School of Art, Design and Architecture

BA (Hons) Architecture

Do you want to release your creative impulses and imagination, and nurture your intellectual drives whilst responding to real life design concerns? Studying BA (Hons) Architecture at the University of Plymouth will offer you an opportunity to do so! Our course – accredited by professional bodies (ARB and RIBA) – allows you to engage with current affairs and ever-changing global currents across multiple fields, whilst consciously being oriented towards proposing sensitive responses.

You will learn to think outside the box by engaging in multi-faceted and integrated processes of building design; covering subjects to do with architecture, urbanism and critical theories, to communications, sustainable systems and technologies. Doing this in a stimulating, dynamic and collegial environment will allow you to gain the confidence to ask questions, challenge inherited beliefs and gain skills employers value highly, whilst appreciating the built environment past, present and future.

Key features

  • Join the fastest rising school of architecture in 2019 Subject Tables and the Guardian League tables.
  • We are very proud of our National Student Survey (NSS) 2018 return showing 93% of students felt the course challenged them to achieve their best work.*
  • Gain professional accreditation from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The course is also prescribed by the Architects Registration Board (ARB). If you complete the degree successfully, you'll be exempt from RIBA Part 1 automatically.
  • A top 10 UK Young University for Art, Design and Architecture (Times Higher Education World University Ranking 2019) and in the First Class Category of Sustainable Universities in the UK (People and Planet Green League 2015).
  • Our school has produced some of the top architects in the country - in 2013, Alumni Stephen Witherford from Witherford Watson and Mann won the Stirling Prize (highest prize for architecture).
  • Get creative with our amazing facilities and resources. You’ll be based in our eye-catching Faculty of Arts building in the heart of the campus, with students and staff from other arts courses to bounce ideas off and collaborate with.
  • Benefit from assessment by coursework only – there are no exams.
  • Graduate ready for the workplace with our focus on professional development. You'll work on ‘live’ studio design projects, and we have strong links with Plymouth City Council and other regional community projects.
  • Learn from tutors with industry experience and interdisciplinary research interests.
  • Enrich your learning with field trips each year to project sites, European study trips, exchange study opportunities abroad and at home, and overseas summer schools. Previous destinations have included Barcelona, Berlin, Bilbao, Copenhagen, Paris, Porto, Rotterdam, Rome, Stockholm and Venice.
  • Join the Plymouth Architecture and Design Society (PADS), one of the most respected and active student architectural societies in the UK, with fortnightly lectures that bring architects, engineers and designers into the school to showcase and discuss their work with you.
  • Gain insights into the field with talks from leading practitioners and theorists. Our Cross Professional Dialogue programme is a forum for discussion between architects, builders and others in the building industry. We also hold the annual ‘State of the Profession’ symposium with noted professionals, such as RIBA President Stephen Hodder, to discuss key issues in architecture today.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • In your first year, you’ll gain an awareness of your creativity through drawing, model making, writing and verbal discussion, and develop your skills and critical understanding of architecture by working on design projects within the design studio. You’ll work as part of a team on a live interdisciplinary project with fellow students. You’ll also get the opportunity to go on a study trip; in previous years this has included visits to European cities.
    Core modules
    • COMM401 Communication 4.1

      This module will introduce students to architectural presentation and representation skills. Underlying this intention will be to mainly support design studio work, especially to explore and develop the skills to discover how to communicate your ideas in two dimensional and three dimensional visual form.

    • DESN401 Design Studio 4.1

      In this module through both individual and group work, students to be introduced architectural design project. This introduction is underpinned by an engagement with creative / critical thinking, and exploration of basic graphic and three-dimensional representation skills as a means of inquiry and presentation, pursued through various project briefs of increasing size and complexity.

    • DESN402 Integrated Design 4.2

      In this module through both individual and group work, students to develop and explore architectural design project further following the skills that they gained in DESN401 module. This module will provide the opportunity for students to further engage with creative / critical thinking, and exploration of architectural graphic and three-dimensional representation skills as a means of inquiry and presentation, pursued through various project briefs of increasing size and complexity.

    • HTCC402 History, Theory and Critical Context 4.2

      This module will introduce students to the task and methods of historical enquiry and to architecture as its subject matter through a survey of architectural history up to the late nineteenth century. Followed by the introduction of theoretical discourse which describes the practice and production of architecture, the critique of architecture, and its conceptual possibilities.

    • TECN401 Technology 4.1

      This module will provide the opportunity for students to develop their understanding of basic building construction and building physics. Students will be introduced to sustainability, materials, structure, construction and building physics.

