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Architectural Association School of Architecture in London – AA

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Description of Architectural Association School of Architecture in London – AA

  • Year of foundation: 1847
  • Hotel Area: London
  • Age of students: 16+
  • Number of students: 500
  • Language of instruction: English
  • Type of study: university.

The Architectural Association was founded in 1847 and has already celebrated its 175th anniversary. Since its foundation, it has become one of the largest non-profit professional associations in the United Kingdom. It is located in Bedford Square in central London; the other campus is in the middle of a 142-hectare green area in Hooke Park in Dosetshire.

Historically, it was created by a community of young architects who decided to challenge the ossified system of vocational education. It was intended to become a discussion platform and a new platform for professional training. Nearly two centuries later, it has remained a place for debate and debate at the intersection of diverse approaches and programs. Here they try to hear all the voices, give the opportunity to show individuality and demonstrate original ideas and their own positions in architecture.

An interesting distinguishing feature of AA is democratism: students, staff and alumni have a say in determining the strategy of activity; it's a truly self-governing community.

Between 1847 and 1917, classes were held at a local hotel. As the evening school developed into an influential self-regulatory community with pan-European and then worldwide fame, the number of participants and students grew. By 1917, when the school moved to one of the buildings in Bedford Square, where it is still located today, it became the first professional day school of architecture with a specialized diploma in Europe.

While maintaining its independence both in the field of management and in terms of sources of financing, the organization has been consistently and progressively developing all these years. Graduates of the school made a huge contribution to architecture, art, science, social life.

Educational process

Throughout its history, students of the school have tried to reinvent and expand the concept of architecture, discovering and implementing alternative practices that challenge the status of QUO.

As part of the lecture program, students tend to discuss basic questions in relation to the main contexts of design and architecture, looking at real-world examples for both traditional and non-traditional practices.

Scientific achievements

The school takes an active part in the global discussion on the development of architecture, guided by the conviction that architecture is a very complex kind of human activity, a visible manifestation of collectivism and individualism at the same time, which must be considered in the context of modern scientific and cultural knowledge.

Research at AA is conducted on the basis of Residence, a special platform consisting of a number of laboratories and an incubator-coworking with a professional growth program aimed at supporting innovative and experimental projects and practices.

Programs and prices, tuition fees in Architectural Association School of Architecture in London – AA

Program name
Ask for calculation
All year round
from 18000.00 £ / year
from 18000.00 £ / year
There are either 2 semesters or 3 trimesters (terms) in one academic year
All year round
from 25000.00 £ / year
from 25000.00 £ / year
There are either 2 semesters or 3 trimesters (terms) in one academic year
All year round
from 20000.00 £ / year
from 20000.00 £ / year
There are either 2 semesters or 3 trimesters (terms) in one academic year
All year round
from 10000.00 £ / 3 months
from 10000.00 £ / 3 months
There are either 2 semesters or 3 trimesters (terms) in one academic year
All year round
from 16000.00 £ / year
from 16000.00 £ / year
There are either 2 semesters or 3 trimesters (terms) in one academic year

Accommodation, meals, prices

The school does not provide a dormitory, but does offer the services of a partner university of London Housing Service, (ULHS). ULHS can offer students assistance in finding accommodation, provides assistance in selection, legal advice, issues an annual digest on student housing in London. Among the partners of the organization are hundreds of individual and dozens of corporate landlords offering accommodation facilities of various classes and types: from private apartments to rooms or beds in dormitories.


  • The oldest professional architectural higher school in the world;
  • International recognition;
  • Modern infrastructure, the richest archives and a library that have no analogues in the world;
  • Democratic principles of governance;
  • Convenience of location;
  • Commitment to progressive thinking and the ideals of sustainable development, moderate, meaningful consumption, green economy.

Facilities and equipment at Architectural Association School of Architecture in London – AA

Initially, in 1917, it occupied several buildings in Bedford Square, but the tireless care of the trustees and administration of the school led to the fact that in the XXI century the AA occupies a whole complex of buildings in No. 32-39 on the specified street, as well as premises in the former buildings of the stables on Morwell Street, made in the Georgian style.

The compact location distinguishes the school from many other universities: almost all teachers and students, with the exception of the staff of the campus in Hook Park, study in one place.

The unique status and position of the AA allowed to preserve many extraordinary properties, qualities and traditions that formed the unique character of the school. The spacious auditoriums, corridors and halls of Bedford Street now house a wide range of cultural, historical and technological resources that, when put into practice, serve the ideals of the highest quality of modern architectural education.

