Intro Week Picnic Introduction week

Welcome to the AA School Graduate application page. If you wish to apply to the AA Graduate Programmes please follow the steps below which will guide you through the process. Please be aware that the first application deadline for the 2019/20 academic year intake is November 2018. This is for applicants who would like an early offer. If you have any queries, please contact the Graduate Admissions Team.


The AA Graduate Programmes includes 11 postgraduate programmes offering advanced studies for students with prior academic and professional experience. It is an important part of the larger AA School, which is one of the world's most dynamic, experimental and international learning environments.

All programmes are full-time courses of study, and all students join the school in September at the outset of a new academic year. For full details of the programmes available please see the Graduate Programme page.

It is crucial that you apply for the graduate programme most suited to your existing research interests, your personal and professional goals and your background, as it is not possible to apply for more than one programme or transfer programmes once you have accepted your place.

Please note, if you are interested in gaining ARB/RIBA Part 2, please see the Undergraduate Application page and review the details for the Diploma 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 assessment areas. The 2017 annual monitoring confirmed that the School has continued to make progress.

Degree Validation

The AA is a Partner 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.


You are required to meet the minimum academic and reference requirements outlined below for your desired programme. Overseas applicants must also meet the English language qualifications requirements outlined below.

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 in order to be eligible to enter the school.

Applicants who will not complete their degree until after June 2019 are encouraged to contact the Graduate Admissions Team prior to applying for the 2019/20 academic year.

Disclaimer: The Architectural Association School of Architecture (Inc.) reserves the right to vary or omit all or any of its facilities, tuition or activities, or amend in any substantial way any of the facilities, tuition or activities for which students may have enrolled. Students shall have no claim against the AA in respect of any alteration made to the course.

All applicants must be able to provide evidence of competency in both spoken and written English. The AA reserves the right to make a place in the school conditional on gaining a further English language qualification if deemed necessary.

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 on page 46 of the UKVI Tier 4 policy guidance;
  • You have successfully obtained an academic qualification (not a professional or vocational qualification) from an educational establishment in the UK, which meets the recognised standard of a Bachelor's degree or above; or
  • You have successfully completed an academic qualification equivalent to a UK bachelor's degree or above, which was taught in a majority English-speaking country as defined on page 45 and 46 by the Tier 4 policy guidance.

Please note: In order to assess the equivalency of an overseas qualification, you must provide official documentation produced by UK NARIC which confirms your international academic qualification is comparable to a UK Bachelor or Masters’ degree. In order for international qualifications to be eligible for an English Language Assessment, the degree must have been fully taught in English. Please visit the UK NARIC website and complete all the sections of the Visas and Nationality portal. Please send a scan of the UK NARIC English language Proficiency Statement and Academic Qualification Level Statement documents to the admissions team via email.

If your place is conditional on providing an English language qualification, the following qualifications satisfy the requirements of the UKVI, and the entry requirements of the AA:

  • International applicants: IELTS for UKVI (Academic) 6.5 overall with at least 6.0 in each category. IELTS reports have a two year validity period. Therefore, the certificate must bear a date no longer than two years ago at the time of visa application. Please check Appendix O and the Approved secure English language tests and test centres issued by the UKVI to ensure you book a test with an approved SELT provider. The AA requires a scan of the original certificate so we can verify your results online.
  • EU applicants: IELTS (Academic) 6.5 overall with at least 6.0 in each category. IELTS reports have a two year validity period. Therefore, the certificate must bear a date no longer than two years ago at the time of application to the AA. The AA requires a scan of the original certificate so we can verify your results online.
  • Trinity College SELT Test (ISE II (B2) or ISE III (C1)) with a minimum pass in each category. Trinity reports have a two year validity period. Please check Appendix O and the Approved secure English language tests and test centres issued by the UKVI to ensure you book a test with an approved SELT provider. The AA requires a scan of your results, so we can verify these online.

Applicants are required to meet the scores in each category and overall; we cannot accept lower scores. In addition, your certificate must show that you have achieved the required scores during a single sitting of the examination.

Please be aware that in order to be eligible to apply for a bursary, 2019/20 applicants who require an English language examination must have booked and passed one of the approved examinations listed above by 25 January 2019. All other applicants must submit their English language examination results by Friday 24 May 2019 for the 2019/20 academic year, prior to entry in Term 1.

