Look around you, and the chances are that you are surrounded by man-made structures. How those buildings are designed and ultimately constructed is down to one particular human discipline: architecture. As long as there are people there will be structures designed by man, so, if you are looking to study a subject that will never go out of fashion, then architecture could just be the course for you. Here’s what it is all about.
Architecture: What does it involve, and why should I study it?
Architecture is the design of structures. As well as the design aspect, it also involves the practicalities of the construction process and the materials used in the building. Every time we look around us we will see the realization of an architect’s vision, and for as long as there will be buildings, there will be a need for architects.
The means by which buildings are designed may have evolved over the years, but the fundamental objective will always remain the same: to create a building that delivers the purpose for which is required. And there is a creative aspect to the job that is not often found in many roles. “Combining creativity and practicality is the essence of what architecture really is, and is the reason why so many are drawn to a career in this immensely rewarding profession. It is a romantic notion, but also deeply functional,” states Charles Curtis, an urban planner at Paper Fellows and Boom Essays.
If that is not enough to entice you, then there is the prospect of a highly-paid position at the end of your studies—freshly-qualified architects are usually in high demand and the role itself is well remunerated. Then there is the opportunity to work on a real variety of projects, always doing something different and meeting a host of people, often in different locations—the chance to travel is a real enticement of working an architect. Finally, it’s rewarding—a chance to see your vision realized in bricks and mortar…or glass, aluminium etc etc.
What assessments and exams will I have to take?
On the vast majority of architecture courses, assessments involve practical project work which for many students is a fairer reflection on hard work and ability than a final exam. Although the course, and some modules in particular, will involve some exams and essays, coursework is weighted much more heavily than in a lot of other disciplines.
How difficult is the course?
The course is challenging in the variety of disciplines that you will learn: an architect is a multi-faceted professional who has knowledge and ability in a number of fields. However, with hard work and discipline, as well as a passion for what you are doing, a good qualification in architecture can be achieved.
“There is no one perfect person for the role of an architect: creativity is as important as practicality, and usually these are seen to be two different skillsets. This truly is a profession which draws individuals from all walks of life and backgrounds, with imagination the core principle. If you are imaginative, and curious, the chances are you will be a great architect,” says Natalie Pooran, a drafter at Revieweal and OX Essays.
What are the pre-requisites to enter an architecture course?
As well as the aforementioned imagination, common sense and an enthusiasm for the activity are essential. Academically speaking, although high marks are generally required to enter the course, there are also a number of foundation courses which you can complete after school in order to prepare you to be accepted on to a college degree program. Although math is a core subject (including trigonometry and calculus), other subjects such as design and physics can be considered relevant. Check your local college’s entry requirements for a more detailed list of the pre-requisite requirements for students wishing to enroll on an architecture course
What opportunities will I have open to me after the course?
As well as becoming an architect, that are a number of great roles that are open to individuals who have an architectural degree under their belts. Town planners, landscapers, surveyors, set designers and environmental officers all commonly enter their roles from an architectural background, and then there are teaching and lecturing opportunities too.