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Architecture BA (Hons)

About the course

Book your place on our next Open Day - Saturday 20 February 2016

The Architecture BA at DMU responds boldly to the challenges of designing for diverse communities and cultures in a globalised world. Our graduates have a confidence in their architectural skillset to change the world and the habitats of the future with their creative design skills, imaginative vision, strategic thinking, humanistic and ethical understanding, environmental knowledge and technical ability. Our course responds to the challenges of designing for diverse communities and cultures in a globalised world where there are modernising threats to traditional cultures, complexities in generating sustainable environments and constant change in technological aspects of modern life. 

Did you know that Architecture at DMU is one of the top 30 courses in the UK? -  Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016

Reasons to choose Architecture at DMU:

  • Gain exemption from Part 1 of RIBA and ARB professional qualifications

  • Our graduates are employed by some of the best architectural practices in the UK and overseas, including Foster + Partners, Thomas Heatherwick and Make

  • The Leicester School of Architecture is one of the oldest schools of architecture in the UK with a 125-year history of technical excellence and creativity

  • An impressive team of internationally recognised teaching staff comprising published authors, academic specialists, award-winning practicing architects and career architectural educators

  • A global school with week-long study trips each year and study abroad opportunities in Alexandria, USA, and Athens, Greece.

You will undertake design projects in a range of spatial, social and topographical settings, from the smallest residences and objects to complex megacities and events. 
The majority of the course is taught as a series of design projects in the design studio. This is complemented by lectures, workshops and studio events on the philosophy and history of architecture and design, technical and practical studies and professional practice studies on the role of the ethical architect in the commercial world. 

The course is on the Commonwealth Association of Architects’ approved courses list.

Key facts

UCAS course code:  K100

Duration:  Three years full-time

Institution code: D26

Entry and admission criteria

A good portfolio and normally:

  • Art and Design Foundation or
  • 340 points from at least 2 A'levels or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma DDM or
  • International Baccalaureate: 30+ Points

Five GCSEs grades A* - C including English Language or Literature and Maths or Science at grade C or above.

We also accept the BTEC First Diploma plus two GCSEs including English and Maths or Science at grade C or above.

Portfolio advice

UK applicants with relevant qualifications will be invited to bring their portfolio of work to an open day and interview. Overseas applicants will be invited to send samples of their work. Please see our Architecture BA (Hons) portfolio advice for full details.


International Students

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.0 or equivalent when you start the course is essential. English Language tuition, delivered by our British Council accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.

Teaching and assessment

The LSA emphasises learning through modelling and making, both manually and digitally, making it an important feature of the course. We encourage and support you to become a productive student by focusing on the design studio as your key learning environment.

In the design studio you will:

  • Work and collaborate with peers and tutors in drawing, digital drawing and fabrication, model making, discussion and debate
  • Meet regularly with design tutors for small group learning, individual advice and guidance, assessment and feedback
  • Engage in instructional/guidance lectures and workshops to develop key manual and digital techniques
  • Have design work reviewed by eminent guest architects and critics

A programme of lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops support your learning in the four key strands of the curriculum:

  • Architectural design – project-based learning and assessment
  • Architectural communication – project-based learning and assessment around key skill sets including CAD, BIM, digital modelling and fabrication
  • Technology and environment – project-based learning and assessment combined with testing your knowledge of key principles
  • History and theories of architecture – assessment based on online tests and short written assignments, culminating in a written dissertation in the final year

In the final year there is an additional focus on

  • Professional practice and ethics – project-based learning and assessment

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, group work and self-directed study. Assessment is through coursework (presentations, essays and reports) Your precise timetable will depend on the optional modules you choose to take, however, in your first year you will normally attend around 20 hours of timetabled taught sessions (lectures and tutorials) each week, and we expect you to undertake at least 21 further hours of independent study to complete project work and research.

Course modules

Year 1

  • Architectural Design Studio 1
    An introduction to architectural design. A series of design exercises and projects challenge preconceptions, develop core studio skills and good habits, and introduce key principles of site analysis and response, user-experience and architectural technique.
  • Architectural Design Studio 2  
    A series of design projects to develop an understanding of the key principles of site, user-experience and architectural technique (culminating in the design of a small building for an individual or small number of individuals), and the private spaces of architecture such as the home.
    Architectural Communication 1 
    Learning assignments to develop your skills in manual and digital drawing, as well as key  hybrid-drawing skills – the basis for digital-work-flow in later years.
  • Building Performance and Technology 1  
    An introduction to light, structure, materials, energy and environmental design, culminating in case study work.
  • Architectural History and Philosophy
    An introduction to architectural ideas and individuals in relation to current issues in architecture and a broad overview of architectural history. 

