How to apply
Applications for 2022/23 are now open for our MArch in Designing Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part 2).
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 and passed Parts 1 and 2 in order to register as an architect in the UK, according to current UK government legislation.†
† As of 1 January 2021, no EU Member State is be obliged to automatically recognise the UK’s qualifications for the purposes of registration. As such, it is up to a student’s own domicile’s discretion to recognise any qualification gained in the UK.
In order to be eligible to apply to register as an architect in the UK, you must have completed and passed ARB/RIBA Parts 1 and 2 programmes and have ‘recently completed a minimum of 24 months’ practical experience under the direct supervision of a professional working in the construction industry.
Please note: your experience in practice during the LSA MArch in Designing Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part 2) programme that is undertaken as part of your educational course in the integrated placement for the modules Critical Practice: Placement and Critical Practice: Theory cannot be counted towards your 24 months’ practical experience.
For further up-to-date information please visit the ARB website, which has full information at the following link here.
Applicants are required to demonstrate talent as a designer as well as ability and motivation to complete the programme 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 masters 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, according to current UK government legislation.
The LSA does not currently have a Student Route Visa (previously ‘Tier 4’) UKVI licence. EU and International students, who are currently residing in the UK and are already in possession of alternative visas, which do allow for study and work within the UK, are eligible to apply. However, it is the responsibility of the applicant to check with local UK immigration authorities regarding the above. Those doing so must make evidence of this explicit upon their application to the LSA.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS
Students whose first language is not English must provide evidence of their English language skills demonstrated by:
- If applying to study a course at degree level or above, the applicant must have the equivalent of level B2 of the Common European Framework of References for English language.
- The LSA reserves the right to make conditional offers on the basis of candidates gaining a further English language qualification if deemed necessary.
- English language qualification requirements are subject to frequent change, in line with Home Office/UKVI regulations. Candidates are responsible for keeping up to date with such changes.
To meet both the LSA and the Home Office/UKVI English language requirements, candidates must obtain one of the following language qualifications:
- IELTS (UKVI): A score of 6.0 overall is required, with at least 5.5 in each category. IELTS reports have a two-year validity period. Certificates must therefore have been obtained within two years of the candidate’s visa application date.
- Trinity College SELT Test (ISE II (B2) or ISE III (C1)): A pass is required in each category at minimum. Trinity reports have a two-year validity period.
- Pearson PTE (Academic UKVI): A score with at least 51 in each category.
English language exams vary in terms of how long they remain valid. Candidates should provide the LSA admissions team with a scanned copy of their official test certificate and/or the TRF number from that certificate. The required scores must be achieved during a single sitting of the examination.
In addition to the above, applicants may also choose from one of the following English language test and qualification options:
- GCSE/IGCSE English, IGCSE English (First Language) or English Language: Pass at 5 (or grade C) is required.
- A Level English Language or English Language and Literature or English Literature: Grade C or above is required.
- IB English A (SL) and IB English A (HL): Language and Literature or Literature: Grade 5 or above is required.
- IB English B (for non-native speakers) (SL): Grade 7 or above is required.
- IB English B (for non-native speakers) (HL): Grade 5 or above is required.
Applicants must enter the name and result of their test on their application, and provide an original copy at registration. If an applicant doesn’t have one of these qualifications but is currently being taught in English, they may contact the Admissions Team for advice or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Step 1 check that you meet all admissions requirements
- Step 2 check all details of the portfolio and statement of purpose submission (the statement of purpose is required instead of a personal statement)
- Step 3 complete the two-stage admissions form (contact details + portfolio and statement of purpose submission, including any required supporting documents) by clicking on the “APPLY NOW” link located at the bottom of this page
Upon receipt of a completed online application form, the LSA admissions team will select applicants for interview. Interviews will usually take place in London, but may be conducted by video call if the applicant is currently living abroad or there are restrictions on movement due to the current pandemic. Each interview panel will contain at least one senior member of staff and 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. Please ensure you read the portfolio requirements set out below. Conditional academic places will be offered to successful applicants in writing, and these will only be confirmed once a practice placement position has been secured. Applicants will be asked to provide evidence of eligibility prior to registration.
