BA (Hons) Architecture
Develop your approach to architecture with one of the highest rated BA (Hons) courses in the UK.
Validated by RIBA and ARB, this course gives you a thorough insight into how architects work and prepares you for a year in industry. It is jointly run by MMU and the University of Manchester meaning you will benefit from the considerable resources and expertise available in both institutions.
Architectural education at the Manchester School of Architecture consists of five years of full-time study: a three-year BA (Hons) in Architecture followed by the two-year Master of Architecture (MArch). Our courses are accredited and reviewed by the RIBA and the ARB and we have extremely close ties with the RIBA North West regional office for the delivery of professional studies.
Following the BA (Hons) you normally undertake a year of professional architectural practice experience prior to entering the MArch programme. Our graduates work in leading architectural and design offices, or undertake further postgraduate research supported by the excellent opportunities that exist within the School and amongst the external partners with whom we work. We have a strong and growing network of alumni and professionals in the construction sector and our graduates have excellent prospects for employment.
Each year consists of design studio and attendant courses in the history, theory, technology and practice of architecture. All of the credit units are assessed by coursework – there are no examinations. The challenges of the taught programme increase in scale and complexity as you move through each year.
The School of Architecture is consistently ranked amongst the best in the UK and characteristically students rate their experience very highly particularly in respect of resource provision, quality of teaching and personal development.
Strong links with architectural practice in the Northwest and architectural practitioners are involved with teaching.
The course is jointly run by MMU and the University of Manchester. You will benefit from the considerable resources and expertise in teaching and research available in both institutions and receive an award from both institutions.
3 years (full-time)
You will start with a series of small projects where you will accumulate knowledge about the body in space and the design of small enclosures for specific activities. These studio-based projects are supported by a skills programme where the essentials of drawing, modelling and software based representation are taught. History and theory is taught through lectures and seminars, and you will write reports and essays based on desktop studies and building visits. Technology learning involves the production of case studies and models to demonstrate an awareness of the materials and detailing of buildings.
This unit introduces students to the historical, social and cultural contexts for architectural design and develops skills in research, analysis academic writing and visual representation.
This unit establishes the principles and skills in research, analysis, argument and representation that support an understanding of architectural design.
This unit applies the developing knowledge and skill base to projects that begin to promote the integration of sensual, functional and technological considerations in architectural design in a contemporary cultural setting.
This unit introduces students to the technological contexts for architectural design and develops skills in research, analysis technical design and visual representation.
You will build upon your design knowledge through a series of interrelated projects that develop the context for architecture as a social and cultural act as well as one that is concerned with technology. History and theory courses can be chosen as you begin to define your own path as an architect. In technology, a specific focus on the ecological and environmental aspects of the profession forms a significant part of the course.
Humanities 2 places the focus on the wider physical, social and economic contexts for architecture and the professional practice of architecture. The course is delivered variously through lectures, seminars and workshops exploring analytical and descriptive frameworks
This unit consolidates design capability and introduces public and social programmes with associated issues of sustainability, inclusivity and greater complexity in building programme placing greater emphasis on relational abilities.
This unit consolidates design capability by extending the exploration of public and social programmes with associated issues of sustainability, inclusivity and complexity in building programme and technological manifestation.
You will be guided to direct your own learning and, in an atelier-based system, define your own projects which are underpinned by the application of history and theory into your design studio activities. You will have a choice of history and theory courses and can select technology case studies from a given set. You will have more autonomy in Year 3 and therefore have more authority over your own work, which will give you confidence and assuredness as you prepare for the professional environment.
This unit develops knowledge and understanding of the historical, cultural and professional contexts for architectural design and extends skills in research,analysis, academic writing and visual representation.
This unit introduces urbanism and develops the ability to apply techniques in analysis of and strategies for generic urban contexts as the basis for defining and developing a building programme and design proposition.
This unit develops ability in architectural design through the exploration of materials, structures, construction, and environmental modification integral with programmatic detail within a building design initiated in response to urban study.
Project reviews, assignments and essays.
