This extended degree is an intensive foundation year (Year 0), which will allow you to progress on to one of our architecture or interior design undergraduate degree courses at The Cass. It is both preparatory and diagnostic, meaning you’ll gain the skills required for your subsequent three years of study as well as giving you the opportunity to explore a number of different directions before choosing your future BA course at the end of the year.
You’ll begin by undertaking a broad range of short studio and workshop projects in visual and practical making. These will help you develop skills and techniques that are common across all our extended degree courses and are followed by short projects that focus more specifically on architecture and interior design. During these subject-specific projects you’ll have the opportunity to explore spatial and orthogonal drawing, inhabitation, materials, process, modelling, structure, scale, surface, texture and light.
All our extended degree programmes allow you to develop techniques in observational, technical and creative drawing; 2D and 3D composition; framing; sequence/series and narrative, as well as studio and workshop skills. You’ll also attend lectures and seminars, which will frame creative practice within historical, contemporary, conceptual and cultural contexts.
You’ll present work-in-progress and finished projects to peers and tutors on a regular basis, preparing you for the public exhibition at the end of year. This will help you to explore your abilities and guide you towards establishing an individual focus and direction.
By the end of your foundation year you’ll have produced a substantial portfolio of work that will allow you to progress on to one of The Cass’s architecture or interior design undergraduate degree courses. You’ll also have developed as a confident, creative and socially-engaged practitioner with the ability to make more informed decisions about your own work within the context of the creative field you go on to study.
You'll be assessed through coursework and a design portfolio.
Your coursework will take the form of an annotated workbook which will contain evidence of your work processes, reflective work practice and growing awareness of the cultural context of the discipline.
Your design portfolio will be comprised of a collection of A1 sheets relating to design projects, showing process and resolution and will show your development in subject-specific making and representation skills.
The one-year foundation level of the Architecture and Interior Design Extended Degree course can lead to the Architecture BA (Hons) pathway. Progression onto the first year of the Architecture degree course is subject to successful completion of all modules on the foundation year of the Extended Degree. Successful completion of the Architecture BA undergraduate degree (three years) will lead to accreditation from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA part 1), a professional accreditation awarded to students on their way to becoming a fully accredited architects.
In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:
We encourage applications from International/EU students with equivalent qualifications. We also accept mature students with diverse backgrounds and experiences.
Suitable applicants living in the UK will be invited to a portfolio interview. Applicants living outside the UK will be required to submit a small portfolio of work via email. Please see our portfolio guidelines page for more information.
All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.
The modules listed below are for the academic year 2018/19 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.
Year 0 modules include:
The Critical and Contextual Studies module introduces a range of cultural and contextual practices and is diagnostic in helping students to identify areas of reading, writing, information gathering and research in relation to their abilities, needs and aspirations. The intention is to prepare students for critical and theoretical work in Higher Education.
The focus of the Critical and Contextual Studies module is on the ability to ask questions and find answers; specifically, those bearing on architecture, art, design and media in the broad sense and to the conventional means to present these. The experience of the module is structured by a sequence of three submissions: an initial patchwork assignment that includes a Learning Reflection element, an analysis of the works of a particular creative practitioner and a final submission is a self-directed essay.
The contents include answers to questions that range from practical or theoretical ‘how to’ or ‘what is’ exercises; to simple ‘what do you think?’ form of analysis or reflection; to complex structured responses in the form of the essay.
The module is constructed around three core blocks of intensive study. Each block has a thematic structure to allow the exploration of different topics and approaches, for example: ‘Contexts’, ‘Connections’, ‘Themes in creative practice’. The first assessment includes the Learning Reflection element.
The module aims to motivate and aid the student to find out about and engage in the practice and culture of architecture, art, design and media. The module should help inform the student about their future direction of study as well as providing useful insights into their potential and abilities. Students learn how to ask and begin to answer questions about the discipline they are interested in and its broader context. They should acquire a portfolio of methodological and critical writing and communication skills that enable them and know how to apply themselves to the various forms of study and assessment ahead following progression to the next level in Higher Education.
The Formats module is in a relatively objective position in relation to the Project and Techniques modules; whereas their focus is on aspects of an individual’s creative practice Formats addresses what is shared or common across creative practices, such as colour, composition, having and using ideas, collecting and categorising, curating, presenting and exhibiting. It is used to integrate the individual project-related work with knowledge, methods and formats from creative practice more widely.
Relations are explored between individual creative practice and other creative practices through producing work in different digital and analogue formats – including document, journal, process diary, book, album, brochure, instruction manual, worksheet, competition entry, exhibition, pop-up event, etc.
The different formats relate to ways of working and ways of thinking presented in different contexts; acting as multifunctional/responsive spaces that uses a range or combination of materials, methods and presentation environments, eg drawing, painting, photography, collage, transcribing, recording, notation, animation, film, commentary, diagram, on-line algorithm, collection and categorising, mind-maps, and ‘Thinking Hats’, etc.
There is an emphasis on the process of learning from self-evaluation and critical reflection towards propositions using both prescribed tasks and imaginative/conceptual interpretation eg colour theory – wheels/ swatches/ assemblage; reflection/ illustrated journal; composition/ narrative; exhibition/ publication; teamwork/ peer review; collecting/ curating, etc.
The module develops evidence of independent and discriminating thought and action in the research, approach and development of creative work using existing knowledge alongside diverse experience, self-reflection and critical reflection to learn about, understand and develop creative practice.
It introduces practical strategies for the formation and growth of nascent creative work and ideas; and seeks to introduce methods of thinking, recording, collecting, documenting, reading, mapping, reworking, reflecting and evaluating to evolve creative habits. It aims to evidence increasing subject-area knowledge and to develop understanding of the relationship between practical, conceptual and intellectual methods associated with different creative practices.
