BArch (Hons)

Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part 1)

Architecture students and academic working on a project in the Arkwright studio.
  • UCAS code(s): K100
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: City Campus
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Course duration: Three years, full-time

Prescribed by the Architects' Registration Board (ARB) and validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), this hands-on, project-driven course is designed to help you develop your own design approach and style.

Successful completion of our BArch (Hons) Architecture course is the first step to becoming a qualified architect, satisfying the educational requirements needed for your RIBA Part 1 qualification.

Based in our Grade II* listed Gothic Revival style Arkwright building, you'll study in a studio culture that reflects modern architectural practice, preparing you for your graduate career from day one.

You'll be exposed to diverse aspects of architectural design, linking sustainability and urban design with business practice, and be equipped with the skills and knowledge to tackle issues related to the built environment, exploring the design, human, professional and technical influences needed to pursue a successful career in architecture.

Why study this course?

  • Inspiring spaces | Work with our industry-standard facilities and studios, including a dedicated model-making studio, 3D printing and workshops for metal, timber and concrete.
  • Real briefs | You'll take part in live design projects, with creative briefs from real clients. Students recently worked with RIBA East Midlands on a temporary installation in a local space, UK house builder Davidsons on new housing developments, and Nottingham-based charity Growin' Spaces on an inexpensive eco-friendly build.
  • Exciting trips | Explore local, national and international architectural practice, with some great trips – previously students have visited Venice and Barcelona – included in your course fees.
  • Expert staff | Learn from an experienced academic team with years of industry experience and expert technical teams from a range of specialist backgrounds.
  • Exhibitions and Degree Shows | Exhibit your work at our annual final year degree show and Architecture Exchange event, attended by architecture professionals, industry experts and potential employers.
  • Mentoring opportunities | Take advantage of our final year mentoring programme, working alongside the RIBA and local practices such as Leonard Design Architects, Buckenham & Co and Franklin Ellis Architects.
  • Outstanding employability | 93% of BArch (Hons) Architecture students are in graduate level employment within six months of finishing their studies (latest DLHE Survey, 2016/17).

Accredited by:

Architects Registration Board logo
Royal Institute of British Architects logo
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Find out about studying BArch (Hons) Architecture at NTU
Hear our student Fehintola talk about her experience of studying Architecture

What you'll study

Over three years, you'll develop the skills, knowledge and experience needed for a successful graduate career. You'll develop a solid foundation of design skills, theory and terminology in Year One, building on this each year by working on complex and demanding projects.

  • Year One

    Design Studio (60 credits)

    • This module will introduce you to small-scale design project work, exploring the three-dimensional qualities of space.
    • You'll look at the range of factors that influence architectural design, and develop the skills to critically appraise design proposals.
    • Some of the projects included in this module are set within the context of specific cultural communities and social groups, enabling you to put together design proposals that respond to social, cultural and aesthetic needs.

    Technology and Environment in Architecture 1 (20 credits)

    • The aim of this module is to introduce you to a range of technical, practical and environmental considerations involved in the making of domestic-scale architecture.
    • You'll look at the load-bearing capabilities, cost and performance of materials in order to understand the suitability of different construction materials. The module will focus on the means of achieving thermal, ventilation, sound and light control in buildings through design and construction. You'll also look at sustainable design and consider health and safety in construction.
    • The module content will provide a framework for understanding the environmental impact of buildings. You'll learn about UK regulations, financial considerations, and sustainability – knowledge to help underpin successful architectural design.

    Architecture in Context 1 (20 credits)

    • This module looks at how wider social issues, such as politics, the economy and technology influence architecture, both throughout history and in current times.
    • You'll learn to recognise and engage with architectural responses to these influences by studying a variety of historical and cultural themes within an architectural framework.

