The LSA launched with an innovative financial model that seeks to reduce the financial burden on students with the long-term ambition of widening access to architectural education from across the whole of society. Our fees are substantially cheaper than the majority of schools, and are offset by salary students earn from an integrated 12-month work placement within our Practice Network.
From 2018/19, our tuition fees for both First Year and Second Year are £7,500/year, which is significantly lower than the £9,250/year that the majority of the UK’s university-based courses will charge. Additionally, in the First Year our students earn a minimum of £12,000/year, though frequently more than this depending on experience and the practice’s profile.
Students on the LSA’s Professional Diploma in Designing Architecture programme can apply for a Professional and Career Development Loan (PCDL) quoting our registration number is REG01-21568. PCDLs are bank loans to pay for courses and training that help with your career or help get you into work. You may be able to borrow between £300 and £10,000.
Loans are usually offered at a reduced interest rate and the government pays interest while you’re studying. The training period, for which the Skills Funding Agency will pay the interest for an individual loan is limited to a maximum of 24 months. For current information click here.
Additionally, the school seeks to be fully recognised by the state, so that our institution is on a level playing field with universities and – crucially – so that our students can access comparable financial support for living costs, which are particularly high in London.
As a new education provider, the LSA has applied for Specific Course Designation to commence for the academic year 2018/19, which would enable our students to access the tuition fee loans at undergraduate level and the package of living cost support that includes Maintenance Loan, Maintenance Grant, Grants for Dependents, Childcare Grants and Disabled Students Allowances.
This process involves applications to the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). In October 2017, the LSA had a successful visit from the QAA, which judged that the school meets all four parts of the UK Quality Code. Our full application has been made to HEFCE and is ongoing.
While we cannot guarantee that students beginning their studies in 2018 will be eligible to apply for student finance, we anticipate that they will be able to do so and we have fully committed the school to achieving this.
In the interim period, the school offers a number of its own bursaries to applicants who can demonstrate academic merit and financial need. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would need a bursary to study with the LSA.
We also subscribe to The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding Online (postgraduate-funding.com), which is the most popular funding resource in the world for current and prospective postgraduate students studying at UK universities. Please email email@example.com for a log-on.
See our online Admissions Handbook for more information on how to pay tuition fees, guidance on additional costs and how to arrange a salary sacrifice on your work placement salary to reduce your tax contribution. For any further enquiries that aren’t covered in the handbook please email admissions@lsa-org.
How to apply
We are now open for applications for entry onto the Part 2 programme in October 2018. To make an application complete this online application form. The online Admissions Handbook includes full information on admissions requirements, the practice placement process, offer of places, school and student commitments and our admissions policy statement. Below is a summary of the key information. For further enquiries please email admissions@lsa-org.
Key dates for applicants
- Applications open 14 December 2017
- Open Evening 9 January 2018
- Open Evening (for late applicants) 5 February 2018
- Deadline for applications 5 February 2018
- Interviews 19-28 February 2018
- Applicants notified 29 March 2018
Late applications will be considered depending on whether places are available. There are a maximum of 40 places available, so we advise you to apply early.
Applicants should have a 2.2 Honours degree in architecture and ARB/RIBA Part 1. An equivalent architectural degree to Part 1 may be acceptable, but applicants must be aware that they cannot progress to ARB/RIBA Part 3 without having completed Parts 1 and 2 and register as an architect in the UK/EU.
Applicants are required to demonstrate talent as a designer as well as ability and motivation to complete the course successfully. The LSA is looking for its students to rise to the ambitious challenge set by the programme, and applicants should address the P.R.I.M.E Characteristics and P.R.I.M.E Values.
Applicants will be expected to present a portfolio, demonstrating their ambition for the subject area and for studying at postgraduate level. Applicants need to be eligible to study in the UK for the full duration of the programme, and to be eligible to work in the UK for the duration of the work placement.
For International students, as a new independent school, the London School of Architecture does not have a UK Visas and Immigration Tier 4 Licence and is therefore not able to accept students from outside the EEA. However, there may be unusual circumstances where non-EEA nationals are already in possession of alternative visas, which do allow for study in the UK. It is the responsibility of interested applicants to check with local UK immigration authorities.
