Architecture student becomes one of five in UK to receive £5,000 bursary

A De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) architecture student has been awarded a £5000 bursary by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), a bursary given to just five students in the whole country.


Alex Mills received the scholarship, in partnership with Wren Insurance Association Limited, to contribute to costs of the second year of his Part 2 course, the MArch Architecture course within DMU’s Leicester School of Architecture (LSA).

In addition to the £5000, Alex will also have the opportunity to receive mentoring by a fully-qualified architect.

Alex received the bursary based on his success in the first year of his MArch Part 2 course, as well the BA (Hons) Architecture Part 1 course, which he also completed at DMU.

He submitted a portfolio of his work to RIBA, including two pieces focusing on the Baroque-styled Chapel of the Hold Shroud in Turin, Italy and the also Baroque-theme Ragusa Ibla town in Sicily.

“It’s brilliant. It will obviously help me a lot with my studies and be beneficial to me in giving me freedom to do more or less what I want with my work next year,” Alex said.

“There were 11 of us shortlisted nationally and we had to go for interviews at Portland Place in London.

“You had 10 minutes to present the portfolio and then there was about 10 interviewers asking questions for another 10 to 20 minutes or so.

“I’m really proud and happy that the hard work has paid off in such a big way. It obviously amazing and will help me to stand out to employers in the future with such an accolade to my name.”


Something else that will stand Alex in good stead for the future is the experience he’s getting this summer. He’s part way through a Frontrunners placement at DMU helping his tutors with an architectural project of their own.


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He has been helping them by doing advanced architecture modelling and design for their project, which is currently staying firmly under wraps!

Alex added: “This is one of the great things about the university. The experience to be working here over the summer is obviously really useful and again it’ll just help me so much in the future.”


Frontrunners, a DMU employability scheme, provides students with the opportunity to put what they learn in the lecture theatre into practice in the workplace whist paying them a wage.

Alex’s tutor, and of the two benefiting from his assistance this summer is Ben Cowd, subject head for Postgraduate Architecture at LSA.

Ben said: “We were really pleased to hear MArch 1 student Alexander Mills has been awarded a prestigious Wren Scholarship.

“This is the most valued prize for current students studying architecture and a massive achievement.

“Alex is an exceptional student, excellent draftsmen (shown in his submission for the award) and talented designer.

“This year he won the LSA MArch 1 prize for the highest grades across all modules and we hope the scholarship will help him achieve his ambitions in his final year thesis project on the MArch Architecture course at LSA.” 

Posted on Monday 27th July 2015

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