How to become an architect
This is part of Student resources
For an introduction into the work of an architect, see Architect.
 GCSE level
Good GCSE subjects to take for those wanting to become an architect should include Maths and English Language. A science or technical subject is also advisable.
Schools of architecture may also accept applicants who have GCSEs (A-C) and a BTEC vocational qualification in a building related subject.
 A levels
Generally, the minimum requirement is two A levels (or equivalent). Some schools may ask for two A level subjects including maths, art or physics, however, it is not always necessary for A levels to be in 'academic' subjects. Design technology is a popular A level choice. Students should contact schools of architecture to find out their exact entry requirements.
When writing a personal statement, students should demonstrate the following:
- Evidence of a strong interest in architecture demonstrated by, but not limited to, extra-curricular activity, research or work experience.
- Evidence of study in addition to core subjects such as additional AS level(s)
- Additional A level(s).
- A relevant Extended Project
The most common route into the architectural profession is through university study which is broken down into:
- Part 1 – Honours degree in architecture.
- 1 year out in practice under the guidance of an architect and monitored and recorded in line with RIBA requirements.
- Part 2 - Masters, Diploma or BArch (depending on individual school) taught in university for 2 to 3 years.
- A further monitored and recorded year in practice.
- Part 3 - the RIBA final exam.
The RIBA Examination in Architecture for Office-based Candidates is an alternative route to qualification for RIBA Part 1 and Part 2 for people working full-time under the supervision of an architect. Applicants must have a minimum of three years’ experience in architectural practice to join the examination at Part 1; or 3 years post-Part 1 experience to join the Part 2 stage (as well as holding Part 1).
NB There is concern that architectural training has become relatively expensive now that universities can charge fees of up to £9,000 a year. Training to become an architect takes at least seven years, with four or five of these at university. Adding in necessary living expenses on top of university fees, it is thought that the total cost of training to become an architect could be as much as £100,000. This may result in architecture becoming the preserve of students whose parents were able to support them through their training. Whilst the number of applications for places at schools of architecture remains high, increasingly this is from students outside the EU, with applications from UK and EU students decreasing.
See Architectural training for more information.
For the types of modules that students study as part of architecture degree courses, see Architecture course essentials.
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