Architecture and Physical Design
Architecture and Design is contextual
Our staff teach at the highest level and maintain an enquiring research approach to physical and intellectual contexts. We embrace real situations with passion and creativity. We believe that a depth of enquiry and poetic experimentation develops from the experience and understanding of making, drawing and materials in well-crafted output. We believe that Architecture and Design is thought, experienced and built.
Our school acts as a forum for ideas and thought across a wide range of disciplines. We host a national and international lecture series which acts as a magnet for theorists and practitioners to contribute to the discussion and debate in the school. We have extensive workshops and facilities for the creation of real and digital artefacts.
In the Architecture and Design subject area (A+D) we foster a broad and inspiring education to establish a rich foundation for a creative professional life. We are a career-led school of architecture and visual art. Our architecture and design programmes challenge assumptions and set new agendas for design in the 21st century.
We balance the development and support of our students' talents with the understanding that architecture and design is contextual, socially constructing and political. We believe that the design conversation in studios between students and staff across models and drawings is central to creative development.
Our students are encouraged to undertake study trips internationally in each year of study to deepen an understanding of people and places. Our teaching balances a respect and understanding of the past and the present with an inspirational, poetic and innovative stance towards the future.
Why choose us?
We have recently been placed 2nd in the country in the National Student Survey for Student Satisfaction, and 1st in London.
We are equally pleased to have been ranked 1st in London for Teaching On My Course and 3rd in the UK for Academic Support, but most pleasingly of all, our students rank their own student community as the top school of architecture and interior design in the country, for the community that we are creating within our factory of creativity in East London.
Our architecture courses were ranked 1st in London for teaching, academic support, and overall satisfaction (NSS 2022) , and 2nd in the UK for overall satisfaction (NSS 2022).
Our architecture courses were also recently ranked second in London (Guardian University Guide league table 2018).
5 out of 11 RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) London prizes were awarded to UEL students in 2021.
We enjoy unconditional recognition from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Architects Registration Board (ARB), giving exemption from Part 1 of their professional examinations.
Our BSc (Hons) Architecture and MArch Architecture enjoy unconditional recognition from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Architects Registration Board (ARB), giving exemption from Part 1 and Part 2 of their professional examinations.
Our BSc (Hons) Architectural Design Technology is also accredited by the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) allowing you to be an Associate Member upon graduation and progressing to full chartered membership.
Our MA Professional Landscape Architecture course is also accredited by the Landscape Institute.
You'll study in one of the biggest regeneration areas in Europe - perfect for placements and field trips to see how architects are applying theory to practice.
UEL has an international reputation in architecture, reflected in a series of awards and achievements, both by students and staff.
You'll study in one of the biggest regeneration areas in Europe - perfect for placements and field trips to see how architects are applying theory to practice. At the core of our teaching philosophy is the relationship developed between staff and students and the play of the design process.
You will be taught in small groups, one to one, in studios, in workshops, and lecture halls and now on-line. Our project work follows a systematic pattern of investigation, experiment and innovation.
Our courses will set you on the path to becoming an architect, architectural technologist, interior designer, or landscape architect. Depending on your pathway, you can gain exemption from parts 1 and 2 of the ARB/RIBA professional examinations and the Landscape Institute.
You'll learn in small classes with practising architects and designers in workshops and studios, and you'll use professional quality equipment and facilities. You'll also gain lots of hands-on experience working on real-life projects.
We have dedicated workshops and laboratory facilities for architecture and visual arts housed in the AVA building as well as in the new, digital fabrication DFUEL lab at our Knowledge Dock building on the Docklands Campus. These provide an ideal environment for students to experience design processes and master practical skills.
Our facilities include:
- Woodwork workshop
- Metal welding workshop
- Plaster, mould making and ceramics workshop
- Dark room for photography
- Risograph printing
- Digital Fabrication (DFUEL) facilities include a robotic arm, 3D scanners, 3D printers, laser cutters, clay printers, and many other digital fabrication technologies.
- High spec computer labs equipped with the latest architecture softwares and programmes
To find out more and experience our facilities first-hand, visit us at an Open Day.
What we're researching
Our architectural research is driven by the needs of, and directly assists, groups ranging from local communities up to and including international and inter-governmental agencies such as the United Nations through the work of our staff, often our students, our alumni practices and our collaborations with the UEL Sustainability Research Institute.
