artists impression of a living bridge


Architecture (with Foundation Year)

Please note the tariff points stated for this course are indicative. The tariff points for 2018 will be published by August 2017.

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Tariff points:
Architecture and the Built Environment
Four years
Programme leader:
Wendy Colvin
Key fact:
Start developing your professional portfolio and lay the foundations for your architecture career on this exciting course.

Page last updated 28 June 2017


Why BSc(Hons) Architecture?

The discipline of architecture is constantly evolving, as is the role of the architect responding and adapting to new changes. Working with an ever-expanding palette of materials, architectural expertise is required on micro and macro scales - from new build to creative reuse working.

First and foremost this profession seeks to provide well-considered and creative solutions to a range of problems within today's industry. Whether focused on sustainability, an artistic concept, detail design, or simple idea, a solid understanding of cutting-edge materials, methods and technology enables our graduates to identify and apply the most effective solution.

Why study our course?

On this BSc(Hons) Architecture  course, you will develop a clear understanding of the theoretical, historical, environmental, technological and professional factors influencing architecture. You will investigate the design, refurbishment, use and re-use of existing and new build structures with an emphasis on building technology. In particular you will be taught to develop creative solutions from artistic concepts through to detail design. Our aim is to produce the most sought after students by developing specialist knowledge of materials and structure enabling you to think creatively and build exciting cutting-edge buildings.

Working in the Design Studio you will develop design skills including CAD, drawing, modelling, and mapping as well as structural and environmental strategies to support activity.

We have been ranked fourth nationally for student satisfaction for our Architecture courses in The Guardian University League Tables 2018.

Real world experience

Throughout the course, you will develop your creative portfolio through design projects, many with real clients and sites. You will be taught by industry-experienced lecturers and visiting tutors, many of whom run their own architectural practices. It is very important to study buildings in the flesh so you will assess and review architecture on day trips and residential field trips in the UK and abroad.

There are opportunities for you to gain valuable work experience on internships. 

Where it can take you

On graduation, you can continue your architectural education completing a year in an architectural practice before joining a (Part 2) course. UWE Bristol has a selection of such courses.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience

Accreditations and partnerships:



Foundation year (Year zero)

  • Foundation Mathematics: Algebra and Calculus
  • Foundation Design Communication
  • Foundation Design Studio
  • Foundation Design History.

You will study the Foundation year alongside students from our other Architecture and Product Design courses, and so you may be able to transfer to a course in one of these areas at the end of the Foundation year.

The normal expectation is that you must pass all Year zero modules before progressing to Year one.

Year one

  • Studio 1
  • Technical Studio 1
  • Investigating Structures
  • Making of Place.

Year two

  • Architecture and Design Studio 2
  • Advanced Technology and Environment 2
  • IT for Designers
  • Research and Design Strategies
  • History of Architecture.

Final year

  • Architecture and Design Studio 3
  • Advanced Technology and Environment 3
  • Collaborative Practice
  • Theories of Architecture and their Application to Design
  • Dissertation.

The core of the student experience is the Design Studio and wherever possible modules are designed to integrate with the learning undertaken in the Design Studio. Design Studios are structured around different themes in every year and include a rich variety of conceptual and pragmatic projects. These culminate in the final year with a year-long special study project which combines rigorous research and a fully integrated architectural design project. In addition to carrying out design tasks students are introduced to a variety of techniques including CAD, drawing, modelling and mapping.

The Department's inter-professional approach includes projects where students work with undergraduates from other disciplines within the built environment. This encourages mutual respect and understanding of the professions which they are likely to be working with in practice and helps develop skills in presentation, negotiation, communication and delegation.

This course can be studied at City School of Architecture, Sri Lanka, where content may vary slightly from the module details listed here.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching staff provide a friendly, enabling environment for learning. They are actively engaged in research and/or professional practice, ensuring students understand the latest research and business drivers.

The course is taught mainly in studios and is project-led, with a variety of teaching methods including lectures, seminars, laboratory work, tutorials and computer-based techniques. This enables a highly creative approach to design within an authentic learning environment, enabling students to acquire essential knowledge, skills and techniques.

For more details see our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Study time

You will study for six years full-time, so a full architectural education can be completed. After four years, you will have completed the BSc(Hons) Architecture and are then advised to spend a year in an architectural practice. You can then proceed to the M(Arch) (RIBA Part 2) course, which is two years full-time, but may be taken part-time.


A wide range of assessment methods are used, with a balance between coursework and examinations.

