Welcome to the AA School Undergraduate application page. If you wish to apply to the AA Undergraduate School please follow the steps below which will guide you through the process. Please be aware that the first application deadline for the 2015/16 academic year intake is November 2014. If you have any queries, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Team.
- Choose your course
- Check the entry requirements
- Visit the school
- How and when to apply
- Assessment and interview
- Receiving the decision
- Accepting your offer / paying your deposit
- Fees and financial assistance
- Receiving your CAS (students who require a Tier 4 (General) student visa
- Student Life
Students from overseas schools of architecture who wish to participate in the activities of the AA as a year away from their home institutions can apply to the AA One Year Abroad – Visiting Student Programme (VSP). Students are accepted at second or third year level only. Applicants wishing to join the One Year Abroad (VSP) follow the same application procedure as Intermediate (Second and Third Year) applicants, but must tick the One Year Abroad box in the online application form.
Students are admitted into the undergraduate courses at Foundation, First Year, Intermediate (Second and Third Year), and Diploma (Fourth Year) level. We do not accept students at Fifth Year level. Both school-leavers and mature applicants with previous experience are encouraged to take advantage of the wide range of possibilities offered within the school.
Please note: All applicants must be 18 years of age or older by Monday 21 September 2015 to be eligible to enter the school for the 2015/16 academic year.
Institution / School Validation
The five year full-time course in architecture is officially recognised and also meets the professional criteria set out by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) for the professional qualifications of AA Intermediate Examination (ARB/RIBA Part 1) and the AA Final Examination (ARB/RIBA Part 2).
You are required to meet the minimum academic requirements outlined below for your desired year of entry. Overseas applicants are required to have the recognised equivalent to the examinations listed below plus the required English language qualifications. Please see Overseas Applicants page for guidance.
Successful applicants who are awaiting the outcome of future examination results will be issued a conditional offer. These conditions must be met by the date outlined on the offer letter for you to be eligible to enter the 2015/16 academic year.
In some cases applicants without conventional entry qualifications are also considered, provided they are able to offer acceptable alternatives.
Foundation – Minimum Academic Requirements
The AA Foundation course is recognised by the RIBA as the equivalent of an Art A level upon successful completion. The minimum entry requirements for the Foundation Course are:
- One A level pass (grade C or above) in a non art/design subject, plus
- Five GCSEs (grade C or above) including maths, a science subject and English language.
Foundations in art and design must be accompanied by one A level (or equivalent) in a non art/design subject.
Please be aware that successful completion of the AA Foundation course does not automatically guarantee entry into the First Year of the AA’s five-year ARB/RIBA recognised course in architecture.
First Year – Minimum Academic Requirements
The minimum academic requirements for students entering the First Year of the ARB/RIBA-recognised course in Architecture are:
- Two A level passes* (grade C or above); plus
- Five GCSEs (grade C or above) including maths, a science subject and English language.
* If one A level is an art/design subject, it must be accompanied by at least one A level in a non-art/design subject.
Intermediate and One Year Abroad (Second or Third Year) – Minimum Academic Requirements
Students with previous architectural or design experience may apply to enter the Intermediate School/One Year Abroad (VSP). The minimum academic requirements for students entering the Second or Third Year of the five-year ARB/RIBA recognised course in Architecture are:
- Two A level passes* (grade C or above); plus
- Evidence of full-time architectural study
* If one A level is an art/design subject, it must be accompanied by at least one A level in a non-art/design subject.
Diploma School (Fourth Year) – Minimum Academic Requirements
Applicants wishing to enter the Diploma School (Fourth Year) to gain AA Final Examination (ARB/RIBA Part 2), the professional qualification/AA Diploma, must have must have gained ARB/RIBA Part 1 by 17 July 2015, prior to entry to the School.
- Applicants who have studied for Part 1 in the UK must have gained at least a 2:2 in their degree.