English Language Requirements
Students whose first language must provide evidence of their English language skills demonstrated by one of the following:
- IELTS – normally a minimum overall grade of 6.0, usually with 5.5 or above in each element (within a two year validity period)
- EU students – a high grade in English taken as part of a leaving examination (e.g. the European/French Baccalaureate, Abitur etc.) may be acceptable
- Cambridge English: Advanced – grade A or B
- Cambridge English: Proficiency – grade A, B or C
- Singapore Integrated Programme (SIP) – may be considered an acceptable English language qualification.
- Trinity College SELT Test (ISE II [B2] or ISE III [C1] with a minimum pass in each category, within a two year validity period)
Applicants must enter the name and result of their test on their application, and provide an original copy at enrolment. If an applicant doesn’t have one of these qualifications but is currently being taught in English, they may contact the Registrar for advice.
Upon receipt of a completed online application form, LSA staff will select applicants for interview, which will usually take place in London, but may be conducted by Skype if the applicant is currently living abroad. Each interview panel will contain at least one senior member of staff and will usually also be attended by a current student.
The school will afford applicants the opportunity to present evidence of their qualifications, experience and commitment to the demands of the profession, including a portfolio presentation. The panel will assess aptitude for the course, evidenced in a presented portfolio of academic and professional work, and through discussion. Conditional academic places will be offered to successful applicants in writing, and these will be only confirmed once a practice placement position has been secured. Applicants will be asked to provide evidence of eligibility prior to enrolment.
All applicants must submit an electronic PDF portfolio. The portfolio will be limited to a maximum of 12 pages of work (text and/or images), formatted to A3 landscape or portrait. These should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org following completion and submission of the online application.
Practice Placement Process
The LSA has established a Practice Network in London to help to facilitate work placements for students. The LSA follows a fair and transparent procedure to suggest matches between students and practices. If a student has been offered a conditional place on the taught programme and seeks to be placed in the Practice Network, the placement is as follows:
- Students make a first, second and third choice from the research themes that have been generated by the LSA from specific topics suggested by the Practice Network.
- From their choice of research theme and a further consultation, the LSA will suggest practice placement options that the school thinks would suit both the student and the practice. Where possible, the LSA seeks to send students to two interviews.
- The practice is asked to inform the school about the outcome of the interview, and the school will in turn notify the student. From the first two interviews, the school hopes that the majority of students will receive the offer of at least one suitable work placement.
- In the event that a student receives two placement offers, they are free to decide which one to accept. If a student receives an offer from the first interview, they are free to accept, with no obligation to attend a second placement interview. The school asks that any scheduled second interview be cancelled with suitable notice, so that the opportunity may be opened up for another student.
- In the event that the first two interviews do not yield an offer of a placement, the LSA will seek to identify further potential opportunities within the Practice Network.
- The LSA will do everything within its power to help secure a placement for a student, but we cannot guarantee a student will receive one, as ultimately the decision resides with the practice. Students cannot enrol on the course unless a suitable placement is arranged in advance of the start of the academic year.
- Practices make the offer of employment directly to the student. Students are advised to carefully consider offers of employment that are made to them. Students must satisfy themselves that they wish to enter into the employment contract with the practice.
- Once a student has accepted the offer of employment from a practice, they can accept the conditional offer from the LSA.
There are two other routes to the establishment of a practice placement within the framework of the LSA programme:
- An applicant who is employed by a practice operating within the LSA Practice Network is offered a conditional place on the taught programme and the practice declares its willingness for that employee to go part-time within the terms set out in the LSA Practice Contract.
- An applicant who is currently employed by a practice operating outside the LSA Network is offered a conditional place on the taught programme and the practice declares (i) that it wishes to join the Practice Network and (ii) its willingness for the applicant to be employed part-time within the terms set out in the LSA Practice Contract.
- Similarly applicants with a conditional place offer may target suitable practices outside the LSA Practice Network, seeking employment within the terms set out in the LSA Practice Contract.
Practices that seek to join the Practice Network through the the three routes above must apply through the same process as the existing network. The school will assess the practice’s aptitude to join the Practice Network based on its completed Expression of Interest form and, potentially, at interview. The practice must be based in London. The LSA reserves the right to decline at its absolute discretion an application by a practice to join the Practice Network. In the routes above, the practice/student pairing must join a Design Think Tank that suits their shared interests.