As for the Hook Park, acquired by the school in 2002, it is a new and intensively developing educational space, which is simultaneously a construction site, a studio, a workshop and a forest. Short workshops are held here, as well as numerous construction and landscaping projects, which are supported by a diverse team of expert practitioners, including craftsmen, designers, engineers, robotics technicians and foresters. Once an enclosure for hunting deer, it is part of the Dorset Nature Reserve. On the territory of the park there is a forest, which serves as a source of wood for student construction projects.

Discussions and debates occupy a central place in the life of the school. Accordingly, the lecture hall, bar and terrace are a public space open not only to students, but also to everyone who is not indifferent to architecture as a whole, representing a permanent public forum, a platform for discussing projects and ideas.

Among the infrastructure available to students, special mention should be made of the library and archive.

  1. The library is a research resource in the field of architecture of world importance. Along with the learning support function, it serves as an intellectual and research center for everyone associated with AA. It was founded in 1862 and has 50 thousand volumes on various branches of the theory, practice and history of architecture, including rare editions, exhibition catalogs, poster materials, as well as specialized collections devoted to modernism. In the digital EBS there are over 200 thousand electronic books, a huge number of electronic journals; students can use 58 electronic full-text databases of various subjects.  In addition, the library subscribes to more than 150 journals, and in the historical collection of periodicals there is a place for all the most important publications, including Wendingen and L'Architecture Vivante.
  2. The AA Archives are one of the most significant architectural archives in the United Kingdom. The collection includes over 15 thousand student works in the genre of drawing, poster and utility models, an archive of photographic materials on the history of architecture - among them, for example, a unique collection of more than 20 thousand photographs of lanterns. In total, more than 300 thousand photographs are available in the collection with different access modes.

Also important are the archives of audio recordings of lectures, including such an influential architectural theorist as Mark Cousins.

AA students and teachers use the library and archive free of charge. Other researchers can use the funds subject to the purchase of a pass: the cost is 30 pounds, the validity period is 2 weeks.

Admission dates and extra charges

Classes in all programs and courses begin in September. The academic year is divided into 3 trimesters. The introductory week runs from 19 to 23 September. First trimester classes last from September 26 to December 6 (12 weeks); the second - from January 9 to March 24 (11 weeks); the third semester runs from April 24 to June 23 (9 weeks).

Students who receive an offer of admission must make a non-refundable deposit. The rest of the fee is paid upfront, on an annual or trimester basis. In the case of a one-time payment for the year, students can take advantage of discounts, the amount and order of which is calculated annually. The deposit cannot be transferred and is not subject to deferral. Applicants who receive a conditional offer make a deposit after they receive an unconditional offer. The deposit payment is used to pay for the last semester of the last year of study in AA.

Payment can be made online using the official AA website.

Enrolment process

The admission procedure consists of a number of sequential steps:

  • Filling out an electronic application. It is necessary to upload a copy of the passport, documents on education and their apostille-certified translations into English, the results of testing in English;
  • Present the portfolio in digital form;
  • Pay the application fee (its amount depends on the deadline for submission: 50 pounds for preliminary applications, 75 for those submitted at a later date).

AA is a non-public school and is not part of the UCAS, so all applications are submitted directly through the school. Applications are sent by e-mail; after preliminary registration, the applicant gets the opportunity to fill out an electronic form using a login and password.

As a general rule, the applicant at the time of admission must reach the age of eighteen.

Applicants can submit only one application for a single course in the stream. In case the applicant failed, he can try his luck in the next cycle.

Processing of the package of documents begins only after the school receives a full package of documentation. In case of detection of missing documents, the school will contact by e-mail and offer to supplement the package. Notification is made twice, in case of lack of response, the application will be canceled. Submitted applications are subject to initial evaluation; those that meet the qualification requirements will be transferred to the admissions committee. Those applicants whose applications are rejected will receive a notification by e-mail.

The admission committee, having considered the entire package of documents, makes a decision within 6-8 weeks after submitting the application. As a rule, after that, the student receives an invitation to an interview. Interviews are conducted by 2 employees. Applicants must demonstrate a portfolio that includes any kind of material that can reflect your existing skills.

A potential student receives information about the response of the educational institution within two weeks from the date of the interview. Successful applicants receive an offer letter that contains a deadline for responding to the offer. In case of a positive answer, it is necessary to make a deposit.

The decision of the selection committee is final, not subject to appeal.

