BA Architecture

BA Architecture

UCAS code K100
Duration 3 years
Accreditation RIBA Part 1/ARB

Course overview

The BA Architecture is a three-year honours degree that brings together a balanced university education with a professionally orientated course. It combines lecture-based courses with a creative studio culture.

The lectures develop a broad knowledge base ranging across the sciences and humanities; this knowledge is then brought to the studio where it is tested and developed through a sequence of design projects.

Lecture courses are delivered by staff who are all at the forefront of their own field of research, thereby ensuring that the information imparted is up-to-date and relevant.

Within the studio, full time members of staff are joined by practicing architects, who bring with them topical ideas and skills from the world of architecture. It is this combination of a rigorous academic base and a creative professional direction that exemplifies architecture at Sheffield.


Recognised by the Royal Institute of British Architects as giving exemption from RIBA Part 1.

Prescribed by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) subject to periodic review by ARB, for the purposes of entry onto the United Kingdom Register of Architects.

Guidance on Applying and Fees

Entry Requirements

Course outcomes

The majority of BA Architecture students follow the professionally accredited route that leads to exemption from RIBA Part 1. Students on this route will generally then take a year out in professional practice before studying a two year MArch in Architecture course and then returning to practice to complete their final professional examinations to qualify as an architect.

Students graduating from the BA at Sheffield have an excellent record in gaining employment. The course is highly regarded in the profession and is recognised as providing well-educated and adaptable students.

Find out more on our Employability pages.

It is also possible after the second year for students to follow a route that is not professionally accredited with the BA Architectural Studies. On this route studio courses are replaced with other modules. The aim of this latter route is to provide an education in a broad architectural context, within which students can develop their own specialisms and interests. Students graduating from this route are well placed to pursue a career in the built environment, or else to progress onto more specialised masters courses.


All three years of the degree course are divided approximately equally between lecture courses and studio based courses.


The first year studio course acts as a foundation year which aims to bring together students from a range of academic backgrounds. After the first year, projects develop in scale and complexity, until the major design project at the end of third year which addresses the full range of cultural, technological, conceptual and representational ideas.

The studio acts as a laboratory for the testing of creative and critical ideas, whilst at the same time developing fundamental architectural skills. In most cases we draw on Sheffield and its immediate surroundings for sites and briefs, in the belief that an immediate context develops relevant and topical solutions. Local projects are supplemented by more conceptual projects which have broader educational aims.

Lecture courses

The lecture courses develop knowledge and skills in three areas of architecture:


The humanities course covers the history and theory of architecture. In history, a broad overview of the cultural context of architecture is followed in second year by more focused case studies. The theory course introduces social aspects of architecture and methods of approaching design. These courses are supplemented by lectures in landscape and town planning, which give an overview of the broader contexts within which architecture is set.


The technology courses introduce the structural, constructional and environmental concepts that underpin architectural production. The emphasis is on how these concepts may inform and contribute to design, so that by third year most of the technical courses are related to the studio projects. The technology courses draw on the expertise in sustainable approaches to design that the academic staff are developing in their research.


The communication courses develop representational techniques for architecture, with an increasing emphasis on computer techniques. In the third year, students undertake a major dissertation, a piece of academic work that encourages an in-depth study of an architectural subject.

Learning and assessment figures


Modules - what you study and when

The modules listed below are from the current academic year and there may be some changes before you start your course. For the very latest module information, please contact us.

First Year

ARC 101 Communication 1 (10 credits)

ARC 102 Communication 2 (10 credits)

ARC 125 Architectural Design 1 (30 credits)

ARC 126 Architectural Design 2 (30 credits)

ARC 103 Humanities 1 (10 credits)

ARC 104 Humanities 2 (10 credits)

ARC 107 Environment & Technology 1 (10 credits)

ARC 108 Environment & Technology 2 (10 credits)

Second Year

ARC 202 Communication 4 (10 credits)

ARC 225 Architectural Design 3 (30 credits)

ARC 226 Architectural Design 4 (30 credits)

ARC 221 Computer Aided Design (10 credits)

ARC 203 Humanities 3 (10 credits)

ARC 204 Humanities 4 (10 credits)

ARC 207 Environment & Technology 3 (10 credits)

ARC 208 Environment & Technology 4 (10 credits)

Third Year

ARC 303 Humanities 5 (10 credits)

ARC 308 Environment and Technology 6 (10 credits)

ARC 327 Advanced Structures and Environment (10 credits)

ARC 328 Management Practice Law (10 credits)

ARC 325 Architectural Design 5 (30 credits)

ARC 326 Architectural Design 6 (30 credits)

ARC 322 Special study (20 credits)

An introduction to a year 3 final project

As part of their year 3 project our BA Architecture students were asked to design a new building for the University of Sheffield campus. Students had just 12 weeks to consider all aspects of building design, before presenting their work to their peers, tutors and industry professionals.

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Student experiences

Each year we attract excellent students to this course who all contribute to a socially vibrant and academically challenging environment. Here they share their experiences of studying in Sheffield.

Laura Turner
BA Architecture

Why did you decide to study this course at Sheffield?

Out of the other schools I was considering, Sheffield had the most exciting sounding studio briefs. I was also impressed by the studio spaces with the beautiful views over Sheffield, and the dedication of the staff.