- Applicants who hold a Bachelors degree from outside the UK are required to make an application to the Architects Registration Board (ARB) for Part 1 exemption independently. Successfully gaining Part 1 exemption does not automatically ensure an offer of a place in the Diploma School. Applicants are advised to apply by 21 November 2014, and await the outcome of the interview, prior to applying to the ARB for exemption. For further information please refer to the ARB website http://www.arb.org.uk
- International applicants who will not complete their Bachelors degree until mid-2015 are encouraged to contact the Undergraduate Admissions Team prior to applying for the 2015/16 academic year.
Please note: In order to be eligible for the AA Diploma and the AA Final Examination (ARB/RIBA Part 2), the Fourth and Fifth Years (minimum of six terms) must be successfully completed.
English Language Requirements (All Applicants)
To meet both the AA and the Home Office/UKVI English language requirements you will need to have one of the acceptable language qualifications listed below, unless you are from one of the following groups:
- You are a national of a majority English-speaking country as defined per the list on the UKVI website https://www.gov.uk/tier-4-general-visa/knowledge-of-english; or
- You have successfully completed an academic qualification of at least three years’ duration, equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree or above, which was taught in a majority English-speaking country as defined by the UKVI (Tier 4 Policy Guidance version 06/11/2014 paragraph 129) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-application-for-uk-visa-as-tier-4-student; or
- You successfully completed a course in the UK as a Tier 4 (Child) student visa holder. The course must have lasted for at least six months, and must have ended no more than two years prior to your visa application.
If your place is conditional on providing an English language qualification the following qualifications satisfy both the requirements of the Home Office/UKVI and the entry requirements of the AA:
NEW UK Visa and Immigration changes to English Language Tests – 6th April 2015 onwards
On Friday 20 February 2015 UK Visas and Immigration updated its list of approved Secure English Language Tests (SELT).
Applicants planning on taking an English language test before 5th April 2015 can still take any of the tests outlined below:
- IELTS (Academic) 6.5 overall with at least 6.0 in each category
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English at grade C1 or C2 – (in each component AA entry requirement is Borderline grade – since January 2015)
- Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English at grade C2 – (in each component AA entry requirement is Borderline grade – since January 2015)
- Pearson Test of English (PTE) (Academic) overall minimum of 63 with a score of at least 59 in each category
- Trinity College (Integrated Skills in English) at grade C1 (ISEIII) or C2 (ISEIV)
However, from 6th April 2015 the AA and UKVI will only accept tests from the following two providers:
- Trinity College London (Integrated Skills in English)– AA requirement – C1(ISEIII) or C2(ISEIV)
- IELTS Academic (IELTS SELT Consortium – Cambridge English Language Assessment) – AA Requirement – 6.5 overall with a 6.0 in each band
Applicants are required to meet the scores in each category and overall – we cannot accept lower scores and we cannot combine test results across multiple score sheets.
Applicants must submit their English language examination results by Friday 29 May 2015, prior to entry in Term 1.
The AA reserves the right to make a place in the school conditional on gaining a further English language qualification if deemed necessary.
- The specified evidence submitted by the applicant must show that he/she has achieved the required score in all the relevant components during a single sitting of the examination.
- You are required to meet the scores in each category and overall – we cannot accept lower scores.
- IELTS reports have a two year validity period. The certificate must bear a date no longer than two years ago at the time of CAS/visa application. The AA requires a copy of the original certificate.Please provide your SELT unique reference number on your application form. This can be found on your TRF displayed as UKVI number.
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English and Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English – The test is valid only until the 5th November 2015 for a UK Immigration application when taken on or before 5th April 2015. For tests taken before 6 April 2013 the AA will require a copy of the original certificate, Statement of results, Candidate ID number and Candidate’s secret number (applicants should provide Statement of Entry if possible) For tests taken on or after 6 April 2013 the AA will be required to verify your results using your name, date of birth and passport number.
- The Pearson Test of English - The test is valid only until the 5th November 2015 for a UK Immigration application when taken on or before 5th April 2015. Pearson does not issue paper certificates. Applicants are required to print out their online score report and send a copy to the AA in addition to submitting it to the UKVI online for verification.
- Trinity College (Integrated Skills in English) have a two year validity period. The AA requires a copy of the original certificate. Please provide your SELT unique reference number on your application form.
