AA Design + Make Masters study at the Architectural Association Hooke Park

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the MArch programme for? The MArch Design & Make programme is aimed at:- architecture graduates or
- architects in practice…who want to:- develop their architectural practice by the direct experience of designing and realising a building through its construction
- formulate a critical intellectual position about the role of making within their practice as architects or as academics
- gain specific knowledge applicable for establishing a design – build mode of practice.
Who is the MSc programme for? The MSc programme is aimed at:- pre-qualification students of architecture (i.e. students who have completed 3-years study but do not plan to continue towards professional architect registration)
- engineers (for example, who have studied civil or structural engineering) OR
- people from other design or arts-related backgrounds (with minimum 3-year degree)…who want to:- develop expertise in architectural design and production AND
- develop specific knowledge of timber design and new fabrication technologies.
Am I qualified for entry to the programme? The entry requirements are:
MArch Design & Make: Minimum 5-year professional degree in architecture (RIBA Pt 2/ Diploma equivalent)
MSc Design & Make: Minimum 3-year degree in architecture, engineering or other related subject.
How do I apply? Applications are made to the AA Graduate School using the online application process here using the process described here.
Who awards the MSc / MArch degree? The Open University (OU) is the awarding body for research degrees at the AA. The AA is an Approved Institution and Affiliated Research Centre of the Open University (OU), UK. All taught graduate courses at the AA are validated by The OU.
Does the MArch programme offer RIBA Part-2 qualification? No, the MArch is a post-professional course (equivalent to MArch2 in the US). You’d need to apply for entry to the undergraduate Diploma programme to study for RIBA Part 2 at the AA.
Do I need to have existing carpentry/making skills? No, workshop use and skills are taught by the workshop supervision staff. (But motivation to do hands-on work is essential!). We also have a great network of local makers and craftspeople who we can contact if there is a specific technique of interest.
Which software are used in the programmes? We generally work with Rhino, Grasshopper and AutoCad, and have good,connections within the Rhino plug-in community when specific advanced tools are needed. The Induction Studio teaches the fundamentals of Rhino,and Grasshopper, so existing knowledge is not essential.
Do I need to bring a laptop? Yes. Whilst a few desktop PCs are available for shared use in the studio, each student needs an individual laptop.
Where is Hooke Park? Hooke Park is located in Dorset in rural south-west England, about 3 hours travel from London. Location details here. The programme is based in Hooke Park – NOT at the London campus of the AA!
Where do D&M students live? Generally, D&M students live in rented accommodation in Dorset near to Hooke Park. For the pre-term introduction week and the first three weeks of Term 1 D&M is based in AA London and students are responsible for finding their own accommodation during those periods. For the rest of term 1 the programme is based in Dorset and the AA provides accommodation at Hooke Park (cost included in the fee), either on-site or nearby. For terms 2,3 and 4 students are responsible for finding and paying for their own accommodation. For most students this is likely to be in rented housing in one of the nearby villages or towns. Some accommodation may be available for rent at the Hooke Park site.
How do students travel around? Hooke Park is most easily accessed by car. Cycling is possible, but the hilly countryside means it is only really possible for those living nearby, or the committed and fit. Hooke Park has a 15-seat minibus and two cars that are available for communal use by the student group. They are insured for those who have a license valid to drive in the UK (students are advised to get the necessary license in advance). Students may also bring their own cars. Transport to and from London is usually by train, which requires a taxi or minibus ride to the nearest train station at Crewkerne.
How much connection is there with the London part of the AA? The programmes start with a month in London (to be part of the introduction that new students have to the culture of the AA) and we generally end each term in London for end-of-term presentations and parties. Most weeks at Hooke Park there is a visiting London group of students with their tutors, and the D&M programmes frequently engage with shared crits etc, as well as shared meals.
How much does it cost to study at the AA at Hooke Park? Tuition fees are listed here. This pdf give details of typical AA student costs. Living in Dorset is cheaper than living in London – with rental accommodation cost about 2/3 the London amount. Note that the term 1 accommodation in Dorset is provided by the AA.
Do I need to pay for materials? Yes – for material used in individual studio work during term 1. During the main Project Studio construction materials are provided. Some project briefs may require students to seek materials sponsorship or donation.
Is it possible to work at Hooke Park to financially support my studies? No, generally the AA does not offer employment to students at Hooke Park. The immersive and team-based nature of the programme would make it difficult if some students were employed on site.