Architecture deals with the design stage of building – using a blend of creativity and scientific knowledge to develop structures of all shapes and sizes – and building and town planning is what comes after.
This sector is closely linked to building and town planning, in fact you’ll be dealing with both once you become an architect, but architecture is what comes first.
If you want to become an architect, as most Architecture students do, then you’re going to need to commit to seven years of study.
The first three years will be doing your undergraduate qualification in Architecture and this will usually involve the ARB/RIBA Part I examinations that all architects require. You’ll then need to do a masters course to complete Part 2 of the examinations and a further postgraduate course to complete Part 3.
Once you’ve completed all of this you can declare yourself a fully-fledged architect with a BArch or DipArch qualification.
Here’s more about studying Architecture at university.
For all architecture courses, regardless of where you choose to study, structural engineering, architectural history, principles of environmental design and building material studies are all key early parts of the programme.
Some universities concentrate a large part of their course on giving students a detailed understanding of the history of architecture, whilst others immediately concentrate on the physics and engineering behind buildings and how to piece together their workings.
Opportunities to work in practices, to meet architects and visit sites mean that abstract knowledge soon turns to applied skill.
At the end of the three years of study there will be four more to go for those wanting to be fully trained where even further study will provide the depth of knowledge and versatility required of qualified architect.
Choose a course that best reflects your interests. After all, seven years is a long time to study if you’re not excited by 50% of the course content!
Historically a Maths at A Level was a must but this has recently been softened. However, high grades at GCSE for maths and physics are still a must.
Art can be a useful degree as many institutions will ask for a portfolio of work at GCSE.
Some universities may also prefer that you’ve taken at least one science based subject (Physics is most helpful) as Architecture combines both artistic and scientific skills.
Architecture is a hugely popular degree option and so the best institutions can demand the top grades. Exact entry requirements vary between universities, but they are all at the higher end of the scale.
Check each university that you’re interested in before applying to avoid being disappointed when you’re rejected because you can’t meet their requirements.
You should be prepared to be interviewed for this degree, and both your personal statement and your interview will need to demonstrate how passionate you are about the subject.
Architecture allows you to be qualified in a job where you get to create something tangible to be proud of. You need to show the admissions tutor that you’re excited by the prospect of this.
You can study Architecture at a variety of universities across the UK, including:
As we’ve said above, although all of these courses eventually lead to you the same goal of becoming an architect, the course content varies greatly.
Be sure to do your research and choose a course that best reflects your area of interest. For example, don’t choose a course where the first year focuses largely on the history of architecture if you’d rather just get on and start learning how to design buildings.
Any profession related to building is going to be economy reliant and architects can never be totally certain about the future of their profession beyond knowing that new buildings or repairs will always be necessary.
However, graduates who see through the full seven years of studies will find that wages and opportunities to run practices are excellent, and even when private households and companies are reducing their building budgets, the government will have schools, hospitals or council building needs.