It encourages self-assessment of skills and knowledge to contribute to and participate in team-work and collaborative outcomes. It guides navigation between the rigorous/professional (criteria, formats and deadlines) and the imaginative/innovative (novelty, diversity and questioning).
A project develops ideas through conceptual and material processes towards outcomes that can be evaluated in relation to the initial idea; and other related contexts that may arise during the time-frame of the project. The Project module is an introduction to the project as a key feature of creative practice.
The projects in the Project module vary considerably in aim, structure and duration to reflect their application in a wide range of creative practices. The definition, implementation, development and outcome of the projects is transferred from tutor to student as the course proceeds. The projects are inherently student-centred with course demands satisfied by developing the student’s independent inquiry, discovery and production.
Each project requires direct engagement, participation and responsibility in relation to ideas, productivity and the reflection on and evaluation of creative work.
Practical elements of project-work are built-up by a close relation with the Techniques module. Critical reflection and self-evaluation encourage the development of self-organisation and effective time-management.
The Project module provides a broad, varied, stimulating and diagnostic experience of a range of creative practices that allows for self- assessment of individual interests and aptitudes towards developing a creative practice in relation to making an informed choice of a progression pathway ahead.
It enables the development of a productive, disciplined and critical approach to visual and practical enquiry; and to individual independent thinking, making and communicating. It develops the individual’s portfolio of work in a distinctive and ambitious way as evidence of a personal creative practice in the context of a specific subject area. Assignments and study trips will open up London as a source of limitless research potential and creativity.
The Techniques module delivers the skills-based, technical aspects of creative practices in relation having, developing and resolving ideas through processes towards media/material outcomes. It concerns the quality of making, considerations of care, appropriateness and endeavour. It encourages recognition of the intrinsic formal and structural qualities of different media as essential elements in visual/aural communication. The module involves a series of learning experiences that introduce and develop many of the key skills and techniques needed for a range of making practices across various subject areas; the outcomes are in the context of and further developed in close relation with the Project module.
The Techniques module introduces a wide range of materials, methods, techniques and processes to make work in a broad sense. It is closely aligned with the Project module to develop understanding of the limitations and potential of selected media, materials and techniques in the development project work. Responsible attitudes aligned to ethical and professional contexts are applied and considered in relation to imaginative experimentation and exploitation for innovation.
The Techniques module links the analysis and evaluation of technical quantitative properties with qualitative aesthetic discernment and judgment and introduces a common vocabulary, technical/professional language, core skills and reference models. It introduces safe and appropriate studio/workshop/site practice.
"Year 0 helped me release my creativity. By learning new representation techniques, now I am able to express my ideas more freely, making them more immediate than before."
Iza Sasaran (First year student)
"The course provided me with a set of tools that prepared me for a different way of thinking about my work. As a student in the third year of studying architecture I very much still look back at Year 0 as what built the foundation for the skills I possess today."
Stefan Hurrell (Third year BA Architecture student)
"Attending Year 0 was extremely helpful as I did not have any previous experience or arts qualifications. The course gave a good basis for further studies as I learned to think in a much more creative way."
Jutti Lami (Third year BA Interior Architecture student)
On completion of Year 0 you'll have the opportunity to progress directly onto Year 1 of a range of BA degree courses including Architecture, Interior Architecture Design, Interior Design, Interior Design and decoration, as well as many others. Depending on your BA, you could find employment after graduation as an architectural assistant in practice, a junior designer with interior design companies working in the feilds of retail, leisure, offices or residential design. You could also pursue other design-related jobs including exhibition work, retail and project management.
Alternatively, you could follow in the footsteps of other past graduates who have been successful in starting up independent design practices, securing design pitches and winning competitions.
Extended degrees provide applicants with an alternative route into higher education. If you do not have traditional qualifications or cannot meet the entry requirements for an undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing an extended degree. Extended degrees include a Year 0, which is also known as a foundation year. Once you successfully complete your first year of study you will progress into Year 1 of an undergraduate degree.
Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.
Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.
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If you're a UK/EU applicant applying for full-time study you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified.
UK/EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University.
Non-EU applicants for full-time study may choose to apply via UCAS or apply direct to the University. Non-EU applicants looking to study part-time should apply direct to the University. If you require a Tier 4 (General) student visa, please be aware that you will not be able to study as a part-time student at undergraduate level.
The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) accepts applications for full-time courses starting in September one year before the start of the course. Our UCAS institution code is L68.
If you will be applying direct to the University you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only be able to consider your application if there are places available on the course.
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Wednesday 1 May 2019, 6pm
Inaugural professorial lecture by Dr. Jos Boys.
Students from The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design showcase their talent with a season of summer events.
Architecture students explore materials and technology at Mudchute Farm workshop sponsored by Södra Wood
Cass Foundation students test their creativity against search engine giant's algorithms
Graphic novel co-authored by The Cass foundation lecturer Luke Jones and architecture tutor Anna Mill will be published by Jonathan Cape.
Students from The Cass recently participated in Window Wanderland, an international festive initiative developed by a Cass alumna.
Foundation students at The Cass exhibit over 2000 sculptures in pop-up plasticine exhibition
A group of Diploma Architecture students are working with the 15th Fulham Scout Group to create a live construction project.
Susanna Edwards has been asked to use her expertise to visualise what Southampton will be like in 2117.
In celebration of its students, alumni, new home and London Design Festival, The Cass plays host to a series of exhibitions and workshops this September.
Art courses ranked second best in London again for student satisfaction, while the School of Computing and Digital Media's Maths course scores 10/10 for ‘Value Added’.
7 December, 4–6pm
An exhibition of the latest work by 150 foundation year students at The Cass.
10 June - 2 July 2016
Dates have been announced for this year's Cass Summer Show art exhibitions.