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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 tdatehemes. 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

Image: Wang Qingsong, Work! Work! Work!, 2012 ©Wang Qingsong

Reformulating Practice

Murray Fraser and Michiko Sumi

UG0 students explore social and environmental sustainability in an inventive and sensuous manner, with projects tackling issues including energy consumption, environmental damage, everyday ecosystems and urban biodiversity. These urgent matters will continue to inform the unit’s creative direction, but this year the unit will also look at the professional practice of architecture. 

Students will be invited to consider their undergraduate studies as the beginning of their careers, and with the pause caused by Covid-19, start to speculate about alternative ways of working – collaborative drawing, making and other approaches. Architectural practice need not remain as it is now, yet what else might it become? Taking London as the location for projects and studying key examples of alternative forms of practice from around the world, the unit invites students to examine issues of ethics, justice, inclusivity and cultural identity. Is it too much to redesign the architectural profession? 

Image: Wang Qingsong, Work! Work! Work!, 2012 ©Wang Qingsong

UG1

Image: Extract from Harold Fisk’s Alluvial Valley of the Lower Mississippi River (1944) - PD Government / Public Domain
Common Ground - Lea Valley Variations

Toby O’Connor and Margit Kraft

Now more than ever, architects need to practice working with confidence and care in situations of deep uncertainty, whilst engaging with a diversity of human and nonhuman needs and perspectives.

This year, UG1 will practice together to design for long-term change. Exploring architecture as a process rather than as a product, students are invited to develop a timeline and vision, changing a site in the Lea Valley, London, over the next 150 years or more. Designing key moments, through layering and iteration, students will work on proposals ranging from a river basin to a building detail, and from temporary interventions to long-term resilient and adaptable structures. 

The unit will develop a series of rich and diverse proposals for indoor and outdoor spaces which support changes to the way sites are used and inhabited, and are context sensitive, socially useful, materially efficient and expressive.

Image: Extract from Harold Fisk’s Alluvial Valley of the Lower Mississippi River (1944) - PD Government / Public Domain

UG2

Image: UG2 (from @Biophile, Instagram)
Eco-Prometheanism 

Barry Wark and Maria Knutsson-Hall

Prometheanism is a term popularised by theorist John Dryzek to describe an environmental position in which the Earth is perceived as a resource; the planet’s utility is determined primarily by human needs and interests and its environmental problems are overcome through human innovation. The unintended consequence of this anthropocentric world view is that technology has been leveraged to accelerate productivity beyond sustainable levels, leading to ongoing exploitation of natural resources and creating what we now call the Anthropocene age.

This year UG2 will look to reinvigorate the environmental project in architecture with a sense of hopefulness, asking how ecocentric values might redirect prometheanism towards creating buildings that mitigates or even reverse environmental destruction. Students will strive for innovation and lateral thinking, harnessing technologies across design, simulation and fabrication to resonate with their own personal interests in pursuit of this goal.

Image: Chuquicamata Copper Mine - photograph by Edward Burtynsky

UG3

Image: 'Laloux's Refuge' by Dylan Duffy, Y2, 2020-2021
The Year of Magical Thinking

Ifigeneia Liangi and Daniel Wilkinson

UG3 applies alternative and forgotten histories to the standard narratives of modernism in architecture. This year, through the conception of buildings that symbolise and communicate, the unit will consider the relationship of architecture with its authors. The tone of this exploration will be defined by the identities and personalities of the unit’s students. Students will explore the uncertain starting and end points of the design process by looking at places that have been built over long periods of time, revealing the changing sensibilities of their designers and the world around them.  
 
Passing through Blackpool and Liverpool along the way, the unit will visit Portmeirion, a built fantasy of Italy that exists in Wales, which was obsessively worked on by Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975. Students will develop and design critical and joyful architectural dreams, in which strange understandings of place, history, community and construction are used to counter a more generic architecture.

