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BA (Hons), BSc (Hons) Architecture

  • Placement year available
How to apply Come to an Open Day


A student working on an architectural model Hear from our staff and students

Studying Architecture at ARU

Help shape the world we live in and learn how to succeed in architectural practice with our Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) accredited and Architects Registration Board (ARB) prescribed degree course.

Explore our School of Architecture and Planning
Times Higher Education (THE) Awards 2023 logo

Study at an award-winning university

We're the Times Higher Education (THE) University of the Year. We've also been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework – a reflection of the outstanding education we offer our students.

Why Architecture at ARU?

  • Study on a course (BA Hons Architecture) developed in line with industry standards, accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and Part 1 prescribed by the Architects Registration Board (ARB).
  • Expand your knowledge by participating in an optional European field trip each year to cities such as Lisbon, Venice, Rome and Vienna, or applying for one of our Turing Programme summer scholarships to work in Barcelona or study in Venice for four weeks.
  • Bring the world of work to life through Live Briefs; designed and developed with regional employers to give you exposure to ‘real world’ problem-solving.
  • Connect and engage with practitioners through our regular extra-curricular workshops, guest lecture series, annual practitioners event, and End of Year Show.
  • Utilise our dedicated studios and workshop facilities to learn how to draw, make models, and use all relevant software and digital techniques.

If you’re fascinated by the built environment, and have ambitions to create spaces that are innovative, meaningful and purposeful, this is the course for you.

By studying Architecture at ARU, you’ll gain the theoretical, technical and design skills to shape the built environment for a sustainable future – and to work as a professional architect.

As a collaborative individual, you'll be keen to make connections that will help kick start your career. We'll guide you towards the right work experience and support you throughout your course.

You'll take part in Live Brief projects throughout your degree, collaborating with city and borough councils, Timber Development UK, and local and London firms such as Studio Forty, Studio Mai, Stace LLP, Levitt Bernstein, Sheppard & Robson, Barr Gazetas, LSI Architects, Vonberg Architects, RH Partnership Architects, Suzanne Brewer Architects and Aukett Swanke.

On the BA (Hons) route, you’ll have the option to take a placement year as part of your course to gain valuable work experience.

We'll encourage you to go on site visits, where you'll gain hands-on experience. Our links with professional institutions such as the RIBA Mentoring Programme, as well as local firms, ensure you'll stay up to date with industry practice.

As well as benefiting from your lecturers' knowledge, you'll also benefit from a network of visiting designers, artists, historians and theorist plus, national and international architects and scholars, focusing on contemporary, relevant themes such as climate change, passive house techniques, fire and safety measures, environmental strategies, and social and political challenges.

Accredited by Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and prescribed by the Architects Registration Board (ARB), you can be sure that this course will give you skills that reflect emerging technologies and knowledge, and will be in demand with employers when you graduate.

At ARU, we believe it's important to recognise our students' hard work. That's why, at the end of each academic year, we showcase and celebrate your achievements with an End of Year Show.

Course options

Course options

Key facts

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Entry requirements


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Fees and paying for university


Architectural model of a bridge, with other models and designs displayed in the background

Specialist studios

At ARU you’ll be based in our School of Architecture, with use of:

  • model-making studios
  • industry-standard software for computer-aided design work
  • construction and surveying equipment
  • a fully equipped workshop with cutting-edge digital fabrication machinery and skilled staff.

Our University is renowned for its medical engineering and specialist 3D printers are available to all students. Take a guided tour and meet our students.

A group of architecture students in front of a large, colourful street sculpture

Learn outside the classroom

All our architecture students can take part in:

  • site visits
  • study trips to London, just 35 minutes away by train
  • a European field trip
  • team activities such as designing and building structures on campus
  • our end-of-year Exhibition.

There’s also the chance to take an optional placement year as part of this course, and gain practical work experience.