Please note the English language qualification requirements are subject to frequent change in line with Home Office/UKVI regulations, and it is your responsibility to remain up to date with any changes. Please also regularly check the AA website for up-to-date English language requirements prior to submitting your application for the 2019/20 academic year.


Prospective students are encouraged to visit the school before applying. The School Open Day is the perfect opportunity to meet current students and staff, tour the AA’s facilities, view presentations of student work and get advice on the application process.

School Open Day: Friday 11 January 2019: All welcome – times to be confirmed

This event is open to all students, from Foundation to PhD. A full schedule will be available shortly. For further information, and to register your interest in attending, please visit the Open Days page.

If you miss the open day, you are welcome to organise a personal visit with one of the admissions team at any time throughout the year. We also strongly encourage prospective students to visit the school for Public Programme events which take place during term time. For full details of upcoming Public Programme events please see the What’s On page.

Our Virtual Open Days for the Graduate Programmes were streamed live in December 2017. If you missed the live streaming you can access the videos via AA Facebook; the AA School YouTube channel; or please click to watch: Housing & Urbanism (MA/MArch); Landscape Urbanism (MSc/MArch); Sustainable Environmental Design (MSc/MArch); History and Critical Thinking in Architecture (MA); Media Practices (Taught MPhil) – please see link via AA Facebook; Spatial Performance and Design (AAIS) (MA/MFA); Emergent Technologies & Design (MSc/MArch); Design & Make (MSc/MArch); Architecture and Urbanism (DRL) (MArch)

Individual or group visits for those interested in applying can also be arranged with advance notice. For further details please contact the Graduate Admissions Team on T + 44 (0) 20 7887 4007/4067/4094 or


The AA is a private institution. Anyone interested in applying to the AA must:

  • Complete the online application form;
  • Pay the relevant application fee: £50 for early applications, £75 for late applications; and
  • Submit a portfolio of design work (all applicants with the exception of History and Critical Thinking and PhD in Research)

The application procedure is the same for all applicants, regardless of where you are applying form.

Prior to completing the form applicants should carefully read the entry requirements for their chosen programme. The AA will not accept multiple applications and applicants cannot change their programme of study once the application has been received, assessed and a decision has been made. Therefore, it is crucial that you apply for the programme most suited to your experience.

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. It is therefore advisable that you start preparing this documentation now.

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.

Deadlines for 2019/20 Academic Year

  • Optional early-offer applications for 2019/20 close: Friday 23 November 2018*.
  • Early (Winter) application deadlines for 2019/20 close: Friday 25 January 2019* (last deadline for bursary applications)
  • Late (Spring) application deadlines for 2019/20 close: Friday 8 March 2019.

Both your online application, and your portfolio, must arrive by the dates listed above.

Applications received after the dates above may be accepted at the discretion of the school.

* In order to be eligible to apply for a bursary, applicants must submit their application and portfolio (if applicable) no later than 25 January 2019, stating their interest in an AA bursary in the ‘Finances and Funding’ section. Applicants who require an English language examination must also have booked and passed one of the approved English language examinations listed on the AA website by 25 January 2019 in order to be eligible for a bursary. The bursary application procedure will be explained once applicants receive an official offer.  


You will need to register to gain access to the online application form

Please ensure you complete all sections of the online form carefully. You can save the form and return to complete sections multiple times using your original registration password.

Please be aware that 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.

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.

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.

You must submit scanned copies of your academic records or transcripts which include a detailed list of subjects taken and marks attained.

If you have completed your degree, please upload both the degree certificate and your transcripts (covering all years of study). If you have not completed your degree, please upload all academic transcripts to date.

Applicants who will not complete their degree until after June 2019 are encouraged to contact the Graduate Admissions Team prior to applying for the 2019/20 academic year.

Overseas applicants must provide documents 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.

Applicants must submit two references with the online application form: one related to work experience, the other academic. If the applicant has no work experience two academic references are required. References must be on headed paper and signed. No application will be considered before two references have been received.

Referees who would prefer to send the reference to us directly can do so by post to:

Graduate Admissions, No. 36 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3ES.