Image: 'Laloux's Refuge' by Dylan Duffy, Y2, 2020-2021

UG4

Image: Svayambhu by Anish Kapoor, 2009 © Herry Lawford
Anamnesis

Katerina Dionysopoulou and Billy Mavropoulos

As a fallout of the pandemic, self-isolation has altered the defining archetype of spaces – our homes metamorphosing into the city. Our place of rest now serves as an office and studio, classroom and gym, restaurant and cinema. Rituals have been disrupted and we have learned to adapt, forming newfound customs. In the process of exiting the pandemic, we enter the age of spatial revolution and ambiguity, the continuing dissolution of architectural and historical typologies. 

This year, UG4 will interrogate anamnesis, reconstructing spatial memories to reconfigure a future that is unexpected yet familiar. Students will design new interventions, as history reveals unconventional opportunities for conditions of impermanence to act as catalysts for change. The bygone will be uncovered and the unit will seek innovation through the reawakening of unprecedented novelties.

Image: Svayambhu by Anish Kapoor, 2009 © Herry Lawford 

UG5

Image:
Feedback Loops
1.9403° S  29.8739°N

Julia Backhaus and Ben Hayes 

Think circular. This year, UG5 will develop a creative understanding of feedback loops, both as a design strategy and as a working practice. The unit will explore the artistic potential of circularity as a point of departure for meaningful, unique, imaginative and site-specific architecture.
   
The focus of the unit’s investigation will be Kigali in Rwanda, 'the land of the thousand hills', a small but densely populated tropical landlocked country in East Central Africa. Rwanda has taken a proactive approach and put climate resilience strategies at the heart of policies, striving towards a circular economy. It was one of the first countries to ban single-use plastic bags, has the largest Green Fund in Africa, and is often a testbed for pioneering and innovative approaches. 
 
Students and tutors will work as archipreneurs, collaborators, integrators, spatial activists and listening designers, and will learn from Rwanda’s building practices that are deeply rooted in tradition as well as continuous, agile innovations. Feedback loops will actively involve close collaboration with our established African networks such as Kigali’s faculty of architecture, local communities and expert African and Western consultants, to develop and share a creative knowledge base, sharpening our sensitivities for local solutions that can show relevance in a global world

Image: ‘Sawdust’, Tacoma 2004. Chris Jorden

UG6

Image: 'The Storyteller' by Jeff Wall, 1986
The Gravel is the Place for Me

Stefan Lengen and Jane Wong

At the turn of the millennium, French gardener, designer, botanist and writer Gilles Clément set out the notion of ‘third landscape’ to encapsulate ‘the totality of all those places abandoned by man’, such as abandoned transport infrastructure, industrial wastelands, and dormant building sites. For Clément, ‘third landscape’ was articulated largely in the context of urbanism and ecology, referring to the liminal spatial conditions in the built environment and the exceptionally diverse biological communities they harbour.

Following Clément’s rejection of a romantic reading of places in ruination, UG6 will consider that when these ‘third landscapes’ are understood in relation to the conditions of their abandonment and their associated human and non-human networks, they can be reimagined as sites for alternative forms of use and exchange for the neglected and the voiceless. The unit will speculate what a shared common place could mean, for the entanglement and coexistence of human and non-human communities. 

Image: 'The Storyteller' by Jeff Wall, 1986

UG7

Image: Deep House, Heat Island, Milan Triennale 2020
Taking Stock

Joseph Augustin, Christopher Burman and Luke Jones

The production of building materials places an unsustainable load on our environment, but from the perspective of an individual designer, the quest to mitigate the impact of their own designs can be elusive. Abstractions like carbon footprints, separated as they are from broader ecological relationships, can only ever provide a partial solution.

To really develop a sense of architecture’s effect on the global ecology, we need to consider  both the local, anthropometric, ‘everyday’ space of a building, and the planetary space of strategy, logistics, flows and sites of production. This double view will be key to the unit’s approach this year.

