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BSc Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part 1)

Overview

The three-year full-time BSc programme in Architecture aims to develop a creative, diverse and rigorous approach to design from the outset. It provides a broad educational setting within which the study of architecture can be developed at an undergraduate level. It aims to equip students with skills to practice architecture but, as importantly, an understanding of the technological, professional, cultural and architectural contexts within which those skills may be deployed in a knowing and imaginative way.

The programme is based in the studio and the workshop, with 70% of the programme taught and assessed through the Design portfolio. Most of the Design teaching is on a one-to-one tutorial basis with frequent review sessions; nearly all Design tutors are practising architects or design specialists who bring innovative design ideas to the School.

The BSc programme recognises that whilst this education has directly vocational aims, it also intends to introduce students to the wider societal forces which affect them and architectural production by stressing the indivisibility of the architectural, cultural, professional and technological realms. It does this through a programme of four core courses (Design, Technology, History & Theory, and Professional Studies) which support the Design work in each year and are assessed through a combination of coursework, essays and examination.

Successful completion of the BSc Architecture leads to exemption from Part 1 of the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) examinations.

Structure

Year 1

Year 1 design teaching is centred on the studio, where a sequence of projects that develop the central skills of observation, design and representation, with emphasis on the inventive and intelligent expression of ideas are undertaken.

Year 1 students explore 'ways of seeing': understanding and interpreting objects/places/events and learning to look beyond the obvious and visible into the unseen and often 'absurd' qualities of things.

In this way a place can also be seen as something with its own identity, which each student can interpret in a different way. The importance of 'character' and 'personality' is emphasised throughout the design process, whether it concerns analysis, site interpretation or architectural vision. Inventiveness and imagination are cultivated through a series of design projects which tackle a range of scales and experiences and are constructed or represented through models and drawings. Augmenting the studio projects are lecture and seminar courses and a field trip to a major European city.

Find out more about Year 1 in BSc Architecture at The Bartlett.

Years 2 & 3

Students in Year 2 and Year 3 choose to join one of up to ten design units, in which they remain for the year. Each of the units is taught by two design professionals who are part-time practitioners and academics. The vertically structured unit system provides common project briefs, but also allows for a sequence of increasing scale and complexity between the start of Year 2 and the end of Year 3. Each unit declares a clear architectural position which allows students to begin to develop personal architectural interests within a strong academic framework.

For more information on the range of design units, take a look at the BSc Architecture Units.  

Throughout the BSc architecture programme, architectural history and theory lecture and seminar emphasises the creative possibilities of architectural interpretation, encouraging students not only to learn what others have previously said and done in the field of architecture, but also to challenge and to critically redefine architecture, and hence to generate a theoretically-and historically informed position of their own.

Technology teaching is integrated with the process of design and the exploration of ideas and is taught as a tactile and inventive subject, where the workshop, studio and lecture space are interwoven places for its development and understanding. Over three years courses increasingly stress the interactive nature of design and the place of technical realisation in this process. 

RIBA Part 1 and the Year Out

Successful completion of the BSc Architecture leads to exemption from Part 1 of the ARB/RIBA examinations. Students generally then take a Year Out in an architect's office before proceeding to a two-year Diploma programme (leading to RIBA/ARB Part 2 exemption). The Bartlett's full-time Professional Training Advisor (PTA) offers advice on careers and runs the Year Out course.

Content

Design

Throughout the three years of BSc Architecture, design work will be the main focus of your activity. In Year 1, students are taught in a year-wide group, while in Years 2 and 3 students are given a choice of design units, each spanning both year groups.

Design projects are not seen as isolated exercises but are continually related to other concerns. In this way design is not treated as a remote skill, but as something which is integrated into other intellectual and professional activities in a holistic manner. The level of integration increases through the three years, so that the technology study and, in many cases, also the Professional Studies and the History & Theory submissions, specifically relate to design projects with each activity informing the other.

In this light, the design units cover more than just a narrow focus of architectural design, and instead also reach out into all other areas of the syllabus.

