Architecture Colleges in UK

Architecture courses in the UK are the perfect amalgamation of classical, technological, and modern design. In the UK, students are exposed to iconic architectural styles like Tudor, Elizabethan, English Baroque, Queen Anne Style, and Palladian at the world’s most celebrated universities. The world’s best architecture colleges are in the UK. From studying the UK’s ornate classical architecture to building modern designs with world-class firms, possibilities are endless. 

Also Read: Green Universities in the UK

Architecture Courses in the UK

The UK offers a range of architecture courses for international students. Students can study architecture at different levels of education qualification like bachelors, masters, diploma and even short-term courses. Research is a strong part of studying architecture apart from designing. 

A strong research element of the architecture colleges in the UK makes this country a magnet for architecture students. It takes 7 years for a student to qualify as an architect in the UK. 5 years of study and 2 years of work training from the architecture colleges in the UK will help you become the finest architect. Although this may seem time-consuming, the rewards post-study in architecture colleges in the UK will benefit you for a long time. 

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What is RIBA?

Young architects register with the Royal Institute of British Architecture to qualify as an architect. You have to complete 3 parts along with your studies. 

  • Part 1– You can register as a student member of RIBA. Part 1 can be accomplished along with your bachelor’s degree. The duration is 3 to 4 years full-time to complete the course. It allows you to understand the basics of architecture as a bachelor’s student. 
  • Part 2– To qualify for Part 2, stage 1 practical experience at a workplace for 1 year is required. Part 2 can be accomplished along with your master’s degree. You gain enhanced architectural knowledge and project complexity. 
  • Part 3–  You require 24 months of work experience (stage 2) to register as an associate member of RIBA to qualify for Part 3. Part 3 is the advanced diploma in professional practice. 

If you are pursuing architecture from RIBA validated architecture colleges in the UK, you are allowed to study part-time along with working to complete all 3 parts of RIBA. In case you want to pursue only a master’s in architecture from the UK, you are still eligible to apply for Part 2. Once you earn the recognition of part 3, you can register as an architect in the UK. 

Also read: Career in Sustainable Architecture 

Eligibility Requirements

Whether you are eligible for admission to architecture colleges in the UK or not depends upon the type of degree or diploma you choose. To study architecture in the UK, just class 12 or graduation grade is not enough. Every architecture college in the UK has typical qualifications which vary from university to university. However, minimum requirements to be eligible for application are:

  • Minimum 95% in English language, mathematics and relevant fields
  • High/Secondary school transcripts (mark sheet, school leaving certificate, etc)
  • Proof of financial support
  • Statement of purpose 
  • Proof of English proficiency (IELTS or TOEFL)
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Resume (for skills and additional qualifications)
  • Exams like GMAT, GRE, etc

If a university accepts you, only then you are eligible to apply for the RIBA student membership.

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Application Process

The application process for architecture colleges in the UK is lengthy. From essential documents to a digital portfolio, it is advised to apply at least 6 months before the semester starts. Steps involved to apply for architecture colleges in the UK are:-

  • Choose your choice of college and read what are the special eligibility requirements for Indian students.  
  • Compile a digital portfolio of your work to be attached to the online application. 
  • Attach your essential documents mentioned in the minimum requirements to the online application.
  • Submit your online application and wait for 3 to 4 weeks for any response. 
  • If accepted, you will have to apply for a student visa. If you aim at completing a bachelor’s as well as a master’s degree in architecture from the UK, then you will have to renew your Tier 4 visa at graduation. 
  • Book your air tickets on the date mentioned on your visa only to avoid being sent back. 

Also Read: Best Architecture Masters in Europe

Top Colleges for Architecture in the UK

Two of the top ten colleges for architecture in the world are in the UK. This makes studying architecture in the UK a hotspot for international students. Let’s have a look at other architecture colleges in the UK and their latest rankings:-

Architecture colleges in the UK Qs UK University Ranking Architecture (2021) Qs World University Ranking Architecture (2021)
University College London 1 2
University of Cambridge 2 9
Manchester School of Architecture 3 11
University of Sheffield 4 27
Cardiff University 5 51-100
Loughborough University 6 51-100
Newcastle University 7 51-100
Oxford Brookes University 8 51-100
University of Bath 9 51-100
University of Edinburgh 10 51-100

Know the Best Architecture Colleges in the World!

