Course overviewBSc (Hons) Architecture is concerned with the design of the constructed environment. Exploring not just the design of buildings, but also the technical and management competencies required to realise those designs, our course provides an excellent foundation for anyone wishing to work within an architectural office.
The main aims of our degree are:
- to introduce to you the knowledge, understanding and skills required in architectural practice.
- to develop your understanding of the cultural, environmental, technological, social, legal and economic context of architecture.
- to develop your abilities to reason logically, communicate clearly and read critically.
- to enable you to investigate architectural design and its embodying constituents.
- to develop your design skills, sensitivities and abilities through student-centred learning which emphasise imagination and critical rigour.
- to produce you to work successfully as a member of a team.
- to prepare you to apply scientific, technological and organisational principles to the analysis and creative solution of building design problems affecting buildability, sustainability and performance.
- to enable you to attain a level of skill and knowledge in creative design and its communication, technical competence, social responsibility, appropriate for the first stages of a professional qualification in architecture.
design competencies in regard to:
- production of architectural designs.
- analysis, research and brief development.
- culture, history and theories informing design.
- building technologies and human needs.
- regulatory frameworks.
cultural competencies in regard to:
- understanding histories, theories, urban design and landscape.
- contemporary influences of the built environment.
environmental and technological competencies in regard to:
- theories and principles of environmental technologies.
- impact of environmental design, construction and technology.
- structure, construction and materials.
- statutory requirements for health, safety and comfort.
communication competencies in regard to:
- graphic and modeling techniques
- visual, written and verbal communication of ideas and designs.
professional studies and management competencies in regard to:
- design procedures
- roles and relationships within the construction and other industries.
- regulatory, social, economic and cultural framework.
A range of course options will allow you to focus on particular areas of interest or on the requirements of a favoured career path.
Year one core modules
This module is designed to provide an introduction to architectural history and theory for students of architecture and architectural technology as an integral part of a professional education. Through an understanding of the challenges faced, and modes of representation used in the past, you will begin to think critically about your own studio work. The module will begin by introducing you to architecture as a visual language before rigorously accessing, in a chronological sequence, the major movements in western architectural history spanning from Classical Greece to the present day. Each movement will be considered in its historical context. You will be required to study historical and theoretical texts to aid their understanding of architecture as cultural expression. Typically each teaching session will begin with a group presentation to tutors and peers, where you will present, using PowerPoint or similar, your academic research and understanding of a specified topic. This will be followed by open discussion on issues raised and/or workshops to aid the development of your critical skills. Each seminar will be followed by a formal lecture where the subsequent topic will be introduced. Tutorials will also be given to the team presenting at the following session.
This module is designed to develop the transferable skills required by the built environment professional. Through the use of commercial software packages it allows you to both develop your own and to gain an appreciation of ICT skills for research, information management and presentation purposes. It encourages you to use contemporary ICT methods for research and for the production and presentation of reports, in a style suitable both for their university coursework requirements and in a commercial environment. Drawings will be produced and annotated using commercial CAD software and will be presented in a style appropriate to the your course. You will develop skills in the broad area of communication, interpretation and working together: skills that are increasingly demanded for a professional contribution to the built environment. Techniques for various media are considered, together with process, purpose and audience. You will be introduced to Personal Development Planning. For assessment, you will produce a reflective log, (a personal skills audit and development plan), a case study and a group presentation (virtual, hardcopy, visual or aural).
This module is designed for students of architecture and architectural technology as an introduction to the creative processes embodied and the skills required within these related professions. The module complements the work undertaken in the associated module entitled Architecture & Planning Design Studio B. You will develop a range of graphic communication techniques, including freehand and technical drawing skills. The ability to understand and produce simple professional technical drawing will be refined, as well as developing an appreciation of the extent of information required in the process of planning, designing and constructing a building. The module will provide an introduction to and broadening of the basic concepts and techniques of architectural design applied to small scale buildings. You will have the opportunity to investigate; space and form, materials, structure, construction and technology. Throughout this module drawing skills are developed and issues relating to scale, proportion and the human body are explored. The knowledge and skills required to successfully complete this module relate directly to the relevant professions.