Technology

The technology core has three broad objectives:

1.  To give an overview of the technical issues affecting design.

This is currently a function of the lecture series in modules ENVS1060 Environmental and Technical Skills and Concepts, ENVS1004 Structures, Materials and Forming Techniques and ENVS2015 Design Technology. ENVS2015 Design Technology also introduces students to the concept that many of these issues are incorporated into government legislation.

2.  To provide students with the technical skills that are needed to undertake design.

These skills include workshop skills and computing skills as well as skills in designing with appropriate materials, structures and environmental issues. Students are also given grounding in skills related to sustainability. Students are asked to exercise these skills in relation to their design projects in all three years and to formally present their work as coursework in all modules except in Year 1 where there is the a written examination.

3.  To ensure that students can identify key technical issues which affect their design, that students can research these issues, and that they incorporate the resulting research into a resolved design proposal.

This concept is introduced in Year 2 and explored further in Year 3. Students are asked to demonstrate that they understand the iterative nature of design in the face of technical research, by incorporating elements of their final design proposal into the technical submission.

History & Theory

The cultural context of architecture is addressed through the history & theory modules which run through the three years of BSc Architecture.

In Year 1, the module provides an overall view of the cultural context within which buildings and cities have been produced in the past. In Years 2 and 3, two series of lectures focus in greater attention on the architecture of the past 150 years.

In addition, Year 2 students follow a seminar series explaining different kinds of architectural text, while Year 3 students join a specialist seminar group exploring a specific historical or theoretical theme in relation to architecture.

The units themselves provide a strong cultural identity against which projects are set. Furthermore, students are exposed to a whole range of outside influences through the public lecture series, gallery exhibitions, conferences and other non-degree related activities of the School.

More information about these modules can be found here, and about architectural history & theory in general at the School here.

Professional Studies

A feature of the BSc Architecture programme is the teaching of certain subjects with students from other disciplines with the intent of placing architecture in relation to other built environment professions.

The Year 1 module 'Production of the Built Environment' addresses the roles of the three professions (Architecture, Planning and Construction & Project Management) further increasing this integration. The Year 3 module, 'Preparing for Practice', provides an introduction to the working environment of the architect.

These modules provide an introductory understanding of the professional and commercial factors which shape the environment. Further professional input is provided through the design tutors, the majority of whom are practising architects, and who bring their immediate knowledge to the design studios.

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual courses, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Courses are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional courses varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Year One

Compulsory courses

Environmental Design
Historical and Cultural Developments of Cities and their Architecture
The Production of the Built Environment
Structure, Materials and Forming Techniques
Four Design Project courses

Optional courses

All first year courses are compulsory.

Year Two

Compulsory courses

Computing for the Built Environment
Design Technology II
History and Theory of Architecture
Three Design Project courses

Optional courses

All second year courses are compulsory.

Final Year

Compulsory courses

Design Technology III
History and Theory of Architecture
Preparing for Practice
Three Design Project courses

Optional courses

All final year courses are compulsory.

Further details on department website: Architecture BSc

Units and Showcases

BSc Architecture

Work by students in The Bartlett School of Architecture is of the highest quality. It is exhibited every year in the world's largest exhibition of design work by architecture students - the annual Summer Show with around 15,000 visitors - as well as being published in Bartlett Designs: Speculating with Architecture (Wiley, 2009).

Follow the links below to explore a massive range of student work produced throughout the BSc Architecture programme.

