Our Architecture (including foundation year) BA (Hons) is designed to offer an alternative route into higher education if you can’t meet the necessary entry requirements for the standard three-year degree. It’s also the ideal choice if you’d like to practise your skills before embarking on the bachelor's part of your degree to explore your potential within multiple creative practices.
On completion of this four-year degree you’ll receive exemption from RIBA Part 1 and you’ll be prepared to continue working towards Parts 2 and 3 to register as an architect with the Architects Registration Board (ARB).
The foundation year on this bachelor's course in architecture is an intensive year that will equip you with studio and workshop skills to help you progress on to more in-depth study of architecture in the subsequent three years of your degree. You’ll learn how to make informed decisions about your own work, become a creative practitioner and gain confidence to present and defend your work.
The foundation year will be shared with others studying a degree with a foundation year at The Cass, so the subjects you’ll study will not be directly linked to architecture but you’ll get to explore different creative practices. There is an emphasis on engagement with materials, forms and processes to develop your practical skills in all creative practices within the School. You’ll also attend lectures and seminars that will introduce you to of historical, contemporary and cultural contexts within a range of creative practices.
Following the foundation year you’ll join students studying the standard three-year degree and graduate with the same award and title as them. To find out more about the subsequent three years of your degree visit our Architecture BA (Hons) course page.
If you find that another discipline in The Cass will be more suited to your interests and abilities, there will be flexibility to allow you to change your specialism at the end of your foundation year.
During the foundation year your assessments will be based on a design portfolio of A1 sheets relating to design projects, showing your development in making and representation skills. You’ll also be assessed by coursework, which will take the form of an annotated workbook that evidences your work processes.
Following the foundation year you’ll be assessed according to the criteria set out by the Architects’ Registration Board (ARB) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). Project work will make up 50% of your mark and you’ll be assessed primarily on your demonstration of competence and the quality of the work in your portfolio.
In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:
You will need to attend an interview with your portfolio of creative work. If you live outside of the UK, you will be required to submit a small portfolio of work via email.
To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Tier 4 student visa you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.
If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.
The modules listed below are for the academic year 2019/20 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 1 modules include:
Critical and Contextual Studies (CCS) Level 4 aims to orient and critically engage students in the history and theory of their discipline, its extent and conventions, and its broader social and material context in culture and contemporary practice.
The module helps students to reflect on what they see, and to read connections between different ideas that have shaped their discipline. In particular the module investigates how thinking and articulating ideas about practice in their field might be framed – for example in relation to history, the economy, society and the environment, or through theory and practice.
The module introduces students to a range of academic skills needed to produce a graduate-level study in their final year. It helps students to develop their own interests, and to reflect on and take responsibility for the development of their own learning. This includes surveys in the history of their discipline, research and writing workshops, seminars, library sessions, visits and tours in addition to guided independent learning.
This module introduces the scope and scale of architecture and interior architecture through design projects, culminating in a well-resolved small building design, small-scale adaptation of an existing building or a well resolved interior project. It emphasizes the critical understanding of context and introduces methods of observation, analysis and interpretation of conditions affecting the project. It demonstrates how a creative engagement with these conditions informs and assists the design process. The module develops via a sequence of relatively simple projects, each of which, or component of which, focuses on a specific set of relationships. Together these projects introduce the student to the different and inter-related issues and inputs affecting the architectural design. These include the relationships between architectural design and its physical setting, a client’s brief and the needs of users, its cultural context and the natural environment, its spatial strategy and methods of construction.
The module design process is expansive and exploratory, and emphasizes the creative and imaginative thinking involved. Students learn how to retrieve information and research project ideas as well as develop and present their ideas using the range of techniques developed in AR4001. It develops an understanding how an architectural or interior project is defined through wide reference to historical and current practice and practice in related disciplines in including art, interior design, planning, urban design and engineering.
The module enables students to produce imaginative, appropriate and competent design proposals in response to a variety of sites, briefs, cultural and technological issues. It familiarises students with design processes that include the analysis and interpretation of different situations, the development of a brief, the uses of precedent studies, strategies for designing spatial, material and programmatic ideas. The module supports the ability of students to see and reflect on how their design proposals are beginning to develop into fully-fledged architectural or interior projects, and the kinds of work and thinking involved in taking their ideas further. The module aims to develop the student’s confidence and ability through presenting, evaluating and reworking ideas in response to review and feedback. Students should be able to work with and appreciate the strengths and values inherent in a socially framed and socially oriented profession.
