Undergraduate Frequently Asked Questions

I've already done my A-levels but didn't get the grades I needed. Should I re-sit?

Our general expectation is to take students who have obtained their A-level (or equivalent) qualifications in one sitting. (Taking A-levels a year early is fine.) Spending a year retaking single units of an A-level to improve an overall grade will not be looked upon favourably by the admissions panel: as with the 2+2 situation above, it is expected that for the majority of applicants, they can perform to the required level while sustaining a full academic workload. Having to accumulate the required grades over a number of years is generally an unsuitable preparation for the architecture degree.

Do you accept Art & Design Foundation Diplomas (eg. Edexcel BTEC Level 3 or 4 Foundation Diploma in Art & Design)?

Our normal expectation is that, where applicants have had the opportunity, they achieve their academic qualifications and meet our academic entrance requirements in one sitting, and that qualifications are therefore studied concurrently not sequentially. Some of our applicants choose to study for a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (Diploma in Foundation Studies - Art and Design: eg. Edexcel BTEC Level 3 or Level 4 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design) after completing A levels, and in these cases our expectation is that our minimum academic entrance requirement of AAA has already been achieved. Applications are always considered on a case by case basis.

If an applicant is studying an Foundation Diploma in Art and Design alongside A levels, our normal offer would be Diploma in Foundation Studies (Art and Design) with Distinction plus AA at A level in acceptable subjects. In all cases we would expect applicants to meet our art and design portfolio requirement.

Will I receive notification that you have received my Design Portfolio?

Due to the volume of portfolios we receive, we are unable to contact you individually to inform you that we have received your portfolio. If you successfully sent your portfolio to the e-mail address given to you in the letter of request, we will be in receipt of it.

Can you provide me with guidance about my portfolio before I submit?

You can download our guide to submitting your art and design portfolio by visiting the applying pages. Unfortunately, we are unable to advise individuals about the content of their portfolio.

Will I receive individual feedback about my portfolio?

We are unable to provide you with individual feedback about your portfolio. Because competition for our places is high, you may be in receipt of a reject notification despite achieving, or expecting to achieve, very strong grades, because we feel that your portfolio does not meet our expectations for admission to the School.

Can I apply for direct entry to level 2 or 3? In exceptional circumstances, applicants have been accepted for direct entry to level two. These rare cases usually involve applicants who have a considerable amount of experience working in allied professions within the construction industry. To be considered for level 2 entry you would have to apply through UCAS. Our University regulations do not allow direct entry to level 3. (You need to have studied at The University of Sheffield for at least two years before you can get a degree from this university.)
I am currently studying at another university. Can I change university to study architecture at Sheffield?

Students of other universities can apply to transfer to Sheffield but they always have to do this through the UCAS system. We only consider transfer applications in exceptional circumstances. If you are a student at another university who is considering transferring to Sheffield, please get in touch directly and we will advise you whether the transfer is feasible. Please be aware that we normally only consider applicants who are studying an RIBA part 1 validated architecture programme and that you will still need to meet our standard entrance requirements.

Can I study in Sheffield for one semester/year on an exchange programme?

We welcome students on exchange programmes to the School of Architecture. There is more information available about our application procedures at www.sheffield.ac.uk/ieu.

Can I go on international Exchange as part of my studies?

Our school is part of the Erasmus exchange scheme. Students who do Erasmus usually go abroad during their second year, and usually for one semester. There is more information about Erasmus and other opportunities to study abroad at www.sheffield.ac.uk/ieu.

Can I learn or develop a foreign language as part of my studies?

You can continue learning languages you have studied previously, or you can start learning a new language from scratch; the university offers an extensive range of extra-curricular language courses. These will not be a formal part of your degree teaching, nor form part of your degree assessment. Further information can be found at www.shef.ac.uk/mltc/courses.

I've just received my exam results. How do I confirm my exam results to you?

If your exam results are not automatically reported to UCAS (your school, college or testing centre can advise you here) you will need to send copies of your results (including certificates and transcripts where available) to the University of Sheffield Admissions Service.

What are BTEC relevant subject areas?

BTEC Relevant subject areas include Applied Science, Art and Design, Business, Construction and the Built Environment, Engineering, IT.

Do you accept the UAL Extended Diploma in Art and Design?

We will consider the UAL Extended Diploma in Art and Design when studied alongside one acceptable A-level subject on a case by case basis.