Architecture is a field that plays an important role in shaping our physical surroundings. It encompasses designing, planning, and constructing buildings and structures that meet both aesthetic and functional needs. The UK is known for its world-renowned universities that offer top-notch architecture courses. In this article, we will be highlighting the top architecture universities in the UK.

10. Queen’s University Belfast

A part of the prestigious Russell Group, Queen’s University Belfast is one of the top universities to study Architecture in the UK. Their BSc Architecture programme is ranked 5th and 6th overall in the UK for studying Architecture, according to the Times and Guardian League Tables in 2022, respectively. With a studio culture that fosters personal tuition and a diverse group of academic staff and external tutors, over 80% of students typically graduate with a 1st Class or 2.1 degree. The course is accredited by RIBA, ARB and LAM, ensuring graduates are prepared for professional practice. The university also offers opportunities for global experiences through Erasmus student exchange and IAESTE work placement.

9. Manchester School of Architecture

top universities for architecture uk
Source: Manchester School of Architecture

The Manchester School of Architecture, a collaboration between Manchester Metropolitan University and The University of Manchester, is currently ranked 5th in the world in the QS 2023 Architecture rankings. With over 100 years of combined experience, the school boasts a team of over 100 experts and more than 1000 students from 80+ countries. The school offers a range of undergraduate, postgraduate, and research degrees that are accredited by institutions such as the Architects Registration Board, Royal Institute for British Architects, and The Landscape Institute. You’ll be encouraged to produce challenging and academically rigorous work, where many students have won external prizes and professional institution appraisals.

8. UCL

UCL is one of the top universities in the UK for architecture. It has a dedicated department to architecture, housed in The Bartlett School of Architecture. They offer a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, including BSc Architecture, MArch Architecture, MSc Architectural Computation, and MRes Architecture and Digital Theory.

The Bartlett School of Architecture is also renowned for its research activities, which cover a broad range of topics, including sustainable design, urbanism, digital fabrication, and cultural heritage. The school’s research is widely published and has contributed significantly to the development of new ideas and approaches within the field of architecture. So it’s a great place if you decide to do a PhD too after too!

7. University of Nottingham

top universities for architecture uk
Source: Nottingham University

According to the university website, the majority of students completing a first degree in architecture at Nottingham progress on to architectural assistant positions or similar as their next step. This easily makes it one of the top architecture universities in the UK, where it scores 92% for graduate prospects. Many graduates have gone on to work for top architectural companies like Foster + Partners, BDP, and Hawkins Brown, as well as other industries such as property, design, and marketing. Plus, Nottingham’s design portfolio webpage offers advice on developing portfolios for job applications, and their Making Applications webpage provides information on recruitment processes.

6. Cardiff University

Cardiff University houses The Welsh School of Architecture, a leading institution and one of the top architecture universities in the UK. It offers a range of facilities such as the Architectural Robotics Lab, Digital Fabrication Lab, Living Lab, Hybrid Studio, Workshop, and Exhibition Space, providing students with a variety of resources for their studies. Postgraduate students also have dedicated spaces for study and rest.

Beyond its facilities, Cardiff is pretty popular overall. The uni is consistently ranks in the top 50 globally in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022. Their BSc Architectural Studies, Master of Architecture, and Diploma/MA Professional Studies are approved by RIBA and ARB, which are needed to become a registered architect in the UK. Many students go on to have secured leading positions in the fields they entered following their studies, including architectural practices and academia worldwide.

5. The University of Edinburgh

University of Edinburgh
Source: The University of Edinburgh

The Edinburgh School of Architecture & Landscape Architecture (ESALA) has undergraduate and postgraduate courses available. They teach students how to design buildings, acquire skills of observation, analysis, creative thinking, and design, and apply their knowledge to build environments of the present and future.

ESALA also exposes students to other disciplines, such as engineering, construction, urban planning, environmental science, sociology, and history, which are associated with architecture. The degree programs include Architecture (MA Hons) and Architecture (BA), both accredited by RIBA. Within these, you’ll be exposed to different sub-disciplines of architectural design. These include technology and environment, architectural history, professional studies, and skills in architectural communication. The courses also offer electives from various disciplines such as history of art, drawing and painting, visual communication, sculpture, digital media, modern languages, sociology, engineering and construction management. So beyond being one of the top universities for architecture, it’s also one of the most diverse and broad in terms of modules.

4. Loughborough University

Loughborough University’s undergraduate Architecture course is designed to provide hands-on experiences. It exemplifies the uni’s ‘theory and practice’ culture, providing opportunities to study with allied courses in the School and wider University. On the course, you’ll be able to take advantage of the teacher’s expertise, learning across disciplines like construction, engineering, and building energy. The Architecture degree is studio-based and supported by a team of dedicated architectural practitioners. It exempts students from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Part I exam. Instead you may be able to transfer to the extended March programme upon completion to become a Chartered Architect. The University also hosts an annual End of Year Show to showcase student work to potential employers. Overall, the course design, teaching expertise and prospects make Loughborough one of the top UK universities to study architecture.

3. University of Sheffield

architecture The University of Sheffield
Source: The University of Sheffield

You can choose from four undergraduate architecture courses at the University of Sheffield. Each one is fully accredited by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). These include Architecture, Architecture and Structural Engineering, Architecture and Landscape. The fourth one is Architecture and Structural Engineering with a placement, giving you the option of getting valuable experience.

The Sheffield School of Architecture is situated in the Arts Tower and teaching mainly takes place there. You’ll also have access to a range of other facilities. These include the materials workshop, a computer lab and a suite of professional BIM, CAD and design software. You can also access the Media Unit, which is equipped with a photography studio and mixed reality imaging suite.

2. University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge is world-famous for its rivalry with Oxford University. But Oxford doesn’t feature on our list of the top architecture universities in the UK. And Cambridge is actually second-best.

The Department of Architecture at Cambridge University offers two degree programs: Architecture and Design. The Architecture program aims to produce exceptional architects through an education that fosters creativity, curiosity and a strong intellectual grounding. The Design program combines architecture, engineering and materials science. Furthermore, the Department has a good staff-to-student ratio, which no doubt explains their great scores across quality and satisfaction.

If you want to continue becoming a Chartered Architect, you can do so at Cambridge. The Department offers two routes to professional accreditation (ARB/RIBA Parts 2 and 3): a full-time, two-year Master of Architecture (MArch) course or a part-time, four-year MSt Apprenticeship. Graduates enter professional training or take up research in areas such as architecture history and philosophy, and more. By graduating at Cambridge, you’ll no doubt have a world of opportunities and a great career!

1. University of Bath

top universities architecture uk
Photo by Zac Farmer on Unsplash

The University of Bath is the best architecture university in the UK. It scores highly across graduate prospects, entry requirements, student satisfaction and more. It claims to be unique in providing students with work experience opportunities while on the course. Therefore, you’ll learn both practical and theoretical skills from the course, and hopefully be able to network.

It’s hardly a surprise the University of Bath lands top spot. After all, the city is like the UK’s answer to Rome (as much as can be anyway). Walking around the city you’ll find ruins and historical buildings, which makes it a great place to study architecture.

Studying architecture in the UK offers a world-class education and access to cutting-edge facilities and resources. Each of the top UK universities listed above offers an outstanding architecture courses. They aim to prepare students for a successful career in the field, and offer varied routes. If you want more info about unis, here the ones with best reputation.