The module introduces the basic processes of design for architecture/interior architecture, from conceptual idea to a three-dimensional realisation. Students learn to produce a range of drawing and modelling techniques that enable them to creatively explore and engage in the design process and begin to see the relation between intention, process and outcome through actively producing work.
The module is designed to orientate students through the introduction ways of thinking about and communicating ideas about subject and context, introduces a range of drawing and modelling techniques necessary to represent and communicate design ideas and establishes the need for designers to think critically in their use of different media and working at different scales. It encourages students to explore possibilities of evocative, analytical and measured drawing in the representation of existing and proposed spaces and their 3D and material qualities.
The module introduces the use of research, precedents, modelling and testing ideas in a design project through techniques of making and prototyping, workshop practice and the creative use of materials in producing a design. In terms of drawing, the techniques involved range from measured drawings/models, to conceptual sketches and evocative representations of the design in both 2D and 3D. It links with art practice and examines the role played by drawing, making and representation in design.
The module includes formal introductions to the School’s making workshops, the acquisition of basic technical skills and competence, sound studio practice and health and safety considerations. It provides a basic introduction to the appropriate use of materials, related processes and technical applications in the development of ideas, models and prototypes.
The module introduces the disciplines of building technology and enables the student to identify and work with the basic principles involved in their application. The module introduces structural design, material properties and selection, building services and environmental design, design and construction of building elements and components. It is focused on well-considered sustainable design principles and the construction of habitable space in smaller scale buildings and interiors. The module explores the different disciplines of building technology in-situ through site visits and surveys, through making and drawing workshops, as well as through lectures, seminars and the utilisation of a wide variety of published sources.
The module aims to prepare students as architects and interior architects for the complex task of getting their work built. It aims to familiarise them with the scope of the industry and the different disciplines involved the design and delivery of buildings; all of which have their own knowledge base, consultants, specialists, manufacturers, resources and forms of communication. The module aims to assist the student in beginning to frame this complex world and understand how they can work with it to achieve well-considered sustainable designs. To achieve this aim, the module focuses on two important modes of learning: a) the means to construct coherent and usable bodies of knowledge, and b) to see how principles are enacted in practice.
Year 2 modules include:
Critical and Contextual Studies 2 continues to orient and critically engage students in the history and theory of their discipline, its extent and conventions, and its broader social and material context in culture and contemporary practice. It builds on studies undertaken in Level 4 and prepares students as independent thinkers, capable of selecting an appropriate topic and producing a sustained piece of independent study in the form of a dissertation in Level 6.
The module continues to situate the student within the process of constructing knowledge about their discipline, its history, context, and its professional and ethical dimension. It rehearses the analytical and discursive skills students need to become knowledgeable about the authorities, objects and methods in their field; to understand the roles, locations and responsibilities of important players whilst examining the broader ethical questions relevant to their discipline; and to become conversant with current debates across the subject area. This process may be approached from the point of view of the producer or consumer, the critic or the professional, the academic or the practitioner.
Students are encouraged to think creatively and to take responsibility for the development of their own learning. The module recognises that the student is also an active contributor in the process: what students bring to the construction of knowledge counts – and how effectively they construct this knowledge depends on how well they understand the field of their discipline.
This module focuses on the process of designing two or more building projects. This is done through to the introduction of more complex criteria, than at the previous level, and anticipates a higher level of spatial and material resolution. The module develops skills in the integration of structural, material, environmental and experiential strategies that are tested through the resolution of the design projects. Students are expected to offer articulate explanations of their proposals, be able to discuss their ethical and professional considerations, present their case for specific social and environmental strategies, demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between building technologies and the execution of their design.
Students learn to develop and present their building designs using the range of techniques developed in Design Skills 2.1. The design process continues to be expansive and exploratory, and emphasizes the creative and imaginative thinking involved. Students are involved in the primary research associated with their project/s and work in groups as well as independently. They cultivate a shared understanding of the project contexts and their briefs enabling them to work collaboratively and share tasks, review each other’s work, and enrich their own ideas.
The module fosters the development of a personal position and working methods as part of the attributes required by a designer. The projects are presented through drawings, models and prototypes using a range of media.
The aim of this module is to rehearse the production of architectural projects in preparation for the comprehensive project undertaken in the final year. It opens up the complex territory of architectural design and gives the student more opportunity to determine the variables and develop coherent proposals. The process is controlled through setting projects at different scales and levels of complexity. Students learn to interpret contexts and briefs that are ambiguous, full of uncertainty and often unfamiliar. They work towards producing coherent building designs that respond to their site and context whilst becoming more capable of testing and evaluating their potential impact on the users and the cultural and natural environment.
