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Study Architecture in UK

Study Architecture in United Kingdom – Top Universities, Courses and Career Opportunities

by Akash Tyagi
Reading Time: 7 minutes

According to a survey conducted by the Royal Institute of British Architects (a professional body for architects in the UK), it was found that the architecture sector churned out a mind boggling revenue of 3.4 billion (GBP) in the year 2018. Year after year, this revenue is on the rise and this speaks volumes on why architecture is considered as one of the most rapidly growing sectors in the UK. With a massive number of students inclined towards specializing in architecture, it has become quite essential for them to opt for a reputed institute in some highly acclaimed study abroad destination. And if there is one location in the world which possesses a galore of top notch universities for architecture, it is the United Kingdom.

According to UUKi (Universities UK International), there were 4,58,490 international students studying in the UK for the year 2017-2018. The research also concluded that almost 90% of international students were satisfied by the educational experience in the UK. Out of these, there were 13,155 students who pursued education in architecture, building and planning. Study Abroad

In this article, we have emphasized on the top universities for architecture in the UK, their specialized courses, fee details, top firms for architects in the UK and average salaries for architects in the UK (location-wise).

Why UK for Architecture? 

The United  Kingdom is one of the most fascinating locations for international education. The QS World Rankings rates this country at the top of its charts in the study of various subjects . According to the QS World Rankings 2019, London ranks as the best student city in the world. This includes the quality of education, privileges granted to the students, quality of life and opportunities after the education. 

Not having an IELTS score? You can pursue higher studies without IELTS in UK.

When it comes to specialization in architecture, the UK reigns supreme. Many top universities in the UK are included in the 2019 QS World University Rankings by Subject (Architecture).

TOP RANKED UNIVERSITIES IN UK FOR ARCHITECTURE

University QS World University Subject Rankings 2019 ( Architecture) Total Students Enrolled International Students Enrolled
University College London (UCL) 1 32,795 16,750
University of Cambridge 7 19,578 7,307
Manchester School of Architecture 9
The University of Sheffield 21 27,066 9,056
Cardiff University 37 26,735 6,290
Loughborough University 51-100 15,991 3,864

1. BARTLETT SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE (UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON)

Ranked as the best university for architecture in the world (as per QS Rankings 2019), University of London is a paradise for all those skilful aspirants hoping to make it big in the field of architecture. With a prolific history, impeccable quality of teaching standards and a location as mesmerizing as London( which is regarded as the world’s best student city as per QS World Rankings 2019),UCL certainly possesses all the ingredients of an ideal university for international students. 

The Bartlett School of Architecture offers a comprehensive range of architecture programmes. With accreditations from Architects Registration Board (ARB) and Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), an undergraduate, graduate or diploma course from this institute would ensure that you have a highly authenticated degree from a widely recognised body of education. The UCL Bartlett, Faculty of Built Environment, Specializes in subjects like Architecture, Development Planning, Environmental Design in Engineering and Construction & Project Management.

Looking to pursue management studies in the UK? Read – MBA in UK

TOP ARCHITECTURE COURSES – DURATION, FEE AND START OF SESSION AT UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON

Course Duration Programme Starts Average Annual Fee 
BSc. Architecture 3 Years September 2020 26,540 GBP 
MSci. Architecture 5 Years September 2020 27,540 GBP 
Engineering and Architectural Design ( M.Eng) 4 Years September 2020 26,540 GBP 
Architectural and Interdisciplinary Studies with a Year abroad BSc 4 Years September 2020 26,540 GBP 
Architecture M.Arch 2 Years September 2020 24,980 GBP 

2. UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE (DEPARTMENT OF ARCHITECTURE)

Though the university offers multiple programmes and courses, one of its key specializations is the study of architecture. The Department of Architecture lays the foundation for artistic geniuses, who propel forward to design eminent buildings or other structures. A shear blend of sophisticated and practical knowledge along with the theoretical proficiencies extracts the best out of the students. The emphasis is not only made on the conventional aspects of architecture, but the modern and futuristic ones as well.  Students get to study the history and philosophy of architecture, cultural and urban architecture and contemporary architecture. 

TOP ARCHITECTURE COURSES – DURATION, FEE AND START OF SESSION AT UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE 

Course Duration Average Annual Tuition Fee Starts From
Architecture PHD 4 years 23,000 -24,000 GBP  October 2020
Architecture BA (Hons.) 3 years 27,000 – 28,000 GBP   October 2020
Building History (MSt) 2 years 10,000 – 11,000 GBP October 2020
Architecture and Urban Design (MPhil) 22 months 1st year – 29,000 GBP, 2nd year- 13,800 GBP  October 2020

Study Abroad3. SHEFFIELD SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE

The Sheffield School of Architecture is one of the oldest and prestigious architecture schools in the United Kingdom. It was initiated in the year 1908 and has received massive praises from both international and national students over the past decades. Along with the top-notch standards of education, the university is also renowned for its breathtaking ambiance and environment. Sheffield is renowned as the greenest city in this part of the world. Thus, living here certainly makes for an amazing experience for international students. The cost of living in Sheffield is comparatively cheaper than other prominent cities in the United Kingdom such as London and Manchester. The architecture degrees here are validated by RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) and ARB(Architects Registration Board). 

