art Parkside Building, which has been praised for its investment and facilities by RIBA. While based in Parkside, you will get sharpen your CAD and digital visual communication skills, prototyping and digital production, while also having access to a range of specialist software.

Why Choose Us?

  • Validated by the RIBA and prescribed by the Architects Registration Board (ARB), our course meets and exceeds the joint criteria set out by both professional bodies, thus meeting the requirements of Article 46 of the European Directive on the recognition of professional qualifications.
  • You will be exposed to architectural practice and live projects with professional partners, enabling you to develop your skills and creativity. Our connections with over 60 architecture firms and practitioners forms an essential part of our teaching team, as well as enabling you to embark on valuable work placements within the West Midlands, North West, London and abroad.
  • Our intimate study environment ensures exceptional support from staff, with 90 per cent of our graduates going on to work or further study within six months of completing the course. You’ll also have the chance to attend study trips and explore international opportunities, expanding your cultural and academic knowledge.
  • The part-time course is taught one day a week to enable you to study alongside a full-time job in practice.
  • Birmingham School of Architecture and Design is highly respected and has a rich history of providing education and opportunities. It celebrated its centenary in 2009 and is located in new, multidisciplinary studio and workshop spaces in Birmingham’s Eastside.

This course is open to International students

Architecture and Design Right Column

Discover Birmingham School of Architecture and Design

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Concerns Cover

Read our Annual Review

Concerns is an annual publication by Birmingham School of Architecture and Design. In this issue, you can view final year student work and read more about the activities within the School.

Read the Annual Review 

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Michael Hopkins and Partners
  • MAKE
  • Glenn Howells Architects 
  • Grimshaw Architects
  • Hawkins Brown

Course Accreditations

This course is accredited by:

RIBA
Architects Registration Board

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Essential Requirements

88 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level

LEVEL 2 QUALIFICATIONS
GCSE
  • GCSE English Language at grade C/4 or above
  • GCSE Maths at grade C/4 or above
  • No level 2 equivalent qualifications can be accepted
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment

Functional Skills/ Essential Skills level 2

  • English & Maths
  • Pass
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment

Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)

See level 3 entry under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details
Scottish National 5
  • English Language at grade C or above
  • Maths at grade C or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment

IELTS

Minimum overall score of 6.0, with 6.0 in writing and no less than 5.5 in the remaining three skills.
LEVEL 3 (and above) QUALIFICATIONS
A Level and Advanced VCE
  • CCD / 88 UCAS points
  • Excluding General Studies and Travel and Tourism
  • Preferred subjects:- Art and Design, History, Geography, English, Languages, Science or separate Science such as Physics, Biology or Chemistry, Sociology, Philosophy, Psychology, Maths, Music
  • A maximum of 4 subjects are considered. These can be other A/S Levels (as long in a different subject) A-Levels or Level 3 equivalents.

AS and AS VCE

Considered with a maximum of 3 other Level 3 qualifications (AS Levels must be in different subject to A-Levels) to obtain 88 pts

