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Best Architecture Colleges in the UK

Best Architecture Colleges in the UK
Alpina ChariSep 1, 2023

Best Architecture Colleges in the UK

If you are inspired by architecture, building, and planning then a degree in architecture would be your best choice.  Due to its rich architectural heritage, renowned universities, and thriving industry, the UK is one of the best countries to study architecture. There are over 46 architecture colleges in the country to choose from. A few of the best architecture colleges in the UK are the University of Cambridge, the University of Leeds, the University of Edinburgh, and the University College London. Architecture universities in the UK offer courses at undergraduate, postgraduate, and integrated levels. Most of these courses are accredited by RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects), an organization involved in promoting and facilitating the field of architecture in the country. The profession of architecture is regulated and thus, students need to complete at least 7 years of study which includes 

  • A degree recognized by the Architects Registration Board (ARB)
  • A year of practical experience
  • Further 2 years of postgraduate degree like MArch
  • A year of practical experience
  • Final qualifying examination

Upon qualifying for the final exam, students must register with ARB to become a member to start practicing as an architect. Let us delve deeper into some of the best architecture colleges in the UK and the programs they offer. 

Highlights: Best Architecture Colleges in the UK

Number of architecture colleges in the UK  46
Courses offered  Undergraduate, postgraduate, and integrated (bachelor’s + master’s)
Duration  3-4 years (undergraduate), 2 years (graduate), and 4-5 years (integrated)
Annual tuition fees  £30,000 

Why Choose to Pursue Architecture Studies in the UK?

Top-notch Education and Global Acknowledgment: The UK boasts some of the world’s most prestigious universities, such as the University of Cambridge, University of Edinburgh, University College London, etc., assuring you of a top-tier education. A degree from a UK university carries significant international prestige augmenting your career prospects both nationally and internationally.

Comprehensive Curriculum: Architecture programs in the UK offer an all-encompassing and varied curriculum spanning numerous facets of the field, from theoretical principles to hands-on applications.  

Access to Research: Enrolling in a UK institution grants you access to cutting-edge research amenities, laboratories, and prospects to collaborate on pioneering projects.

Strong Industry Connections: Numerous UK universities maintain robust connections with architecture and engineering enterprises, often resulting in opportunities for internships, work placements, and networking affairs. Gaining industry exposure while studying can significantly amplify your employability.

Cultural Diversity: Studying in the UK provides a culturally diverse environment. Interaction with students from various origins and traditions expands your horizons and enriches your personal encounters.

Condensed Duration: Many UK undergraduate programs typically span three years instead of four years in other countries. This can translate to savings in terms of time, tuition, and living costs.

Scholarships: UK universities offer a range of scholarships and financial aid for international students to help alleviate some of the financial burden associated with overseas education.

Prospects for Employment: The UK offers post-study work visas that permit international students to work within the country for a specific duration upon program completion. This can potentially open doors to long-term employment prospects. Moreover, students can concurrently work and study in the UK

Rankings of Best Architecture Colleges in the UK

University Name  Guardian Ranking 2023 (Architecture)
University of Cambridge 1
University of Leeds 2
University of Edinburgh 3
University College London 4
University of Sheffield 5
Cardiff University 6
University of the West of England Bristol 7
Queen’s University Belfast 8
University of Liverpool 9
Oxford Brookes University 10
Kingston University 11
University of Plymouth 12
University of Bath  13
Cardiff Metropolitan University 14
University for the Creative Arts 15
University of Nottingham 16
Coventry University 17
University of Strathclyde 18
Solent University 19
Manchester School of Architecture 20

Best Architecture Colleges in the UK

University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge, located in England, is one of the world’s most prestigious and renowned educational institutions. It was established in 1209, making it one of the oldest and most historic universities in the world. It has an international student population from over 150 countries offering a diverse student body. The faculties at the University of Cambridge include the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, engineering, medicine, and more. 

This public research university in the UK ranks #1 for its architecture programs (Guardian ranking, 2023). It provides architecture programs through its Department of Architecture, covering both theoretical and practical aspects of the field. The department offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses in architecture. 

Course Name  Duration  Annual Tuition Fees
BA (Hons) Architecture 3 years  £32,064
Master of Architecture (MArch) 2 years  £32,064

University of Leeds

It is a well-regarded public research university in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. It was founded in 1904 and is one of the largest universities in the UK and has tens of thousands of students enrolled in various programs. It has multiple faculties such as Arts, Humanities, and Cultures; Biological Sciences; Engineering and Physical Sciences; Environment; Mathematics and Physical Sciences; Business; Medicine and Health; and Social Sciences. 

The University of Leeds offers architecture-related programs at its School of Civil Engineering. It offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in architecture and architectural engineering which can be pursued as integrated degrees. 

Course Name  Duration  Annual Tuition Fees
Architectural Engineering BEng 3 years  To be confirmed
Architectural Engineering MEng, BEng (Integrated) 4 years  To be confirmed
Architecture MEng, BEng (Integrated) 4 years  To be confirmed

Note: Architecture programs in the UK often fall under the umbrella of civil engineering and related departments. 

