Combining the art of design, production and creation, an architecture degree will equip you with all the necessary skills to pursue a career within the sector. You will develop your design skills and build a strong portfolio of design experience. Your degree will provide you with the expertise in a variety of areas, including planning, budgeting, negotiating with contractors and health and safety regulations. You will graduate as a versatile architect, ready to advance in your career aspirations.
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The accreditation of your degree will depend on where you choose to study. It will also be influenced by your level of study. At undergraduate level, you can expect to be awarded to a Bachelor of Science (BSc), a Bachelor of Arts (BA), or a Bachelor of Architecture (BArch). At postgraduate level, you can expect to be awarded a Master of Science (MSc), or a Master of Architecture (MArch). Further study will award research degrees such as Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).
The majority of architecture courses will be accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). You will need to gain this accreditation in order to become a professional architect, and normally comes in two parts. Undergraduate degrees are normally RIBA Part 1, and postgraduate degrees are normally RIBA Part 2. This accreditation means that architectural education is somewhat standardised.
Generally, an undergraduate degree will take three to four years to complete, depending on where you choose to study. A postgraduate degree will normally take one to two years to complete.
Your institution may offer part-time study options, which usually means that your degree will take four to six years. You may also be able to take a foundation programme, which is useful if you do not meet the entry requirements for your degree.
Annual tuition fees for UK students are capped by the UK government. For the 2019/20 academic year, they are £9,250. This is subject to change each year, and will be updated on your institution website.
Postgraduate course annual tuition fees are set by the institution, which means that they can differ. Postgraduate programmes are generally less expensive than undergraduate programmes. You will find detailed fee information on the institution webpage.
The fees displayed below are an example of typical annual tuition fees for undergraduate and postgraduate architecture degrees. Actual tuition fees can be found on the institution webpages.
Typical Annual Tuition Fees
- Undergraduate - £9,250
- Postgraduate - £10,500
An undergraduate degree will give you a good foundation of knowledge in the main areas of architecture. You might study modules on the history of architecture, the built environment, advanced construction technology, architectural CAD, sustainable architectural design and the conversion and adaptation of buildings. The majority of undergraduate courses will be designed to suit students who have very little experience of architecture, as well as challenging those who have previously studied or practiced architecture. Your degree will be delivered through lectures and tutorials, incorporating practical sessions and field trips. Depending on where you choose to study, you may be able to specialise towards the end of your degree. Assessment methods can include written work, design projects, presentations and a final major project.
During a postgraduate degree, such as an MSc, you will build on the skills and knowledge you gained at undergraduate level. The modules you study will cover the more complex and specialist areas of architecture. You will explore both traditional and contemporary concepts of the subject area. Modules and specialisms might include site studies and planning, modernism, brutalism, art deco design, building technology, and values and ethics of architecture. Assessment methods might include written work, advanced design projects and a major research project or thesis.
The entry requirements for an architecture degree will depend on where you choose to study. They will also be influenced by the level of study for which you are applying. An undergraduate degree will require you to have a background in a creative or design subject, such as product design or design and technology. If you do not have a strong background in these areas, but can prove that you are passionate about architecture and design, some institutions might still consider your application. You can display this through your personal statement or an interview. For a postgraduate degree, most universities will require you to have an undergraduate degree in architecture, as you will need to have your RIBA part 1. If you do not meet this requirement, it might be possible to take an accreditation course independently prior to your course starting. Your institution will be able to assist you with any queries about this.
Typical Entry Requirements
- A Level Grades - A*AA-ABB
- UCAS Points - 152-128 UCAS points
- Required/Desired Subjects - Product Design, Engineering, Design and Technology
- Other Entry Requirements - some institutions may ask you to provide a design portfolio as part of your application
Graduates of architecture will find that there are many career opportunities available to them. It is most common for graduates to work within the architectural industry. However, studying architecture will have allowed you to gain many transferable skills, making you employable in a wide variety of industries and fields. If you choose to work in a field directly related to architecture, roles might include landscape architecture, architectural planning, building surveying, and construction. If you choose to work in a field not directly related to architecture, roles might include spatial design, graphic design, product design engineering, set design for stage and film, and journalism.