Financial model

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 cheaper than the majority of schools and are offset by a salary that students earn from an integrated 12-month work placement within our Practice Network.

The tuition fees for 2020/21 will be reviewed in January 2020 and updated accordingly. In the First Year, our students undertake an integrated practice placement, where they earn a minimum of £12,000/year, though frequently more than this depending on experience and the practice’s profile. In Second Year, students may choose to work a day/week, either within the host practice or another firm (this is optional).


Student Finance

Students at the LSA are eligible to apply for student finance for tuition fee loans and for a maintenance loan. You can do so here. Please note you must apply for an Undergraduate loan as the Professional Diploma in Designing Architecture is part of the five year ARB/RIBA recognised course in Architecture. For any questions regarding this please contact our Registrar Marilyn Dyer, The government tuition fee loan is currently capped at £6,000. The government has established a new Office for Students, which the LSA is registered with.

Students whose domicile is Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are required to apply directly to the Scottish, Wales and Northern Ireland educational authorities.



Further information

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

How to apply

We are now open for applications for the 2020/21 academic year. Begin your application here.


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, according to current UK government legislation.

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 diploma 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.

For international students, as an independent school, the LSA 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. Subject to UK legislation



Students whose first language is not english must provide evidence of their english language skills demonstrated by one of the following:

  • Academic IELTS test at band 6.0 or above with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component, or equivalent and approved in a Trinity College Secure English Language Test centre (SELT), ISE11 (B2) with minimum pass in each category. Validity of Academic IELTS is 2 years and must be current upon registration at the LSA.
  • a pass in English Language at GCSE at grade C or above.

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 Registrar for advice or email



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, with reference to the LSA’s P.R.I.M.E characteristics and values, 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 registration.



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 following completion and submission of the online application.



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 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 then formalise their 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 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 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 three routes above must apply through the same process as the existing network. Practices looking to begin this process should email 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.