Is it right to go to the US to study in the UK?


Hello, I am a student who is about to start studying at School of Architecture, UK.

After graduating from a three-year school in the UK, I plan to pursue a master's degree in the US. And my end goal is to get a license. And go back to my country and open a company.

After graduating, I know that 5 of the m.arch1 programs have 2 or 2.5 year programs (some call this Advanced Standing and some call M.Arch 2 or Option2).




UC Berkeley


1) In general, I understand that after graduating from the 4-year architecture department in the US, advanced standing is used to shorten the time to go to college. Is it possible to go on to Advanced Standing after graduating from a three-year architecture school in the UK?

2) I am also considering getting a license in the UK. Where should I get my license in the UK or the US?

Thanks for the reply.

Apr 14, 22 10:43 am
Non Sequitur

License requirements are not universal and will vary between jurisdictions.  Also note that having a license in one place does not mean you get to practice in another.  Start by researching the reqs in the area you want to eventually work long-term and go from there.

As for schools, who cares.  Your list is  literally the same as everyone silly wanker who mistakes the forums as research.  Apply, pick one, pay the stupid tuition, and move on.

Apr 14, 22 10:59 am  · 

you get a license where you can live and work - that means having a visa to stay longer term

Apr 15, 22 2:48 am  · 

Career advice: Don't ask other people to make life decisions for you.

Having said that, where do you plan to live after college? If in the U.S., you may want to consider an NAAB accredited architecture degree and then will need to undergo the other requirements for licensure such as AXP training and passing the ARE exams. 

If you plan to be in the UK, don't waste time and money pursuing an M.Arch degree in the U.S. as you will want to pursue the options that the UK architect licensure process has. Additionally, because UK is geographically closer to you, you will want to consider paths that will enable reciprocity throughout the European Union. 

The profession of architecture is a very old profession that is systemically structured on a more local to regional level by nature. This profession requires being able to go to the project site, meetings with clients, etc. This means there is a effective range in which you can provide such service effectively. While technology may help increase this effective range but this isn't exactly a profession where you can work on projects anywhere in the world without having to consider relocating yourself closer to the region in which you are serving. Sure, architects over their career may move about but at any given time or job position, they are usually working on projects in the region where they are at. This is because there are some things that is part of the job of an architect that requires being their in-person. 

In general, most architects are local/regional scale practitioners. Very few architects are global scale. Those international starchitecture firms, well... they may make a few flights to a location of a project, and work on the concept design but the bulk of the work are done by entire teams of architecture staff that are in a particular region under the banner of the starchitect's name. You think Frank Gehry does all the work on all the projects he does? It's mostly done by the firm staff. The day to day stuff is done by the myriad of 'nameless' faces that do the major work and Frank gets all the credit so his name is used more as a trademark even if Frank's role is rather limited. If you are going to be directly involved on the projects from start to finish, you need to be present and able to serve those clients from start to finish. This means where you are matters and the area you serve (providing professional services) on a regular basis has to be within reasonable distance. You can't expect to by taking air flights on a passenger airliner to your clients all the time. Most architects serve clients within a reasonable DRIVING distance.

Where I serve my clients as a building designer, I am located in an area where my services are in two states within the U.S. such as Oregon and Washington. Now, primary clientele projects are within 50 miles. This doesn't mean that I won't serve a client say... 60 miles away. However, it is not something to expect regular clientele say, 10,000 miles away. 

There is an importance in you researching the process of licensure or whatever you need to do to lawfully practice and provide the services and business activities you wish to make career on. Consider where you will be living. If you plan to practice as an architect in the UK, then look at the licensure process of becoming an Architect in the UK and pursue those paths and probably the architecture schools in the UK or EU because those will likely have a more direct applicability and smoother process for licensing requirements in the UK as they are set up to meet those requirements of the ARB of the UK. While I do believe there is established paths for American architects to get licensed in the UK, it might not always be a simple and straightforward process. Additionally, architecture schools in the UK will likely to be more grounded in the context of the UK/EU regulatory environment. The building codes in the UK/EU are different than the codes in the US. When architecture students are learning about the regulatory environment in the U.S. architecture schools, it is going to be the ICC's published codes collectively known as the I-codes and in practice will involve some state amended version of those codes and other referenced standards. In the UK, for much of the past few decades, the UK has been working from some verson of the Eurocodes. If you plan to practice in the UK and possibly also the EU, you are likely to be better off getting education in the UK or EU than in the U.S. and may be better prepared for dealing with the regulatory environment of the UK and EU. 

Apr 20, 22 2:20 pm  · 

Hey Rick , have you heard of Brexit ?

Apr 20, 22 7:57 pm  · 

Yes, I heard of Brexit but that doesn't mean that there isn't some mechanism still regarding licensing recognitions between UK and EU or that they would be significantly different or even the building codes. UK hasn't replaced the Eurocodes yet and it would take time for a new UK building code not based on Eurocodes to be adopted when so much of the established legal framework and processes are based on the Eurocodes. They haven't replaced it with the I-codes, yet.

Apr 20, 22 8:01 pm  · 

If you are going to be practicing in the UK, you might as well undergo the standard path(s) to licensure via the ARB in UK to become an architect and get the education, there as well. I'm not pursuing licensure in the UK so it is not as important to me to undergo such but the OP indicated in interest in being an architect practicing in the UK.

