Architecture - BA (Hons)

This course is validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and prescribed by the Architects Registration Board (ARB). You'll graduate with RIBA Part 1 exemption – the first step towards becoming an architect.

Overview

Architects imagine new environments and breathe new life into existing buildings. Architecture helps to build communities and improve our surroundings; it has the capacity to change lives.

Explore the relationship between people and spaces, and focus on how people want to live, work and relax in the 21st century. Our course provides a balance of theory, design work and professional experience. It’s not just about creating beautiful buildings; you'll lead on projects, solve complex problems and learn to communicate your ideas.

Why study Architecture at Kent?

  • Become a qualified Architect: Our course is accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and 89% of our Architecture graduates were in graduate-level jobs or further study 15 months after graduation (The Guardian University Guide 2023)
  • Explore fantastic facilities: Our specialist spaces include modern design and dedicated model workshops, laser-cutting facilities, computer studio and digital hub, and a Digital Crit Space with 75-inch Clevertouch screens.
  • Get career ready: Make important connections thanks to our links with architectural industry bodies and professional practices such as Farrells, Allies and Morrison, Purcell, Guy Hollaway, and Arup.
  • Solve today’s biggest challenges: Sustainability is vital; our environmental impact will have repercussions for the future of the planet and the built environment. We've signed up for the United Nations 17 sustainability goals and these form part of every single project brief which you’ll be part of during your course.
  • Learn from experts: Join world-leading researchers who teach architecture and the built environment. Get involved with industry professionals, local architects and projects, engaging with real-world ideas through mentoring schemes and placements.
  • Join our community: Attend guest lectures, research seminars, exhibitions, conferences and symposia organised by the School or join the student-run Kent Architectural Students Association (KASA) and help organise social events, design competitions and the End of Year Show.

Your course

Our BA in Architecture is the first step towards qualifying as an architect. You study regeneration, sustainability, landscape, community and urban life and develop the practical design skills needed within the profession.

In your second year, you have the opportunity to spend a term studying abroad. In previous years, students have studied at Virginia Tech in the US and École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture et de Paysage de Lille.

In your final year, you continue to develop your knowledge and practical skills taking a module where you redesign an existing urban centre and culminating in your own architectural design project. You also undertake a dissertation.

Based on our campus in the historical and architecturally diverse city of Canterbury, you will have access to excellent facilities to support your studies and research. Our specialist open-plan studios are at the creative heart of our teaching. They are a place where you can work develop your creative and critical ideas, experiment through models, drawings and digital representation as well as important architectural skills on projects, share ideas, inspire each other and begin to develop your personality as a designer.

See the modules you'll study

What our students say

My time at Kent helped me gain skills learnt from presenting work and ideas in critiques. Often we, as architects, have a short period of time to convince potential clients that our idea or concept is the best solution to their brief. Crits are ultimately how we win new work! ‘Studio culture’ is also something that feeds into practice life, including learning how to work in an environment with your contemporaries, other professionals, and also with people that are experts in their own field.

- Chris Gray, graduate and architect at John Pardey Architects.

The lectures cover a wide range – everything from history to technology – so you could be learning about classic Greek temples one day and building ventilation the next. That’s when you realise how vast the subject is. You get a lot of information fired at you and it’s all about taking it in and choosing the things that are most appropriate to your design.

- Edward Powe, current Architecture student.

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Watch to find out why you should study at Kent.

The studio culture is essentially a melting pot of creativity – that’s how I’d describe it.

Edward Powe - Architecture BA

Entry requirements

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. All applications are assessed on an individual basis but some of our typical requirements are listed below. Students offering qualifications not listed are welcome to contact our Admissions Team for further advice. Please also see our general entry requirements.

  • medal-empty

    A level

    AAB-ABB

  • medal-empty GCSE

    Mathematics grade C

  • medal-empty Access to HE Diploma

    The University welcomes applications from Access to Higher Education Diploma candidates for consideration. A typical offer may require you to obtain a proportion of Level 3 credits in relevant subjects at merit grade or above.

  • medal-empty BTEC Nationals

    The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances. A typical offer would be to achieve DDM.

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    34 points overall or 16 at HL including Mathematics 4 at HL or SL

  • medal-empty International Foundation Programme

    Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 60% overall average including 60% in Design/Art and Design module (plus 50% in LZ013 Maths and Statistics if you do not hold GCSE Maths at 4/C or equivalent ).

  • medal-empty T level

    The University will consider applicants holding T level qualifications in subjects closely aligned to the course.

All candidates need to provide confirmation of i) observational skills ii) artistic, conceptual and creative thinking and iii) analyses of colour, form and space.

All applicants will be asked to submit a portfolio as part of their application. For further guidance regarding portfolio requirements, please see: https://www.kent.ac.uk/architecture-planning/undergraduate/portfolio-advice

The ideal applicant will have a record that reflects a broad academic aptitude. Although not compulsory, an art qualification (eg A Level in Fine Art or IB in Visual Art) would be extremely useful. GCSE Mathematics Grade C is also required.

If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes. Please note that international fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

Please note that meeting the typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee that you will receive an offer.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you do not meet our English language requirements, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.