This module focuses on expanding and strengthening the range of skills, techniques, methods and processes needed to develop the design projects undertaken in Design Project 2.2. The skills are developed, within the projects, rather than separately. The module provides the material basis for design research, the design process and the development and testing of design propositions. The range of skills explores, analyzes and interprets the precedents, observations and ideas that apply to architectural designs, their formulation and construction. Students learn to select the most appropriate modeling techniques for exploring specific aesthetic and technical requirements from digital and analogue techniques.
In particular the module introduces and practices digital drawing and modeling techniques. These include formal introductions to digital modeling and representation to allow the acquisition of technical skills and competence both in the CAD suite and fabrication workshops.
The module aims to provide a forum for the student to develop a creative, inventive and productive design process. It expands and strengthens the student’s range of material and digital design techniques, and develops their confidence, competence and fluency in making use of these techniques in design projects. The module supports experiment, trial and error and focuses on selecting, understanding and using the best practical techniques available to help realize conceptual and creative ideas in the production and testing of design solutions. It aims to deepen the student’s understanding and knowledge of modes of representation and their application in the broader field of design, including art practice, as well as the practices, protocols and conventions that apply to the field of architecture.
This module builds upon and extends the knowledge and understanding gained in AR4003 Technology 1. It focuses in more detail on how different aspects of technology interact within the context of larger and more complex buildings. The module introduces methods, terms and techniques that can be used to evaluate the range of different relationships that appear under the heading of technology. In particular the module investigates buildings and interiors that may involve multiple clients, for example public buildings and/or medium-density housing. It examines how and why standards are developed as well as the remit for research and experiment. The module further expands the knowledge of structures, materials, construction and detailing, environmental performance and comfort and building services established in AR4003 Technology 1, with particular attention given to sustainability as an ethical framework of values and responsibilities shaping the design of buildings and interiors.
The module introduces as a framework the professional practice and academic framework of architecture as outlined by the Architects Registration Board’s Prescription of Qualifications Criteria (GC1-GC11)
The module aims to develop the student’s confidence in making design decisions. It extends their ability to identify strategies and assess the values involved in technological issues through the preparation and presentation of technical proposition at a range of drawing scales. The module enhances the student’s knowledge and understanding of building technologies and familiarizes them with the process of how to make well considered judgments, on the premise that relationships between various items or even categories of technological knowledge can be modelled and evaluated in a different ways. The module aims to develop a student's repertoire of practical and conceptual skills – including vocabulary – that can keep pace with their growing knowledge of the subject and help realise their design projects in technological terms.
Year 3 modules include:
Critical and Contextual Studies (CCS) Level 6 results in an independent dissertation. It builds on two years of undergraduate study that critically engages students in the history and theory of their discipline, its extent and conventions, and its broader social and material context in culture and contemporary practice.
Students undertake an enquiry into a topic of their own choice and, based on this enquiry, develop a sustained critical study in support of their practice, building on techniques and knowledge developed in previous years. This study demonstrates the student’s ability to thoroughly research a topic, use appropriate methods of investigation, and work in a methodical and organised way to develop a coherent argument. It affords a sophisticated instrument for interrogating, testing and presenting ideas, and encourages the student to deploy and develop a variety of skills to show how well they can conduct and present a critical investigation.
The module rewards criticality and innovation, and provides a platform for ambitious independent work. To this end, it offers individual supervision designed to support the student’s learning. The subject matter of the dissertation can be theoretical, technical, or historical. In terms of format, the dissertation may be envisaged in different ways and can include visual, technical or other non-written material which may form the subject of the enquiry and comprise an integral part of the whole.
The dissertation may be practice-based and include field-work and primary research in its methodology; or it might be academic and theoretical in its outlook and draw predominantly on secondary sources. Its form and approach can reflect a broad range of discipline-specific approaches based on discussion and agreement with the supervisor and/or course leader.
This module establishes a process of research, design development and proposition that generates the design brief for Design Project Resolution 3.2: Comprehensive Design project. It supports the student as an independent learner within the framework of the Studio. Whilst improving their practical skills and refining their ability to use them productively, the focus in this module is on developing a depth of knowledge and understanding and strengthening approaches to research and project development.
