Architecture is the art and science of designing and engineering buildings and large structures. It is an architect’s responsibility to design structures fit for use by humans, therefore it also rests on them to ensure buildings are safe and reliable – which is why students face a long period of study before becoming a licensed architect. It usually takes five years of study at bachelor’s and master’s degree level and two years of practical experience to become a fully-fledged architect.
Despite the length, a degree in architecture is both fulfilling and financially rewarding. Those who choose to study it must demonstrate a passion for both the arts and sciences, as it draws on elements of mathematics, engineering, art and the understanding of modern technologies, trends and social issues.
Covering everything from how to draw accurate 3D designs to how a beam works, an architecture degree is taught in a studio for design work, with typical tutorials and art and design critique sessions. Also known as "crits," students present work to tutors and fellow students, and receive feedback from both. Lectures in history, theory, technology and computer-aided design are also a key part of any course. It is truly a multi-disciplinary subject and students will be expected to write theoretical and practical assessment essays, as well as visit sites and buildings throughout the course of study.
From second year onwards, students can focus on their specialised interests, such as architectural technology, engineering, design, history, urban planning, interior architecture and landscape architecture.
Although most graduates will become licensed architects, working for themselves on a self-employed basis or within a partnership or firm, there are many other possible paths. Architecture graduates are a good fit for any job requiring creative and visual proficiencies, technical ability and knowledge of buildings. These might be in graphic design, building surveying, housing policy, conservation work or spatial design.