This module is designed for students of architecture and related disciplines to provide a challenging, informative, inspiring and exhilarating immersion in the design process. Always mindful of the intellectual rigour of excellent design, you will be challenged to step outside the 'comfort zone' of your received impressions of architecture and construction. Architecture will be seen not in terms of the construction of conventional buildings, but as the creation of meaningful, exhilarating and comforting places for human inhabitation within a specific physical and cultural context a exploration of how we can adapt our environment in order to dwell most appropriately and enjoyably. The design process will begin with an appreciation of the uniqueness of a given place. The tools for this will range from the methodology of site analysis which is common in architectural practice (studying boundaries, thresholds, axes, vistas, microclimatic and other tangible factors) as well as much less defined and subjective impressions, to arrive at a holistic understanding of a context. The modes of representation of this work will reflect its diversity: from prescribed analytical drawings (drawn in strictly specified media, to given scales) through to any form of drawing, collage, photograph, film, model, sculpture etc deemed appropriate to capture the students' more subjective perceptions. In parallel with an understanding of a place, you will consider the very specific physical needs and aspirations of an individual occupier performing a defined, creative and/or intellectual task. The culmination of the module will entail situating this task within the studied context, and designing a structure or artefact to mediate between the essence of dwelling and working, and the wider environment. You will receive regular tutorial support, initially in larger groups, with a greater emphasis on individual tuition as the design task progresses. Assessment will be based on a public review of the completed projects (with supporting analytical and exploratory studies) at which you will introduce your work to peers, tutors and visiting critics.
This module is designed for students of construction, surveying and architecture with little and/or no prior knowledge of building construction, services and material properties. You will learn the common materials and methods of construction of both new and traditional housing, by considering in turn each of the main elements of the buildings' structure. You will also study the requirements of the internal environment, so as to understand how services installations contribute to user comfort. Other basic aspects such as the personnel involved, health and safety requirements and specialised terminology will be illustrated as appropriate to support this. The module is also designed to provide an insight into the behaviour and properties for a variety of materials commonly used in the construction of buildings and civil engineering projects. The behavioural properties and performance of these materials will be explored using basic scientific principles in order to develop the your ability to make informed choices. You will also gain an appreciation of the role of the designer in the construction process and have an understanding of the design process. An integrated learning system comprising course text book, weekly videos, and workbooks for home study, are used together with formal lectures and group tutorials. You will also undertake a series of calculations culminating in a design exercise.
This module is designed for students of architecture and architectural technology as an introduction to the creative processes embodied and the skills required within these related professions. The module complements the work undertaken in the associated module entitled Architecture & Planning Design Studio A. You will develop a range of graphic communication techniques, including freehand and technical drawing skills. The ability to understand and produce simple professional technical drawing will be refined, an appreciation of the extent of information required in the process of planning, designing and constructing a building will be developed. The module will provide an introduction to and broadening of the basic concepts and techniques of architectural design applied to small scale buildings and building elements. You will have the opportunity to investigate; space and form, materials, structure, construction and technology. Throughout this module drawing skills are developed and issues relating to scale, proportion and the human body are explored. The knowledge and skills required to successfully complete this module relate directly to the relevant professions.
Year two core modules
This module has been designed to give you an insight into the scientific basis of the environmental performance and construction of buildings and their services. The main focus is on the introduction of modelling tools that can be used to simulate a building's performance and its affect on the environment. The main approach adopted is that of a scientific one, focusing on the analysis of a problem or set of problems, followed by the synthesis of a solution. Considerable emphasis is placed on the use of environmental criteria to assess a building's thermal, visual and aural performance. A number of scientific methods are explored and there will be a limited amount of practical experiment- based work. A number of technical solutions will be explored for lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning a building. The passive design features of a building are explored. This second level module is also designed to give you a broad understanding of the way we build our commercial and industrial buildings. It is intended to lead on from the study of domestic construction to considering the functional requirements of single-storey industrial sheds and multi-storey framed structures in concrete and steel. In addition, the affects on the construction process of the latest legislation in relation to fire and health & safety are examined. A great deal of guidance is give you on skill development. The module is delivered by blended learning via WebCT, so good access to the internet is essential. The assessment is by a series of online multi-choice questions and a number of reports on the performance of buildings.
