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BA (Hons) Architecture

BA (Hons) Architecture

Institution code: N39
Course UCAS code: K100
Course length: 3 years

Prescribed by the Architects Registration Board (Part 1), our BA (Hons) Architecture degree course will be your first step towards success as a registered architect or in a related career.

Study the built environment in an art school setting that fosters collaboration across creative disciplines and inspires a design-led approach to architecture. The beautiful medieval city of Norwich provides an inspirational backdrop of historical and contemporary architecture and culture as you discover how to become an architect on our undergraduate architecture course.

Your architecture skills

At NUA, we value user-focused imaginative and purposeful architectural design. We’ll challenge your preconceptions about the built environment as you explore the ways people inhabit and use space and consider the importance of the user to the design process. You’ll be encouraged to place research, creative exploration and critical evaluation at the centre of your architecture practice.

Throughout your degree you’ll be based in a large open plan studio environment where model making, digital 3D, laser cutting and large format printing and scanning facilities are available. You’ll acquire skills in the technical aspects of spatial design as you refine a variety of traditional and computer-based drawing and modelling techniques.

Explore our architecture facilities

Your architecture future

Throughout your undergraduate studies you’ll be guided by highly experienced course lecturers. Guest lectures and round tables from renowned architects and other practitioners including Feilden+Mawson, Purcell, LSI Architects, Hamson Barron Smith and Hudson Architects, review panels and networking events provide valuable insights into professional architectural practice.

Lectures in situ, construction site visits and field trips will develop your observational and design skills in a variety of cultural contexts. As well as exploring the rich local and regional environment, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in visits to international destinations. Recent trips have included Berlin and Belfast.

Graduates work in a broad range of careers including

  • Architect
  • Architectural Assistant
  • Designer
  • Project Manager
  • Site Manager
  • Surveyor
  • Architectural Technician
  • Consultant
  • CAD Renderer
  • Product Designer
  • Town Planner
  • Architectural Historian
  • Conservationist
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Architectural Curator
  • Model Maker
  • Landscape Designer
  • Construction Journalist

You’ll get specialist creative careers advice from our Careers Team in the Ideas FactoryNUA to help support you as you plan your career.

Accredited by:

 Part 1 Prescribed Course by the Architects Registration Board.

Course content

  • Year 1
  • Explore the fundamentals of design and construction utilising a variety of drawing, photographic and modelling techniques
  • Examine the cultural contexts of historical and contemporary architecture using the local environment as a rich source of research
  • Integrate structural, environmental and material considerations into your design strategies
  • Establish a solid grounding in research techniques as a basis for your practice.
  • Year 2
  • Develop and refine your propositions through increasingly complex design briefs
  • Study user needs in relation to the aesthetic and technical requirements of a built environment
  • Explore structural and environmental design considerations
  • Investigate a range of research, critical and conceptual tools for project development and planning
  • Examine the social context of architecture, drawing on theories from other disciplines such as philosophy, cultural geography and fine arts.
  • Year 3
  • Undertake complex analyses of specific urban environments to formulate proposals for regeneration and development
  • Apply your creative vision and applied knowledge to a large scale architectural proposal and Research Report
  • Consolidate your work into a collaborative visual display and comprehensive portfolio as a basis for representing and promoting your practice.
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Convention

Typical UK offers

A / AS Levels – GCE
Candidates should also have achieved at least four GCSE passes which should include Grade C or above in English, Maths and a Science subject.
3 A-level qualifications at grades BBB, at least one of which must be in an art, design or media related subject. Where candidates are not taking 3 A-levels, NUA will consider combinations of A-level/AS-level and other Level 3 qualifications.

BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF or RQF)
Distinction, Merit in an art, design or media related subject

BTEC Diploma (QCF or RQF)
Distinction*, Distinction* in an art, design or media related subject

UAL Extended Diploma
Merit

UAL Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
Merit

UAL Level 4 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
Pass

Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
Merit

Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design)
Pass

International Baccalaureate Diploma
A minimum of 32 points

NUA welcomes applicants of all ages from all backgrounds. Your application will be primarily assessed through interview and portfolio review so even if you have no formal qualifications or do not meet our typical offers it can still be worth applying.

If you are studying at the time of your application and your interview is successful, it is likely that you will receive a conditional offer.

