This programme is part 1 of the professional training needed to practice as an architect.
Queen's University, as part of the Russell Group, is one of the best places to study Architecture in the UK. In 2014-2015, Queen's Architecture was ranked 1st in the UK for student satisfaction in The Sunday Times League Table. In the 2018 Guardian League Table of 49 schools of architecture we are ranked 1st in the UK for Added Value, 7th for Career Prospects and 7th Overall. In the 2017 RIBA Presidents Medals, a prestigious global award programme first established in 1836, one of our Queen’s University graduates received a high commendation, and was also commended in the SOM scholarship for ARB & RIBA Part 1.
Supported by a diverse group of staff and external tutors engaged in international, award-winning research and practice, over 75 per cent of our students regularly graduate with a 1st Class or 2.1 degree. All students, many of whom come from outside Northern Ireland, receive a high degree of personal tuition in a strong studio culture in which every student has dedicated personal studio space.
Our established reputation generated over 50 years means that our graduates are often placed with leading employers from around the world. They are those who will be leaders in their fields, creatively rethinking the past, present and particularly the future of the built environment.
- THIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY
'Creativity with Purpose' is the basis of Architecture at Queen's.
Students explore design in a studio environment, contextualised by courses in history/theory, technology/environment and professional practice. The course is modular in structure, allowing students to learn and develop their skills through an extensive range of topics, which grow in complexity throughout Stages 1, 2 and 3 of the degree. Topics include:
History and Theory of Architecture
Students are introduced to the historical and theoretical backgrounds to Architecture by exploring key buildings and spaces, as well as significant principles, texts and thinkers. Architectural and cultural theory, produced by both architects and theorists, are introduced and explored. Students are also provided with a platform for the development of skills, including research methods, essay writing and critical thinking.
Architectural Design and Communication
Students learn about architectural design and representation through design-based projects, which vary in scale and complexity as the course progresses. The urban physical context and the critical thinking processes in relation to the built environment and design are explored. Students also learn about structures and materiality and the importance of architectural communication, using appropriate graphic media. Research of architectural precedents and presentation of analytical studies both verbally and in the form of models and drawings are key features.
Technology and Environment
Students learn the principles of building technology, including structural behaviour, building construction and materials, within the context of the building process, sustainability, and the use of descriptive and performance specifications. The topic also deals with the environmental performance of buildings through passive design strategies, eg, natural light and ventilation and the way these requirements inform the design of buildings, their forms and structure.
Students have four courses they need to pass each year, and the degree result is cumulative, with 10, 30 and 60 per cent for Stages 1-3, respectively.
Stage 1 focuses on our belief that our students benefit from a smooth transition into university, and thus we strongly support students in learning to draw architecturally, make models and to begin the process of forming and communicating positions on Architecture.
Stage 1 courses are outlined below:
Technology & Environment 1
History and Theory of Architecture 1
Architectural Design and Communication 1(i)
Architectural Design and Communication 1(ii)
Stage 2 acts as a laboratory for testing creative and critical ideas and the process of creating. We continue to support students' increasing levels of confidence and independence through developing more complex architectural skills and understanding of technology.
Stage 2 courses are outlined below:
Technology & Environment 2
History and Theory of Architecture 2
Architectural Design and Communication 2(i)
Architectural Design and Communication 2(ii)
Students in this Stage are both speculative thinkers and accomplished designers, able to deliver detailed, resolved proposals. They operate independently, drawing on previous learning and personal interests. In this final year, they consider the many possible career paths presented to them over the course of their studies.
Stage 3 courses are outlined below:
Technology & Environment 3
History and Theory of Architecture 3
Architectural Design and Communication 3(i)
Architectural Design and Communication 3(ii)
People teaching you
Alan Jones (FRIBA Hon FRIAS)
Senior Lecturer for BSc Architecture
Natural and Built Environment
Alan is a senior lecturer and has been Vice President (Education) of the RIBA, London, since 2015. After practising with Michael Hopkins & Partners (RIBA Gold Medal 1994) for 7 years and then returned to practice and teach design studio, construction and professional skills at Queen’s. In 2016 Alan was made one of first Fellows of the RIBA in recognition of his major contribution to education, the profession and practice - with him receiving two RSUA and two RIBA awards.
Dr Gul Kacmaz Erk (MArch)
Programme Director for BSc Architecture
Natural and Built Environment
Gul is a lecturer in Architecture. She teaches design studio, history and theory of Architecture, and humanities dissertation. She qualified as an architect in Turkey and specialises in the area of cinema and architecture in the city.