Please note the English language qualification requirements are subject to frequent change in line with Home Office/UKVI regulations. It is the applicant’s responsibility to remain up to date with all changes, which can be accessed on the Home Office/UKVI website (Appendix O of the Immigration Rules www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-rules-appendix-o)
VISITING THE SCHOOL
Open Days and Events
Prospective students are encouraged to visit the AA. Undergraduate Open Days are an opportunity to meet current students and staff, tour the AA’s facilities, view presentations of student work and get advice on the application process.
Open days for the 2016/17 academic year will be held on:
- Friday 30 October 2015: Foundation and First Year
- Friday 6 November 2015: Undergraduate Open Evening
- Friday 22 January 2016: Undergraduate Open Evening
The Foundation and First Year event will provide key information and guidance for current AS / A Level students and others who are considering architecture as a career. The Undergraduate School events are open to all prospective architecture students, from Foundation to Fourth Year, including students interested in gaining ARB/RIBA Part 2.
For further details and information please register your interest in attending the Open Days.
Individual or group visits for those interested in applying can also be arranged with advance notice. For further details please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Team on
T + 44 (0)20 7887 4051/4094 or firstname.lastname@example.org
HOW AND WHEN TO APPLY
2015/2016 Application Deadlines
- Early applications closed: Friday 21 November 2014 (£40 fee). Applicants wishing to be considered for a scholarship or bursary (please see Fees & Financial Assistance page) must submit their online form and portfolio by this date.
- Late applications closed: Friday 30 January 2015 (£60 fee)
The AA School can now only accept a late application for the 2015/16 academic year, commencing in September 2015, under exceptional circumstances. If you wish to submit a late application, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Team on +44 (0)20 7887 4051/4060/4011 to discuss your application, prior to submitting your online form.
Please be aware the AA School will be completely closed for summer break from 6pm Friday 21 August until 10am Tuesday 1 September 2015.
2016/2017 Application Deadlines
If you wish to apply for the 2016/17 academic year, commencing in September 2016, please do not apply now. The online application form will open in October 2015.
- Early applications for 2016/17 close: Friday 20 November 2015. Applicants wishing to be considered for a scholarship or bursary must submit their online form and portfolio by this date.
- Late applications for 2016/17 close: Friday 29 January 2016.
- Applications received after this date may be accepted at the discretion of the school.
Please be aware that 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. Failure to provide the information requested will delay the processing of your application.
Full application details will be available in October 2015.
- Complete the online application form
- Pay the relevant application fee; and
- Submit a portfolio of art/design work before the deadlines to be considered for the 2015/16 academic year.
Prior to completing the form applicants should carefully read the entry requirements for their chosen year of entry. The application procedure is the same for all applicants, regardless of where you are applying form. Applicants wishing to join the One Year Abroad (VSP) follow the same application procedure as Intermediate (Second and Third Year) applicants.
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. Failure to provide the information requested will delay the processing of your application. It is therefore advisable that you start preparing this documentation now.
Once you register to complete the form you will be able to access the full application details. However, please be aware that you must submit the following certificates and transcripts with your online application. If you are unsure what a certificate and/or transcript is please see the FAQ page.
Certificates and Transcripts
Certificates and transcripts must be supplied to account for all years of study as outlined below:
- Foundation and First Year: Must supply 3 to 4 years of school transcripts showing grades, plus schooling certificates obtained to date (if applicable). In addition, if you have undertaken a foundation course or completed any other higher education courses at another institution, please include the details of this course and your grades, with your application
- Second and Third Year: Must supply A Level (or equivalent) transcripts and certificates, plus a minimum of 1-3 years university transcripts showing grades.
- Fourth Year: Must supply transcripts for all 3-4 years of undergraduate study, plus degree certificate (if awarded). If you have not completed your studies, please include transcripts to date. If you have also completed post-graduate study, please upload these documents as well.
Overseas applicants must supply certificates and transcripts that have been officially translated into English. The AA can only accept official translations bearing the stamp and signature of the translator. Please upload both the original documents and the translations.
