Architecture and Planning

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
Study abroad:
Programme leader:
Jonathan Bassindale and Mike Devereux
Key fact:
Work towards professional status in architecture and planning on this unique course, which will broaden your career opportunities and understanding of the built environment.

Page last updated 16 June 2017


Why BA(Hons) Architecture and Planning?

The ability to understand the relationship between place, space and built form is essential to successful practice. Applying architectural design to city planning supports the creation of more joined up and humane sustainable environments. Understanding planning and architecture while responding to people, context and sustainability can lead to a new kind of designer. Highly creative architect planners who are able to design from the scale of a city to a door-handle.

Why study our course? 

This course is unique in being accredited by both the RIBA and the RTPI, and provides broad-based knowledge and skills encompassing architecture and planning. With the Design Studio at the centre of learning, you will work on conceptual and practical projects across different themes. You will learn CAD, drawing, modelling and mapping to support this. In your third year, you can choose to study in Europe for a year on our established Erasmus programme. During your final year, you will apply learning on a year-long project combining the masterplanning of a complex urban area with rigorous brief development and research, all leading to a final architectural design project.

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

Real world experience

Some of your practical design projects will involve working with real clients representing local organisations or the community. You will also work with students across related disciplines in an approach reflecting industry. You will assess urban design on day trips and residential field trips. You will also undertake a six-week agency project in an architect's office, local planning authority, or other appropriate organisation.

Where it can take you

With a joint professional qualification, you will be sought after by employers in the UK and abroad. On graduation, you will be equipped for a career as an architect, architect-planner, urban designer, conservationist or town planner with a background in design.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience

Accreditations and partnerships:



Year 1

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Making of Place
  • Healthy and Sustainable Communities
  • Technical Studio 1
  • Studio 1

Year 2

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Future Places
  • Research and Design Strategies
  • IT for Designers
  • Studio 2
  • History of Architecture

Year 3

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Planning Studio 3: Planning Global Cities
  • Design Studio 3
  • Planning Theory
  • Collaborative Practice
  • Dissertation

Final year

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Managing Development
  • Design Studio 4
  • Theories of Architecture and Their Application to Design
  • Agency Project

The core of the student experience is the Design Studio and the creative output of each student. 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 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.

A strong emphasis of the learning approach will be to engage with current practice in architecture and planning. You will undertake an agency project based in an architect's office, a local planning authority, or other appropriate organisation. The School's inter-professional approach includes projects where you will work with students from other disciplines within the built environment. This encourages mutual respect and understanding of the professions which you are likely to be working with during your career, and helps you to develop and practice the skills of presentation, negotiation, communication, and delegation.

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 involves a variety of methods including lectures, seminars, laboratory work, tutorials and computer based techniques.

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

Student representatives sit on a wide range of committees, where they can influence discussions and decisions which affect your learning experience. Students have set up their own society, BARK, which acts as a support system for students on architecture and design-related courses. The aim is to enable the integration of like-minded students, to actively further their design interests through guest lectures, field-trips, live projects and social events.

Study time

When starting the course at UWE Bristol you register for six years of full-time study, so that you can complete a full architectural education. After four years you will complete the BA(Hons) Architecture and Planning (RIBA Part 1) and then spend a year in an architectural practice. You then proceed to the BArch/MA (RIBA Part 2) course, either at UWE or another institution, which is two years full-time, but may also be taken part-time.


A wide range of assessment methods is used, with a balance between coursework and examinations. To support students in the Studios there are tutorials and reviews, visiting practitioners and guest lecturers, consolidated by lecture courses on urban design; history, theories and contexts of architecture and planning; planning policy and implementation; technology and construction; and projects where you work with students of other disciplines, to prepare you for careers where you will work with professionals from related fields.

For more details see our full glossary of assessment terms.


Professional accreditation

The degree is accredited by both the architectural and planning professions.

It is recognised by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Architects Registration Board (ARB) as giving exemption from RIBA Part 1 examinations.

It is also accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) as providing the academic qualifications for entry to the planning profession.

This course is also accredited by the Board of Architects Malaysia.


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 projects many of these are live briefs working with the community and Architecture Centre in Bristol. We encourage you to take up internships and you will undertake a six-week agency project at the end of year four. This might be in based in an architect's office, a local planning authority, or other appropriate organisation.


We arrange day trips so you can visit study locations and meet people that can inform your work. There are also three field trips, which are subsidised by the Department.

  • In Year 1, you can go to Rotterdam to explore new urban developments, meet community members, and hear from local lecturers.
  • In Year 2, you can visit examine the architecture and development in a UK city.
  • In Year 3, you can visit a European city. Past destinations include Berlin and Barcelona.
  • During Year 4, you will study a town in the region and conduct field trips and research there.

Watch our students on a past field trip to Rotterdam.

Study facilities

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

  • 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 the profession

We arrange regular presentations from visiting professionals and past students so you can learn about challenges and best practice in the profession.

Be inspired

To give you a broader perspective on architecture and planning, there are opportunities to study overseas for one year on our well-established Erasmus programme.

Socialise and volunteer

You can attend guest lectures, field-trips, live projects and social events with like-minded students in our Architecture Society and Engineers without Borders Society. There is also a new student-led Planning@UWE Bristol Group.

Showcase your work

Our final year students regularly showcase their work at the annual Plan and Make degree show. Take a look at some of our students' exhibits on Tumblr.


Careers / Further study

With accreditation from RIBA and RTPI, you will be equipped on graduation for a career as an architect, architect-planner, urban designer, conservationist or town planner with a background in design. If you choose to become an architect, you will be able to draw upon your knowledge of the aims, techniques and culture of planning. This will give greater meaning, resonance and focus to your work.

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.

Be inspired

Read about what being an architect or a town planner involves.

Useful links

Prospects - Careers in Property and Construction

Guardian - what to do with a degree in architecture


Full Time Course

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

Indicative Additional Costs

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

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: 136
  • 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 two A-Levels.
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: No specific subjects required.
  • Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma; to include 15 level 3 credits at distinction and 15 level 3 credits at merit.
  • Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.

Entry requirements

We welcome applications from students without the conventional entry requirements but who do have substantial relevant work or other experience and whose motivation and skills would enable them to succeed on the course.

If you don't meet the entry requirements of this course, you may be eligible for Foundation Year entry into this or other related degree courses.

Please read the general information about entry requirements.

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.

How to apply

Please see the general information about applications.

For further information


UWE Main Campus

You might also like

Back to top