AA (AADRL) vs. Bartlett(MArch GAD)



I got an offer from these two UK school this year.

1. AA Architecture & Urbanism (AADRL)

2. UCL bartlett GAD (MArch Graduate Architectural Design)

I'm so confused.. and I don`t have long left to decide.
which one do you prefer?

Thoughts, experiences, and opinions welcome!
(Job opportunities, Reputation, Propensity of programmes etc.)

Jun 13, 14 12:55 pm

can you at least tell us what you know about those programs first?

Jun 14, 14 2:09 am

I am sorry that there was insufficient information. I could only leave short comments because I joined Archinect very recently, have never been in the forum and was in a hurry. I am now explaining my additional views.

First of all, I think what the programs of two schools I applied to aim for, in other words, the subjects are similar. I think they are similar in that they both discuss prospective as well as parametric architectural methods. The following are pros and cons of each school which I think of.


1. The Bartlett (MArch Graduate Architectural Design-GAD)

The reason that I decided to study in the UK was the artistic tendency of Bartlett. Also, I thought this tendency would serve me well and was close to what I aim for after viewing many works of students upon getting admitted. Compared to AADRL, the number of team members are small and individual project is possible when carrying out a project, These are also reasons that I want to choose GAD.

However, as far as I know, the history of this GAD is short (3 years), and so there might be lower possibility of getting a job in the UK or other European regions, which is worrying. In addition, compared to AADRL with long history, the quality of GAD has not been proved yet, which makes me troubled.

2. AA school (MArch Architecture & Urbanism-DRL)

I heard that the reputation of AA has got lower than that of Bartlett lately, but I think AA still has world-wide reputation. As far as I know, AADRL has a long history, and I could easily see various activities are still going on. I think this factor may raise the possibility of getting a job in the UK or Europe, and wonder this can help building up my career afterwards. I also think longer course term (16 months) of AADRL than GAD is an advantage.

Of course, the research and design methods performed in the program look unchanged from the past, and I also think the fact that the number of team members is 4 should be a disadvantage. Furthermore, because I don’t know the actual situations in the UK or Europe, I am not really sure that my thought that AADRL is more highly regarded than GAD is correct. This is probably the biggest reason of my worry.


Both programs are short and not certified by RIBA, which thus cannot guarantee a job there, but I want to study in the place where there are some chances at least. Although attractions of the program itself and what I want to study are surely important, I am also aiming for employment in Europe and reputation afterwards. The GAD program is more suitable for what I want to study. Then, when thinking about reputation and the possibility of employment, which of the programs, AADRL or GAD, can you evaluate to be better? I want to know which of these two programs students normally prefer.

All the information described above is based on my personal judgment. Therefore, please consider there might be errors when you read it. I’d like to hear suggestions from as many of you as possible. Thank you.

Jun 14, 14 1:41 pm

AADRL is 18 months and GAD is 12 months. Big Difference -

While GAD is broken up into different studio groups, DRL works in smaller teams of 3-5 under a group. I think the taught elements of DRL are stronger by far and there's no duplicating being in the AA where there are generally 2-3 other events and activities happening during the day.  Many X drl tutors are at the GAD.  Linkages between DRL and UK practices stronger. Yes, your correct the dlr is a bit stale but I don't see anything but carrying on those same bits at GAD.  Having been at the DLR reviews for the last 3 years running, kipnis keeps saying that but perhaps he is part of the problem he describes.

I think we are at another turning point in architecture so there will be some shifts. 

In the end both programmes are excellent, great tutors - however I don't think the 12 month masters is sufficient enough time to spend in a proper Master's programme - do the AA for 18 months and have fun.

Jun 15, 14 5:02 am

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