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A student made building model made out of wood


Planning for your future starts here

A Pathway in Architecture is designed to develop strong foundations in design, critical thinking, and research. Where better to gain a foundation in Architecture than in the beautiful and historic city of Cambridge!

Key information

Undergraduate course


  • Foundation (4 Years)
  • First Year (3 Years)


  • January
  • September


  • Chelmsford

Architecture overview

From the design of a family home to an entire city, architects shape the world in which we live. Students will be introduced to practical art and design skills including developing skills of visual storytelling, image-making both in traditional and digital media, visual language and communication, formulating an independent creative response to a broad range of subject matter. Our undergraduate pathway delivers the creative and technical skills you’ll need to help transform our built environment and succeed in architectural practice.

For a hands-on degree, many of your classes are going to utilise project and portfolio based strategies to help you begin developing your portfolio and find your areas of passion. You’ll learn to study design from creative and technical perspectives to help you build projects which are beautiful, sustainable, and user-friendly. Our staff are actively engaged in research, and they’ll support you all the way. Plus, there’s the opportunity to go to extracurricular seminars and workshops, which feature guest presentations from specialist academics and researchers.

Pathway progression

Successful completion of this pathway will lead to the award of the following from ARU:

Please see our International and UK course matrix for entry point, intake and study location information.

Course structure

Interactive Learning Skills and Communication (ILSC)

This module has been designed to help students develop their academic literacy, and research and communication skills in preparation for undergraduate study. The areas of reading, writing, speaking, and listening will be covered. ILSC also helps students understand the institutional culture, practices, norms and expectations of the UK higher education.

A subsidiary aim of this module is to ensure that students develop transferable skills of effective and professional communication to support ongoing study, as well as providing a basis to foster career and life-building skills.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

No previous technical experience is required for this module, which provides students with an introduction to practical ICT skills. This foundation will be needed for academic success across many areas of higher education. The students will use industry standard office productivity software and techniques to produce presentations, written assignments, and charts and tables in spreadsheets.

Alongside practical skills, fundamental topics surrounding technology use will be discussed, together with societal and ethical perspectives. The module will enable students to discuss the main challenges facing society and consider the implications of their technology use.

By the end of this module, students should have sufficient mastery of the Microsoft Office productivity suite to allow them to plan and produce presentations, use functions and write formula to display, format and analyse quantitative data and produce written assignments to a standard appropriate to higher education.

Creative Workshops 1

The module is designed to introduce various fundamental crafts, skills, and techniques required to support and study of a range of subjects associated with Art, Design and Architecture.

The module is delivered via a series of craft related, hands-on workshops and art practice, which will encourage and facilitate individual creative expression through experimentation, observation/analysis and responding through drawings and image-making, using traditional and digital processes and techniques in a variety of contexts.

Approach to Design

The module is designed to introduce and underpin some of fundamental aspects of design and visual language required to support a range of subjects associated with Art, Design and Architecture. The module is studio-based with teaching and learning centred on practical exploration and problem-solving in response to a series of lectures, workshops, activities/tasks and project-based assignments.

Critical and Contextual Studies

The module is designed to provide a chronological framework and introduce key aspects of visual, contextual and cultural studies required to support a range of subjects associated with Art, Design and Architecture combining historical and present conceptions on a variety of related topics. This module is also designed to help develop a wide range of study skills including research, critical thinking/analysis, sourcing/referencing, reflective practice, communication, visual literacy and presentation associated with their intended pathway subject.

Engineering Design

Engineering Design is intended for students progressing to Engineering, Computer Science, or Architecture degree programmes. The focus of this module is on putting students’ studies into context in the wider world, in particular by considering how different professions must collaborate in the world of work. This module will consider a number of different design processes, and how they might be implemented by multi-disciplinary teams, as well as how the design activity fits within the wider business context.

Creative Workshops 2

The module is designed to hone and develop competencies in drawing, visualisation, image-making skills which help underpin and support core skills and techniques required for various subjects associated with Art, Design and Architecture. Exploring further elements and principles of art, design and the built environment. Students will combine different techniques from this Element to interpret and respond to creative themes and produce creative work.

The module is designed to encourage and facilitate individual creative response and expression.

Specialist Project

This module has been designed to represent the opportunity for learners to confirm their independent areas of interest through a major Specialist Project, in which they can apply understanding and knowledge acquired or developed in other Elements, hone and develop skills and techniques relevant to particular fields of interest, and develop work which visually communicates via portfolio presentation.

This module is focused on Professional Development Planning – which relates to and endorses the learners’ interest and intentions in progressing to his/her specific subject field. Language, communication and presentations skills will be further developed through report writing and conducting active research with regards to intended study routes, careers and associated industries. Through this investigation, learners will be guided towards formulating and developing a self-initiated Specialist Project proposal, based upon a creative design brief, which clearly identifies and explores aspects of their intended progression route e.g. graphic design, interior design, architecture, digital arts, game design, photography, illustration, fine art etc.

Related links

For more information about intake semesters and campus location please see our course matrices.

Find out the academic entry requirements for our courses listed by country. Unless stated, requirements are standard across all courses.

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