BSc Hons in Architectural Studies

University of Strathclyde: Faculty of Engineering

Program Description

BSc Hons in Architectural Studies

University of Strathclyde: Faculty of Engineering

Why this course?

Strathclyde’s Department of Architecture is among the oldest and largest such departments in the UK and is internationally recognized as one of the most socially active schools of architecture in Europe with "projects rooted in real urban concerns" (DOMUS Europe's Top Schools 2014).

Our aim is to produce graduates suitably prepared to meet the architectural demands of the 21st century.

Studying your degree with us, you'll develop creative design skills, and learn about construction techniques, materials, and environment informed by an understanding of architectural history, culture, and theory.

You'll be taught to communicate and collaborate in an international studio environment by both academics and professional architects.

What you’ll study

Year 1

Design Studies 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D: The first design studio project will introduce you to the whole of the architectural design process: from conceptualization and inception, through design development and resolution, to full-size realization and construction. Subsequent projects will develop design methodologies to enable you to design your first building.

Further Year 1 classes are:

  • Experiencing Architecture: a compulsory series of discussion seminars and communications skills workshops supporting the Design Studies programme
  • Cultural Studies 1: we encourage you to develop confidence in observing and commenting on the architecture of all periods, and to express yourself clearly and accurately in spoken and written communication
  • Technology Studies 1: this class introduces you to areas such as building structures; construction processes; building physics; and sustainability and environmental responsibility and control

Year 2

Design Studies 2A, 2B, 2C: You'll work on a series of increasingly complex architectural projects set in a Scottish context, which are supported by the Experiencing Architecture 2 programme.

Further Year 2 classes are:

  • Cultural Studies 2: you'll be introduced to some of the key issues, historical movements and events that have shaped and structured the modern built and cultural environment. This includes an introduction to the origins of the modern city: from the birth of capitalism to the European avant-garde
  • Technology Studies 2: you'll have the chance to expand your knowledge of structural and construction systems and discover more about environmental engineering design skills
  • Elective Class: in second-year, you'll choose an elective class from the University Class Catalogue

Year 3

Design Studies 3A, 3B: you'll undertake two projects in a dense urban context, the latter project being an undergraduate thesis.

Further Year 3 classes are:

  • Cultural Studies 3: you'll undertake an evaluation of cultural theory and architectural history focusing on issues related to the modern movement in architecture
  • Technology Studies 3: the third stage of this programme aims to develop a detailed understanding of structural, construction and environmental systems and an ability to integrate these systems within a complex architectural proposition
  • Introduction to Practice: you'll learn about the key features of the architectural profession and the construction industry. You'll complete a digital academic portfolio in line with the requirements of Part 1, ARB/RIBA professional accreditation

Year 4

You'll complete the Design Studies programme with classes 4A and 4B. The Cultural Studies 4 class will assist you in producing your final-year dissertation, working on an area of your own interest. The Special Study Project 4 allows Architectural Studies students to further the aims and outcomes of one of the key areas of the syllabus. This project is intended to link between taught coursework and potential Masters’ projects.

Work placement

RIBA/ARB Stage 1 (Part 1) Training

At the end of Year 3, we recommend our students break their academic studies to undertake a year of professional work experience in an architectural practice. Recent students have found placements in highly-regarded local and international practices in Glasgow, Stornoway, Oslo, Munich, Warsaw, London and Hong Kong.

International study

You'll have the opportunity to study abroad during Year 3 or Year 5 (subject to academic performance.) With agreements with 22 institutions across Europe, Canada the Far East and South America, our department has the most expansive international exchange programme in the UK. Students who undertake exchange in Year 3 convert their degree title to BSc Honours in Architectural Studies with International Study.



There are two fully-networked design studios; one dedicated to student self-study, the other to interactive design teaching.


In addition to the main University library, we've our own, on-site, reference library. Our collection is developed in direct response to the teaching delivered in the department.


A full range of hand and portable power tools are available (complete with instruction).

We offer plotter printing, scanning and laser cutting services.

