‘Lookout’ by Angus Ritchie & Daniel Tyler, Photo: Ross Campbell/Daniel Tyler

BScArchitectural Studies

Why this course?

We're 5th in the UK for Architecture in the Complete University Guide Subject Tables 2020

Strathclyde’s Department of Architecture is among the oldest and largest such departments in the UK and is internationally recognised 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 conceptualisation and inception, through design development and resolution, to full size realisation 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 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.

Find out more about the full range of facilities we have on offer.

Postgraduate study

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

You can also study for:

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.

Find out more about recent awards won by students.

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

  • the Glasgow Institute of Architects (GIA) recognises 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 organisations are available on MyPlace in the student section for each year.

Photo credit

‘Lookout’ by Angus Ritchie & Daniel Tyler; Photo by Ross Campbell/Daniel Tyler


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


The first architecture design studio project introduces you to the whole of the architectural design process; as a collaborative process, from conceptualisation and inception, through design development and resolution, to full size realisation and construction.

Design Studies 1B


You'll investigate the fundamental need of man “to shelter”. The project concentrates on the ‘setting’ - the connection of “inside to outside” and the implications of making a mark in the landscape.

Design Studies 1C

To Dwell

You're introduced to the challenges of designing to a brief within the context of the urban environment. The specific issue explored is the nature of domesticity - what it means “to dwell”.

Design Studies 1D


You'll engage with real clients in order to develop a programmatic response, delivering a public building in the city.

Experiencing Architecture 1

ARB/RIBA Part 1 (Communication)

The Design Studies programme is supported by a compulsory series of associated discussion sessions and workshops in communication skills and media under the banner experiencing architecture.

Cultural Studies 1

This class introduces you to a broad overview of the cultural context of architecture. You'll be encouraged to develop confidence in observing and commenting on architecture of all periods, and to express yourself clearly and accurately in spoken and written communication.

Technology Studies 1

The class is the first stage of student education regarding the building and environmental technology aspects of architectural design.

The course introduces an elemental understanding of:

  • building structures
  • construction process
  • materiality
  • architectural detail
  • building physics
  • sustainability and environmental responsibility and control

Year 2

Design Studies 2A


You'll investigate what it means ‘to belong’ through a series of small projects taken to develop an understanding of architectural programme in relation to context.

Design Studies 2B


You'll investigate what it means “to gather”, understood as a basic human need, to congregate communally in celebration of shared values. You'll be asked to design a medium scaled public facility dedicated to communal activity.

Design Studies 2C


The final design project for the second year studio focuses on the programmatic activity of what it means “to learn”. This allows you to examine a single building programme in-depth through a process of analysis and synthesis.

Experiencing Architecture 2

The Design Studies programme is supported by a compulsory series of associated discussion sessions and workshops in communication skills and media under the banner 'Experiencing Architecture'.

Cultural Studies 2

You're introduced to some of the key issues, historical movements and events that shaped and structured the modern built and cultural environment. You'll get an introduction to the origins of the modern city, from the birth of capitalism to the European avant-garde.

Technology Studies 2

This class expands the knowledge base in terms of structural and construction systems introducing:

  • more complex building types
  • larger spanning structures
  • contemporary building materials
  • a variety of environmental engineering design skills relating to the design of buildings which will ensure human comfort
Elective Class

You'll take an elective class amounting to 20 credits total from those described in the University Class Catalogue.

For students intending to take the International Exchange programme in Year 3, and to be eligible for the BSc in Architectural Studies with International Study, we recommend 20 credits of language.

Year 3

Design Studies 3A


The class is a semester long investigation into the nature of what it means to live and work in the urban realm through the design of an urban housing project, from feasibility to detailed investigation.

Design Studies 3B


You'll consider the architectural implications of what it means “to play”, as a collective cultural phenomenon examined against the urban context. The emphasis is on the notion of “performance” and its association to “the city”.

Cultural Studies 3
You'll develop a critical evaluation of cultural theory and architectural history focusing on specific issues relating to the modern movement in architecture, its relationship to the city and the historical context regarding urbanity.
Technology Studies 3
The third stage of the investigation of architectural technology aims to develop a detailed understanding of structural, construction and environmental systems. Also an ability to holistically integrate these systems and knowledge base within a complex architectural proposition.
Introduction to Practice

The class introduces you to the key features of the architectural profession and the construction industry. It provides a forum for discussion on the emerging industry, profession and modes of practice.

You'll complete a digital academic portfolio in line with the requirements of Part 1, ARB/RIBA professional accreditation.

Year 4

Design Studies 4A

To CARE (Part 1)

The class focuses on the design of a small programmatically complex, multi-functional urban building. The design exploration includes site and programme appraisal, the generation and systematic testing, analysing and appraising of design options with the aim of drawing conclusions in the design process.

Design Studies 4B

To CARE (Part 2)

The class focuses on the design of a large programmatically simple, multi-functional urban building to be set within a specific urban character. It has to be developed to a detailed level sufficient to demonstrate the relationship between the overall architectural concept, spatial quality and related technical and environmental considerations.

Cultural Studies 4

This class provides you with the opportunity to define, explore and articulate an area of investigation of your own interest in the production of an appropriately illustrated dissertation. You'll develop an argument and demonstrate a position using evidence from your research.

Special Study Project 4

This individual project allows you to further the aims and outcomes of one of the key areas of the syllabus. The project is intended to provide a bridging mechanism between the taught coursework and potential Masters projects.


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 verbal and visual presentation, 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

Required subjects are indicated following typically accepted grades.