University of Edinburgh

One of the most prestigious and historic universities in Scotland, UK, the University of Edinburgh is a research-intensive university. It was founded in 1582 making it one of the oldest and most renowned universities. The college hosts over 40,000 students from diverse backgrounds all over the world. It has multiple faculties, each dedicated to specific areas of study. The College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, the College of Science and Engineering, and the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, etc., are some of its prominent faculties. The architecture programs at the University of Edinburgh are offered through the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA), a part of the Edinburgh College of Art. 

Course Name  Duration  Annual Tuition Fees
BA/MA Architecture 5-6 years [2 + 3 years (BA) or 4 years (MA)] £34,800
MA Landscape Architecture (Integrated) 4 years  £34,800
MA Architectural History and Heritage (Integrated) 4 years  £34,800
MEng Structural Engineering with Architecture (Integrated) 5 years  £34,800

University College London

Located in the heart of London, the University College London (UCL) was founded in 1826. It is a public research university and also the first university institution in London. It has over 42% of its student population from outside the country. The university is a part of the Russell Group institutes known for their academic excellence and research contributions. It has 11 faculties covering a range of academic disciplines, including humanities, social sciences, life sciences, physical sciences, engineering, and more.

The architecture programs at UCL are delivered by the Bartlett School of Architecture, one of the most highly regarded architecture schools in the world.

Course Name  Duration  Annual Tuition Fees
Architecture BSc 3 years  £31,100
Architectural and Interdisciplinary Studies BSc 3 years  £34,400
Architectural and Interdisciplinary Studies with Year Abroad BSc 4 years  £34,400
Architecture MSci (Integrated) 5 years  £31,100
Engineering and Architectural Design MEng (Integrated) 4 years £31,100

Cardiff University

The Cardiff University was founded in 1883 as the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire. It is a prominent and internationally recognized institution in the country known for its diverse student body. It is a member of the Russell Group, which represents 24 leading public research universities in the UK. Its faculties include Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; Biomedical and Life Sciences; Physical Sciences and Engineering; and Medicine, Dentistry, and Healthcare Sciences, etc. The architecture programs are offered by the university’s Welsh School of Architecture. It offers integrated architecture programs approved by the RIBA and ARB. 

Course Name  Duration  Annual Tuition Fees
Architecture (BSc/MArch) 5 years Currently awaiting confirmation 

Admission Requirements to Study at Best Architecture Colleges in the UK

Bachelor’s/Integrated Degree in Architecture

  • High school diploma (International Baccalaureate, Irish Highers, Scottish Highers, or equivalent international qualification)
  • IELTS 6.5 (including 6.0 in reading and writing and no elements below 5.5)
  • Student visa 
  • Valid passport 
  • Statement of purpose 
  • A digital portfolio

Master’s Degree in Architecture

  • A bachelor’s degree in architecture or a related field from an accredited university 
  • IELTS 7.5 (a minimum of 7.0 in each individual component)
  • Student visa 
  • Valid passport 
  • Statement of purpose 
  • A digital portfolio
  • Professional experience 

Career Opportunities

The UK’s architecture sector brings £3.6 billion annually to the country’s economy and provides over 44,000 jobs. The construction industry in the UK is worth £110 a year which also offers plenty of employment opportunities making the UK one of the best countries to gain a vast amount of expertise and experience in the field of architecture. Plus, the UK’s architecture and building professionals network is not just limited to the country but extends globally, opening the door to international careers. A degree in architecture comprises  a creative and design-based career in the following roles

  • Architect
  • Urban designer
  • Building control surveyor
  • CAD technician
  • Interior and spatial designer
  • Town planner
  • Construction manager
  • Landscape architect


The average salary of architects in the UK is £40,856 per year (Indeed). With excellent employment prospects and high-earning potential, the UK is one of the best places to work as an architect. 

To legally use the title “architect” and practice as an architect in the UK, you need to be registered with the ARB. You can apply for registration, only if you have met the required education and experience criteria (completing a bachelor’s degree (3-4 years), followed by a master’s degree in architecture (2 years) and professional experience. 


The UK has over 46 architecture colleges to choose from. Many of these colleges offer courses accredited by RIBA. Plus, they have well-established connections with leading local, national, and international architecture firms, ensuring access to an excellent network of companies for internships and job opportunities. Thus, the UK is one of the best study-abroad destinations for potential architects.

 The UK architecture colleges receive over 24,000 applications on average every year, setting out a high level of completion to get a place. And it is even more competitive to get into the best architecture colleges in the UK. You will have to stand out from the crowd to secure a spot. In this case, you could use help from educational consultants like Gyanberry. We specialize in providing admission assistance to European universities, including the UK. Our platform, Gyanberry is designed to let students apply to multiple universities simultaneously. To know more about our services, get in touch with us by filling out the application form or by booking a free video call

Find Related Blogs


There are over 46 architecture universities in the UK. The best ones are the University of Cambridge, the University of Leeds, the University of Edinburgh, and the University College London.

Architecture colleges in the UK typically offer undergraduate, graduate, and integrated courses (bachelor’s + master’s).

Yes, graduates who wish to start working as architects in the UK must get registered with the ARB. To be eligible for it, you must fulfill education and experience criteria i.e., completing a bachelor’s degree (3-4 years), followed by a master’s degree in architecture (2 years) and 2 years of professional experience. 

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