UG7 will explore a set of design methods – mapping scenarios of material flows and future material cultures, alongside tectonic studies of building elements and spaces – to create an immediate connection between global environmental impacts and architectural fundamentals. In the process, the unit will consider how architecture could reconstruct itself as an agent of environmental transition.

Image: Deep House, Heat Island, Milan Triennale 2020

UG8

Ron Mueck’s Studio from the film Still Life, Gautier Deblonde (2014)
Prototypes for an Afterlife

Farlie Reynolds and Greg Storrar 

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. This year the unit explores the opportunities, idiosyncrasies and curiosities inherent in the working and re-working of that which has had a previous life.
 
‘Better a crutch than a lost limb’
   – John Ruskin

Every ten minutes, a building in the UK is demolished. Our architectures are mortal – eternal sufferers of the relentless laws of gravity, destructive weather, disobedient tenants and the metronomic wrecking ball of the architectural press. Wiping the slate clean can be an aggressive act of social, cultural and material erasure, but to retain in some capacity – to lease new life – requires embracing and interfacing awkward or inconvenient fragments and memories. This is the unit’s starting point. 

Image: Ron Mueck’s Studio from the film Still Life, Gautier Deblonde (2014)

UG9

Image: 'Remains' by Davide Quayola
Among the Trees

Chee Kit Lai and Jessica In

Concerns about our natural environment are not just a contemporary issue. The impact of humans on the climate has been long known and understood since antiquity. The increasing degradation of our natural world and the effects of climate change have brought about a new urgency to an old, frequently ignored imbalance - how can we support nature alongside humankind?
 
This year UG9 will consider the forest in its many forms, exploring both its practical and poetic elements, as well as their cultural and social influences. The unit will consider the forest as storyteller, the forest as spectacle, and the future of the forest. 
 
The unit will explore the different physical scales of forests - the local (Flimwell Park), national (Northern Forest project) and international (The Great Northern Forest), as well as their scales of time. Students will investigate narratives, discovered and speculated, and the negotiation between human and nature in our constructed and natural environments. 

Image: ‘Remains' by Davide Quayola
 

UG10

Image: ‘Arcade Fire', Jacmel Carnival, Haiti, 2014
Polyrhythms II

Pedro Gil and Neba Sere

Polyrhythms: simultaneous use of one or more rhythms that are not readily perceived as being derived from one another.

UG10 acknowledges the Global North/South paradigm and recognises residual tensions and paradoxes as methods to explore both contemporary and historical relationships between the UK and Latin America. The unit draws 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. 

Each year UG10 selects a Latin American region to focus its investigations into typologies, including construction idioms and techniques, funding streams, design activism and material iterations. This year the unit will celebrate Haiti, Blackness and Afro-Latin American culture through the lens of our design projects, sited in London. 

Image: ‘Arcade Fire', Jacmel Carnival, Haiti, 2014

UG11

Image: 'Arctic Everywhere', B-Pro, RC1 2020-2021
Alternate Endings: A Pilgrimage through the Cracked Cooling Chain

Déborah Lopez Lobato and Haden Charbel

We are in an era of climate crisis with no precedent for how we, at local and global scales, will adapt to these possible scenarios. In fiction, an ‘alternate ending’ is one possible ending of a story that was considered but ultimately discarded in favour of another resolution. This year, UG11 uses Climate-Fiction (Cli-Fi) and world-building as vehicles to research, experiment with and project scenarios, events and trends; testing and hacking different scenes with the objective of creating alternate endings. 

Students will develop virtual environments, situating the context and narrative which feed into defining the architecture and infrastructure for these new modes of life. Projects will culminate as interactive pilgrimages to alternate endings, allowing viewers to engage with the materialities that the new reality offers, redefining what it means to walk, sit, sleep and live.

