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How long does it REALLY take to 
become an Architect?

What we cover in this article

Introduction

The realm of architecture offers a vibrant fusion of art, science, history, and philosophy. It’s an ever-evolving field that is as old as humanity itself, yet is continually refreshed with new ideas, techniques, and technologies. From ancient stone edifices to the most avant-garde modern buildings, the essence of architecture is omnipresent.

The Pillars of Architecture

Architecture is so much more than bricks and mortar. It’s a blend of creativity, historical awareness, and technological proficiency. Every structure tells a story, blending the best of planning, design, mathematics, mechanics, and more. The very essence of architecture marries art and function, creating spaces that cater to human needs while expressing artistic sentiment.

Degrees in Architecture – Where to Start

Prospective architects often wonder which path to take, a BA (Bachelor of Arts) that leans more towards the artistic aspects or a BSc (Bachelor of Science) that has a technical focus. The truth is, both paths offer rigorous training and a deep understanding of architecture from different angles.

The BA focuses on the artistry, design, history, and philosophy of architecture, while the BSc provides a technical and scientific approach. Together, they encompass the entirety of what architecture stands for.

Course Structure and Modules

While the core essence of architectural education remains consistent, individual universities may have unique modules. Generally, students can expect to explore:

  • Architectural Design and Communication
  • Building and Designing Structures
  • History of Architecture
  • Design Procedures
  • Environmental Science for Architects
  • Urban Design … among many others.

To help with architectural design, check out our course dedicated to this aspect of being an architect.

Entry Requirements

A strong academic foundation is crucial. Most universities seek:

  • A minimum of 2-3 A-levels
  • Qualifications from Scottish Highers or BTECs
  • An International Baccalaureate score

Relevant work experience or internships at architectural firms can give a significant boost to an application.

How long does the architecture course take?

Delving into the realm of architecture begins with an undergraduate journey, typically spanning three to four years. This foundational phase equips students with both theoretical knowledge and practical insights. Notably, the fourth year is often characterized by industry immersion, where students collaborate with established construction firms to gain invaluable hands-on experience.

However, the architectural odyssey doesn’t culminate here. For those with a burning passion to deepen their expertise and ascend to mastery, postgraduate studies await.

A postgraduate degree, usually lasting one to two years, offers a focused and advanced exploration of architectural concepts. In the grand scheme, committing to the complete architectural training journey – from undergraduate to professional practice – encapsulates around seven enriching years.

At its core, architecture is a multifaceted discipline. While it predominantly revolves around the design and understanding of buildings and physical structures, it is also a reflection of society’s evolution, technological advancements, and artistic expressions.

For those venturing into postgraduate studies, several specialized degrees beckon. These include but aren’t limited to the MA in Architecture, MA in Interior Design, MA in Urban Design and Architecture, and the Building and Civil Engineering PhD. Each of these programs dives deeper than their undergraduate counterparts, emphasizing expert-level knowledge and research.

The essence of postgraduate architectural education is to sculpt students into experts, priming them not just as architects but as visionaries in the field. It’s about synthesizing history, art, science, and technology to create sustainable, aesthetic, and functional spaces that resonate with the ethos of the times.

Watch the following video to give you even more insight into studying architecture.

The Influence of History in Modern Architecture

Historical styles are not just for the history books – they deeply influence modern designs. For instance, Victorian architecture, with its detailed ornamental designs, has left an indelible mark on many contemporary structures. By understanding the past, architects can innovate for the future.

Building a Strong Portfolio

As with any creative discipline, a portfolio is paramount for budding architects. It should showcase one’s skills, imagination, and potential. Institutions like RIBA offer resources and workshops that can be immensely beneficial. Regularly updating the portfolio with fresh designs, sketches, and concepts can make a big difference.

Crafting the Perfect Personal Statement

A personal statement should radiate passion, creativity, and commitment. Potential architects should delve into their inspirations, share captivating stories, and explain why they’re drawn to the world of architectural design.

Essential Resources for an Architecture Student

Beyond the curriculum, reading widely can provide deeper insights. Books like Twenty Buildings Every Architect Should Understand and Built: The Hidden Stories Behind Our Structures are invaluable. Alongside books, quality drafting tools, a reliable laptop, and dedicated software are crucial.

Assessment and Evaluation

While different universities have varied assessment methods, most evaluate students through:

  • Design portfolios
  • Case studies
  • Examinations
  • Practical assessments

Job Opportunities and Career Prospects

With an architecture degree, the world is your oyster. From traditional roles like architect and urban designer to niche roles in film set design or conservation – the possibilities are vast. With the right skills and passion, one can venture into myriad sectors like property development, web design, and even finance.

Postgraduate Opportunities

For those looking to specialize further, postgraduate courses offer in-depth knowledge and expertise. Courses like MA in Interior Design or Building and Civil Engineering PhD can catapult one’s career to new heights.

Remuneration in the Field

The architectural field offers competitive remuneration, with salaries ranging based on experience, specialization, and location.

Starting salaries are usually in the range of £31,000 to £37,500, but for seasoned professionals and company directors, this can rise significantly to north of £100k.

Conclusion

Embarking on an architectural education journey is an enlightening experience, offering a blend of creativity, technical knowledge, and a deep appreciation of spaces and structures. Whether designing a cozy home, an innovative office space, or envisioning a sustainable urban landscape, architects shape the world we live in. With the right education and passion, the architectural realm offers endless possibilities for exploration, innovation, and creation.

Oh, and how long does it take to become an architect?

All in all, after receiving your architecture degree, your masters in architecture and the right amount of experience in architectural practice the time can range from between 8 to 11 years. That’s a lot, we know, but trust us when we say it’s worth it – when all you do is colour in all day for a job!

What is ArchAdemia?

A place for creatives to elevate skills, industry knowledge, confidence, well-being & career success! Our platform is perfect for design students, qualified architects, interior designers and archviz artists of all skill levels.

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