Studying Architecture offers you the opportunity to pursue a career in an exciting, creative and fast-paced industry which hugely influences the world around us.
On this course you’ll discover how to bring your visions and designs to life, with successful graduates progressing into rewarding careers which have the potential to improve and enhance the lives of countless people. With the knowledge gained as part of this degree, can witness your work turn into tangible creations that serve the communities around you.
You will learn about the history of architecture and design, alongside completing technical, practical and professional exercises relating to ethical architecture in the commercial world. You’ll have opportunities to undertake design projects in a range of spatial, social and topographical settings, from the smallest of residences and objects through to complex megacities and events.
This course is a professionally validated undergraduate degree which prepares students for a postgraduate degree in Architecture, which most graduates will progress to. Graduates pursue successful careers in non-professional pathways using their skills in creative design, strategic thinking, leadership and organisation.
The course is on the Commonwealth Association of Architects’ approved courses list.
- This course is accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Architects Registration Board (ARB), ensuring the content you study meets and exceeds the criteria set out by these professional bodies, with students also exempt from RIBA and ARB Part I examinations.
- This course benefits from global opportunities thanks to its accreditation with Lembaga Arkitek Malaysia (LAM), the Board of Architects Malaysia, which allows graduates to pursue a professional qualification in Malaysia. It is also approved by the Commonwealth Association of Architects, a membership organisation representing architects in Commonwealth countries, which provides access to an international network of schools for further study and better employment prospects.
- DMU’s Leicester School of Architecture – is only one of five schools of architecture in the world to win more than three RIBA Part II design awards in the past five years. It’s also one of the oldest architecture schools in the UK, established in 1897, allowing you to draw on a wealth of experience and expertise.
- Gain valuable international experience as part of your studies with our DMU Global programme. Previous trips have taken students overseas to work on live projects in Berlin in collaboration with Aedas, a leading international architecture and design practice. Students have also travelled to destinations such as Ahmedabad, India, where they designed and built homes to help those living in disadvantaged communities.
- Architecture at DMU is in the top 15 for ‘Graduate Prospects’ in the UK, according to The Complete University Guide 2022, many of our graduates have gone on to work for some of the best architectural practices in the UK and worldwide, including Heatherwick Studio, Make Architects and Shigeru Ban Architects.
- Benefit from the very latest facilities – dedicated multipurpose studios, CAD labs, workshops offering metal working and woodworking to digital printing and water-jet cutting and prototype workshops. Our award-winning Vijay Patel Building provides both the space and the facilities to foster creative thinking and explore your design potential.
- We provide core workshop materials at no cost, and give cash awards – £150, £200 and £300 in years one, two and three respectively – to support personal materials/printing costs*.
Structure and assessment
- Architectural Studio 1
- Architectural Studio 2
- Architectural Communication 1
- Building Performance and Technology 1
- Architectural History and Philosophy
- Architectural Studio 3
- Architectural Studio 4
- Architectural Communication 2
- Building Performance and Technology 2
- Building Performance and Technology 3
- Architectural Theories
- Urban Studies
- Architectural Studio 5
- Architectural Studio 6
- Cultural and Contextual Studies
- Technology and Environmental Studies
- Practice, Profession and Ethics
Teaching and assessments
The Leicester School of Architecture (LSA) emphasises learning through modelling and making, both manually and digitally, making it an important feature of the course. We encourage and support you to become a productive student by focusing on the design studio as your key learning environment.
