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All applicants are expected to submit a digital portfolio of art/design work between 20–30 pages combined into a single PDF format (Max file size 40MB). You can find full details about portfolio format/size in the application form. The portfolio must be clearly labelled including your full name and programme of application.  Upon signature of the application form applicants certify that the work submitted is entirely their own. Plagiarism is unacceptable in the academic setting and students are subject to penalties including dismissal from the programme if they commit an act of plagiarism.

Applications and portfolios will be assessed by the admissions panel and applicants will be informed by email whether they are invited to an interview at the AA. The interview takes the form of a discussion around the applicant’s range of interests and focuses on the portfolio of work in architecture, the arts or related areas. The interview is a two-way process: the panel wants to see what skills and interests the applicant has, so it is important to spend time preparing a portfolio. The applicant has the opportunity to ask questions about the School and to have a look at its working spaces and facilities.

View sample portfolio (PDF)

Applications and portfolios will be assessed by the admissions panel and applicants will be informed by email whether they are invited to an interview at the AA. The interview takes the form of a discussion around the applicant’s range of interests and focuses on the portfolio of work in architecture, the arts or related areas. The interview is a two-way process: the panel wants to see what skills and interests the applicant has, so it is important to spend time preparing a portfolio. The applicant has the opportunity to ask questions about the School and to have a look at its working spaces and facilities.

AWith the exception of History and Critical Thinking and PhD Research, all applicants must submit a digital portfolio of design work, showing a combination of both academic and professional work. The Portfolio must be clearly labelled including your full name and programme of application and contain 20 – 30 pages (drawings/project synopsis/samples of work) combined into a single PDF format (Max. file size 40MB).

Please include a selection of highlights of your work, showing a range of different work from your academic and professional background. Please also demonstrate the process behind your work, e.g. sketches or development drawings/models, rather than just including final images.

Applications and portfolios will be assessed by the Programme Director and a second academic member of staff and applicants will receive a formal letter via email confirming the outcome of their application.

All applicants are expected to submit a digital portfolio of art/design work containing 20 – 30 pages (drawings/project synopsis/samples of work) combined into a single PDF format (Max. file size 40MB). The portfolio should be clearly labelled including your full name and programme of application. Please use high-quality scanned images.

Please include a selection of highlights of your work to impress the admission panel enough for them to want to invite you for an interview! Please show a range of different work. Please also demonstrate the process behind your work, e.g. sketches or development drawings/models, rather than just including final images.

The AA is looking for students with a creative imagination and plenty of motivation! Sketches, models, photographs, paintings, notebooks, and essays, all help to build up a picture of your particular interests and skills. It is important to read the prospectus, 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. 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 can be recorded in a variety of ways. It is important that any drawings should be from life, or drawn on site.

The interview panel like to see original images where possible, but understands if reproductions have to be shown due to size or weight constraints. 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 limited amount of interview time which means you will not be able to show every piece of work.

Every portfolio we see will be different. The purpose of the interview is to try and assess each student’s potential and ability to benefit from the course. We will let you know within a very short time whether we are able to offer you a place. Portfolios brought to an interview can be taken away directly after the interview.

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. It is important that any drawings should be from life or drawn on site – copies of photographs are not acceptable.

Those applicants who are making a career change should consider carefully what might constitute their portfolio. The sort of project that might be undertaken would be to take a room that you know well, and record it in a set of images that tell their own story. Alternatively, you might take an area where you live and map a journey that describes not only the physical surroundings, but also your own response to them.

Those applying to transfer from other courses into the AA Experimental (BA Hons) Second and Third Years or AA Diploma (MArch) 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.

It is worthwhile including examples of work carried out in an architectural practice as the panel may wish to look at them.


Contact

Registrar's Office
T: +44 (0)20 7887 4051
F: +44 (0)20 7414 0779
admissions @aaschool.ac.uk



Links & downloads

ONLINE FOUNDATION, EXPERIMENTAL AND DIPLOMA APPLICATION FORM 2020/21



Academic Programmes
AA Prospectus


Experimental Programme (BA (Hons)) Prospectus
Experimental Programme Prospectu


Diploma Programme (MArch) Prospectus
Diploma Programme Prospectus


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THE AA RECEIVES THE POWER TO AWARD ITS OWN DEGREES

The Architectural Association receives Taught Degree Awarding Powers by the Lords of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council.

The Architectural Association (AA), the oldest independent school of architecture in the United Kingdom, is pleased to announce that it has been granted the power to award its own degrees. As of 1 October 2019, the AA has the right to establish new academic programmes and degree awards and is working to create some of the world’s most pioneering courses in architecture to shape and build the future.

Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) give UK higher education institutions the right to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Prospective students worldwide can apply to the AA Foundation Course (Foundation Certificate), Experimental Programme BA(Hons), Diploma Programme (MArch), and nine taught postgraduate programmes encompassing History and Critical Thinking in Architecture (MA), Projective Cities (Taught MPhil) and Sustainable Environmental Design (MSc/MArch), amongst others.

AA Director, Eva Franch said, ‘since our founding in 1847 we have never ceased to create new horizons, institutionally and academically. This is a significant milestone for the AA and demonstrates how we have grown and progressed as an institution that has always valued independence. Receiving TDAP marks a new era for our institution; these are exciting times for the AA. The process has required considerable work from all members of staff and students. I would like to take this opportunity to credit them for this major achievement’.

President of the AA Council, Victoria Thornton added, ‘the TDAP process has recognised our strong governance, academic standards, scholarship and teaching as well as the environment supporting the delivery of taught higher education programmes’.

The School’s application for Taught Degree Awarding Powers was supported by the Architects Registration Board, the Royal Institute of British Architects and The Open University.

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