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Architecture BA(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time K100 2017

Why choose this course?

Kingston is ranked among Europe's top 50 architecture schools, with a recent graduate awarded the top international portfolio prize by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). Situated in an art school environment, our Department of Architecture & Landscape offers a breadth of built environment expertise and a unique educational experience.

Professional recognition

This course is validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and prescribed by the Architects Registration Board (ARB). Students often feature in the prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) President's Medals.

Domus magazine lists us among Europe's top 50 architecture schools. We were one of just two UK schools invited to present at the 12th Biennale in Venice.

Staff and students from the Department of Architecture and Landscape talk about the Architecture BA(Hons) course, the department ethos and how to apply:

What you will study

This degree centres on design, on the creative processes of observation and making, and an ethos of ‘thinking through making'. Architecture is emphasised as a material practice, with particular attention given to how buildings are made and how tectonic components are fundamental to architectural character.

Studio projects form 50 per cent of the course, giving you the skills and knowledge to tackle design issues in the built environment. Workshops teach drawing and making skills, such as casting, pencil and charcoal rendering, detailed large-scale model-making, computer-based graphics and CAD drawing. You will also study theoretical, cultural, historical, social, sustainable, material and technical issues.

Year 1 features site-based projects, addressing the principles and context of architectural design. It includes supporting studies such as drawing and model-making, materials, sustainability and architectural history.

In Years 2 and 3, you will work in independent studio groups, carrying out design projects that may last from a few weeks to a year. In Year 2, you will be encouraged to experiment creatively, typically working on a main design project each semester. You will continue the skills-based learning introduced in Year 1, expanding your knowledge of supporting subjects and applying it to your design projects.

Year 3 involves the production of a thesis design project. In its presentation, you will show the integration of your professional skills and knowledge.

Your design studio work, the research undertaken for your thesis project, and your written dissertation, all give you the opportunity to develop and express your individual interests. Modules incorporate aspects of sustainability, tectonics and structure, history of architecture and professional practice.

Our students regularly achieve recognition in the prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) President's Medals – considered the world's most prestigious and established awards in architectural education. Recent graduate Simon Dean won Bronze for the best degree-level design project.

For 2016, the Guardian league table listed us as one of the top schools of architecture in London. Domus magazine consistently lists us as one of the top 50 architecture schools in Europe. We were one of only two UK schools of architecture invited to present to an international audience at the 12th Biennale in Venice in 2010.

Module listing

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Year 1

  • Architecture exists at the root of culture: it is shaped by cultural, artistic, social and historical factors and in turn impacts on its wider cultural and physical contexts, transforming them through its physical presence. The reading of history reveals the connections between the past and present: ritual and practical requirements have always been embodied in buildings, disclosing both past world views and the particularities of specific, local conditions. The reading of a site establishes a basis for making an intervention in that site and by doing so, initiates a process of change.

    This module provides you with a chronological survey of architectural history, focusing on illustrative case studies. It introduces the study of precedent, exploring the ways in which ideas that emerge from such studies can inform a developing design project. The module establishes methods for analysing sites and their wider contexts, and asks you to begin to acknowledge the fundamental importance of the subject and context of a project, in the development of an appropriate architectural response.

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  • Architecture is a profession. Working within a social and ethical context, architects bring together different factors related to the brief, programme, environment, available resources, codes of professional conduct and legislation. They develop projects towards their resolved conclusions through an iterative process of testing and refining ideas. This module introduces you to the profession of architecture and the professional context within which architecture is made. It offers you the opportunity to begin to understand themselves as professionals, through the introduction of key skills and practices. You are asked to explore and demonstrate methods for developing propositional work. You are also encouraged to manage and appraise your work and become independent and reflective learners.

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  • Architecture is an act of interpretation. This might emerge through direct experience or through representation in another form, whether visual, oral or literary. Representations of architecture both construct its meaning and are fundamental to the processes of its design. A completed work of architecture brings together the different concerns, which have informed its development and translates them into a coherent spatial and material whole.

    This module provides you with a historical, theoretical and practical introduction to cross-disciplinary techniques and examples of architectural representation. It asks you to complete an architectural design project and introduces the idea that a successful proposition manifests the complex and imaginative inter-relationships between physical, environmental, social and cultural factors. It asks you to consider how some of these inter-relationships are interpreted within your own project, through the appropriate employment of a range of techniques of representation, across two and three dimensions.

