BA (Hons) Architecture with Foundation Year
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
Minimum UCAS points required: To be confirmed
Limited places available. Apply now or register your interest using our online Clearing form (link will open in a new tab).
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.
Student Futures - Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service
We are committed to ensuring all 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 during Level 4, an e-learning resource and workshop designed to help you to develop your talents, passion and purpose. It will enable you to become more proactive, adaptable and resilient in your awareness and approach to career possibilities.
Every student has access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU’s state-of-the-art suite of online tools, resources and jobs board. There are opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, LJMU’s in-house recruitment service, ensuring students can build experience whilst they study.
One-to-one careers and employability advice is available via our campus-based Careers Zones to accelerate your job search and applications, CV and interview technique. Themed careers and employability workshops, a programme of employer events and recruitment fairs run throughout the year and students have the opportunity to hear from a range of alumni who openly share their own onward experience.
Student Futures work with businesses to create opportunities for fully funded internships which help students increase their network within the Liverpool City Region and beyond. Our Start-Up Hub can help you to grow your enterprise skills and to research, plan and start your own business or become a freelancer.
A suite of learning experiences, services and opportunities is available to final year students to help ensure you leave with a great onward plan. You can access LJMU’s Careers, Employability and Enterprise Services after you graduate and return for one-to-one support for life.
LJMU aims to make international opportunities available to every student. You may be able to study abroad as part of your degree at one of our 100+ partner universities across the world. You could also complete a work placement or apply for one of our prestigious worldwide internship programmes. If you wanted to go abroad for a shorter amount of time, you could attend one of our 1-4 week long summer schools.
Our Go Citizen Scheme can help with costs towards volunteering, individual projects or unpaid placements anywhere in the world. With all of these opportunities at your feet, why wouldn’t you take up the chance to go abroad?
Find out more about the opportunities we have available via our Instagram @ljmuglobalopps or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Environment and Technology 1: Introduction to structural and environmental design
Design 1: Light, space and form; narrative and spatial sequencing
Design 2: Exploration for a place for making
Design 3: Crafting a Spatial Proposition
Design 4: The Need for Design
Fundamental Skills: Understanding buildings through drawing
History and Theory 1: A global review of architectural Design
Environment and Technology 2: Use and application of Building Information Modelling
Integrated Design 1: Explorative Project - Design
Integrated Design 2: Explorative Project - Technology
Design 5: City Design; analysing and shaping the city
Design 6: Building in the city; enriching urban form through architecture
History and Theory 2: Modernism; from the symbol of the present to the medium of the future
Practice and Legislation: Ethical design practice and building legislation
Integrated Design 2: Supporting Studies
Integrated Design 2: Weather or not - explorations around climate
Integrated Design 3: Comprehensive Design Project
Design Project Research - CDP
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.
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.