If the circumstances have changed and the applicant wants to change the set of disciplines studied, he must inform about it as soon as possible. The school reserves the right both to satisfy the request and to leave it unattended.

Entry requirements, how to apply, what is required to enrol

Requirements include academic and language qualifications.

Minimum requirements include:

  • one passing level A score (grade C or higher) in a subject not related to art/design;
  • GCSE (grade 4/C or higher) in Mathematics and English%
  • The basic level in art and design should be accompanied by one level A (or equivalent) in a subject not related to art/design.

In addition, the applicant must meet the requirements in terms of English proficiency. To determine eligibility, applicants undergo SELT from a licensed provider or present the results of one of the following exams:

  • IELTS Academic (UKVI): an overall score of 6.5 and at least 6.0 in each category. The certificate is valid for 2 years;
  • Trinity College SELT Test (ISE II (B2) or ISE III (C1)): credit for each category;
  • LanguageCert International ESOL SELT (B2 Communicator): high score for oral and written part, not lower than 33/50;
  • Pearson PTE (Academic UKVI): overall score of 62, at least 59 points in each category;
  • PSI Skills for English (UKVI) (Upper Intermediate / PSI Test code 4SB2).

Applicants from countries where English is the state language may be exempt from taking English language qualification tests.

Also, applicants must provide a number of documents:

  • A digital portfolio of works by an artist or designer, designed to emphasize and best reveal the existing skills, interests of the applicant, his character and handwriting. It is a PDF file with a volume of 20-30 pages and a weight of not more than 40 Mb. Must include the name of the course and the name of the applicant;
  • Transcripts of school report cards for 3-4 years and all available documents on education. In the case of higher education or courses attended in any other educational institutions - the relevant certificates, diplomas and certificates. Documents must be provided with a certified translation into English - it is necessary to send both the original and the certified translation;
  • Recommendations from mentors or teachers on the official letterhead of the educational organization;
  • CV Help.

Scholarships Architectural Association School of Architecture in London – AA

For almost two centuries of its history, the school has established several dozen scholarships and scholarship programs for gifted students with limited financial capabilities. Those currently offering offer a wide range of forms of support, from a 50%/semester discount to a full exemption from tuition fees.

The most famous scholarships of the school are named:

  • Mark Fisher Fellowship,
  • AA Foundation Scholarships,
  • Eileen Gray Fellowship,
  • Elizabeth Chesterton Fellowship,
  • Andrey Schmidl Scholarship,
  • Charlotte Coudrille Scholarship,
  • Mike Davis Fellowship,
  • Enid Caldicott Fellowship,
  • Air Family Foundation Scholarship.

Other programs are aimed at supporting applicants who need some form of material support.

Applicants for a scholarship must first submit an application, and in the appropriate column make a note that they need financial assistance. Applicants must have English test results, an offer of admission and a recommendation from the admissions committee + a free-form application and portfolio must be submitted. If the application passes the preliminary selection, the applicant will be notified. Then you will need to provide documents confirming the need.

Scholarships are not deferred or paid in cash; they cannot be used for anything other than tuition fees. Recipients of one scholarship program cannot apply for another during the period of validity of the primary one.

Institution on the map

Residence permits, citizenship and other services

  • Guardianship services during the studies
  • Student supervision

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Recommendations on when to apply

Language courses, schools and children's language camps Primary and secondary education - private schools Preparation programmes for entering universities - higher education Higher education (after completing accredited programs A-level, IB, High School) - Bachelor, Master, MBA
- we recommend to apply 6-9 months before the start of the course (some camps and schools offer discounts for early booking or for lengthy study programs)
- there are some very popular and high demand children's camps, where the applications need to be submitted 1 year in advance (in particular Switzerland , Great Britain , USA , Canada , Austria)
- we recommend to apply one year before the start of the training program,
- some schools have a specific time frame (September-November - please specify an individual school)
- some schools require tests in several stages (UKISET, internal tests of the school: English, mathematics, logics, subjects, interview, some require a personal visit)
- we recommend to apply one year before the start of the program,
- for Foundation and Pathway programs, IELTS and TOEFL certificates are usually required, respectively

- recommended submission one year before the start of the program,
- the deadline normally closes in January, for TOP HEIs and, as a rule, in March in other universities
- for a bachelor, a Foundation or Pathway preparatory program a completed A-level, IB, High School + IELTS / TOEFL are required
- for Masters you need a graduated higher education, in some cases you need a pre-Masters program
- MBA requires completed higher education, work experience preferably at least 2-3 years, etc.
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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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