Studying Architecture at Uni of Bath: Ask me anything

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sunanon
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#1
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#1
I'm 2 months into my undergraduate degree studying BSc Architecture at Bath. When applying I would've liked to ask an arch student questions but couldn't find anywhere to do that - so, ask me anything!
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IDK.345
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#2
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#2
(Original post by sunanon)
I'm 2 months into my undergraduate degree studying BSc Architecture at Bath. When applying I would've liked to ask an arch student questions but couldn't find anywhere to do that - so, ask me anything!
Hi, I've applied to Bath this year and was wondering if there was anything different or surprising that you found out when you started at Bath. In terms of the course, environment etc
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aashleypng
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#3
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#3
(Original post by sunanon)
I'm 2 months into my undergraduate degree studying BSc Architecture at Bath. When applying I would've liked to ask an arch student questions but couldn't find anywhere to do that - so, ask me anything!
Hi there!
I am currently planning on applying to Bath - but I don't take Art/DT in IB but I do take Math HL - therefore, since no portfolio or interview is required, I mentioned in my personal statement a 5 year art course I took outside of school (where my work was in exhibitions), and how I like to do art in my free time. Do you think this is suffice in terms of mentioning a "strong commitment to and substantial involvement in art practice outside of school" (which is what they told me to include)
But overall - I am happy with my personal statement and I think that it is strong.
In terms of predicted grades = I am over the required 36 (as I have a 41/45 for IB) but my HL's are 7,6,5 instead of the needed 7,6,6. The university did respond saying that since these don't match specific requirements + subjects, there will likely be more applicants with stronger predicted grade profiles.
Do you think I still have a good chance of getting in?

In addition = would you say that the course is very technical? Or are there still those artistic elements involved?

Thank you sm
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hk493
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#4
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#4
Hey, I applied to Bath around oct 15. Roughly what time did you hear back from them last year?
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umarc30
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#5
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#5
is the course hugely time consuming? do you ever Get a chance to chill out. this is what I'm afraid of
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sunanon
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#6
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#6
(Original post by IDK.345)
Hi, I've applied to Bath this year and was wondering if there was anything different or surprising that you found out when you started at Bath. In terms of the course, environment etc
Sorry for the delay responding. Here's what surprised me:
- The course has a range of people on from the laid back to the studious, but everyone is REALLY smart due to the entry requirements. I was still in the A Level mindset of competitive grade boundaries and when I saw others slacking I thought I was going to do fine, but your grade is entirely independent and the class average on exams is always between 80% to 90% so far.
- There is quite a bit more group work than I expected, so something to be aware of if that's not your thing.
- The first semester, at least, has some fairly complicated maths/science. The engineering and physics modules are pretty comprehensive and their respective exams are difficult. The first semester (noted that this is the only semester I have experienced) has been extremely varied and you need to be relatively skilled all-round to do well: you have to write essays on law, history and theory, do several group design projects involving anything from woodwork to structural plans you are given no guidance on, and also do engineering & physics-based calculations. It's tough, but very interesting.
- So far there has not been a comprehensive architectural design project. They really ease you into it. It can feel like you're waiting and waiting to finally design a building but of course there are valid reasons not to provide inexperienced first-years with a brief and let them do whatever they please.
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sunanon
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#7
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#7
(Original post by aashleypng)
Hi there!
I am currently planning on applying to Bath - but I don't take Art/DT in IB but I do take Math HL - therefore, since no portfolio or interview is required, I mentioned in my personal statement a 5 year art course I took outside of school (where my work was in exhibitions), and how I like to do art in my free time. Do you think this is suffice in terms of mentioning a "strong commitment to and substantial involvement in art practice outside of school" (which is what they told me to include)
But overall - I am happy with my personal statement and I think that it is strong.
In terms of predicted grades = I am over the required 36 (as I have a 41/45 for IB) but my HL's are 7,6,5 instead of the needed 7,6,6. The university did respond saying that since these don't match specific requirements + subjects, there will likely be more applicants with stronger predicted grade profiles.
Do you think I still have a good chance of getting in?

In addition = would you say that the course is very technical? Or are there still those artistic elements involved?