What have you enjoyed about the course?

While I love the work I do on the course, I have mostly enjoyed the social aspect. Not only have I met my best friends on the course, but the whole atmosphere is very supportive - a family away from home!

What skills have you gained while studying in Sheffield?

As well as a strong set of creative design skills, I have developed my time management, people skills and leadership skills. In particular, team working has massively contributed to all of these abilities and I can confidently solve design problems and communicate my work to a range of different people.

How do you think your degree experience will help you in your career?

The degree has had its challenges and learning to overcome these is a great thing to be able to do as an Architect. It has developed my confidence and has encouraged me to have my own design style which will help me stand out in job applications.

How has studying at Sheffield informed the way you think about the subject?

Sheffield's strong social ethos has filtered into my design work. I think sensitively about how my designs might help improve communities and the lives of others. We also have a diverse range of lectures throughout the course, and there are many opportunities to explore all kinds of routes, so you can become the kind of designer you want to be.

What career aspirations do you currently have for after you graduate?

I aspire to do my Part 1 placement year before continuing to my Masters.

What advice would you give to a new Sheffield student?

My advice would be to get involved with everything you can, be open minded and push yourself!

What is your favourite thing about Sheffield?

As a city, Sheffield is full of hidden gems which you will discover as you do each project. It's a very friendly, safe city which feels like home almost immediately, and the Peaks are just on your doorstep.

Year 3 Final Project - Student Stories

Join our 3rd year BA Architecture students as they attempt to design a new building for the University of Sheffield campus.

Graduate profiles

After completing their undergraduate degree, many of our graduates go on to work in an architectural practice for a year or more before returning to University to study their masters.

Here, some recent graduates have shared their experiences of their Year in Practice.

Travis Alan Mills

What knowledge, skills or values developed at Sheffield have you brought into practice?

From studying at Sheffield, I have been able to develop a response to architecture, which differs to many other schools. Sheffield graduates can form opinion not merely based on an aesthetic, but rather a developed response considering, social, contextual and sustainable resourcing. Not to mention our ability to draw! Throughout my degree, I found the use of CAD to be very advantageous, and when used correctly can be a very powerful tool, one which is used throughout practice.

Practice BDP
Location Manchester
Undergraduate course BA Architecture
Year of completion 2016
Position Part 1 Architectural Assistant

Travis Alan MillsWhat type of projects have you been working on and what are your main roles and responsibilities?

I typically work on stages 0-3 which has allowed me to develop knowledge regarding the procurement of projects leading up to detailed design. My ability to consider environmental reasoning behind decisions has been beneficial in practice. My most recent project is a bid located in Asia and the environmental challenges are very different to any the team have worked on before. However, I have been able to advise on the key principles we can apply to the project to further develop this.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The variety. Every day is a new opportunity to improve on the previous day’s work and push the project forward. This was especially apparent when I first started at BDP. Being on a project for three months was a very rewarding process and highlighted the importance of always reviewing produced work. Practice is a very social place, in which you are able to completely be yourself. There is no need to feel competitive with your colleagues as you all work together. This feeling of being fully involved, valued and trusted is one of the most enjoyable aspects of working at BDP.

Where do you see yourself in future?

Even through this short time at BDP, I know I wish to follow in their footsteps of integrated and involved design. I wish to start my own practice one day, focusing on the ability to offer a varied, yet complete package of work. I always admired those on the dual courses and their ability to integrate two disciplines. I wish to emulate this in my own practice.

Sarah Edwards

What knowledge, skills or values developed at Sheffield have you brought into practice?

The real social focus and conscience of Sheffield has been a strong value i’ve been keen to bring forward into practice, as it aligns with the principles and approach that Associated Architects strive for. Developing skills to design responsive architecture for all the people that may engage with it, and using all the practical knowledge gained to achieve that. Also, the multidisciplinary nature and team spirit of Sheffield has really helped me within a dynamic team working environment, giving me the confidence to formulate and express my ideas and opinions during projects and design reviews.

Practice Associated Architects
Location Birmingham
Undergraduate course BA Architecture
Graduation 2016
Position Part 1 Architectural Assistant

Sarah EdwardsWhat are the best things about working in this type of practice?

Working in a large practice allows you to work cohesively in a team with a range of roles as well as work collaboratively across multiple teams where discussions can happen in a group environment. A wide range of people working in the practice creates a sense of community and a platform for ideas, influences and input. The breadth of expertise and experience within the studio continuously offers opportunities for guidance and learning, with exposure to large and high profile projects and competitions, due to the reputation of the practice.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I’m really enjoying my job, primarily due to its variety. Every day holds diverse tasks, challenges and an array of different people. The exposure to new and dynamic projects makes my year in practice exciting and worthwhile. In addition, feeling part of a team makes work rewarding, as we are working towards the same goal. As I work across numerous design stages, the expertise I have learnt from various members of the team and practice highlights that small design decisions can make a large impact, meaning that ensuring high quality design is paramount.

Where do you see yourself in future?

I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience so far and I see myself taking an extended period in practice, so that I can further develop and continue to work on engaging projects, which have been challenging, yet exciting.

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