Bartlett Year 1 Year 1
Directors: Frosso Pimenides, Nat Chard - Year 1 is centred on the design studio and is taught to the year as a whole. Students learn to observe, draw, model ...
UG0 2014-2015 BSc UG 0
Murray Fraser, Justin Lau, Sara Shafiei - Urban Rituals - We want our students this year to think about and research into the concept of ‘exchange’. This term obviously carries ...
UG1 2014-2015 BSc UG 1
Sabine Storp, Patrick Weber - Living Patterns - Housing (Pattern*) - London’s population has grown by a million since 2001, the fastest ever rate in the history of London. All these ...
UG2 2014-2015 BSc UG 2
Julian Krüger, Damjan Iliev - SimbioCity - We are interested in cities, their patterns, structures, and the variety of ecosystems and spaces that form and exist within them. This year we ...
UG3 2014 - 2014 BSc UG 3
Jan Kattein, Julia King - 1:1 - This year UG3 will embark on a novel mission. We will be working at 1:1 on a real site and to a real brief. Forget university -  welcome to the real world! ...
UG4 2014-2015 BSc UG 4
Ana Monrabal Cook, Luke Pearson - MONUMETRICS - Unit Four continues its exploration into architectures of public delight, antipathy or bemusement by visiting the city that can truly ...
UG5 2014-2015 BSc UG 5
Julia Backhaus, Pedro Font Alba, Martin Tang - Speculative landscapes - Historically, the term landscape evolved from the Dutch ‘landschap’ and the German ‘landschaft’, its suffix ...
UG6 2014-2015 BSc UG 6
Christine Hawley, Paolo Zaide - HONG KONG RECONSIDERED - Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated cities in the world and may well be a model of future urban living ...
UG7 2014-2015 BSc UG 7
Pascal Bronner, Thomas Hillier - Neighbourhoods of Infinity_Pre & Post Quake San Francisco - At 5:12 am on Wednesday the 18th of April 1906, an earthquake of  ...
UG8 2014-2015 BSc UG 8
Rhys Cannon, Colin Herperger - Shifting Scales - The principal of scale and the units that define it are critical within the world we live and the one we explore.  Composition; proportion and scale ...
UG9 2014-2015 BSc UG 9
Jessica In, Chee Kit Lai - Skilled Contrivance
in the Age of Technological Abundance
- For Flusser, photography was not a faithful representation of reality  ...
U10 2014-2015 BSc UG 10
Guan Lee  Peter Webb - The Nature of Digital Structure - With the introduction of digital fabrication into construction, processes of design, engineering and materials science ...

Staff

BSc Architecture Programme Leaders

Matthew Butcher, Mollie Claypool

Year 1 Design Directors

Frosso Pimenides, Nat Chard

Year 1 Design Tutors

Dimitris Argyros, Tim Barwell, Charlotte Bocci, Lucy Leonard, Brian O'Reilly, Sara Shafiei, Matt Springett

Year 2 and 3 UG Tutors

UG 0

Murray Fraser , Justin Lau , Sara Shafiei

Sara Shafiei

UG 1

Sabine Storp, Patrick Weber

UG 2

Damjan Iliev, Julain Krueger

UG 3

Jan Kattein, Julia King

UG 4

Ana Monrabal Cook, Luke Pearson

UG 5

Julia Backhaus, Pedro Font Alba, Martin Tang

UG 6

Christine Hawley, Paolo Zaide

UG 7

Pascal Bronner, Thomas Hillier

UG 8

Rhys Cannon, Colin Herperger

UG 9

Jessica In, Chee-Kit Lai

UG10

Guan Lee, Peter Webb

Applying

Undergraduate Architecture at The Bartlett School of Architecture

The Bartlett School of Architecture is an amazing place to start your architectural education. We offer a challenging environment with an open-minded approach towards architecture. Each year we attract a huge number of highly qualified applicants from all over the world. We are looking for equally open-minded students to challenge and to push the boundaries of architecture.

Your application

This course attracts a very large number of highly qualified applicants and competition for places is stiff. We offer between 90-100 places on our BSc Architecture degree program. All applicants who apply before the 15 January deadline and are judged likely to meet our minimum entry requirements are invited to submit an assessment 'task' based on a brief that changes each year.

On the basis of this task, around 400 applicants are shortlisted for an interview day. This is an opportunity for the interviewers to learn about you and your work and for you to learn about The Bartlett School of Architecture. The day will include a general introduction, a tour of Wates House and you will have the chance to meet and talk to current students. A substantial portfolio of creative work is essential for this interview.

Mature students

Mature students are defined as any student aged 21 or over at the start of their studies who haven't already completed a higher education course.

