How to become an architect
It takes seven years to qualify as an architect in the UK, but did you know that this time isn’t all spent at university?
Combining degree study and industry work experience, the journey to become an architect is guided by a series of parts and stages that ensure you have the experience needed to succeed in industry.
Along the way, you will develop essential technical and transferable skills, apply critical and design thinking, and build a portfolio ready to show potential future employers.
Ready to go?
Part one - undergraduate study
This first level of study introduces the position of the ‘architect’ and what the role involves.
Our undergraduate BSc (Hons) Architecture course includes modules and topics that introduce you to architectural theory and history, digital design technologies, sustainable development and urban regeneration. You will also develop technicals skills in drawing, modelling and computer-aided design.
“My portfolio has developed massively since starting my courses. Studying Fine Art at A-Level meant that my portfolio was full of oil paintings and drawings, but it noticeably lacked a wider range of skills and mediums. I can now add technical drawings, modelling, creative software and pieces of architectural writing.”
– Emilia Tudor, BSc (Hons) Architecture Salford graduate
At this first level of study, you will also experience industry ‘critiques’ and academic challenges that will build your confidence in contributing your ideas. You will be introduced to design-thinking and the creation of concepts.
Studying a RIBA-accredited course like our BSc (Hons) Architecture degree course means that you can apply for a free RIBA student membership. This will give you access to resources and networking opportunities throughout your studies. Learn more.
Stage one - work experience
Before you progress to part two postgraduate study, it is recommended that you complete a year working in industry.
Work experience will enable you to apply what you've learnt so far and also help you add more projects to your portfolio.
Part two - postgraduate study
Returning to university for the second part of your formal studies, course such as our MArch Architecture will take your architecture knowledge, ideas and critical thinking to the next level.
Stage two - work experience
Before you can take your part three qualifying exam, you need to complete a minimum two years' work experience.
Depending on the duration of your stage one work experience, this could involve a further year working in industry.
“It's amazing – being able to take an idea for a building, develop it, work with a wide range of people and then see the building become a reality.”
– Abby Cassady, BSc (Hons) Architecture and MArch Architecture Salford graduate
Part three - qualifying exam