Liverpool University Architecture Admissions Essay

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Course details

The BA (Hons) in Architecture offers a programme of study that is thoughtfully balanced to address the creative and technical demands of the profession.

Taught principally through a studio environment that is seamlessly underpinned and informed by lectures and workshops, the over-arching ambition of the programme is to create graduates with artistic flair, and who are technically skilled and grounded in the demands of the professional role of the architect.

The learning and teaching environment is progressively informed by research in pedagogy in the creative field. While teaching the curriculum, the programme also develops less tangible skills in students, such as communication, presentation and self-motivation; a key ambition is to create independent thinkers, adept at resolving problems with creativity and originality.

A broad educational experience is offered within which students can develop diverse rigorous and creative approaches to design issues that explore and test appropriate resolutions in relation to contemporary and anticipated contextual issues. 

Design projects form the backbone of the core teaching strategy. These projects are seen as primers to a divergent creative and critical thought process: they are characterised by individual interpretation and interest of the subjects that encourage imaginative solutions through discursive studio forums.

As you progress through the degree, the design projects gradually become larger in scale, more complex and ambitious in their intentions and integrative in their nature. At degree level, predominantly, the city of Liverpool is used as a contextual laboratory to test concepts that have a local flavour with global implications.

The aim is to develop graduate skills and knowledge such that they become autonomous thinkers who are capable of analysing, visualising and testing potential solutions to increasingly complex spatial and social issues within an increasingly holistic global scenario.

We regularly host symposia and conferences, for example the recent symposiums included:
The Display, Exhibition & Propagation of Architecture and Government and Housing in a Time of Crisis which both featured world-renowned guest speakers from architecture, urban planning and academia.

Each year, two of our undergraduate students are put forward for the RIBA Presidents' Medals award, and the collection of student work is published in a widely available catalogue. The variety of work and creative freedom seen in these projects demonstrates the expertise of our alumni.

For news, events, including student-led events, course information and student work and staff research, visit the Architecture blog.

Entry requirements (Home)

Applicants should have completed a first degree (minimum award 2:2) in Architecture.

Students with first degrees without RIBA/ARB Part 1 exemption should be aware that the MArch awards exemption from RIBA / ARB Part 2 only. If you wish to register as an Architect in this country or become an RIBA Chartered architect you will have to acquire RIBA / ARB Part 1 separately.

Assessment of suitability to the course may also be undertaken by review of a portfolio of work and an interview.

We are committed to the University's policy on equal opportunities and welcome applications from minority and disadvantaged groups.

We welcome overseas applicants and normally require overseas applicants to show evidence of academic achievement equivalent to UK entry qualifications.

Overseas applicants whose first language is not English are required to have attained a recognised English Language qualification equivalent to IELTS 6.5 (minimum of 5.5 in each component).

Application and selection

We are looking for students with an enthusiasm for design, who wish to engage in the debate on the future of the built environment.

You should have a willingness to read around the subject widely.

You should be willing to gain first hand experience of buildings, towns and cities and possess the following essential qualities:

  • Information retrieval techniques, as you will be expected to read around the subject and draw upon your findings for essays and projects.
  • Analytical skills, so that you can critically assess your own work and the work of others.
  • IT skills, as you will be expected to develop and submit project work using a wide range of specialist software applications.
  • Communication skills, as you will be expected to contribute to tutorials and host presentations.
  • Time management skills, as you will have to work to deadlines on a regular basis.
  • Team-working skills, as you will have to work closely with others.

Tips and advice on writing your personal statement

Take your time with your personal statement. It is an important part of your application form. This is the part of the form that will make you stand out as an individual. Organise your main achievements and interests into bullet points before you start completing it.

Summarise why you have chosen the course(s) for which you are applying and link between your present and proposed course(s).

Keep the statement brief and to the point. Don’t fall into the trap of including common interests such a socialising and reading. You should strive to make your statement personal. Think about things that you have done that are unique.

Make sure that you include any work experience that you have had (this includes part-time and holiday work) particularly if this relates to your chosen field of study. We are looking for evidence of commitment and team-working skills, so give us details of these.

Remember: we will consider your application not only on your exam grades but also on the strength of your personal statement and references. We may invite you in for an interview or ask you to complete a piece of work if we believe your exam grades do not accurately reflect your ability and potential. Remember that a good application form could even make up a shortfall in your exam grades and help secure your place at LJMU.

What happens next?

If you are from the UK or EC and meet the application criteria, you will receive a letter requesting that you attend an interview to which you should bring your full academic portfolio. This will also include an opportunity to meet academic staff and current students, as well as a tour of LJMU facilities. International students will receive confirmation of their offer from the International Office, along with details on accommodation, fees and other important information.

Applications will be considered together in March and short-listed applicants will be invited to interview in April. Applications received prior to this date will be held on file until shortlisting takes place.

If you are applying from overseas, a decision will be made based on your application form and portfolio in the first instance, with the possibility of a Skype interview being required.  


LJMU welcomes applications from international students. In addition to normal entry requirements, you will be expected to demonstrate a very good level of English language competence, for example an IELTS score of 6.0-6.5 or equivalent. Please note: specific courses may require higher levels of English language competence. If you have applied to study a full-time taught Masters, Masters by Research, MPhil/PhD at LJMU, you should check if you require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme or ATAS certificate. It can take four to six weeks to receive an ATAS certificate, so please make sure you apply as early as possible. You can find out more on the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website. Alternatively, contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for guidance. Please note: international students entering on a Tier 4 visa cannot study part time. Students entering the UK on alternate types of visa may be in a position to study part time. Please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for further details before making your application.  In order to obtain a visa you will also need to show evidence that the money required to cover your tuition fees and living expenses has been in your bank account for at least 28 days prior to submitting your visa application. So please make sure that your finances are in place before applying. For more details, go to our international website. 

For advice on any aspect of the application process, please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team.

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