Dr Sarah Lappin (RIBA)
Senior Lecturer for BSc Architecture
Natural and Built Environment
Sarah is a senior lecturer and is an architect who teaches theory and design at Queen’s University Belfast. She studied architecture in the USA, at Columbia and then Princeton. As a practitioner, she worked on a large range of projects including preservation and healthcare. Dr Lappin is co-founder of the All-Ireland Architectural Research Group, and is the current Chair of the Steering Group of the Architectural Humanities Research Association.
Prof Michael McGarry (RIAI)
Design Leader for BSc Architecture
Natural and Built Environment
Michael is a half time Professor of Architecture and co-founder of McGarry Ní Éanaigh Architects, Dublin. He leads design within the BSc programme and focuses his design studio teaching in year two and three. His early career included two years with Renzo Piano & Richard Rogers. McGarry Ní Éanaigh has received numerous awards and commendations for their built work, the most recent being a 2017 UIA Friendly and Inclusive Spaces Award. He leads the PhD by Practice programme at Queen’s.
Contact Teaching Times
|Large Group Teaching|
5 (hours maximum)
hours of lectures
|Medium Group Teaching|
8 (hours maximum)
hours of practical classes, workshops or tutorials including pin-up sessions
20 (hours maximum)
hours studying and revising in your own time and/or with your group, including some guided study using design briefs, coursework hand-outs, etc.
|Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial|
3 (hours maximum)
desk tutorials and project tutoring
Learning and Teaching
The undergraduate course adopts a year structure with each year (or ‘stage’) adopting both architectural and teaching/learning aims. The design studio is a well resourced focus of the programme, with each student having over twenty hours of contact time each week of both of the twelve week teaching semesters. Whilst Architecture is understood as an intellectual discipline, it also relies heavily on a range of skills, the most obvious of which are drawing, model-making, written and verbal communication skills and design. Around these core representational skills sit other skills such as time-management and critical reflection. This programme attracts academically able students, but typically their intellectual capabilities exceed their skills. The staff have heavily invested in first year skill-based teaching to increase students capabilities in such areas as technical drawing, model making and writing, whilst at the same time reinforcing the students’ own responsibility to progress their skills through self-directed learning.
We emphasise to students that much of their learning and skill development occurs away from the formalised areas of the course. We use the metaphor of the iceberg in respect to learning -- the small visible section above the water line is contact teaching time with staff whilst the much larger section below the water line is a student’s own self-led learning time. We also encourage students to learn outside formal teaching environments, including external lectures and exhibitions and service projects as well as international study visits which occur in all Stages of the BSc undergraduate Course.
We have numerous academic awards and prizes, many of which are funded through trusts and industry sponsors. The support and guidance we give students often contributes to them receiving other external scholarships, grants and awards. Nearly all our three hundred students are members of the student society ARCSOC, which is very active arranging social events and an evening guest lecture programme. Our students are regularly placed in national and international competitions and award programmes.
Stage One focuses on bringing students into university level education, marrying the development of skills to self-reflection. Students in Stage One begin to understand the importance and responsibility of practising skills: graphic, design, written, verbal, thinking, self-evaluation, group working. In addition to this transition and acquisition of skills, Stage One focuses on the architectural issue of context in all its complexity and how it impacts on programme, materiality and form. Our students are very complementary about the joint one week design studio “Street Society” project, bringing Stage One and first year postgraduate (part 2) students together to work on real projects for real clients.
Stage Two focuses on the development, by each student, of personal, holistic, and viable design skills. Students are encouraged to develop maturity in analysing design problems and in broadening their understanding of the relationship between architecture, technology, construction, theory, history and the wider social context. Building upon the skills and applications learnt in Stage One, students investigate place makingin a variety of contexts. Combining this with the consideration of design generatorsand integration of technology, students are encouraged to personalise the design process to reflect their own individual interests and concerns in architecture.
Stage Three is recognised both as an end point to undergraduate studies and as the beginning of a student’s future development. Stage Three asks students to deliver completed, resolved proposals, drawing on all of their learning throughout the course. Students are encouraged to advance their own personal areas of enquiry in preparation for professional life and further learning. The focus of Stage Three is on more complex contexts and agendas for Architecture and / in / of the City.
Assessment occurs through 100% coursework in Architecture. There are no examinations.
Specific methods of assessment are chosen to suit the learning outcomes of each module, and the nature and balance of the assessment is outlined in the module guide.
In studio-based modules, the assignments are mainly architectural design projects, and the marks allocated to the projects are roughly proportional to the time allocated to each project, although individual work is normally weighted more heavily overall than group work. The projects are compiled in a design portfolio by the end of the semester.