Mature students are welcomed at The Bartlett School of Architecture. They make a positive difference to the intellectual and cultural lives of their course providers, bringing fresh insight, questioning minds, experience of life and work, and a passionate commitment to study

Portfolio

There is no single 'right' way of preparing a portfolio as it usually expresses each applicant's individual character and approach. The portfolio should contain a selection of drawings, sketchbooks, photos, etc. Finished pieces and work in progress should be included. The portfolio is a means to illustrate the individual breath of skills, interests and ability. Please show a range of different work. All work included in the task and the portfolio should be original. If they are too big a scaled reproduction is accepted.

We are very interested in any self-motivated work undertaken outside the school's art course curriculum. A recent sketchbook with work undertaken outside school should be included in the portfolio.

Please be aware that CDs/DVDs with additional work cannot be viewed during the interview or for the task.

Interview

During the course of the interview you should be able to explain the process and ideas behind your work. The interview is an informal discussion around the applicant's work. We are not testing your knowledge of architecture or architectural history.

We are interested in who you are.

We sometimes offer an interview via Skype. Please let us know if you have problems attending a personal interview at The Bartlett.

Non A-Level applicants/international applicants

Applicants who are not following an A-Level course structure will be invited to submit the 'task'.

Applicants who apply before the 15 January deadline and are judged likely to meet our minimum entry requirements are invited to submit the 'task'.

Please note that a portfolio of artwork is preferred for those applicants who are subsequently invited for an interview.

Open days

We take part in the UCL and ULU Open days in June and September and all applicants are encouraged to visit The Bartlett Summer Show, held every year in late June.

Take a glimpse at some of the work displayed at the 2013 Bartlett Summer Show on The Bartlett School of Architecture's Facebook page.

Grocers' Company Queen's Golden Jubilee Scholarship

The Grocers' Company Queen's Golden Jubilee Scholarship is open to UK nationals entering the BSc Architecture programme at The Bartlett School of Architecture in alternate years.

The value of the scholarship is around £2,000 per year, for the duration of the programme, subject to satisfactory academic progress. Students do not need to apply for this award - all successful applicants to BSc Architecture are automatically considered.

Maintenance loans and grants

Maintenance loans are paid to help with living costs, such as food, accommodation and travel. The amount available depends on where you study; as it costs more to live in London the maintenance loan on offer is more than elsewhere in the UK.

Non-repayable maintenance grants may also be available depending on your household income. They reduce the size of the maintenance loan you’re entitled to, and so reduce the amount you have to repay after graduation.

Tuition fee loans

There are no age limits on eligibility for tuition fee loans and government maintenance grants, so mature students can apply – provided you’re studying for a first degree.

Universities and colleges can charge up to £9,000 a year for tuition fees to full-time UK and EU students

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements

A Levels

Grades AAB
Subjects Art required. A portfolio is required at interview stage. Applicants who meet the A level grade requirements of AAB but have not studied A level Art, may offer an art and design foundation year as proof of their ability.
AS Levels For UK-based students a pass in a further subject at AS level or equivalent is required.
GCSEs English Language and Mathematics at grade C. For UK-based students, a grade C or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs

IB Diploma

Points 36
Subjects A score of 17 points in three higher level subjects including Art, with no score lower than 5. A portfolio is required at interview stage. Applicants who meet the IB Diploma points score of 17 in three higher level subjects but have not studied IB Diploma Art, may offer an art and design foundation year as proof of their ability.

Other qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Selected entry requirements will appear here


International applicants

International qualifications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Select country above, equivalent grades appear here.


Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

UCL offers intensive one-year foundation courses to prepare international students for a variety of degree programmes at UCL.

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

For more information see our website: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you will also need to satisfy UCL's English Language Requirements. A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

The English Language requirement for programmes at The Bartlett is UCL's 'Standard Level'. An example Standard Level qualification would be an IELTS score of 6.5 overall, with a minimum score of 6.0 in each sub-section.

You can find a full list of the English Language qualifications accepted by The Bartlett on the UCL website. 

FAQs

Do I need a portfolio to apply and what should this include?

