Why study Architecture with Foundation Year at Liverpool John Moores University?
- The Foundation Year introduces students to contemporary art and design practices, including Art History and drawing, with a focus on the acquisition and development of core academic skills that are needed for successful transition into level 4 and completion of the degree, including writing, referencing, computer and research skills
- The Foundation Year supports students’ induction and orientation to basic resources and workshops in the John Lennon Art and Design Building, and students will use the workshop areas and resources to develop module outcomes in a safe and appropriate manner, however, no dedicated studio space is provided
- Take a virtual tour of this year's Architecture degree show
- Students can access study abroad opportunities and apply for overseas travel awards
- Access to some of the UK's best examples of urban redevelopment and iconic buildings
- Teaching in the RIBA award-winning, purpose-built John Lennon Art and Design Building
- Opportunities for overseas exchanges and study trips
- Exemptions from RIBA/ARB Part 1 exams on graduation
- Direct involvement in live artistic projects taking place in the city
About your course
This professional validated programme gives you the opportunity to work on a range of authentic architectural projects with input from practicing architects in a dynamic studio environment with access industry standard technical facilities.
The learning and teaching environment is progressively informed by research in pedagogy in the creative field. While teaching the curriculum, the programme also develops less tangible skills in students, such as communication, presentation and self-motivation; a key ambition is to create independent thinkers, adept at resolving problems with creativity and originality.
A broad educational experience is offered within which students can develop diverse rigorous and creative approaches to design issues that explore and test appropriate resolutions in relation to contemporary and anticipated contextual issues.
Design projects form the backbone of the core teaching strategy. These projects are seen as primers to a divergent creative and critical thought process: they are characterised by individual interpretation and interest of the subjects that encourage imaginative solutions through discursive studio forums.
As you progress through the degree, the design projects gradually become larger in scale, more complex and ambitious in their intentions and integrative in their nature. At degree level, predominantly, the city of Liverpool is used as a contextual laboratory to test concepts that have a local flavour with global implications. The aim is to develop graduate skills and knowledge such that they become analysing, visualising and testing potential solutions to increasingly complex spatial and social issues within an increasingly holistic global scenario.
We regularly host symposia and conferences, for example the recent symposiums included: The Display, Exhibition & Propagation of Architecture and Government and Housing in a Time of Crisis which both featured world-renowned guest speakers from architecture, urban planning and academia.
Each year, two of our undergraduate students are put forward for the RIBA Presidents' Medals award, and thecollection of student work is published in a widely available catalogue. The variety of work and creative freedom seen in these projects demonstrates the expertise of our alumni.
For news, events, including student-led events, course information and student work and staff research, visit the Architecture blog.
The Foundation Year pathway (level 3) introduces students to core academic skills needed to thrive in High Education, and provides an introduction to art and design principles and practices that are required for students to study on the BA (Hons) programmes at Liverpool School of Art and Design.
This unique Foundation Year is a preparatory year of study shared by Architecture, Fashion: Design & Communication, Fine Art, Graphic Design & Illustration, and Interior Architecture degree programmes. It is ideal if you have the interest and ability to study for a degree, but do not have the qualifications to enter directly onto the first year of a full honours degree. The Foundation Year allows greater access to the undergraduate programmes through a series of general taught modules that gradually build in exposure to discipline-specific practices, to enable students to be ready to take their place on the first year of their chosen full-time HE course
Students are taught together as a non-discipline specific group in four out of six modules with opportunities to split into discipline-specific groups in the ‘Exploring Materials, Process and Practice’ and ‘Studio Practice Project’ modules. This non-disciplinary structure is designed to promote cross-disciplinary thinking and learning experiences. Students are also part of a wider level 3 community within the Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies and study two academic skills modules (‘Preparing for Success: Academic Skills’, and ‘Investigating Liverpool’) with foundation students across the faculty.
There is a focus on the attainment of core academic skills, including writing, referencing, computer and research skills.
