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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 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 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. 

Architectural Practice 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 Stylianos 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 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 coordinator: 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 Eva Branscombe

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 2019-20 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

Andreas Gurksy, May Day III (1998)
Multitude

Murray Fraser and Michiko Sumi

'I contain multitudes', wrote the American poet Walt Whitman. Architecture does even more so – not least because every building acts in some way as a social condenser. Cities teem with population and it becomes the role of architects to rethink and redesign the organisation and division of urban spaces. 

Yet multitude can also refer to the building materials, thousands of pieces of which are used for even the humblest of houses. Multitudes are equally environmental and ecological, and in the future, they will include a profusion of robots and cyborgs amid our daily lives. 

This year, UG0 will investigate the conditions of multiplicity in their design projects. Students will travel to Xi'an, a city of millions in central China, to see ancient artificial replicants created in their thousands to guard an emperor, Qin Shi Huang, in the afterlife.

Image: 'May Day III', by  Andreas Gurksy, 1998

UG1

‘Glasgow’, by Raymond Depardon.
Alba Gu Bràth (Scotland Forever)

Amica Dall and Toby O’Connor

UG1 will explore what it means to be sited and specific, whilst thinking in a planetary context, and how to balance long-term thinking with the responsibility of responding to pressing contemporary needs. 

The stretch towards the planetary will be considered alongside an exploration of Scottish Nationalism and other forms of radical localism. Students’ work will be grounded in specific sites in Glasgow, Scotland – a rich, chaotic city with large-scale industrial infrastructure in the dense urban centre and huge tracts of vacant land, as well as contrasting areas of wealth, poverty, culture and marginalisation.

Students will explore propositions from direct embedded research, material experimentation and exploratory drawing and develop proposals for land forming, infrastructural or permanent enabling works to their site.

Image: ‘Glasgow’, by Raymond Depardon. 

UG2

Photograph by Fineas Anton
Between the Object and the Picturesque 

Barry Wark and Maria Knutsson-Hall

In many cities, our primary interaction with nature is through two perceptive models of appreciation, either as an object or as the picturesque. The objectified model is commonly found in the potted plants filling our workplaces and homes, where nature is removed from its context and turned into a sculptural artefact. The picturesque model is served to us in abundance through documentaries and social media feeds, where we bask in the visual stimulus of the colour and compositions of what we see on our screens. 

This year, UG2 will explore the territory between the object and picturesque in the creation of immersive, biophilic environments. We will consider nature as neither object nor image, but as a wide variety of environments and spaces in which we have evolved in and experienced for millennia, and explore how the lack of immersive natural environments in modern life is leading to a widening disconnect between us and our sense of place within the biosphere.

Image: Photograph by Fineas Anton

UG3

The Garden of Earthly Delights. Hieronymus Bosch, 1510.
Birth & Rebirth

Ifigeneia Liangi, Ralph Parker and Daniel Wilkinson

This year, UG3 will explore the amniotic possibilities of birth and rebirth as drivers for creative practice. 

Design is by nature a process of birth and rebirth – an intellectual and physical practice where forms are figured and refigured. UG3 will ask: how might architecture forge a relationship with the past through our contemporary means of production? How might these processes create new architectural futures of alternate preoccupation? How might an architecture gestate?

UG3 will remain focused on bodies, architectural, creaturely or otherwise, and as such we use ideas of figuration, and the figure, to develop spatial fantasies away from our preconceived notions.

Image: 'The Garden of Earthly Delights', by Hieronymus Bosch, 1510.

UG4

‘Ai Weiwei Blossom’, by Duluoz Cats
Inter Alia

Katerina Dionysopoulou and Billy Mavropoulos

This year, UG4 will investigate urban infill – awkward plots, leftover sites, the in-between, missing elements and fractured architecture.

Infill presents highly idiosyncratic conditions, which demand specialist construction techniques and a mannerist architectural approach. The spaces are also restricted by policies imposed by planning authorities to control development. 

Students will design within these parallel limitations, taking the London Borough of Westminster and its regulations for infill development as a set of rules to be challenged and disrupted, on tricky, highly restricted sites. Design solutions will be driven and inspired by lost urban industries of manufacturing and making, drawing on a field trip to Portugal to discover the history of craft spanning centuries. 