Lecture-based modules span the entire year and are also assessed through coursework. In History and Theory of Architecture, the main assignment is essay writing. There are also smaller components such as reading discussions, seminar presentations, and theory-based design assignments including filmmaking. The work is compiled in a writing portfolio by the end of the year. In Technology and Environment, assignments require research, analysis and/or design. In several occasions, they are related to students' design projects in studio.
Feedback, both verbal and written, is a main part of learning and assessment in Architecture. Students get feedback related to their coursework throughout the year in the form of tutorials, reviews and feedback sheets. Peer-review is also encouraged.
As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:
Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted.
Face to face comment. This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query.
Placement employer comments or references.
Online or emailed comment.
General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid. In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time.
Feedback and outcomes from practical classes
Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.
Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work.
A level requirements
AAB + GCSE Mathematics grade C.
Applicants with a grade C in GCSE Art or no Art at GCSE/A-level may be invited for a portfolio interview. Neither Technology and Design nor Craft, Design and Technology are considered an alternative to Art.
Irish leaving certificate requirements
H2H3H3H3H3H3 + if not offered at Higher Level then Ordinary Level grade O4 in Mathematics.
Applicants with a grade C in Junior Certificate Art, or no Art at Junior/Leaving Certificate, may be invited for a portfolio interview.
Successful completion of Access Course with an average of 75%. GCSE Mathematics grade C or equivalent in Access Course.
Applicants with a grade C in GCSE Art or no Art at GCSE/A-level may be invited for a portfolio interview.
A broad spread of scientific, creative and language-based subjects is desirable, since high scores in specific subjects do not necessarily indicate suitability for the wide-ranging demands of the degree. Evidence of broad general intelligence, a hardworking nature and a genuine motivation and interest in architecture is also required. Applicants are encouraged to appreciate the demands of studying architecture and the combined scientific and creative nature of the subject.
The entrance requirements outlined above reflect the demands of the BSc, but acknowledge that the highest A-level performance is not always an indicator of an applicant's suitability for the degree.
In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance notes on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application.
Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions and Access Service rather than by the School of Natural and Built Environment. Once your application has been processed by UCAS and forwarded to Queen's, an acknowledgement is normally sent within two weeks of receipt by the University.
Selection is on the basis of the information provided on your UCAS form, which is considered by a member of administrative staff from the Admissions and Access Service and, if appropriate, the Selector from the School. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.
For entry to Architecture last year, offers were initially made to those who achieved at least three GCSE passes at grade B or above plus three GCSE passes at grade C or above, to include English Language and Mathematics. The final threshold varies from year to year depending on competition for places and, last year, offers were made to applicants with one grade B plus five grade Cs at GCSE (including English Language and Mathematics).
All applicants must provide evidence of artistic ability and this requirement is satisfied by grade B or better in GCSE Art. Candidates who have not met this requirement will be invited to attend a portfolio interview, provided they have demonstrated a satisfactory commitment to architecture/motivation/artistic ability in their UCAS application. The information provided in the applicant’s personal statement and the academic reference is noted and is an important factor for candidates who do not have an acceptable Art qualification. Unless there is clear evidence of motivation and commitment to Architecture, candidates may not be invited for a portfolio interview. Guidance on the Art portfolio requirements can be found in this Course Finder website.
Offers are normally made on the basis of three A-levels. Two subjects at A-level plus two at AS are also considered. The offer for repeat candidates is set in terms of three A-levels and may be one grade higher than for first time applicants. Grades may be held from the previous year.
Applicants offering two A-levels and one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent qualification), or one A-level and a BTEC Diploma/National Diploma (or equivalent qualification) will also be considered. Offers will be made in terms of performance in individual BTEC units rather than the overall BTEC grade(s) awarded. Please note that a maximum of one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent) will be counted as part of an applicant’s portfolio of qualifications. The normal GCSE profile will be expected.
Applicants offering other qualifications, such as a BTEC Extended Diploma, Higher National Certificate, Higher National Diploma, the International Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate or an Access course, will also be considered.
The same GCSE profile is usually expected of those candidates taking a BTEC Extended Diploma or a Higher National Certificate (HNC) and the Mathematics and Art requirements must always be met.
The current entrance requirements for applicants offering a BTEC Extended Diploma are successful completion of the BTEC Extended Diploma (180 credits at Level 3) with 140 credits at Distinction and 40 credits at Merit. For applicants offering an HNC, the current requirements are successful completion of the HNC with 2 Distinctions and 6 Merits.
