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Architects are experts in the design of buildings and places, creating the setting for human life.

Their primary skill is design – the ability to imagine three-dimensional spaces and objects and apply knowledge of materials, structure and energy turning concept into reality working with engineers, contractors and many other professionals. 

The course is the first stage (Part One) of the three stage process of professional qualification as an architect. The course is prescribed by the Architects Registration Board (ARB)  and the University is seeking recognition of the course by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

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Key Facts

Awards: BSc
UCAS Code (BSc): K100
Institution Code: T80
Course Length:
Three years
Start Date: September 2019

Tuition Fees for 2018/19:
£9000 (Home/EU students)
£11000 (Overseas students)
Scholarships and Bursaries

Faculty of Architecture, Computing and Engineering
Contact Name:
Ian Standen
Contact Email:
Language Choice:

SA1 Taster Days

  • The Dylan Thomas project has been great. We use computing design and model making, so it’s all useful and it makes you feel more confident, especially with the feedback we get.

    Alysha Martin BSc (Hons) Architecture

  • The Architecture course has allowed me to follow a dream, even at 34 years old. It offers great advice and support. Best decision I’ve ever made!

    Chris WoodleyBSc (Hons) Architecture

  • The Dylan Thomas project was great because we had so much support and advice from Ian and Paul.

    DanielleBSc (Hons) Architecture

  • We are delighted with the schemes that the first year students have already produced, they show great enthusiasm and came up with some very inventive architectural solutions.

    Ian Standen BSc (Hons) Architecture - Programme Director

The course is intended for those whose ambition is to become a qualified architect, but is also a good choice for anyone who has an interest in architecture and design and seeking a broad based degree programme that can lead to a wide variety of career opportunities.

The programme of study is centred on a sequence of design studio projects that start in the first weeks with the exploration of space, form, colour and materials. By the end of the first years students are designing small but complex buildings and places in detail.

Second year focuses on ideas of home and community through the design of houses flats and neighbourhoods and the public buildings that support social life.

The final year introduces students to larger scale buildings and the course culminates in a comprehensive design for a substantial cultural building in a real setting.

The core design studios are supported by a suite of contextual modules that provide students with a coherent body of relevant knowledge in three areas: environment and technology (structures, construction and building physics), history and theory (an overview of architectural history and theoretical writing from related fields) and profession and business (basic construction law, building procurement, cost control and business management).

In the final year each student writes a dissertation – an independent research study – on a subject of their own choice within the very broad field of architecture.

The course is the first stage (Part One) of the three stage process of professional qualification as an architect. The course is prescribed by the Architects Registration Board (ARB)  and the University is seeking recognition of the course by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

First year

  • Design Studio 1A (Structure & Materials)
  • Design Studio 1B (Space & Form)
  • Design Studio 1C(Skills)
  • History & Theory 1
  • Environment & Technology 1
  • The Modern World

Second year

  • Design Studio 2
  • History & Theory 2
  • Environment & Technology 2
  • Profession & Business 1

Third year

  • Design Studio 3
  • Profession & Business 2
  • Dissertation

This is a course with a fresh approach to architectural education that is rooted in it its locality but has a broad global perspective. 

We believe that architecture is fundamentally about meeting the needs of people in ways that respect their culture and values and the character and traditions of their communities, while offering them the best that new technology and contemporary international design culture can contribute to the shaping of their environment.

At the core of our approach is a rigorous and open-minded understanding of the complex set of ideas summarised in the phrase ‘sustainable development’ and a belief in the importance of the crafts of construction in the creation of good architecture and places.

Our architecture course is a practical, project-based programme in which students work collaboratively in a stimulating, creative studio environment guided by a dedicated staff team offering regular tutorial support tailored to their individual needs.  Our studios are equipped with up-to-date computers with a wide range of design and visualisation software and facilities for laser cutting and 3D printing. 

Our large workshops give students the opportunity to make full size building elements as well as models of all scales and sizes.

Our teaching is informed by research in subjects that extend across our portfolio, supplemented by external experts from the city, region and around the world. 

We believe in engaging with employers to develop, deliver and review courses that enhance our graduates’ opportunities for employment and career development.

