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Architecture BSc (ARB/RIBA Part 1)

A three-year degree in architecture that is world-renowned for both creativity and rigour, accredited by ARB/RIBA for Part 1.

About

This three-year programme teaches students from across the globe the skills to practise architecture and an understanding of how to use those skills imaginatively in different contexts.

As an architecture student at The Bartlett, your time will be spent in both the studio and the workshop, with approximately 70% of the programme taught and assessed through your design portfolio. Design teaching is delivered by leading practitioners, specialists and academics in small groups or on a one-to-one tutorial basis with frequent review sessions.

As well as being vocational preparation for practising architecture, this programme introduces students to the wider societal forces which affect them and architectural production, stressing the indivisibility of the architectural, cultural, professional and technological realms. Alongside design teaching, our students take core modules (Technology, History & Theory, Computing and Professional Studies) which are assessed through a combination of coursework, essays and examinations.


Highlights

  • Learn the skills to practise architecture, exchanging ideas with students from across the globe as well as leading practitioners and academics
  • Work in state-of-the-art bespoke facilities – both our studios and workshops are designed for creative flexibility and idea generation – and take part in the UK’s biggest architecture Summer Show
  • Choose one of our famous Design Units in Year 2 and 3, with whom you’ll develop your own unique project and undertake substantial field work and trips
  • Enjoy being part of a world-leading community for studying, teaching and researching architecture and the built environment
Studying architecture at The Bartlett has encouraged me to do things that I had never dreamed of doing, challenging my world, both technically and intellectually. 

Tom Ushakov, Architecture BSc student, 2019

Studying at The Bartlett is rigorous and rewarding for students with confidence, grit and curiosity.

Annabelle Tan Kai Lin, Architecture BSc student, 2019


Modules

Year 1

Design Projects (60 credits)

Module coordinator: Frosso Pimenides and Max Dewdney

This module explores ways of seeing, understanding and interpreting objects, places and events, learning to look beyond the obvious into the unseen and often absurd qualities of things. Students develop the skills to undertake investigations and representations of architecture through various media and complete a series of design projects across a range of scales, constructed or represented through models and drawings.

Environmental Design (15 credits)

Module coordinator: Blanche Cameron

This module aims to teach students the skills and concepts needed to address environmental design as an integral part of the architectural design process. Students are introduced to environmental design and its associated fields including climate, energy and sustainability. They study, among other things, environmental physics, energy sourcing and the relationship between buildings and global climate.

History of Cities and their Architecture (15 credits)

Module coordinator: Professor Mario Carpo

Students are introduced to Western architectural and urban history, from the classical age to today, with a brief overview of architectural history outside of the Western canon. This module also introduces new methodologies of architectural history and theory developed in the field of cultural studies.

Making Cities: The Production of the Built Environment (15 credits)

Module coordinator: Jonathan Kendall

Students develop an understanding of the relationship between architecture, planning and construction, learning how these teams come together to design and deliver projects and how the accumulation of these projects shapes and is shaped by their urban context. Using London as their primary resource, students undertake critical and creative research on specific built and emerging projects within the city, which are primarily explored through the production of short films.

Structures, Materials and Forming Techniques (15 credits)

Module coordinators: Steve Johnson and Anderson Inge

This module is designed to equip students with the tools and technical knowledge they need to allow the development of their own design thinking and personal research. Students develop a clear understanding of the materials used in the making of buildings, how these materials are fabricated and the architectural and structural influence of material selection. 


Year 2

Design Projects (75 credits)

Module coordinators: Ana Monrabal-Cook and Dr Luke Pearson

Students work in small studio groups called Design Units, to respond to a brief and develop a substantial portfolio and final project, often but not always inspired by the Unit’s annual field trip. This module consists of three stages, in which students investigate, develop and synthesise their building designs. Projects may take the form of 1:1 installations, material testing, speculative drawings, animations and models, either digital or physical

Design Technology I (15 credits)

Module coordinator: Oliver Houchell

Students learn to demonstrate a project’s potential to respond to site and context, by addressing the technical requirements of a building’s design and construction and the needs of its users. Each student collates, amongst other things, a suitable selection of materials, a structural strategy and an environmental and energy strategy for their design project. 