We are in the heart of urban regeneration activity in East London, our location provides a very contested, socially diverse context that inspires much of our research focus. It acts as a catalyst for convening multidisciplinary research around the critical question of how change impacts community and environment, and how the benefits of that change can be focused and harnessed.
From this catalyst a multidisciplinary research team has evolved that reaches beyond the boundaries of the university campus to co-produce locally contextualised and, most importantly, solutions-based research within multiple knowledge-exchange and innovation partnerships with industry, government, universities and the public.
Whilst shaped by our locality, research outputs resonate globally across the 21st Century's industrialised city and managed landscapes. This includes international collaboration at the EU and UN levels, ranging from major inter-governmental bodies to regional and city councils to small local community groups.
Find out more about our staff by visiting our School of Architecture, Computing and Engineering (ACE) page.
Our work is guided by the principles of "sustain, retain, restore, re-use and transform" which are applied, either explicitly or implicitly, across every aspect of our work. As impact drives our research. We operate on the basis that traditional boundaries are wholly transparent, because genuine action on sustainability requires the integration of social, environmental and resource based actions in defining environment, place and living space, as well as maximising social return on research investment - all within the context of a climate emergency.
The strength of our research comes from partnerships across disciplines both within UEL (environmental science, materials science, architecture, landscape, social science, engineering, fine and performing arts) and beyond. Our transdisciplinary approach to solutions-based research has been central to the success of this research collaboration.
We operate a non-hierarchical, collaborative structure that values all contributors equally, bringing opportunities for our postgraduate students and increasingly our undergraduates to support and benefit from research development, acknowledging that our near-future society will be creating participatory relationships rather than exclusive knowledge.
The hands-on approach to architecture that UEL gave me provided key knowledge in the field of architecture that's unique compared to anywhere else."
BSc (Hons) Architecture graduate
RIBA Student Mentoring Scheme
Each academic year, we work collaboratively with the RIBA to offer the Student Mentoring Scheme to undergraduate RIBA student members during the autumn and spring each academic year. The mentoring scheme is intended to give students an insight into practice and to enhance their learning experience.
RIBA student members taking part in the scheme are matched with mentors and meet at an informal event at their School during the autumn. During that meeting, mentors and their mentees arrange to hold at least two meetings of at least two hours before the end of February the following year. These meetings cover: an introduction to working life at the practice; a successful project; follow-through of a current live project
The architectural profession and most teaching environments are generally still not inclusive and there is a lack of visible everyday role models from all diverse backgrounds and circumstances. Throughout each academic year we invite professionals - chosen not only for their outstanding achievements, but also to reflect the diversity represented by our students - to talk about their education, careers and the ups and downs of professional life. The brief presentations are followed by thought-provoking discussions and questions and answers with the students.
The diversity also extends into various design-related occupations and showcases the multitude of career paths possible post-graduation. Many of the guests are involved in initiatives to advance the urgently needed diversity in the profession and are mentoring or otherwise supporting students/young professionals from underrepresented backgrounds.
Careers at UEL
Our dedicated Careers team works closely with employers to provide up-to-date information about the skills and experience they're looking for. They will support you during your studies and after you graduate.
At UEL, you'll have access to:
- Employability skills training such as interview techniques and CV writing.
- Career Assessment, giving you the opportunity to learn about yourself and Career Coach will help you to discover career suggestions based on your interests.
- UEL Skills Academy, where external professionals deliver sessions on the competencies most prized by graduate employers.
- Internships, placements and volunteering opportunities from our work placements team.
- Professional mentoring scheme, matching students with staff from major companies.
- Networking opportunities and annual careers fair.
- Support with setting up your own business.
Our location in one of Europe's largest regeneration areas and our extensive links to local employers will also give you access to fantastic internships and placements. From heavy industry to high-tech, health and social care to the arts, there are so many opportunities right on our doorstep.
Use our online Career Coach to find out the different career paths your chosen subject area can lead you to. Get information on specific careers, job roles, potential wages and available jobs in the sector. Or take a quick quiz to find a career to match your personality type!
Be the Change - Ishya Thompson - Interior Design
Ishya studies Interior Design at University of East London, and decided to #bethechange by returning to education during the global pandemic to help people make more of their space.
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