    Architectural Communication and Representation (20 credits)

    • This lecture and studio-based module will introduce you to a range of visualisation techniques using traditional and digital media. You'll learn how to convey your design ideas using 2D and 3D methods and techniques, including orthographic drawing by hand, using digital media, model making, and presentation.
    • You'll learn about the professional conventions and standards used for the communication of a design idea, from inception through to construction.
  • Year Two

    Integrated Design Studio (60 credits)

    • Building and on the skills you'll have developed in Year One, this module offers a variety of different projects relating to medium-scale buildings and spaces.
    • To demonstrate your growing knowledge of materials and design principles, you'll be challenged to develop creative responses to a variety of different urban, physical, technical, economic, social, ethical and cultural settings.
    • You'll work on your ideas from conception through to modelling, developing an understanding of the consequences of design decisions, culminating in a presentation of your designs through visual, verbal, written or electronic presentations.

    Technology and Environment in Architecture 2 (20 credits)

    • The overall aim of this module is to give you the understanding and knowledge to make technical recommendations, communicating effectively with clients and stakeholders throughout the design process.
    • You'll develop your knowledge of the appropriate technical design options for a variety of medium-sized building types, enabling you to choose appropriate solutions to satisfy a variety of factors affecting an architectural project, such as financial constraints and both human and legal demands.
    • You'll look at issues surrounding environmental sustainability and develop an awareness of construction processes and workmanship.

    Architecture in Context 2 (20 credits)

    • The module aims to develop your understanding of contemporary and emerging debates in architecture, the arts and urban design – both locally and globally.
    • You'll explore issues of cultural diversity and the impact this has on the built environment, identifying the needs, perceptions and values of specific cultural communities.

    Interdisciplinary Design Studies (20 credits)

    • This module will widen your understanding of design, looking at a range of creative disciplines beyond building construction.
    • The module aims to situate your understanding of architecture within the wider context of how humans understand and interact with space.
  • Final Year

    Professional Practice (20 credits)

    • This module will specifically prepare you for your graduate career, focusing on key skills, qualities and attributes that employers will expect from an architecture graduate.
    • These include professionalism and ethics, personal organisation and time management, practice management, entrepreneurship, and business management. You'll be fully prepared in all elements of project management, from procurement to health and safety, and from presentation skills to understanding statutory regulations.

    Comprehensive Design Studio (60 credits)

    • Building on your developments in Year Two, this module will focus on larger-scale or more complex projects, designed to extend your ability to demonstrate awareness of context, external factors and constraints, as well as your ability to communicate your ideas in different forms.
    • You'll be stretched to design in a variety of different situations, ranging from urban design to smaller exploratory projects, responding creatively to thematic challenges.

    Architecture in Context 3 (20 credits)

    • You'll build on your understanding of architectural theory by undertaking an individual piece of extended research, enriching your understanding of architecture's potential as a useful and meaningful cultural activity.
    • Your chosen topic will focus on key issues or major contemporary debates in architectural thought, exploring historical, cultural or philosophical contexts through which architecture may be analysed, criticised, debated and understood. Your research project will be self-directed, with support from your academic team.

    Technology and Environment in Architecture 3 (20 credits)

    • This module will further your ability to incorporate technical innovation in your designs, through the development of acoustic, lighting, structural and material studies.
    • You'll be set projects within a studio environment, and tasked with investigating material possibilities by designing and building physical and digital models in simulated conditions. You'll use your findings to define and justify your technical design proposals, with a consideration of cost, environmental factors, and the lifespan of materials.

    Degree Show exhibition

    In your final year, you'll be invited to display your work as part of NTU's Degree Shows. The events are an opportunity for all final year students studying across NTU's Art and Design-based courses to showcase their work to our network of industry professionals and prospective employers, invited specifically for this purpose.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

Our course is accredited by the RIBA and prescribed the the ARB, recognising the relevance and quality of our course content.

How you’re taught

  • Based on 40-hour weeks during term time, you will spend approximately 16 hours per week in scheduled learning. Course content is delivered through lectures, studio projects, study trips and live briefs from both industry and competitions. You will also be involved in self-directed project work with the support of NOW, our virtual learning environment.
  • Outside of timetabled sessions you will need to undertake self-directed independent study. This will include preparing for lectures, researching, completing coursework, developing a portfolio, and directed reading to expand your knowledge.
  • The course is supported by external professional practitioners, ensuring that your learning is continuously enhanced through exposure to real-world perspective. This includes our guest lecture series, where an industry expert is invited to deliver a talk to expose our students to the work currently happening in architecture practices. You'll also have the opportunity to get involved with our RIBA student mentoring scheme in your final year, working alongside local firms, to develop your skills and knowledge.