If the qualification that you are studying is not shown, do not worry as we are able to accept other pre-entry qualifications as well as combinations of different qualifications. Please do contact our Student Recruitment Team if you have any queries.

International applications

We accept qualifications from all over the world, to find our entry requirements from a specific country, please check our dedicated international pages.

Most international students are required to hold an English language qualification. Applicants are required to have a minimum UKVI approved IELTS exam score of 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each section. Equivalent English language qualifications are acceptable such as, IB English language syllabus A or B/English Literature (Grade 4).

You can email us on international@nua.ac.uk if you’d like to discuss your application individually.

BA (Hons) Architecture portfolio guidance

Your interview

After you apply to study BA Architecture at NUA we’ll invite you to an interview on campus or by skype or telephone, depending on your circumstance.

If you apply by the UCAS deadline of 15 January your interview will usually take place in February. We’ll ask you to prepare your portfolio ready to bring with you or submit online ahead of your interview.

Your portfolio

This is your chance to show us what you’re all about. Choose pieces that reflect your creativity and personal interests, as well as demonstrating your technical skills.

Read our tips for interviews at NUA.

How much work should I include?

Choose at least two projects that show the steps you took to develop an idea. This might mean you include experiments, drafts or variations that demonstrate the progression of a project from the earliest stages through to completion. Don’t worry if they’re not perfect drawings, paintings or renderings – we want to understand how you think during the creative process.

What type of work should I include?

Finished projects that you’re excited about! Remember, we’re interested in you. What motivates your choice in discipline? What shapes your creative identity? You can submit assessed projects and coursework, but we recommend including independent work where possible. Self-initiated projects showcase your ability to generate ideas and tell us more about you and your ambition.

Things to consider

Take your time choosing pieces for your portfolio

You should be confident and passionate talking about each piece. You may not be able to talk us through everything in your portfolio at the interview, so be sure to present the work in a logical way. Choose a layout that tells the story of each project and use a structure that gives a full picture of your creative practice.

Show us the full range of your creative experience and interests

Tell us about contemporary creatives that have influenced your practice. Exhibitions, shows or festivals that have inspired you or influenced your work. Competitions you’ve entered and prizes you’ve won. If you can, avoid too much repetition in style and subject matter.

Your portfolio should be relevant to the course you’re applying to, but you can include a wide range of work that shows your creativity, technical competence and understanding of space.

You may wish to include some of the following:

  • 2-Dimensional creative work such as drawings, sketches, collages, paintings, photographs or illustrations that demonstrate technical ability and creativity. Try to include a wide range of different media and show work which demonstrates a variety of skills such as observational, landscape, life, perspective, architectural and technical drawing; use of colour, form, scale, accuracy, composition and creative imagination in a mix of digital and hand rendered images
  • 3-Dimensional creative work (usually documented through good quality photographs). You may include models, product prototypes, artefacts, sculptures or installations that you have designed and constructed. Try to demonstrate your understanding of scale, form and structure through the work you include
  • Work created using Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, CAD, Sketch Up or other architectural design software.

Hardcopy portfolios

  • If you’re only submitting hardcopy materials you should aim to submit 20-30 pieces. Portfolios should be ring bound or loose boards between A4 and A1 in size.
  • Include 2-3 sketchbooks with the portfolio to demonstrate idea development, contextualisation and your work strategies.
  • Large, intricate or fragile pieces should be shown as good quality photographs.
  • If you’re submitting a showreel you should also present 10-15 images of other work (see digital portfolios guidance below).
  • Labels should be discreet, neat and used in a consistent manner for clear navigation.
  • Ensure your name is on the portfolio.

Digital portfolios

  • Include up to 30 images, including images from sketchbooks, research, experimental work and finished pieces.
  • If you’re presenting a showreel, your work should be no longer than five minutes, but you can include 10-15 accompanying images.
  • Ensure photographs and scans are in focus and in large enough format to see clearly.
  • Digital work should be presented on an online platform such as your own website, Tumblr, Flickr, Prezi, MeMyArt, YouTube, Vimeo or a personal blog. The link should then be submitted through the Applicant Portal or by emailing the relevant address below.
  • Ensure your digital portfolio is accessible before you arrive for interview, as your interviewer will load it in advance of the interview.
  • UK and EU applicants should send their link to admissions@nua.ac.uk
  • Non-EU and EEA applicants should send their link to international@nua.ac.uk

Written submission

As part of your offer you may be asked to submit a piece of written work in addition to your application, usually after your interview.