This module, together with the module entitled, Architectural Design Studies II, has been designed to give you an opportunity to develop techniques of architectural design. This development will take place within the framework established through the introduction into the history and context of architecture provided by the module, History & Theory of Architecture (Introduction). Through the development of designs from an architectural brief of small contemporary buildings, underlying concepts related to the meaning of architecture, its language, order and form will be explored. Particular emphasis will be placed on investigating the implications of designing built form. Drawing skills will be related to the presentation of ideas as well as to the architectural form. Alternative design solutions will be developed and the materiality of them will be explored. There will be an emphasis toward structural and constructional solutions within viable economic constraints. Oral, as well as 2 and 3 dimensional presentation techniques will be developed related to the design solutions adopted. As for other studio centred modules, this module is project based on studio engagement, site visits as appropriate, and tutorial reviews. You will work both in groups and individually. Joint staff and student critic and presentations occur. Assessment is by means of portfolio, drawings, presentation boards, models and related oral presentations. This module encourages the development of core employability skills especially those related to design development and presentation in the field of architecture practice.
The module has been designed to compliment the module entitled, Site Studies & Design, providing an understanding of the inseparable nature of the place and its context - a 'sense of place', and how this affects the design for new buildings and placemaking that are to contribute to the built environment. Apart from examining the influences of the primary elements that form the physical environment in its historic, present and future context, the relative legal and planning constraints that affect the built environment will be studied. You will have the opportunity to survey, study, investigate and evaluate a site and will learn how to develop an ability to analyse and evaluate elements of townscape. In particular the design elements that contribute to urban form and place shaping will be explored. As part of this process, you will be expected to develop/enhance your drawing and sketching skills, providing an enhanced understanding of the place, spaces between buildings, and the urban environment. Design procedures and processes will be examined and a development brief/proposal will be developed to suit a particular site. The proposed development will be for a new building(s) and place within the context of the existing townscape. 'Sense of place' will be explored with contextual investigations of design proposals. Planning policy and guidance and the way in which they are implemented will be explored. The importance and implications of environmental criteria and financial targets will also be considered.
The module provides you with a theoretical and practical understanding of the nature and processes of the design of a building. It concentrates on practice management and multi-professional team working as well as the various processes and communications required in the realisation of a comprehensive design of a building of medium complexity. It focuses on the collation and presentation of design, technical and contractual information required for the professional planning and management of the design as well as the skills required in creating a building from inception to completion. The module is project based with studio teaching. Teaching will be by means of lectures and tutorials. Joint staff and student criticisms and presentations occur throughout the module. The module has been designed to give you an opportunity to develop creative skills in urban architectural design. The relationship between social processes, buildings and architectural design is studied in a variety of ways from theoretical studies to site visits. The implications of building in the city are explored from the perception of the client, the builder and the public. Drawing and modelling skills are developed to give definition to creative thinking of a more theoretical nature. Alternative design solutions will be developed in groups and individually and the materiality of architecture will be explored. There will be an emphasis towards the urban narrative. However the design proposals must demonstrate a strategic structural and constructional rationale within viable economic restraints. Oral, as well as 2 and 3 dimensional presentation techniques will be developed related to the design solutions adapted. Assessment is by means of drawings and related presentations.
