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Study Architecture Abroad - the Definitive Guide

Architecture is one of the most exciting fields of study combining engineering, design, mathematics and creativity in equal measure.

Mahesh Ramani
Lotus Temple

There is a massive demand for trained architects in India and an architecture degree from abroad is appreciated by recruiters.

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Subject modules & entry requirements

Architecture is often confused with civil engineering in India. Architecture focuses on the art of sustainable design and designing a building. Civil engineering focuses on the actual process constructing the building. India has a glorious tradition of awe-inspiring architecture that has stood the test of time. Be it the massive temple complexes in South India, the forts in Rajasthan or the palaces of the Mughal dynasty littered across Northern India, these are just some of the examples.

In India, though there are numerous engineering colleges spread across the country, specialised colleges offering programmes in Architecture are limited in number. Typically an undergraduate degree in Architecture is offered as a five-year programme in India. Postgraduate programmes are usually two years long. All institutions offering a programme in Architecture in India should be affiliated to the Council of Architecture – COA based out of New Delhi. Typically most Indian architecture students, finish their undergraduate programme in Architecture and go on to the UK or the USA to complete a postgraduate Architecture programme.

Read about 'Studying Architecture Abroad' and the various subject options and career opoortunities on offer.

Postgraduate programme options

The Master of Architecture, popularly known as March is the most popular postgraduate qualification in Architecture. A number of universities also offer the MS in Architecture and MSc in Architecture programmes.

View all postgraduate programmes in Architecture.

As per the latest QS Subject Rankings the top five universities in the world to study Architecture programmes are:

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)                    
  • UCL (University College London)              
  • Delft University of Technology -Netherlands      
  • University of California, Berkeley (UCB)
  • Harvard University

How long will you study?

The programme is mostly offered as a two-year full-time programme. Institutions like the Boston School of Architecture offer an integrated fiver year Master of Architecture programme.

What will you study?

The programme is designed for those with an undergraduate degree in Architecture. The course modules focus on Design, Materials, Sustainable Architecture, Innovative and Efficient Building Models and a research thesis as well.

Typical entry requirements

English language proficiency

A score of 6.5 on the IELTS or 79 on the TOEFL is usually considered to be fair enough for admission into a postgraduate programme in Architecture.  Some of the premier universities require students to have an IELTS score of 7.0.


The tuition fee varies and ranges from INR 20 lakhs to INR 70 lakhs depending on the total duration of the programme. 

Subject specialisations

Some of the most popular postgraduate subject specialisations in Architecture are:

  • Sustainable Design
  • Urbanism / Urban Design
  • Digital Architecture
  • Architectural Acoustics
  • Industrial Architecture

Programmes in focus

MA in Architecture and Urbanism offered by the University of East London

The University of East London offers the popular MA in Architecture and Urbanism programme, which is designed specifically for students looking to work as surveyors, designers and planners in the cities. This is a full-time one-year programme. Urban Design; Sustainable Architecture; Computational Architecture; Architecture and Heritage; and Landscape Theory are the key modules of this programme.

Master of Architecture (M Arch) offered by Leeds Beckett University

Leeds Beckett University offers a research intensive two-year Master of Architecture programme. On completion of this programme, students can qualify to practise as an accredited architect. The key themes of this programme are Integrated Sustainability and Post-Industrial Urbanism.

Master of Architectural Science in Audio and Acoustics offered by the University of Sydney

Audio and acoustics in a theatre or auditorium or public hall is something of paramount importance. When a live concert is in progress or a movie is being screened, from the person in row one to the person at the very end should have a great experience. The University of Sydney offers an innovative Master of Architectural Science in Audio and Acoustics programme, which focuses exactly on this aspect. This is an 18-month programme and specially designed for architects focused on creating performance spaces and theatres.

Master of Architecture offered by Lawrence Technological University(LTU)

Lawrence Technological University (LTU) is one of the premier schools of engineering, architecture, science, and applied technology in the USA. The Master of Architecture programme offered by LTU combines graduate studies in architectural design, theory, and practice and includes electives in architecture and one non-architecture elective.

Master of Architecture offered by the Boston Architectural College

The BAC is an independent, accredited spatial design college offering undergraduate and graduate programs in Architecture and Design. The Master of Architecture is a five-year programme that mixes concurrent design and academic study. All graduate students also complete a three-semester long design-thesis project. 

Career prospects

Architecture continues to remain an extremely niche profession in India. This naturally puts the demand and supply chain at a risk and the cream of architects continue to find employment abroad. The following infographics from Payscale highlight the average salaries of those with a Master of Architecture degree in India and the USA.


Median Salary by Years Experience


Median Salary by Years Experience


This is a clear reason why you should consider studying Architecture abroad and finding a job there.

Professional associations


The Indian Institute of Architects was established in 1917. With over 20,000 members spread across the country and the world IIA continues to work towards the welfare of those in the architecture industry and promotes the growth and education of budding architects.

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