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Course structure

Duration: 3 years full-time

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

Fees

The 2023/24 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  • Home full-time £9250
  • EU full-time £16400
  • International full-time £21900

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Fees for Year in Industry

Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.

Fees for Year Abroad

Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.

Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status.

Additional costs

The following course-related costs are not included in your tuition fees:

  • The estimated cost of your art materials over three years (around £150 per year, on average)
  • Optional field trips (approximately £400 each at current prices)
  • Printing costs of around £45 per year (on average)
  • The cost of books that you might wish to purchase from recommended reading lists (our library has an extensive range of core texts available to borrow)

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

Search scholarships

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

Teaching and assessment

We use a variety of learning and teaching methods, including lectures, workshops, studio-based work and field study trips. You also attend tutorials, seminars, small group discussions and one-to-one design sessions, giving you a range of feedback opportunities to improve their skills.

Our dedicated student workshop is run by experienced model makers and is equipped with a CNC router as well as a comprehensive collection of workshop equipment, laser-cutting facilities and access to an electronics workshop.

You also have the exclusive use of our digital workshop which enables you to explore aspects of 3D scanning, printing and modelling; using cutting-edge technology; from point-cloud 3D capture to fused deposition modelling 3D prototypes. We hold seven hobbyist 3D printers and three high-end 3D scanners, to enhance our experimental approach throughout the process and development of an architectural design brief.

Overall workload

You spend approximately 1,200 hours each academic year studying for your degree. On average, 60% of your time is spent in an activity led by an academic. The rest of your time is for independent study. Typically, this will involve design project work, reading, essay writing, technology and environment coursework. 

Your independent study is supported by excellent facilities including the library, architecture studios, architecture workshop, digital workshop and digital crit space.

Academic support

We offer a mentoring scheme in collaboration with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), as well as practical involvement with local architects and projects. You also have access to academic advisors, academic peer mentoring, drop-in sessions, skills workshops and software specific workshops and training.

The University’s learning advisory service offers support and guidance to enhance your study skills.  Our student support service helps students with additional needs resulting from disabilities or learning difficulties.

Teaching staff

Our School has an enthusiastic team of academic staff with many years of teaching experience at degree level, and strengths in historical, environmental, technical and digital aspects of the subject. Our lecturers are respected practitioners within the field and many are active researchers contributing to contemporary debates through their publications. Learn more by visiting our staff profiles.

Assessment

Assessment is by a portfolio of work, which includes design project coursework, written assignments and examinations, alongside research papers and technical reports. We place particular emphasis on sketchbooks and notebooks assembled over the academic year, which contribute to your own personal development plan.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. Typical assessment breakdown:

  • Stage 1 – 15% exam, 85% coursework
  • Stage 2 – 15% exam, 85% coursework
  • Stage 3 – 0% exam, 100% coursework

Stage 1 assessments do not contribute to your final degree. Stage 2 counts towards 20% of your final degree and Stage 3 counts towards 80% of your final degree classification.

Find out more about how undergraduate courses work.

Feedback

You will receive feedback on all practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. In design-based modules, feedback is given throughout the year in design tutorials.

Contact hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • provide a broad education in architecture, primarily for those who will continue in architectural education and who will practice architecture
  • develop students’ intellectual, creative and imaginative powers within architectural design to the fullest possible extent
  • promote study of the practice and tradition of architecture within its social, cultural and environmental contexts, in order to develop knowledge and understanding
  • develop an understanding of the professional practice of architecture and in particular to develop and implement team skills
  • develop construction and environmental skills appropriate to architectural practice and to understand the influence of technology and the relevance of sustainability
  • promote the importance of an integrated approach to building design and to explore how an appropriate balance is achieved between competing demands
  • encourage a keen awareness of contemporary theory, technology and practice in order to provoke students’ creativity and innovation.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

Stage One

  • The critical and contextual dimensions of architecture and design with respect to cultural, social, ethical, historical and theoretical considerations.
  • Design processes and the development of a design/architectural language.
  • The influence of environmental design technology on the production of a sustainable, safe and healthy built environment.
  • Structural and constructional principles, the properties and meanings of materials, and the ways that these may inform and influence design decisions.
  • The integrative relationship between space, structure, environment and materials.
  • The history of, and current debate about, design and architecture.
  • The verbal and graphical means of communicating design solutions to both professional and non-professional audiences.
  • The relationship between the disciplines of interior design, interior architecture, and architecture.

Stage Two

  • The breadth of architecture and design within its historical, cultural and social context.
  • Design processes and the development of a design/architectural language.
  • The influence of environmental design technology on the production of a sustainable, safe and healthy built environment.
  • Structural and constructional principles, the properties and meanings of materials, and the ways that these may inform and influence design decisions.
  • Cultural theory and modernism.
  • The verbal and graphical means of communicating design solutions to both professional and non-professional audiences.
  • The relationship between the disciplines of interior design, interior architecture and architecture.

