BEng Architecture


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

The programme provides you with a comprehensive foundation in architecture. The curriculum is centred on progressively articulated design studios, where students are confronted with various scales of design, from small buildings to the urban dimension, and with the issue of sustainability in all its facets and implications.

These are complemented each semester by lecture-based modules ranging from the theory of architecture and philosophy of arts to materials, construction and environmental design, from urban studies to professional practice. Unlike other programmes, history of Asian and western architecture is both integrated and equally important in the curriculum.

This is the first Bachelor of Architecture at a Chinese university to receive validation from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The Institute commended the department for “creating a distinctive environment in which students learn from an international and Chinese context with an ambition to produce a new type of graduate, with an emphasis on human-centred architecture, for the emerging global context".

Why Should I Study Architecture At XJTLU?

  • Graduate from a programme accredited by RIBA and receive Part 1 validation, with the possibility to register for a Part 2-validated Master through the “Global Professional Architect Track”;
  • Enjoy field trips, internships and study opportunities in China and abroad, including the chance to complete your education at the University of Liverpool or to spend Year Three at Politecnico di Torino in Italy;
  • Participate in local and international workshops with world-famous architects, as well as guest lectures, exhibitions, competitions and conferences;
  • Learn from award-winning international academics and highly-engaged technicians;
  • Study in world-class facilities including dedicated design studios open 24/7, a materials library, and fabrication and printing workshops equipped with printers, laser cutters, robotic arms and 3D printers;
  • Enjoy the opportunity to be published in the XJTLU Architecture Yearbook or to be featured in one of the exhibitions organised by the department every year;
  • Experience an architecturally outstanding location, famous for its classical UNESCO World Heritage gardens and architecture and 30 minutes by train from Shanghai;
  • Earn two degrees: an XJTLU degree from the Chinese Ministry of Education and a globally recognised degree from the University of Liverpool, a member of the Russell Group of leading UK universities.

RIBA Validation

The BEng Architecture programme has become the first programme of its kind at a Chinese university to receive validation by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), thus demonstrating XJTLU's commitment to providing world-class, internationally recognised education to students from China and abroad.

The Royal Institute commended the Department of Architecture and its staff for “creating a distinctive environment in which students learn from an international and Chinese context with an ambition to produce a new type of graduate, with an emphasis on human-centred architecture, for the emerging global context."

Knowledge and skills

By the time you graduate from the BEng Architecture programme, you will have:

  • fluency in the productive use of analogue and digital design tools and media;
  • an understanding of processes that form and transform urban space, principles of structure and construction, environmental control, and professional practice, as well as knowledge of conventional and innovative materials, processes and techniques related to architectural design and construction;
  • the ability to generate competitive, creative and critical design proposals and the skills and media methods to communicate these proposals clearly and effectively;
  • knowledge of architectural history and theory in both the Chinese and international context, as well as an understanding of the role of the architect in the construction industry;
  • the ability to evaluate evidence, arguments and assumptions in order to make and present sound judgments both within architectural design discourse and beyond.



Year One

UK degrees are three years long whereas in China they are four, therefore we do accept students with certain qualifications directly into Year Two, which is the start of the main academic programme. Most students, however, enter into Year One, which provides you with a range of interesting modules, language classes and core skills for your degree.

  • Introduction to Architecture and Visual Culture
  • Architectural Representation and Communication
  • Additional Modules required by the University

Year Two

Year Two provides the basis for the subsequent years of the programme. You will be introduced to the history and theory of architecture, building science, structure and construction as well as building technology.

Experimental studio modules introduce you to the presentation, modelling and design of architectural spaces and small buildings.

Year Three

In Year Three, you will pursue design projects that require the integration of a more complex range of contextual parameters. You will continue to learn about building technology and the history and theory of architecture and urban developments.

Year Four

In the final year, you will demonstrate an understanding of the complexity of architectural design processes from initial concepts to the design of buildings, taking into account human needs and desires as well as structural, material and environmental considerations.

Modules on digital design and building technology, theory, aesthetics and professional practice are designed to support the studio tasks. In Year Four, you will have the opportunity to select studio projects from a series of parallel briefs.


Graduates from this programme find excellent opportunities for employment and further education in architecture and its related disciplines, including other creative industries. Most of the graduates continue their studies in international postgraduate programmes. Our alumni have gone on to study at some of the universities ranked at the very top in the field, including the Bartlett at University College London, McGill University, the National University of Singapore, Politecnico di Milano, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Sydney. Our graduates have also secured employment in acclaimed international and Chinese practices such as Arata Isozaki, Arup, David Chipperfield, Farrells, Neri&Hu, and Tong Ming Studio.

With a dual degree, RIBA validation, and strong communication skills developed through English language support and Chinese courses for international students, opportunities for postgraduate studies and professional careers in China and internationally are endless. Additionally, XJTLU offers its students a direct path to becoming a global professional architect by allowing them to register directly for the Master in Architectural Design during the first year of their studies*. The students can then bypass the application process upon graduation and become professional architects earlier in their careers.