The Foundation Year aims to:
- Introduce students to contemporary art and design practices, including Art History and drawing
- Introduce core academic and general skills across four modules and introduce discipline specific subjects in two modules
- Foster the development of ideas through introductory 'exposures' and 'encounters' with materials, technologies and processes that replicate and simulate real-world interactions for making and collaborative practice
- Support students’ induction and orientation to basic resources and workshops in the John Lennon Art and Design Building, and use key workshop areas and resources associated with their programmes in a safe and appropriate manner
- Acquire and develop the academic skills needed for successful transition into level 4 and completion of the degree
- Engage students to develop a self-directed and independent approach to learning
Students will have access to specialist workshops and technical support in the John Lennon Art and Design Building to develop their practical skills but no dedicated studio space is provided. You will spent a significant amount of time working online in our virtual learning environment, CANVAS.
Once you pass the Foundation Year you will progress directly onto the first year of the [insert programme name here] honours degree. If you are a full-time UK student, you will qualify for student financial support for the full duration of your course (subject to eligibility criteria).
"I wanted to receive an education that gave me the skills required to work in the real world. Studying at LJMU proved to be the best option, since they offered a well rounded education that focused on both design and technology."
This course is connected to the BA (Hons) Architecture degree, which is fully accredited by the RIBA (Royal Institute of Architects) and the ARB (Architects Registration Board). Liverpool School of Art and Design, where Architecture is taught, has many links with artistic and cultural institutions both nationally and locally, including RIBA North and FACT (the Foundation of Arts and Creative Technologies), and collaborates regularly on both live projects and exhibitions.
Fees and funding
There are many ways to fund study for home and international students
The fees quoted above cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:
- Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
- Access to programme-appropriate software
- Library and student IT support
- Free on-campus wifi via eduroam
Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:
- accommodation and living expenditure
- books (should you wish to have your own copies)
- printing, photocopying and stationery
- PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
- mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
- field trips (travel and activity costs)
- placements (travel expenses and living costs)
- student visas (international students only)
- study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
- academic conferences (travel costs)
- professional-body membership
- graduation (gown hire etc)
There are many ways to fund study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist funding pages.
Successful completion of your BA Architecture degree means you will be exempt from RIBA/ARB Part 1 exams.
To become a registered architect you usually need to work for an additional year in architectural practice then complete a two-year Master of Architecture (MArch) diploma. Once you have passed the RIBA Part 3 exams, you can practice in any EU or commonwealth country and many other countries outside the EU.
If after graduating you choose not to go down the route of becoming a registered architect, a range of other careers are open to you. Past graduates have pursued successful careers as project managers, property developers, building contractors, furniture designers, lighting designers, architectural visualisation artists and journalists.
Many of our graduates have successfully secured employment at world-class practices throughout the UK and further afield, while others have remained in the city of Liverpool contributing to its evolution, taking key roles in leading practices that have reshaped the city over the last decade.
Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service
We are committed to ensuring all of our students experience a transformation in their employability skills and mindset and their career trajectory. A wide range of opportunities and support is available to you, within and beyond your course.
Every undergraduate curriculum includes Future Focus, an e-learning resource and workshop designed to help you to develop personal insight into your talents, passion and purpose. It will enable you to become more proactive, adaptable and resilient in your awareness and approach to career possibilities. You’ll be encouraged to engage with personal and professional development opportunities.
A suite of learning experiences, services and opportunities is available to final year students to help ensure you leave with a great onward plan and the means to make it a reality.
Our Centre for Entrepreneurship can help you to grow your enterprise skills and to research, plan and start your own business. You also have access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU’s state-of-the-art suite of online tools and resources; opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, themed webinars; an annual programme of employer events; funded extracurricular internships and one-to-one advice to accelerate your job search, CV and interview technique.
Applicant key information
Course review and revalidation.
This course is currently undergoing its scheduled programme review, which may impact the advertised modules. Programme review is a standard part of the University’s approach to quality assurance and enhancement, enabling us to ensure that our courses remain up to date and maintain their high standard and relevancy.
Once the review is completed, this course website page will be updated to reflect any approved changes to the advertised course. These approved changes will also be communicated to those who apply for the course to ensure they wish to proceed with their application.
What you will study on this degree
Please see guidance on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.
Further guidance on modules
Modules are designated core or option in accordance with professional body requirements, as applicable, and LJMU’s Academic Framework Regulations.
Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules are also included to provide you with an element of choice within the programme. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.
Where changes to modules are necessary these will be communicated as appropriate.