Practice, Ethics and Enterprise (15 credits)

Module coordinator: Jane Paterson

This module introduces students to the full range of career options in architecture, including business, practice and enterprise initiatives. Students work in groups to simulate practice and business activities and learn transferable skills applicable to both practice and other enterprise initiatives. 

History and Theory of Architecture (15 credits)

Module coordinators: Dr Nina Vollenbroker and Dr Stelios Giamarelos

This module develops students’ understanding of key moments in the history and theory of architecture, and the ways in which architectural knowledge is produced. Students study, amongst other things, 20th century architects and buildings, a range of key architects’ philosophies and approaches, the relationship between architecture and the arts, and the influence of architectural writing on architecture. 


Year 3

Design Projects (75 credits)

Module coordinators: Ana Monrabal-Cook and Dr Luke Pearson

Students work in their Design Units to respond to a brief and develop a substantial portfolio and final project, often but not always inspired by the Unit’s annual field trip. As with Year 2, this module consists of three stages, in which students investigate, develop and synthesise their architectural designs. Projects may take the form of 1:1 installations, material testing, speculative drawings, animations and models, either digital or physical. 

Design Technology II (30 credits)

Module coordinators: Simon Beames and Luke Olsen 

This module teaches students the skills to critically examine their final design proposal, determine the key technical issues involved, research these and then integrate the research into a creative design process. Students gain an advanced understanding of the synthesis of verified strategies for structural and environmental design. They also learn to carry out technical research through a broad range of media and methodologies, and how to test, analyse and evaluate construction techniques and principles.

History and Theory of Architecture (15 credits)

Module coordinators: Dr Nina Vollenbroker and Dr Megha Chand Inglis

This module introduces students to a range of historical and theoretical approaches and research methods, empowering them to productively engage with specific architectural and urban questions and themes. Students gain research and writing skills, as well as the knowledge to facilitate critical thought about the production, representation, use, experience and impact of architecture and cities, drawing out relationships between past and present. 


Design Units 

In Years 2 and 3, the Design Projects modules are taught in design units: groups of around 15-17 students from across both years. Each design unit is led by distinguished tutors from academia or professional practice, usually both.

Please find summaries of the briefs our design units will be working to in 2020-21 below, alongside links to unit blogs and social channels.

Current Architecture BSc students will receive full briefs at the start of term via Moodle. 

UG0

Genpei Akasegawa, ‘Plant Wipers’ series

Stealth Ecology

Murray Fraser and Michiko Sumi

Our theme asks students to think about social/environmental sustainability in an inventive, inclusive and sensuous manner. We need to agree collectively about our cities and how to reduce energy consumption and environmental damage – even if, paradoxically, free-market capitalism runs against such aspirations. Radical thinking is required about human relationships to nature, and about how we organise society. Due to growing understanding of global connectivity and of the planet as a complex ecosystem, biodiversity has become a subject of the moment.

It is however also vital to embrace human delight in aesthetics, spatial atmospheres, cultural activities, etc. We term this as ‘Stealth Ecology’ since it must be done subtly and intelligently – including for students to develop more ‘ecological’, sustainable working methods for themselves. Avoiding ‘green building’ clichés, projects should conceive of imaginative and nuanced responses to Stealth Ecology within urban settings – sustaining biodiversity, rethinking building types, and enhancing people’s everyday lives.

Image: Image courtesy of Genpei Akasegawa, ‘Plant Wipers’ series

UG1

UG 1, ‘Croton Brick Clay Pit’, by Assemble, 2018
Down to Earth

Amica Dall and Toby O’Connor

This year, UG1 will take a firmly material approach to the questions of site, survivability and belonging. We will work deeply and experimentally with a palette of three materials – earth, timber and stone – on a set of small underused sites in London. Students will write their own detailed briefs in response the needs of a live client, GROW, who create urban farms as cultural and educational resources for London state schools. 

The unit will explore the structural, technical, and expressive capacities of materials, and develop skills in hands-on 1:1 material experimentation and construction detailing. Representation will focus on material expressiveness, including large-scale card models and digital collage. All briefs will be achievable in a domestic environment with basic hand tools. Students will develop an understanding of the social and material processes through which the built environment is made, and develop proposals that are highly context-sensitive, socially useful, materially efficient, and expressive.

