- Before you apply
- Receiving the decision
- Accepting your offer
- Fees and financial assistance
- Visas and immmigration
- Joining The AA
BEFORE YOU APPLY
Who should I contact for help?
The graduate admissions team are available to provide advice between 10am – 6pm Monday to Friday (closed for lunch 1pm – 2pm). All email enquiries should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.orgEach programme has a dedicated coordinator as outlined below:
- Architecture & Urbanism (DRL), Sustainable Environmental Design and PhD enquiries: Saira Soarez +44 (0)20 7887 4007
- Emergent Technologies, Design and Landscape Urbanism and History & Critical Thinking enquiries: Imogen Evans +44 (0)20 7887 4067
- Housing & Urbanism, Design & Make, Spatial Performance & Design (AAIS), Media Practices and Projective Cities enquiries: Peter Vlahos +44 (0)20 7887 4094
Can I visit the AA before applying?
Yes, prospective students are encouraged to visit the AA. Visits should be arranged in advance by contacting the graduate admissions team as above or via email email@example.com
When are your Open Days?
- Thursday 3rd November 2016
- Friday 13th January 2017
The November event is open to all prospective graduate students interested in our MArch, MA, MSc, MFA, PhD and MPhil programmes. The January event is open to all students, from Foundation to PhD level. Please note: If you are interested in gaining ARB/RIBA Part 2, please attend one of our Undergraduate open days.
Full event details and times will be announced soon. To secure your place and ensure you receive updates please register your interest.
What is the difference between the AA Graduate School and the AA Diploma School?
The AA Graduate School includes 11 postgraduate programmes (MA/MSc/MArch/MFA, MPhil and PhD) offering advanced studies for students with prior academic and professional experience. These courses are specialist research programmes and do not lead to any professional exemptions, i.e. do not help you to become a registered architect in the UK.
The AA Diploma School comprises the fourth and fifth years of the five-year undergraduate course in Architecture. Successful completion of two years in the AA Diploma School, which is comparable to other higher degree courses in the UK, leads to the AA Final Examination and exempts students from the second part of the professional examination – ARB/RIBA Part 2.
Are any of the Graduate School degrees professional qualifications?
No, all of the graduate degrees are post-professional qualifications and they do not lead to any professional exemptions.
Who validates the Graduate School?
The AA has been reviewed annually by the QAA since 2012 in order to maintain Tier 4 Sponsor status with the Home Office / UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). In its 2016 Higher Education Review (Alternative Providers) carried out by the QAA, the AA was found to meet UK expectations in all four judgement areas.
The AA is an Approved Institution and Affiliated Research Centre of the Open University (OU), UK. All taught graduate courses at the AA are validated by The OU. The OU is the awarding body for research degrees at the AA.
Is the Diploma School part of the Graduate School?
No, the AA Diploma School, which is part of the full five-year ARB/RIBA recognised course in architecture, is classed as part of the Undergraduate School.
What is the difference between the MA/MSc and the MArch/MFA degree programmes?
These degrees are taught within the same programme structure for the first stage of the academic year. In the second stage of the programme the MArch/MFA options proceed separately based on individual dissertation projects. MA/MSc dissertation projects are expected to combine design research with case study work related to students’ backgrounds. MArch/MFA dissertation projects are expected to carry the research into an original design application developed in some detail.
What are the academic entry requirements?
You must meet the minimum academic requirements for your desired programme. These can be found on the apply page of the website.
What are the English language requirements?
You can find the English language requirements outlined on the graduate application page.
The AA reserves the right to make a place in the school conditional on gaining a further English language qualification if deemed necessary.
The English language qualification requirements are subject to frequent change in line with Home Office/UKVI regulations. It is the student’s responsibility to remain up to date with changes, which can be accessed on the Home Office/UKVI website: www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-applying-for-uk-visa-approved-english-language-tests
Do I need to have the English language qualification before I apply?
