The Best Universities for Architecture in the UK

Why study Architecture at university?

Architecture is a subject that helps us understand human environments and the built world around us. It is an excellent subject choice for those passionate about sustainability and liveability. Studying Architecture at university will equip you with integrative, analytical and creative skills for shaping places, which are highly valued in urban planning, facilities management and development industries.

For undergraduate studies:

There are two main types of Architecture degrees: those that focus on Architecture as a creative subject, and those that focus on Architecture as a technical subject.

If you are undertaking a university undergraduate degree, you should graduate within three or four years with a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BSc) depending on the avenue you choose.

For postgraduate studies:

If you complete a Masters in Architecture, you will graduate within one or two years of study. Courses may be offered as a Master of Architecture (MArch), Master of Science (MSc) or Master of Art (MA) degrees. The MArch is a professionally acknowledged qualification that allows a student to work towards becoming a registered architect. An MSc has more of a research and technology focus, whilst an MA has more of a focus on art and generally specialises in honing design skills.

You can also embark on a three to four-year journey to earn a PhD and become a Doctor of Architecture.

Alternatively, you could earn a Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) validated qualification by studying a RIBA-validated course through RIBA Studio or an apprenticeship. This could be preferred if you are already building professional experience and working in practice.

If you’re interested in studying Architecture at university but need some help meeting the entry requirements, then have no fear. Our dedicated and friendly team at The Profs can match you with expert Architecture tutors.

What career can I use an Architecture degree for?

Architecture is a highly respected degree and can open up a wide range of career opportunities. Architecture graduates are sought after in industries such as architecture, engineering, construction management, and interior design. Some popular career choices for Architecture graduates include:

  • Architect
  • Teacher/Lecturer
  • Urban Planner
  • Designer
  • Project Manager
  • Facilities Manager
  • Real Estate Developer
  • Engineer
  • Interior Designer

What are the most popular Architecture programmes?

Architecture can cover spatial design, structures, history, theory, and sustainability. Within your degree, you might be able to select modules in specific areas that interest you. If you pursue a postgraduate in Architecture, you might be able to select a more specialised degree title. Some of the most popular degree programmes in Architecture include:

  • Urban Design
  • Landscape Architecture
  • History and Theory of Architecture
  • Sustainable Design
  • Structural Systems
  • Construction Management
  • Digital Design and Technologies
  • Building Sciences
  • Conservation and Adaptive Reuse
  • Theory of Design
  • Practice of Architecture

What are the best universities in the UK for Architecture?

There is a wide range of prestigious architecture universities in the UK with impressive academic rankings and excellent Architecture faculties.

Below is a list of the best Architecture universities in the UK; they often perform well in university league tables and have the leading Architecture departments. All of them are also RIBA validated. They have outstanding reputations for research and teaching in architectural design, history, theory, technologies, sustainability and construction management. Their graduates are highly sought after by employers of architects, designers, planners and managers.

If you’re interested in studying Architecture at any of these universities but feel daunted by high entry standards and competitive admissions, contact our supportive admissions counsellors at The Profs.

All that said, make sure that you look beyond league tables. Choose a university suited to you, that makes you happy. Consider location, societies, activities, and learning style to ensure you choose an institution that matches your interests.

Take a look at the highest-ranking UK universities for Architecture:

University of Cambridge

With an outstanding faculty and strong links to leading architectural firms, Cambridge produces some of the best architects. The university offers the opportunity to study historic architecture in detail, given its location in a historic city with grand buildings. Cambridge also provides chances to participate in international field trips to study iconic architecture across the world.

The Architecture course at Cambridge is currently ranked:

The entry requirements for studying Architecture at Cambridge are typically A*AA A levels (equivalent qualifications are also accepted) including an Arts/Science subject. Further information can be found here.

University College London

UCL’s Bartlett School of Architecture is one of the most prestigious schools for Architecture in the UK, with a focus on sustainability and innovative design. Students have access to advanced facilities like the robotics lab and materials workshop. UCL’s location in central London allows for easy access to renowned architecture firms for work experience opportunities.

The Architecture course at UCL is currently ranked:

The entry requirements for studying Architecture at UCL are AAA-AAB A levels (equivalent qualifications are also accepted). Within this, it is preferred that students have an Art and Craft or Design and Technology subject. UCL also requires a strong portfolio of creative work. Further information can be found here.

Bath University

The Bath School of Architecture and Civil Engineering has state-of-the-art buildings and digital workshops for a practice-based architectural education. Strong industry links allow students to gain hands-on experience through placements at top international firms. The beautiful World Heritage City of Bath provides an ideal setting to study Classical Architecture.

The Architecture course at Bath is currently ranked:

The entry requirements for studying Architecture at Bath University are AAA A levels (equivalent qualifications are also accepted), including a creative subject. Bath also requires a portfolio of artwork demonstrating passion for the built environment. Further information can be found here.

University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield is another top choice for students wanting to study Architecture. It has a vibrant student city with striking examples of modern architecture like the Arts Tower and Information Commons. The university emphasises sustainability and community-focused design in its Architecture programme. Sheffield has partnerships with local architecture firms to provide students with placements and networking opportunities.