Year 2

  • Architectural Design Studio 3 
    Extends your skills and knowledge by working on a more challenging site and context where you design a building, or buildings, for a group or community and need to consider both the private and public spaces of architectural design and the interfaces between them.
  • Architectural Design Studio 4 
    A series of studio options offering the opportunity to broaden your design interests; you elect a design project that appeals either in terms of place (where), process (how) and/or programme. Subject to timings and circumstances we may offer live projects, involving real clients and stakeholders. All options extend and explore the private-public themes of ADS3.
  • Architectural Communication 2 
    This module extends the core skill-set to BIM (Building Information Modelling), CAD-CAM, 3D modelling, interactive file formats, film and digital-work-flow as the basis for exemplar digital drawing and production techniques.
  • Building Performance and Technology 2  
    Develop your core learning through a project set in a specific and challenging climatic context, for example a site in a hot-dry climate, in semi-arid, tropical, sub-tropical or arctic conditions. Technical studies in further develop your interests, self-directedness and entrepreneurship.
  • Architectural Theories
    This module uses the knowledge you obtained on the Architectural History and Philosophy module as the basis for seminar-based learning about contemporary architectural theories and ideas. 

Year 3

  • Architectural Design Studio 5 
    Extends the public-private themes of previous modules to introduce ideas of the civic and the city; an urban design/studies project creates the context for, and underpins, the development of building designs in a city/civic setting.
  • Architectural Design Studio 6  
    The final studio in the design sequence focuses on complex civic projects which responds to multiple, overlapping agendas in the contemporary city. You will work on a major comprehensive design project for the semester and develop it to a high degree of resolution. Projects will be institutional/public and operate at the scale of the city.
  • Technical Studies
    You will be challenged to extend and demonstrate your understanding of structural, environmental design and construction-design strategy. You will undertake two technical studies: one will demonstrate technical excellence around a key design idea and the other, will demonstrate integrated design skills.
  • Dissertation
    You will engage with issues around the architectural and building industry and develop your research methodologies, intellectual abilities and presentation skills.
  • Practice, Profession and Ethics
    This module introduces you to architectural commerce and professionalism through studying business principles, project management, forms of practice, legalities, professional bodies and ethics. You will also familiarise yourself with architectural development and procurement through studying construction, real estate and architectural industries, and professional architectural economics.


Note: All modules are subject to change in order to keep content current.

Graduate careers

Many graduates continue their architectural education to qualify and register as an architect. Some of our graduates have gone onto careers with leading architectural practices in the UK and overseas, including Foster + Partners, Thomas Heatherwick and Make. Others use their degree to launch careers in related fields such as architectural conservation, urban design, research, planning and project management, or go into other fields such as journalism, heritage and history, film, web design, lifestyle design, game design, event design and digital animation, strategic management and political advocacy.

Fees and funding

UK/EU Fees: £9000 per year
International Fees:  £11,750 per year 

Learn more about fees and funding information 2016.

It is likely there will be some additional costs wherever you choose to study. Here at DMU, we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist laboratories and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs, which vary from course to course. We provide full details of all course fees, but these extra costs may include general living expenses, field trips, travel for work placement opportunities, materials, additional text books and others such as supplementary printing.


You will have access to studio spaces with extensive CAD facilities, workshops offering a broad range of facilities from casting, metal working and woodworking to digital printing and water-jet cutting, printing and photography equipment. You will also benefit from resources and support in the Architecture Hub, our online learning space.

You will learn in large multipurpose studio spaces supported by visualisation and craft facilities. The LSA has a wide range of CAD stations where you learn drafting, 2D, 3D, NURBS/Spline, environmental and building performance modelling, rendering, animation, imaging and publishing software, linked to a variety of output devices such as HD screens, large format printers and 3D-printers. You will learn how to use manual/ mechanised/digitally-controlled workshops offering metal, wood, plastics, timber, fabric and glass craft and fabrication capabilities, the latest rapid prototyping machines and 2D/3D printing, including laser, water-jet cutting and CNC multi-axis milling. 

Art and Design Facilities

How to apply

UK and EU students are advised to apply through UCAS at

International students can apply to study at DMU directly using our online applications portal.

Contact details

For more information please contact:

Online enquiry form
Telephone enquiries:  +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70

Alternative pathway

Architectural Studies BA (Hons) 

The Architectural Studies BA (Hons) is an alternative graduation pathway of study for students who have initially enrolled onto the Architecture BA (Hons). This option allows you to explore further opportunities within architectural education, and is a pathway for you to make your mark within the built environment sector. You are able to transfer from the Architecture BA (Hons) programme after the first or second year of study. In the architectural studies route you will be able to study various modules including building economics, urban design and cities, issues in environmental sustainability, strategic design thinking, architectural advocacy and project management. The Architectural Studies BA (Hons) is distinguished from the Architecture BA (Hons), which is a PSRB controlled award.  

This degree option is ideal for those who wish to work in other areas of the built environment and the economy, and will prepare you with wide range abilities to function within and outside of the built environment. The strength of the Architectural Studies BA (Hons) is its multi-disciplinary approach, allowing you to seek and adopt informed positions in a range of built environment debates. 

Previous graduates have found jobs in diverse areas of the built environment from site architects, project managers, various roles within the planning and the construction industry, practice managers in architectural firms, positions in central and local governments, or undertake Masters and PhDs degrees in a variety of pathways including product design, interior or construction law.


“Our new mentoring scheme with local architecture practice has allowed me to think about architecture in a more realistic commercial way, and focus on how materials can affect design.”

Philip Cooksey, BA (Hons) Architecture, selected to work on a unique architectural initiative to create an innovative experimental performance pavilion on campus, a project led by Czech architect Eva Jiricna, and Andrea Cusumano.

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