Architecture is more than buildings, it brings together planning, building, design, mathematics and mechanics.The course also opens up to numerous careers such as a project manager or technician and more.
An architecture degree helps you develop many skills, aiding your artistic and creative thinking as well as building your problem-solving skills, technical knowledge and interest in improving the environment.
What is architecture?
Architecture is a diverse concept. Generally speaking, it is a subject that focuses about buildings and other physical structures. Architecture is a technical and creative subject, that develops knowledge and artistic skills.
Architecture degrees are studied at either a BA (bachelor of arts) or BCS (bachelor of science). The degrees are similar, yet take different approaches to the subject. BA has a more artistic approach whilst BSc has a technical perspective.
What are the modules for this course?
Architecture degrees can range in modules and their structure depending on the courses and universities. These are some of the modules you can expect:
- Architectural design and communication.
- Building and designing structures.
- Creative practice.
- Communication and group working.
- Construction law and regulations.
- Design procedures.
- Design and drawing techniques.
- Environmental science for architects.
- Environment and sustainability.
- History of architecture.
- Humanities and technologies.
- Principles of construction.
- Principles of environmental design.
- Principles of structural design.
- Project management.
- Theory of architecture.
- Technologies of construction.
- Urban design.
What are the entry requirements?
Entry requirements for an architecture degree can vary depending on the university and course. Generally, universities will ask for 112–152 UCAS points. Qualifications may include:
- A-levels: A minimum of two to three A-levels is required, with grades ranging from CCD to AAB. There are no specific A-level subjects needed, however, art, mathematics and physics are helpful subjects.
- Scottish Highers: Highers requirements range from BBBC to AABBB, with the average grade ABBBB. Sometimes, universities ask for Advanced Highers in addition to Highers grade BB.
- BTECs: Some universities may accept a BTEC as entry onto the course. The expected grades can range from D*D*D*– DMM.
- International Baccalaureate (IB): For students taking the IB, the expected overall score for this course is 42–29.
Additionally, work experience, further research and workshops are ideal to add to your application. You can gain work experience in many ways such as shadowing at an architectural practice.
Career prospects as an architecture graduate aren’t exclusively an architect, as many graduates will work in other industries as well.
As architecture is highly influenced by art and design, so any demonstration of your observation and drafting skills in a portfolio is key. You can also attend any workshops to develop your skills such as the RIBA(https://www.architecture.com/) (Royal Institute of British Architects) workshops. Further reading is another example of how to grow your insight and build interest. Utilise the RIBA website or Architecture Magazine as resources to learn.
How do I write my personal statement for this subject?
For your architectural personal statement, the key is to show interest and motivation in your chosen course. It’s also crucial to show your individuality and creative side. This doesn't mean writing something random but sharing interesting, engaging and relevant reasoning as to why you wanted to apply for this degree.
Think about what prompted your interest in architecture. Was it any buildings or places you liked the look of? Describe these buildings and why you like them. Talk about any architects you have heard of and any particular pieces of their work you like. Also, discuss your hobbies and academic achievements which are relevant to you studying architecture. Put all of this experience and passion together to explain why you want to study this course and the qualities you can bring to it.
Universities are also keen to see your drive and enthusiasm. They want to see you are willing to go the extra mile in terms of pushing yourself in the course and looking at your future career goals.
Above all, three things to consider as well are the structure and grammar of the statement and how specific it is. Make sure your statement is laid out clearly and broken down into relevant sections, and reads well. You should also proofread it several times to check for spelling and grammar. For the specifics in the statement, avoid generalised phrases and information and go into depth about your experience to get a full scope of who you are.
What books or equipment do I need?
Your university will provide you with a suggested reading list before and during the course to help develop your knowledge and insight. However, further reading is always recommended to widen your knowledge. Some valuable examples include Twenty Buildings Every Architect Should Understand by Simon Unwin, The Homes We Build: A World of Houses and Habitats by Anne Jonas and Built: The Hidden Stories Behind Our Structures by Roma Agrawal. As a subject covering both technical and creative elements, books can range from textbooks, fiction to nonfiction. For free resources available, Architecture.com provides downloadable guides on how to do well in study and practice.
Similar to books, your university will recommend equipment. As a standard, a quality laptop is useful for doing assignments and taking notes in lectures. Additionally, materials and tools will come in handy. For example, pencils, drawing paper, technical pens, measuring equipment, craft knives and more.
How will I be assessed?
Assessment can vary depending on the course. However, for most modules, you will be assessed with a combination of the following:
- Case studies
- Design portfolio
- Practical assessments
- Project design work
What are the career prospects?
Career prospects as an architecture graduate aren’t exclusively an architect, as many graduates will work in other industries as well. For example, you can work as a design manager, assistant project manager, or technician at an architectural practice or in property development. Alternatively, you can move into either a design-related or technology-related role, such as a photographer, or web designer. Other industries you can work in include civil engineering, building conservation, property and estate management and building technology. Some graduates may also apply for finance and business graduate schemes. With many transferable analytical, technical and creative skills, graduates are attractive to various job types.
What jobs can I get with this degree?
These are some examples of jobs you can go into as a graduate. Some may require further study:
- Building control officer
- Building surveyor
- Chartered architectural technologist
- Conservation architect
- Environmental consultant
- Historical buildings inspector
- Interior or landscape designer
- Landscape architect
- Lighting designer
- Production designer for TV, film or theatre
- Quantity surveyor
- Rural surveyor
- Social sciences researcher
- Structural engineer
- Town planner
- Urban designer
- Youth project leader
How does architecture change at a postgraduate level?
An architecture undergraduate degree can take three to four years, depending on the course. The fourth year will typically be in the industry such as working for a construction firm, learning hands-on practical skills. Whereas a postgraduate degree can take one to two years full-time. In total, training to be an architect can take seven years.
Architecture is a diverse concept. Generally speaking, it is a subject that focuses about buildings and other physical structures.
Some postgraduate degrees in architecture can include MA in architecture, MA in Interior Design, MA in Urban Design and Architecture, and Building and Civil Engineering PhD.
The postgraduate architecture qualifications are more in-depth than the undergraduate degree and teach you at an expert level, gearing you up for the career route of being an architect.
What is the average grad salary in this area?
The graduate architect's salary can depend on your level of experience, location and employer. On average, the entry-level architecture salary of a graduate ranges from £31-£37,500 for under five years of experience and for over 5 years of experience, £36,000-£45,000. For the most experienced, the average salary of an architect is anywhere between £68,000-£110,000.