Trips and projects

Inspiration often comes from the everyday - and in architecture and design, it's so important to keep your mind open to the cultural influences of the world around you.

Our Architecture course takes a global perspective; you'll gain design inspiration on study trips both in the UK and abroad, the cost of which is included in your course fees. Recent study trip destinations have included Venice and Barcelona.

BArch students at Sagrada Familia

Assessment methods

You will be assessed through a mix of coursework and practical work. Coursework will make up the majority of your assessment and consists of group and individual projects, reports, presentations and a portfolio.

Year OneCoursework100%
Year TwoCoursework100%
Year ThreeCoursework100%

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

Year OneLectures/seminars/workshops32%Independent study68%
Year TwoLectures/seminars/workshops31%Independent study69%
Year ThreeLectures/seminars/workshops28%Independent study72%

Explore local, national and international architecture practice, with inspiring trips in the UK and abroad included in your course fees.

Careers and employability

We've got a great track record of producing skilled, industry-ready graduates. Our BArch (Hons) Architecture course is designed to prepare you to take your first step in the architecture industry. Through working on real projects from industry, fieldwork, and creative briefs from industry clients, you'll be equipped with skills and experience to carry with you for the rest of your professional career.

You’ll be encouraged to undertake work experience alongside your studies, to expose you to professional practice and give you hands-on experience of it. You'll also be supported in your development with a final year mentoring programme, working alongside RIBA and local practices including Leonard Design Architects, Buckenham & Co and Franklin Ellis Architects.

Where do Architecture graduates from NTU work?

Recent graduate roles include architects, architectural assistants and design team members at companies such as Benoy, Foster + Partners, Atelier (New York), Terry Farrell and Partners, Dixon Jones, and Balfour Beatty.

Becoming an Architect

The course has full Architects Registration Board (ARB) prescription, so on completion of your degree, you’ll be ready to complete your first year of experience before starting Part 2, on your way to becoming a qualified architect. Take a look at the ARB Student Handbook for a guide to becoming an architect.

Employability team

Our expert Employability team will work closely with you at every stage of your career planning, providing personal support and advice. You can benefit from this service at any time during your studies, and for up to three years after completing your course.

Throughout the year, our Employability team runs a series of events specifically for students studying in the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment. This includes our annual Architecture Exchange event which brings together current students and prospective employers for an evening of presentations, round table discussions and networking opportunities. We also run a Property, Design and Construction Fair, offering employers the opportunity to advertise graduate roles to our final year students.

93% of BArch (Hons) Architecture students are in graduate level employment within six months of finishing their studies (latest DLHE Survey, 2016/17).

Study in our RIBA-award winning buildings, with inspiring studio space and industry standard facilities.

Entry requirements


What are we looking for?

  • A-levels – BBB; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DDM; or
  • 120 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications; and
  • GCSEs – English and Maths grade C / 4.

Use our helpful UCAS tariff calculator to convert your qualifications and grades into points, so you can find out if you meet the course requirements.

Other requirements

All applications welcome

We welcome applications from prospective students with a range of qualifications and experience, and all are assessed on an individual basis. For applicants who do not meet the standard entry criteria can still be considered providing they have relevant experience to complement any qualifications.

All applicants will need to apply through UCAS and will be expected to submit a digital portfolio as part of the application process.

What are we looking for?

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our courses. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements, please visit our international qualifications page.

Other requirements

Foundation courses

If you need to complete a foundation course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our foundation courses page.

English language requirements

If English isn't your first language, you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. You can check our language requirements and list of accepted English language tests. Your British Council office can tell you where you can take an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test locally.

Next steps

Please also take a look at our international students page and our application guide for international students, which includes advice on how to apply to the University and visa information.

If you need any more help or information, please contact our International team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200. Alternatively, you can speak to one of our official NTU representatives for your country.

Benefit from our employability events, specifically tailored to the needs of our architecture students.

How to apply

Apply through UCAS.