Please see the programme specification document for further details on this course:Programme specification document (PDF)
Exploring Materials, Process and Practice
This practical and workshop-based module focuses on guiding you in adopting a cross-disciplinary fusion of learning and thinking through introductory projects. The module introduces you to basic Art & Design practices through introductory 'exposures' and 'encounters' with materials, technologies and processes. This module will help you replicate and simulate real-world interactions for making and collaborative practice. Cross-disciplinary collaborations will allow you to utilise the strongest characteristics of each discipline to form something new.
Drawing and Culture
The module activities will challenge your understanding of 'drawing' itself, and you will be exposed to novel drawing methods, such as haptico-visual drawing and virtual reality drawing. A series of drawing workshops will introduce you to a variety of basic drawing approaches and encourage experimentation with a range of materials and media. You will be expected to record experiments and visual ideas during these sessions.
Studio Practice Project
This module introduces you to key concepts and activities that underpin your discipline-specific study at higher education through participation in practical projects. You will be asked to record primary and secondary visual research in sketchbooks and document experimentations. The module will also include contextual lectures and workshop activities to develop your creative and technical confidence.
Preparing for Success: Academic Skills
This module provides you with the integrated skills required for academic success. You will develop your skills of creating posters, constructing bibliographies, and sourcing relevant materials. Alongside this you will learn to identify and understand academic writing and referencing techniques. The multi-disciplinary syllabus and assessment tasks will enable you to acquire the academic skills needed for successful transition into Level 4 and the completion of the degree.
This module provides you with the necessary skills to develop a research project on the Liverpool City region from your particular subject perspective. You will explain academic research methods, write a coherent piece of academic work based on an understanding of Liverpool, and locate relevant research to support your project. The module will help you to develop an independent approach to learning.
Encountering Art History
This module introduces you to the discipline of Art History. You will learn: how to undertake visual analyses of art works, how to adopt and understand key art historical terminology, how to acquire knowledge of important periods and artists in art history, and how to review exhibitions.
History and Theory 1
This module is delivered as a series of lectures, presented by studio tutors from all years of the programme, and dealing with the seminal developments in architectural design from antiquity to the twentieth century. Here you will be made aware or how art, technology, economy, environment and society have influenced the evolution of architecture. The module uses numerous carefully chosen buildings and their contexts to offer you an overview and grounding in the history of your predecessors in the architectural disciplines including urban design and landscape design.
This module introduces you to some fundamental aspects of architectural analysis and design process. The first stage of the module involves the study, drawing and presentation of architectural qualities found in a range of notable existing buildings. These comparative studies are undertaken as group work. The second stage is an individual student submission for a design proposal utilising the ideas previously explored.
Architectural Design 1
This module develops your thematic design ideas in an individual design project. Visual imagery in cinema is used to demonstrate and explore design concepts as a stimulus for the generation of ideas. Workshop activities include orthographic drawings, 3D systems, architectural conventions, photomontage, photography, model-making and sketching. Models and analytical drawings will be the primary means of exploring building studies.
Architectural Design 2 - Origination Stage 1
This module develops your design ideas, concepts and initial proposal for a building project and the subsequent module Architectural Design 2 progresses its spatial planning and technical resolution.
Architectural Design 2 - Resolution Stage 2
This module develops your concepts of the previous project work into a resolved architectural proposition, expressed through physical models, orthographic and perspective drawings. The module includes a constructional submission. The development of design skills is supported by weekly tutorials interspersed with design reviews. Design Workshops provide guidance towards the constructional section and building assembly of the project.
Technology and Practice 1
This module gives you a grounding in the challenges of building high quality architecture and begins to make connections between the technical and the design aspects of the subject. The module provides a sound theoretical and practical foundation to build on in Levels 5 and 6. It introduces you to the role of technology in the process of architectural design from commencement to realisation, as it has existed historically as well as in recent buildings of note. Accent is placed on innovatory thinking and on the present technical and practical horizons possible within the profession of architecture viewed internationally.
History and Theory 2
The aim of the module is to offer you a chance to explore Modernism, its European precedents and worldwide antecedents and to help you to develop your analytic voice through a series of lectures, seminars and assignments in preparation for the more detailed and focussed tasks of level 6. In addition you will be encouraged to develop your research skills to have a wider scope of context and a deeper appreciation of how critical theory can help in dissecting the work of architects and their creative processes.
Urban Design Strategy
This module introduces the principles of urban design and how these relate to the design and development of cities, past and present. It explores the role of urban strategy in shaping the contemporary built environment. Module outputs focus on the production of an urban design strategy for part of a city based on analysis of the existing condition.