Referees can also email us directly to However, the reference must be on official headed paper, be signed and scanned as a PDF, and emailed directly from the referees official school or university email address. Emails received from personal email addresses will not be accepted.

With the exception of History and Critical Thinking and PhD Research, all applicants must submit a hard copy, bound portfolio of design work, no larger than A4 format, showing a combination of both academic and professional work. The AA does not accept digital portfolios.

You must send your portfolio by post or courier to arrive at the AA by 6.00pm on:

  • Friday 23 November 2018 for Optional early-offer applications
  • Friday 25 January 2019 for Early (Winter) applications
  • Friday 8 March 2019 for Late (Spring) applications

The portfolio should be clearly labelled with a completePortfolio 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 arrives after final 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.

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.


All applications will only be acknowledged by email. Decisions on applications are normally given within six to eight weeks of receiving the application. Applicants who need to meet funding deadlines should submit their application as early as possible. Please indicate the funding deadline in your application and the AA will make every effort to ensure that you are notified of the decision as soon as possible.

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. Successful applications will be passed to Step 2.

Applications that meet the entry requirements will be assessed by the Programme Director and a second academic member of staff. The directors will carefully consider the personal statement, references and portfolio, in addition to reviewing academic grades.

The Graduate School does not insist on an interview as a condition of entry. However, applicants are strongly encouraged to visit the AA for an interview with the programme's academic staff before applying. Appointments can be made through the Graduate Admissions Team.


Applicants will receive a formal letter confirming the outcome of their application. This will be sent by email and by post.

Successful applicants will receive a conditional offer letter from the AA and must send certified true copies of their documents requested via courier or post to the AA for verification (photocopies will not be accepted). English language certificates should be scanned and emailed to

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.

Applicants are offered a place on one programme only, and cannot switch between programmes.

Once all the conditions have been met applicants will receive an unconditional offer letter. Applicants must hold an unconditional offer in order to enter the school for the 2019/20 academic year and receive a CAS (if applicable).

Decision on the admission of an applicant is final and there is no right of appeal against this decision. An appeal will only be considered if based upon any irregularities having taken place during the application process; from submission of application to receipt of outcome. Any such representation should be made within 10 working days of the dated AA School correspondence confirming the application outcome and addressed to the Head of Admissions, Architectural Association School of Architecture. Please send this via email to

The appeal will be reviewed by the Head of Admissions with the School Registrar and the School Director to assess if any irregularity has taken place during the application process. The Head of Admissions, School Registrar and School Director cannot overturn the original decision but can decide whether to dismiss the appeal or recommend a re-assessment of the original application.

The Head of Admissions will communicate the final decision to the applicant within 10 working days of receipt of the appeal.

Please note: Unsuccessful applicants are eligible to apply to the school the following academic year. However, if the second application is unsuccessful, any further applications will be accepted at the discretion of the AA School.


All applicants must pay a 1 term 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 2019/20 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.

The 1 term deposit is non-refundable/non-transferable. For graduate and foundation applicants, the deposit is also non-deferrable.

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.

If you fail to meet the conditions outlined in your offer letter please inform the school immediately. Unfortunately, you will be required to withdraw and re-apply the following academic year.

The deposit amounts for the 2018/19 academic year are below:

  • MA / MSc / MFA / MPhil / PhD: £8,525
  • MArch: £8,877

Deposit amounts for the 2019/20 academic year will be announced in January 2019.

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.


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.

Link to Fees and Financial Assistance Section


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. For 2019/20 applicants this date is 16 September 2019.
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.
Please be aware that 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. For further information please see our FAQs page.
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.

The AA School has 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 at 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.

The ULHS works with a number of other providers of accommodation including short-term providers and Private Student Halls of Residences.

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 mid- 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 late-August.

If you have any questions about finding accommodation in London please contact ULHS: *

* Email:

* Tel: +44 (0)20 7862 8880 * Facebook:

* Twitter: @ulhs

Please note, due to this 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. For details please see the events list.


The AA School is tremendously active, dynamic and noisy. Keep an eye on what’s happening around the School via: Facebook, Twitter, Events List, AA Life and AA Conversations. You can also view recent AA Public Programme events and lectures via YouTube

For a great overview of the AA School, we recommend you watch the QAA Student Submission 2016 video. Created and edited by student representatives for the QAA, it provides an overview of daily life, student experiences and our facilities.

