An architectural drawing on a black background.


Architecture and Planning (with Foundation Year)

This course is open for applications.

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Tariff points:
Architecture and the Built Environment
Five years full-time
Programme leader:
Wendy Colvin
Key fact:
Work towards professional status in both architecture and planning on this unique course, which will broaden your career opportunities and understanding of the built environment.

Page last updated 11 September 2017


Why BA(Hons) Architecture and Planning?

This course is designed to make you more than just an architect. We need to design clever buildings that contribute to their context. The ability to understand the relationship between place, space and built form is essential to doing this well. 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 are able to design from the scale of a city to a door-handle. This course teaches you how to do that. 

Why study our course?

BA(Hons) Architecture and Planning 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 degree course, 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 master-planning of a complex urban area with rigorous brief development and research. You are also guided in how to present this work to employers as you take the next career step.  

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 work with students across related disciplines in an approach reflecting industry. You will assess architecture and urban design on day trips and residential field trips. You will undertake a six-week agency project in an architect's office, planning consultancy, 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 urban planner; or you might like to try architectural journalism or other specialist media roles.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience

Accreditations and partnerships:



Foundation year (Year zero)

  • Foundation Project in Sustainability
  • Foundation Design Communication
  • Foundation Design Studio
  • Foundation Design History
  • Foundation Engineering for Designers.

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

You will study the following compulsory modules:

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

Year two

You will study the following compulsory modules:

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

Year three

You will study the following compulsory modules:

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

Final year

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Integrated Practice Studio
  • Design Studio 4
  • Theories of Architecture 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. Your work is assessed by presentation and portfolio and you will be increasingly proud of the outputs as you develop your skills. In addition to carrying out design tasks students are introduced to a variety of techniques including CAD, drawing, modelling and mapping as well as subjects such as the History of Architecture and Cities.

A strong emphasis of the learning approach will be to engage with current practice in architecture and planning. In every year of the programme you will have contact with practitioners. You will meet them at UWE, you will visit their offices and you will work for them as part of our placement module.  Our 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.

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 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 into the Department, to actively further their design interests through guest lectures, field-trips, live projects and social events.

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

Percentage of time spend in different learning activities, per year.

YearScheduled learning and teaching studyIndependent studyPlacement study% check

Study time

When starting the course at UWE Bristol you register so as to complete a full architectural education. After five years you will complete the BA(Hons) Architecture and Planning degree (RIBA Part 1) and then spend a year in practice. You then proceed to the BArch/MA (ARB/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 are 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.

Percentage of time spend in different assessment methods, per year.

YearWritten exam assessmentCoursework assessmentPractical exam assessment% check


Professional accreditation

This course is recognised by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and accredited by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).


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, this 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 and elsewhere. We encourage you to take up internships and you will undertake a six-week placement project during the later years of the course. This might be in based in an architect's office, a planning consultancy, or other appropriate organisation.


We arrange day trips so you can visit study locations and meet people who can inform your work. There are numerous field trips. Most are heavily subsidised by the Department.

  • Go abroad to explore new urban developments and buildings, meet architects and planners, community members, and hear from local lecturers. Past destinations include Berlin and Barcelona, Madrid, Paris.
  • Examine the architecture and development in UK cities.
  • Study towns in the region and beyond 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 department 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 a 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, 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


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/4 or above 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 be awarded a higher tariff score may also be interested in our BA(Hons)Architecture and Planning 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

  • Email:
  • Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 83333


UWE Main Campus

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