Urban Design Project
This module aims to instil you with the ability to individually produce a detailed spatial design, which is derived from a masterplan and that responds to ideas developed through working at a range of scales. The module then aims to develop your understanding of technical strategies relating to design, resulting in meaningful and considered integration of strategies for sustainable design and materials.
Experimental Design - Origination
This module develops your experimental and explorative processes in architectural thinking, design and production. The architectural inquiry in this module will be informed by thematic research, cultural and historic re-interpretation, and sustainability, as appropriate to each project. From a given starting point you are encouraged to explore and define the parameters of the field of inquiry for your project. In so doing, the aim is that you will devise your own objectives for research, brief, developmental interpretation and ultimately design response.
Experimental Design - Resolution
This module enables you to develop experimental and explorative processes in architectural design thinking, production, technical studies, and representation. You will develop your abilities in creative detailed design development and detailed resolution of your design project. You will also explore the integrated consideration of technical issues in relation to your design project, such as material choice and detailed technical strategies, underpinned by principles of sustainability.
Technology and Practice 2
The aim of this module is to methodically inform you of the topics of environmental design, structural design, materials choice and properties, Computer Aided Design, and the construction of buildings on site. The module builds on the broad introduction given at Level 4, by focussing on the technical realisation of buildings through analysis, design, detailing, and site construction and supervision.
This ‘Comprehensive Design Project Research’ module informs your final semester studio work. You will have a choice of subject areas from a range of briefs, to then progress as an in-depth piece of research to establish the contextual framework for your final design project. You are expected to engage in a significant element of background reading and research.
Architectural Design 3 - Origination
The theme of this module is environment, ecology and sustainability. These topics are explored through the design origination of a building with a programme relating to these themes. This module will introduce you to the importance of researching, understanding and interpreting cultural ideas/phenomena related to sustainability. Studies of relevant history and theories, technology and materials will underpin the module. Presentation of designs will take the form of models, drawings and other creative media, and will be presented in exhibition and portfolio format.
Architectural Design 3 - Resolution
This module will encourage you to adopt a rigorous approach to spatial refinement, structure, materiality and sustainability. This should include knowledge and practice associated with the ecological impact of design over time. It will introduce the importance of researching, understanding and interpreting spatiality materiality and sustainability.
Comprehensive Design Project
The aim of this module is to enable you to prepare a integrated design for a medium sized building. This work will draw on other modules of the course and will prove your abilities in site planning and landscaping, conceptual and thematic design, spatial organisation and sequence, materials choice, detailed technical strategies and design and principles of build ability.
Technology and Practice 3
This module is focused on creating a coherent integrated environmental strategy for their CDP building, with appropriate structural resolution and considered thinking in materiality and construction. This work is assessed through drawings and diagrams which are presented alongside the CDP design.
Teaching and work-related learning
Excellent facilities and learning resources
We adopt an active blended learning approach, meaning you will experience a combination of face-to-face and online learning during your time at LJMU. This enables you to experience a rich and diverse learning experience and engage fully with your studies. Our approach ensures that you can easily access support from your personal tutor, either by meeting them on-campus or via a video call to suit your needs.
During Level 4, you will be introduced to fundamental tools and ideas that form the basis for the study of architecture. In parallel, the interpretation of themes and conceptual thinking will be established within the year’s overall focus of Form, Space and Light.
During Level 5, you will explore two core aspects of architectural thinking: Contextualism and Experimentation and complete a study trip to a city in Europe. You will also complete modules which will inform and aid your work in the design studio. The final year, Level 6, focuses on environment, sustainability and ecology where architecture is seen as emerging from and responding to a holistic context of contemporary cultural and environmental programmatic issues. You will secure the skills and knowledge required to practice architecture via a creative but rigorous approach to design project work.
Support and guidance
Dedicated personal tutor, plus study skills support
Independent design project work makes up 60% of this course, and so it is vital that you get the support you need to be able to fully develop your design skills. For this reason, you will be allocated a design tutor who will provide one-to-one teaching and support throughout each project. The feedback system and the production of a personal development plan with a personal tutor are also designed to help you achieve your full potential, in both your studies and your future career plans.
Assessment varies depending on the modules you choose, but will usually include a combination of exams and coursework.
