BSc (Hons) Architecture

As a Russell Group university and ranked No. 7 in the Guardian League tables (2018), 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.

Gul Kacmaz Erk, Director, BSc Architecture

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.

Stage 2 design studio of the BSc Arch programme builds on the emerging skills of students and introduces them to synthesised design thinking through a number of discrete projects. The projects were characterised by their context – the first semester project (a storytelling centre) was located in Hillsborough with its unique spatial and material particularity, while the second semester projects were set within the Riddel Building, a listed nineteenth century structure in Belfast. Stage 2 students also undertake the AAI Second Year All Ireland Competition and there are a number of focused skills projects, one of which is a collaborative group design project with the structural engineering projects. Concurrent with design studio are modules in respect of History and Theory and Technology and Environment, layering knowledge and competence into design situations.

With design the core skill of any architect, the focus throughout the year was on meaningful place-making. Projects of contrasting scale were undertaken during the year; first when (re)-inhabiting central Belfast with student housing and then when weaving a series of design proposals into the northern coastal town of Ballycastle. Both the practical and poetic were emphasised with students encouraged to look beyond a pragmatic building solution and instead consider the potential, joy and responsibility of the designer in producing designs of genuine architectural merit and quality. This meant having to successfully integrate technology, structure and materiality whilst respecting the needs of both people and place into each design proposal.

A digital resource communicating the work of Architecture at Queen's University Belfast