BA (Hons) Architecture

The course

Delivery type
4 years (full-time)
Intake date



The programme provides a thorough grounding in the subject of architecture, including a portfolio of design, technical and theoretical courses covering all aspects of architectural theory and practice. The course has been designed with reference to the RIBA criteria, providing students with a well-rounded and internationally respected curriculum. Students will work across technical and humanities disciplines, testing the knowledge and skills from these courses through a series of core design projects taught in a studio environment (approx 50% of courses). The course provides students with the key analytical and practical skills and knowledge required to attain the RIBA Part 1 level, the first step towards formal chartership as an architect (course accreditation pending).

After graduation, students are equipped to work for consultants, contractors or government at architectural assistant level, and/or apply for an RIBA Part 2 level postgraduate course at international universities.

The core curriculum includes instruction in all main subject areas, providing a grounding in architectural design history and theory as well as technical instruction and application. Students will be required to produce a varied portfolio of drawn, modelled (CAD and physical), written and examined work. There is an emphasis throughout on the personal development of students within a professional environment.

Meet our faculty

Why study Architecture at Heriot-Watt University's Dubai Campus?

  • Heriot-Watt University has a wealth of specialist expertise in the built environment and is internationally recognised as one of only four centres of excellence in sustainable building design.
  • The course is based on the internationally renowned RIBA Part 1 level.
  • The course covers both technical and theoretical aspects, providing an excellent foundation for future practice or study at postgraduate level, including RIBA Part 2.
  • The combination of lectures and studio delivery encourages excellent self-motivation and the development of transferable skills that are valuable across the built environment industry.
  • Our programme is designed to help shape the built environment for the 21st century, not only in terms of architecture but also to support a sustainable, energy-efficient and green society.

Research initiatives

ORA House: the D6 program lead the successful participation for the first-ever Solar Decathlon Middle East Project.

The D6 Architecture programme takes complete advantage of being based within Dubai’s ever-evolving and vibrant architectural landscape. The D6 Architecture community is a vibrant group of over 100+ aspiring students supported by an experienced team. We grow and celebrate our successes together. 

Visit our Instagram page too see more of our work.


Our BA (Hons) Architecture is accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). RIBA is one of the top international architecture accreditations and this achievement further reinforces our vision for contextually driven architecture that addresses global challenges. The RIBA Part 1 accreditation gives Heriot-Watt University, Dubai students the opportunity to be a part of the RIBA Part 2 Masters programmes in UK and internationally. 

Key Facts

  • First RIBA accredited school in Dubai and only two of the validated schools in UAE.
  • The 1st RIBA accredited four-year architecture programme in UAE.
  • Commended by RIBA for programme leadership and engagement with RIBA.

The Dubai campus is accredited by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) and fully licensed to teach its degrees in Dubai. All graduates receive a British degree that is accredited by royal charter in the UK.

Student profile

Joseph Leander

I highly recommend the Architecture programme at Heriot-Watt University, Dubai especially for its high adherence to the RIBA’s course delivery, teaching methodology and academic outcomes.

Joseph Leander, BA (Hons) Architecture

Course content

First year

Students study introductory courses in Architectural History/Theory, Construction, and Design, alongside a studio-delivered course of design projects (50%) introducing basic drafting, modelling and design skills.

Second year

Expands on the basics of first year, with further written and examined work developing theoretical and construction knowledge with an emphasis on energy conservation. Studio-taught courses (50%) enable students to apply this knowledge through a series of simple design projects at various scales.

Third year

Building on the knowledge of previous years, third year introduces the parameters of cost and commercial awareness, and running a small business. Studio-taught courses (50%) explore the student’s developing understanding through design projects in challenging sites.

Fourth year

Students complete a self-led research dissertation (25%), linked with their final thesis design project (50%), and engage in subjects in more depth. Courses include a cross-disciplinary collaborative project and current debates in practice.


Graduates from the Architecture BA(Hons) programme can expect to find jobs as architectural assistants in multinational architecture and engineering companies, government organisations and small to medium-sized private sector firms (architecture, urban design and interior design).

The BA (Hons) Architecture degree offered by Heriot-Watt provides an excellent first step in an architectural education that can lead towards becoming a professionally qualified Architect with further studies, examinations and experience (pending final RIBA validation for Part One).*

*Students who wish to join the UK Register of architects (a pre-requisite of becoming a Chartered Architect in the UK with the RIBA) should consult the Architects Registration Board’s website for further information about its routes to registration.

Entry requirements

Our entry criteria are listed below. However, please note that the final decision remains at the discretion of the course director after evaluating scores of individual relevant subjects.

Students who are eligible to be admitted directly into second year can choose to join the first year, where available.

First year entry

  • GCE A-Level CCC (or AABB at AS-Level)
  • CBSE 65%.
  • American High School Diploma + SAT 1s - 1000
  • Tawjihiyya 80%
  • International Baccalaureate 24 points.
  • BTEC Level 3 Ext Diploma MMM
  • Foundation year Successful completion of Heriot-Watt University Degree Entry Programme (Engineering,Design) with a BBBB.
  • FBISE grade 12 or equivalent – 70%
  • Curriculum Russian/Kazakhstan (Attestat) with minimum grade of 5 + IELTS 6.0
  • EmSAT minimum 1400 English and 1200 Maths
  • Compulsory subjects to include English.

Second year entry

Consideration is subject to:

  • A design portfolio
  • An interview with the programme director
  • The completion of Year 1 of a design programme in which the learning outcomes and progression are similar to Heriot-Watt University, Dubai. Applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

We also welcome Year 2 and Year 3 students from other universities with architectural educational qualifications, provided they meet our evaluation process.

To find out about the entry requirements for this programme, please send an email to

English language requirements

Where English was not the medium of instruction at secondary school, applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.0 Academic (with no element below 5.5).

Fees and funding

  • AED 73164 per year*

* All tuition fees inclusive of VAT

To know about the fees for this programme, please send an email to

Scholarships and bursaries

See our range of degree entry, undergraduate, postgraduate taught and PhD scholarships and discounts.