Access to HE Diploma

  • Pass with 60 credits overall. At least 45 credits at Level 3 with merit
  • Construction, Planning, Built Environment subjects preferred but other subjects also considered
  • Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (2002 – 2010)
  • MMM
  • Preferred subjects:- Art and Design, Business and Economics, Construction and Built Environment, Design Technology, English, Geography, History, Languages, Land Based and Environment, Music, Performing Arts and Drama, Science
  • Excluded subjects:- Hair and Beauty, Health and Social Care, Hospitality, Early Years, Customer Service, Citizenship, Accounting, PE and Sport, Public Services and Uniformed Services, Travel & Tourism
  • Applicants doing Media subjects will be considered on an individual basis by Admissions Tutor.
Foundation Studies (Art and Design, and Art, Design & Media)
  • Merit
  • Considered with a maximum of 3 other Level 3 qualifications to obtain 88 pts
IBO Certificate in Higher Level
  • Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates if they obtain a total of 11 points or above from two Higher Level Subjects
  • Considered with other acceptable level 3 qualifications to meet 88 UCAS Tariff Points
  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) English A - Grade 4 or above or English B - Grade 5 from the IB Diploma will be accepted
  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in Mathematics at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level Maths, grade 5 or above from the IB Diploma will be accepted
International Baccalaureate Diploma
  • Obtain a minimum of 24 points overall
  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) English A - Grade 4 or above or English B - Grade 5 from the IB Diploma will be accepted
  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in Mathematics at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level Maths, grade 5 or above from the IB Diploma will be accepted
Irish Leaving Certificate (Highers) Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 88 tariff points, achieved in five Higher level subjects. This must include English Language and Maths taken at either Ordinary Level (minimum grade O1-O4 (or A-C/A1-C3)) or Higher level minimum grade H1/H7 (or A-D / A1-D3 up to and including 2016)
OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma
  • MMM
  • Preferred subjects:- Art and Design, Business and Economics, Construction and Built Environment, Design Technology, English, Geography, History, Languages, Land Based and Environment, Music, Performing Arts and Drama, Science
  • Excluded subjects:- Hair and Beauty, Health and Social Care, Hospitality, Early Years, Customer Service, Citizenship, Accounting, PE and Sport, Public Services and Uniformed Services, Travel & Tourism
  • Applicants doing Media subjects will be considered on an individual basis by Admissions Tutor.
Scottish Advanced Higher
  • Achieve a minimum of 88 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers.
  • Where three Advanced Highers have been taken achieve a minimum of grades DDD
  • Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve (grades of DD in two Advanced Highers plus grades of DD in two Highers).
T-Levels
  • Pass overall (C or above on the core)
  • Design, Surveying and Planning T Level considered
UAL Extended Diploma in Art & Design Merit overall
UAL Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production & Technology Merit overall
UAL Extended Diploma in Performing and Production Arts Merit overall
Other qualifications

If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.

Additional information for EU/International students
Essential

Please see your country page for further details on the equivalent qualifications we accept.

In addition to the academic entry requirements listed above, international and EU students will also require the qualifications detailed in this table.

EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements
IELTS

Minimum overall score of 6.0, with 6.0 in writing and no less than 5.5 in the remaining three skills.

If you do not meet the required IELTS score, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English courses. Please note that you must have a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to study on the pre-sessional English course. More information.

Mature Applicants

Applications from mature students (21+) with alternative qualifications and/or considerable work experience will be considered on their merits.

Due to a higher entry tariff for BA (Hons) Architecture you'll need to receive 60 % or more in your final project to progress. 
  • UK students
  • International students

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Award: BA (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 4 years
  • £13,200 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Guidance for UK students

UCAS

UK 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.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Portfolio Guidance

You are not required to submit a portfolio for this course.

Additional costs

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.

Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for your personal stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Foundation year

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

20 credits

This module focuses on developing the 2D design skills and techniques required to communicate and visualise design concepts around space and form. You will work on a series of mini projects using predominantly manual techniques such as freehand sketching, technical drawing, and physical model-making. You will also be introduced to some digital techniques such as Photoshop and Desktop Publishing via InDesign.

20 credits

This module is designed to develop your academic skills and make the transition to degree level study. It specifically focuses on your ability to critique, reflect and verbalise your thoughts and concepts through channels such as presentations, blogs and live journals.

You will learn how to use research methods to inform your practice and have the opportunity to advance your academic writing and referencing skills.

20 credits

This module is designed to give you an introduction to the design processes used by the various disciplines and includes appraisal of design briefs, understanding context, design drivers, and the development of concepts and visuals through design feasibility studies. You will begin to understand how to turn your ideas into designs and the level required to reach a professional standard.

Underpinning the practice, you will explore and discuss fundamental concepts, particularly relating to human scale, ergonomics and anthropometrics, looking at design and its relationship to the physical aspects of the environment.

20 credits

This module is designed to encourage you to make connections between theory and practice and engage further in critical analysis. You will explore the historical aspects across the two design disciplines (a major and minor) and scales and current practices.

You will further explore the use of precedent studies, which will provide you with the tools to respond to the challenges and changes in different environments and habitations.

20 credits

This module focuses on developing presentation skills, from visual and graphic presentation techniques to pitching and presenting ideas.

You will have opportunities through workshops and online tutorials to learn Adobe Creative Suite and 3D software such as Sketch-up.

Hands on workshop practice will be introduced across a range of materials.