Our proximity to London allows for numerous short study and site visits, and workshops. Most second and third-year sites are in London. Some of the History and Theory modules, and live drawing and photography classes, are taught via study visits to the capital, a valuable and intellectually significant experience.


Architects Registration Board logo

Architects Registration Board (ARB)

Our BA (Hons) Architecture degree is prescribed (Part 1) by the Architects Registration Board. When you complete our course you'll fulfil the first part of the three-part process to become a registered architect in the UK.

RIBA Validated course in architecture logo

Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)

Our BA (Hons) Architecture course has been awarded RIBA Part 1 Full Status, unconditionally. Take the first step towards becoming an architect; this course provides an exemption from the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and RIBA Part I examination. 


As a graduate recognised by the Architects Registration Board, you’ll be ready to work in a range of architectural roles.

Our course prepares you for a career in architectural practice, but you could also choose to work in areas such as town planning, surveying, engineering, property, and building conservation.

ARU graduates in architecture, building and planning graduates earn more than the sector average. We are delighted that our graduates earn £4,000 more a year than the sector average 15 months after graduation.

Some of our graduates have gone on to work at:

  • Sheppard Robson
  • Esen Loft
  • Stanley Bragg Architects Ltd
  • Grafik Architecture
  • 3BM Studio
  • Clifton Emery Design
  • AHP Architects & Surveyors Ltd
  • Morgan Sindall Construction
  • Andrew Fleet MCIAT

By studying architecture at ARU, you’ll have gained creative and practical skills, such as computer-aided design, which will help you stand out from the crowd.

Graduation doesn't need to be the end of your time with us, of course. If you’d like to continue your studies, we offer a range of postgraduate degrees including our MSc Town Planning. Take advantage of our Alumni Scholarship and get 20% off your fees.

Employability and personal career development

ARU ranked in the top 15% in the country for graduates in employment and/or further study (Graduate Outcome Survey 2023), and ranked third in the country for graduates who are employed as managers, directors, or senior officials 15 months after graduating. We are also in the top 15% in the country for graduates who agreed they are using what they learnt during their studies.

Informed by employers, our courses support an integrated approach to employability. You’ll have opportunities to develop the skills and abilities they are looking for and gain a deeper understanding of how your academic learning relates to the world of work through Live Briefs and Ruskin Modules.

To amplify your career ambition, you will need to actively dedicate time outside of your studies, whether you choose to explore placements, internships or volunteering. Or you could make a social impact by collaborating with our partner organisations through our volunteer scheme Students at the Heart of Knowledge Exchange (SHoKE). These all give you an edge, providing you with experience that you will be able to evidence on your CV and talk about in interviews.

Our Employability and Careers Service offers a range of expert advice and support to build your unique professional profile, including tailored career appointments, advice on writing your CV, and help to complete job applications. You’ll have 24/7 access to the Careers Centre, our comprehensive online digital resource, which empowers you to start building a Personal Career Development Plan from the very start. Design your future at ARU.

Three architectural models displayed together


"So far, the journey into architecture has been incredibly varied from life drawings and model-making to technical construction and calculations. Studio and design work has been supported by one-to-one tutorials. It has been a great experience."


BA (Hons) Architecture student and founder of the ARU Architecture Society

Apply now for BA (Hons), BSc (Hons) Architecture

The Lord Ashcroft Building on ARU's Chelmsford campus

Life in Chelmsford

Chelmsford has something for everyone, and our green, modern campus is just ten minutes from the city centre.

Get to know Chelmsford

Want to talk to someone?

Do you have a question that we haven't answered so far? Talk to our application experts. You can also ask our Student Ambassadors about life at ARU.

We're here Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm (please note we close at 3.30pm on the first and third Thursday of the month for staff training), and Friday 9am-4.30pm.

Engineering student Nadanum

Placement year available

You have the option to take a placement year as part of this course. It’s a great chance to get hands-on experience in the industry you want to work in.

Your guide to placements