The student has already been introduced to the basic range of constituents and conditions that pertain to the design of a building in their previous design projects, technology studies, and historical, theoretical and professional studies. In this module, the student is expected to draw on these as well as the agenda offered by their choice of Studio. The module helps the student establish ownership of the process of research, design development and proposition that generates the design brief and its resolution in the project. The module allows the students the opportunity to test working methods, clarify intentions, frame their project proposal and develop their design position within an evaluative and critical context, including external and professional reference points.
The module consolidates skills and knowledge gained at Levels 4 and 5. It works in partnership with Design Project Resolution 3.2. Its aim is to provide the context in which the student can research, generate, explore and test the parameters of their project, its central themes and features. The module places emphasis on developing self-direction and personal focus whilst acknowledging external and professional reference points. This module is complemented by Technology 3: Integrated Design Audit module, which requires highly detailed reflection on the integration of cultural, professional, technical and environmental issues within the design project.
As the culmination of the design studies within the BA (Hons) Architecture course the module allows the student to excel in employing their design ability. Deriving from the studio programme, the final project will communicate an appropriate level of ambition, complexity and coherence in its design resolution. The creative dialogue with other areas of architectural knowledge informed by and informing the strategic and detailed design development will extend the understanding of the project and demonstrate the qualities of the proposal.
The module uses the research and brief making in the Design Project Development module and emphasizes the detailed resolution and critical assessment of a complex architectural design. It runs in conjunction with the Technology 3, Integrated Design Audit module that requires specific and highly detailed appraisal of its cultural, professional, technical and environmental issues.
The module is the final design project of the BA (Hons) Architecture course and gives students the opportunity to deploy the understanding, knowledge and abilities they have developed throughout the course in the making of an ambitious and well resolved architectural design. It aims to allow the student to demonstrate their ability as an architectural designer: their capacity to define and analyze architectural problems, generate briefs and proposals, integrate knowledge derived from different fields and sources, produce socially relevant inhabitable spaces, enrich rather than deplete the built and natural environment, and design technically competent buildings of aesthetic quality.
The module enables the student to demonstrate their integration and synthesis of key areas of professional architectural knowledge within the context of their major design project. The project follows the process of design development, using consultants from within the department and externally to introduce a range of perspectives, issues and interests. This process is recorded, evaluated and reviewed in relation to the major design project.
The module provides a practical framework through which students can demonstrate compliance with the professional practice and academic discipline of architecture, as outlined by the Architects Registration Board’s Prescription of Qualifications Criteria (GC1-GC11).
This module promotes the integration of key fields of professional architectural knowledge in the major design project. Students will be required to demonstrate that within their design project they have a knowledge, understanding of and ability within the following core areas:
A. Cultural context
B. Management, practice and law
C. Environment, services and energy
D. Structures, materials and construction.
The module is delivered principally within the design studio. It is supported by seminars and tutorials by specialists, both from within the department and externally.
The module requires students to learn from a diverse range of sources and consultants. This use of external consultants, gathering of information and cross-disciplinary collaboration simulate the dynamic, interdisciplinary and fast-changing nature of contemporary architectural practice, giving students an understanding of practice and an ability to work in teams.
This is a four-year degree course with a built-in foundation year (Year 0). It's the perfect route into university if you don't meet the necessary entry requirements for the standard undergraduate degree. You'll graduate with a full undergraduate degree with the same title and award as those who studied the three-year course.
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.
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 from 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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Annalie Riches, who studied on the RIBA Part 2 and Part 3 at The Cass, and practice partner David Mikhail claim RIBA's building of the year award for the Goldsmith Street project.
Cass lecturer and rising star alumnus join London Met Vice-Chancellor Professor Lynn Dobbs on the Progress 1000 list.
Practice co-founded by Cass architecture alumnus wins annual Architecture Foundation brief
Latest yearbook celebrates student work and achievements in 2018-19 academic year.
Applications open for a unique international summer workshop in Italy, co-organised by lecturers from The Cass.
1 June 2019
Cass hosts event for London Festival of Architecture in collaboration with Lithuanian Art and Culture
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.
Thursday 4 April 1pm-6pm
Cass Architecture students host 'megacrit' event around the theme of housing
Practice who co-lead Architecture Unit 15 at The Cass to design new gallery for world famous museum
Architecture students explore materials and technology at Mudchute Farm workshop sponsored by Södra Wood
21 February 6.30pm
Cass Architecture Professor Peter St John to deliver his inaugural professorial lecture during School's Celebration Week
Marie Henriette's dissertation ‘The Whole-body Seer: Blindness as Narrative, Subject and a Way of Seeing’ challenges the industry to think about things from a new perspective.