As part of your application, you’ll submit a personal statement. This is your opportunity to tell us about your ambitions, skills and experience. You have 4,000 characters to impress us – here’s how to make your words count.

We’ll also ask you to provide a submission of work online.

Your portfolio is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your potential as an architect. Take a look at our digital portfolio advice.

Keeping up to date

After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Apply through UCAS (if applying to more than one university in the UK), or through our NTU Applicant Portal if you're not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

If successful, you'll be asked to submit a digital portfolio. Take a look at our digital portfolio advice.

  • For a step-by-step guide on making an application to the University, please visit our how to apply page.
  • For advice on applying for a visa, please visit our visa information page.

Keeping up to date

After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Please also take a look at our international students pages and our application guide for international students, which are full of advice and information about the University.

If you need any more help or information, please contact our International team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200. Alternatively, you can speak to one of our official NTU representatives for your country.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Fees and funding

You'll find the course fees for your year of entry on our tuition fee page.

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there's no need to feel anxious and confused about it. Take a look at our fees and funding pages for lots of handy advice and guidance.

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service by calling +44 (0)115 848 2494.

Our Building Blocks financial package: supporting you throughout your studies

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our modern library, industry-standard workshops and study spaces, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

As a student at the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, you’ll also benefit from our Building Blocks financial package, which aims to help minimise the additional costs of study, while you’re here at NTU.

What you’ll receive

  • Free travel and accommodation for all of the mandatory field trips, exhibitions and events included on your course, including overseas trips (where offered).
  • £100 print and materials credit for each year of your course (for a maximum of three years). You’ll be able to spend this at our Bonington art shop, fully stocked with a wide range of art and design materials at student-friendly prices, and at our School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment workshops and print facilities.
  • All of the materials needed for induction workshops and activities, working within our workshops and laboratories.
  • Free personal protective equipment (PPE), which usually includes hard-wearing boots, googles and high-vis vests, to keep you safe on site visits and while working in our workshops.
  • Access to the free professional body accreditation, as appropriate for your course.
  • £20 pre-paid printing allowance for use at the NTU Print Shops, and library photocopiers.

You’ll need to cover the cost of your own books, standard drawing and writing equipment and consumables. However, our City Campus library is home to four floors of books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! Our library team work closely with our academics to ensure that our library collection closely matches the topics you’ll be studying, to provide relevant resources for you to use, free of charge.

Our Students’ Union shop and Bonington art shop are great places to pick up drawing and writing equipment at reasonable prices and are located right in the centre of our City Campus. Where optional overseas visits are offered, you will need to meet the cost of these.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University.

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there's no need to feel anxious and confused about it. Take a look at our fees and funding pages for lots of handy advice and guidance.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service by calling +44 (0)115 848 2494.

Our Building Blocks financial package: supporting you throughout your studies

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our modern library, industry-standard workshops and study spaces, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

As a student at the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, you’ll also benefit from our Building Blocks financial package, which aims to help minimise the additional costs of study, while you’re here at NTU.

What you’ll receive

  • Free travel and accommodation for all of the mandatory field trips, exhibitions and events included on your course, including overseas trips (where offered).
  • £100 print and materials credit for each year of your course (for a maximum of three years). You’ll be able to spend this at our Bonington art shop, fully stocked with a wide range of art and design materials at student-friendly prices, and at our School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment workshops and print facilities.
  • All of the materials needed for induction workshops and activities, working within our workshops and laboratories.
  • Free personal protective equipment (PPE), which usually includes hard-wearing boots, googles and high-vis vests, to keep you safe on site visits and while working in our workshops.
  • Access to the free professional body accreditation, as appropriate for your course.
  • £20 pre-paid printing allowance for use at the NTU Print Shops, and library photocopiers.

You’ll need to cover the cost of your own books, standard drawing and writing equipment and consumables. However, our City Campus library is home to four floors of books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! Our library team work closely with our academics to ensure that our library collection closely matches the topics you’ll be studying, to provide relevant resources for you to use, free of charge.

Our Students’ Union shop and Bonington art shop are great places to pick up drawing and writing equipment at reasonable prices and are located right in the centre of our City Campus. Where optional overseas visits are offered, you will need to meet the cost of these.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418