In the design studio you will:
- Work and collaborate with peers and tutors in drawing, digital drawing and fabrication, model making, discussion and debate
- Meet regularly with design tutors for small group learning, individual advice and guidance, assessment and feedback
- Engage in instructional/guidance lectures and workshops to develop key manual and digital techniques
- Have design work reviewed by guest architects and critics
A programme of lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops support your learning in the four key strands of the curriculum:
- Architectural design – project-based learning and assessment
- Architectural communication – project-based learning and assessment around key skill sets including CAD, BIM, digital modelling and fabrication
- Technology and environment – project-based learning and assessment combined with testing your knowledge of key principles
- History and theories of architecture – assessment based on online tests and short written assignments, culminating in a written dissertation, or equivalent, in the final year
In the final year there is an additional focus on
- Professional practice and ethics – project-based learning and assessment
You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, group work and self-directed study. Assessment is through coursework (presentations, essays and reports) Your precise timetable will depend on the optional modules you choose to take, however, in your first year you will normally attend around 20 hours of timetabled taught sessions (lectures and tutorials) each week, and we expect you to undertake at least 21 further hours of independent study to complete project work and research.
Facilities and features
You will have access to studio spaces with CAD facilities and workshops offering a broad range of fabrication. Facilities are available from casting, metal working and woodworking to digital printing and water-jet cutting, printing and photography equipment. You will also benefit from resources and support in the Architecture Resource Centre, our online learning space.
You will learn in large multipurpose studio spaces supported by visualisation and craft facilities. The LSA has a wide range of CAD stations where you can learn drafting, 2D, 3D, NURBS/Spline, environmental and building performance modelling, rendering, animation, imaging and publishing software. These are linked to a variety of output devices such as HD screens, large format printers and 3D-printers. You will learn how to use manual/ mechanised/digitally-controlled workshops offering metal, wood, plastics, timber, fabric and glass craft and fabrication capabilities. You will also have access to the latest rapid prototyping machines and 2D/3D printing, including laser, water-jet cutting and CNC multi-axis milling.
The main Kimberlin Library is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (other than in exceptional circumstances) and offers a huge range of online resources, all of which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose.
The library is run by dedicated staff who offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching and reference management and assistive technology, and mathematical skills for non-maths students. There is also a Just Ask service for help and advice, available via email or telephone.
Our comfortable and well-equipped study areas provide a range of environments to suit your needs.
Our Learning Zones and The Greenhouse provide flexible spaces, whether you are working as a group, practising a presentation or working quietly on your own.
They feature workstations with power supplies for laptops, plus bookable syndicate rooms with plasma screens, laptops and DVD facilities. Wi-Fi is available across all campus locations.
Opportunities and careers
Employment and placements
Many of our students aim to follow the conventional route to qualification and registration as an Architect. This involves a monitored, paid placement in an architectural practice, commonly called the ‘Year-Out’ which is undertaken following graduation from the degree programme. You will then return to complete the MArch programme o gain exemption from the RIBA/ARB Part 2 examinations.
The final year of professional experience is gained following graduation from the MArch programme. Both periods of professional experience in a practice, contribute to the RIBA/ARB minimum requirements for practical training. At DMU, professional experience is monitored and recorded through the online PEDR which is an assessed component of the Postgraduate Diploma in Architectural Practice. This is the last stage of architectural education leading to exemption from the RIBA/ARB Part 3 Examinations and subsequent registration as an Architect in the UK.
The School provides excellent support to students during their professional training in practice, such as the Architecture and Design Resource Centre, with its excellent links to architectural practices and its ’text-alert’ service advertising new positions. The school offers final year mock-interviews, engagement with the RIBA East Midlands Mentoring programme and the opportunity of involvement with the Leicester Atelier which provides links with industry as part of your undergraduate or postgraduate studies.
This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons – helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world. Through #DMUglobal, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.
Many graduates continue their architectural education to qualify and register as an architect. Some of our graduates have gone onto careers with leading architectural practices in the UK and overseas, including Heatherwick, Make and Shigeru Ban.
Graduates use their degree to launch careers in related fields such as architectural conservation, urban design, research, planning and project management. Other graduates have gone onto other fields such as journalism, heritage and history, film, web design, lifestyle design, game design, event design and digital animation, strategic management and political advocacy.
Upon completion of the Architecture BA (Hons), you may continue in the professional pathway and progress onto the Architecture MArch course. Further information visit our how to become a RIBA accredited architect webpage.
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