Arts University College Bournemouth
Dorset, United Kingdom
Arts University College Bournemouth

United Kingdom

N 50° 44' 28.11'', E 50° 44' 28.11''
Simon Beeson

t: +44 1202 363228
Oren Lieberman
Dean of School
Degree programmes
Research programmes
Faculty profile

The Arts University College at Bournemouth, established in 1885 as a specialist institution, is now a leading University College offering high quality specialist education in art, design, media and performance across the creative industries.

We are a campus for the creative industries. We’re special because we’re specialist. AUCB is one of only fifteen higher education institutions in the UK devoted solely to the study of art, design and media. Our courses have a highly practical streak. They’re run by passionate leaders, many of whom still run their own businesses. And they’re designed to give our students the edge in a competitive creative world.

The University College is a compact institution with over 3,000 students based on one campus. We are a creative community where both staff and students share a commitment to the disciplines of art, design, media and performance.

The University is situated between Bournemouth and Poole in Dorset on the South Coast of England. Dorset is a county of outstanding natural beauty, providing a unique location for creative work. It boasts miles of sandy beaches, the rolling Purbeck Hills, Poole Harbour and opportunity for a wealth of water sports.

132 students (120 Bachelor, 12 Master, 0 PhD), 28% of foreign students.

6 staff members (4 full-time and approx. 2 visiting lecturers and critics).


CAD - Lab
Conference auditorium
laser cutter
Modelling room


Two main types of accommodation to consider – halls of residence, and private rented accommodation. For further information contact or telephone: 00441202 363242 /363031

Admission Requirements

BA (Hons) degrees

Post-Graduate Degrees

Tuition fees

Application Deadline

Undergraaduate programme (UCAS application) January before entry

Bachelor, BA (Hons) Architecture, 3 years, Bachelor, 120,

The Course is prescribed by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and is validated as Part I by The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

Masters, MArch, 2 years, Masters,

The Course is prescribed by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and is validated as Part II by The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)

Masters, MA Architecture: spatial practices, 1 year, Masters,

1 yr specialist programme, subject to RIBA vaildation

Research programmes, MPhil/ PhD, 3 years, Research,

Postgraduate research students registered for MPhil / PhD study for the first time in October 2011.

Our creative courses provide a rich seam of collaboration for all our students. The campus is a highly specialist environment that reflects life in the creative industries. Our teaching style is individually focused with a low student to tutor ratio. And we actively we encourage your input to help us shape our community and courses.

Bachelor level Year 1 introduces key concepts and methods.

You’ll make physical models and explore forms of representation and manipulation of architectural form by graphic, photographic and digital methods.Small scale individual and group studio projects will allow you to explore methods of realization.You’ll learn the conventions of architectural drawing as a means of communication, and methods of construction.You’ll broaden your understanding of historical and contemporary precedents in architectural design.

In Year 2 you’ll explore the issues of building in the local urban context through architectural intervention projects.

You’ll research, measure, analyse, and create a representation of a local site.You’ll propose innovative and thoughtful interventions to house public, convivial activities associated with the economic and physical opportunities of the area.Theory and history will inform the understanding of the unique cultural context of the region. The special technical issues of building with existing buildings and their role in a sustainable city will be considered.

Year 3 begins with experimentation and speculation about architectural ideas. Then you will explore the role of the architect through a single architectural challenge.

You’ll focus on contemporary issues of architecture, responding to the social context of architectural practice.You’ll explore architectural design as one of the ways in which our built environment is conceived and perceived.You’ll look at the role of the architect alongside the motivations of clients, development, construction, planning, legal regulation and wider social, economic and cultural values.You’ll demonstrate skills in both drawings and digital media (including CAD).You’ll produce a portfolio of work to prepare you for employment or post-graduate study (including ARB part 2).

Masters level

The approach to the discipline in this course understands architecture to be nothing less than complex. Architecture is enacted in multiple ways, asking its practitioners – be they professionals, students or tutors – to do many things: design, research, make, debate, innovate, construct, think, question, reiterate, ingest, perform, prepare, test, validate, appraise, negotiate, explain, experiment, produce. One way to negotiate the complexity of what the architect does is to think of these actions as forming part of what we might call a meshwork, which is knotted or tangled in places where designs, acts, ideas, constructions, tactics, strategies and spaces materialise. At the MArch level, students must be able to perform these actions critically and at a high level in order to construct complex ‘knots’ of buildings, spaces, and speculations. They must be able to engage with, analyse, deploy and evaluate, through these actions, complex social, cultural, material, and technological contexts, processes, and techniques, in order to produce design proposals and spatial transformation.

Architectural practice – and the study of it – understandably spends much of its time on what we might call the projective, i.e., design proposals of possibilities for some time in the future. It differs from many other creative disciplines in that the architect doesn’t normally produce the ‘end’ product, e.g., the building, but rather scaled drawings and models (digital and analogue) of that which is to-be-built. The constructed space is then made through the coordination of many different participants in the building process. Through multifaceted projective projects, we further develop our knowledge and experience of how the architect ‘practices the profession’ as designer and coordinator.

This course also understands architecture to be fundamentally about the transformation of space in all its complexity, and that, like the student of fashion who makes the garment or the student of fine art who makes the painting, architecture students should also engage in performative practices which change space in the present. This course’s distinctive focus on practices that transform space in ‘real time and place’, making explicit embodied and improvisational practices, broadens the architect’s range of activities, and empowers students through their own ability to actually make a difference. Ideas and critical theories of architecture both inform, and emerge from, these forms of practices.

The course, then, is distinctive because it is an integral part of a community of practitioners in a specialist art, design, media and performance institution with possibilities to interact with other disciplines and their methods of production. And it is distinctive because it offers students the ability to engage with projects with not only speculative design proposals as products, but also with actual in-the-world spatial changes as outcomes.

Students also need to develop a critical understanding of how the business of architecture functions. They need to learn how to work both tactically and strategically with potentially short-lived economic or cultural conditions, evolving work practices appropriate to the specific task or project, while allowing for longer-term trends. The course will not mimic professional practice (though ‘real client’ projects can have tremendous learning value), but engender a culture of practice, insisting on responsible professional attitudes. Through both the unit that covers Management/Practice/Law as well as through more discursive design engagement, students will encounter and develop alternative models of practice.