Accelerate into University!

Launched in 2012, this pioneering access programme for students in Years 11 and 12 at London state schools, is aimed at those who would benefit from mentoring and skills enhancement to support their ambitions to pursue a career in the built environment.

Anthony Fitzpatrick , Higher Education coordinator at St Paul’s Way Trust School said,Open-City's Accelerate is a vital programme for our students as most think of architecture as a 'closed' profession, which requires 'connections' in order to access. The programme has helped Abdi not only realise that they have the skills and talents needed to enter the profession, but has also been invaluable in helping to 'polish' his personal statement and portfolio. Above all, we are so grateful that he has been given the opportunity to do work experience with and has been mentored by experienced professionals.

Accelerate into University WorkshopThis exciting widening participation programme has been developed and delivered in partnership with UCL's Bartlett School of Architecture and the highly acclaimed architectural practice Make Architects. It offers students in years 11 and 12, from under-represented communities, a unique opportunity to develop the skills required for entry to higher education built environment courses.

So far Accelerate into University has enabled eighty eight, young Londoners aged 15-17 years to reach their full potential and improve their access to Higher Education across the Built Environment shaping professions; and we are proud that 85% of the year 12's that participated in 2012 gained conditional offers to study architecture and related subjects at university, including UCL, Cambridge, Cardiff, Manchester and Westminster.

Timetable Outline example

-Skills development workshops with architecture students (drawing, model making and critical thinking).
-Structured mentoring sessions with designated built environment professionals at their London based offices over a 6 week period.
-Exhibition preparation skills workshop.
-Exhibition of work created during the programme at a central London location.
-Skills development, portfolio assistance and interview preparation workshop.
-Ongoing UCAS personal statement support.


Skills development workshop at UCL's Bartlett School of Architecture

AccelerateIntoUniversity from Open-City Architecture on Vimeo.


Registration Opens- January 2015

Accelerate into University Workshop"All of it was absolutely amazing, and really made the decision that I wanted to study architecture. The best parts were working with the architects (and... meeting lovely and enthusiastic ones), especially on such a long-term basis, which is very different to work experience, and meeting other students who had the same interests. Also, the end of year presentation, and the support from the leaders was brilliant. So inspiring, thanks loads!"
Year 12 Student from Accelerate into University 2012


“Given that the built environment affects the whole of society, it is essential that the architectural profession should be drawn from an inclusive cohort. Our pilot work with Open-City’s ground- breaking My City Too! campaign and Architecture in Schools programme has already brought many hard-to-reach young people to our attention. However, there is massive scope for us to extend this, and Open-City’s expertise in doing so through a focused access programme is invaluable.”
Alan Penn, Dean of the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL


Open-City Arhcitecture_Make Architects

“Shazia noticeably grew in confidence during the process - as an individual and also in her design process and presentation of design work. It was certainly a valuable experience for her.”
Ann Woodhouse, Design Teacher, Norbury Manor Business and Enterprise College



January 2015
Accelerate into University! 2015 programme registration opens.

3 July 2014
View the incredible work produced by students for the 2013-14 Accelerate Exhibition at UCL's Bartlett School of Architecture.

24 December 2013
Ken Shuttleworth becomes a mentor for Accelerate

15 August 2013
Success for Accelerate into Architecture students!



The changing face of London




Arts Council


Architects Practices participating in 2013-14:

David Miller Architects
Grimshaw Architects
Jerry Tate Architects
Laurent Mot Limited
Make Architects
Nicholas Hare Architects LLP
Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects
Squire and Partners
Stanton Williams Architects
Wilkinson Eyre Architects