Intro Week Picnic Intro week

Visiting the School

Prospective students are encouraged to visit the AA. 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

Undergraduate Open Days

If you are interested in studying at the AA, these events are a great opportunity to meet current students and staff, tour the AA's facilities, view presentations of student work and get advice on the application process.

  • Friday 31st October 2014 – Foundation & First Year
  • Friday 7th November 2014 – All Undergraduate (Foundation to Fourth Year)
  • Friday 23rd January 2015 – All Undergraduate (Foundation to Fourth Year)

The Foundation and First Year event will provide key information and guidance for current Year 11 or 12 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. 

Full event details and times will be announced soon. To secure your place and ensure you receive updates please register your interest.

Institution / School Validation

The Architectural Association has undergone a review for educational oversight monitoring visit by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and have received its final report, which is available in full at:

The monitoring visit resulted in the following outcome:
The QAA monitoring team has concluded that the Architectural Association is making commendable progress in implementing the action plan from the Review for Educational Oversight.

The AA School also maintains Highly Trusted Sponsor status with the Home Office / UK Border Agency. 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).

Application Procedure

Students are admitted into the Undergraduate Courses at any level except Fifth Year. Both school-leavers and mature applicants with previous experience are encouraged to take advantage of the wide range of possibilities offered within the school.

The AA is a private institution and does not belong to UCAS. Anyone interested in applying to the AA must:

  • 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 2014/15 academic year.

Upon signing the application form applicants certify that the work submitted is entirely their own. Plagiarism is unacceptable in the academic setting. Students are subject to penalties including dismissal from the course if they commit an act of plagiarism.

Online Application

If you wish to make a late application for the 2014/2015 academic year please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Team on 020 7887 4051/4060 prior to completing the online application.

Important note: If you wish to apply for the 2015/2016 academic year, commencing in September 2015, PLEASE DO NOT APPLY NOW. The online application form will open in October 2014.

If you have any enquiries, please email If you would like to comment on the application system, have any questions, report any bugs or experience any difficulties with payment, please email

Application Deadlines for the 2015/2016 Academic Year

Important note: If you wish to apply for the 2015/2016 academic year, commencing in September 2015, PLEASE DO NOT APPLY NOW. The online application form will open in October 2014.

  • Early applications close Friday 21 November 2014 (£40 fee). Students wishing to apply for a scholarship must submit the online form and portfolio by this date.
  • Late applications close Friday 30 January 2015 (£60 fee).
  • 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.

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 2015/2016 academic year.

Entry Requirements

Minimum Academic Requirements

Foundation – 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 students entering 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.
Overseas applicants are required to have the recognised equivalent to the above examinations, such as the International Baccalaureate, Abitur, etc, plus the required English language qualifications outlined below.
Please note: 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 – 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.

Overseas applicants are required to have the recognised equivalent to the above examinations, such as the International Baccalaureate, Abitur, etc, plus the required English Language qualifications outlined below.

Second or Third Year (Intermediate) – Academic Requirements
Students with previous architectural or design experience may apply to enter the Intermediate School. 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
  • Five GCSE’s (grade C or above) including maths, a science subject and English language; and
  • Evidence of full-time architectural study.

Overseas applicants are required to have the recognised equivalent to the above examinations, such as the International Baccalaureate, Abitur, etc, plus the required English Language qualifications outlined below.

Fourth Year (Diploma) – Academic Requirements
Applicants wishing to enter the Fourth Year (Diploma) to gain AA Finals ARB/RIBA Part 2, the professional qualification/AA Diploma, must have gained ARB/RIBA Part 1 by 18 July 2014, prior to entry to the School.

This can be gained either by successful completion of Third Year at the AA for a period of one academic year (three terms) as a full-time student, or by applying directly to the ARB for Part 1 exemption (

Applicants who have studied for Part 1 in the UK must have gained at least a 2:2 in their degree.

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.

Applicants without conventional entry qualifications are also considered, provided they are able to offer acceptable alternatives.