We are situated in the heart of Swansea close to the historic waterfront where the University is buildings its new campus and also within easy reach the unspoilt beaches and wild landscape of the Gower peninsula, Britain’s first designated ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’.

Design project work is assessed on the basis of a portfolio of work consisting of a series of assignments completed during the year. 

The portfolio will include drawings, photographs of models and illustrated written reports. Feedback on student progress is given throughout the year – usually in the form of verbal comments by a team of tutors on the basis of student presentations and review attended by fellow students. Formative assessment is made at the end of each project – usually in the form of a provisional mark, which allows students to respond to feedback before the final submission of the portfolio when the final (or ‘summative’) assessment is made.

Assessments of work in the contextual modules will take the form of practical exercises during the year, reports and essays and time-constrained assessment by means of tests and formal examinations. 

You will need 128 UCAS Tariff points from A levels or their equivalent 

The programme is designed to be prescribed/validated by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) as a Part One qualification in architecture so the most likely first destination for a graduate is work as an architectural assistant* in an architectural practice.

There are many other possible employment opportunities including other parts of the construction industry (building contractors and sub-contractors), the creative industries (applying computer drawing and visualisation skills) and planning or urban design.

Graduate skills developed by the programme (based on the ‘graduate attributes’ set out in the RIBA/ARB criteria for validation/ prescription of qualifications in architecture and the QAA benchmark statement for architecture).                

  1. The ability to generate design proposals using understanding of a body of knowledge, some at the current boundaries of professional practice and the academic discipline of architecture;
  2. The ability to apply a range of communication methods and media to present design proposals clearly and effectively;
  3. Understanding of the alternative materials, processes and techniques that apply to architectural design and building construction;
  4. The ability to evaluate evidence, arguments and assumptions in order to make and present sound judgments within a structured discourse relating to architectural culture, theory and design;
  5. Knowledge of the context of the architect and the construction industry and the professional qualities needed for decision making in complex and unpredictable circumstances.
  6. The ability to identify individual learning needs and understand the personal responsibility required for further professional education.

(* the term ‘architectural assistant’ is the job designation of those on the route to professional qualification as an architect until completion of Part Three. Terms such as  ‘assistant architect’, ‘architect in training’ or ‘part 1 architect’ may not be use as the title ‘architect’ is protected by statute and may only be used by those on the Register of Architects (apart from three exceptions stated in the Architects Act: ‘naval architect’, ‘landscape architect’ and ‘golf-course architect.’).

UK/EU Tuition Fees
Visit our UK/EU Tuition Fees section to find out more.

Overseas Tuition Fees
Visit our Overseas Fees section to find out more.

Bursaries and Scholarships
You may be eligible for funding to help support your study. To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit our Bursaries and Scholarships section.

There are no additional costs for this course.

The programme is designed to meet the UK criteria for the recognition as a Part One qualification in architecture by the ARB and RIBA -- the first stage of the three-part route to entry to the UK Register of Architects.

These criteria are jointly held by the RIBA and the ARB and are identical to the core requirements of the QAA benchmark statement for architecture.

It is anticipated that it will be possible to arrange for the programme to be prescribed by the ARB before (or very soon after) the first cohort of students is enrolled in September 2016.

The RIBA will not validate a course until after the first students graduate because its approval is based (inter alia) on an inspection of student work. It should be possible however to gain ‘candidate status’ for the programme during the first year of operation of the programme

Programme Specification:

Year 1 provides an introduction to the core competency of design in the three core studio modules that focus on: structures and materials; space and form and design skills. The parallel context modules lay the foundations of the body of key knowledge required by the architect construction technology, environmental design, architectural history and theory.  Essential skills required for HE programmes are introduced in the Modern World module. 

Year 2 further develops the skill and knowledge base introduced in the first year.  Design studio are concerned with more complex buildings, groups of buildings and/or alterations to existing buildings. The technology and environment module deals with the construction of larger and more complex buildings. The history and theory module includes research methods in addition to addressing more advanced theoretical issues and its coursework includes a proposal for the dissertation to be completed in the third year.

Year 3 The final year design module deal with larger and more complex buildings and culminates in a comprehensive design project that integrates all aspects of the skills and knowledge addressed in the programme. Students complete the dissertation and the second business and profession module prepares students for their transition into the world of practice.