Yes, you do need a portfolio of work for your interview. This should include a wide range of work. We are not looking for 'buildings' or 'architecture' as such. Please draw what you find interesting. We do look for work undertaken outside your art A-level/IB course and are interested in seeing personal sketchbooks, including unfinished work. Please do not forget to bring your work with you, as you only have one chance to have an interview.

Are there any further Entry Requirements?

See the UCL prospectus for more information

Do I need an A or A* in art to apply to The Bartlett?

All applicants meeting the minimum entry requirements will be treated equally. An A or A* in art does not guarantee you will get a place.

See the UCL prospectus for more information

Why does The Bartlett not ask for AAA at A-level?

We are looking for creative individuals. We aim to give all applicants from the widest range of backgrounds the opportunity to apply to our school. We receive a high number of applications each year. Many applicants are predicted AAA at A-level, but applicants who are predicted AAB will not be disadvantaged during the application process. We have one of the toughest application processes of all architecture schools, accepting only 90-100 applicants each year. The final part of our decision process is based on the visual work presented and the one-to-one interview.

Why do I need Art at A-level to apply for The Bartlett School of Architecture?

An Art A-level is an entry requirement. We require our students to think independently and to express themselves through sketches, drawings, three-dimensional structures and so on. In our experience the art at A-level gives you the right foundation to enter our course.

Will you accept Design Technology, Photography or Graphics instead of Art as an A-level subject?

Presently we do NOT accept any other design based A-level subject. The only exception is Art and Design / Textile Design as it has a strong emphasis on drawing and sketching.

I do have an interest in architecture but I don't do Art for the full two years at my school, what can I do?

My school did not offer Art at IB, what can I do?

You should consider entering an Art Foundation at a local art school or college. Please state clearly in your personal statement that you will apply for a deferred entry. If you get an offer after your interview, this offer will be a conditional offer based on the successful completion of your one-year Art Foundation.

What other A-level or IB subjects are necessary?

We don't have any preference in A-level subjects. We welcome applicants with a wide variety of subjects - it is down to your own personal preference. Applicants are encouraged to take Maths or/and English but these are not requirements for entry to The Bartlett.

Mature students

Mature students are defined as any student aged 21 or over at the start of their studies who haven't already completed a higher education course.

Mature applicants do not need an Art A-level/Art at higher level but would be expected to bring a portfolio of work demonstrating their creative ability if invited for an interview. We welcome applications from mature applicants from a wide range of backgrounds.

I am an overseas applicant and my school is not following an A-level course structure. Art is not included in my choice of subjects. Can I still apply to your course?

Applicants from abroad not following an A-level course structure, where art is not included in the curriculum are invited to apply to our course. Applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. An Art Foundation will need to be considered.

What are you looking for in the personal statement?

Please write what you find interesting. We are not looking at which architects you know. It is not a test and we do not have any specific things we are looking for. As our main emphasis is on creativity, we will mainly base our decision to offer you a place on your task or the portfolio you present during the interview.

What is 'the task' and how do I get it?

The first step of the selection process is a creative task. This was introduced to make a more informed judgment on your creative ability. After receiving your application from UCAS we will check if you are likely to meet our entry requirements. After that you will receive an email from us with the task.

It is down to you to respond to our task. We do not look for specific drawing styles, or buildings you have drawn. We do look at whether you can sketch from life. Do NOT draw anything from photos. It is often very obvious if a sketch is drawn from a photo, as it often looks too perfect. Please draw as much as you can freehand. We do not want you to spend a lot of time doing the task – it will not increase your chances of getting into The Bartlett. We are looking of a quick and spontaneous response to our task project and not work recycled from A-level or GCSE artwork. It can (and should) be done in one Saturday or Sunday morning.

To give everyone an equal chance, we do not provide any extra tips on completing the task. It is YOUR responsibility to check your email INCLUDING your junk mail. Some email software or your junk mail settings may redirect our email to your junk mail. You will have only around 2 - 3 weeks after receiving our email to return the task to us. Please do check all your email subfolders thoroughly to avoid disappointment.

Should I include any CAD computer drawings in my application?

We are not interested in seeing CAD drawings or any photo manipulations on Photoshop or similar software at this stage. Everything you need to know about CAD will be taught as part of the course. Having prior knowledge of this does usually not help in the application process or in fact for your first year on the course.

