School of Art, Design and Architecture

BA (Hons) Architecture

UCAS tariff 104 - 136
UCAS course code K100
Institution code P60
Duration

3 years

Assessment breakdown 100% coursework
Course type

Full-time

Location Plymouth

Ready to channel and apply your creative impulses and imagination to real-world built environment problems? Through critical thinking, hands-on work with a community of expert practitioners, designing and making, our professionally accredited architecture degree will give you the experience, skills and resilience to become a progressive thinker who can confidently design sustainable and inclusive solutions to our planet’s future challenges.

Architecture

Careers with this subject

This degree can set you on the right path to become a professionally qualified architect.
The skills you’ll learn on this course will be beneficial to you in your working life, regardless of your chosen career direction.
Through this course, you’ll become a confident critical thinker with an ethical stance. This will set you up to engage with – and respond to – the challenges faced by our society.
 
Careers service
Careers advice is embedded into your academic programme through workshops, events, placements and networks, working with the academic staff teaching on your course.
We also offer materials, networks and resources online through our 24/7 portal, and a wide-range of activities, opportunities and support centrally in the Careers Service space within the Student Hub.
We are here to help you to explore, connect and succeed.

Key features

  • Gain professional accreditation from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) if you complete this degree successfully. This means that you won’t need to complete RIBA Part 1 separately.
  • Study in an inspiring creative environment. You’ll be based in our eye-catching Roland Levinsky Building with access to amazing facilities and resources. 
  • Join a diverse community that aims to champion and support a culture of participation and inclusivity. 
  • Graduate ready for the workplace with our focus on professional development. You'll work on live design projects and we have strong links with Plymouth City Council and other regional community projects.
  • Learn from expert academic 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.
  • 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.
  • Be part of the academic discussion. Our highly respected Plymouth Architecture Society (PARCS) organises fortnightly lectures that feature leading architects, engineers and designers who showcase and discuss their work.
 
Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) accreditation
In April 2022, our BA (Hons) Architecture and master of architecture programmes were revalidated for the next five years with commendations for:
  • impact of our live project-based work on both learning and the wider community
  • a vibrant and supportive studio culture grounded in mutual respect and trust between students and staff
  • a critically engaged, well-rounded, empathetic student body, supported by an exemplary approach to collaborative working enabling students to become mature future professionals.

Course details

  • Year 1

  • In the first year, you’ll develop awareness of basic principles of architecture, explored in parallel with developing knowledge and key skills. Building on this, you will be challenged to interrogate the meaning and role of architecture through experimentation and testing through making. Your learning will be guided by various projects engaging with co-joined issues of environment and people. The main learning activities will be pursued within a trans-disciplinary and trans-cultural environment. 

    Core modules

    • Communication 4.1 (COMM411)

      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.

    • Design Studio 4.1 (DESN411)

      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.

    • Integrated Design 4.2 (DESN412)

      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 DSGN411/Design Studio 4.1 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.

    • History Theory and Critical Context 4.2 (HTCC412)

      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.

    • Technology 4.1 (TECN411)

      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

  • The second year is coordinated to scaffold design in broader social and urban settings. An emphasis is on collaborative work in teams and professional contexts to explore architecture through contemporary social challenges, notably: changing patterns of living and working in urban communities. Working with advancing media, second-year students further the communicative skill set, and build a critical understanding of the role of design, making, and the built environment in the reproduction of daily life.

    Core modules

    • Design Studio and Communication 5.1 (DSCM521)

      In this module through both individual and group work, exploratory, analytical studies undertaking an architectural design project in the context of a social residential framework and to explore and understand modes of representation that can inform how an architectural project is represented, using both analogue and digital techniques for exploring and developing creative and critical thinking (i.e. design and representational) skills. This module enables students to develop their representation toolkit and mixed media design skills, by delivering lectures, workshops and online tutorial sessions focused on professional collaborative contexts and the use of advancing media and Building Information Management protocols.

    • History Theory and Critical Context 5.1 (HTCC521)

      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.

    • Sustainable Technologies 5.2 (TECN522)

      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, to meet the demands of the climate challenge.

    • Design Studio and Advancing Media (DSCM532)

      In this module through both individual and group work, exploratory, analytical studies undertaking an architectural design project in the context of a complex design brief engaged in a live context, and to explore and understand modes of architectural practice, using both analogue and digital techniques for exploring and developing creative and critical thinking (i.e. design and representational) skills. This module enables students to develop their design and communications toolkit through engagement with advancing media, by delivering lectures, workshops and online tutorial sessions focused on advancements in media relevant to architectural practice and collaboration, such as digital fabrication, immersive and gaming technologies, and building information management.

  • Final year

  • Third year is outward facing. It enables students to work on a range of scales, from master planning to architectural details. Live projects activate participatory consultation and interdisciplinary collaboration to respond to current global challenges. Vertical learning across the second and third year in the final semester fosters peer-to-peer learning. Students apply their own theoretical preoccupations into the design studio environment and graduate with a discursive portfolio.

    Core modules

    • Common Dissertation: Critical Practices (ADA600)

      The module engages students in situating practice through research, contextualisation and critical reflection, in relation to their final stage study and post University aspirations. Programmes can offer: a traditional dissertation; preparation for an extended dissertation; situating existing practice; or the construction of a new body of work as practice-based research.

    • Strategic Design Studio and Communication 6.1 (DSCM621)

      In this module through both individual and group work, undertake in depth exploratory, analytical studies that both inform and challenge the design process in the context of a specific modes of research situated around Urbanism, Material Adaptability, Ecology or Typologies to inform an architectural design project, and demonstrating an understanding of the industry and profession, business management and ethics, exploring and developing creative and critical thinking (i.e. design and representational) skills.