No, you do not need to have your English language qualification when you apply online. However, in order to be eligible to apply for a bursary, applicants must have booked and passed one of the approved tests by 27 January 2016. All other applicants must book and pass one of the approved examinations before 26 May 2017, prior to entry in Term 1.
Is there more than one intake a year?
No, we only have one intake of students per year in late September.
How long are the programmes?
- MA/MSc = 12 months
- MArch = 16 months
- MFA = 18 months
- Taught MPhil = 20 months
- PhD = 3 – 4 years
Can I study part-time or by distance learning?
No, all courses are offered on a full time basis in the UK.
Which programme should I apply for?
It is important that you carefully read the Graduate programme descriptions and apply for the programme that best fits your own research interest and future goals. You must also meet the minimum academic requirements for your desired programme. These can be found on the apply page of the website.
If you have any doubts or concerns, contact the relevant Graduate Admissions Coordinator, who will be able to provide additional information and support. It is important that you apply for the level that best fits your experience. However, please note that in all instances the final decision as to the appropriate level of entry is established by the programme directors.
Can I apply for more than one Graduate programme at the same time?
No, you can only apply for one programme at a time. We appreciate that you may be interested in more than one programme. However, as all the graduate programmes represent distinct specialised areas of research, we expect you to be able to match your research interest to a single programme.
Can I apply to the Diploma School and the Graduate School at the same time?
No, you can only apply for one course at a time. You will need to decide which programme you are most interested in and best suits your future goals.
How can I apply?
Is the application process different for UK, EU and international students?
No, the application process is the same for all students. For full details please see the apply page.
When should I apply?
Applications for the 2017/18 academic year are now open. To give yourself plenty of time to consider your offer, and prepare for your move to London, we highly recommend you apply by the January deadline.The application deadlines for 2017/18 are:
- Optional early-offer applications close: 25 November 2016*
- Early (Winter) applications close: Friday 27 January 2017*
- Late (Spring) applications close: Friday 10 March 2017
Both your online application, and your portfolio (if applicable), must arrive by the dates listed above Applications received after the dates above may be accepted at the discretion of the school. *To be eligible to apply for a bursary, you must submit your application and portfolio (if applicable) no later than 27 January 2017 stating your interest in an AA bursary in the ‘Financial Assistance’ section of the online form. Applicants who require an English language examination must also have booked and passed one of the approved English language examinations by 27 January 2017, in order to be eligible to apply for a bursary.
Is there an application fee?
Yes, £50 for early applications, £70 for late applications. Application fees may be paid with a credit/debit card upon completion of the online application form (all cards except American Express and Diners Club). Please note that the application fee is non-refundable.
Should I send my portfolio with my application form?
Yes, you must send your portfolio by post / courier, or deliver it by hand, to arrive by 6.00pm on:
- Friday 25 November 2016 for Optional early-offer applications
- Friday 27 January 2017 for Early (Winter) applications
- Friday 10 March 2017 for Late (Spring) applications
The portfolio should be clearly labelled with a complete Portfolio Cover Sheet (PDF) and be addressed and sent to: Graduate Admissions, No 36 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3ES.
It is your responsibility to ensure that the portfolio arrives by the deadline. If it has not been received in time, your application may be considered for the late application deadline; if it arrives after the late application deadline, it may be accepted at the discretion of the School.
All courier fees, including import charges, must be paid when sending your portfolio. Failure to pay these fees may result in your portfolio being returned to you. Alternatively, the AA may accept the package, but you will be required to pay the outstanding charges before your application will be processed.
What format should the portfolio I submit take?
All applicants are expected to post a bound hardcopy portfolio of design work (A4 size) with the exception of the MA in History & Critical Thinking. The portfolio should show a combination of academic and professional work (if applicable). Please do not submit original artwork in your portfolio.
Can I submit a digital portfolio?
No, the AA does not accept digital portfolios.
Will my portfolio be returned?
Portfolios will be returned / available to pick up when the AA no longer requires them for assessment purposes. Therefore, please ensure that you have copies of your work if you require them for other purposes. If you cannot collect your portfolio in person, a £50 fee will be charge to have it couriered to you. Once you have received your outcome, please contact your coordinator to organise.