Standard entry requirements

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

A Levels

Year 1 entry


Typical entry requirements: ABB

(Maths or Physics; GCSE Art & Design; GCSE English Language 8/A or English Literature 8/A)

Year 2 entry

not offered

European Baccalaureate

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 fulfil the entry requirements may be asked to submit a portfolio which should contain examples of a range of work providing evidence to indicate creative and artistic ability

EU Students

View the subjects and grades required.

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.

Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.

International students

Find out entry requirements for your country.

Degree preparation course for international students

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

Upon successful completion, you will be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

Fees & funding

How much will my course cost?

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.


  • 2019/20: £1,820

Rest of UK

  • 2019/20: £9,250

Assuming no change in Rest of UK fees policy over the period, the total amount payable by undergraduate students will be capped. For students commencing study in 2017/18, this is capped at £27,750 (with the exception of the MPharm and Integrated Masters courses); MPharm students pay £9,250 for each of the four years. Students studying on Integrated Masters degree programmes pay an additional £9,250 for the Masters year with the exception of those undertaking a full-year industrial placement where a separate placement fee will apply.


  • 2019/20: £16,800

Faculty of Engineering Excellence Scholarship (FEES) for International Students

If you're applying for an undergraduate course you'll be eligible to apply for a Faculty of Engineering Excellence Scholarship offering up to £4,000 towards your tuition fees for your first year of study and an additional £1,500 for each subsequent year.

The scholarship is available for application to all self-funded, new international (non-EU) fee paying students holding an offer of study for an undergraduate programme in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Strathclyde. Please note you must have an offer of study for a full-time course at Strathclyde before applying.

You must start your full-time undergraduate programme at Strathclyde in the coming academic year (2019-20).

University preparation programme fees

International students can find out more about the costs and payments of studying a university preparation programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.

Additional fees 

Course materials & costs 

Books and printed materials 

  • Year One - £40
  • Year Two - £100
  • Year Three - £100
  • Year Four - £140 
  • Year Five - £200 

Placement & field trips 

Study trips 

  • Year One - £80
  • Year Two - £60
  • Year Three - £500 (optional) 
  • Year Four - £650 (optional) 
  • Year Five - £250 (optional) 

Other costs 

Drawing materials 

  • Year One - £150
  • Year Two - £200
  • Year Three - £200
  • Year Four - £100
  • Year Five - £100

Model making 

  • Year One - £120 
  • Year Two - £75
  • Year Three - £75 
  • Year Four - £200 
  • Year Five - £200 

Misc costs (photocopying etc) 

  • Year One - £110 
  • Year Two - £75 
  • Year Three - £75
  • Year Four - £50
  • Year Five - £120 

Please note: All fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

How can I fund my studies?

Students from Scotland and the EU

If you're a Scottish or EU student, you may be able to apply to the Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Scottish students may also be eligible for a bursary and loan to help cover living costs while at University.

For more information on funding your studies have a look at our University Funding page.

Students from England, Wales & Northern Ireland

We have a generous package of bursaries on offer for students from England, Northern Ireland and Wales

You don’t need to make a separate application for these. When your place is confirmed at Strathclyde, we’ll assess your eligibility. Have a look at our scholarship search for any more funding opportunities.

International Students (Non UK, EEA)

We have a number of scholarships available to international students. Take a look at our scholarship search to find out more.

Available scholarships

We have a wide range of scholarships available. Have a look at our scholarship search to find a scholarship.

Faculty of Engineering Excellence Scholarships (FEES) for International Students

We're offering a number of scholarships for self-funded, international (non-EU) fee-paying students with excellent academic qualifications.

Awards are for course fees and differ for undergraduate, postgraduate and postgraduate research students.

You must have applied for a relevant course of study, and start your degree from September 2017 (or later in the 2017-2018 academic year).


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.

Contact us


How to apply – 10 things you need to know

  1. All undergraduate applications are made through UCAS
    Go to the UCAS website to apply – you can apply for up to five courses.
  2. It costs £12 to apply for a course
    The cost is £23 for two to five courses.
  3. The deadline is 15 January each year
    This is the application deadline for most courses. However, please check the details for your particular course. View a full list of UCAS key dates.

    Applications are still welcome from international students (non-EU) and those living in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  4. You might be asked to attend an interview
    Most of our courses make offers based on the UCAS application. However some might ask you to attend an interview or for a portfolio of work. If this is the case, this will be stated in the prospectus entry requirements.
  5. It’s possible to apply directly to Year 2
    Depending on your qualifications, you might be able to apply directly to Year 2 - or even Year 3 - of a course. Speak to the named contact for your course if you want to discuss this.
  6. There’s three types of decision
    • unconditional – you’ve already met our entry requirements
    • conditional – we’ll offer you a place if you meet certain conditions, usually based on your exams
    • unsuccessful – we’ve decided not to offer you a place
  7. You need to contact UCAS to accept your offer
    Once you’ve decided which course you’d like to accept, you must let UCAS know. You don’t need to decide until you’ve received all offers. UCAS will give you a deadline you must respond by.

    You’ll choose one as your firm choice. If the offer is unconditional or if you meet the conditions, this is the course you’ll study.

    You’ll also have an insurance choice. This is a back-up option if you don’t meet the conditions of your first choice.
  8. You don’t need to send us your exam results (Scotland, England & Wales)
    If you’re studying in Scotland, England or Wales, we receive a copy of your Higher/Advanced Higher/A Level results directly from the awarding body. However, if you are studying a different qualification, then please contact us to arrange to send your results directly.
  9. We welcome applications from international students

    Find out further information about our entry and English language requirements.

    International students who don’t meet the entry requirements, can apply for our pre-undergraduate programmes.

    There’s also an online application form.

    For further information:
  10. Here’s a really useful video to help you apply

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