A maximum 14-page edited portfolio to include:
a)Undergraduate/BA architectural project work: show process and synthesis of design proposal(s) [8 pages]
b)Evidence of work experience and any independent project work highlighting your specific contribution [3 pages]
c) Statement of purpose We want to find out what kind of designer you are, what your methods are and how you think through design.
-What is a statement of purpose?
You might be more familiar with providing a personal statement for other schools and universities i.e. a personal summary in the form of an essay, however, the LSA asks for a statement of purpose, i.e. what, why and how you do what you do.
Remember: we ask for this instead of a personal statement.
-How should I prepare my statement of purpose?
We give clear guidance below for how to prepare your statement of purpose. It is in two parts: a text piece (in answer to the 3 questions) and a design piece (in response to the mini brief).
Remember: there is no right answer.
-How much time should I spend on my statement of purpose?
Expect to spend no more than approximately 8 hours over 2 days (or the equivalent time available to you) – we will not test you on this, it is simply our best advice on how to make time to think about what you want to write/design, do it and then edit and present that work.
Remember: Check your file sizes before uploading.
-What do I need to be able to fulfil the design piece?
There is no need or expectation from the LSA for you to purchase additional materials in order to complete the design piece of the statement of purpose. You may use any medium or format available to you, e.g. model, drawing, photograph, animation…just make sure that if it is 3-D work you submit clear 2-D documentation, or if digital you submit as a single click hyperlink.
Remember: Enjoy it – we love to see how you can be resourceful!
- Text piece [1 page]
Please respond to the following three questions – we recommend no more than 200 words per question. You are encouraged to illustrate your answers with one or two diagrams or sketches and we encourage you to be creative in your responses.
– What is your first design move, and what do you require to make that move?
– What kind of spatial thinker are you?
– How do your preferred design tools help you to problem-solve?
- Design piece [2 pages]
Please undertake the following two-page design exercise (one page to show your process and one page for a concise set of design drawings) in response to the following provocation:
Design one space that will make your immediate environment better. You should aim to:
– be imaginative in designing a space that can be of benefit to both you and those around you
– be resourceful in how you design the most with the least
– be critical about how and where your design is located
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. Following this, practices will then send out offers direct to students on a set date at the same agreed time. 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.
- 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 register 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 then formalise their conditional offer from the LSA.
ALTERNATIVE PRACTICE PLACEMENT PROCESSES
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 Agreement.
- An applicant who is currently employed by a practice operating outside the LSA Practice 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 Agreement.
- 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 Agreement.
Practices that seek to join the Practice Network through the three routes above must apply through the same process as the existing network. Practices looking to begin this process should email email@example.com. 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.
Student Transfer Policy
If you are currently studying at another university and would like to transfer to London School of Architecture to join the two-year programme for the qualification of the MArch in Designing Architecture the regular entry commences at the beginning of September of each academic year through the application procedure as stated on the LSA website.
AM I ELIGIBLE TO TRANSFER TO THE LONDON SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE?
A student’s eligibility for advanced entry will be assessed by our academic staff on an individual basis and will be based on the following:
- compatibility of the modules/grades of your previous study against the London School of Architecture programme and its modules
- your work will be assessed by the school to ensure compliance against learning outcomes required for professional qualification as an architect
- analysis of the transcripts of your first and/or second year studies. (Please note that no decision will be made on your application until we receive a copy of the transcripts of your previous study (or, if you are still yet to complete this study, a partial transcript including details of all outstanding modules)
- quality of your academic reference and personal statement
TRANSFERRING TO ANOTHER UNIVERSITY FROM THE LONDON SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE
If you wish to transfer to a course at another university the LSA will provide you with:
- A transcript outlining the modules you have completed and the grades which you have achieved
- An exit award if you have passed sufficient credit (Certificate in Designing Architecture)
- An academic reference from one of your course staff on request
The amount of tuition fees you will have to pay to the LSA will depend on your official day of withdrawal notified to us in writing.
You should be aware that if you transfer mid-year, then you may find yourself liable for fees at the LSA and the university to which you are transferring. Please check with the relevant university.
If you are in receipt of Student Finance you are only entitled to a tuition fee loan for the terms you are in attendance at the LSA. The LSA will inform Student Finance of your last date of attendance once you have notified us in writing of your withdrawal. Your new university will also need to contact Student Finance and complete a form called Confirmation of Circumstances Form – Student Transfer.
For any questions regarding this please contact our Admissions Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.