Image: ‘Croton Brick Clay Pit’, by Assemble, 2018

UG2

UG 2. photo by Zoltan Tasi
Natural State 

Barry Wark and Maria Knutsson-Hall

Buildings are perpetually altered by the effects of natural phenomena such as erosion, staining and flora propagation. It is therefore interesting to consider ‘green’ architecture’s call to ‘bring nature in’, when so often we invest energy in design and maintenance strategies to remove it. 

This year, UG2 will explore architecture that encourages and embraces the visibility of its environment to dissolve the notion that it is separate and impervious to the natural world. Further consideration will also to be given to how the wider environment has always impacted the fortunes of human settlements, both good and bad.

We will seek out spaces that develop novel aesthetic sensibilities of what ecological architecture could be, beyond its current offerings. Students will produce buildings which embrace passive design strategies whilst engaging users’ imaginations to consider their sense of place within the biosphere.

Image: Image by Zoltan Tasi

UG3

UG3, 'Kinder Kunst Garden' by Ruoxi Jia
A New World of Joy

Ifigeneia Liangi and Daniel Wilkinson

‘Chromophobia: The fear of corruption or contamination through colour.’

Unit 3 operates with a foot in the magical and a hand in the practical. This year we will explore colour as a political issue for architecture. 

Throughout Western history, colour has been marginalised as superficial and cosmetic. This includes the founders of modernism who considered it to be deceptive, primitive and feminine, dismissing it in relation to issues of race and gender.

This year, UG3 will consider alternative positions by celebrating the cosmetic and the artificial, defying these early opinions, to find a truly modern architecture. Through the critical and political nature of this engagement with colour, our work will celebrate ways of thinking other than the modernist elevation of white walls and white skin.

Image: ‘Kinder Kunst Garden’ by Ruoxi Jia, UG3 Year 2 student 2019-2020

UG4

UG4, Even After All 7 by Nicholas Feldmeyer
Convalescence

Katerina Dionysopoulou and Billy Mavropoulos

2020’s global pandemic has made the need for personal, collective and urban recovery more apparent than ever before. Recovery can be many things and can occur via many avenues. It centres on improving one’s previous state but is also about regaining, recuperating, getting back. A consistent thread throughout discourse around the subject across the centuries has been the link between recovery and interaction with the outdoors.

This year UG4 will interrogate how varied definitions of recovery can shape the future of London’s urban landscape. Using architecture as our tool, we will challenge inequality when it comes to access to, and enjoyment of, the outdoors. Brownfield sites, rooftops, disused buildings and abandoned spaces, will become part of our proposals. We will design buildings that integrate and connect to the outdoors in new ways. Materiality, texture, interior and exterior spaces, and everything in-between, will become part of the new vocabulary we will use to recover the city.

Image: ‘Even After All 7 by Nicolas K. Feldmeyer, 2017

UG5

UG5,  Google Earth / ‘Phytobionic’ by Rita Wang, 2019
Goodbye Anthropocene – Hello Symbiocene!

Julia Backhaus and Ben Hayes 

This year, UG5 will explore how the concept of symbiotic alliances can be applied to the practice of architecture. Our research will focus on ecology’s driving principle of adaptation. This powerful and central idea of the past century transformed the study of natural and social sciences, guided the engineering principles of computing and continues to offer us a mechanism to mediate between the natural, synthetic and digital today.

We will ask how mutual relationships between ‘human’, ‘non-human’ and ‘landscape’ can lead to new hybrid typologies, where buildings can behave like generous neighbours in a like-minded community, accommodating cohabitation with various other natural and manmade creatures. In the spirit of collaborative survival, we will engage in multi-species thinking, explore entangled existences and study how dependencies and exploitation can be translated into beneficial and intimate coexistence.

Image: Google Earth / ‘Phytobionic’ by Rita Wang, 2019

UG7

UG7, ‘Huntington Beach Oil Fields’, 1920
A New Brave World

Pascal Bronner and Thomas Hillier

As technologically advances at a blistering pace, we leave in our wake a devastating and ever-growing trail of destruction that scars our landscapes and destroys our fragile ecologies. While achieving this wonderful life of comfort and luxury, our ability to create such monstrous objects is only outdone by our skill in covering up these collective sins. We sweep them under the Earth’s carpet, leaving large parts of our planet virtually uninhabitable.

