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Guide to studying Architecture

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


  1. What's Architecture?

  2. Why study Architecture?

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

  4. What do graduates do and earn?

  5. What qualifications do you need?

  6. What degrees can you study?

  7. How will you be assessed?

  8. What are the postgraduate opportunities?

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.

Undergraduate degrees typically last five years if studied full time, and lead to accreditation with the Architects Registration Board (ARB).

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.

Read our six reasons to study Architecture for more information on why you might choose to study this subject area.

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. Particular job roles other than an architect include building surveyor, lecturer, teacher, conservation officer, landscape architect, production designer for TV, film or theatre, structural engineer and town planner.

Several professional organisations, such as RIBA, offer specialised positions for Architecture graduates.

What do graduates do and earn?

In the infographic below, the first table shows what graduates of Architecture have gone on to do in the months after their graduation.

The second table shows the average salaries of undergraduate Architecture students entering employment. The three skill levels – high, medium and low – reflect the UK's Standard Occupational Classification's major groups 1–3, 4–6 and 7–9 respectively.

Source: HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017/18

What qualifications do you need? 

Universities don't usually ask for A Levels (or equivalent) in specific subjects for an Architecture course. However, previous study in a combination of maths, science and art subjects will strengthen your application. A portfolio is often required.

Always confirm the grades and other entry requirements for the particular university/course you're interested in, as these vary between each institution.

What degrees can you study?

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

How will you be assessed?

In each year of a BA course in Architecture, the project design work and associated exercises carry the majority of assessment weight. Many practical modules are assessed by coursework alone.

Other classroom-taught and theory-based subjects are assessed using a mixture of coursework, essays, and written examinations. There's a sliding scale of marks, with later years of the course counting for more.

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

Examples of taught MAs and research degrees at postgraduate level include a straight MA Architecture and more specialist courses such as MSc Architecture and Environmental Design, MA Interior Design and MA Urban Design.

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