All students perform differently depending on how they are assessed, which is why we use a combination of assessment methods. Typically, you will be assessed on your design and research presentations (group/individual), written work (essays, reports etc), exams (seen/unseen), practical work (workshop abroad), and your portfolio. At the end of your studies there will be a one-to-one interview with an external examiner.
The type of feedback you will receive varies according to the module. For instance, design modules are reviewed twice with formal feedback given by a panel at the second review, and portfolio reviews are conducted at the end of each semester when you will work with your personal tutor to put together a personal development plan. This will address your strengths and weaknesses and help you develop your academic work as well as your career plans.
Connecting with the profession
Alongside your development of professional architectural skills, you will gain transferable skills that will enhance your employability once you graduate. You will hear from a range of guest speakers, as part of the School of Art and Design's Masters Series lectures. You will also have opportunities to participate in symposia run by the Architecture department as well as opportunities to enter competitions relating to professional development. In a recent competition held in association with Finsa, final year Architecture students were asked to design a school or shelter for war torn countries so that children could learn in safety. Read about the competition from the perspective of the winner.
What you can expect from your School
Cross-disciplinary learning in art and design subjects takes place in the Liverpool School of Art and Design’s John Lennon Art and Design Building, based in the Mount Pleasant Campus. Here students studying a variety of disciplines, including Architecture, Art in Science, Exhibition Studies, Fashion, Fine Art, Graphic Design, History of Art and Museum Studies and Interior Architecture, will have the opportunity to develop their work in state-of-the-art workspaces and facilities within a stimulating and critically demanding environment.
Please choose your qualifications below to view requirements
Minimum points required from qualifications: 72
GCSE and equivalents
Prior to starting the programme applicants must have obtained GCSE grade 4 (C) or above in English Language, Mathematics and Science or an approved alternative qualification below:
• Key Skills Level 2 in English/ Maths • NVQ Level 2 Functional skills in Maths and English Writing and or Reading • Skills for Life Level 2 in English • Higher Diploma in Maths/ English • Functional skills level 2 in Maths/ English • Northern Ireland Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number • Welsh GCSE in Maths • Wales Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number
- Minimum number of A Levels required: 2
- Is general studies acceptable? Yes
- Average A Level offer: DDD
- Are AS level awards acceptable? Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- Maximum AS Level points accepted: 20
- National Certificate (RQF): Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- National Extended Certificate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- National Diploma (RQF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- National Diploma subjects / grades required: DM if studied on its own or to the total of 72 UCAS Tariff points when combined with other Level 3 qualifications
- National Extended Diploma (RQF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- National Extended Diploma subjects / grades required: MMP if studied on its own or to the total of 72 UCAS Tariff points when combined with other Level 3 qualifications
Access to Higher Education Diploma
- Access to Higher Education Diploma acceptability: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- Further information: Minimum of 24 Merits and 21 Passes or any other combination equivalent to 72 UCAS Tariff points
- International Baccalaureate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- Additional information: 72 UCAS Tariff points
- Welsh Baccalaureate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- Irish Leaving Certificate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- Grades / subjects required: 72 UCAS Tariff points with a maximum of 20 points from Ordinary Level
OCR National acceptability
- National Certificate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- National Diploma: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- National Extended Diploma: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- Are Level 3 NVQs acceptable? Acceptable on its own
Alternative qualifications considered
Applications are welcomed from mature and non-standard applicants, who will be considered on an individual basis.
Submission of portfolio requiredIELTS
6.0 (minimum of 5.5 in each component) or equivalent English language proficiency test.International entry requirements
Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check.Can this course be deferred?
YesIs a DBS check required?
Application and selection
Securing your place at LJMU
All short-listed applicants are requested to submit a digital portfolio prior to an offer being made. Applicants are awarded an offer on the quality of their digital portfolio or work, and academic attainments.
We are looking for students with an enthusiasm for design, who wish to engage in the debate on the future of the built environment.
You should have a willingness to read the subject widely. You should be willing to gain first hand experience of buildings, towns and cities and acquire information retrieval techniques, as you will be expected to read around the subject and draw upon your findings for essays and projects.
You would be expected to meet the criteria below;
- Critically aware of their surroundings
- Capable of discussing Art & Design issues
- The ability to analyse and reflectively criticise your work and the work of others
- Visual awareness
The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.
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