The module has been designed to compliment the module entitled, Site Studies & Planning, providing you with an understanding the design of buildings, spaces and structures within their context and how this affects the design for new buildings within their setting, contributing to the built environment. Apart from examining the design of buildings and their fabric, the historic, present and future context will also be examined together with the relative legal and planning constraints that affect the built environment. You will have the opportunity to survey, study, investigate and evaluate a site/building and will learn how to develop an ability to analyse and evaluate the elements of design and built form. In particular the design of buildings will be explored and how design affects setting. As part of this process, you will be expected to develop/enhance your drawing and sketching skills, providing an enhanced understanding of design analysis and the affect of design on the built/historic environment through visual media. Design procedures and processes will be examined in the context of design and a brief/proposal will be examined relative a particular site. A proposed alternative design will be for an element of a building/place within the context of the existing environment. Contextual investigations of design proposals will also be appraised. The analysis of design, planning policy and guidance and the way in which they are implemented will be explored. The importance and implications of environmental criteria will also be considered.
The module has been designed to give you an opportunity to develop techniques of architectural design. This development will take place within a framework of an introduction into the history and context of architecture. Monumental buildings of world civilisation as well as underlying concepts related to the meaning of architecture, its language, order and form will be explored through examples and case studies. Comparisons and links will be enabled through the development of designs from an architectural brief of a small contemporary public building. Particular emphasis will be placed on investigating the implications of designing built form. Drawing skills will be related to the presentation of ideas as well as to the architectural form. Alternative design solutions will be developed and the materiality of them will be explored. There will be an emphasis toward structural and constructional solutions within viable economic constraints. Oral, as well as 2 and 3 dimensional presentation techniques will be developed related to the design solutions adopted. Assessment is by means of a report, drawings, models and related oral presentations. This module encourages the development of core employability skills especially those related to design development and presentation.
Year three core modules
The module provides you with the opportunity to explore the various issues that need to be evaluated when considering a building development from inception until final completion and retention and / or disposal of the building. The context and content of this module integrates knowledge and skills obtained from previous management and design modules. It examines them in a holistic manner and explores their complex inter-relationships. Issues related to the client, the site, planning, financial appraisal, design technology, legal, health and safety and environment will all be examined within a theoretical and practical framework. The module develops your ability to comprehend the totality and implications of the development process and to make reasoned value judgements as to its potential feasibility. This is achieved by a detailed examination of local planning policies for the site coupled with a financial analysis of the proposed scheme by use of traditional and modern forms of valuation techniques. The module also focuses on project appraisal, pre construction processes, construction and post construction processes, marketing disposal and evaluation. The module is project based with studio teaching which is undertaken by various strategies such as formal group lectures, group seminars and individual tutorials. Site visits are arranged where appropriate to underpin your knowledge and understanding of practical issues. Joint staff and student criticisms and presentations occur throughout the delivery.
This module examines 20th Century architecture it's context and historical development. It develops skills of critical argument, which are applied within the context of an architectural design of a medium complexity building. Critical appraisals and appreciation of theoretical issues such as quality in building are explored. The architectural design developed within the module not only has a theoretical base related to context, historical development and critical argument but also emphasises practical solution. The design brief is based on a multi-storey public building of medium complexity. Although the building must be functional in its planning and its construction, particular emphasis will be placed on the buildings sense of place and its architectural development. Design issues, design generators and concepts must be declared. Your ability for architectural design is developed with an emphasis on technical solution, building technology and internal planning and management. The module requires continual development of design by the student directed through regular weekly studio teaching sessions. Teaching is by studio tutorials supported by lectures. Assessment is by an individual design project and a critical appraisal of the work emphasising architectural precedent. Key employability skills will be evidenced within the process and the presentation of this project.
This module aims to develop design and technical skills approximating to those require by practise as closely as possible. You will select a client, site and project, which is developed to scheme design with selected aspects explored more fully. Your ability for architectural design will also be developed with emphasis on the integration of the technical solution and its building technology. The contextual success of the design will be examined as will its internal planning and management. To complete this module successfully you must demonstrate a confident familiarity, detailed knowledge and appropriate application of design processes and the technologies required to realise built form. The communication of the project should likewise be confident and clear. Teaching is by studio tutorials supported by lectures. Assessment is by an individual design project and a critical appraisal of the work emphasising architectural precedent. The module requires continual development of design by the student directed through regular weekly studio teaching sessions.