Image: ‘Ai Weiwei Blossom’, by Duluoz Cats

UG5

‘Jaakarussellin’, by Janne Kapylehto
Risking Everything

Julia Backhaus and Ben Hayes 

This year UG5 will develop a creative understanding of risk and the unknown as a critical instrument and a new form of design practice. 

Risk taking requires determination and persistence but most of all optimism, trust and curiosity. Through a symbiotic interplay of making, drawing and testing, students will examine the ethics and poetics of risk, and explore how the practice of architecture can become a mediator between research and informed speculation. 

We will consider the artistic potential of working with technology, not only as a performance-oriented design parameter, but also as a process charged with aesthetic potential, craft, cultural phenomena and an ambition for sustainability. How can risk manifest itself in our working methods and agendas? 

Image: ‘Jaakarussellin’, by Janne Kapylehto

UG6

‘Marble Quarry’, by Bernhard Lang
Material Cultures

Paloma Gormley and Summer Islam

In response to a tide of public, academic and political pressure, on the 1st May 2019 the UK government announced a commitment to 0 carbon emissions by 2050. In the context of this drive for radical change, UG6 will explore Material Cultures which bring together design, research and action towards a post carbon-built environment, using material science, engineering, digital technologies and architectural design to interrogate how material and industrial cultures shape the world we live in. 

This year, UG6 will consider the factory as a place of creativity rather than mass homogeneity. Through a process of making, testing and fabricating at 1:1, students will develop qualitative prototypical buildings, which are sustainable, economically viable, and positively impact their inhabitants' lives. We will test our designs on a series of sites in London, developing a collective urban proposition defined by an expressive, playful and experimental material language.

Image: ‘Marble Quarry’, by Bernhard Lang

UG7

Frau Im Mond, by Fritz Lang, 1929.
Voyages Extraordinaires

Pascal Bronner and Thomas Hillier

2020 marks the 150th anniversary of Jules Verne’s seminal novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. To celebrate this occasion, UG7 will seek inspiration from his work and its profound influence on the trajectory of science fiction as we know it. Students will adapt one of Verne’s series of Extraordinary Voyages, examining, extrapolating and reinterpreting its events, characteristics and technologies to create a new world of their own making. 

Sited on the Space Coast – Cape Canaveral, Orlando, Florida – students will become ‘drawing-board travellers’, treating drawings, models and collages as real places to be used in the exploration of spatial narratives. Work will speculate on future building typologies and, like Jules Verne’s visions, designs will be propelled into a futuristic realm of technological advances. 

Image: 'Frau Im Mond', by Fritz Lang, 1929.

UG8

Boy with hand in drain (2001), Gregory Crewdson; colour coupler photographic print.
Experiments in the Upside-Down

Farlie Reynolds and Greg Storrar 

Ain’t-er [noun]: a maverick who rejects the normative in search of inventions beyond the conventions of their discipline. 

Groundbreaking creative practice requires radical experimentation. Take the Ain’t-ers for example – painters who rejected deterministic methods of drawing – or photographer Gregory Crewdson, who staged an entire feature film to conjure and capture a moment of the sublime in a single photograph. Ain’t-ers have a knack for experimenting with the unproven and embracing the creative potential of chance. 

Architecture too has its Ain’t-ers, and this year UG8 will dare to join them. Students will fearlessly seek new ways of designing through experimentation, constructing physical tests, utilising controlled tooling, and recording new findings. They will experiment structurally and spatially, working between the drawn, the made and the captured to champion architectural strategies that boldly address the environmental challenges of our time. 

Image: Boy with hand in drain (2001), Gregory Crewdson; colour coupler photographic print.

UG9

One of the first full-resolution images taken by the Mars Curiosity rover
Follow the Water

Jessica In and Chee-Kit Lai

Named after one of NASA’s mission themes, this year UG9 will Follow the Water, exploring water as material, volume, inhabitant and participant. The relationship between humankind and water is being challenged as it increasingly becomes a precious resource. We are curious of its many forms and cycles, of its representations throughout history and contemporary contexts, and its importance, universally recognised across all cultures.