Image: ‘Arctic Everywhere', B-Pro, RC1, 2020-21

UG12

Image: The Design District, Greenwich by Hannah Corlett of HNNA, photography by Taran Wilkhu
Settlement

Niall McLaughlin and Hannah Corlett

A settlement suggests a collection of buildings housing a community in a particular place, and an agreement settled in a way that is acceptable to and inclusive of all parties. Both meanings of the word require each other. Both people and buildings also settle over time and through inhabitation, while ever morphing to the influences that surround them. This year, UG12 will ask students to work collectively and individually to design a settlement and the buildings within it. 

The studio that UG12 students will create, with the unit’s tutors, will open out to the world of practice with all its challenges, opportunities, and contradictions. Addressing topical and timeless issues is more important than working in a particular style; there is space for each project and student to make an original interpretation of the brief and chosen site. 

Image: The Design District, Greenwich by Hannah Corlett of HNNA, photography by Taran Wilkhu

UG13

The Set of the Mandalorian - Disney
The Vibes are about to be Immaculate

Tamsin Hanke and Colin Herperger

If buildings are driven by practicality, the practice of architecture will struggle to be genuinely contemporary. This year UG13 will examine couture, a unique and protected method of creative production, positioned between traditional excellence in physical craft, and contemporaneity in creation. The unit will investigate the presence of this practice in disciplines within and apart from fashion and use it to develop a disruptive architectural practice. Students will explore immediate and contemporary culture, intermingling these into a spatial context to see what new territory may be uncovered.

UG13 encourages students to find agency through clear and confident decision making in their process. The unit strives to help students find a way of working and a line of enquiry that drives them as individuals and can sustain them beyond the project itself to find moments of pure originality, building curiosity and momentum.

Image 'Making of the Mandalorian - Stagecraft VFX', StageCraft/Disney, 2021

UG14

Image:
The Memory of Work

Tetsura Nagata and David di Duca

UG14 investigates how societies remember and forget through their collective rituals, commemorative monuments and the built environment. This year the unit will focus on the post-industrial UK, and consider how places rich in heritage and social identity reframe their futures while continuing to celebrate their past.

As the UK seeks to rebalance its economy following the pandemic, and the government considers options to increase investment in manufacturing, UG14 will examine how post-industrial communities are moulded to forget but still able to remember. How can we reconfigure the positive memories of society - the skills and craft that it has passed down through generations - and combine them with the surviving infrastructure to sculpt a better future?

All man-made objects embody the processes that created them, representing a moment in time, both for the artist, and for society. UG14 is interested in the intentional and unintentional clues and messages left for others to discover.

Image: 'The Potteries' by Edgar & Winifred Ward, 1926

UG21

Image: Euclidean and Hyperbolic bunny, Keenan Crane 2018
Finite

Abigail AshtonTom Holberton and Jasmin Sohi

In 1668 scientist and architect Robert Hooke stood on the construction site of the Royal Exchange, inspecting blocks of Portland stone. He observed the strange geometries and concluded they were the traces of creatures that had once inhabited the Earth yet had subsequently vanished. 
 
This year, UG21 will ask students to consider different aspects of the finite and the infinite. Can we create inventive architecture by applying a strict limit on a material, a boundary, on time or perception? When do we use infinite digital space and infinite change to augment the fixed and finite? When do society’s rules create artificial limits and change how we design? Research can straddle the material and immaterial, the physical and the infinite, material tests to VR and AI. 
 
The unit will travel to the Isle of Portland, described by the writer Jonathan Meades as a “bulky chunk of geological, social, topographical and demographic weirdness”.

Image: Euclidean and Hyperbolic bunny, Keenan Crane 2018


Key information

Entry requirements

Application deadline

Applications are now open for 2022 entry via UCAS. The deadline for applications is 26 January 2022.

Fees and funding

  • Tuition fee information can be found on the UCL Undergraduate Prospectus 
  • For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding section of the UCL website.

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
Departmental Tutors: Eva Branscome and Sabina Andron
Programme Administrator, Y1: Bethany Barnett-Sanders

Programme Admissions: Colin Smith 
Undergraduate Admissions Office: bartlett.ug-admissions@ucl.ac.uk 

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