A combination of art and science, architecture is the process of planning, designing and fabricating large structures and buildings, whilst also considering functionality, durability and aesthetics through the use of different materials, technology and elements of design.
When a new building is designed and constructed, the architect plays a very important role in the process. With the worldwide population being at an all time high, architectural practice, as well as the construction industry, needs to keep with the modern built environment requirements.
Highlighted courses and degrees in architecture
As a student of architecture, you will likely study modules on the history and theory of architecture, design theory and process, and material science. As well as this, you will learn about professional practice, design work, architectural technology and how to manage design projects.
The majority of architecture courses will be delivered in the form of classroom lectures and seminars. You may also have the opportunity to work in a design studio, which will give you an insight into professional experience.
Depending on where you choose to study, you may be able to specialise towards the end of your degree. Common specialisations include:
If your degree requires you to write a dissertation, you will get the opportunity to further research a topic of interest to you.
The qualification awarded at the end of your studies will depend on the country in which you study, as well as your choice of institution. In the UK, you will likely be awarded a bachelor of science degree in architecture.
It is likely that you will need to undertake some form of official accreditation before you are able to practice as a professional architect. In the UK, degree courses are normally accredited by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
Generally, an undergraduate degree in architecture will last three to four years. Foundation degrees, diplomas and certificates usually take up to two years when studied full-time.
After completing an undergraduate degree, you will need to further your studies before you are able to seek employment. This is because the accreditation systems tends to be spread over a bachelor and masters degree. Once you have gained all of the required qualifications, you will either be able to look for a job in your chosen field, or continue your studies with a postgraduate degree, such as a PhD, a graduate diploma or certificate.
The entry requirements for an architecture degree will vary from institution to institution. Some universities may require you to sit an entrance exam, and others may rely on previous exam results. Some universities may expect you to have studied certain subjects, and some may consider previous relevant work experience.
You should check each institution to see what entry requirements they have for their architecture programmes.
If you do not meet the entry requirements you may want to consider a pathway course.
Tuition fees for international students are not fixed, so will vary depending on where you choose to study. You should make sure that you are aware of how much each course would cost you.
You may be eligible for a scholarship or funding. This may be awarded by your institution, or by a separate funding body. For more information, visit our scholarships and funding section.
It most common for architecture graduates to go directly into the field as a licensed architect, architectural technologist, drafter, interior designer or landscape designer. These positions are available in partnerships or firms, as well as opportunities to become self-employed.
Skill gained from an architecture degree will be transferable to many other career paths. Related positions include surveyors for commercial and residential properties, historic building conservation officer, town/urban planner and production designer for film, TV and theatre.
Find architecture programs available in the following countries.
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