But, what if there is a second life for these scars? Could these become sites, and could their histories and obsolete technologies help develop a project narrative? This year, UG7 students will construct and assemble a new world around themselves, to write semi-fictional diaries that regale us of their travels to these sublime and alien landscapes of human ruin. Students will become travelling craftspeople, where they will write, draw, map and model their own tales, inspired by their own armchair travels.

Image: ‘Huntington Beach Oil Fields’, 1920

UG8

UG8, ‘Echoes’ by Marguerite Humeau, 2015
At Truth’s Edge: When Architecture Confronts Conspiracy

Farlie Reynolds and Greg Storrar 

‘Everything was possible and ... nothing was true’.    
Hannah Arendt

Interested in material, structural, and spatial experimentation at a range of scales, UG8 champions innovative architectural strategies that boldly address the environmental challenges of our time. 

Today, paranoia ignites the mistrust of our post-truth era. Truth is undermined through endless repetition, via the megaphone of social media broadcasting unhinged claims laminated with the thinnest patina of evidence. Such crowd-sourced conspiracy can become dangerous when the burden of explanation is readily dispensed with at will: take the anti-vaccine movement, climate change denial, or the widespread belief that 5G masts caused the coronavirus pandemic. We approach a new ‘paranoid normal’, and our lives are at risk. 

This year UG8 will investigate the agency of architecture in today’s culture of misinformation, asking what roles architects might play in the defence of fundamental truths. How might architecture might be reimagined, or refigured, when it becomes the refuge from (or target of) mistrust?

Image: ‘Echoes’ by Marguerite Humeau, 2015

UG9

UG9, ‘Korean Demilitarised Zone: Watchtower’, photograph by Chee-Kit Lai, 2019
Tales from the Boundaries

Chee-Kit Lai and Doug John Miller

Recording borders – the drawing of maps, has always had social and political ramifications. It is used in warcraft to establish primacy over a territory, an indicator of ownership over a place, the source of data on which an invader has relied. As the systems of cartography were modernised, competition to develop maps created cartographic espionage, ‘copyright traps’ secretly embedded in drawings. Now, Google – a cartographic super-power – bleeds into every aspect of data collection, technology and tracking, yet glitches of imperial secrecy and political ambition persist.

This year, UG9 will look at these contentious borders, and the complex apparatus that surround and maintain them. Control, subversion, and the politics that surround the architecture of borderlines will begin our year’s explorations. We will be inspired by illustration, comics, and films to augment our drawings and models. We are interested in the narratives – both discovered and invented – that tell a story of boundaries; mapping, subverting and creating them. 

Image: ‘Korean Demilitarised Zone: Watchtower’, photograph by Chee-Kit Lai, 2019

UG10

UG 10, ‘Comuna 13 series, Medellin, Colombia’, by Juancho Torres, 2017
Polyrhythms

Freya Cobbin and Pedro Gil

‘Polyrhythm: the simultaneous use of one or more rhythms that are not readily perceived as being derived from one another.’

This year, UG10 explores the Global North/South paradigm. We recognise residual tensions and paradoxes as methods to explore both contemporary and historical relationships between the UK and Latin America. We will draw attention to the differing phenomena and cohabitations between these diverse contexts, exploring what has been ‘borrowed,’ ‘drawn upon’ and ‘taken’ from either side of the Atlantic. We want to highlight what remains of those actions, dialogues and exchanges, in relation to migrant communities, architectures, visual arts, literature, music, ideas and unbuilt projects.

A Latin American region will be selected to focus students’ investigations into typologies that include construction idioms and techniques, funding streams, design activism, and material iterations. We will promote speculations on radical ideas, design solutions, resilient futures, and alternative visions.

The city is our testbed. We will draw, make, think, debate, experiment, share, play, and dream. We will celebrate our collective effort as well as our individual strengths.

Image: ‘Comuna 13 series, Medellin, Colombia’, by Juancho Torres, 2017
 

UG12

UG12, ‘Wax Anatomical Model of Head and Neck’
Citadel: The Body of Bodies

Johan Hybschmann and Matthew Springett 

As we slowly start to recalibrate to new patterns of existence, we need to (re)consider the boundaries of the places in which we live, work and play. 

The human constructs of community and shared belonging have been challenged, and this year UG12 will consider the building typology of the citadel. We will look back to past examples of places of autonomous refuge, protection, and defence so that we may consider new citadel typologies for the future. 