You can find further details about the curriculum in the Programme Specification Document
Graduates go on to work as architects for leading architectural and design practices in leading roles within the wider construction industry or in aligned creative design disciplines. Alternatively, excellent opportunities exist for you to undertake research for further postgraduate degrees.
- UCAS Tariff Points/Grades Required
A2 grades AAA at full A level or BTEC Extended Diploma Grades DDD (or acceptable equivalent). A BTEC Extended Diploma in Art & Design on its own will not be considered as meeting our entry requirements.
- Specific GCSE Requirements
GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade C or grade 4. Equivalent qualifications (eg. Functional Skills) may be considered
- Non Tariffed Qualifications
Access to HE Diplomas in Humanities/Science subjects will be considered acceptable. Overall 60 credits are required with 45 at level 3. Minimum of 30 credits at Distinction and 30 credits at Merit.
- Additional Requirements
A mixture of Arts/Humanities and Science/Mathematics subjects is preferred at A2 level. General Studies is not accepted
- International Baccalaureate
- 32 with three subjects at higher level 6 or above Points
A minimum IELTS score of 6.5, with writing 6.5 and no components below 6 is required.
How to Apply
Applications for the BA (Hons) Architecture course are made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). The UCAS code is K100.
For the UCAS institution code you can use either M20 for the University of Manchester or M40 for the Manchester Metropolitan University. The university that you select makes no difference in the consideration of your application and your final degree will be awarded jointly by both universities. However, you should not apply to both M20 and M40.
Fees (2017 Entry)
UK, EU and Channel Island students
UK, EU and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £9,250 per year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government approval, and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy.
Non-EU international students
Non-EU international students: Full-time fee: £21,000 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).
A degree typically comprises 360 credits, a DipHE 240 credits, a CertHE 120 credits, and an integrated Masters 480 credits.
See Money Matters for further information and advice.
Telephone: +44 (0)161 275 0969
Frequently asked questions
Where is the course based?
The Manchester School of Architecture (MSA) is a joint school of the University of Manchester & the Manchester Metropolitan University. You will have registration status at both institutions and your degree certificate will be endorsed by both.
Does it matter where I apply?
No, all applications are treated equally. Therefore, if you enter both institutions on your UCAS form (M20 & M40) for the K100 course you will have wasted one of your choices.
Do you interview candidates?
No - we have discovered by experience that we cannot predict which candidates will be good at architecture by interviewing, so we have stopped doing it.
What about Mature Students?
The School welcomes applications from candidates of all ages. Work/life experience can be considered for mature applicants without formal qualifications; we do, however, require a pass in GCSE English & Maths.
How many places are there?
There will be places for 140 Home/EU students in the First Year. You must try to submit your application by the 15th January UCAS deadline. Applications received after this date will be stamped as 'Post 15 Jan' and considered at our discretion.
When can I look around?
The Manchester School of Architecture will be represented at one of the University of Manchester general Undergraduate Open Days, which normally run in June and October.
Due to the popularity of the course, it is not possible to arrange tours of the studios on an individual basis. If you decide to make an independent visit to the School our Admissions Officer will happily meet candidates to answer questions if she is available.
All UK/EU based applicants who receive an offer will be invited to a specific Architecture Open Day, where they will be invited to participate in a small, fun studio project - we will normally schedule about 5 Open Days of this type, running from January - April and applicants can choose from the available dates.
What grades do I need?
Most successful candidates achieve AAA at A-level, or 37 points at International Baccalaureate, or some equivalent standard.
What subjects should I study at A level?
Many candidates offer Art A-level, but it is not essential. Applicants often mix arts and science subjects such as Art, Maths and a language, but Maths, Physics & Chemistry is perfectly acceptable as would be History, English & Religious Studies. However candidates who combine Art with Design-Technology for two of their three A levels or who offer sports-science or similar put themselves at a disadvantage.
Do I need to submit a portfolio?
Because architecture at Manchester is a design-oriented course, most applicants will be asked to submit a digital portfolio (via a blog). We will email applicants with further details on how to create a digital portfolio.
Where can I find a Hall of Residence?
All student accommodation will be provided by The University of Manchester.
Where can I find out more?