Can I save the online form multiple times before submitting?
Yes, after you have registered, you can use your username and password to log in as often as you wish to complete your application.
How long should my personal statement be?
For MA, MSc, MArch and MFA applicants we recommend around 1,000 words. For PhD and MPhil applicants, statements we recommend around 1,500 words. However, it is up to you to provide a statement that best highlights your skills and experience.
Applicants have plenty of space to highlight their professional experience and research/publications details.
Can my candidate’s statement be supplied on a separate sheet of paper?
Yes, in addition to the statement you submit online, you are welcome to submit an additional typed statement addressing the points stated on the application form.
Do I need to upload my transcripts / certificates to the online form?
Yes, applications cannot be processed until the online form has been completed, all required supporting documents have been provided, and the AA has received a bound portfolio (if applicable). Failure to provide the information requested will delay the processing of your application. For full details please read the Certificates and Transcripts section of the application page.
Do my documents have to be in English?
Yes, all documents must be in English. The AA can only accept official translations bearing the stamp and signature of the translator. Please also include scanned copies of the un-translated certificates and transcripts. For further information as to how to get a certified translation please click here.
Do I need to have two references?
Yes, your application will not be considered before two references have been received.
How can my reference be submitted?
References can be submitted with your online form, or sent directly to us. Please see the References section of the apply page for full details.
Who assesses my application?
The admissions team check that you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements. Applications that meet the entry requirements will be assessed by the Programme Director and a second academic member of staff.
Do I have to come for an interview at the AA?
In most cases, the Graduate School does not insist on an interview as a condition of entry. However, you are encouraged to visit the AA for an interview with the programme’s academic staff. Appointments should be made through the Graduate Admissions Team firstname.lastname@example.org Very occasionally, the Programme Director may decide an interview is necessary. In this case, the AA will contact you to arrange. Please note that we do not conduct personal interviews anywhere other than at the AA in London.
RECEIVING THE DECISION
When will I receive a decision?
You can expect to receive your outcome around 6 – 8 weeks after the application deadline.
Do I have to supply my original documents to prove my qualifications?
Yes, successful applicants will receive a conditional offer letter and must send certified true copies of the documents requested via courier or post to the AA for verification. Photocopies will not be accepted.
You must supply transcripts for all years of study inclusive of grades, as well as degree/diploma certificates awarded to you. All documentation must be translated into English by an official translator, who certifies that they are true and accurate translations.
We will not return these documents to you and you are therefore advised to arrange additional copies should you require them for further use.
How do I get a certified true copy of a document?
For an explanation of how to get a document certified please visit this website: https://www.gov.uk/certifying-a-document
Why has my application been delayed?
Applications will not be processed until the online form has been completed, all required supporting documents have been provided, and the AA has received a bound portfolio (if applicable). Failure to provide the information requested will delay the processing of your application.
Applicants who submit an incomplete application will be contacted by email to request the outstanding documentation. The AA will send applicants a maximum of 2 reminders to follow up documentation. If no response is received, the application with be automatically rejected by the AA.
Do you provide individual feedback on applications?
No, unfortunately due to the number of applications we receive we are unable to provide detailed feedback regarding your application and portfolio.
Why have I been offered a different level of entry?
The AA reserves the right to offer an applicant an alternative level of entry within the programme i.e. an MSc instead of MArch. This information will be clearly outlined in your offer letter. In all instances the final decision as to the appropriate level of entry is established by the Programme Directors.
If my application is unsuccessful, can I appeal?
Decisions on the admission of applicants are final and there is generally no right of appeal against the decision. The AA will only consider a complaint if there is substantive evidence that the admissions procedure was not correctly followed. Any complaint concerning applications should be addressed to the Head of Admissions, Kirstie Little via email to email@example.com
If my application is unsuccessful, can I claim a refund for the application fee?
No, the application fee is non-refundable.
ACCEPTING YOUR OFFER
How do I accept my place at the AA?
