BSc (Hons) Architecture
As a Russell Group university and ranked No. 6 in the Guardian League tables (2020), Queen’s is one of the best places in the UK to study architecture.
With its strong studio culture, the BSc (Hons) Architecture encourages professionalism, creativity, research and analysis, critical thinking, independence and a range of communication skills from sketching to 3D printing. Attracting both local and international students, and staffed by individuals whose research and practice is internationally renown, graduates of the programme emerge professional, well-connected and with friends for life all over the world.
The programme is articulated around three interconnected and overlapping areas: Architectural Design and Communication (studio), History and Theory of Architecture and Technology and Environment. Year 1 provides an introduction to the fundamentals of architecture while Years 2 and 3 allow for deeper investigations and engagement across a range of contemporary themes. Study trips, joint studio projects for second and third year students, live projects for first and fifth year students and connections with planning and engineering students all enrich the curriculum. A well-established architecture society (ArchSoc) provides another cultural and social agenda of lectures, workshops and other events for our students.
Nuala Flood, Director, BSc Architecture
Find the 2020 End of Year Show book here.
Click this link to view a 3d scan of the BSc Architecture End of Year Show 2019
Vertical Studios 2020 (Stage 2 and Stage 3)
In the second semester, students from Stage 2 and Stage 3 are taught together in vertical studios. Each studio sets a different brief, and students are encouraged to approach that brief with design methods unique to that particular studio. This is of great benefit to students, who are able to experience two different studios during their undergraduate studies. It greatly increases the opportunity for students to learn from their peers.
In stage 1, students explore design in a studio environment, contextualised by courses in history/theory and technology/environment. The course is modular in structure, allowing students to learn and develop their skills through an extensive range of topics, which grow in complexity throughout the year.
In Stage 2, architecture students build upon the drawing skills developed in their first year in order to incorporate digital techniques into the creation of a housing design project. Looking at the themes of urban density and shared resources, this project puts the Climate Emergency at its centre and asks students to imagine new ways of living sustainably. In the second semester, students join Stage 3 in vertical design studios. Concurrent with design studio are modules in respect of History and Theory and Technology and Environment, which are thematically suited to support the students’ design studio projects.
Stage 3 involves a range of design projects focused on knowledge, skill and process, to support self-confidence and self-awareness in the emergent spatial designer and would-be ethical practitioner. The first semester project emphasises reuse, economy, and adaptability, delivered through a series of discrete spatial design exercises culminating in a synthesised architectural proposal.
The second semester Stage 2/3 design studios give students an opportunity to concentrate on a chosen thematic concern, an introduction to the diversity of architectural practice that awaits them. Completion of Stage 3 marks a major achievement within the education of an architect, equipping her/him for their first structured encounter with professional practice.
Central to the conception of Queen’s approach to architectural technology and environment is that it is key to the realisation of buildings, not just in narrow construction terms, but also as a contingent part of the design process that informs your individual approach to architecture. Thus, throughout the school we are seeking to consistently build links between the various Technology and Environment modules and the parallel spheres of studio and indeed history and theory.
The School of the Natural and Built Environments recent adoption of the Climate Emergency brings the question of technology even further into focus. For architecture as a profession it clarifies the challenges we face in the coming years to build in a more holistic way. In doing this we open up a plethora of new opportunities for thinking about how and what we design. Consequently, students through their skill as designers, have the chance to develop novel and engaging solutions to age old problems such as context, inhabitation, space, form and comfort.
Throughout the three years of undergraduate study, these areas will be addressed from a range of differing viewpoints that align with the central theme of studio and history and theory in that year. These currently are identified as:
- Stage 1 – Place Making / Principles
- Stage 2 – Urbanity / Housing
- Stage 3 – Adaptation / Re-use
Professional Skills (Stage 3)
QUB advises all students after the completion of their third year to take a year out and to work in the profession. This is crucial to the architectural learning and development of the students and helps to clarify their position before returning for their two year master’s programmes. Before sending the students out into the world, the Stage III Professional Skills coursework is designed to help give an overview of the profession that they are about to enter. Through coursework, the students are encouraged to understand more about what it means to be a professional, how buildings are built, the collaborative process involved and the legal framework which facilitates this. Additionally the students are asked to identify the type of practices that they would like to work in during their year out, and QUB takes pride in helping the students with their applications to optimise their chances of success.
Collaborators on the Professional Skills programme have included: Yemi Aladerun; Honorary Professor John Coles; Alistair Beckett; David Capener; Paul Crowe; Dr Neil Galway; Ali Grehan; Feargal Harron; Rory Hyde; Jane Larmour; Karen Latimer; Claire McAteer; Dr Jane McCullough; Aine McEnoy; Lisa McFadden; Aoife McGee; Finbarr McMeel; Dermot MacRandal; Karen McShane; Cecilia Milburn; Jim Mulholland; Allan Munro; Fearghal Murray; Conor Sreenan; Greg Woods.
A digital resource communicating the work of Architecture at Queen's University Belfast