BArch Bachelor of Architecture


Fact file - 2019 entry

BArch Hons Architecture
UCAS code
3 years full-time
A level offer
Required subjects
Arts-based subject preferred (a portfolio will be required), plus art/design, English, maths and physics or double science at GCSE
IB score
36 (preferably including an arts-based subject at Higher Level) 
Course location
University Park Campus 
Course places


This RIBA/ARB accredited Part I course teaches design skills and an understanding of the technical performance of buildings; all influenced by the history and theory of architecture and the built environment.
Read full overview

As well as providing the first stage in the seven-year education of an architect, the BArch course also teaches many transferable skills, including creative thinking and problem solving that enable students to complete their first stage of professional training or to graduate and take up a range of other careers. 

The BArch course offers a popular, vibrant and multifaceted learning environment where a complementary mix of research active staff and practitioners deliver an academic agenda that explores design through a process of ‘creative rigour’. 

The course recruits students of the highest calibre and strives to provide them with exceptional opportunities for both academic and personal growth.

Year one 

You are introduced to the main themes of the discipline: architectural design, structures, construction, environmental design, and architectural history and theory. The programme will concentrate on introducing and developing the key skills, competences and knowledge.

Year two

You will further develop themes introduced in year one. Increasingly, these themes will become more complex and testing and integrated with the design-based modules. The design studio module in particular offers a wide range of individual choice of how you work and what themes you wish to pursue. In semester two there is an option to study abroad.

Year three 

You will develop a thorough understanding of all the key themes and their holistic integration into design projects. Your role within the architectural profession will also be developed as part of the introduction of a further theme in practice and management.

Ongoing study

This three-year programme is followed by one year’s supervised professional experience before embarking upon the two year MArch Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part II) (see MArch Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part II) for further details), which leads to an Architects’ Registration Board (ARB)/Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Part Two level qualification. This MArch programme can be done at any university of your choice.

Full UK professional status as an architect is achieved after a further year’s professional experience and a Part Three-level exam.


Entry requirements

A levels:  AAA, preferably an arts-based subject at A level

While we consider most A level subjects, we prefer students to have taken art or design and technology. We are willing to make lower offers to students who may be predicted AAB or ABB and have an outstanding portfolio, if we are confident that such candidates are able to manage the technical demands of the course.

Portfolio submissions

The Department will contact applicants with details on how to submit their digital portfolio online. This portfolio should simply contain up to four images of drawn or painted work from life, up to four photographs, up to four images of a made piece or pieces and up to four images of additional work that you may wish to show us. You should think of this as a visual personal statement.

English language requirements 

IELTS: 6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

Cambridge certificate of proficiency grade B

For details of other English language tests and qualifications we accept, please see our entry requirements page.

If you require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education, which is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.

Students who successfully complete the presessional course to the required level can progress onto their chosen degree course without retaking IELTS or equivalent.

Alternative qualifications 

For details please see alternative qualifications page

Flexible admissions policy

In recognition of our applicants’ varied experience and educational pathways, the University of Nottingham employs a flexible admissions policy. We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances. Please see the University’s admissions policies and procedures for more information.  


The following is a sample of the typical modules that we offer as at the date of publication but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and the module information in this prospectus is provided for indicative purposes only.

Typical year one modules


Integrated Design in Architecture

This module introduces you to the principle of a holistic and integrated approach to building design. Firstly, you’ll learn about the notion of thinking architecture, the fundamental principles of design and drawing skills and typologies as key areas of study. Then you’ll focus on methodology and approaches relevant to the studio comprehensive design project with a more intensified examination of topics such as light, narrative and sustainability. For this module you’ll have one 1-hour lecture per week.


Architectural Design Studio 1A

This studio-based module introduces you to basic design, drafting, model making and drawing skills. There are two dedicated days of studio tutorials per week. The semester finishes with the design of a small building that will test your understanding and application of the knowledge gained on this module.


Architectural Design Studio 1B

This studio-based module develops your basic design, drafting, model making and drawing skills. Through the two dedicated days of studio tutorials per week, you will be introduced to historical precedents and computer-aided drawing programmes. These exercises will feed into a small comprehensive design project of a public building.


