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Summer Architecture Programme Ages 16-18

Imperial College London Summer School 2020
Also available in Oxford | Cambridge | St Andrews

Study architecture this summer on ORA's London Architecture Summer School, residential in the prestigious Imperial College, London. A unique opportunity to learn about the theory and practical applications of architecture in the heart of London, with the incredible architectural examples of the Royale Albert Hall, St Paul's Cathedral and the Houses of Parliament all a stone's throw away.

2 weeks | Available July - August 2020

  • Live, dine and study in Imperial College London
  • Expert tutoring from ORA's faculty
  • Practical study of some of the UK's finest architecture
  • Talks and debates with world-class guest speakers
  • A truly international environment - over 150 nationalities in 2019
  • Inspirational cultural programme

Course Summary

The Summer Architecture Programme introduces aspiring architects to key concepts and theories, whilst also providing an insight into what future study or a career in architecture will entail. A selection of classes and excursions will expose students to the history of architecture, as well as provide a culturally enriched programme. Planning, designing and spatial mapping skills will also ensure that students have an extensive architectural knowledge to aid them in future study in the discipline.

Taking place in the structurally fascinating and beautiful cities of London, St Andrews, Oxford or Cambridge, this two-week course will provide students with a range of essential modern architectural skills, including technical drawing and model construction in manual and digital formats.

What to expect from the Summer Architecture programme

On Oxford Royale Academy’s Summer Architecture Programme, students will learn the principles of design, mapping, spatial planning and analysis skills essential to portfolio development. Excursions will also enable students to see the evolution of architecture, from historical spires to modern glass buildings. Importantly, students will be exposed to a career as an architect and will gain a wealth of knowledge of the key theories and design terms. The basic concepts of construction and engineering will fascinate students on the course and underpin their future careers in, and studies of, architecture.

Students will learn vital and invaluable skills for the modern workplace, which they will be able to use long after they leave the summer school. Through a variety of homework tasks, presentations and focus problems, students will develop their skills of communication (both written and verbal), problem solving and analytical thought. The course could include a class visits to London or other local city, to witness the latest innovations in modern architecture and design.

Course Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will have:

  • covered the basic principles behind design, planning and spatial mapping for architectural projects
  • a deeper understanding of basic engineering and construction concepts, helping them to produce a variety of architectural drawings for their own portfolio
  • constructed models to illustrate their ideas, and then present their portfolio to their peers to gain feedback
  • developed thinking and verbal communication skills required for the creation and planning of all aspects of design projects
  • participated in a group-based design portfolio competition

Topics covered

Students receive more than 20 hours of teaching per week, in classes of no more than 15. Lessons on architectural theory combined with skill-based workshops allow students to learn about all aspects of architecture and gain an impression of the undergraduate study of this fascinating subject.

Through a variety of homework tasks, presentations and focus problems, students will develop their skills of communication, problem-solving and analytical thought. The course could include a class visits to London, or other local cities, to witness the latest innovations in modern architecture and design

The table below gives an indication of the subject areas that will be covered in each day’s lecture and seminar. Although every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, please note that topics and timings may be subject to change.


Week 1

Week 2


Lesson 1: Introduction

Lesson 2: What is Architecture?

Lesson 3: Walking tour and drawing workshop

Lesson 11: History and theory Lecture 3 : Modernisation in focus

Lesson 12: History and theory Lecture 4: Postmodernism in focus

Lesson 13: Design development


Lesson 4: History and theory Lecture 1: Classical to neo-classical

Lesson 5: History and theory Lecture 2: Neo-Classical to present day

Lesson 14: Workshop and introduction to Adobe Creative Suite

Lesson 15: Compile design proposal using Adobe CS


Lesson 6: Introduction to site mapping

Lesson 7: Site visit

Lesson 8: Technical Drawing Workshop

Lesson 16: Continue on individual projects

Lesson 17: Finalise technical drawings

Lesson 18: Finalise scale model of proposal


Lesson 9: Discussion of design brief

Lesson 10: Design development

Lesson 19: Documentation of material throughout course

Lesson 20: Workshop- How to compile a portfolio


Field tip or Guest Speaker

Lesson 21: Preparation of presentations

Lesson 22: Finalise and pin up presentations

Lesson 23: Final crit

Take this course if...

Take this course if you are interested fascinated by the structures that make up our living environment, and would like to know more about their design and composition with a view to designing your own buildings and structures - or simply for general interest. You will also learn many great skills through the techniques applied while studying the discipline of Architecture, a discipline that is well-known and highly respected for its rigour.

Welcome to London - your home this summer

A view of the skyline of London, including the Gherkin and the Shard buildings, with a bright blue sky

The most bustling of all our centres, London is a cosmopolitan hotspot where students can really experience the melting pot of the United Kingdom. Our London summer school takes place in Imperial College London, situated in the desirable Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Students will stay in accommodation at Prince’s Gardens, located just a stone’s throw from such iconic London landmarks as the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, and the Royal Albert Hall.

Students will live and study in Imperial College London, experiencing student life in one of the world’s most respected and prestigious academic institutions. As well as ranking consistently in the top ten universities worldwide, Imperial has already produced an impressive number of Nobel Laureates – no mean feat considering the university was officially founded as recently as 1907.

Students in London will experience life in the buzzing heart of the UK's capital, while fulfilling their educational ambitions and enjoying the summer experience of their lives. Learn more about all that our London Summer School has to offer.

The front of Imperial College, London
Students posing for a photo in front of Tower Bridge
The entrance to the Apollo Theatre, with signs for Wicked the Musical

Useful information for students & parents


Students at Imperial College London will be accommodated in comfortable en-suite single rooms. Accommodation is the standard accommodation for university undergraduates who study at Imperial College London, so students are able to get a flavour for what being an undergraduate at the university might be like.

Learn more about our Imperial College London centre.

Pastoral care & student welfare

The programme is overseen by the Programme Director, who implements the day-to-day running of the programme. The Director is assisted by a team of Counsellors who ensure that students are looked after pastorally, culturally and socially during their programme. Students are able to talk informally and frankly to the Counsellors in order to raise concerns or to discuss university applications. Each campus has members of residential staff who live in the college throughout the programme and are able to assist students at any time of the day or night.

Eligibility & pre-requisites

Students on this course:

  • Must conform to our age policy.
  • Must be fluent or near-fluent English language speakers – if you are unsure whether your English level is suitable for this programme, please contact our Registrations Team on [email protected] and they will be able to assist you.
  • Must be able to fulfil the basic requirements of the programme, in terms of attendance at lessons, meals and events. Please contact our Registrations Team for more detailed information.

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Summer Architecture Programme for Ages 16-18 is residential in the following venues:

(If your course takes place in more than one campus in the same city and you would like to know more about which location you will be allocated, please call our admissions team)

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