The Architecture course at Sheffield University is currently ranked:

The entry requirements for studying Architecture at Cambridge are AAA A levels (equivalent qualifications are also accepted), including an Art or Design subject. Applicants are expected to demonstrate an interest in architecture through a personal statement and portfolio of creative work. Further information can be found here.

Cardiff University

Set on an attractive campus, the Welsh School of Architecture celebrates the local language and environment. Students can participate in field trips across Wales to study its unique architectural heritage, from medieval castles to industrial sites. The school has close ties to the Royal Society of Architects in Wales, providing students with a platform to network with practising architects.

The Architecture course at Cardiff University is currently ranked:

The entry requirements for studying Architecture at Cardiff are ABB A levels (equivalent qualifications are also accepted), including a Design or Arts subject. Applicants must submit a portfolio of creative work and have a keen interest in sustainability, placemaking and the Welsh architectural vernacular. Further information can be found here.

Manchester’s School of Architecture

Manchester School of Architecture is housed in a landmark modernist building and focuses on progressive architectural education. Students have the opportunity to get involved in live community projects to gain experience.

The Manchester School of Architecture is a unique collaboration between The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU). Located in a UNESCO City of Literature, it provides an artistic environment for architecture students. Strong links with local practices provide placement and job opportunities.

The Architecture course at Manchester’s School of Architecture is currently ranked:

The entry requirements for studying Architecture at Manchester are AAA A levels (equivalent qualifications are also accepted), including an Art-based subject. Applicants must demonstrate enthusiasm for progressive architecture through a portfolio of work and a well-crafted personal statement relating to live community projects. Further information can be found here.

Edinburgh University

With an emphasis on urban contexts and sustainability, Edinburgh’s Architecture School promotes innovative and socially-conscious design. Students have opportunities to study the city’s renowned Neoclassical and Gothic Architecture. The university provides scholarships for students to participate in international studio programmes in countries like China, New Zealand, and more.

The Architecture course at Edinburgh University is currently ranked:

The entry requirements for studying Architecture at Edinburgh University are A*AA A levels (equivalent qualifications are also accepted), with a required subject in Art, Design, Maths or Architecture. All applicants are expected to submit a portfolio of design work and a 3000-word essay on an architectural topic of their choice. Further information can be found here.

Other excellent universities in the United Kingdom for Architecture include Loughborough University, Nottingham University, Queen’s University Belfast, University of the Arts London (UAL), the University of Nottingham, and the Architectural Association School of Architecture. These also place among the top league tables for Architecture.

How do I get into one of the top UK universities for Architecture?

Getting into one of the top universities for Architecture is competitive, but there are things you can do to improve your chances. Here are some tips:

  • Study hard and achieve high grades in relevant subjects at A level or equivalent e.g. Technology, Science, Design, Mathematics, and/or a creative subject, like Art.
  • Get involved in extracurricular activities related to Architecture, such as community projects, and competitions in Art or Science.
  • Put time and effort into your university application, tasks, and interviews.
  • Consider seeking advice from The Profs.

If you are interested in studying Architecture at one of the top universities in the UK, The Profs are here to help. We offer excellent Architecture tutors, as well as expert guidance on university applications, including personal statement writing and interview preparation. Reach out to our friendly team today!

FAQ

What are the top Architecture schools in the UK?

Some top Architecture schools in the UK include the University of Cambridge, UCL (University College London), and the University of Bath. The rest of the universities mentioned in this article are also high-ranking and prestigious universities for Architecture. More highly ranked universities for Architecture can be found in the Complete University Guide, Times Higher Education and QS World University Rankings.

How much does it cost to study Architecture in the UK?

The tuition fee for an Architecture degree in the UK ranges from around £9,000 to £34,000 per year for undergraduates. UK/EU students pay £9,000. International students pay £15,000-£34,000 at top schools.

Total costs would be higher once living expenses are added, especially for international students.

What qualifications do I need to study Architecture in the UK?

Entry requirements for Architecture degrees in the UK vary by university, but typically require a minimum of three A levels or equivalent, including at least one subject in Art or Design. Some universities may also require a foundation course or specific grades in math and science.

What kind of jobs can I get with an Architecture degree in the UK?

Architecture graduates can pursue careers in various fields, including architecture firms, construction companies, and urban planning agencies. Some job titles include architect, design manager, urban planner, and project manager. See this article’s list of popular careers.

What are the entry requirements for Architecture degrees in the UK?

Entry requirements vary depending on the university and the specific Architecture course. Generally, you will need CCD to AAB grades, with the universities and colleges most commonly asking for BBB.

What is the difference between an Architecture degree and an Architectural Technology degree?

An Architecture degree focuses on the design and planning of buildings and structures, while an Architectural Technology degree focuses on the technical aspects of construction and building materials. Architecture degrees may be more design-focused, while Architectural Technology degrees may be more science and engineering-focused.

Are there any scholarships available for Architecture students in the UK?

​​Yes, there are various scholarships available for Architecture students in the UK, such as the RIBA Part 1 bursary, the RIBA Part 2 bursary, and the Architects Benevolent Society Student Hardship Fund.