Environmental Science for Architects 1

Introducing you to the environmental agenda as it applies to the architectural profession, you’ll explore the key bioclimatic strategies used to maintain appropriate conditions for the occupants of buildings, thus tying together occupant comfort, building schedule and climate. You’ll have a two-hour lecture per week using both physical modelling and computer simulation techniques to gain a better understanding of the strategies involved and their relationship with building design. 


Tectonics 1 (Structures and Construction)

This module introduces you to the technology, materials and techniques used in constructing buildings. It aims to help you understand how these elements form an integral part of the design process. Through two-hour weekly lectures you’ll conduct practical structural modelling exercises. This will help you develop a basic understanding of the qualitative behaviour of structures and the interaction between structural form and the loads that they have to carry. 


Architectural Humanities 1: History of Architecture 

This module offers you an introduction to the history of architecture from ancient times to the present day. A two-hour weekly lecture aims to familiarise you with major architectural typologies and the social and technological changes that brought them into being.


People, Buildings, Landscape

The overall aim of this module is to give you an understanding of the impact that the built environment has on those who inhabit its space. Through a 2-hour lecture each week you’ll broaden your awareness of built environment design issues, illustrate how design decisions impact more broadly on environmental, economic, social and experiential issues and study behavioural psychology and its influence on built environment design.


Typical year two modules


Integrated Design in Architecture 2A

Following on from the key principles introduced in the year one module, Integrated Design in Architecture, you’ll further develop your communication and research skills which will underpin your work in both the theorisation and practise of architecture. Through one-hour weekly lectures you’ll explore the research methodologies and skills needed to identify and synthesise relevant and accurate information as well visual communication skills focusing on CAD programs, where skills will be developed through workshops and self-directed exercises.


Architecture Design Studio 2A

This studio-based module aims to develop your basic skills and approaches to architectural design through a series of design projects. You'll spend two dedicated days in the studio per week with emphasis on the 'craftmanship of architecture', improving the spatial, aesthetic, sensual as well as practical, structural and dimensional qualities of your design.


Architecture Design Studio 2B

Following on from the previous module, Architectural Design Studio 2A, you’ll continue to spend two dedicated days in the studio per week aiming to develop a more comprehensive understanding of architectural design.


Environmental Science for Architects 2

Building upon the themes covered in the year one module Environmental Science for Architects 1, this module looks more specifically at the flows of energy that occur with and within buildings and how these relate to and integrate with some of the numerous systems employed that may help with their control. You’ll spend four hours per week in lectures studying for this module.


Tectonics 2A

Dealing with small to medium-scale buildings, you’ll build on knowledge acquired in Tectonics 1, focusing on structural systems, building elements, material, components, connections, construction methods and detailing. During a two-hour lecture each week, you’ll learn how constituent parts come together to construct building entities through investigation and analysis of structural principles, detail, material composition and performance of primary building elements.


Tectonics 2B

The module builds upon work covered in Tectonics 2A, developing practical knowledge and understanding of the material and technical dimensions of building design. You’ll study current trends in the construction industry, collaborative modes of working with specialists and learn how to apply this knowledge and understanding in the design studio.

You’ll increase your knowledge of building technology by focusing on components, connections, structural systems and construction techniques related to medium-scale and large buildings and their sustainable development. Study of the theory of structures, reinforced by practical studio based design projects, will enable you to quantify forces and actions in structural systems. The module will also increase your structural understanding through the study of some advanced structural forms. You’ll also study the impact of codes of practice, BS/EN Standards and building regulations on architectural design. You’ll have a two-hour lecture each week for this module.  


Architectural Humanities 2 (Theory and Criticism)

This course provides a historical, cultural and philosophical context to the major contemporary debates in architecture today. You’ll gain understanding of architecture's potential as a practically useful and culturally meaningful activity. Key issues from the history of philosophy will be examined alongside a range of building case-studies. This will enable you to develop a series of alternative interpretive frameworks through which buildings may be analysed, criticised, debated and understood. For this module you’ll have a two-hour lecture each week.


There are no optional modules in year 2


Typical year three modules


Practice and Management

Introducing you to the context of professional practice, this module prepares you for your year in placement by discussing the year out, how to go about getting the right job and the skills involved in achieving this. Through two hours of lectures each week you’ll look at the important regulatory requirements and processes and the principles and priorities of running a traditional contract on site together with standard documents used in this process.


