ADMISSIONS PROCESS

Our Admissions Process takes place over the following steps:

STEP 1: APPLICATION – fill out our 2-stage online Application Form in line with our Application Cycles

STEP 2: INTERVIEW – if we take forward your application, you will be invited to Interview to discuss your work and ambitions

STEP 3: OFFER – if you are successful in interview we will promptly issue you an offer. If you accept, we will ask you to pay a small deposit

STEP 4: STUDENT PLACEMENT – once you have accepted your offer we will connect you with a Placement Provider in our Practice Network

Once these steps are complete you will be ready for registration and enrolment at the start of next academic year. Read through these pages carefully for more information on each step. You can apply at any time, but we encourage early application – in time for the first cycle – to ensure the strongest chance of joining us next year and securing a Student Placement in our Practice Network, which is a condition of study.

APPLICATION CYCLES
STEP 1: APPLICATION FORM
STEP 2: INTERVIEW
STEP 3: STUDENT PLACEMENT

APPLICATION CYCLES

Our first application cycle closes at 23.59pm on 15 January 2023. We will run additional application cycles but we recommend early application. If you submit by 15 January and your application is taken forward, you will be interviewed and, if successful, made an offer within 3 weeks according to the following tight cycle:

A typical application cycle

Unsuccessful applicants after application and interview will be informed as quickly as possible.

STEP 1: APPLICATION FORM

Our online application form will ask for Personal Information and Contact Details, confirmation of your Eligibility and fulfilment of Language Requirements, as well as your Employment and Education experience, the name of two Referees (from academia and practice) and some questions to collect diversity monitoring data.

You will also be asked to submit a Portfolio and provide a series of responses that make up your Statement of Purpose. These are assessed carefully as part of our Admissions Process and you will be expected to speak to both if invited for interview.

PORTFOLIO

The composition of all parts of your portfolio submission should be no more than 14 pages (including name and contents page) and the file size should be no larger than 100MB, and saved in PDF format. The Portfolio should be made up of two parts:

  1. ACADEMIC WORK: Undergraduate/BA architectural project work, showing process and synthesis of design proposal(s) [1 name/contents, 10 pages work]
  2. PRACTICE EXPERIENCE: Evidence of work experience and any independent project work highlighting your specific contribution [4 pages]

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

In responding to the questions which make up the Statement of Purpose we encourage you to be creative and thoughtful. All projects that you reference here should be properly represented in your portfolio.

Motivation

What attracts you to the LSA? (100 words)

What are your ambitions in undertaking this MArch (Part 2) programme? Do you have any specific areas of interest you want to develop? (maximum 100)

Design

Describe your design processes and methods (250 words) 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? 

Describe your undergraduate thesis project (200 words)

Practice

Please outline 2 contributions you have made to projects in practice (these should correspond to your portfolio submission). This will include a summary of the project (25 words), the RIBA Plan of Work stages you contributed to, and a summary of those contributes (150 words)

STEP 2: INTERVIEW

Upon receipt of a completed online application form, the 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.

If you are invited to interview we will ask you to carry out a simple and short design exercise. A brief with full information will be issued with your invitation letter.

As well as discussing the response to the exercise, the interview will afford you the opportunity to present evidence of their qualifications, experience and commitment to the demands of the profession, including a portfolio presentation.

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.

STEP 3: STUDENT PLACEMENT

The Student Placement is a fundamental part of our unique Part 2 programme. Below is a guide to how our Student Placement process works, beginning in Spring. If you are an applicant and have any further questions, please email our Admissions Team (admissions@the-lsa.org). If you are from practice, please email our Engagement Manager, John Nahar (john.n@the-lsa.org).