Thank you sm
I took A Levels not IB/HL so I'm really sorry that I can't advise there, but I know someone who did IB and whilst they were over the required 36 they were missing a few units due to administration errors; their school contacted Bath and exceptions were made, so grades aren't always the be all and end all.
Although no portfolio is required, they strongly suggest taking an art A Level/equivalent, but considering you did what sounds like a comprehensive course somewhere else and keep up the art, they will certainly like to hear that. I have also had work in exhibitions and mentioned this in my personal statement, which they must've liked since I am studying there now.
Applicants typically have above the requirements which it looks like you have. All you can do is write a strong personal statement, have a good reference and the best grades possible for you. I was initially annoyed they didn't do an interview/portfolio review considering every other university I applied to wanted one of those (or both, in Cambridge's case) but in the words of the former Head of Department: 'You might be able to paint a beautiful cabbage, but it doesn't make you good at architecture'.
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sunanon
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#8
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#8
(Original post by hk493)
Hey, I applied to Bath around oct 15. Roughly what time did you hear back from them last year?
I applied around the same time if I recall correctly. Unfortunately, they took a really long time to get back to me. They were the last university I heard from. I got my offer early March 2021.
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sunanon
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#9
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#9
(Original post by umarc30)
is the course hugely time consuming? do you ever Get a chance to chill out. this is what I'm afraid of
Is the course time consuming? Absolutely. It is extremely varied and understanding the mathematical/science/design concepts whilst juggling coursework and weekly assignments is very time consuming in itself. However, having time to chill out is entirely dependent on your circumstances. If you have a job at the same time and take your time on assignments, you won't have much spare time unless you stay up late. There is a lot of optional work is all I can say. You don't necessarily have to put extra hours into design projects and complete the hours of work set before the lecture; you can do the bare minimum and simply show up, but be mindful this will impact your grades. Whilst year 1 grades don't 'matter', per say, personally it's important to do as well as you can because if you're not putting in 100% you'll never know what you could've achieved. Besides, you are paying to be there, and paying to come out with a good degree. Most good Masters courses (if you're wanting to be an architect you will need to complete a Masters degree too) will want a 2.1 degree or above.
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aashleypng
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#10
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#10
(Original post by sunanon)
I took A Levels not IB/HL so I'm really sorry that I can't advise there, but I know someone who did IB and whilst they were over the required 36 they were missing a few units due to administration errors; their school contacted Bath and exceptions were made, so grades aren't always the be all and end all.
Although no portfolio is required, they strongly suggest taking an art A Level/equivalent, but considering you did what sounds like a comprehensive course somewhere else and keep up the art, they will certainly like to hear that. I have also had work in exhibitions and mentioned this in my personal statement, which they must've liked since I am studying there now.
Applicants typically have above the requirements which it looks like you have. All you can do is write a strong personal statement, have a good reference and the best grades possible for you. I was initially annoyed they didn't do an interview/portfolio review considering every other university I applied to wanted one of those (or both, in Cambridge's case) but in the words of the former Head of Department: 'You might be able to paint a beautiful cabbage, but it doesn't make you good at architecture'.
Thank you so much for the detailed reply! Would you say that there is still artistic elements in this course? Base on your other replies, it seems that it is only very technical (math and science based)
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sunanon
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#11
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#11
(Original post by aashleypng)
Thank you so much for the detailed reply! Would you say that there is still artistic elements in this course? Base on your other replies, it seems that it is only very technical (math and science based)
It is more technical than other courses but that's likely because it's a BSc and Bath is a very STEM-orientated university. But there are absolutely artistic elements too. You have to be rather well-rounded to succeed across the board. The first semester, for example, has a physics-based unit, a maths/engineering/mechanics-based unit, 2 history and theory units (essays and a few illustrations/annotating plans and pictures), a law unit (long essays and looking at documents/legislation) and a design project (as well as a smaller, more technical design project). However, I think maths units are only present in the first year. They teach you the fundamentals and then the architecture, CAD, illustration becomes the crux of the course (at least, that is what I am expecting, and hoping)! You don't have to be 'good' at architecture, but try to practice sketching (I know everyone says it, and I am guilty of not practicing myself, but I luckily improved very fast in the first few weeks of the course). Something I did do and seriously don't regret is reading around the subject a lot (which was necessary for my Cambridge application at the time) and looking at different facets of architecture: history, politics, movements, war, schools, artists, urban planning, stories, you name it. Really throw yourself into the subject and you will fit right in when the time to start your degree arrives.
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Sinnoh
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#12
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#12
What are your thoughts on art deco :beard:
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Turtle_2903
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#13
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#13
Hi there,

I was just wondering whether you think someone who hasn't studied Maths at A-level would struggle with Architecture at Bath. I do Physics, but not Maths, so I was wondering if I would still be able to pull through the engineering modules of the course.
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sunanon
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#14
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#14
(Original post by Sinnoh)
What are your thoughts on art deco :beard:
Great question, but I really don't know much about it! It predates my main architectural period of interest which are the interwar/postwar years. It's honestly not touched upon much, except when a photo of the Chrysler Building is briefly flashed up in lectures/books/videos.