Postgraduate study

After graduation, there are a number of options for further study.

  • The Master's route to ARB/RIBA Part 2 for the UK or European students is the MArch in Advanced Architectural Design
  • The Master's route for International students seeking RIBA Part 2 exemption is the MArch in Architectural Design (International)

You can also study for:

  • MSc/PgDip Urban Design
  • MSc/PgDip Architectural Design for the Conservation of Built Heritage
  • MSc/PgDip Sustainable Engineering: Architecture & Ecology

Student Competitions

Our students have been successful in winning many national and international competitions, including:

  • UrbanPromo
  • Building Design ‘Top 6’ UK
  • RIBA President's Medals
  • APS
  • the Royal Town Planning Institute
  • A+DS
  • SEDA

They've also been selected to take part in prestigious International Architecture Biennale.

Students are supported in making entries in an extensive annual competition programme:

  • the Glasgow Institute of Architects (GIA) recognizes the talent of the future profession through awards and commendations across all years of study
  • the Scottish Government's Policy on Architecture makes a firm commitment to student awards, jointly provided through the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) and Architecture and Design Scotland (A+DS)
  • as with the top national award from the Royal Institute of British Architects, The President's Medals, inclusion in publications and public exhibitions promotes work to a wide audience
  • the City of Glasgow Eimear Kelt Silver Medal is awarded annually by a panel of professional judges on behalf of Glasgow City Council, to the best project by a student at the Department of Architecture

Information on entering competitions and links to some award organizations are available on MyPlace in the student section for each year.


Accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

Accredited by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) for the purpose of eligibility for registration with that body.

Course content

Year 1

  • Design Studies 1A
  • Design Studies 1B
  • Design Studies 1C
  • Design Studies 1D
  • Experiencing Architecture 1
  • Cultural Studies 1
  • Technology Studies 1

Year 2

  • Design Studies 2A
  • Design Studies 2B
  • Design Studies 2C
  • Experiencing Architecture 2
  • Cultural Studies 2
  • Technology Studies 2
  • Elective Class

Year 3

  • Design Studies 3A
  • Design Studies 3B
  • Cultural Studies 3
  • Technology Studies 3
  • Introduction to Practice

Year 4

  • Design Studies 4A
  • Design Studies 4B
  • Cultural Studies 4
  • Special Study Project 4


Subject class assignments are based on coursework, and for design studies, there are both periodic (formative) reviews (student presentations) and final (summative) reviews of students’ project work, including:

  • drawings
  • models
  • photos
  • annotated sketches
  • notes
  • other outputs, individual and group projects

Cultural Studies is examined through both written and graphical assignments.

Technology Studies is examined through an assignment and a written examination.

ARB/RIBA Part 1: Portfolio

The first three years of academic study of the BSc in Architectural Studies, carries with it the professional status of Part 1, ARB/RIBA accreditation/validation. All students are expected to present a complete digital academic portfolio at the end of the academic session.

Learning & teaching

In addition to classes, lectures, and seminars, our teaching offers students a wide variety of educational experiences and unique development opportunities. These include:

  • Design Studio: design tutorials take place on a weekly basis. You'll be taught by our academics and by professional architects and engineers from local practices
  • Study trips: recent trips have been made to familiar architectural hotspots, including Barcelona, Rome, Paris, and Venice. We have also visited some less familiar sites, such as Gdansk (Poland), Toledo (Spain) and Monte Caruso (Italy)
  • Site visits: you'll have the chance to visit architectural sites in both urban and rural areas of Scotland. During these trips you'll examine, record, investigate and research the sites in response to a project brief
  • Live build: as an Architectural Studies student you'll explore construction techniques, programme scheduling, and material choice through hands-on build projects
  • Professional attributes: we help our students develop skills in self-critique, confidence building, and independent learning. We invite prominent experts to test students in an external examination interview process
  • Transferable skills: these include a verbal and visual presentation, a group working, research methods, creativity and adaptability
  • Clients and consultants: you'll gain skills in communication and networking by engaging with clients and consultants during project work. The clients and consultants include architects, artists, conservation specialists, engineers, urban designers and planners, funders, suppliers and representatives from community groups and local authorities