To support you in the studios there are tutorials and reviews, visiting practitioners and guest lecturers. These are consolidated by lecture courses on: urban design; history, theories and contexts of architecture and planning; planning policy and implementation; technology and construction.

There are projects where you can work with students of other disciplines, to prepare you for a career working with professionals from related fields.

For more details see our full glossary of assessment terms.


Professional accreditation

This new course has been designed to meet the requirements of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) as a 'Part 1' qualification in architecture.

This course is also accredited by the Architects Registration Board (ARB).


Students who get work experience are more likely to graduate with a better degree and get higher quality work on graduation. So as well as helping hone your professional skills, industry knowledge and network, experience will make you highly employable on graduation.

Throughout the course, you will develop your portfolio on a series of design projects. Some of these are live briefs working with the community and Architecture Centre in Bristol. You are strongly encouraged to gain work experience through employment, or internship in a relevant professional area during vacations.


There are three field trips, which are subsidised by the Department.

During the early part of your course, you will attend a three-day field trip to study a UK city and on a weekly basis you will sketch and assess buildings in and around Bristol, which will support your design work.

You will study and analyse sites in a UK town or city, attend visits to manufacturers, design practices and offices in the region to support your design studio work.

In the final year of the degree, you will visit a European city. Past destinations include Berlin, Paris and Barcelona.

Study facilities

You will be taught in modern, well-equipped department facilities, which include our award-winning Design Studios.

  • Study and collaborate on group assignments in our dedicated Project Room.
  • Develop CAD, model-making, design and drawing skills in integrated studios.
  • Create architectural models using laser cutters, computerised routers, artificial sky, wind tunnels, wood, metal and concrete workshops.
  • Conduct spatial enquiry and analyse data using industry-standard GIS and statistical software in our computer laboratories.
  • Access support for photography, digital imaging, filming and sound recording from our audio-visual group.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE Bristol has to offer.

Learn from industry

We arrange regular presentations from visiting practitioners and guest lecturers so you can learn about industry challenges and best practice.

Socialise and learn

You can attend guest lectures, field-trips, live projects and social events with like-minded students in our Bristol Architecture Society.

Showcase your work

Our final year students regularly showcase their work at the annual Plan and Make degree show. See more examples of our students' work in this year book.


Careers / Further study

On graduation, you can continue your architectural education through working for a year in an architectural practice before joining a (Part 2) course, either at UWE or another institution. A M(Arch) is two years full-time but may also be taken part-time.

You will also have strong problem solving skills with a focus on analysis, and decision-making. These are sought after by many employers and can be applied in a wide range of careers.

Award-winning careers service

Our award-winning careers service helps you develop your employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity plus support for entrepreneurial activity, and access to employer events.

Creating employable students

UWE Bristol places strong emphasis on employability and skills development at every level. Through work placements, volunteering, study abroad and initiatives nurturing talent and innovation, you will have opportunities to gain valuable real world experience, allowing you to graduate with diverse career opportunities and a competitive place in the job market.

Visit our Employability pages to find out about careers, employers, real world experience and what our students are doing six months after graduating.


Indicative Additional Costs

FeesAmount (£)
Additional Course Costs - Full Time - Home/EU - Indicative Maximum Cost Per year300

Full time course

FeesAmount (£)
International-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee12750
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1594

Supplementary fee information

The additional costs listed are those that students could reasonably expect to incur during their studies and are for items not covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, text books, travel, clothing, software or printing.

For information about funding for undergraduate courses see our funding pages.


Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 88
  • GCSE: For all applicants, Grade C or above, or Grade 4 under newly reformed GCSE grading, in English Language and Mathematics, or equivalent. Please note the University does not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Numeracy and Literacy as suitable alternatives to GCSEs.
  • A-level subjects: No specific subjects required. Points from General Studies and AS-Level subjects (not taken onto full A-Level) can be included towards overall tariff. You must have a minimum of one A-Level.
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: No specific subjects required.
  • Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma; no specific subjects required.
  • Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.

Entry requirements

The 'Typical offers' information above is only for full-time students entering the foundation year.

We are happy to consider applicants with a mixture of A levels and BTEC qualifications.

We welcome applications from highly motivated students who do not meet the usual entrance requirements given above, but who have gained equivalent knowledge and skills from substantial relevant work or other experience.

Students who expect to achieve a higher tariff score may also be interested in our BSc(Hons) Architecture course.

UWE Bristol's International College

International students who do not meet the academic or English language requirements to study this course can qualify by completing preparatory study at our International College.

Please read the general information about entry requirements.

How to apply

Please see the general information about applications.

For further information


UWE Main Campus

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