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Course Description

Architecture is always political – it is first and foremost about people and our interaction with the world around us. BA Architecture at Central Saint Martins is committed to socially engaged practice. It promotes direct engagement with real-world social, cultural and political conditions in the contemporary urban landscape. Buildings are only one way in which we intervene in the built environment. The space of the city is charged and shaped through the interplay of multiple factors and tensions. Engaging with these complex dynamics requires innovative design approaches. These often encompass alternative forms of space-making. The course is underpinned by the idea that the human environment is alive with agency; as we shape our environment, our environment shapes us. 

The practice of architecture has always been collaborative. On this course, we rethink the profession and imagine roles beyond disciplinary limits. Architects are increasingly called upon to design the integration of a broad range of practices. These range from the arts to urban development and landscape design to engineering. In order to bring these together into coherent ideas, architects must understand other practices while also effectively communicating their own.  

On BA Architecture, we focus on the relationship between making and thinking. We believe this is central to understanding the ways in which architecture can engage with a range of scales and practices. On this course, we support the development of radical ideas, but also the radical potential of making and building. As a student on BA Architecture, you will be treated as a young practitioner. We will encourage you to develop your own critical and radical approach to architectural design.  

The course collaborates with a range of external partners. These include social initiatives, cultural institutions and public and private sector bodies. You will also work with the other programmes and disciplines in the College. This creates a rich and multi-disciplinary learning experience, with ample opportunity to work on live projects. Here, you will undertake design work in live situations, often engaging with clients. This will allow you to gain an understanding of spatial practice and your role as a designer within it.

Architecture is always political – it is first and foremost about people and our interaction with the world around us. BA Architecture at Central Saint Martins is committed to socially engaged practice. It promotes direct engagement with real-world social, cultural and political conditions in the contemporary urban landscape. Buildings are only one way in which we intervene in the built...

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Course Content

The increasing complexity of contemporary socio-economic, cultural and environmental issues requires architects to develop a broad skill set. This may be described as context-led – seeking solutions which address local issues arising from global agendas. Architects must move beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries to find innovative and sustainable design solutions. There is a growing need for contemporary city design which focuses not only on "hard" infrastructure but also the "softer". That is, not only buildings, transport and engineering but also systems of social networks, organisation and human interaction. BA Architecture shifts the focus of design from buildings as objects to the processes that bring them about, and their impact upon building. This provides greater opportunity for holistic learning and sustainable development.

The course provides a rich learning environment and set of experiences in order for you to develop as a spatial practitioner. It will introduce you to a range of cognitive and practical skills, critical theories and creative experiences. These are delivered through design studio tutorials, lectures, seminars, workshops and study visits. 

Stage 1

Unit 1: Introduction to BA (Hons) Architecture
Unit 2: Design Studio 1
Unit 3: Contextual Studies 1: Architecture and Context
Unit 4: Technical Studies 1 

Stage 1 will introduce you to core skills and concepts. These will allow you to develop a critical understanding of spatial practice. You will focus on studio-based projects, workshops and lectures. You will approach design for the human environment, exploring and representing different scales and typologies of spaces, buildings and places.  

Stage 2

Unit 5: Design Studio 2
Unit 6: Contextual Studies 2: Modern Dialectics
Unit 7: Technical Studies 2
Unit 8: Professional Practice 2

This stage provides further development of your conceptual thinking, interpretive and design skills. Material knowledge, technical skills, critical writing and presentation skills will enable greater resolution in your designs. Stage 2 also focuses on your personal responses to design issues and the development of your unique voice as a spatial designer.  

Stage 3

Unit 9: Design Studio 3
Unit 10: Contextual Studies 3: Dissertation
Unit 11: Technical Studies 3
Unit 12: Professional Practice 3

Stage 3 brings together your skills, concepts and knowledge into more integrated design projects. This stage offers you the opportunity to merge your previous experience. You will explore in-depth, potential directions for your future career through a self-directed project and written dissertation.  

The increasing complexity of contemporary socio-economic, cultural and environmental issues requires architects to develop a broad skill set. This may be described as context-led – seeking solutions which address local issues arising from global agendas. Architects must move beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries to find innovative and sustainable design solutions. There is a growing...

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Entry Requirements

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

136 UCAS tariff points which can be made up of one or a combination of the following accepted full Level 3 qualifications:

  • Three A Levels at grades AAB
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Distinction, Distinction, Distinction (DDD) at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • Pass at UAL Extended Diploma
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma (preferred subjects include Art, Art and Design or Design and Technology)
  • Equivalent EU/international qualifications, such as International Baccalaureate Diploma (35 points)

And five GCSE passes at grade 4 or above (grade A*–C) including English Language, Mathematics and a double award at Science, or two separate sciences such as Physics or Chemistry, and one other subject (Art and Design or Design Technology are recommended).

Entry to this course will also be determined by assessment of your portfolio. A very high proportion of successful applicants complete a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design.

AP(E)L – Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Exceptionally applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional reference.

Or a combination of these factors.

Each application will be considered on its own merit but cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

English language requirements

IELTS score of 6.0 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking.

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows: 136 UCAS tariff points which can be made up of one or a combination of the following accepted full Level 3 qualifications: Three A Levels at grades AAB Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (Level 3 or 4) Distinction, Distinction, Distinction (DDD) at BTEC Extended...

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Assessment Methods

  • Reports and essays 
  • Portfolio presentations 
  • Portfolio submissions 
  • Technical reports 
  • Professional practice 
  • Dissertation

  • Reports and essays 
  • Portfolio presentations 
  • Portfolio submissions 
  • Technical reports 
  • Professional practice 
  • Dissertation

Additional Information

Course dates

Autumn term:
Monday 16 September 2019 – Friday 6 December 2019
Spring term:
Monday 6 January 2020 – Friday 13 March 2020
Summer term:
Tuesday 14 April 2020 – Friday 19 June 2020

Course dates

Autumn term:
Monday 16 September 2019 – Friday 6 December 2019
Spring term:
Monday 6 January 2020 – Friday 13 March 2020
Summer term:
Tuesday 14 April 2020 – Friday 19 June 2020