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BA (Hons) Architecture (Part 1 ARB/RIBA)

  • Duration: 3 or 4 years full-time
  • Placement year: Optional 1 year
  • Course code: K100 (UCAS)
  • Institution code: A66 (UCAS)

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On this unique and stimulating course, you’ll work in a studio-based environment to make places that make a difference.

Architecture (Part 1 ARB/RIBA) course information

On this unique and stimulating course, you’ll work within the context of a studio-based arts university, where everyone shares an interest in different forms of making.

This degree will help you to prepare for professional practice (part 1 ARB/RIBA) and investigate the ways we live in the world through material and spatial relationships. You'll develop skills that will form the foundation of your career in architecture: making, collaborating, designing and communicating. Integrating practice with theory is at the heart of professional architectural practice, so that’s exactly what you’ll do here.

You’ll explore, experiment and develop new solutions. Discussing and presenting your work you'll share ideas about architecture through making tangible propositions, mindful of how they might be realised.

This ‘research-by-making’ approach encourages risk-taking, innovation and entrepreneurship. Both inside and outside the studio, as well as in regular seminars, lectures and reviews, you’ll work on projects that require a creative balance of rigour and risk, informed by your design, technical and contextual knowledge.

At every stage in your degree, you’ll have opportunities to build on your own practice through collaborations with other courses. You’ll develop an understanding of the practice and theory of architecture, grounded in making, along with critical thinking and a familiarity with the material nature of architectural ideas. You’ll explore the practice of making thoughtful, tangible, inhabited places that mediate between the individual, the world we live in, and the others we live with.

Course duration

3 or 4 years (full-time)


Option of a 1-year placement

UCAS course code


UCAS institution code


Placement year

All undergraduate courses at AUB offer an optional placement year, to be taken between your second and third years of study.

If you’re unsure about this optional placement, you don’t need to decide now. Once you’re here and studying with us, the course team will discuss the placement options with you, so when the time comes, you can make a decision that’s right for you.

If you’re required to have a Student Visa to study in the UK, it won’t be possible to undertake the one-year placement option; there’ll be other opportunities for you to engage with industry during your study at AUB.

Level 4 (first year)

In your first year, you'll gain a sound conceptual knowledge and skill base for the study of the subject.

You'll be introduced to the conceptual and practical skills and processes necessary for making an architectural proposition, the methodologies of analysing and communicating architectural proposition, and an understanding of theoretical aspects of architectural design.

A programme of studio projects, lectures, seminars, visits, case studies, guided reading and tutorials will be used to disseminate information and concepts. You'll gain experience through practical studio-based experimentation and develop your creative design abilities through individual and group working opportunities.

Level 5 (second year)

In your second year, you’ll explore issues around building in an urban context and future scenarios for architecture. You’ll propose innovative and thoughtful interventions and urban spaces to house public activities associated with the economic, sustainable and physical opportunities of the area.

Throughout the year, you’ll continue to increase your professional competence through the development of skills, knowledge and understanding. You’ll extend your knowledge through the study of construction, structure and environmental control.

Your communication skills will be applied to the design and development of an existing environment and the making of an architectural proposition. Visiting lecturers and subject specialists inclusive of professionals from industry will contribute their knowledge to your development.

Level 6 (third year)

Your third year begins with experimentation through design and research by making. You’ll further explore the ways that these ideas can inform architecture.

You’ll investigate architectural design as a way in which our built environment is conceived and perceived, focusing on contemporary issues. You’ll look at the role of the architect alongside the influence of clients, development, construction, planning, legal, regulation and wider social, ethical, economic and cultural values. You’ll demonstrate skills in models, drawings and digital media and produce a portfolio of work to prepare you for employment or postgraduate study.

All students are registered for the award of BA (Hons). However, exit awards are available if you leave the course early, having successfully completed one or two levels. If you successfully complete a level of the course, you'll automatically be entitled to progress to the next level.

For the award of a Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE), you must have achieved a minimum of 120 credits at Level 4. This qualification may be awarded if you leave the University following successful completion of the first year of your course.

For the award of a Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE), you must have achieved a minimum of 240 credits of which a minimum of 120 must be at Level 5. This qualification may be awarded if you leave the University following successful completion of the second year of your course.

For the award of a BA (Hons) you must have achieved a minimum of 360 credits of which a minimum of 240 must be at Level 5 or above, of which a minimum of 120 credits must be at Level 6. This qualification will be awarded upon successful completion of your course.

A BA without Honours may be awarded if you have achieved 300 credits, at least 180 of which are at Level 5 or above, and at least 60 of which are at Level 6.

Course team

Channa Vithana Acting Course Leader
Dr Willem de Bruijn Senior Lecturer – BA (Hons) Architecture and Postgraduate Award Leader – MRes Arts

PhD, M.Sc., FHEA

Dr Kirsten Tatum Senior Lecturer M.Arch. Architecture and Programme Leader MA Landscape Architecture Studies

BA (Hons), PG Cert, PhD, PCTHE, AMLI

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Head and shoulders shot of W Leung
Wynne Leung Senior Lecturer (Industry Fellow) Architecture

M.Arch., BA (Hons)

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Application process

Once you've found the perfect Undergraduate course, you can apply to study via UCAS, including direct entry applications to second and third year.

When applying through UCAS, use the institution code A66 for courses taught at Arts University Bournemouth. For courses based at Bournemouth and Poole College, use code B49. We'll then use your completed UCAS form to make decisions about your application. You can find out more on entry requirements in our apply section.

