UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)


UPC for Architecture

Course overview

UPC students aiming for the Architecture BSc degree at UCL will study the UPC for Architecture course.

You can study either the UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate for the Humanities or UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate for Science and Engineering course. Your choice should be based on your interests and strengths.

Course structure

In addition to two optional modules and the compulsory academic English module, all UPC for Architecture students will study the compulsory Visual Studies for Architecture and Academic Research: Approaches and Methods (VSAARAM) module. The Visual Studies for Architecture (VSA) component of this module is delivered at the UCL Bartlett School of Architecture, providing a unique opportunity to experience first-hand what it means to study Architecture at UCL.

On this module UPC for Architecture students will study relevant Academic Research: Approaches and Methods components and key weekly workshop based sessions at the Bartlett may include, during term one, introductions to:

  • casting
  • drawing a section through an object/ building/ city
  • sketching and diagram techniques
  • a range of model making techniques
  • crafting and fabricating components in the Bartlett workshop
  • photography
  • surveying techniques
  • portfolio and visual presentation
  • workshops and demonstrations led by a range of visiting professionals (textiles, carpentry, concrete casting etc)
  • visualisation software (Photoshop)

In term two Bartlett tutors will support students in developing and refining their portfolios to support their undergraduate degree applications to the UCL Bartlett School of Architecture and other top UK Architecture schools.

Entrance requirements

In addition to the standard UCL UPC entrance requirements, UPC for Architecture applicants are required to have some existing observational drawing and art & design skills. The Bartlett Summer School or The Slade Summer School are also recommended for UPC students prior to starting an UPC for architecture course.

Guidelines for examples of art work (the ‘portfolio’) required for UPC Architecture BSc pathway admission:

1. Six freehand observational drawings e.g. drawings of objects, people, places etc. (your drawings should be observed from real life, not based on photographs). Your drawings should be timed as below (please write the time taken on each drawing)

  • 3 x 5 minute drawings
  • 1 x 15 minute drawing
  • 1 x 60 minute drawing
  • 1 x 90 minute drawing

2. We are interested to see how you develop your own visual ideas and engage with a variety of media. Send a minimum of ten examples of your work in any three of the media listed below. Your work should be imagined from your everyday life and focus on your experiences of space /place / daily activities. Your work does not need to include specifically architectural themes.

  • painting
  • drawing
  • 3-dimensional work in any media
  • collage
  • photography
  • digital media
  • film

Following the initial portfolio assessment you may be asked to provide further examples of your work.

Progression to undergraduate level

UCL UPC for Architecture students who fully participate in the course and apply for UCL’s BSc Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part 1) will be invited to submit an initial assessment task. Following this, they have the (unique) advantage of being automatically interviewed with a full portfolio of creative work.

In addition to UCL, students have progressed to a number of leading universities including:

  • Architectural Association (AA) School of Architecture
  • Cardiff University
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Newcastle
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of the Arts London.