Intellectual skills

Stage One

  • Apply the skills needed for academic study and enquiry.
  • Evaluate and research sources of information and evidence.
  • Synthesise information from a number of sources.
  • Apply strategies for appropriate selection of relevant information from a body of knowledge.
  • Utilise problem-solving skills.
  • Analyse, evaluate and interpret the evidence underpinning design practice.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the legislative constraints and guidance on the development of the built environment.

Stage Two

  • Develop further the skills needed for academic study and enquiry.
  • Evaluate research and a variety of types and sources of information and evidence critically.
  • Synthesise information from a number of sources in order to gain a coherent understanding of theory and practice.
  • Apply strategies for appropriate selection of relevant information from a wide source and large body of knowledge.
  • Utilise problem-solving skills to generate sophisticated design solutions.
  • Analyse, evaluate and interpret the evidence underpinning design practice critically and initiate change in practice appropriately.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the legislative constraints and guidance on the development of the built environment.

Subject-specific skills

Stage One

  • Understand creative design skills such as a consistent and methodological approach within a theoretical context.
  • An awareness of the advantages of collaborative working practices.
  • Test and analyse architectural and technical design options against developed briefs.
  • The ability to manipulate both colour and light to modify the character of space and surface.
  • An ability to plan in response to functional, spatial, aesthetic, technical and social requirements, within the scope and scale of a wider environment
  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate verbally and graphically, using appropriate media and drawing conventions.

Stage Two

  • Understand creative design skills such as a consistent and methodological approach within a theoretical context.
  • Work both as a creative and imaginative individual and as part of a team within the area of architectural design.
  • Adopt a critical attitude towards the design brief.
  • The ability to measure, predict and analyse sound, light and thermal factors in buildings and to respond to them creatively.
  • An ability to plan both in the horizontal plane and in section in response to functional, spatial, aesthetic, environmental requirements, within the scope and scale of a wider environment.
  • The ability to use verbal and graphical means of advanced communication including physical models, computer and 3D drawings.

Transferable skills

Stage One

  • Research and consider sophisticated design problems in the light of contemporary criticism.
  • The ability to analyse information and experiences, formulate independent judgements, and articulate reasoned arguments through reflection, review and evaluation.
  • Develop an ability to solve design problems and articulate solutions comprehensibly in visual, oral, and written forms.
  • An ability to engage in design thinking which is logical and imaginative.
  • Acquire independent judgement, critical self-awareness and ability to identify strengths and weaknesses. Ability to manage time effectively.

Stage Two

  • Research and consider sophisticated design problems in the light of contemporary criticism.
  • The ability to analyse information and experiences, formulate independent judgements, and articulate reasoned arguments through reflection, review and evaluation.
  • Develop an ability to solve design problems and articulate solutions comprehensibly in visual, oral, and written forms.
  • An ability to engage in design thinking which is logical and imaginative
  • Acquire independent judgement, critical self-awareness and ability to identify strengths and weaknesses.
  • Ability to manage time effectively.

Independent rankings

Architecture at Kent was ranked 7th for research quality in The Complete University Guide 2023.

89% of Kent Architecture graduates were in graduate-level jobs or further study 15 months after graduation. (The Guardian University Guide 2023)

Careers

Graduate destinations

Many of our graduates go on to work in well-known architectural practices, such as:

  • Farrells
  • Grimshaw
  • HLM Architects
  • HOK
  • Jestico + Whiles.

Our graduates have also followed careers in professions related to design, graphics and visualisation.

Help finding a job

Kent School of Architecture and Planning has links to professional practices and this network is very useful to students when looking for work in an architectural practice. You are encouraged to network at our events, and we run special sessions to help you with writing your CV.

The University also has a friendly Careers and Employability Service, which can give you advice on how to:

  • apply for jobs
  • write a good CV
  • perform well in interviews.

Career path into architecture

To qualify as a professional architect requires a specific route of study and work experience.

  • Your BA (Hons) degree provides an exemption from the Part 1 examinations required by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
  • After graduation, you work for at least six months in an architectural practice.
  • You then continue your studies on the MArch degree programme, which takes two years and provides exemption from the RIBA/ARB Part 2 examinations.
  • Following the MArch, you continue to work in an architectural practice until you have a total of 24 months of professional experience (including the previous period of work).
  • You are then eligible to take Part 3 of the ARB/RIBA examinations, which lead to full professional registration as an architect.

Career-enhancing skills

You graduate with an excellent grounding in architectural knowledge and a range of professional skills in:

  • visual and verbal presentations
  • digital media
  • model-making
  • freehand drawing.

To help you to appeal to employers, you also develop key transferable skills in:

  • computing
  • analysing data
  • writing well.

You can also gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.

Professional recognition

The BA (Hons) Architecture (Part 1) and MArch (Part 2) programmes are fully prescribed by the ARB and have been validated by RIBA for the maximum period.

Apply for Architecture - BA (Hons)

If you are from the UK or Ireland, you must apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not from the UK or Ireland, you can apply through UCAS or directly on our website if you have never used UCAS and you do not intend to use UCAS in the future.

Find out more about how to apply

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International applicants

Contact us

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United Kingdom/EU enquiries

Enquire online for full-time study

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

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International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk

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