Architecture, building, and planning

This subject area brings together a wide range of disciplines from both the art and science fields.
Relevant to

Efficient energy in architecture

Efficient energy in architecture in building the University of Amsterdam | Institute of Physics
Architects explain how they ensure buildings are thermally efficient. Video provided by the Institute of Physics.
View more videos

Why study architecture?

Why study architecture? | Higher Education Roadshow
Meet Aleksandra – she studies Architecture. Hear about why she chose her degree course and what she loves about it. Video provided by the Higher Education Roadshow.
View more videos

Key stats

33,310 students were studying this subject in 2014/15.

  • 81% UK
  • 19% international
  • 80% full-time
  • 20% part-time
83.9% of graduates went directly into employment.

Top five graduate destinations:

  1. Professional, scientific, and technical
  2. Construction
  3. Real estate
  4. Wholesale and retail trade
  5. Public administration and defence industries

What courses are available?

Universities and colleges in the UK are offering courses in the following subject areas:

It has a strong vocational link with many courses designed to provide a route to professional qualification. A significant number of courses are accredited by one of the related national awarding bodies. Despite accreditation, courses can still vary considerably in style and content, so it is important to research each one carefully.

'Ensuring your course is accredited is very important, as only industry-recognised qualifications enable you to follow a formal route through to becoming fully qualified.'

‘A degree course in landscape architecture, like the profession it prepares you for, is rich in variety. Some have a strong focus on design skills, while others place a greater emphasis on planning, management or ecology.’
Landscape Institute

‘The approach to architectural education differs between schools so you should thoroughly research the available courses to see what suits you and your interests, as well as your qualifications, before applying.
Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)

Subject combinations and available course options include:

  • single and joint subject combinations
  • full-time and part-time study options as well as a few courses with a placement (sandwich courses)
  • qualifications ranging from BA, BSc, and MEng (Hons) degrees, through to HND, HNC, and Foundation Certificates

Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are available in the following areas:

Degree apprenticeships:

  • Construction manager
  • Chartered surveyor

Higher apprenticeships:

  • Site/project manager
  • Housing property manager
  • Building and surveying technician
  • Civil engineering technician

Find out more about apprenticeships


Entry requirements

A levels – To get on to a related degree, you will usually need a minimum of two A levels, with three A levels and A/B grades required for the most popular courses. In addition, you normally require five GCSEs at grade C or above, including maths and English. Planning and landscape architecture degrees do not normally require specific A level subjects. Some degrees in building and surveying may also require or prefer maths/science A levels.

'Due to the wide breadth of the profession, there are no essential subjects for gaining entry to an undergraduate course, but any mixture of the following can prove useful: art, geography, biology, graphic design, English, chemistry, physics, design, technology, ICT, and history.’
Landscape Institute

Architecture

'While it is not always essential to take art as an examination (though some schools do express a preference for art A level), most schools will want to see a portfolio of visual work – drawings, sketches, photography, painting, or collage. A few schools may ask for maths or science at A level.’
RIBA

Selection

Architecture courses may require applicants to submit a portfolio of their work, and this is combined with an interview at some universities.

'Universities will want you to show that you are an enthusiastic, practical person who is passionate about the environment and society, and how they interact with one another. You may also be asked to provide a portfolio of your work and/or be invited to come in for an interview. These are both good opportunities to clearly communicate your ideas, your creative skills, and your interest in the natural and built environment.’
Landscape Institute

'Once you have applied, you may or may not be invited for interview. Many schools of architecture ask to see a portfolio of work. However, some schools make conditional offers on the basis of the information you include on your UCAS application form.’
RIBA


Personal statement

 Competition for places can be high so personal statements form an essential part of the selection process. Admissions tutors want to see you have aptitude, interest, and motivation in you chosen subject. Many of these degrees are practical and vocational, which means some previous experience can be important.

Universities will be looking for evidence you've done additional reading and research, for example, finding out about award winning architectural designs.

How to write your personal statement



Where can I find out more?

Visit the websites of the following professional bodies to find out more about courses and careers in architecture, building, and planning.