📃 On paper
There are 4 compulsory modules which are run throughout the three years of university, and one additional one in third year. The following modules are:
- Architectural Design: The most important and worth the most. This module focuses on architecture design and concept.
- Architectural Technology: The second most important module, which teaches you all of the technical stuff about architecture (i.e. construction, materials, building regulations, etc). You will be doing both individual and group work on providing reports/booklets on either your own design, or a particular case study.
The following modules are all worth the same mark and can pay less attention to, (although it is recommended to do well at these as it may boost your grade, like it did with mine):
- Building Through Time/Architecture in Context: The module is mostly essay-based, having one 2,000 word essay a year and a multiple choice test in first year (really easy don’t worry). This focuses on the history of architecture, where you will have weekly lectures on different types of architecture from classical - contemporary, and discuss the philosophical issues within architecture.
- Design Principles and Methods: This module teaches a range of fundamental basics from, technical drawings (i.e. elevations, sections, plans), to computer software on rhino and grasshopper, to model-making. In second and third year, you will be asked to put yourselves in groups.
- Principles Management and Economics (year 3): This module is run in the second term of university, where you will be put into groups of 3 or 4 to produce 10 minute presentations on professional issues such as cost and values, planning permission and building regs, and development control. In your groups, you will also be asked to prepare a 2,000 word report on a particular case study.
Year 4 and 5 are slightly different, however I decided to finish my BSc and carry on my masters elsewhere as fourth year is merged within your placement year.
👐🏻 General approach
The course is mostly studio-based, with one-to-one tutorials once a week and lectures roughly twice a week.
Architectural Design: In second and third year, you have a range of units to choose from (i.e. second year I chose to do a nursery, and third year was to design a zen dojo). You will be spending most of your time in the studio with the people in your specific unit, and it varies from individual design and tech work, or being in pairs or groups to design a model or a particular drawing.
Throughout the three years, you attend your ‘crits’ which, at first, is horrendous and terrifying, but you gradually get used to them and towards your final year you end up having them once every 3 weeks. This is where you present your work to your tutor, external tutor (outside of the uni), and your unit group (roughly 10-12 people), and you are given feedback for your work.
💖 Student support
The Architecture Society (SAWSA) often has 2 welfare representatives, where they will host coffee sessions, yoga classes, etc. You can also go to them if you need any advice or just want someone to talk to.
As you will be spending most of your time in studio or with your course mates, it is highly recommend to join the society (SAWSA), and perhaps being one of the representatives in second year.
As part of the society you also get architecture parents (a bit like college parents if you go to oxford/cambridge)! Archi parents are very helpful, as suggested by this student testimonial: " My archi parents, who are in the year above me, have been so helpful and supportive throughout my three years at university, and have helped and guide me so much throughout my design process."
No integrated work-placement is provided. The fourth year is called a ‘sandwich year’ because you are meant to find placement on your own, whilst also undertaking your masters.
Opportunities are sometimes offered via email to work abroad during your summer (this is often in Fiji).
You will be working in the purpose-built Bute Building, recently refurbished to incorporate new facilities, including hybrid studios, workshop, digital fabrication and Living Lab.