Submission Portfolio Requirements

All applicants are expected to submit a bound portfolio of art/design work (no larger than A3, and between 10 and 30 pages). Applicants who submit a portfolio larger than A3 will be asked to re-submit before their application can be processed.

Offers of admission are based on evidence of motivation as well as intellectual and practical creative ability. In your application 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.

Essays, photographs, video, photos of 3D objects or self-generated projects can all be included. CDs/DVDs of additional material are also accepted but only when accompanying a printed hard-copy portfolio.

Sample portfolios will only be returned if requested and a £50 postage fee is paid in advance, or if the portfolio is picked up in person from the AA on a date prearranged with the Undergraduate Admissions team.

English Language Requirements

To meet both the AA and the Home Office / UK Border Agency 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 UKBA website; 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 UKBA; 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 English language qualification the following qualifications satisfy both the requirements of the Home Office / UK Border Agency and the entry requirements of the AA:

  • IELTS (Academic) 6.5 overall with at least 6.0 in each category – two-year validity period: must be within the two years at time of CAS visa application
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English at grade C1 or C2
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English at grade C2
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) (Academic) overall minimum of 63 with a score of at least 59 in each category

Applicants are required to meet the scores in each category and overall – we cannot accept lower scores.

The AA reserves the right to make a place in the school conditional on gaining a further English language qualification if deemed necessary. Any student without the required qualifications must register in an English language school and book and pass the required examination before 30 June 2014, prior to entry in Term 1.

TOEFL announcement

Please note, further to the official announcement from TOEFL dated 17 April, 2014 the AA can no longer accept TOEFL tests. Please understand that this situation is beyond the AA’s control and we must adhere to the directive from the Home Office / UK Border Agency. Full details can be found here (pdf).

For all Non-European Union applicants who have received an offer of a place at the AA for the 2014/15 academic year we can no longer accept the TOEFL test. This is due to the fact that the TOEFL test is no longer accepted for U.K. visa-granting purposes (SELT). Accordingly, if you have already submitted a TOEFL test, or were planning to sit a TOEFL test, you will now be required to submit one of the alternatives above.

For all European Union applicants who have received an offer of a place at the AA for the 2014/15 academic year we can no longer accept TOEFL examinations dated 17 April, 2014 or later. If your English language qualification is still outstanding please take one of the English language examinations outlined below.

Please note the English language qualification requirements are subject to frequent change as instructed by the Home Office / UK Border Agency and students must also take the responsibility of being up-to-date with all changes which can be accessed on the Home Office / UK Border Agency website


The AA is committed to giving as many talented students as possible the opportunity to study and offers scholarships to new students entering First, Second and Fourth Year who demonstrate exceptional promise and financial need. Most scholarships are equivalent to one or two terms’ fees each year for a period of three or two years respectively. Continuation of all scholarships is subject to continued progress in the school during the defined scholarship period.

To apply for a scholarship, applicants must complete the main application form no later than 18 November 2013 stating their interest in an AA scholarship in the ‘Scholarships and Awards’ section. Students whose work is considered to be of scholarship standard will be asked, after an entry interview, to complete a scholarship application form, provide financial information and submit a portfolio for the scholarship committee.


Applications and portfolios will be assessed by an admissions panel and applicants will be informed if they are invited to an interview at which a full portfolio can be presented.

Interview Procedure

Successful applicants will be invited to attend an interview at the AA School in London. The AA does not undertake Skype or telephone interviews.

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 its 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.

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.

Portfolios for AA interviews

The AA is looking for students with a creative imagination and plenty of motivation. It is important to read the AA Website as well as any relevant microsites (Foundation, First Year, Intermediate, Diploma). This will give you an idea of the wide range of work carried out in the school.

Suggestions on preparing your portfolio can be found online at:
It is better to bring more work rather than less so that you have a range of examples to demonstrate your skills. However, please take into account how much you can carry, and the finite amount of time available for the interview, which means you will not be able to show every piece of work.

Portfolios brought to an interview can be taken away directly after the interview.

Foundation and First Year – Portfolio Requirements

Applicants to the Foundation and First Year are not necessarily expected to submit an ‘architectural’ portfolio. The panel particularly likes to see evidence of current interests. Sketches, models, photographs, paintings, sketchbooks and essays all help to build a picture of your particular interests and skills.

