The basics
THE UK: Subject Guides

Course Info: Architecture

How can a degree in Architecture set you on your way to a truly ground-breaking career and enable you to leave your own monumental mark in history? Find out in our guide...


Throughout history, civilisations have been defined by the buildings they leave behind. From the pyramids of ancient Egypt, to Machu Picchu and the skyscrapers of our modern cityscapes; cities and structures have served as a barometer for the achievements of the society that created them.

Architecture is a field of both art and science. Studying architecture allows students to use their creativity in designing new concepts and transforming them into real structures. This conversion of ideas into tangible achievements is one of the fields’ greatest attractions. Students will also learn to appreciate the layout of interiors and the surroundings of a specific area, taking into account the affect that structures and spaces have on their inhabitants.


How long is the course?

The length of the course will depend on which country you choose to study in. As well as other skilled professions, a career as an architect does not come easy. After finishing their bachelor and master’s degree, students are required to take further qualifications in order to apply for official registration as professionals and have personal experience in an architects’ firm.

These are common course lengths for bachelor degrees in architecture and related courses:

Australia: 3-4 years
Ireland  : 4-5 years
Malaysia: 3-4 years
Netherlands: 4 years
New Zealand: 3 years
Singapore: 4 years
Sweden: 3 years
UK: 3-4 years
USA: 4-5 years


What will I learn?

Some of the initial undergraduate design modules include:

  • Graphic communication
  • Manual drawing
  • Physical and CAD modelling

As an architecture student, buildings and structures will not be your only focus. A wide range of socio-cultural, economic and political issues are fundamentally related with the field’s practices. Other aspects such as human and environmental science will improve your skills in taking responsibility to provide a sustainable concept that can integrate with the structure’s surroundings.


How is the course structured?

Students of architecture can expect lectures, tutorials, and practical workshops with group work, presentations and coursework for assessment. Students must be active and have a hands-on approach to dealing with assignments, as they will involve the design of surveys, constructing scale models and conducting interviews or feedback exercises to gauge the human response to projects.

Architecture is such a broad subject; students will have the opportunity to expand their areas of research into topics such as:

  • History and philosophy of architecture

  • Conservation and Community developments

  • Environmentally responsible design

  • Economic development landscape
  • Disaster relief
  • Urban design and transport planning


Entry requirements

Entry requirements vary among universities. Students should contact their chosen country and university directly for more information.

If you are an international student, you will need to provide your IELTS or TOEFL score to show your English language abilities. Most universities require a minimum of 6.0 IELTS score and a minimum of 550 for TOEFL (paper-based tests).

Some universities will also require applicants to provide a portfolio of their previously completed projects. Tutors will want to see something that will illustrate your interests, experience and ability in the visual and material arts. During interviews, students shall use the opportunity to explain their artworks and their reasons behind their ambition to study architecture.


Career options

Career options that any architecture student may want to pursue in their future includes:

  • Architectural journalist
  • Art director
  • Building inspector
  • Building researcher
  • Civil engineer
  • Industrial designer
  • Landscape architect
  • Surveyor 


Useful links:

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About Author

Paul Ellett is the editor for Hotcourses Abroad. His role is to plan, produce and share editorial, videos, infographics, eBooks and any other content to inform prospective and current international students about their study abroad experience. When he's not thinking about student visas in Sweden and application deadlines, Paul is an avid fan of comedy podcasts and Nicolas Cage films.


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