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A-level results: places still up for grabs at architecture schools

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Universities offering architecture courses have revealed that they still have places available as students clamber for places following their A-Level results

This year competition for places at university is expected to be tougher than ever as young people attempt to find places before the tuition fees increase in 2012.

Birmingham City University has announced it has places available on its BA Architecture and BA Landscape Architecture degree programmes through clearing. 

Head of Birmingham School of Architecture Kevin Singh said: ‘Students enrolling this year will gain fantastic real-world experience on our courses.

‘[We have] a developing research portfolio with particular strengths in sustainability, landscape and urbanism, and design methodologies.

‘The school boasts an expert base of academic staff who provide consultancy and enterprise services to clients in industry and the public sector, including Ruth Reed, the first ever female President of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).’

Lincoln University has also revealed that it has places available. The National Student Survey run by the government’s website rated the university’s architecture programme fifth best in the UK in 2009.

Comment: Andre Brown, head of school at Liverpool University School of Architecture

We are not in clearing and will fill up on direct applicants - we’ve been able to take less than AAA this year, which was not possible last year. I don’t regard this as a problem. I tell applicants at open days that I prefer to take students who have committed to Liverpool, and who have submitted a portfolio of work that we have graded, which we grade between 1-5. We only take those rated over 3.

But the numbers of applications are down at well regarded schools, like here and UCL. We could put that down to recession, length of course, salaries etc.  

However the RIBA have been regularly granting RIBA accreditation to a range of new courses at institutions across the country that are starting Bachelor and Master Architecture degrees for the first time. So if there are 20 per cent more courses its not surprising that the numbers applying to each institution go down, or standards are dropped, or both. There has been a lot of talk about whether the Part 1 requirement should remain as it is, but one potential benefit is to manage entry numbers in the same way that Medics, Dentists and Vets do. The RIBA view is, I think, that we have a free market economy. I know we are strictly speaking talking about an EU degree and professional qualification rather than UK situation,  only. And I know that increasing numbers of applicants from the UK are applying to UK Universities to get cheap or free qualifying degrees. But the RIBA/ARB should declare a view. I know also that I and other may be called protectionist or elitist for suggesting that entry numbers be managed. But this, at least, needs a frank set of discussions.

Liverpool University School of Architecture


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