Art deco-style furniture is absolutely fantastic to look at, though.
Last edited by sunanon; 5 months ago
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sunanon
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#15
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#15
(Original post by Turtle_2903)
Hi there,

I was just wondering whether you think someone who hasn't studied Maths at A-level would struggle with Architecture at Bath. I do Physics, but not Maths, so I was wondering if I would still be able to pull through the engineering modules of the course.
Hey, thanks for your question. I am well-informed on this as I did Maths and not Physics, and my flatmate did Physics and not Maths. One of them is absolutely required, and I would advise doing both if choosing Civil Engineering. Essentially there is a maths unit and a physics unit in the semester I have just completed. If you did maths, you will find the maths unit relatively understandable and the physics one will require you to dig back into GCSE information (luckily I got a 9 in physics, which has aided me tremendously). The opposite will be the same; you may breeze through the physics unit but find the maths unit a bit harder. There is some calculus touched upon but the lecturer explicitly said that you do not need to 100% understand calculus, only the basics. I would strongly advise learning how the following work before starting the course:
- Logarithms
- Converting units
- Basic calculus (parabolic equations, differentiation, integration - but not of complex functions)
- Mechanics (which I assume you cover entirely in physics)

That is all! Feel free to ask more questions.
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PhilB10
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#16
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#16
Hi,
I have applied for Architecture at Bath this year and I've applied to Engineering and Architecture for most of my other choices. Are there physics/maths modules throughout the whole course or only in the first year as I would enjoy studio work but would also want some engineering modules as I would enjoy that too. Also what do you study in the law and theory side of things. I enjoy philosophy so does that play a part at all?
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sunanon
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#17
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#17
(Original post by PhilB10)
Hi,
I have applied for Architecture at Bath this year and I've applied to Engineering and Architecture for most of my other choices. Are there physics/maths modules throughout the whole course or only in the first year as I would enjoy studio work but would also want some engineering modules as I would enjoy that too. Also what do you study in the law and theory side of things. I enjoy philosophy so does that play a part at all?
Hi there,
As far as I know, there are only physics/maths modules for the first semester of the course. It is vice versa with Civil Engineering, who only have design studio projects for the first semester (as far as I am aware).
Second to fourth year then focuses on design projects and the sandwich placement in the second semester of years 2 and 3.
Within the law module we have looked at a range of principles from contract law to building procurement, partnership management, legislation/regulation/codes and the relationship between the client and architect; most of this is assessed in a large essay-format coursework piece.
Theory concerns vernacular architecture in one unit whereby different scholars are looked at for their views/interpretation of 'vernacular' (so philosophy could fall under that, but not majorly) and the other unit focuses on history alone with titbits of theory from figures like Le Corbusier.
All I can say is that the architecture course at Bath is the top maths/science-based architecture course in the country. It is topped only by Cambridge, whose course is massively essay/literature-based. If you would like to pursue maths throughout the whole course, I would recommend finding an engineering course where engineers collaborate on design projects more frequently than just within the introductory units of the first year. The course at Bath is very enjoyable, however.
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PhilB10
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#18
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#18
Thank you so much for responding. I thought architecture as a degree did involve a fair amount of maths (not as much as engineering but was still very important to the course). Is this not the case?
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sunanon
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#19
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#19
(Original post by PhilB10)
Thank you so much for responding. I thought architecture as a degree did involve a fair amount of maths (not as much as engineering but was still very important to the course). Is this not the case?
I’m sure you will still have to apply maths and physics knowledge throughout the course to respond to design briefs, but you only have maths exams/lectures in the first semester. Sorry I can’t give much detail, I’ve only completed one semester!
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hustlr
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#20
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#20
(Original post by sunanon)
I'm 2 months into my undergraduate degree studying BSc Architecture at Bath. When applying I would've liked to ask an arch student questions but couldn't find anywhere to do that - so, ask me anything!
Hey I'm thinking of going to Bath but I'm not even sure if they'll accept me. I'm actually on a gap year now and have received A*AB in Maths DT and Economics, respectively. For GCSE my top grades were 9888 in History, Literature, Physics and Maths. The reason I bring this up is that when reading the admissions page it seems they are quite lenient to students who express talent in both maths and philosophy from a range of things you've done and not only A-levels.

What was your original offer from Bath, what did you receive, and do you think I have a chance at being accepted since they don't look at portfolios?

Also I see myself as a person with a greater interest in the literature/philosophy side of Architecture, so when you say the first year (or the course) is very maths based do you mean there are very few elements of philosophy and art?
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