Apr 20, 22 8:11 pm  · 

Happen to be licensed in multiple countries(US and Japan) so thought I would chime in on the interesting but seldom talked about topic of international licensing. (spoiler: there's no such thing)

First, plot the standard path for licensure where you plan to practice with whatever organization is in charge of licensure. If you are going to deviate from that, be aware that you are opening up a can of worms and gov't officials hate worms.

 Of note, for the US, licenses are issued at the state level and those permit you to practice in that state. I kind of lied when I said I'm "licensed in the US" because actually I'm only licensed in a state of the US. This reflects the unique nature of law in the US which is broken into federal and state components. There is a national board that most, but not all(Alaska?), states defer to for licensing requirements called NCARB, but NCARB does not directly issue your license, you get that from the state board.

Take a look, NCARB only recognizes some foreign licenses as an "education requirement" to start on the general path to meeting NCARB's requirements, not as a valid license to practice in a given state.

If you get an M. Arch here, you are putting yourself on the path to licensure in the US. Your board is ARB and it has the path for the UK. You'll probably have to make the case to the board that your US education fulfills the requirements they have. They may or may not buy it. Figure that out BEFORE you go.

While our answers are hopefully helpful from the perspective of people with experience doing architecty things, we aren't the licensing board.....whenever you decide on a goal and are actually going to execute the plan contact the actual people in charge who will decide your fate (in this case, NCARB and ARB) and work with them directly on a path to what you desire. I assume you are young and probably haven't dealt with "official" people too often. Get used to it, they aren't as scary as you may imagine.

Also, tangential protip: Always make friends with the fire marshall.

Apr 22, 22 12:16 am  · 
1  · 

I'll add more specifically, if you look at US, it is the specific state licensing boards. NCARB itself if not a federal government entity. It is an entity established by the respective licensing bodies within each state and certain federal territories that makes of the member boards that is ultimately in overall oversight of NCARB. NCARB was established to facilitate some standardization such as to have a standardized exam and to establish standardized path to licensing which would make reciprocity easier because without those, reciprocity would be much more complicated issues. 

Ultimately, it would be the specific state licensing boards just as you would need to do so in each licensing board within the European Union (for a european quasi-parallel). The UK's ARB would be akin to California Architect Board within the U.S. The ARB's licensing policy and requirements were established around policies within the European Union and primarily to aid in mobility of architects practicing within the EU. Now, the recent Brexit has complicated some of that in recent years, the licensing structure, the building regulations, etc. were established during their time as part of the EU and there hasn't been much time since Brexit began for there to be any major change. 

If I was going to be practicing in the UK, operating in the UK, I would be looking at the requirements in the UK. HOWEVER, there is currently a recent thing happening at NCARB regarding a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA)with the UK. This is still yet to be voted on at NCARB's Annual meeting in a few months. In addition, the ARB would have to do something likewise in order for the agreement to be ultimately approved. 

However, this MRA doesn't mean you would get immediate approval by a particular state. It might mean you might be able to get your NCARB Certification with more ease than it is now but any state and their board could simply not approve of it within their state board rules or through the statutes. Therefore, it isn't necessarily going to mean you can practice in the UK and the states within the US with a simple reciprocity as if you meet the standard NAAB Accredited degree+AXP (3 full (2080 hours a year) years) and passing the ARE path might allow you where you can just fill out a reciprocity form and reciprocity and voila... licensed (provided you haven't got yourself in trouble somewhere and it causes hold up in the processing). 

Additionally, on the international level, you have this thing called visas and passports and their equivalents that you may have to have to travel between countries and do work. There's that regulatory "red tape" you have to deal with in international practice. It can be a pain in the rear.

Apr 22, 22 2:26 am  · 

What if you fall in love with a US/UK citizen and decide to stay and not go back to your country to open a business.

Love is the death of duty

Apr 22, 22 7:51 pm  · 

You adjust your plans. Life decisions aren't always made at the beginning of a journey and yes, you may change course and therefore, will need to look at what paths or options are available to you and find a path of least resistance to your end goal of your adjusted plan. There is always a way to achieve any goal and how life may adjust plans and goals. Adapt but then when you know you are going to stay in say... the US (for example) and not go back to UK, you know then that you must seek a path to licensure as an architect within the US if you want to be a licensed architect in any particular state(s) of the U.S.

Apr 22, 22 10:28 pm  · 

In the OP's case, it seems like it is premature to make a commitment to licensure path in the U.S. as the OP is in the UK and current goals is to ultimately practice in the UK. So it doesn't sound like a valid reason given to side track to another licensure process that would ultimately result in longer path to licensure in the UK because being licensed in the U.S. does not mean you are automatically going to be recognized and authorized to practice in the UK. Now, the new MRA resolution at NCARB between NCARB and UK's ARB might make it easier but one should wait to see how that unfolds and how it is going to look like when all the policies, rules, etc. are drafted/amended to reflect the MRA (Mutual Recognition Agreement). It is at the moment something to not set plans in stone so to speak.

Apr 22, 22 10:35 pm  · 

Hello marlonseong.
I will be very happy to meet you once you are in the United Kingdom. I am currently living there and I can confirm that the school board is perfectly adapted to each student. You will find everything that will allow you to improve your level and to be a good architect. One of the best advantages of being a student is that you can ask for professional essay writing services with to have more free time. This will be a unique experience for you. I will be very happy to show you the country as well.

Apr 23, 22 1:24 pm  · 

The Information you shared above is great. I have been reading all you shared here. In this you explained everything very well.


Apr 23, 22 2:19 pm  · 

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