Architectural Education at the WSA

The wsa offers all the qualifications necessary to become a registered architect in the United Kingdom, and has a reputation for producing graduates with the ability to cope well with the diverse demands of practice. In particular, the School emphasises an holistic, integrated approach to design, based on both a thorough understanding of how buildings are made and how they perform. This is founded on the physical and the cultural context within which buildings are produced and inhabited.

The BSc in Architectural Studies is a three-year undergraduate degree scheme. It satisfies Part 1 of the UK professional qualification for architects and is approved by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Architects' Registration Board (ARB).

The MArch (Master of Architecture) is a unique two-year degree scheme, taken after the BSc (or equivalent qualification from another university). It satisfies Part  2 of the UK professional qualification for architects, and is approved by the RIBA and ARB. The first year of the MArch -the year of education in practice - is spent predominantly in architectural practice. It includes three short courses, held in the School, and has a modular structure of associated coursework. The second year of the MArch is spent full-time in the School and takes students to an advanced level of architectural design. It offers an intense and lively forum for the exploration and discussion of contemporary issues in architecture, and also includes courses in building economics and professional practice.

Undergraduate programme Graduate programme Postgraduate programme
Year 6
  MSc in Sustainable Design
MSc in Environmental Design (also available as Distance Learning)
MSc in Building Performance Modelling
MA Urban design

Teaching Methods and Assessment

In the School the studio is the focus of activity, the location for design teaching and learning, model-making, tutorials, workshops and debate. The studios are also used for exhibitions and interim and final 'crits' - at which students display their work for critical discussion and assessment by staff, peers and visiting critics. Design projects are supplemented by design-related exercises - primer projects, precedent studies, environmental design evaluations, tectonic analyses - and by study visits in the UK and abroad.

Design tuition is provided by the permanent staff of the School and by part-time tutors who are talented architects working in practice. Visiting Professors, including such eminent practitioners as Ed Jones, Andrew Taylor and Pankaj Patel contribute to the leadership of design teaching in the School through lectures, tutorials, crits and seminars. Within the School design teaching is led by Prof Richard Weston and Prof Peter Salter, who was recognised for his excellence in teaching in 2004 when he won the RIBA Annie Spink Award. Contact time with staff is high, and students receive regular verbal and written feedback on their progress. Design projects and related exercises are assessed continuously through the year. At the end of each session, a portfolio of all design-related work is presented for formal examination.

To complete the architect's education, the School also offers a Diploma/MA degree in Professional Studies, which satisfies Part 3 of the UK qualification for architects, approved by the RIBA and ARB. More detailed information on this qualification follows in the Taught Masters section.

A range of opportunities are available for study at advanced levels, through a comprehensive taught Masters programme as well as through research with MPhil and PhD options. These higher degrees are suitable for students wishing to pursue a career in the built environment and include: the well-established and internationally renowned MSc in Environmental Design, MSc in Theory and Practice of Sustainable Design, MA in Urban Design and MSc in Sustainable Energy and Environment.