Guest lectures

Senior students and staff run an exciting programme of guest lectures aligned to department themes and topics allowing students to meet both emerging and established entrepreneurs and professionals. Recent speakers include:

  • Joan Callis, Benedetta Tagliabue EMBT, Architects to the Scottish Parliament
  • Prof Neil Spiller, Professor of Architecture and Digital Theory, Rachel Armstrong Senior Lecturer in Research and Enterprise, University of Greenwich
  • Murray Grigor, Photographer and Film Maker
  • Prof Ian Borden, Author, and Professor of Architecture, Bartlett, UCL
  • Richard Murphy OBE, Architect
  • Gordon Benson, Benson, and Forsyth. Museum of Scotland, National Museum of Ireland.
  • Professor C J Lim, Vice-Dean at The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment at University College London. Has 4 RIBA President’s Medals International Teaching Awards.
  • Chris McAvoy, Steven Holl Architects, Glasgow School of Art Reid Building

Entry requirements

Minimum grades

Required subjects are indicated following minimum accepted grades.


AAAB (English B, Maths or Physics B, Art or Art & Design B)

A Levels

Year 1 entry

  • BBB
  • Typical entry requirements: ABB
  • (Maths or Physics; GCSE Art & Design; GCSE English Language A or English Literature A)

Year 2 entry

  • not offered

European Baccalaureate

An overall average of 80%, with minimum 8 in Maths or Physics. No IELTS required.

International Baccalaureate

Diploma 34 points including Maths or Physics at HL5 and English at HL5. No IELTS required.


Year 1 entry: HND Architectural Technology or Interior Design with AA in Graded Units; Year 2 entry: not offered

Additional information

  • Deferred entry is accepted
  • Candidates likely to fulfill the entry requirements may be asked to submit a portfolio which should contain examples of a range of work providing evidence to indicate a creative and artistic ability

Widening access

We want to increase opportunities for people from every background. Strathclyde selects our students based on merit, potential and the ability to benefit from the education we offer. We look for more than just your grades. We consider the circumstances of your education and will make lower offers to certain applicants as a result.

Degree preparation course for international students

We offer international students (non-EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation year programme at the International Study Centre.

You can also complete the online application form, or to ask a question please fill in the inquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.


Career opportunities for Architectural Studies graduates range from working in large multidisciplinary practices to smaller specialist firms.

Many of our graduates are employed by highly-respected practices throughout the world, while others have set up their own businesses.

The broad-based nature of our degree programme has allowed many recent graduates to explore varied career options in for example web design, architectural model making, theatre set design and in computer games, film and music industries. Graduates have also undertaken research roles in the energy and low carbon industries.

Our department also has a growing reputation for developing entrepreneurial graduates, who go on to make their mark in the sector independently. Practices such as:

  • Page and Park
  • Nord
  • Collective
  • Dress for the Weather
  • Tog Studio
  • Lateral North

Where are they now?

95% of our graduates are in work or further study, six months after they graduate.*

Recent job titles include:

  • Architect
  • Author
  • Computer Graphics/Web Designer
  • Computer Games Designer
  • Model Maker/Physical & Virtual
  • Project Manager
  • Researcher
  • Teacher
  • Theatre/Stage Set Designer

Recent employers include:

  • Arup
  • WS Atkins
  • Foster and Partners
  • Ted Cullinan
  • Zaha Hadid
  • Rick Mather
  • HLM
  • Emilio Ambasz
  • Peter Eisenman
  • Rafael Moneo
  • Richard Meier
  • URS Corporation

*Based on the results of the national Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated March 9, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2018
4 years
Full time
1,820 GBP
United Kingdom - Glasgow, Scotland
Start date: Aug. 2018
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Aug. 2018
United Kingdom - Glasgow, Scotland
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Full-Time Tuition Per Academic Year: Scotland/EU £1,820; Rest of UK £9,250; International £15,600