There is no single way of preparing a portfolio. Many applicants will have artwork from school, but the AA is interested in any kind of project that is self-motivated, and it is best not to bring a portfolio based solely on school artwork. Portfolios should include some recent work; models or sculptures can be photographed, and live performances recorded in a variety of ways.
Every portfolio we see will be different. It is important that any drawings should be from life, or drawn on-site. The interview panel likes to see original images wherever possible, but understands if reproductions have to be shown due to size or weight constraints.

Intermediate and Fourth Year - Portfolio Requirements

Intermediate and Fourth Year applicants should show a range of work that they have carried out during their course, as well as any self-motivated projects undertaken outside of their course. Please be sure not just to present final images, but to show the process, development and thinking behind your work, perhaps in the form of sketchbooks or working drawings.


Successful applicants will receive an offer letter within two weeks of the interview. Applicants who receive a conditional offer letter must meet all of the specified conditions prior to entering the school. In order to secure a place at the AA the Admissions Team must receive a completed signed admission form and a one-term non-refundable deposit by the due date stated on the admissions form.

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 / UK Border Agency website for further information:

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 applicants 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 the 1st August 2014.
* The deposit is non-refundable under any circumstances.


Foundation Course

Fees for 2013/14 academic year Foundation course are £16,560* plus a £95 AA Membership and Student Forum fee. Applicants will be required to pay a deposit of £5,520* to secure their place at the AA. The deposit will then count towards the cost of the tuition fees for the final term of the Foundation course.

Undergraduate Course

Fees for 2013/14 academic year are £18,348* plus a £95 AA Membership and Student Forum fee. In addition to the fees above a deposit of £6,116* will be required to secure your place at the AA. The deposit will count towards the cost of the tuition fees for the last term of the final fifth year of study.

Fees are payable in advance or on an annual or term basis. A three per cent discount is deducted if a full year’s fees are paid by 11 July 2014.

*Fees are subject to review annually.

Student Loan Company

Student Loan update - 3 September 2014

Continuing Students: 2014/2015
Please note that continuing students (students who have already been registered at the AA and been in receipt of a Student Loan) are now able to apply for the 2014/2015 Academic Year.

New Students: 2014/2015
The AA School has now received written confirmation from the Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) and HEFCE that new students will be eligible to apply for a student loan for the 2014/2015 academic year. Please be aware that it may still take approximately 1 week before the SLC officially re-opens online loan applications for the AA. However, you should begin preparing your application material in preparation to submit as soon as the AA School is listed on the HEFCE designation list. Please regularly review the SLC website for further details.

Please check regularly on the AA website for further information and updates.

Registration / Introduction week

Introduction week commences on Monday 22 September 2014. Registration and events are arranged throughout the week to welcome new students to the school and London. The academic year starts on Monday 29 September 2014 and finishes on Friday 26 June 2015. It is divided into three terms, with a break at Christmas and Easter between terms.


The AA does not have halls of residence, but it does offer an accommodation advice service, which is organised by students for three weeks before the beginning of the academic year to provide information to help students find housing.


Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the Undergraduate Admissions Team on +44 (0)20 7887 4094/4051 or


Undergraduate Admissions Team
AA School of Architecture
36 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3ES

T: 020 7887 4051 / 4094

Links & Downloads

Undergraduate Prospectus

How to apply

Online Undergraduate Application 2014/15

Online Undergraduate Application Guidelines

Portfolio guidelines

Portfolio Cover Sheet

Term Dates

AA School Student Handbook

AA School Academic Regulations

First Year Programme Guide

Intermediate Programme Guide

Diploma Programme Guide

Accommodation and Living Expenses Guidelines

Unit Travel Insurance

Language courses


In line with AA School regulations, a copy of your passport is required for all UK, EU and international undergraduate applications made to the Architectural Association.

AA reserves the right to ask you to gain an appropriate level of English before you apply or are interviewed, or to make a place in the School conditional on gaining a further English Language qualification, if deemed necessary.