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Diploma Programme (Years 4–5, MArch, ARB/RIBA Part 2)

The two-year Diploma Programme introduces successful AA students from the Experimental Programme, as well as eligible new students to the School, to the study of advanced forms of research, design practices and speculative thinking. Long acknowledged as a global innovator in architectural education, the AA Diploma Programme has, throughout its history, fostered some of the most innovative, challenging and experimental thinking in architecture.

Offering learning opportunities across a broad spectrum of interests and agendas through a variety of different teaching methods, the aim of the Diploma Programme is to deploy progressive strategies of representation within a diverse range of media, in parallel with the development of technical proficiencies and critical agendas.

Lively, informed debate permeates life in the Diploma Programme and as students hone their research skills, developing proposals into high-level design portfolios, they begin to refine not only their voices as designers, but also ways of individually articulating their own academic agendas to carry with them into their future professional careers.

In 2019–20 there are 21 Diploma Units that explore a wide range of critical issues, teaching methodologies and design agendas. The units that constitute the 2019–20 academic year explore re-use and salvage by challenging ideas of the new; investigate deep adaptation; bring to the forefront of architectural discourse notions of care through commoning, radical democracy and new definitions of generosity; open up the question of climate through mineralogical and biological space, technology and strategies of mobilisation; rethink ideas of housing and inhabitation through notions of the extreme and the ordinary; investigate civic architecture through the design of theatres, the Internet, play and porosity; focus on specific sites and their politics from the North Sea to London via Belfast and investigate the contemporary subject, its urban habitat, the technologies that make it and its possible redefinition.

Diploma Programme Units


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

T: +44 (0)20 7887 4051
F: +44 (0)20 7414 0779

Links & Downloads


Academic Programmes
AA Prospectus

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

Diploma Programme (MArch) Prospectus
Diploma Programme Prospectus