Architectural Humanities 3 (Contemporary Debates)

This course explores contemporary architecture in relation to major social, economic, political, ecological, and technological transformations after the Second World War. A wide range of topics including consumerism, globalization, mass media, cultural identities and changing economic structures are discussed in terms of their role in shaping architectural theory, practice, and built environment. Two hours of lectures each week employ building case studies, film excerpts, and assigned readings to analyse key concepts.


Integrated Design in Architecture 3

Building on previous IDA modules, you’ll develop the context for integrated building design to an advanced level and to support its application through holistic design practices. Through a series of one hour lectures, workshops and tutorials, a range of technical topics will be covered that prescribe a range of multi-disciplinary inputs that an architect is likely to confront when devising a real project. Such thematic topics include daylight-sunlight, materials, façade, structure, building fabric and acoustics.


Architectural Design Studio 3

This studio-based module aims to further develop your skills and approaches to architectural design to a more advanced and complete level. You’ll produce a well-crafted comprehensive design project of some complexity based on a thorough investigation and developmental process and show a comprehensive understanding of the project's technical performance.



Landscape Design: Meaning and Making

You’ll consider key issues within landscape architectural discourse and practice and be introduced to a number of theoretical approaches to landscape and their relationship to professional practice. Through two hours of lectures each week you’ll study the ways of ‘reading’ landscape including modes of interpreting or experiencing landscape, designing landscapes to express according to particular values, and critically assessing designed landscape outcomes and performance.


Urban Design Theory

Introducing you to the history and theory of urban design, during a two hour lecture each week you’ll be given an understanding of the design of the city and its elements, and develop skills in the diagnosis and analysis of urban patterns.


Acoustics and Lighting

This module introduces you to the fundamentals of acoustic and lighting phenomena as they relate to design within the built environment. During two hours of lectures each week, you’ll be given an overview of the psychological and technical considerations that underpin design requirements and explore the selection of acoustic and lighting strategies relating to the design of buildings through the introduction of appropriate tools and techniques.


Architectural Language and Spatial Narratives

Through a series of two-hour lectures, you’ll look at the issue of architectural and spatial representations in the development of architectural theory, delivered in line with both the realistic built environment scope- the historical, modern and post-modern languages in architectural and spatial design, and the surrealistic built environmental scope.



You may continue with architecture, undertaking a year’s supervised professional experience, the two year MArch Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part II), and a further year in industry to achieve professional architect status in the UK. The MArch programme can be done at any University of your choice.

Professional validation

This course is validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Architects' Registration Board (ARB) for exemption from their Part One professional examination.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2016, 95% of undergraduates in the Department of Architecture and Built Environment who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £21,460 with the highest being £28,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home and EU first-degree graduates, 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Careers support and advice

Studying for a degree at the University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take. Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our Careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.

Boost your earning potential

Which university courses boost graduate wages the most? Studying with us could help you to earn more.

  • We are second highest in the UK for female engineering graduate earnings, five years after graduation
  • We are second highest in the Midlands for male engineering graduate earnings, five years after graduation

(Source: Institute for Fiscal Studies data:



Fees and funding

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. For up to date information regarding tuition fees, visit our fees and finance pages.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £2,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International/EU students

Our International Baccalaureate Diploma Excellence Scholarship is available for select students paying overseas fees who achieve 38 points or above in the International Baccalaureate Diploma. We also offer a range of High Achiever Prizes for students from selected countries, schools and colleges to help with the cost of tuition fees. Find out more about scholarships, fees and finance for international students.

Faculty-specific funding

In addition to the above, students applying to the Faculty of Engineering may be eligible for faculty-specific or industry scholarships.


Key Information Sets (KIS)

KIS is an initiative that the government has introduced to allow you to compare different courses and universities.

Time in lectures, seminars and similar

Although this figure may appear low, you will undertake a module during your studies which involves over 90% of independent learning. This module is usually a dissertation, thesis or research project and will provide the opportunity to gain research and analytical skills as well as the ability to work independently. You will have a higher percentage of contact hours for other modules. 


There is assessment associated with this programme that is not attached to a specific module. Students continuing onto the Architecture Diploma are expected to gain 6-12 months of professional practice, in an architect's office or equivalent.

Students must keep a log of their practice experience in RIBA's Professional Education Development Record. This is to be signed off by the department before undertaking the Architecture Diploma. 

How to use the data

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.


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