All applicants must pay a 1 term non-refundable/non-transferrable/non-deferrable deposit and submit a signed admissions form by the date outlined on the offer letter/admissions form to secure a place in the School for the 2017/18 academic year.
Payments and admissions forms received after the deadlines will be accepted at the discretion of the School. The AA reserves the right to operate a waiting list as places within the course / programme cannot be guaranteed. For full details as to how to accept your offer please see the Accepting Your Place section of the application page.
When should I pay my deposit?
Applicants holding an unconditional offer must pay their deposit and return a signed admissions form by the dates outlined on the offer letter/admissions form.
Applicants holding a conditional offer should contact the appropriate admissions coordinator prior to paying the deposit. In some instances paying the deposit will be recommended (i.e. for Foundation and First Year applicants) However, most graduate applicants will be asked to wait until all conditions are met before paying the deposit.
The AA School takes no responsibility for applicants who pay their deposit prior to obtaining an unconditional offer.
How much is the deposit?
The deposit amounts for the 2016/17 academic year are below:
- MA / MSc / MFA / MPhil / PhD: £8,067
- MArch: £8,400
The deposit will count towards the cost of the tuition fees for the final term of the programme. Please note that applicants in receipt of a bursary cannot use this towards payment of the deposit.
Is the deposit refundable, transferrable or deferrable?
No, the deposit is non-refundable/non-transferable. For graduate and foundation applicants, the deposit is also non-deferrable.
What happens if my circumstances change after I’ve been made an offer?
If there is any change in your circumstances after you submit your application (i.e. you will not be completing your current year of study), you must inform us as soon as possible. The AA reserves the right to withdraw an offer of a place if you fail to inform us of significant changes in your circumstances.
Can I start the course with outstanding conditions?
No, you must hold an unconditional offer in order to enter the school and receive a CAS (if applicable).
What if I don’t meet the conditions of my offer?
If you fail to meet the conditions outlined in your offer letter please inform the graduate admissions team immediately. Unfortunately, you will be required to withdraw and re-apply the following academic year.
Can I defer my offer?
No, the Graduate School does not allow deferrals. If you cannot accept your place, please let the appropriate admissions coordinator know. You will be eligible to re-apply in the future.
Can I switch programmes after I receive an offer?
No, you will be offered a place on one programme only. If you change your mind after receiving an offer, you must formally decline the offer, and re-apply to the alternative programme. If this is very late in the application timeline, we may advise you to withdraw and re-apply for the following academic year.
FEES AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
What are the tuition fees?
Fees for 2016/17 can be found here on the website. Fees for 2017/18 will be announced in January 2017.
Are the fees different for UK, EU and international students?
No, the fee structure is the same for all students.
How can I fund my studies?
Most AA graduate students are either self-funding or obtain funding in their own country; usually either in the form of loans or scholarships. For full details regarding funding options available to AA Graduate Applicants please see our Fees and Financial Aid page.
How do I apply for an AA bursary?
When completing your online application form please indicate your interest in a bursary on the form. Once you receive an offer you will be asked to complete a bursary application form and provide financial information for the bursary committee. Full details regarding the application process will be sent after you receive your official offer letter.
Are bursaries awarded in cash?
No, the amount will be credited directly to your fee account.
Can I use the bursary to pay my deposit?
No, you will still be required to pay the full deposit to secure your place.
How much will it cost to live in London?
This varies a great deal depending on how centrally you wish to live and the lifestyle you lead. Please refer to Fees and Financial Aid for an estimate of living costs.
VISAS AND IMMIGRATION
Do I need a Visa to study at the AA?
Entry conditions for international applicants from outside the EU or European Economic Area are governed by the Home Office / UKVI Tier 4 General Points Based System. To check if you need a visa please visit the UKVI website
If you require a Visa, you must receive a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) number from the AA before making a visa application. You will be required to hold a valid visa, sponsored by the AA, by the first day of Introduction Week. Accordingly, the AA will use its discretion as to the final date we can issue you a CAS in order for you to join the course.