If there is any change in your circumstances after you submit your application (e.g. if the subjects you are studying change), 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.
If you have any enquiries, please email email@example.com
The Academic Reference needs to be presented on official headed paper, hold the original signature of the referee (not a jpeg signature), and contain the referee’s contact details. The reference must be from an academic who has taught you recently. For those with previous architectural education, the reference must be from someone who has taught you design as part of your course.
For mature students who have been out of education for more than three years, the reference should be from your employer or a professional (doctor, lawyer, etc.) who can give you a personal reference.
Referees who would prefer to send the reference to us directly can do so by post to:
Undergraduate Admissions, No. 36 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3ES.
Submit Your Portfolio
All applicants are expected to submit a bound portfolio of art/design work which emphasises their skills, interests, creativity and personality. The AA does not accept digital portfolios.
There is no single way of preparing a portfolio and every portfolio we see will be different. Please include a selection of highlights that will show the admissions panel an overview of your work and the processes behind it, including sketches or development drawings/models in addition to final images.
First Year applicants should include a summary of current interests and sketches, models, photographs, paintings and essays all help to build up a picture of your particular interests and skills. Intermediate and Diploma applicants should include a summary of work carried out during their course, as well as any self-motivated projects undertaken outside of their course.
Sample portfolios should be no larger than A3, and between 20 and 30 pages (single or double sided). Applicants who submit a portfolio larger than A3 will be asked to resubmit before their application can be processed. Please do not submit original artwork with your initial application; successful applicants will be asked to bring original work to the interview.
The portfolio should be clearly labelled with a completed Cover Sheet (PDF) and be addressed and sent to: Undergraduate Admissions, No 36 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3ES.
You must send your portfolio by post or courier to arrive at the AA by 6.00pm on:
- Friday 21 November 2014 for Early Applications; or
- Friday 30 January 2015 for late applications.
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.
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.
Further suggestions on preparing your portfolio can be found online at: www.aaschool.ac.uk/apply/admissions/undergradportfolio
ASSESSMENT AND INTERVIEW
Step 1 – Entry Requirements
Applications are initially assessed to ensure that they meet the academic entry requirements outlined above. Applicants who do not meet the requirements will be informed by email and post. Successful applications will be passed to Step 2.
Step 2 – Application and Portfolio Review
Applications that meet the entry requirements will be assessed by an admissions panel of tutors. The panel will carefully consider the personal statement, reference and portfolio, in addition to reviewing academic grades. Applicants who are unsuccessful will be informed by email and by post. Successful applications will be passed to Step 3.
Step 3 – Interview
Successful applicants will be invited to attend an interview at the AA School in London at which a full portfolio can be presented. The AA does not undertake Skype or telephone interviews; all interviews are undertaken at the school. The interview invitation will be sent by email so it is important you regularly check the email address you supplied upon application.
As a guide, if you submit a completed application by the November deadline we will aim to interview you between January and April 2015. If you submit a completed application by the January deadline we will aim to interview you between April and June 2015. Applicants who submit an incomplete application will not be interviewed until all outstanding documentation is received.
The interview is a two-way process. The panel is interested to see what skills and interests the applicant has, so it is important to spend time preparing a portfolio. The applicant, in turn, has the opportunity to ask questions about the school and have a look at the working spaces and facilities.
The purpose of the interview is to try and assess each applicant’s potential, ability and suitability to benefit from the course. The AA is looking for students with a creative imagination and plenty of motivation. It is important to read the AA Website and First Year, Intermediate and Diploma Unit micro-sites, which will give you an idea of the wide range of work carried out in the school.
There is no single way of preparing a portfolio and every portfolio we see will be different. Further suggestions on preparing your portfolio can be found online at: www.aaschool.ac.uk/apply/admissions/undergradportfolio
In addition to your portfolio, it is essential that you bring all your original documents with you to the interview for verification. Failure to present these documents may delay your chances of obtaining an offer of a place at the AA.
RECEIVING YOUR DECISION
Applicants will receive a formal letter confirming the outcome of their interview within two weeks. This will be sent by email and by post.
