Six Reasons to Study Architecture

Novelist Victor Hugo once wrote, ‘architecture has recorded the great ideas of the human race’ and, to an extent, he was right. We walk past buildings every day and they're artworks unto themselves; just making something that doesn’t collapse is an achievement of mathematics, team management, logistics, mechanics, physics and city planning.

Architecture students can claim to be part of something huge and significant, something almost universally human. It's a cool subject, and an important one, here are six reasons you should think about studying it. 


1. Travel

Decide on an architecture degree and you’ll be exposed to a long and illustrious history of man-made wonders. First year students are swept up on a crash course of the history of their craft and that usually translates to looking at some of biggest cities in the world; Paris, Copenhagen, London, Barcelona and more. 

Brilliantly, that means maybe getting to visit those cities, and experiencing the brick-and-mortar reality of your chosen subject. There’s a lot more to an Architecture degree than sitting in your dorm and scribbling notes. Play your cards right and you could be packing up your bags and jetting off somewhere beautiful and far-removed from rainy England's mid-tier drear. 

2. Practice, practice, practice

The degree will teach you how to plan buildings so they line up with pre-existing structures and provide effective services. It'll equip you to consider the environmental impact of what you design and force you to think about how those designs might be reasonably implemented.

A lot of courses, though you’ll have to check which, offer fully fledged placement years. You'll be based with a real-life architect and learn from them directly. That kind of vocational tuition is rare, and Architecture students get it in spades. 

3. Diversity of study

A combination of practical craft and historical theory means Architecture degrees are the perfect blend of arts and science. You’ll be able to link geo-politics to the design, nature and intent of historical buildings, explain how context might change the way a building is built, and consider all those ‘great ideas’ Victor Hugo was talking about.

More than that, you’ll be able to calculate angles, pump out equations, and analyse sketches. Architecture students benefit from continually doing something different. So, when they graduate, they've got as broad a skillset as it’s possible to have. 

4. Contact time 

Architecture courses are defined by one-to-one tuition and workshopping, contact hours aren’t a problem and, because this is a course built off the back of a feedback loop, with criticism urging gradual improvement, tutors tend to be around fairly regularly. 

5. Make a difference

There are a few ways to become an architect, but taking a degree in the subject is probably the best way. If you eventually make the cut, if you do become an architect, you can look forward to one of the mot viscerally satisfying jobs in the modern marketplace.

Architects have a plausible effect on communities and the people who live in them, designing leisure centres, schools, housing estates, all of the things people need to live and learn and enjoy doing so. Study Architecture and you’ll be doing something genuinely, unambiguously important.

6. Team work

Where a lot of degrees might see students working on their own, holed up in a library or some purpose-built book fort (pro-tip, hardbacks are best for the walls, but paperbacks make the softest bedding), a degree in Architecture will, more often than not, make students act as teams. Study Architecture and, often, you’ll find yourself in the midst of a group project, having to co-ordinate a host of other people to produce something with intent. That’s not easy, and giving it a go develops skills in empathy, understanding, delegation, communication and leadership.

There's a diversity to a degree in Architecture and a student can look forward to doing it all. They’ll get to fuel up on coffee and hunker down for a long night of study, just as they’ll get to bounce back and forth within the wider structure of a group.