How do I obtain a CAS?
The AA will issue you with a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) number once you hold an unconditional offer, have formally accepted your place, and submitted the required financial evidence. Details will be sent with your offer letter, and your coordinator will be in touch in May to provide further information and advice with regards to your CAS.
When will my CAS be issued?
The earliest the AA can issue a CAS is the end of June, 3 months before the course commences.
How to I apply for my visa?
The CAS, together with other documentation, can be used by to apply for a visa. It is absolutely vital that you provide all the documentation and fulfil the exact Home Office / UKVI requirements or your visa application will be refused. For full details about what is required you should read the UKVI policy guidance.
If I am already registered with another sponsor do I need a new CAS/Visa?
Yes, you will be required to provide proof that your current sponsor has de-registered you from the course before the AA can issue you a new CAS. You will be required to hold a valid visa, sponsored by the AA, by the first day of Introduction Week.
Will I be able to bring my family?
No. Unfortunately, the Home Office / UKVI regulations stipulate that as the AA is a Private Institution our support for an application to study on a Tier 4 Student Visa does not extend to cover dependants. Arrangements for your family would need to be made separately. Please refer to the UKVI website for further information.
If I have a visa will I be able to work?
No. Unfortunately, the Home Office / UKVI regulations stipulate that as the AA is a Private Institution Undergraduate and Graduate students are not permitted to work during their studies. The only exception is students undertaking the 5 year course, where mandatory professional experience is included as part of the course. This will be marked as work placement on the visa.
JOINING THE AA
When is Introduction Week and is it compulsory?
For the 2016/17 academic year, Introduction Week is from Monday 19 September until Friday 23 September 2016. All new students, including those joining first year from foundation, must attend Introduction Week.
When does the course start and what are the term dates?
The start of the 2016/17 academic year is Monday 26 September 2016. For the academic term dates, please see the website.
Do you have an airport pick-up service?
No, unfortunately due to the number of student arriving we are unable to provide a pick-up service.
When can I get a letter for the bank / council tax exemption?
Unfortunately, the AA cannot issue letters until after official registration on Tuesday 20 September 2016. Once registration is complete, we will prepare letters for you all to collect from Thursday onwards.
How do I apply for a student oyster card?
You will need to apply via the TFL website for an oyster card. The AA will be able to verify you are a student after registration.
How do I sign up for a doctor?
If you are an international student on a course of study for six months or more, you will qualify for NHS treatment from the beginning of your stay on the same basis as anyone who is ordinarily a resident in the UK. Please see the NHS website for further details. You will be able to sign up for the NHS system with the Gray’s Inn Medical Practice, 77 Gray’s Inn Road, London, WC1X 8TS on Registration day.
Does the AA School provide accommodation?
Unfortunately, the AA School is unable to provide housing. However we have enlisted the services of the University of London Housing Services (ULHS) who run a private housing service for many students in London. The ULHS can offer advice to students on how to find accommodation, which areas to consider, what the options are, pricing and more. They produce a London Student Housing Guide which includes a vast amount of information on how to search and secure accommodation in London which is also accessible online http://housing.london.ac.uk/
Are there assistantship jobs available at the AA?
Yes, a number of assistantships are offered to eligible full-time registered students. Students are able to work up to ten hours per week, providing assistance with certain administrative, exhibitions, or maintenance functions. Eligible students wishing to apply will be told the procedure when they register at the beginning of the academic year. For full details please see the website.
Can I transfer from programme to another when I arrive at the AA?
No, once you have joined the school in September, you cannot switch between programmes. Students who wish to switch from one programme to another must first formally withdraw from the programme into which they have entered, leave the school, and then re-apply at the relevant time for the new programme. For full details, please see the AA Academic Regulations.
Can I switch degree within bifurcating programmes when I arrive at the AA?
Switching degrees within programmes operating a bifurcation model (MArch/MSc or MArch/MA) will only be allowed under very exceptional circumstances. For full details, please see the AA Academic Regulations.