BA (Hons) Architecture - University of Portsmouth
A Gold rating in teaching excellence Read more
BA (Hons)


UCAS codeK100

full time3yrs

An accredited professional course for aspiring architects

Course Overview

Why take this course?

At the Portsmouth School of Architecture we will equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in architectural practice and throughout your broader career journey. You will be taught by staff who are experienced architectural practitioners and researchers, who share your passion for the study of architecture.

As a student on our RIBA accredited BA (Hons) Architecture course you will benefit from dedicated studio space located in the newest wing of the Eldon Building, home to the University’s Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries. You will have on site access to materials, workshops, digital and analogue facilities as well as extended hour’s access to studio and IT suites.

If you share our passion for the subject of Architecture, are inquiring and willing to explore what the future of architecture might be, are open-minded, committed and forward thinking then this is the place for you.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Be creative. We work to develop your individual potential, skills, design ability and practical and theoretical knowledge
  • Construct your ideas in our fantastic new workshops
  • Participate in study trips in the UK and overseas
  • Work on projects in the local and wider region to interrogate regeneration, communities and sustainability; these projects are carefully chosen because they have global relevance
  • Work on real-life projects in our Project Office
  • Visit our course blog to find out more

European Field Trip Included for BA1 Students

First year Architecture and Interior Architecture and Design students will visit a European city in Teaching Block 1. Flights, transfers in Europe and accommodation are fully included. Transfers to and from UK airports, subsistence and spending money are not included.

What opportunities might it lead to?

The course is accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and prescribed by the Architects Registration Board (ARB), leading to an exemption from the RIBA’s Part 1 examination, the first step towards a professional qualification.

The course equips students with a range of professional skills, including those relating to the core design and technical subjects, as well as organisational, presentation and writing skills, which will be valued by a wide range of employers:

  • In the best architectural practices either in the UK or overseas. See our graduates
  • In architectural and construction project management
  • In associated creative industries and disciplines

Find out more on the School of Architecture website.


Harsh Malhotra, BA (Hons) Architecture graduate

The balance between theoretical and technical teaching helped me in my professional practice. Lessons learned at Portsmouth have been invaluable in me reaching where I am today.

Harsh Malhotra, BA (Hons) Architecture graduate



Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • The creative atmosphere that encourages students to explore their own interests and ideas
  • The excellent facilities which you will have access to
  • Exhibiting, curating and promoting your work, preparing you for future employment

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Structure & Teaching

Year one

In the first year you will develop your own creative and decision-making skills by learning to apply new fields of knowledge to varied design projects for which you will decide the parameters. You will also study; the history of human understanding and response to the world; how to apply technical, environmental and sustainable design principles in your work and; how to research, study and communicate professionally.

Core units in this year include:

  • Design: Introduction
  • Architectural Design: Introduction
  • Architectural Design: Application
  • Technology: Introduction
  • History and Theory: Introduction
  • Representation and Communication: Introduction

Year two

In year two you take your studies to a more advanced level and integrate them into more complex design projects. You will explore issues such as responding to different con texts and you will learn advanced skills for presenting your design work. The technology unit provides you with methods for designing environmentally and technically responsive buildings and you will learn about the philosophical context for the discipline of architecture. BA2 is also the year where study trips and exchange opportunities are offered, and you are able to choose from a range of faculty-wide options.

Core units in this year include:

  • Architectural Design: Investigation
  • Architectural Design: Exploration
  • Architectural Technology: Investigation
  • History and Theory of Architecture

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Representation and Communication: Investigation
  • Professional Experience
  • Student Enterprise

Year three

In the third year your studies are geared towards preparation for professional placement once you have graduated. Employability is the focus this year. Design projects now start to simulate the complexity of real-world practice; design, context and technology are integrated, and urbanism is a key theme. You will choose a dissertation topic in an area of your own interest for in-depth research. You will be introduced to the practice and legal framework of the profession and you will design and build the end of year exhibition.

Core units in this year include:

  • Architectural Design: Integration
  • Architectural Design and Urbanism
  • Architectural Technology: Integration
  • Dissertation
  • Architectural Communication and Professional Studies

We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.


We provide a balanced architectural education, with half the course focusing on design, which is taught in the studio, and half being the technical and contextual subjects taught in lectures, seminars and workshops. You will work both individually and in groups, and you’ll be fully supported throughout your degree. Our studio teaching methods mean that you will be tutored by academic staff and practicing professionals and you will work alongside other architecture students and even receive assistance from our postgraduate students.

The time you spend in teaching activities may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:

  • Year one students: 27% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 73% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year two students: 28% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 72% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year three students: 21% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 79% studying independently and 0% on work placement


Most assessment will be via coursework, with only one examination in third year. You will be given an indication of your progress throughout the year and your design work will be finally assessed at the end of the year when you submit your design portfolio for examination.