20 credits

The aim of this module is to develop a concept design within your chosen discipline. You will document the design process, reflect on the experience and the final outcomes and the reasons for selecting your chosen field. The project will culminate in a comprehensive presentation, which will capture the whole design process via a design portfolio.

Year one

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

20 credits

This module engages with the key design ideologies of the 20th Century. The History of Western Architecture has an on-going complex relationship with Modernism. Despite having moved beyond Modernism and post-modernism, at the beginning of the 21st Century, the designed environment we live in; buildings, furniture, interiors and the public realm, still holds traces of and responds to elements of the Modernist ideologies. (VAM, 2006)

 
Structures, Environment and Technology
20 credits
20 credits

Design Apparatus introduces students to a broad range of skills for architectural communication and representation through the use of basic design projects as a vehicle to introduce presentation techniques and the design development process at this level. Precedent and case studies will be examined as well as techniques for essay writing, structuring written work and verbal presentation skills.  The module focuses on engaging you in a range of hand and digital skills to include drawing, sketching, orthographic line drawing (2 and 3D), together with digital skills, including 2 and 3D CAD and adobe packages .The module is linked to History of Architecture and Design and Design Resolution 1.

60 credits

Design Projects at Level 4 are linked by the theme of ‘principles” and form part of the broad foundation to the study of the ‘urbanised field’ of architecture and landscape architecture and the physical and ideological relationship between them. Cross-disciplinary practice is facilitated to test innovative approaches at diverse scales.

Design Resolution 1 aims to build upon skills and ideas established through Design Apparatus and draws upon knowledge and skills learned in the module Structures, Environment and Technical studies (SET).

 

Projects within this module explore the experience and mapping of the city and surrounding landscape, leading to a series of various scaled designed interventions, of appropriate scale, structure and complexity to the level. The module draws together principles and skills learned in the module Design Apparatus, where you will have developed basic design skills and knowledge and understanding of architectural communication and representation.

Design Resolution 1 introduces you to a ‘’dry run’’ scenario for the Design Resolution 2 module configuration in the upper years. This module prepares and equips students for Design Resolution 2 (L5) and Design Resolution 3 (L6).

20 credits

The Birmingham School of Architecture and Design has a long and proud history of offering courses in architecture for part time students based in practice. Formal part time opportunities to study are rare within UK architectural education but the School has a long-standing reputation in this area and is one of the UK’s largest providers in this field.

The first module on the course, Calibration is specifically designed to embrace and support the diversity of students the course attracts who range from mature architectural technicians with years of practice experience to young CAD operators with little practice experience or holistic view of the profession. Alongside this personal diversity, students will also be working in a vast range of architectural practices and undertaking varying tasks.

The Birmingham School of Architecture and Design has a long and proud history of offering courses in architecture for part time students based in practice. Formal part time opportunities to study are rare within UK architectural education but the School has a long-standing reputation in this area and is one of the UK’s largest providers in this field.

The first module on the course, Calibration is specifically designed to embrace and support the diversity of students the course attracts who range from mature architectural technicians with years of practice experience to young CAD operators with little practice experience or holistic view of the profession. Alongside this personal diversity, students will also be working in a vast range of architectural practices and undertaking varying tasks.

Year two

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

20 credits

In this module, you will start to explore new theoretical ideas which will stretch you intellectually and inform your studio practice.

Firstly, the module will begin to address what theory is in relation to architecture and how it is used in the formation, analysis and making of buildings, landscapes, products and art. Theory isn’t history () or critique (), although we need this knowledge to be able to theorise.  In this module you will be introduced to a way of exploring the ideas, concepts and frameworks that architects and designers use to approach their practice; theory gives practice meaning and makes it relevant and responsive to the particular time and place it operates within (Nesbitt, 1996, p.17). Making theory part of our practice allows us to challenge and speculate, understand architectural problems and propose possible solutions. 

20 credits

During this module you will explore different research methods to inform, test and develop an iterative design process. Through an intensive process of research using qualitative/quantitative methodologies and design-led research, considering the technological, social, contextual and spatial data, you will test different design methods an develop independent design strategies to apply to your design projects.