The key aim of studies in this module will be to develop an understanding of user needs in relation to economic re-use of existing buildings by extending, adapting, altering and conserving buildings. This module has been designed to enable you to use a typical building to demonstrate principles and criteria to be applied to achieve a holistic approach to the future treatment of a building over its whole life-cycle; enhancement and/or conservation of built environment; appropriate and creative technology and specialist economic appraisals. You will complete an in-depth case study either individually or as a group. You will need to be aware of the concepts of extension, conversion and adaptation of existing buildings, and maximisation of economic viability of buildings together to enhance user needs, modern design concepts, landscaping, environmental and green issues together with low energy issues and sustainability. You will need to study aspects of architectural periods and types of building including components and materials of construction commonly used in the types of building under study and life-cycle options. It will be important for you to acquire a range of analytical skills to enable them to measure existing and proposed building performance from a number of standpoints and be in a position to select a range of re-use options which can be employed by a building owner. Ancillary to this aim will be the acquisition of a critical awareness of the construction options available to a building owner seeking to maximise the economic viability of a building and be aware from detailed reading and research how new works, alteration and adaptation can enhance use of an existing building. You will carry out individually or in groups a case study of a building (or range buildings) in need of economic regeneration and enhancement, advising a client on options available to a building owner, and producing a written report and one A1 display board per student illustrating your designs and proposals for future treatment, including materials, employing creative technology, taking into consideration landscaping proposals and issues of sustainability, life-cycle costings, energy efficiency and environmental requirements.
AssessmentAssessment is via a mix of examination, design projects, presentations, timed assignments and dissertation.
Associated careersOur degree will be of particular value to anyone wishing to pursue a career in architecture or an associated built environment discipline. Major employers within this field include town planners, local authorities, building contractors and architectural practices.
|Alternative qualifications accepted:||
Portfolio requirementsProspective students will need to submit evidence of their creative abilities by providing a portfolio. There are no set criteria for a portfolio. However, consideration should be given to layout and presentation of the portfolio, and include a wide variety of images.
Images that could be included need to provide evidence of good ability to:
- draw accurately and to 'think through drawing'
- use a variety of media and colour creatively
- evidence design sensitivity and creativity
- make accurate models
- evidence a critical eye
- create in three dimensions
- aesthetically compose and order a variety of materials
The prospective student of architecture is expected to demonstrate a strong emphasis of three dimensional realisations particularly related to buildings and architecture. Evidence of visiting old and new architecture and making sketches is particularly important.
All documentary images should be good quality, and should convey the abilities of the student as well as possible
Digital portfolios should be formatted as a single PDF document, with multiple images, and any supporting information to accompany the images, to be presented in this way over a number of pages. If the preparation of a PDF document proves problematic, then a series of single JPG images can be sent, although the size for each file must not exceed 2Mb. Images should be numbered, with supporting information provided, giving the title, medium, date, scale and dimensions as appropriate
If submitting a hard copy portfolio, this should include up to 30 items (original works where possible), preferably be A1 sized (depending on the nature of the work), include good quality and well presented documentation of the evidence noted, and include sketchbooks, notebooks and preparatory studies.
We welcome applications from International and EU students. Please select one of the links below for English language and country-specific entry requirement information.
Cambridge Ruskin International College, an associate college of Anglia Ruskin, which is located on our Cambridge campus.
How to apply
Available startsSeptember, January
Fees & funding
Open DaySaturday 26 April
Undergraduate Open Day
Advice & supportEmployability
FacultyScience & Technology
DepartmentEngineering and the Built Environment
Contact usUK and EU applicants:
- Call 01245 493131
- Complete enquiry form
- Call +44 (0)1223 698609
- Complete enquiry form