Typically an essay, report or completed log of between 500 and 1,000 words, your submission should demonstrate your ability to think critically, make informed analysis and communicate confidently in a subject area related to your proposed course of study.       

Fees and Funding

The cost of your course is determined by your status as either ‘UK/EU’ or ‘International’, so it’s important to check your fee status. If you’re unsure, the UKCISA website will help you determine whether you’re eligible to pay a UK/EU fee (also called a ‘home’ fee). If you’d prefer to speak to NUA directly, please contact student.finance@nua.ac.uk

UK/EU students are eligible for a tuition fee loan from the UK government, meaning you won’t have to pay your fees up front. Further details about tuition fee loans are provided below. International students are not eligible for the UK government tuition fee loan.

2018/19 Tuition Fees For New Entrants

Citizen status

Course

Fee

UK/EU nationality

Undergraduate degree (full-time three and four year degree)

£9,250

International (non-EU)

Undergraduate degree (full-time three and four year degree)

£13,700

Fees will remain the same for each year of your course. 

International students

Find out more about 2018 fees for international students and the support available.

Financial support for UK/EU students in 2018

Tuition fee loans and loans for living costs are available, as well as non-repayable NUA bursaries that take into account family income. Find how to apply for funding.

Tuition Fee Loan for Undergraduate study

Tuition fee loans are available for UK and EU students.

  • Available to cover the full cost of your tuition
  • You don’t have to pay for your course up front yourself
  • Only start paying back when you are earning over £25,000 per year

Maintenance Loan for Undergraduate study – 2018/19

Student Maintenance Loans are available for UK and eligible EU students to help with living costs such as accommodation, food, clothes, travel and course expenses. The amount students receive is dependent on household income and any maintenance grant received.

  • A loan of up to £8,700 may be available if you live away from home.
  • A loan of up to £7,324 may be available if you live with your parents.

How can you find out more?

To learn more about loans, repayment calculations and other financial support, visit Student Finance. If you have any questions about fees, please email student.finance@nua.ac.uk

Scholarships

Find out about scholarship programmes available to NUA applicants.

Bursaries

NUA offers bursaries to new students whose household income is £42,875 or less.

NUA alumni, staff and feeder staff discount

All NUA alumni are eligible for a £1,000 discount on NUA postgraduate degree fees. All NUA staff and staff from feeder institutions are eligible for a £500 discount on NUA postgraduate degree fees.

Students

photo of alum Margaret Belle standing on path and smiling at camera with street in background with shaved head and round black frame glasses and an open fleece coat

Margaret Belle

"NUA means opportunity. An opportunity to engage with something you desire to explore; in every way possible through the support of the university"

BA (Hons) Architecture

photo of alum Tom Cassidy leaning against railing in large atrium room looking away from camera with short dark brown hair and a dark blue long sleeved jumper

Nicholas Cassidy

"I’ve become more adventurous when developing design, the course encourages you to test concepts and always seek alternatives. But it’s not just my practice that’s developed, I have so much more confidence"

BA (Hons) Architecture

portrait photo of alum edd mitchem smiling and looking away from camera with crossed arms, short hair and wearing a grey t-shirt

Edd Mitchem

"Our studio has the perfect atmosphere — it feels like a working practice and with a city centre campus it’s easy to immerse yourself in the historic and inspirational buildings of Norwich."

BA (Hon) Architecture

portrait photo of alum Tammy Rootsey-Freeman smiling and looking away from camera with tied back hair and wearing a long loose scarf and a white t-shirt

Tammy Rootsey-Freeman

"I love that the course allows me to focus on my technical drawing, thinking logically but also having the opportunity to be very creative with my designs."

BA (Hon) Architecture

Lecturers

  • James Bussey

  • Dr Yusuf Adams

  • Jane Wernick (Visiting Lecturer)

    Jane Wernick Associates
  • Robert Sakula (Visiting Lecturer)

    Ash Sakula
  • Rod Heyes (Visiting Lecturer)

    Caruso St. John

Need help? Chat to our friendly recruitment team

Book a place on an Open Day, or to find out more about how to apply for a course at NUA, please contact Lynne, Sam, Tom, or Tori:

Call: +44 (0) 1603 610561

Email: studentrecruitment@nua.ac.uk

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