Studying Architecture in the UK

Risk often brings with it opportunities, people all over the world are worried about the threats that climate change has posed before human civilization. The construction industry has an important role to play in thwarting the catastrophe. In the coming decades, architects will be at the forefront of this battle and will create solutions for more sustainable urban and natural environments. You have chosen the right profession that will keep challenging your quest for learning throughout your life. Now, you need to explore the institution from where you will receive the right kind of training to become a successful architect.

Why Should You Study Architecture in the UK?

The UK is home to many leading educational institutions. It has 46 architecture schools and hundreds of architecture, building, and planning degrees to choose from. QS World University Rankings is an annual publication of university rankings by Quacquarelli Symonds.

In their list titled “QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022: Architecture & Built Environment“, two UK institutes figure in the top 10 positions, University College London is placed at rank 3 and Manchester School of Architecture at 7.

The other important reason to choose the UK as your destination is the fact that the UK has a sizeable architectural heritage like St. Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, etc. Besides heritage architecture, the construction industry in the UK is very large, it boasts a vast amount of expertise and experience for you to tap into.

The UK’s network of architecture and building professionals extends to pretty much every corner of the globe. When you’ve studied architecture in the UK, you’ll find doors open to you wherever you go.

studying architecture in UK
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Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)

The Royal Institute of British Architects, abbreviated to RIBA, is a global professional membership body, promoting excellence in the field of architecture. The primary focus of the organization is on the advancement of architectural practice, with a constant commitment to good quality, design, and customer service.

With the help of its members and fellow architects, RIBA champions better buildings and places, stronger communities, and a sustainable environment. Inclusivity, ethics, environmental awareness, and collaboration, are the backbone of the organization.

Many architecture courses in the UK are accredited by RIBA with further opportunities available such as RIBA Studio, which allows students who have reached Part 1 and Part 2 of their course to study remotely whilst working full-time in practice.

Apart from RIBA accreditation, Most UK architecture schools have well-established connections with leading local, national, and international architecture firms, ensuring you have access to an excellent network of partners. Connecting with these professionals can take many forms, from hearing guest speakers on campus to portfolio feedback, training, and placements.

Best Universities for Studying Architecture in the UK

Given below is a list of the top ten institutes for architecture in the UK:

University College London (UCL)

The Bartlett School of Architecture is a globally known institute and the Architecture BSc is extremely popular with international applicants. The school also offers various master’s degrees in Architecture and Design. Each year all students participate in the annual Bartlett Summer Show, a major exhibition that attracts thousands of visitors and is a key highlight in the architectural calendar.

University of Manchester

The Manchester School of Architecture is jointly administered by The University of Manchester and the Manchester Metropolitan University in the city of Manchester, England. It offers various undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in architecture. Research at the MSA is intrinsically interdisciplinary and broadly conceived, encompassing areas as diverse as urban design, urban development, ecological and landscape design, and the conservation and management of historic environments.

University of Cambridge

The Department of Architecture of this university is widely regarded as one of the best of its kind in the world. Its undergraduate architecture course provides students with their own dedicated design space, and “creativity, curiosity, and strong intellectual grounding” are at the center of what the University expects and provides.

University of Leeds

It is one of the most prestigious Russell Group universities in the UK.  Both its undergraduate (B.Engg) and postgraduate (M.Engg) courses in Architecture are globally respected particularly for developing the skills in students that are required by the industry. Leeds as a city in the UK is well-known for food, shopping, culture, and sport and also offers great opportunities for part-time jobs, internships, and graduate jobs.

University of Sheffield

A top architecture university in the UK and a leading center for research and teaching in architecture, urban design, architectural engineering, and sustainable energy technologies. The University is known for the study of landscape architecture and its course “Architecture B.Arch” is very well known in the industry across the globe.

University of Edinburgh

The MA (Hons) Architecture program of the university prepares you to become a professional architect where learning is supported by world-class workshops and technical facilities. Edinburgh is a place of outstanding architectural interest and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Models of design thinking and working grow directly out of operating within this unique context.

Cardiff University

The Welsh School of Architecture is an academic school at Cardiff University. It is generally regarded as a world-leading school of architecture, and one of the top architecture schools in Britain. The courses in this institution lay emphasis more on practical work than academic study. Most of your time in Architecture courses is spent in the design studio, working on architectural design projects that grow in scale and complexity as you progress through them. The majority of Cardiff University graduates proceed to a career in architectural practice and are found in many eminent practices in the UK and across the world.

University of Liverpool

The School of Architecture is an architecture school in Liverpool, England, and is part of the University of Liverpool. It was the first architecture school in the United Kingdom to be affiliated with a university, and the first to have degree programs validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects, in 1895. Home of The Beatles and Liverpool and Everton Football clubs, with more museums, theatres, and galleries than any other city in the UK outside of London, Liverpool has a global reputation for sport, music, architecture, and culture to explore.

Oxford Brookes University

The Oxford School of Architecture was founded in 1927. Forming part of the Oxford City Technical School, this became the Oxford College of Technology in 1956, the Oxford Polytechnic in 1970, and Oxford Brookes University in 1992. Oxford is a great place to be a student – rich in heritage yet focused on the present day with a vibrant, cosmopolitan atmosphere. The University has a long-standing reputation for employability and is host to two national centers of excellence in teaching and learning.

UWE Bristol

UWE Bristol is a thriving, modern university, offering a wide range of highly respected courses and employment-enhancing opportunities. Architecture – B.Sc (Hons) course is fully accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Architects Registration Board (ARB). The University is well known for the quality of its teaching, and for the student experience as a whole.

Other Top Universities for Architecture in the UK

  • Newcastle University
  • University of Bath
  • University of Reading
  • Loughborough University
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Glasgow
  • Queen’s University Belfast

Eligibility for Studying Architecture in the UK

  • To study bachelors in architecture in the UK, one must have completed High School (10+2) with about 60% overall score and have also studied a mix of science or mathematics in high school.
  • To study Master in Architecture, one needs to have completed B.Arch with at least 60% score and possess two years of practical experience.

Every international student needs to demonstrate knowledge of the English language. The most common examination for this purpose is IELTS and the requirement generally is to score 6.5 overall, and no lower than 6.0 in any one component. The under graduation requires 3 years to complete and Masters between 1 and 2 years of full-time study.

The course fee at the under-graduation level is an average of 25,000 GBP and that for Masters is 22,000 GBP. These are the fees payable by international students and noteworthy to mention here that the fees are different for each university. Apart from the course fees, international students have to take into account the living expense in the UK.

Job Prospects after Studying Architecture in the UK

Architects are in great demand across the globe and UK is no exception. Various salaried roles exist across a wide range of organizations like small, medium, and large companies in the Government, and Private sectors. Many large firms will offer structured training and guidance in helping you become chartered if that’s a route you would like to pursue.

One can specialize in areas like Urban Design, Town Planning and Sustainable Design, Designing Residential Units, Designing Retail Space, Manufacturing Units designing, etc. Opportunities also exist in teaching and research.

In the UK, Architects’ average salary is 62,000 GBP per annum which is in the high-paying salary bracket. An entry-level architect can expect to gross in a salary of 40,000 GBP while an experienced worker can make up to 85,000 GBP per annum.

Featured Image Source: University of Cambridge

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