We will consider the many forms that water takes in the landscape – from droplet, ocean, cloud to glacier – and the different ways in which they can be measured, traced and quantified. We will explore techniques for mapping, scanning, and recording, and design methods for translating these into our drawings and our architecture. 

This year, students will focus on photography, scanning, VR/AR, film and animation, as the unit continues its interest in pushing the boundaries of architectural production and
Representation.

Image: One of the first full-resolution images taken by the Mars Curiosity rover

UG10

UG10
Jackdaw Dream

Kyle Buchanan, Mellis Haward and James Purkiss

H.G. Wells described home as a ‘jackdaw dream’ of ‘costly discrepant old things’. Home can be an accumulation of objects, yet in our loose, paradoxically more networked society, identity is crafted on social media as much as it is defined by where we live. This creates fundamental questions around what makes a home and how it relates to our individual and collective sense of self. 

This year, UG10 will explore micro and macro themes around ‘home’, ‘identity’ and ‘community’. We will look to the near future and the past to ask questions about how we live and interact together in today’s hyper-networked, urbanised world. 

UG12

‘Lost’ by Moteh
Eyes Wide Shut

Johan Hybschmann and Matthew Springett 

We can all be accused of judging too quickly and of looking at the world through the skewed lens of naivety. The internet shapes our current worldview as stories and images are disseminated in seconds; facts and nuances are skewed through our collective lack of patience and ill-informed opinions often have more traction than the quietly considered and researched viewpoint.

This year, UG12 will explore these themes from an architectural perspective, questioning whether naivety is always bad. Using Prague as their testbed, students will consider whether the burden of deeper knowledge can, on occasion, hinder us as architects and explore how we make purposeful architecture in contexts of which we have no direct or lived experience. 

Image: ‘Lost’ by Moteh

UG13

‘Lily Cole and the Giant Watering Can’, by Tim Walker, 2004.
In Decision 

Tamsin Hanke and Colin Herperger

This year, UG13 will be looking at how decisions are made and experienced both creatively and culturally. We will explore the role that decision-making can play as a conscious act within the creative process and consider how decisions can be used as reactive tools, learning to allow for the unexpected whilst acting with confidence in times of indecision.

UG13 is proud to nurture a challenging environment of experimentation in the as-yet-unknown, where students feel supported and equipped to take the chances required to achieve the exceptional. 

Image: ‘Lily Cole and the Giant Watering Can’, by Tim Walker, 2004. 

UG14

‘Sanatorium’, by Tskaltubo
Repeat, Recall, Rewrite

David Di-Duca and Tetsuro Nagata

UG14 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’.

This year, UG14 will look at how societies remember. Shared memories are not only those that have been recorded in writing and images, but also the habits and traditions that are performed by people. Students will use London as a testbed to identify both old and new rituals, and Georgia, USA to explore the abandoned spa town of Tskaltubo and the country's changing cultural identity.

Image: ‘Sanatorium’, by Tskaltubo 

UG15

‘Dalí Atomicus’, by Philippe Halsman, 1948 (courtesy artsy.net)
Real-time Delay

Lucy Pengilley Gibb and Ivana Wingham 

As the boundaries between living and non-living, biological and robotic, local and remote dissolve, can architecture act as a framing instrument between the living-signaling, remote-floating world of things that condition our real-time existence? 
 
This year, UG15 will examine the consequences of innovation followed by obsolescence in physical media of architecture and its obsolete efficiencies – things and behaviors. While using analogue and digital methods to transform obsolete objects into things that talk to the present moment, students will then continue to explore the innovative potential in architectural structures, considering how an expired utility could become an experimental possibility.
 
During a field trip across northern Italy, UG15 will learn from Modernist sites that once embodied innovative social, technological and material ideas, as well as errors. Work will introduce a critical playfulness, introducing planes of temporality, layers of emerging materiality and multiplicities of activated behaviors.

Image: ‘Dalí Atomicus’, by Philippe Halsman, 1948 (courtesy artsy.net)


Key information

Entry requirements

Application deadline

Applications are now open for 2020/21 and will close on 15 January 2020

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 Luke Pearson
Programme admissions: Emmanouil Stavrakakis
Programme administrator: Simon Stanier
Undergraduate admissions: Chris Cutbush

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