This module draws upon content, knowledge gained and teachings as part of module Architectural Theory and Research Methods. The module will explore a range of design methods, in order to understand, compare and critique the process associated with each design strategy. Alongside this, you will study notable architect’s approaches to design and contrast their design processes.

20 credits

Praxis is the process by which a theory, lesson, or skill is enacted, practiced, embodied, or realised. Praxis may also refer to the act of engaging, applying, exercising, realising, or practicing ideas.

We understand that not all of our graduates will go on to become practicing Architects. An architectural education, particularly the degree course, is a well-rounded education that can lead into numerous other career paths as well as the route to professional qualification. With this in mind we have a clear roadmap for our students in terms of professional knowledge, business awareness, and transferrable skills.

20 credits

Design in Level 5 sits beneath the theme of Collaboration. As one of the transitional modules between Part Time 3 and 4, ‘Design Exchange’ requires you to creatively explore the exchange of skills in the areas of design and praxis. The exchange will take place with both peers and professional practice in response to a given brief, such as a competition.

The module has both group work and individual components; initially in groups you will complete a feasibility and scoping exercise in response to the project brief. You will be required to take into account current planning and development control legislation as part of the schematic project proposals as you explore the potential impact of building projects on existing and proposed communities. Individually, you will take the role of the “architect” and develop your proposals in more detail.

20 credits

'The Birmingham School of Architecture and Design occupies a distinctive interdisciplinary territory between the study and practices of the creative arts with the built environment professions.

Links with the professional context and are reinforced through alumni, renowned tutors, events and live research projects. Equally, the School’s position within ADM means that students and staff are well connected to the creative scene of the city.

CO.LAB (the Collaborative Laboratory) is a vehicle for a range of projects that seek to directly engage students with this dynamic context. It is an opportunity for students to work with individuals and groups outside of their discipline area, engaging in a broad creative network.

20 credits

The Birmingham School of Architecture and Design occupies a distinctive interdisciplinary territory between the study and practices of the creative arts with the built environment professions.

Knowledge Exchange sits with the Co.LAB family and builds on our ethos of blurring the boundaries between academia and practice. Knowledge Exchange aims to provide innovative design thinking and strategies to current practices. Its format is similar to a Government-led model; Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) http://ktp.innovateuk.org which encourages, funds, and supports Universities working with industry partners to tackle core strategic issues in their business and devise innovative solutions to help improve their competitiveness and productivity.

40 credits

Design Projects at Level 5 are linked by the theme of process, building on the skills and knowledge in ARC5012 Design Process.

Relates to ARC5014 Technical Integration as projects integrate consideration of tectonics, materiality and construction; to ARC5010 Architectural Theory to absorb new ideas emerging from practice; and also to ARC5011 Praxis to engage with issues of legislation.

Year three

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

20 credits

Related to the Level theme, this module traces the context of the designed environment through a detailed critical study of a case study based on a number of relevant social, cultural and political topics that influence contemporary architectural discourse.

The module is organised as a single continual investigative strand where you will generate a response by completing a number of formative tasks to lead up to a final extended piece of critical writing that is thoroughly researched, creative and develops your own theoretical agenda.

20 credits

Design at Level 6 follows a meta-theme (overarching theme) of identity. You will undertake a year-long design process on a single project zooming across scales, starting with this Design Exploration module.

Here you will open up the creative exploration of a selected studio ‘approach’ before applying this knowledge, process, and skill to developing early ideas to a design project for a given brief.

20 credits

Technology at Level 6 requires you to adopt an inquiry-based approach where you apply the construction of your knowledge from previous modules to formulate an understanding of technical integration in a design.

Case studies, related to the overarching theme of Level 6 modules, are used to develop questions around current systems in architectural technology. Fabrication, assembly and critical technical analysis is used to explore technology in practical, strategic and architectural terms.

60 credits

Design Resolution 3 aims to develop the design process, project rationale and construct

a design response for a particular physical and cultural context following on from module Design Exploration. The process identifies and resolve conflicting demands across a range of scales.

You will be tested through a comprehensive design proposal to resolve theoretical, spatial or aesthetic concepts that explicitly inform and shape the design proposal at a strategic, building and detailed level.

After finishing the Foundation Year, 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'.

Year one

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. The programme is organised around principles introducing you to a range of concepts which provide the basis for your architectural education.