    • Design Studio and Professional Practice (DSCM632)

      In this module through both individual and group work, exploratory, analytical studies undertaking an architectural design project in the context of a complex design brief engaged in a live context, and to explore and understand modes of architectural practice, and how buildings are procured, the principles of business management and how businesses operate, and professional and personal ethics, using both analogue and digital techniques for exploring and developing creative and critical thinking (i.e. design and representational) skills. This module examines the context of architectural practice, and how buildings are procured and delivered within this context. It furthers development of the design and communications toolkit through applied mixed and advancing media in professional contexts.

    • Sustainable Building Technologies (TECN632)

      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, to meet the demands of the climate challenge, an understanding of life safety in relation to construction technologies, and challenge compliance models to consider best practice.

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 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.

Academic and professional progression

Our ARB- and RIBA-accredited programmes are designed to help you reach the status of professional Chartered Architect. At Plymouth, you will benefit from a strong connection between our undergraduate, masters, and research programmes that will support you to achieve your career aims.
 
BA (Hons) Architecture (3 years)
RIBA-recognised Part 1 programme
Industry experience (1 year)
MArch Architecture (2 years)
RIBA-recognised Part 2 programme
Industry experience (1 year)
Final examination
RIBA Part 3

Research opportunities

Research in architecture currently revolves around these thematic clusters​:

  • Architecture and Media (Film)
  • Architecture and Pedagogy
  • Displacement and Migration
  • Digital Fabrication and Design
  • Place-Making
  • Smart Cities
  • Spatial Politics, Power and Violence
  • Spatial Practice and Architecture
  • Sustainable Architecture / Environmental Building
  • Sustainable Communities
  • Urban Dialogues
  • Urban Ecologies

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

104 - 136

Digital portfolio
You will be required to submit a digital portfolio demonstrating a range of creative skill sets.
A level
A minimum of two A levels; General Studies accepted.
International Baccalaureate
 
26–34 points.
18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma
DMM-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 (preferably Art and Design or combined) with at least 33 credits at Merit and/or Distinction.
T level
Merit in digital production, design and development.
GCSE
Five passes including Mathematics and English Language grade C.
Equivalent qualifications may be considered.
Applicants who will require a Student (formerly Tier 4) visa to study in the UK
Please note that if you are planning to complete further studies in Architecture, Student visa 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.
We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications, please refer to our tariff glossary. 

Fees, costs and funding

Student 2023-2024 2024-2025
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £16,300 £17,100
Part time (Home) £770 £770
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 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. More information about fees and funding.

Additional costs

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

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

Your applicant portfolio demonstrates your ambition and potential as an architect

Your portfolio is a record of your creative potential and a chance for you to make an impression. We are interested in seeing the work that best showcases your skills and process of working.
Architecture portfolio hero image

Providing rewarding experiences

You’ll have opportunities to learn work-ready skills sought after by employers. Apply your learning to real-life challenges and make a difference.

Students design and build a Sheppard’s Hut under supervision from project manager Duncan Passmore as part of a joint project between the University's School of Architecture and Dartington Hall Trust.

Work on real-world projects
Gain industry insight by collaborating with professionals and clients on live briefs and projects in local, regional and international settings.

Architecture study trip

Experience inspiring study trips
National and international study trips provide opportunities to experience stunning architecture in some of Europe's most culturally diverse cities.

Architecture news and events image

Exhibitions, events and guest lectures
We host and showcase exciting events and welcome globally distinguished and multidisciplinary experts, practitioners and scholars.

Toshiko Terazono teaching in the architecture studio

Encouraging your individuality

Increase your knowledge and develop a critical questioning approach through intellectually stretching multidisciplinary learning.

Freya Kay

Realising architectural ambition
Freya shares how the course is helping her achieve her dream of becoming a professional architect.

Diversity in Architecture: our studio community
We provide a collaborative, open-ended and energetic environment; there is no pre-set model and everything is open to discussion.

“The course helped me to see buildings as more than just an object within a place.”
George talks about his discovery of the broader aspects of architecture.

“The scales and bandwidth of thinking about architecture seen here, beyond slick presentation or the beat of the eco-drum seen in many architecture schools – from research, to collaboration, to communication, to social engagement and interaction, all feeding into the design development – is what impresses and is the key take-away from the Plymouth show.”
Rob Wilson from The Architects' Journal
Plymouth Architecture Student Show 2022 – as featured in Architects' Journal

Platform for success

Our school has produced some of the top architects in the country.

Grace quah

Follow in our graduates’ footsteps
Our alumni work at a range of regionally, nationally and internationally recognised and award-winning practices.

Stephen Witherford (Witherford Watson Mann)

Stephen Witherford
Stephen is a Director of Witherford Watson Mann. In 2016, the practice won the Stirling Prize for Astley Castle for the Landmark Trust.

Architecture graduate, Alex De Rijke

Alex de Rijke
Alex is the founding Director of dRMM, a practice established in 1995. In 2017, he won the RIBA Stirling Prize for Hastings Pier.

Learn from experts in their field

Our research environment

Investigating the ways in which we inhabit space, and how this is shaped by social, technological and cultural spatial factors.
Our research typically takes a cross-disciplinary approach, characterised by collaborations with a diverse range of industry and third sector organisations in UK and internationally. We have successfully published a number of major monographs in the last five years. 
We're a connected community of creative thinkers, makers and professional practitioners.
Architecture research
These are the latest results from the National Student Survey. Please note that the data published on Discover Uni (Unistats) is updated annually in September. The results of the National Student Survey (NSS) and the Destination of Graduate Outcomes survey (GO) are made available to prospective students and their advisors through the Discover Uni website. *Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2020