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.

Our course produces some of the top architects in the country.

Our past alumni include Alex de Rijke (dRMM) and Stephen Witherford (Witherford Watson Mann), both of whom are recent RIBA Stirling Prize winners.

Our accolades

Top 5 Modern UK University for Architecture and a top 3 Modern UK University for Research in Architecture (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020). We are in the top 20 of Guardian League tables (2020), and in the First Class Category of Sustainable Universities in the UK (People and Planet Green League 2019).

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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) 2020 return showing 90% of students felt that staff made the subject interesting and 92% of students agreed that the course is intellectually stimulating.*
  • 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 subjects of 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). In 2019, Witherford Watson and Mann won the Stirling Prize People’s Vote. In 2017, Alex de Rijke from dRMM won the Stirling Prize.
  • 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 Society (PARCS), 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 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
    • COMM411 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.

    • DESN411 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.

    • DESN412 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 DSGN401 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.

    • HTCC412 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.

    • TECN411 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
  • 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
    • DSCM511 Design Studio and Communication 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. 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.

    • DSCM512 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. 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.

    • HTCC511 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.

    • TECN512 Common Challenge: 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
  • 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
    • ADA600 Common Dissertation: Critical Practices

      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.

    • DSCM611 Design Studio + Communication 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. 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.

    • DSCM612 Design Studio and Communication 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. 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.

    • TECN612 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.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.
Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

104 - 136

Digital portfolio
You will be required to submit a digital portfolio demonstrating a range of creative skill sets. Get some advice on how to create and submit your portfolio.

A level
A minimum of 2 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 (e.g. Preferably Art and Design or Combined), (including GCSE English and Maths grade C/4 or above or equivalent) with at least 21 credits at distinction , 12 credits at merit and 12 credits at passes to 30 credits at distinction

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.

English language requirements

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

New Student 2021 2022
Home £9,250 To be confirmed
International £14,200 To be confirmed
Part time (Home) £770 To be confirmed
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. For more information about fees and funding please visit www.plymouth.ac.uk/money.

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 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. 

Study trips and live projects

Find out about our trips and student projects.

2019.20 Dartmoor and Madrid study trip
Studying at Plymouth will offer you an opportunity to release your creative impulses and imagination, while nurturing your intellectual drive.

Hibiki Hideout and Flying Carpet

Hibiki Hideout and Flying Carpet
Year 2 students completed the planning drawings for the Hibiki Hideout and Flying Carpet as part of Fingle Woods Interpretation Centre competition.

What’s That Worth to YOU?

What’s That Worth to YOU?
Student Jonathan Lettmann’s Future Parks Accelerator project ‘What’s That Worth to YOU?’ has been selected to herald the ‘Love Parks 2020’ initiative.

Live projects

Find out more about our live student projects.

Outdoor Classroom and Firepit

Outdoor Classroom and Firepit
Year 1 Architecture students set the challenge of designing and constructing an outdoor classroom and firepit for Riverside Primary School.

Big Tent

Big Tent
Year 2 and 3 Architecture students designed and built a timber shelter campsite and a meeting space for Dartington Hall Trust.

Eco Pod

Eco Pod
Year 2 and 3 Architecture students design and construct an eco-pod on the Dartington estate in South Devon.

Inward and outward face

Find out more about our facilities and the Plymouth area.

RLB Walk Through
Architecture is taught in the Roland Levinsky Building. This virtual tour was produced by our Architecture student Corey Sutherland.

Digital Fabrication Lab
Architecture is invested in the future! You will have access to state-of-the-art facilities and resources at your fingertips.

Plymouth as a Playground
Our BA (Hons) Architecture timetable offers you the opportunity to have a life outside the University.

Diversity in architecture

Architecture at Plymouth gives students a diverse multidisciplinary and crosscultural learning experience.

Global reach
Our values are grounded in cross-cultural and multidisciplinary exchanges.

Teaching and learning
Nurturing and supporting students is instrumental to our pedagogy, as is ensuring that everyone retains a great work/life balance.

Skills for life
Live projects with industry professionals and partner organisations play an instrumental role in architectural education at Plymouth.

Voices of students

Find out what our students have to say.

Studio community
Diversity is integral to everything that we do in Architecture at the University of Plymouth.

Architectural ambition

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

Student blog – Marcus

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

Alumni

Discover the stories of our Alumni.

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.

Stephen Witherford

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.

Madhusha Wijesiri

Madhusha Wijesiri
Principal Designer at M2H Design Studio and Co-Founder of Code Atelier.

People

Associate staff

* 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.