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year one students: 0% by written exams, 0% by practical exams and 100% by coursework
  • Year two students: 0% by written exams, 0% by practical exams and 100% by coursework
  • Year three students: 8% by written exams, 8% by practical exams and 84% by coursework

Tutor's view


Nicola Crowson
Course Leader, BA (Hons) Architecture

Architecture is a wonderful, diverse and varied adventure. You will gain so much new knowledge and learn so many new abilities. All you need to bring is your enthusiasm!

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Facilities & Features

Included Field Trip

First year Architecture and Interior Architecture and Design students will visit a European city in Teaching Block 1. Flights, transfers in Italy and accommodation are fully included. Transfers to and from UK airports, subsistence and spending money are not included.

Design Studios

The School of Architecture benefits from dedicated studio spaces. These are located in the excellent facilities of the Eldon building designed by Penoyre and Prasad Architects. The studios are light and airy containing a Heliodon, dedicated computer, digital projection and large interactive digital display screen facilities. The studios are used for teaching and as social learning spaces augmented by extensive breakout gallery spaces.

Design Workshops

The workshops include:

  • equipment for working with, wood, plastics and metalwork including;
  • 3 Laser cutters
  • 3D scanner
  • 3D printer
  • CNC milling machine
  • Large wall saw for cutting sheet timber
  • Forge and welding
  • Painting spray booth
  • Digital fabric printer

Other Facilities

We are located within the University’s creative campus, which has a large central courtyard and we are lucky to enjoy large roof terraces with views of the sea. In addition, these proximities bring access to a wealth of facilities including;

  • Large IT suites with Macs, PCs and large format printing.
  • 400 computers available with a wide range of CAD software including BIM modelling and environmental evaluation software
  • On site Art shop
  • CCi TV Studio
  • Photography and film equipment loan stores
  • Fabric and screen printing workshops

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

General costs:
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.

Other costs to consider

We will supply you with a printing allowance but you will incur additional printing costs on portfolio work of between £50 - £200. You may incur material costs on a project which will vary from £20 - £100.

Optional study trips abroad will cost in the region of £300 - £700.

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Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Career prospects
Where next?

Our graduates have an outstanding reputation for securing roles within the architectural profession, working in the UK and overseas in all scales of practice. Once you’ve completed this course, most of you will then take a ‘year out’ gaining paid and mentored professional experience in a practice, before continuing to study at postgraduate level for a Master of Architecture degree.

Others change career direction after attaining their degree and move into various areas of the construction industry, such as property development and project management.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • architectural design
  • interior design
  • landscape architecture
  • urban design & master planning
  • planning
  • architectural technology
  • product design
  • graphic design
  • lighting design
  • set design

Examples of what our graduates have gone on to do:

In architecture: starting their own architectural firm; working in architectural practice in the UK and internationally including – HNW Architects, Capita, Farrells, Adjaye Associates, Make, Adam Architects, Cube Design, Re-Format, Design ACB

In related fields: project management, construction management , visualisation, model making, structural & civil engineering

Work experience

Work experience
Employment boosting opportunities
  • Practitioners teach you in all years as part-time tutors, ensuring what you learn is current in the industry.
  • Our Project Office is an active practice, giving you the opportunity to participate in real, live projects.
  • The course includes guidance on CV and portfolio composition and 'mock' interviews with practicing designers.
  • Employers' evenings give you direct contact with local and regional practices.
  • The 'Summer Exhibition' showcases your work to employers.
  • The School's participation in a RIBA mentoring programme gives you the opportunity to spend time in a practice.

Career planning

Career planning

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

Terence Namaona, Former Architecture student

My studies in the Final Examination in Professional Practice programme grounded me in important professional skills especially contract administration and cost management. After completion of the programme I was admitted to the Board of Architects and Quantity Surveyors in my country Malawi. I am now working as the Director of Buildings in the Ministry of Transport and Public Works having been appointment by the President of the Republic of Malawi. I am responsible for all Malawi Government Building Projects.

Terence Namaona, Former Architecture student

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Apply now or visit us

Apply for 2018 entry

To apply, you'll need this course's UCAS code, which is at the top of this page, and the University of Portsmouth institution code – P80.

Apply now

After you apply, we'll invite you to an Applicant Experience Day where you’ll get to speak to lecturers and meet your future classmates.

Open Days for courses starting in 2019

Come to an Open Day and explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

Book your Open Day

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

University of Portsmouth
University House
Winston Churchill Avenue
Portsmouth PO1 2UP

T: +44 (0)23 9284 8484