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  • Architecture is a material practice. The act of making a building is described tectonically, in the relationships between the materials it is made from, the methods of its construction and the structures that support and stabilise it. The physical character of a building and the ways in which it is made are fundamental to its architectural quality and atmosphere, its relationship with its environment and the ways in which it is inhabited by its users. This module introduces you to the consideration of architecture as a material condition, and begins to ask you to consider how a building is made as a fundamental part to a wider architectural conversation. It asks you to investigate materials first-hand, to explore their qualities, and considering how they may be brought together and employed within an architectural project. It begins to explore how a building can offer a comfortable and sustainable environment for its users.

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Year 2

  • Architecture is a cultural construct. Buildings have always engendered personal, cultural and /or political perspectives, the study of which reveals historical developments in philosophy, socioeconomic and environmental drivers and 'imperatives' and theoretical ideas. An understanding of these developments in relation to precedent study opens students up to broader understandings of both physical and cultural contexts. This module introduces you to some of the theoretical ideas that have influenced and which currently direct the development of architecture, developing your practical and analytical research skills in relation to given design briefs. It develops your ability to analyse sites and their wider contexts and encourages a deeper understanding of the ways in which precedent can inform a developing design project. Through this you are encouraged to take a position in relation to this research.

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  • Constraints are a creative opportunity.  User requirements and legislative frameworks, taken alongside the 'reading' of a site, inform the iterative development of a design project. This module will address the professional, legislative, ethical concerns which inform the procurement of an architectural project. It will also encourage the exploration of self-reflective and critical working methods within the development of a project.

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  • A work of architecture represents the drawing together of physical, environmental, social and cultural factors: interpreting, conceptualising and integrating them into a body of ideas that can shape a building. Architects employ a diverse range of media, across two and three dimensions in order to both explore these ideas and to communicate them and the resulting project to different audiences.

    This module assists you in the refinement of representation skills and techniques and develops their approach to the representation and communication of their design proposal. This enables you to arrive at a formal, spatial, contextual and programmatic resolution of a design project.

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  • At both a strategic and a detailed level, the ways in which a building is made are fundamental in defining its architectural character.  This module provides the foundations for the knowledge, techniques and skills that a student will need to master in order to construct and structure a holistic architectural proposition. The module will cover an introduction to engineering, building components, building systems and building skins. This knowledge will be mainly taught through lectures. You will apply the acquired knowledge to both an existing building and your own design proposal.

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Year 3

  • Buildings and cities embody attitudes. Architecture strategically engages individuals, communities and society with the issues of place in practical, personal, cultural and political ways. Through a process of primary and secondary research across a broad range of subjects, architects appraise the fundamental conditions of site and context, in order to inform a strategic design approach for a particular place. The detailed study of buildings and places from other times and contexts, develops an architect's ability to critique these complex interacting conditions.

    Establishing a foundation for lifelong learning and practice, this module supports you in the practice of reading and interpreting architecture through two capstone projects; a final thesis design project and a dissertation.

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  • An architect synthesises a complex range of issues, design aspirations and inspirations within the design of a project. The successful integration of ethical, social, regulatory, contractual and procedural issues within a developing design process, alongside an awareness of building economy, is fundamental to making a successful work of architecture. This process of synthesis requires discipline, critical self-reflection, iteration and teamwork.

    This module integrates such professional issues within a final thesis design project, a capstone project, and prepares you for your initial period of professional practice.

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  • Architecture embodies ideas about the world. In its many different forms, architecture interprets and represents the interactions and inter-relationships between a diverse range of physical, environmental, social and cultural factors. A beautiful or compelling project synthesises these into a coherent, spatial and experiential whole.

    This module asks you to critique the ways in which an existing building encompasses such concerns, eloquently integrating primary experience with secondary research and visually representing this through an appropriate range of media, as an integral part of a dissertation capstone project. A successful design proposal represents the drawing together of a complex range of issues into a coherent, holistic work of architecture, described within a well-presented and communicative portfolio.

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  • The ability to integrate the diverse technological aspects of a building as fundamental aspects of its final character and as part of an ongoing and iterative process of design, is a core skill of an architect. This module develops a your ability to simultaneously consider all aspects of a building's technology in relation to its wider design aims at both a strategic, and a detailed level. This module will facilitate a holistic and ongoing integration of tectonics, technology and sustainable issues throughout the development of the capstone thesis design project.

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You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University on a not-for-credit basis as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Most of our undergraduate courses support studying or working abroad through the University's Study Abroad or Erasmus programme.

Find out more about where you can study abroad:

If you are considering studying abroad, read what our students say about their experiences.

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

A copy of the regulations governing this course is available here

Details of terms dates for this course can be found here

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