UCAS code: K100
Duration: MA: 4 years; BA: 3 years
School: Edinburgh College of Art
College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
Introducing BA/MA Architecture
This programme is offered by the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA).
All students begin on the MA (Hons) Architecture programme.
At the end of Year 2 you will choose one of two pathways:
- three-year BA Architecture
- four-year MA (Hons) Architecture
The three-year option is good if you want to prioritise qualifying, or if you wish to develop your broader academic interests.
The four-year option means you qualify with an MA (Hons) degree. You can also choose a variant of this pathway that includes the option to study abroad.
Both pathways are shaped by the educational, research and practice expertise of our committed staff.
You will join a broad creative community of artists and scholars. This includes design tutors with practice and specialist expertise. Your learning is supported by world-class workshops and technical facilities.
Edinburgh is a place of outstanding architectural interest and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Models of design thinking and working grow directly out of operating within this unique context.
The programmes are carefully structured to give you a breadth of understanding of architecture as part of culture and society.
Your studies will be informed by the contemporary conversations taking place not only in architecture but also in:
- ethical practice
Our three-year BA Architecture and our four-year MA (Hons) Architecture programme have Architects Registration Board (ARB)/Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Prescription/Accreditation at Part 1. Both offer graduates exemption from this stage of their professional qualification.
In Year 1, you will:
- learn about the principles of architectural design
- work on projects that look at architectural elements and assembly in different contexts
At the same time, you will be taught the fundamentals of:
- technology and environment
- art and design practice
- architectural history
In some courses, you will study with students from landscape architecture and structural engineering.
In Year 2, you will:
- begin to integrate your developing design skills in more complex and rewarding urban contexts
- work with more ambitious building programme briefs
- take a field trip to a European city where design projects are situated
- continue to apply your knowledge of technology and environment to your design work
You will also take an option course that allows you to broaden your learning in subjects across the University.
Option courses may follow a structured programme pathway in architectural histories or digital culture.
Choosing your pathway
At the end of Year 2, you can select whether you wish to take the three-year BA or four-year MA honours programme.
The three-year BA route offers a direct route to ARB part 1.
You will study design and its cultural and technical contexts.
Studio options and portfolio
You will choose from a series of thematically directed studio options.
These help you to consolidate a specific exploration and appropriate tectonic resolution at a deeper level.
You will study these studio options alongside courses in architectural theory and professional practice and logistics.
You will also develop, curate and present an academic portfolio.
The MA (Hons) programme is a full honours programme. It includes an integrated practice working period where you study through distance learning as you gain professional experience.
In this year, you will be able to develop your own personal interests in architecture with a range of studio options within the design courses.
This year, MA (Hons) students return from the period of integrated practice working completed in Year 3.
You will study a humanities semester to complete a self-directed dissertation.
You will also choose an option course from across the University. Option courses may follow a structured programme pathway in architectural histories or digital culture.
In semester 2, you will:
- complete an immersive design project with another architectural design studio
- take a course in logistics
- develop, curate and present an academic portfolio
Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.
To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.
Teaching takes place across a range of facilities all located in the Central Area.
You have access to:
- design studios
- well-equipped workshops
- computer labs
Teaching on the Architectural History and Heritage programme takes place in lecture theatres and seminar rooms located in the Central Area, as well as during field trips.
Investing in our learning environment
The University is investing in the Edinburgh College of Art estate and facilities. This will further develop our supportive, stimulating and sustainable learning and research environment.
You can find out more on the ECA website.
MA (Hons) Architecture includes a credited integrated practice work period in semester two of Year 3.
You will have options to work or study abroad in the honours years of our MA (Hons) programmes. The integrated practice working period in Architecture allows for work abroad.
We also offer international exchanges in Year 3.
How will I learn?
You will be taught through a mix of:
- studio-based projects
- iterative design teaching
- field trips
- critical reviews
- practical experience
How will I be assessed?
You will be assessed using a combination of:
- portfolio work
If you choose the MA (Hons) pathway, you will complete a dissertation in Year 4.
The BA and MA (Hons) Architecture programmes both offer routes into the architecture profession.
Our graduates typically continue their studies to qualify as architects working in a wide range of established and emerging contexts. These include:
- private practice
- local and national government
- large commercial organisations in the UK and overseas
You will gain skills in:
- spatial awareness
- project-based production
These combine into a strong and adaptable skillset.
Standard entry requirement
The standard entry requirement is:
- SQA Highers: AAAAA-AAAA (achievement by end of S5 preferred). BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
- A Levels: AAA - ABB.
- IB: 37 points with 666 at HL - 34 points with 655 at HL.
Minimum entry requirement
The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:
- SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
- A Levels: ABB.
- IB: 34 points with 655 at HL.
The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:
- SQA: Highers: no specific Higher subjects required. National 5s: English at C. Either Mathematics at A or Mathematics and Physics, both at B. Evidence of artistic ability is normally required at either Higher or National 5 level.
- A Levels: no specific A Level subjects required. GCSEs: English at C or 4 and Mathematics at A or 7, or Mathematics and Physics both at B or 6, or Mathematics, Science plus Additional Science (or science double award) at B or 6. Evidence of artistic ability is normally required at either A Level or GCSE.
- IB: HL: no specific subjects required. SL: English at 5 and either Mathematics at 6 or Mathematical Studies at 7. Evidence of artistic ability is normally required at either HL or SL, e.g. Visual Arts or Design Technology.
We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
International Foundation Programme
If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.
We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.
You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.
SQA, GCSE and IB
For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:
- SQA National 5 at C
- SQA Standard Grade at 3
- GCSE at C or 4
- Level 2 Certificate at C
- IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)
English language tests
We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:
- IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 5.5 in each component.
- TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
- C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 176 with at least 162 in each component.
- Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
- PTE Academic: total 62 with at least 54 in each component.
We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.
English language qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the degree you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, PTE Academic, TOEFL or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.
This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.
It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.
Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.
You will be required to purchase course materials and cover the cost of:
- drawing and modelling equipment
- printing, drawing and model making materials, costing around £300 per year
- possibly a laptop
As part of the programme, you will take field trips and excursions, including a visit to a European city, which you will be required to self-fund.
If accepted for entry, we will send you a letter outlining estimated costs for the next academic year.
For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.
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