Each year students from around the globe join the AA School in London. Of our full-time students, sixty per cent join either the Foundation Course or our ARB/RIBA validated Undergraduate Programmes. The remaining 40 per cent are enrolled in one of the AA’s Graduate Programmes.

To help you find out what it’s like to study here we asked our students to tell us something about themselves – read their stories, experiences and tips here.

The AA Student Forum is an important part of the school. Members of the Forum meet regularly throughout the year. For further information, and to get involved, please visit their Facebook page.


Introduction Week is a valuable opportunity to familiarise yourself with London and the AA, as well as to meet fellow new students. Official Registration and compulsory inductions to the library, workshop, computer room and health and safety take place this week. Visits are arranged to places of architectural interest and to architectural practices, and there are introductory talks about the different parts of the school.

The AA will welcome the 2019/20 cohort of new students on Monday 16 September 2019. Please come to 36 Bedford Square at 10am, where you will be able to collect a welcome pack, which will provide you with everything you need to know for the week. The admissions team will be around to answer any questions you may have.

On Monday the Director of the school will provide you with key information about the AA. You will also attend course/programme introductions providing an important opportunity to learn more about the course and meet AA tutors/programme directors. On Tuesday 17 September you will be required to attend registration and compulsory inductions throughout the day.

Trips to places of interest, exhibitions and office visits take place on Wednesday and Thursday of Intro Week. The office visits are unique opportunities to visit practices that have a connection with the AA. You are entitled to attend one visit out of the trips listed. However, you will not be able to sign up for a trip if it clashes with a compulsory library or workshop induction. Please be aware that you will not be able to sign up for a trip if you have not pre-registered.

On Friday of this week everyone is invited to attend the AA boat trip down the Thames followed by a picnic in Bedford Square. The Student Forum will also organise various events throughout the week. Further details will be available in the coming weeks.

Over the summer we recommend you keep an eye on the AA website and facebook page for updates and events. Full unit briefs for the 2019/20 academic year will be available via the website in August / early September.

All students are required to attend registration on Tuesday 17 September 2019. You will be required to arrive at the scheduled time for your course; this time will be confirmed soon.

To register you will need:

  • A pen.
  • Your passport and a photocopy of the photo page (all students).
  • Student Visa vignette and a photocopy with your entry stamp/police registration stamp (if applicable).
  • Your biometric residence permit and a photocopy of the front and back of the card (if applicable).
  • Any outstanding documents listed on your conditional offer letter or that we have specifically requested.
  • Proof of payment of your deposit and tuition fees (a receipt or statement), and a copy of your scholarship/bursary/loan letter (if applicable).

You may find that you owe the AA a small amount of money if, for example, the bank charged fees when you made a transfer, or if you have forgotten to pay the £95 membership and student forum fee. You will not be able to officially register as an AA student until you have paid all outstanding money.

Once you have registered you will be able to sign up for reference and bank letters. These will be available for collection from the Admissions office on Thursday. We cannot issue letters before this date.

Please check your email regularly for updates over the coming months. We look forward to meeting you all on Monday 16 September 2019!

AA School Admissions


Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the Graduate Admissions Team via email or as below:

Jess Hoy +44 (0)20 7887 4007 – Sustainable Environmental Design and Spatial Performance & Design (AAIS) enquiries (please note, the MPhil in Media Practices and Conservation of Historic Buildings programmes are currently suspended; However, please contact me if you have any questions)

Imogen Evans +44 (0)20 7887 4067 – Emergent Technologies & Design, Landscape Urbanism and Projective Cities enquiries

Nicola Amory +44 (0)20 7887 4094 – Architecture & Urbanism (DRL) and History & Critical Thinking enquiries

Simone Rogers +44 (0)20 7887 4051 – Design & Make, Housing & Urbanism and PhD enquiries

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

T: 020 7887 4067 / 4007

Links & Downloads


Prospectus 2018-19
AA Prospectus

Graduate Prospectus
Graduate Prospectus


The Architectural Association, Inc. is incorporated as a company limited by guarantee (No.171402) and registered as a charity (No. 311083). Registered office: 36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ES, 020 7887 4000

Click here to read the AA’s latest review report.

Click here to read the AA’s latest action plan.