Seduced by the beauty and splendour of some of the buildings you see around you, and equally offended by the unpleasantness of some of the less attractive ones?
Have you decided that you want to make your own contribution to Britain’s landscape? You want to see clever designs and magnificent structures on your daily rounds, and you are passionate about the role this plays in enhancing people’s lives. In short you want to become an architect.
The route to becoming an architect involves hard work and commitment, but you can expect to be rewarded with an exciting and creative career. Turning ideas into functional, sustainable and beautiful buildings, architects have an opportunity to leave behind a truly unique legacy.
How do you become an architect exactly?
You will need to do an architecture degree. These degrees have a strong industry focus and are a combination of both academic study and practical experience gained in the field. An architecture degree is typically five years full time study. You also need to do at least two years work experience meaning it takes a minimum of seven years to qualify as an architect. The whole process is split up into three parts: part one is a three year full time undergraduate degree. Students studying for their degree have the opportunity to learn about architecture design alongside construction technology, sustainability, material science services and structures.
As well as doing the architecture degree part one also involves 12 months paid experience in an architect’s office. Here the students are monitored by a professional studies advisor from the University and an employment mentor from their practice. Aside from drawing plans and creating designs, architects can also play a supervisory role during the construction process, making the experience that students gain at this stage invaluable.
Part two is a further two years full time degree where you work towards your diploma and part three involves another period of at least 12 months work experience. During the second period of work experience students are given more responsibility under the supervision an architect, as they study for part 3 of the qualification. It is at this stage that architecture degree students do the part 3 exam before becoming a fully qualified architect.
Throughout the seven year period prospective architects will learn about all the aspects of the job and everything it entails. From dealing with planning constraints to understanding clients briefs to computer aided design (CAD) applications, a course in architecture is a comprehensive schooling before embarking on what is a challenging and fulfilling career.