TOP ARCHITECTURE COURSES – DURATION, FEE AND START OF SESSION AT SHEFFIELD SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE

Course Duration  Average Annual Fees  Eligibility 
MSc. Digital Architecture and Design 1 year (fulltime) or 2 years(parttime) 21,000 GBP Honours Degree 

(Preferably. in architecture), Knowledge of various architecture domains, IELTS- 6.5

Architecture and Landscape BA (Hons) 3 years 22,600 GBP AAA (for A levels) with at least one acceptable subject, International Baccalaureate – 36,

Other international qualifications

Structural Engineering and Architecture M. Eng ( Hons) 4 years 23,750 GBP  2:1 honours degree or an equivalent qualification, IELTS score of 6.5( with a minimum of 6 in each test), AAA including maths (A- Levels), International Baccalaureate – 36,6 (Maths)

Complete details

Digital Architecture and Design MSc 1 year or 2 years part-time 21,100 GBP Bachelor’s degree, AAA including maths (A- Levels), International Baccalaureate- 36,6 (Maths)

4. WELSH SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE (CARDIFF UNIVERSITY)

Ranked 4th best university in the UK for architecture, Cardiff University was established in the year 1883, making it one of the most prestigious and iconic universities in the United Kingdom. Cardiff University is also the only welsh university which belongs to the prestigious Russell Group’.  The Welsh School of Architecture was introduced in the year 1920 and since then has paved the way for architects all over the globe. Some popular courses available at the Welsh School of Architecture are Architectural Design MA, Architecture BSc Hons, Architectural Studies MSc and Environmental Design of Building MSc.

TOP ARCHITECTURE COURSES, DURATION, FEE AND START OF SESSION AT WELSH SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE

Course Duration Average Tuition Fee (Annual) Starts From
Architecture BSc. Hons 5 years 21,000 GBPapprox September 
Architectural Design MA 1 year 31,000 GBP approx End of September 
Environmental Design of Buildings MSc 1 year 21,000 GBP approx End of September 
Architectural Studies MSc 2 years 21,000 GBP approx Third week of September 
Environmental Design of Buildings MSc (distant learning) 1 year/3 years 16,500 GBP approx (1 year), 4,100 GBP for 3 years End of September 

5. SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, BUILDING AND CIVIL ENGINEERING (LOUGHBOROUGH UNIVERSITY)

Study of architecture at the Loughborough University is widely acclaimed by many prestigious organizations. QS World University Rankings and Times Higher Education (THE) rankings have named this university amongst the top architecture universities in not only the UK but all over the globe. The education system works on the  ‘Theory and practicals’ method for various programmes. The school of architecture specializes in architectural programmes like Civil, Urban and Construction management courses. According to the official website of the university, Some of the popular companies where students have been placed are Morgan Sindall, Balfour Beatty, Galliford Try, Network Rail , Interverse , Tony Gee and Vinci.

TOP ARCHITECTURE COURSES, DURATION, FEE AND START OF SESSION AT LOUGHBOROUGH UNIVERSITY

Course Duration Average Annual Fees   Starts
Architecture BArch 4 years 22,350 GBP End of September
Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering (M Phil) 2 years 22,350 GBP April
Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering PhD 3 years 22,350 GBP April
MSc Construction Management Degree 1 year 23,500 GBP End of September
Construction Engineering Management BSc

(Hons.)

4 years 22,350 GBP End of September

TOP ARCHITECTURE FIRMS IN UK 

Ranking Architecture Firm Total Income Fees (in Million GBP)
1 Foster + Partners 185 
2 BDP 57.5
3 Zaha Hadid Architects 57.5
4 Allford Hall Monaghan Morris 39.9
5 Allies and Morrison 41.9
6 Shepherd Robson 22.1
7 GrimShaw 56
8 Hawkins/Brown 24.7
9 Atkins 105
10 Scott Brownrigg 20
11 Stride Treglown 20.7
12  Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios 14.5
12 Squire & Partners 17.1
14 Tp Bennet 29.3
15 Purcell 17.9

Note- The above data was published by the popular UK publication ‘Archivibe’.

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AVERAGE SALARY OF ARCHITECTS IN UK (LOCATION-WISE)

Location Average Annual Salary (GBP) Range of Annual Salary Earned (GBP) 
South East London 87,500 71,250 – 92,500
City of London 82,500 62,500 – 90,000
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire 62,500 62,500 – 97,500
Sheffield, South Yorkshire 47,500 37,500 – 72,500
Northampton, Northamptonshire 77,500 66,944 – 82,500
Birmingham 67,500 47,500 – 87,500
Bristol 72,500 47,500 – 82,500
Glasgow 67,500 57,500 – 82,500
Leeds, West Yorkshire 67,500 58,750 – 82,500
Reading 82,500 67,500 – 87,500

Note- The above data  was published by a UK-based organization “CW Jobs”.

Study Architecture in UK – FAQ’s

Q.1 Which is the best university for Architecture in the UK?

According to the prestigious QS World subject rankings 2019 for Architecture, UCL (University College London) ranks 1st in the world. The university has a prolific history in teaching standards and facilities and a plethora of architecture courses are available for students in various specializations.

Q.2 How long does it take to become an architect in the UK?

In the UK, it takes around 7 years to become a highly equipped architect. Firstly, 3-4 years need to be spent on a bachelor course in architecture. Then, the aspirants need to pursue a masters degree in architecture from some reputed university. After the completion of the graduate degree, students must do an internship at an architecture firm. The degree earned by students must be validated by the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects).

Q.3 Which is the most affordable city for students in the UK?

According to Natwest Student Living Index (2017), Cardiff was declared the most affordable city for students in the UK. This is one of the reasons why Cardiff University is popular among the overseas students.

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