University College London

University College London is ranked 2nd best globally and the best in the UK amongst the top architecture colleges. It offers the students a chance of blending creativity with historical techniques.UCL offers 6 bachelor’s degrees in architecture, urban planning, design, and real estate for international students. One of the top architecture colleges in the UK, UCL requires Indian students to complete one year of bachelor’s degree in any recognized Indian university. It has provisions for a master’s in architecture and urban planning for 2 years. UCL is a RIBA validated university so you do not have to pay RIBA fee additionally. 

University of Cambridge

One of the toughest architecture colleges in the UK, the University of Cambridge has an acceptance rate of only 20% for undergraduate degrees. 

Indian students, along with their Class 12th percentage, have to qualify in any one of the following categories to apply for BA (Hons) in Architecture:- 

  • IIT-JEE (Advanced) rank of less than 2000 in Chemical Engineering, Engineering, Natural Sciences (physical).
  • Advanced Placement Tests grade of 5 in 5 or more AP tests

Cambridge offers 6 postgraduate courses to graduates of architecture. You require a UK high honors degree or equivalent to apply for the postgraduate courses. Most of the notable alumni of the department of architecture have gone on to create their own studios after postgraduation.

Manchester School of Architecture

Manchester School of Architecture is a collaboration between Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Manchester. It is highly reputed amongst the top architecture colleges in the UK. 

MSA’s Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) is one of its kind and a popular choice of degree. The school has large studios making it easier for students to design and curate large projects. It is a RIBA validated school, allowing its architect students to explore work-life during studies.

University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield is ranked 4th in the top architecture colleges in the UK. What makes the department of architecture at this university different from others is the Pathway Program for international students. 

In case you aren’t eligible to apply for this course due to some qualifications, you can study an extra year in the International Foundation in business, social science and humanities to develop the needed skills. After which you can progress into degree study.

Cardiff University

YouTube: Cardiff University

Cardiff University’s school of architecture is very unique compared to the rest of the architecture colleges in the UK. They offer a combined B.Sc/M.Arch program for 5 years. In the 4th year, you automatically progress into master with your architectural practice. 

One-to-one tutorials are provided along with lectures by the faculty. For projects in the first 2 years, a school-funded study visit is planned for all students in the UK or abroad. The tuition fee for this unique program of 5 years is Rs. 21,00,000 per year. 

Cost of Studying Architecture in the UK

You have a choice to either study for 5 years (bachelor’s and master’s)  or only 2 years (master’s) in architecture colleges in the UK. The entire cost will therefore depend upon your tuition fee per year. 

The cost of studying 5 years of architecture in the UK is as follows:-

Category Average Cost (INR)
Tuition fee (Bachelor’s degree for 3 years) 20-25 lakhs per year
Tuition fee (Master’s degree for 2 years) 25-33 lakhs per year
RIBA associate membership (part 2 onwards) 6,000 per year
RIBA chartered membership (after part 3) 30,000 per year
Accommodation 55,000 per month
Food and groceries 20,000 per month
Learning resources (software, books, etc) 1,00,000 per year 
Utility (internet, maintenance,etch)  5,000 per month
Travel 9,000 per month

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Career Scope

According to the reports provided by Indeed, an architect who studies in the top colleges in the UK can earn up to Rs.42 lakhs per year. The beginning salary can also be this high because of the work experience gained during 7 years of study to become an architect. The average salary figure is also dependent on whether you are registered as a member at RIBA. 


Top companies like Accenture pay Rs.80 lakh per year to their architects. You can also work in independent studios, even set up your own architecture firm or do freelancing.  

Job Profiles

If you have graduated as an architect from the colleges in the UK, you can apply for the following job roles:

  • Architectural Designer
  • Architectural Technician
  • Landscape Architect
  • Software Architect
  • Building Architect
  • Project Architect
  • Urban Designer
  • Research Officer

Also Read: Civil Engineering vs Architecture

These architecture colleges in the UK are perfect for those who wish to practice the art in the country. Book a free session with our Leverage Edu experts today to plan your career as an architect!