You'll interpret the non-designed and designed environment, learning to understand the impact of environmental conditions and their relationship to construction and structural design. Digital teaching in a range of CAD, NURBS modelling and rendering packages is blended with workshops in hand drawing, presentation and graphics to enable a holistic competency in architectural communication. Blogs are used as a medium for facilitating an online collation of your work with a view to building your own online portfolio for use later.

Year two

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 have 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, and on a wide variety of other live projects. The theme of "process" in year two facilitates your exploration of the different forms of contemporary architecture and design practices, building on the understanding of principles achieved at year one.

Year three

Your final year considers the physical and cultural architectural context, focused on individual exploration of your own interests. You will look at 'dynamic cities' and the implications of new digital technologies, as well as developing and testing 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.

Full-time study

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 and other associated design disciplines. The structure of the course supports the building of an individually focussed architectural portfolio - providing your 'passport to practice'.

Part-time study

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 spend time working in a chartered (ARB) architect’s practice alongside attending University. This will help you to become a strong practitioner who can embrace, adapt and transform practice.

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
Royal Institute of British Architects

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
Architects Registration Board

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.

Reviews

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."
Anonymous
www.university.which.co.uk

Read all Which? Uni reviews

Further Study

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.

Trips and visits

A majority of your design projects will be located on live sites, meaning regular trips to various locations will become an integrated part of the design studio modules. Study trips at all three levels of the BA programme are often linked to design projects or inform research activities. These provide a very important part of your learning and understanding, building knowledge and skills for interpretation of sites and buildings - locally, nationally and also further afield.

Enhancing your employability skills

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.

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.

Placements

As part of our commitment to developing the essential skills required as part of the BA (Hons) Architecture programme, we have continued to develop the two-week, assessed work placement scheme at Level Five. The placement is part of the PRAXIS (Management Practice and Law) module and takes place towards the end of the academic year.

Over the past three years we have had more than 100 practices taking part in the scheme, providing great diversity in terms of scale, philosophy, sectors and location. This has Included placements being secured with many nationally and internationally-renowned practices such as Michael Hopkins and Partners, MAKE, Grimshaw Architects, Hawkins Brown, Populus, Gensler, Glenn Howells Architects, Associated Architects and many others.

While on placement, practices are encouraged to provide you with a wide range of activities, including meetings, site visits and design reviews, as well as developing additional CAD and graphic skills.

Many students are successful in gaining summer paid work in practices as a result of the placement.

Case study: Adam Nuttall

Gensler placement 2

During his studies on the BA (Hons) Architecture (RIBA Part 1 Exemption) course, Adam Nuttall spent two weeks in practice at Gensler, a world leading design firm.

Adam was initially attracted to working for Gensler due to it being the world’s largest film of architects, and the prospects of working with different people and making useful contacts. Adam worked in their small Birmingham office with 12 employees giving him a more personal experience with the added benefit of being part of a much larger film.  

More about our placement opportunities...

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

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.

Using industry software

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:

Our international students

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.”

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

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

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.

Learn more about BCUIC

Popular home countries

Our students come from around the world but our architecture course is most popular with international students from:

Brunei Flag

Brunei

Russia Flag

Russia

Groupf of Chinese students outside Millennium PointScholarships available for international students. 

Requirements:£2,000 if a 1st degree holder £1,500 if a 2:1 if a 2:1 degree holder £1,000 if a 2:2 if a 2:2 degree holder £500 if a if a 3rd degree holder. 

Parkside and Curzon Buildings

Our Facilities

When you join Birmingham City University, the first thing you will notice is the high standard of our campuses. With an investment of £260 million across our buildings and facilities, we are committed to giving you the very best learning environment to help shape your experience.

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.

While based in The Parkside Building, you will get sharpen your CAD and digital visual communication skills, prototyping and digital production, while also having access to a range of specialist software, workshops, computer and project learning laboratories, and a social learning space.

You’ll also benefit from:

  • Design studios
  • Computer and project laboratories
  • Social learning space
  • Café
  • Meeting point

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From industry-standard software, to our workshops and studio spaces, everything you need will be at your fingertips from day one. Working with our expert technicians, you'll be supported from concept through to completion.