Successful applicants will receive one of the following offers:
- Unconditional Offer: meaning you have met all the entry requirements.
- Conditional Offer: meaning that you will have to successfully must meet all of conditions by the deadlines outlined on the offer letter, prior to entering the school.
- Deferred Offer: occasionally the AA may feel that you would benefit from further experience, prior to entering the school. If this is the case you will receive a deferred offer for the 2016/17 academic year.
Please be aware that in all instances the final decision as to the appropriate level of entry is established by the admissions/interview panel.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
ACCEPTING YOUR OFFER
Successful applicants wishing to secure their place for the 2015/16 academic year must follow one of the procedures below:
Unconditional / Conditional Offers
In order to secure a place at the AA for the 2015/16 academic year, the Admissions Team must receive a completed signed admission form and a one-term non-refundable deposit by the due date stated on the offer letter and admissions form.
If you have received a deferred offer, the Admissions Team will contact you in May 2016 to confirm if you would like to accept your offer.
Paying your Deposit
The deposit amounts for the 2014/15 academic year are below:
- Foundation applicants are required to pay a deposit of £5,880*. The deposit will then count towards the cost of the tuition fees for the final term (3rd term) of the Foundation course.
- Undergraduate applicants (First Year, Intermediate and Diploma) are required to pay a deposit of £6,330*. The deposit will then count towards the cost of the tuition fees for the last term of the final fifth year of study.
* The deposit amount for the 2015/16 academic year will be confirmed in January 2015.
Deferring an Offer
Applicants to the Foundation course cannot defer their entry into the school. All other Undergraduate applicants can defer for a maximum of one academic year. To defer you must:
- Confirm the deferral in writing to the admissions team;
- Complete and return the Admissions Form (please send signed original by post); and
- Pay the minimum required deposit* before 31 July 2015.
* The deposit is non-refundable under any circumstances.
FEES AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
We understand that fees and financial assistance are important considerations when choosing where to study. This section aims to provide you with a summary of the fees and the financial assistance available to prospective and current students.
TIER 4 (GENERAL) STUDENT VISA INFORMATION
Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS)
Upon securing your place a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) can be issued for students who require a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa to study in the UK. This confirmation, together with other documentation, can be used by overseas students to apply for a visa. Please refer to the Home Office/UKVI website for further information:
London is a fantastic city to be a student in and living in your own home away from the AA School is part of the experience. Even though for most students, living in London will be a very positive experience, students often find the prospect of finding private sector housing daunting.
London is distinct from most other places in the UK when it comes to private accommodation for students because it is not usually possible to arrange your accommodation far in advance of starting your course. This is a great thing as it gives students plenty of time to think about their accommodation options and decide on the best one. Most students find their accommodation about 1-2 months before moving in.
University of London Housing Services (ULHS)
The AA School is pleased to announce that we have enlisted the services of the University of London Housing Services (ULHS) http://www.housing.lon.ac.uk 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 at http://www.housing.lon.ac.uk/housing-guide. You will receive a copy of this guide during Introduction Week.
They have an online database of accommodation offers from registered landlords and letting agents which operates throughout the year. These offers include flats and houses for groups as well as rooms in shared flats and houses.
Finally, the ULHS offers housing advice which includes offering a contract checking service which allows students to have their contracts for private accommodation checked before they sign. They also offer legal advice should students get into any difficulty in private accommodation.
Both current students and those with an offer to study can access these services. New offer holders will have access to this service from Monday 10 August. If you would like to make an enquiry via the ULHS website you will need your AA membership number which can be found on your offer letter. Current students will be able to access this service from 19 August.
If you have any questions about finding accommodation in London please contact ULHS: * www.housing.lon.ac.uk
* Email: email@example.com
* Tel: +44 (0)20 7862 8880 * Facebook: www.facebook.com/UoLHousingServices
* Twitter: @ulhs
Please note, due to this new agreement, the AA will no longer be running a separate Accommodation Office service during September. However, we will be organising an AA Accommodation Event during Introduction Week. Further details will be available soon.
Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the Undergraduate Admissions team on +44 (0)20 7887 4094/4051 or firstname.lastname@example.org