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Study Architecture, why & how to study

An Architecture degree brings together elements of maths, art and design, management, logistics, mechanics, physics and city planning.

Four young architects working on a project

CONTENTS

  1. What’s Architecture?

  2. What Architecture degrees can you study?

  3. What do you need to get onto an Architecture degree?

  4. What topics does an Architecture degree cover?

  5. How will you be assessed?

  6. Why study Architecture?

  7. What do Architecture graduates earn?

  8. What jobs can you get as an Architecture graduate?

  9. What are the postgraduate opportunities?

  10. Similar subjects to Architecture

  11. Have any questions?

What’s Architecture?

Architecture is a word with several different meanings. Firstly, a general term to describe buildings and other physical structures, and secondly the art and science of designing buildings, including the design and method of construction.

Studying Architecture will give you a thorough understanding and appreciation of the structures in which we live today. But it will also let you look to the future of design and how ideas can be created and implemented.

What Architecture degrees can you study?

As well as undergraduate Architecture degrees leading towards qualification as an architect, this subject can be combined with related areas:

  • Architecture BA/BSc/BArch
  • Architectural Design and Technology BSc
  • Interior Architecture and Venue Design BA
  • Civil Engineering with Architecture BEng

Options may include an integrated foundation year, placement year or an exchange abroad.

What do you need to get onto an Architecture degree?

Undergraduate degrees that provide a pathway to qualify as an architect typically ask for 112–152 UCAS points. Qualifications may include:

  • A Levels: A*AA–BBC
  • BTECs: D*D*D*–DMM
  • Scottish Highers: AAAAB–AABB (Advanced Highers: AAA)
  • International Baccalaureate: 42–29

Good subjects to have studied include:

  • Maths, physics and art subjects
  • General studies and critical thinking A Levels may be excluded from offers

Experience that would look good on your application:

  • Work experience or shadowing in an architecture practice
  • Drawing to develop your observational and drafting skills
  • Further research on architects and buildings of interest, for example on the RIBA website, in architecture magazines, or through podcasts
  • Workshops or online courses such as RIBA workshops

Other requirements for this subject include:

  • Portfolio
  • Interviews

What topics does an Architecture degree cover?

Typical modules for courses in this subject include:

  • Architectural design and communication
  • Technology and environment
  • Environmental science for architects
  • People, buildings, landscape
  • Practice and management
  • Buildable, habitable design
  • History and theory of architecture and design
  • Design process and communication
  • Sustainable design

How will you be assessed?

Assessments are usually carried out by a mixture of the following. Many practical modules are assessed by coursework alone.

  • Case studies
  • Coursework
  • Design portfolio
  • Essays
  • Project design work
  • Report
  • Written exams

Why study Architecture?

Become an architect, and you could be changing the face of the human-made world. It's a challenging profession, but seeing your projects come to life can be very rewarding.

Career-specific skills:

  • Knowledge of the factors influencing architectural design, from cultural and historic to technological, economic and legal requirements
  • Understanding of construction methods and developments in technology
  • Design and digital skills

Transferable skills:

  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Report writing
  • Research and evaluation

Professional accreditation:

  • Degrees may be prescribed by the Architects Registration Board and accredited by RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects), leading to exemption from RIBA part I exams on successful completion

What do Architecture graduates earn?

Architecture graduates can expect an entry-level salary of £17,000–£22,000.

An established architect who’s been ARB registered for over five years could have an income of £36,000–£45,000. Incomes also depend on practice size. A partner or director in a small practice may earn an average of £48,000, while those in a large firm could make £150,000 or more.

What jobs can you get as an Architecture graduate?

Architecture is a competitive field, but you could make it in a very profitable industry if you have the skills and talent. Alternatively, your skills could lead you into a related career:

  • Architect
  • Architectural technologist
  • Building surveyor
  • Conservation architect
  • Interior designer
  • Landscape architect
  • Lecturer
  • Lighting designer
  • Production designer for TV, film or theatre
  • Structural engineer
  • Teacher
  • Urban designer

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

Postgraduate opportunities are available if you studied a related subject as your first degree. Examples of taught master’s and research degrees at postgraduate level include:

  • Architecture and Environmental Design MSc
  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering PhD
  • Interior Design MA
  • Islamic Art and Architecture MPhil
  • Urban Design MA

Similar subjects to Architecture

Other subject areas that might appeal to you include:

Have any questions?

If you’ve got any questions about studying Architecture, you can email our experts at ask@thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk. We’ll be happy to hear from you!

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