What happens during the interview?

The interview is not a test. We do not check if you know where Le Corbusier died or when the Gherkin was finished. The interview is an informal talk mainly based around the work you present to your interviewer. You might be asked about your task project. Be aware that the interview only lasts between 15 and 20 minutes. You might not be able to show all your work. The best advice is to be yourself – this is what we are looking for.

Does The Bartlett have open days?

The Bartlett hosts a series of open days during our end of the year show every June. This is an opportunity to see the full range of work and research undertaken at The Bartlett. There is also a ULU open day every September where we do take part. There will be also open days held at The Bartlett School of Architecture, please see website. More information about UCL Open Days can be found on The Bartlett website or the UCL website.

Can I visit The Bartlett during term time to speak to current students and staff?

Unfortunately this is not possible: we do not have the facilities to cater for individuals or groups during term time. But The Bartlett often hosts lectures and exhibitions which are open to the public and may provide an opportunity to informally speak to current students. Please check The Bartlett website for further details and updates.

Is it a good idea to take a gap year?

Anything you can do between the end of your school and the beginning of your university life is good. We do encourage, if possible, taking a gap year, as a way to get some life experience, travel, work to earn money, do some charity work etc. In our experience students with a gap year have a very different and more mature attitude towards their work.

How do I apply for a deferred entry? Will I be disadvantaged?

Please state in your UCAS application that you will apply for the following year. You will not be disadvantaged.

I am an international/EU applicant. Do I have to come to London for my interview?

You will receive the task like any other applicant. If you wish to come for an interview please let the faculty office know when you receive the task email. Our Director for International Development is visiting several countries for interview days. Please check the programme of UCL overseas visits for further details. You will receive information about possible interviews abroad after you send in your application. Please contact the Faculty office for details on which events The Bartlett is participating in this year. Otherwise you might be asked to send in a portfolio. Please do not send us your portfolio unless you are asked to do so! You might not be able to get your work back.

Do I need to have work experience in an architect's office?

We do not require you to do any work experience before you start your studies at The Bartlett. It does not help if you 'shadow' an architect for a while, sitting in on client meetings etc. If you are really interested in gaining some work experience then try to get a work placement and learn a skill – like how to make a scale model from a plan. This will actually help you in year first year of your studies and give you a head start.

Is it true that it takes seven years to become a fully qualified architect?

Yes and no. Yes it takes a minimum of seven years to finally qualify as an architect. But this is not seven years at university. You will start with a BSc or BA in architecture. This is the ARB/RIBA part 1 of your qualifications, and usually takes three years. After that most of our graduates work for a minimum of one year in an architect's office, in paid roles. Most students take two years out as they work for a year and then do something else like travelling, getting some other work experience etc. Then you can join either The Bartlett for the Graduate Diploma/MArch Architecture or any other University for their Diploma courses. This is a two-year full-time course at the university. After this you will get your ARB/RIBA part 2 and can join an architect's office and take the ARB/RIBA Part 3 programme, which usually takes a year. It can take a minimum of seven years but most students take eight, but altogether only five years are actually spent at university.

I am dyslexic. Will I be disadvantaged during my time at The Bartlett?

A lot of architects are dyslexic. They are usually not disadvantaged during their career as we also communicate our ideas through drawings and sketches. To help students with dyslexia UCL offers a wide range of support. Please visit the UCL Student Disability Services website for further details.

Does The Bartlett have an exchange programme with other universities abroad?

Your time at The Bartlett is very precious and most students want to make the most of this. We encourage students to spend time abroad during their year out as part of their work experience. You may also get to travel abroad as part of a fieldtrip.

Will The Bartlett accept the new Advanced Diplomas?

UCL will consider the new Advanced Diploma qualifications. The minimum requirement will be the Advanced Diploma awarded with an overall minimum grade of B, plus two further GCE A-Levels awarded at grades AB. These A-Levels must include Art (but note that we do not accept Design Technology, Photography or Graphics). Please check the UCL website for future admission requirements.