How to become an architect of tomorrow

Architects design and overview the construction of buildings, towns and cities – work that involves both art and science. Everyone needs a good urban environment to live in and stimulating spaces to develop their full potential as human beings. Buildings, towns and cities must be well designed, which means architects need the creativity, training, skills and knowledge to do it.

The architectural profession, one of the oldest in the world, is continuously evolving.

Existing and new trends in architecture – such as sustainable design, the use of cutting-edge technology, conserving and reusing historic buildings and the call for greater collaboration with  professionals from other fields to deliver projects – means qualified and registered architects require additional training and study to move on to their next professional phase in life and become leaders in the field.

Reaching the next level

If you’re keen on becoming an architect, the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, UK, can be the perfect institution to kick-start your journey. Strathclyde’s Department of Architecture is among the oldest and largest in the UK.

Located in the bustling, historic city of Glasgow, the Department of Architecture’s programme is ranked 5th in the UK for Architecture in the Complete University Guide Subject Tables 2019, as well as 8th in subject in The Guardian 2019 league tables. It is also internationally-recognised as one of the most socially active schools of architecture in Europe with “projects rooted in real urban concerns” (DOMUS Europe’s Top Schools 2014).

Students can undergo a five-year journey with Strathclyde’s undergraduate programme, BSc Architectural Studies, followed by the graduate programme.

At undergraduate level, students develop their creative design skills and learn about cultural and environmental issues, construction materials and techniques, architectural history and theory, management and professional practice. Students are also taught to communicate and collaborate in a global studio setting by both academics and professional architects, ensuring they can put theory and research into practice.

The programme is not only validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects and accredited by the Architects Registration Board in UK, but it is also accredited by the Architects Board of Malaysia (LAM). It also presents students with the chance to study abroad. In Year 3 or Year 5 (subject to academic performance), students can choose to study at one of 22 institutions across Europe, Canada, Asia and South America.

The department has the most expansive international exchange programme in the UK, while students who undertake an exchange in Year 3 can convert their degree title to BSc Honours in Architectural Studies with International Study.

Upon graduation, students can move onto the next level by pursuing their graduate studies, such as the  MArch Architectural Design (International) programme, a two-year course validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Part 2. With this programme, students consolidate their architectural design skills and undertake a significant architectural project. Students are also required to take a standpoint on contemporary architectural issues, in addition to attending a taught course in professional studies and a series of guest lectures.

But the study abroad option isn’t limited to undergraduate students; graduates also have the chance to do so, subject to their academic performance.

Career prospects

Many graduates of Strathclyde go on to lead successful, lucrative careers in architecture and construction.

A total 95 percent of Strathclyde’s BSc Architecture graduates find graduate-level jobs and are in further study six months after graduating. Meanwhile, career opportunities for the university’s architecture graduates range from working in large multidisciplinary practices to smaller specialist firms, including gaining employment with some highly-respected names throughout the world, while others have set up their own businesses.

Pavilion Kilcreggan

The department has a growing reputation for developing entrepreneurial graduates who go on to make their mark within the sector. Strathclyde’s graduates have also gone on to work in a range of roles, including project managers.

Architect your future

A testament to the programme’s prowess, students have won many national and international competitions – including the ARCHIPRIX and UrbanPromo. Other awards won by Strathclyde  students include the Architects’ Journal Student Prize and the City of Glasgow Eimear Kelt Medal for Architecture 2018.

Janette Mpagi, a Master’s in Architectural Design (International) student from Uganda, shared that she chose Strathclyde due to its ranking and RIBA-validated programme.

“There are many opportunities for real-world design simulations. Study trips such as the trip to Venice to attend the Biennale 2018 was a great experience,” she said, adding that it was eye-opening in learning how architecture can mitigate community and social issues.

“Studying in Strathclyde has been a thrilling challenge for me. It made me step out of my comfort zone to achieve my dreams. Most (especially international students) should try to do the same and they will be surprised how fast things can change for the better,” said Janette, who plans to start her own architectural firm back in Uganda in the future.

On top of  all this, the Department of Architecture at Strathclyde offers specialist postgraduate taught programmes that are highly valued by students, as Estefania Macchi explains. The Argentinian came to Strathclyde to pursue a MSc in Architectural Design for the Conservation of Built Heritage and won the prestigious IHBC’s Gus Astley Student Award in 2018.

Your journey to success in the field architecture starts here, at the University of Strathclyde.

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