*Final registration and progression depend on completing all the necessary courses requirements and fulfilment of progression criteria.


International students

RMB 88,000 per academic year.

Early bird discount

All international who accept their offer by 1 May 2020 will automatically qualify for an RMB 8,000 early bird discount

Join a free Chinese language course

We now offer a free summer Chinese language course for all undergraduate and postgraduate students starting their degree in September 2020.

Choose from a two-week, four-week or six-week language course.

Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan students

RMB 88,000 per academic year.

Early bird discount

All Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao students who accept their offer by 1 May 2020 will automatically qualify for an RMB 8,000 early bird discount.

Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan students who apply to XJTLU through the Joint Entrance Examination on the governmental online application system (Education Examination Authority of Guangdong Province) will automatically qualify for an RMB 8,000 early bird discount.

Mainland Chinese students

RMB 88,000 per academic year.

Entry Requirements

International students

Entry into Year One

We welcome applications from high-quality candidates in all subjects with appropriate high school or equivalent qualifications. Students will normally be expected to have a high standing in their high school performance with a minimum ‘B’ average in all subjects as well as relevant subjects.

Entry into Year Two

Students who have completed A-levels or International Baccalaureate (or equivalent) will be considered for entry into Year Two, different programmes have different subject-relevant requirements.

  • A-level: BBB
  • IB Diploma: 30 points
  • Advanced Placement Tests/Subject SATS--High school diploma with a GPA of 3.0 or above, plus:
    • Redesigned SAT: 1280+ (students that took the SATs previous to 2016 will require 1800+) or ACT: 27, and 2 AP examinations: 4+ or 2 SAT subject tests: 600+ or
    • 3 AP examinations: 4+ or
    • 3 SAT subjects: 600+

Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan students

Students from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan may apply with the following:

  • A minimum grade of 400 on the Joint Entrance Examination to Chinese Universities for Overseas Chinese Students and Students from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, or
  • General Scholastic Ability Test (GSAT) ranking of at least the top 50 per cent for 4 subjects, including English and Maths. For detailed information see information in Chinese.

English language requirements

For international applicants, if you are a non-native English speaker, or if you have not previously studied in English, you must have satisfactory English language skills to study at XJTLU. Various English qualifications are accepted:

Year One entry

  • IELTS: 5.0
  • TOEFL: 62 (iBT)

Year Two entry

  • IELTS 6.5
  • TOEFL: 90 (iBT)

English qualifications are not required for students from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan who take the Joint Examination or the GSAT.

Students who are entering into Year One with less than IELTS 6.0 or equivalent in their English proficiency will take 10 credits EAP, and students with IELTS 6.5 or above will take five credits EAP.

"The Bachelor of Architecture at XJTLU offers a unique perspective on the challenges faced by contemporary designers operating in a fast-changing world. Students learn to develop a critical approach to architecture from, and in response to, complexity and contradictions."

Marco Cimillo
Programme Director

How To Apply

The architecture programme at XJTLU is ambitious, reflecting the demands and challenges professional architects are facing. Studies in architecture, in general, require an exceptional mix of strengths besides purely academic ones. These include strong creativity, visualisation (3D thinking and drawing) skills, aesthetic sensitivity, the ability to develop and to communicate complex ideas professionally and under time pressure as well as excellent self‐motivation and self‐management. Architecture students without these strengths face great difficulties during their studies. For these reasons, there is an architecture-specific process for the admission to the BEng Architecture.

The architecture admission process at XJTLU requires candidates to present evidence or potential of their creative abilities and their commitment to the field of architecture. In 2015, around two-thirds of the applicants were admitted to the BEng Architecture on the basis of a portfolio and statement produced in an on-site workshop during semester one of Year One.

All applicants interested in architecture need to also go through the regular XJTLU application process. Mainland Chinese candidates, please visit the how to apply page.

International applicants should submit their application via our online application system:

  1. Click/tap the apply link
  2. Create an account or log in to your existing account
  3. Complete your application

Once your application account is successfully created, enter all the information required in the application form carefully and make sure the information you provide is correct, complete and up to date. For application to the BEng Architecture, you are asked to submit a portfolio. Subsequently, you will be invited for an online application interview. However, please notice that you do not have to submit your portfolio during your initial application. The portfolio file can also be submitted later, after having completed and submitted the initial online application.

Please see the application guidelines for details related to the admission process for international applicants to the BEng Architecture programme. The guidelines also specify the requirements for the portfolio and provide information about the application interview.

You may log-in to view your application form at any time.

For further details of how to successfully apply to study at XJTLU, please visit the how to apply page.

Last updated Apr 2020

About the School

Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) is an international joint venture university founded by Xi’an Jiaotong University in China and the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom in 2006. ... Read More

Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) is an international joint venture university founded by Xi’an Jiaotong University in China and the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom in 2006. Read less