This year, we will embrace the uncertainly and change that we are all facing. Our brief will not only reflect on the turmoil of the last seven months, but also look forward to a better place. Students will explore, understand and demonstrate the anatomy of the places they create, approaching the citadel as a ‘body of bodies’.

Image: ‘Wax Anatomical Model of Head and Neck’ via phisick.com

UG13

UG13, The Holy Mountain, 1973, Alejandro Jodorowsky
Something Missing (and Almost Alive)

Tamsin Hanke and Colin Herperger

This year, UG13 will look at the nature of limitations, and the cultural importance of occasional impossibility. We are interested in the instances when limitation has been met with nonchalance, and where the absence has been so completely considered that the yet-made project has become fully alive.

We will investigate the realm of completely unmade projects that are no less whole than those that have been built, acted or shot. These works often contribute more actively to a genre as they attempt to realise a feat that is technologically, culturally or ethically ahead of their time. They must work harder to convince, and they must answer questions of validity and possibility.

In UG13, students are supported to find a way of working and a line of enquiry that genuinely drives them as individuals and can sustain them beyond the graded project. They are encouraged to find agency through clear and confident decisionmaking in their process.

Image: ‘The Holy Mountain’, by Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1973

UG14

UG14, ‘Statue of Slave Owner Robert Milligan is Taken Down’
Remember to Forget

David Di-Duca and Tetsuro Nagata

In UG14, we believe in a design process which focuses on how people perceive, interact with and remember space – the connection between body, imagination and memory. This ‘temporal architecture’ can be experienced through films and animations, interactive models and 1:1 installations, and designed as holistic ‘stages’ and ‘sets’.

Last year, UG14 studied how societies remember through architecture and rituals. This year, we will look at how we forget. Or more specifically, we will investigate the tension between collective memory and social amnesia in 2021.

UK society has seen an unprecedented level of introspection. Collectively, we are asking ourselves whether the things we are told to remember are what we should remember. We will question the validity of contentious and controversial buildings around us and challenge ourselves to reframe them. Writing new histories and offering new identities to communities and buildings; forgetting to remember and remembering to forget.

Image: ‘Statue of Slave Owner Robert Milligan is Taken Down’, via BBC News, 2020

UG21

UG21, AI-generated versions of UG21 work from 2019–2020
Uncertainty

Abigail AshtonTom Holberton, Jasmin Sohi and Andrew Porter 

“What is not surrounded by uncertainty cannot be the truth.”  

Richard Feynman

We live in uncertain times. Pandemic and political instability have shaken our collective sense of the world as relatively predictable. Truth and knowledge were intended as the foundation for our democratic processes, but we now find ‘alternative facts’, Orwellian doublethink and the digital bubble are creating a chronic sense of uncertainty.

Advancement of knowledge offers a different perspective, where the measurement of uncertainty is a vital tool for critical thinking. It enables us to build, research and teach computers to dream and think.

UG21 is interested in designs that are not determinate or fixed but architecture that is uncertain. This year, we will explore Dungeness, on the edge of the UK, where the rules break down. Proposals might exist in parallel times, in both the physical and the digital, or offer alternate realities of perspective, scale or competing algorithms. 

Image: AI-generated versions of Unit 21 work from 2019–2020


Key information

Entry requirements

Application deadline

Applications are now open for 2021 entry and will close on 15 January 2021

We strongly advise early application, as our programmes are over-subscribed, and competition is high.

Fees and funding


Accreditation

Architecture BSc is accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Architects Registration Board (ARB). Students who successfully complete the programme are exempt from Part 1 of the ARB/RIBA examinations.


Careers 

Upon completion of the programme, many of our students continue with their training to become registered architects by taking a year out in an architect's office in the UK or overseas, before applying for Architecture MArch or another postgraduate degree.

Graduates of this programme benefit from excellent employment opportunities and destinations vary from internationally renowned offices to small-scale specialist practices. Some architecture graduates also use their highly transferable skills in other design-related disciplines, such as film-making, website design and furniture design.


Contacts

Programme Directors: Ana Monrabal-Cook and Dr Luke Pearson
Programme admissions: Emmanouil Stavrakakis
Undergraduate admissions: Chris Cutbush/Stephen Capus

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