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All you need to know about studying architecture

Is architecture the right degree for you? Use this guide to find out everything you need to know about this subject.

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Studying architecture at university requires you to be hard-working, creative and logical. If you are fascinated by buildings, design and infrastructure, this could be the right subject for you. To help you decide, we’ve answered some of the key questions you need to consider before applying to study architecture at university.


What is an architecture degree?


Architecture is the design and construction of buildings, combining art, mathematics, science and logistics. During an architecture degree, you will learn how to draw accurate designs of buildings either by hand or with computer software. You may study modules such as sustainable architecture and building for the future. You will also attend classes in:



Architecture degrees are well-known for being challenging, but they are also highly rewarding.


How long is an architecture degree?


Typically, an undergraduate architecture degree takes three to four years to complete. After graduating, you will be expected to do one year of practical work experience before studying architecture at postgraduate level. This will generally take two years to complete, followed by another year of work experience.


Some countries may require you to pass an examination offered by an official architecture board or council. In the UK for example, this certified body is the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and in the USA, the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). Ideally you want your degree to be accredited by one of these official organisations so that your qualifications will be easily recognized certified and acknowledged.


In total, architecture courses can take you up to seven or eight years to complete, before you become fully certified. You need to make sure that you are committed to becoming an architect and can put in the effort and perseverance needed to succeed in the industry. While this might seem like a long time, it is understandable considering that architects carry a great deal of responsibility, ensuring that buildings are functional and safe.


What subjects do I need to study architecture?


As an architecture degree will involve mathematics and science, some universities may require you to have studied these subjects at school or college. However, in general, you will need five GCSEs (or equivalent) with grades A* to C. You might also be asked to provide a portfolio of designs or drawings at A-level (or equivalent) to demonstrate your artistic skills. This may be requested as part of your application or at interview stages. Remember that universities can have different entry requirements so you must check with the institution.



What types of architecture degrees are there?


There are several types of architects with specialist skills in different areas, so have a look at the list below to see which stands out to you most.


Landscape architecture degrees


Love the outdoors and green spaces? Landscape architects construct and design just that. From parks, gardens, housing estates, walkways to the choice of flowers and plants, landscape architects create visually pleasing environments for people and communities.

To succeed in this area, you need to be:

  • imaginative
  • creative
  • good with people
  • an excellent communicator
  • artistic
  • logical


You should also have knowledge of environmental and conservation issues to support your designs.


Not sure which skills you have, and which job might suit you best? Check out our guide on finding a degree and career to suit your personality.


Interior architecture degree


You can study architecture with interior design, as offered by London Metropolitan University but this is a separate field to traditional architecture and has more of a focus on the interiors of existing buildings.



Urban planning


This type of architecture focuses more on the design and construction of towns and cities. Essentially, it is the design of urban spaces. In this line of work, you will also consider the impact of your plans on communities who will be working and living in the area.


Each specialisation may be offered as modules during an architecture degree to enable students to further explore their interests. Make sure you check which topics are offered by the institutions you’re interested in as these can be very different depending on the university.


What jobs can I get with an architecture degree?


An architecture degree will equip you with a broad range of specialist skills that will be valuable for a range of careers. Some of the most common professions to follow an architecture degree include:


  • Architect
  • Town planner
  • Urban designer
  • Landscape architect
  • Construction manager
  • Surveyor
  • Interior and spatial designer
  • Restoration architect
  • Artist
  • Furniture designer
  • Production designer


How much is an architect's salary?


It really depends on where you choose to work as an architect but below shows you the average salary an architect can expect to earn in 2022 around the world:


  UK USA Canada Australia
Average architect salary GBP 48,500 USD 106,300 CAD 90,800 AUD 100,600



Which are the best universities to study architecture?


Here are some of the top universities to study a degree in architecture as per QS World Unviersity Rankings by Subject 2022:



If you'd like to see more universities and architecture courses use our course matcher tool to find exactly what you’re looking for. 


Want to check which program suits you the best?
Find out with our new "Course Matcher" tool!

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