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One Year Abroad – Visiting Student Programme

The AA One Year Abroad – Visiting Student Programme (VSP) offers places to students from overseas schools of architecture who wish to participate in the activities of the AA as a year away from their home institutions. Students are accepted into the AA Experimental Programme (BA (Hons)) at either Second or Third Year level, depending on their previous experience and the portfolio of work they submit as part of the application process. Applicants to this programme must be EU/EEA passport holders.

The Experimental Programme’s Unit System encourages concentrated and independent design development, intellectual and practical, taught by tutors running their own practices within London or internationally. Each year the Experimental Programme has a balance of units covering a diversity of questions and innovative approaches to material, craft and techniques of fabrication. Explorations of cultural and social issues are often set in inspiring places around the world.

You will learn to ask critical questions and contextualise your work through taught courses in history and theory, technical studies and professional practice. In addition emphasis is placed on developing the ability to debate issues, argue convincingly for a particular design approach and communicate work clearly and succinctly via a range of media, visual and verbal.

The three-term, 32-week programme involves students in all aspects of student life at the AA Experimental Programme including completion of the same courses and assessments. It is mandatory that students complete all components of the programme as the AA will not grant credits for courses previously undertaken at another university.

Upon successful completion of the One Year Abroad (VSP), students will receive an End of Year Report confirming the courses undertaken and successfully passed. Please note, the AA does not have a module or grade assessment procedure and does not partake in a credit system.

If you would like to speak to your university advisor regarding the One Year Abroad (VSP), please see the AA Experimental Programme Guide located on the AA website which provides detailed information regarding the way in which the Experimental Programme is organised.

In order to apply for this programme please see the Experimental Programme Admissions page and follow the instructions for the Experimental Programme.


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

T: 020 7887 4051 / 4094

Links & Downloads


Academic Programmes
AA Prospectus

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

Diploma Programme (MArch) Prospectus
Diploma Programme Prospectus


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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 Diploma), 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.