When you apply to one of our courses, it's important that you help us get a good picture of both you and your work – so you'll need a great personal statement. We want to know more about why you're interested in the course, your key influences, and what you hope to do after your studies.

If you're invited for an interview, many of our courses will ask to see a portfolio of your work so we can get more insight into your ideas and abilities. To help you, we've created guidelines outlining what we expect from your portfolio for each course.

The fee that you pay the Arts University Bournemouth provides the necessary equipment and training for you to complete your course.

You may also choose to buy some items of personal equipment such as a laptop or tablet computer, but this is not required; desktop and laptop computers are available for you to use in common study areas, including a loan system in the Library.

For the majority of our courses, we'll ask you to digitally submit a portfolio as part of the application process.

Portfolios should show examples of your work – both finished and work in progress – that demonstrate your interests and skills. We expect to see around 20 slides/images in your portfolio that shows your identity as an artist

If we ask for a digital portfolio then we'll give you 30 days to submit it. Sometimes we'll need a portfolio submitted quickly if there's a UCAS set deadline approaching, but if you need more time, just let us know and we'll try to help.

We've created specific portfolio guidelines for each of our courses, you can take a look at these below.

If you've applied to study an online postgraduate (MA) degree, please refer to the AUB Online portfolio guidelines.

None of our courses currently require an interview.

The only course requiring an audition is BA (Hons) Acting and if you're invited to one you'll have at least 10 days notice.

Studios and resources

Our Architecture studios mirror industry, with students working together in a high-energy environment. You’ll share your experiences with others in a supportive environment and have access to 3D workshops with manual and digital manufacturing equipment.

You’ll also use our purpose-built Drawing Studio. This striking building was designed and completed by renowned architect and AUB alumnus, Professor Sir Peter Cook RA, and his office, CRAB – it’s the first to be built at an art school for more than a century. We also captured time-lapse footage of the Drawing Studio from inception to completion from April to November 2015.

Student wearing safety goggles using a machine in a workshop.

3D Workshop

Our 3D workshops with manual and digital manufacturing equipment and computers

A model sits on a chair in the centre of a room while a group of artists draw them.

Drawing Studio

Our iconic, blue Drawing Studio is used by student from all courses and was designed by Alumnus, Sir Peter Cook​

Teaching, learning and assessment

A wide range of delivery methods will be used during the course.

Each unit is assessed separately, and the assessment forms part of the unit. Assessment both provides a measure of your achievement, and also gives you regular feedback on how your learning is developing.

Throughout the BA (Hons) courses, directed learning will be complemented by allocated private study. As you progress through the course, the balance of studies shifts from an emphasis on taught learning to self-directed study. Student-initiated study forms a substantial part of Level 5 and Level 6 units.

Contact hours include all scheduled teaching sessions, but also supervised time in the workshop or studio. In line with national guidance, we include in our calculation of contact hours all the time that's scheduled in the studio for independent study which is also supported by staff (either academic staff, or technicians).

The information provided below gives the proportion of your study time, which constitutes contact hours. Where there are optional routes through the course, we've used the figures for the most popular option.

Year 1 (% time) Year 2 (% time) Year 3 (% time)




For every unit of your course, we'll inform you of what you are expected to learn, what you have to submit, how your work will be assessed, and the deadline for presenting your work for assessment. This is made available through Unit Information, which is on your course blog.

You'll receive a final mark for each unit in the form of a percentage, which will be recorded on your formal record of achievement (transcript). Each component of assessment is graded using a notched marking scale, whereby only certain marks are used within each grade. The only marks available within any ten-point band are *2, *5 and *8 (e.g. 62, 65, 68). These marks correspond to a low, mid, and high level of achievement within each grade band.

All learning outcomes must be passed to successfully complete the unit.

On successful completion of your Honours degree course, you will be awarded a degree classification based on your unit marks. The final classification is determined using all unit marks at Levels 5 and 6 using two different algorithms, which are detailed in the HE Student Regulations. If the two algorithms produce different results, you'll be awarded the higher class of degree.

If you've joined Level 6 through either the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) route or having completed a Foundation Degree (FdA), the final classification is determined using only your unit marks at Level 6.

For further information on assessment, progression, awards and classifications, please visit

What our graduates are doing

Employers will want to see enthusiastic, self-motivated, creative students that demonstrate initiative and commitment in their work, as well as key skills and knowledge.

Some students may wish to proceed to employment outside the architectural profession, for which the BA (Hons) Architecture has excellent transferable skills. Staff can offer appropriate support and advice on progression.

Career destinations include:

  • Foster + Partners (London)
  • BrightSpace Architects (Fordingbridge)
  • BUJ Architects (London)
  • Architecture PLB (Winchester)
  • Design Engine (Winchester)
  • DMWA (Wimborne)
  • Glenn Howells Architects (Birmingham)
  • HCC (Winchester)
  • Edwards Covell Architects (ECA, Poole)
  • Hawkins\Brown Architects (London)
  • Jamie Fobert Architects (London)
  • Western Design Architects (Blandford)

Trips and visits

As part of your course you may also get the opportunity to take part in course trips.

Previous trips have included:

  • Berlin
  • London
  • Venice
  • Rome
  • Paris
  • Barcelona

*These trips are optional and some may incur additional costs

Latest from BA (Hons) Architecture (Part 1 ARB/RIBA)

See more of our student work

BA Architecture gives you the skills to create challenging and innovative places. This course is accredited by ARB, RIBA & offers ARB/RIBA Part 1.

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