For those offering a Higher National Diploma, some flexibility may be allowed in terms of GCSE profile, but this must include grade C or better in GCSE Mathematics, and the Art requirement must also be met. To be eligible for consideration, the grades obtained in the first year of the HND must allow the overall offer to be achievable. Where offers are made for Stage 1 entry, these are currently conditional on successful completion of the HND with 4 Distinctions, 10 Merits and 2 Passes overall. Applicants with sufficiently high grades in the first year of a relevant HND may be interviewed by the Academic Selector for possible entry to Stage 2 and, where offers are made, these are currently conditional on successful completion of the HND with 5 Distinctions and 11 Merits overall.
Candidates offering Access/Certificate in Foundation Studies courses will be considered individually on their own merits, provided the Mathematics and Art subject requirements for entry to Architecture can also be met. Where offers are made, these are conditional on both achieving an average of 75% in the Access course and meeting the entry criteria for Architecture.
A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking are not normally be considered as part of a three A-level offer and, although they may be excluded where an applicant is taking four A-level subjects, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.
Applicants who have been made an offer are given an opportunity to meet with Architecture staff at an information session at Queen’s. Prospective students are encouraged, but not required, to bring a portfolio with them to act as central focus for this conversation. The session allows staff to explain Queen's Architecture in detail and it offers applicants the opportunity to ask individual questions about the course. These sessions normally occur alongside a day-long experience of the School, including a presentation about the course, tours of studios, labs, teaching rooms and other University facilities, as well as discussions with current students.
If you cannot find the information you need here, please contact the University Admissions and Access Service (firstname.lastname@example.org), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in Speaking and Listening and 5.5 Reading and Writing, or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
- Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
- Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS - FOUNDATION AND INTERNATIONAL YEAR ONE PROGRAMMES
INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.
These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.
The INTO progression course suited to this programme is
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
This first degree on Architecture (ARB & RIBA Part 1) leads to the postgraduate Part 2 and 3 programmes, which can be taken at our institution or elsewhere. Many of our graduates return to our postgraduate Part 2 programme.
Our graduates can be found involved with a surprisingly wide range of activities. Many continue to work in private architectural practices ranging in size from two or three people to a staff of over 100, providing a general practice service to private and institutional clients, designing individual houses, social housing, commercial developments, civic buildings, concert halls, theatres and galleries. Many commissions are won through architectural competitions.
Although primarily intended as a first degree for those wishing to undertake postgraduate studies and become professionally qualified architects, the course offers a wide-ranging general education in design, visual appreciation and problem solving, which is valuable in its own right.
Although a much higher proportion of our graduates progresses to being registered architects, a certain number of our graduates do diversify and move outwards into related careers and roles. They may work in stage set design, town planning or housing policy, conservation of historic buildings, interiors, furniture design or specialist building physics such as acoustics. They may provide technical assistance to voluntary and community groups tackling difficult social and economic problems. Our graduates work in many different parts of the world, have their work published and receive awards.
Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Prizes and Awards(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
NO FEE BAND ENTERED IN QSIS
Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.
If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.
Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.
Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.
If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.
Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.
There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
There are additional costs for both materials (model making and printing) as well as for the yearly study trips to cities outside Belfast. The amount for materials and equipment will vary depending on how students decide to represent their work, but a budget of £1,080 for the three year course is appropriate. The costs for study trips will vary upon location, but students should budget £1,100 for the three year course.
How do I fund my study?
There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.
Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/Fees-and-scholarships/.
Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.
Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.
How to Apply
Application for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/apply.
When to Apply
UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2018 from 1 September 2017.
Advisory closing date: 15 January 2018 (18:00).
Late applications are, in practice, accepted by UCAS throughout the remainder of the application cycle, but you should understand that they are considered by institutions at their discretion, and there can be no guarantee that they will be given the same full level of consideration as applications received by the advisory closing date.
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.
The Institution code for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.
Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/
Apply via UCAS
After an offer is made this will be notified to applicants through UCAS. Confirmation will be emailed by the Admissions and Access Service and this communication will also include Terms and Conditions (www.qub.ac.uk/Study/TermsandConditions) which applicants should read carefully in advance of replying to their offer(s) on UCAS Track.
Additional Information for International (non-EU) Students
- Applying through UCAS
Most students make their applications through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for full-time undergraduate degree programmes at Queen's. The UCAS application deadline for international students is 30 June 2018.
- Applying direct
The Direct Entry Application form is to be used by international applicants who wish to apply directly, and only, to Queen's or who have been asked to provide information in advance of submitting a formal UCAS application. Find out more.
- Applying through agents and partners
The University’s in-country representatives can assist you to submit a UCAS application or a direct application. Please consult the Agent List to find an agent in your country who will help you with your application to Queen’s University.
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