📃 On paper
On your first year you have to do a Design Studio 1 with different paths. You have the option to choose between multiple tutors and they try to “sell” the creative design path. I had the same tutor for my years, Alex. We mostly worked on spatiality and existing buildings.
Furthermore, we had to do our dissertation in the first year rather than the second. They wanted to ease off the workload in the second year and went with a new approach.
In our second year, we had a technology module, design 3 (thesis and final project), research study, and a law and ethics module. Design 3 was where I worked on existing buildings.
👐🏻 General approach
Studying Architecture at De Montfort University consists of a highly encouraged studio culture. It pushes the value of a great design that integrates technical ideas to solve problems.
Studios are randomly assigned until Studio 3 [Midway Second Year]. This usually covers different types of studios to make sure students can experience different type of studio groups. Studio 4 and 5 allows students to choose the group.
The design studio encourages concepts to turn into strong narratives that drive your designs. Site analysis and integration of designs and the surrounding area is given high importance.
There are international trips in all three years which are made affordable with the DMU Global Scheme, in which a lot of the fees are paid for.
I went to Amsterdam in first year, India in second year and Berlin in third year with the DMU Global scheme.
The University takes part in various competitions which the students can take part in.
I would say they focus more on design as the technical work have their own modules however, they are all integrated within each other so they are all equally relevant.
💖 Student support
DMU strong student union that is there to support any issues that students may raise. In addition, Architecture Reps are appointed so that they can listen and raise issues with the department.
There are personal tutors with whom you can arrange meetings to keep on track. If you have any issues, personal tutors are the first point of contact. Personally, I have had pretty good experience with my personal tutors and they have provided the required support.
There are stronger job prospects in universities in and around bigger cities but De Montfort does offer employability support.
Absolutely incredible. I had severe health and family issues yet had the utmost support from the module lead and my tutor. Quite frankly speaking, I only passed because of their support and help
In terms of the facilities, a new studio and free to use wood, metal and plastics workshop is all available for students in a new building.
In addition, Material bursary is given to students. £150 is given in first year, £200 in second year and £250 in third year to support you with Architecture supplies you may need such as pens, paper and printing which does pile up over time.
Autodesk Softwares such as AutoCad and Revit is free for student of the university for the three years.📄 Application Process
Fantastic. DMU has the best facilities I’ve seen amongst several universities. They have everything you can think of from 3D printing to waterjet metal cutting. Printing is very cheap and they have access to all sorts of paper sizes. The library could be better but you’d probably be at studio instead of the library if I’m honest.
The facilities are good enough for the most part. Usually they get busy closer to the end of the term, as expected. So if you are working on a larger project that requires more time and space in the workshops, it is a good idea to start it early and be in contact with the technicians.
📄 Application Process
My application requirements were pretty standard. I had to submit a portfolio, write a statement of purpose, have an interview with the faculty of architecture, provide one reference and I am an international applicant, so I had to provide proof of english language proficiency. I did not have to take up any standardised test however. I had another interview with DMU. I had a conversation about architecture and my personal interests. Upon being satisfied with my level of English, they waived off the IELTS requirement.
😉 Insider Tips
Nothing to specific but very important. Printers get very busy a day before crit, so make sure you keep on printing your work as you finish. Some studios are flexible about using screens instead of prints, some require pinups by a specific time before starting the session.
The workshop technicians are usually nice and very helpful, but there are still a few odd characters. If you are trying to build something big or time consuming, its a good idea to talk to the technicians in advance.
The workshops are closed during inductions for new students. Keep an eye on the schedule. If you have to use the workshops over summer, talk to the staff way in advance as they tend to go on holidays and during that time, parts of the workshop tend to be closed [usually the most useful machines].
Apart from the main library for the university, there is a dedicated library for architecture students with access to magazine subscriptions, previous students' dissertations etc. They also have 3D printers in case the workshop is closed or there is waiting. I think they have extra 3D printers in studio space now as well.
Library basement has Macs and Wacoms. There are a few Wacoms on the upper floor but they mostly tend to be occupied during peak weeks. If the CAD loaded pcs are busy on the upper floor, there are higher chances of finding empty ones in the basement.
The city is also very lovely. It’s not very big and everything is quite accessible. It’s one of the better cities in the UK in my opinion