  • Year 2
  • In your second year, you’ll explore architectural ideas and architecture in context. You’ll focus on ideas and production, sustainable technologies, materials and building performance and continue with the study of the history and theories of 20th-century architecture. You’ll also have the opportunity for an Erasmus exchange with our overseas partner institutions.
    Core modules
    • COMM501 Communication 5.1

      This module enables students to develop their digital representation and digital design skills, by delivering lectures, workshops and online tutorial sessions focused on up-to-date digital technologies such as digital fabrication, computer-aided drawing and building information modelling.

    • DESN501 Design Studio 5.1

      In this module through both individual and group work, exploratory, analytical studies and an architectural design project in the context of a specific theoretical framework are the focus for exploring and developing creative and critical thinking (i.e. design) skills.

    • DESN502 Integrated Design 5.2

      In this module through both individual and group work, exploratory, analytical studies and an architectural design project in the context of a specific theoretical framework are the focus for exploring and developing creative and critical thinking (i.e. design) skills.

    • HTCC501 History, Theory and Critical Context 5.1

      This module will develop students understanding of historical enquiry and to architecture as its subject matter through a survey of the architectural history of the twentieth century. The module will also develop students¿ understanding of theories related to the practice and production of architecture, the critique of architecture, and its conceptual possibilities.

    • TECN502 Technology 5.2

      This module allows students to develop their understanding of building construction technologies, with a specific application to architectural design. This includes environmental factors such as daylight, as well as sustainable technologies and materials, structural systems, multi-part construction and internal environments.

  • Final year
  • In your final year, you’ll build on themes explored in your second year, extending your work to examine, develop and articulate a personal approach to architecture. This will be reinforced by parallel work in history, theory and technology and a focus on your professional development.
    Core modules
    • COMM601 Professional Studies 6.1

      This module examines the context of architectural practice, and how buildings are procured and delivered within this context. It explores the principles of business management and how businesses operate. It also considers the construct of professional and personal ethics.

    • DESN601 Design Studio 6.1

      In this module through both individual and group work, exploratory, analytical studies and an architectural design project in the context of a specific theoretical framework are the focus for exploring and developing creative and critical thinking (i.e. design) skills.

    • DESN602 Integrated Design 6.2

      In this module through both individual and group work, exploratory, analytical studies and an architectural design project in the context of a specific theoretical framework are the focus for exploring and developing creative and critical thinking (i.e. design) skills.

    • HTCC601 History, Theory and Critical Context 6.1

      This Module has an emphasis on an in depth study into either a theoretical, cultural and/ or historical architectural position that informs both individual architectural interests and the production of an architectural proposition in design studio.

    • TECN602 Technology 6.2

      This module will enable students to develop their understanding of the integration of construction and environment via a complex building design proposal. Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of materials, structure, and construction and building physics focusing on relevant issues in creating a sustainable integrated design solution.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BA Hons Architecture programme specification 2019 20 0114

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

104 - 136

A level
A minimum of 2 A levels, General Studies accepted.

International Baccalaureate
34 points.

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma
DDM (Distinction Distinction Merit).

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

All Access courses:  Pass a named Access to HE Diploma (e.g. Preferably Art and Design or Combined), (including GCSE English and Maths grade C/4 or above or equivalent) with at least 30 credits at distinction, plus submit digital portfolio.

GCSE
Five passes including Mathematics and English Language grade C.

Equivalent qualifications may be considered.

You will be required to submit a digital portfolio showing sufficient competence in arts/design. Get some advice on how to create and submit your portfolio.

Applicants who will require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK

Please note that if you are planning to complete further studies in Architecture, Tier 4 restrictions mean that you cannot undertake a Post-Part 1 placement in the UK, but may be able to secure a placement year in your home country or elsewhere outside the UK, as other International Students have done in the past.

English language requirements

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2019 2020
Home/EU £9,250 To be confirmed
International £13,400 To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Arts and Humanities additional costs.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code.

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Applicant portfolio advice - find out how to make an impression with your portfolio. 

  • ) Fastest rising in the Guardian League tables
  • ? 93% of students felt the course challenged them to achieve their best work (National Student Survey 2018)
  • , Field trips to project sites, European study trips, and exchange study opportunities
  • @ A top 10 UK Young University for Art, Design and Architecture (Times Higher Education World University Ranking 2019)
  • H First Class Category of Sustainable Universities in the UK (People and Planet Green League 2015)


Laying the foundations for architectural ambition

Student Freya shares how BA (Hons) Architecture is providing the framework to realise her dream of becoming a professional architect.

Read Freya's story


Building the Field of Dreams

Architecture students set the challenge of designing and constructing an eco-pod on the Dartington estate in South Devon.

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Student blog – Marcus

Find out how Marcus' travels growing up inspired him to study architecture.

Read Marcus' blog

View up-to-date images by visiting our Instagram channel.



People

Associate staff

* These are the latest results from the National Student Survey. Please note that the data published on Unistats is updated annually in September. The results of the National Student Survey (NSS) and the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey (DLHE) are made available to prospective students and their advisors through the Unistats website.