We have provided a glossary of terms to make the process as clear as possible:

Offer Holder – applicants to the LSA’s Part 2 who have been made a conditional offer of study and who have paid a deposit. All Offer Holders require a Student Placement

Student – enrolled students on the LSA’s Part 2 who have formally registered and paid their fees for the coming Academic Year

Student Placement – the three-day-a-week placement which all enrolled students on the LSA’s Part 2 must secure to fulfil the requirements of first year of the programme

Practice Network – the network of 200+ practices that engage with the LSA

Placement Provider – members of the Practice Network who agree to host a Student Placement

Practice Agreement – the formal, signed agreement between Placement Providers and the LSA

TWO ROUTES

The LSA has established a network of London-based architectural practices – the Practice Network – to provide Student Placements for 3 days a week in the first year of our Part 2 (MArch) programme. There are two routes to securing a Student Placement:

ROUTE ONE: Our preferred route is that Offer Holders who are employed by a London-based practice remain there if the practice declares its willingness for that employee to work part-time within the terms set out in the Practice Agreement

ROUTE TWO:  An applicant who is not employed by a London-based practice or is seeking a new employer can seek a Student Placement through the Practice Network as set out below

The LSA matches Offer Holders with Placement Providers where mutual preferences have been met and/or the LSA feels that student portfolios match with practice project portfolios and pipelines. It is not always possible to meet exactly the preferences of both Offer Holders and Placement Providers but participants in the process often find the Student Placement a satisfying, if not fulfilling, professional relationship.

PROCESS

If Offer Holders are seeking a Student Placement in the Practice Network, our robust three-step, placement process operates as follows:

STEP ONE: MATCHMAKING

  • The LSA asks Offer Holders to identify the types of practices they would like to work with and project experience they are seeking via a questionnaire
  • The LSA engages with the Practice Network and wider community to identify practices interested in being Placement Providers for the upcoming academic year
  • From those prospective Placement Providers, the LSA seeks to identify the type of Student they are looking for and the areas in which they might be happy to offer training and development. NB: members of the Practice Network are not obliged to serve as a Placement Provider every year; typically several practices new to the Practice Network contact the school to offer a placement during the annual cycle
  • The LSA has roughly 35 practices that are key supporters of the LSA. Those that wish to be Placement Providers will be prioritised in the matchmaking process. The matchmaking process will then continue with the wider pool until all students have at least 4 interviews. Offer Holders are asked to indicate a rank order of Placement Provider, as well as indicate which practices will not be a close fit for their ambitions in the programme

STEP TWO: INTERVIEW

  • The LSA will define a period within which all interviews must be conducted
  • We ask that all Placement Providers conduct interviews for all Offer Holders with which they are matched and that Offer Holders attend every interviews to which they are assigned.
  • If Offer Holders do not attend all assigned interviews and then do not secure a placement, the LSA will not be able to offer further support in the Student Placement process directly. If students do attend all assigned interviews, the LSA will continue to support them in seeking a Student Placement until one is secured.
  • We ask that Placement Providers do not make provisional offers to Offer Holders directly. The LSA allocates placements internally to ensure fairness (see below for the Confirmation process). Placement Providers are asked to inform the LSA about the outcome of the interviews and indicate their rank order of preferred candidates, as well as those that are not a fit for their practice.

STEP THREE: CONFIRMATION

  • The LSA will then allocate Offer Holders to Placement Providers and inform both parties via email.
  • We advise Offer Holders to be open to all Placement Providers with which they interview; if an offer is made then they should accept. Any Offer Holder that is made an offer but does not accept a Student Placement will not be supported by the LSA in arranging further interviews and will need to secure a Student Placement through their own efforts.
  • Offer Holders and Placement Providers will engage directly to finalise salary, benefits and other contractual details.
  • Under this process we do not envisage any Offer Holders to be without a Student Placement, however if this situation arises a second round of interviews will take place following the same matchmaking and interview process and the LSA will seek to identify further potential opportunities within the Practice Network.
  • At any point in the process, an Offer Holder may approach suitable practices outside the Practice Network, seeking employment and a Student Placement within the terms set out in the Practice Agreement.

We will do everything within our power to help secure a Student Placement for Offer Holders, but we cannot guarantee this as ultimately the decision to offer a contract of employment resides with the Placement Provider. NB. Offer Holders cannot register as Students unless a suitable Student Placement is secured in advance of the start of the Academic Year.

All Placement Providers are automatically members of the Practice Network and we welcome new members who offer Student Placements. We prefer that all Placement Providers are RIBA Chartered Practices; if you are not, we undertake a simple assessment and interview of the practice to ensure suitability for the programme. For further information, please contact john.n@the-lsa.org.