Ways to get into architecture (or similar) without an architectural degree? (UK)


Are there ways to get into architecture (or similar) without having an architectural degree? I live in the UK.

I have a degree in industrial design; I've worked as an architectural visualiser and, as my father is a property developer, I've been around architecture and drawings most of my life. I'd love to practice architecture; maybe get an internship in a studio. But will I be able to get in, or work my way up to becoming an architect? Or maybe there are very similar positions that would suit me? - My passion is in the form and user experience of spaces, and not in the technical aspects.

Mar 18, 14 10:54 am


Mar 21, 14 6:40 am

The architectural degree isnt very important you will get on a diploma course with another similar degree if you can show some aptitude to architecture especially if you can show some work experience in the field as well. The diploma is important though as is the final professional exam.

Non Sequitur

I'd love to fly commercial jets. I think I'd be very good at it but I am much more interested in carrying those cool matching suitcases on wheels and making small talk with the stewardess than learning all the technical stuff. How can I be a successful pilot without having to put in the required time and effort?

JamesA, pretty much anywhere useful requires a formal education and minimum experience hours to apply for license. Although not particularly difficult, this takes discipline and time, not just passion or blind ambition. Unless you're willing to move to a section of the world were they do not have legal rules for who can or cannot practice architecture, than you have little options. Architecture is a blend of user experience and technical skill and one cannot just ignore the hard stuff. No studio would hire someone who can only "visualize" projects, whatever that means. You have to be able to put together the walls and roofs over your ideas as well. It would be best to find a graduate program in your area that does not require a bachelors in architecture. Once you complete your Masters, you would then be eligible to start the intern programs and work your way to a license/stamp. Your thesis could easily be on the experience of spaces rather than construction... it's a rather popular and simple direction.

Mar 21, 14 8:27 am

Graduate program without a bachelors in Architecture does not exist in the UK. You have to take all 3 parts to be an architect. You could study MArch in the US and then go through the process here to have it recognized as equivalent to part 1 and 2.

or do interior architecture/experience design... But they will have their technical aspects too.

Sounds like you just want to draw cool looking spaces and have someone else work out how to make them reality.

As an industrial designer, surely you know that design is as much about how it works ie: the technical aspects, as about how it looks.

Mar 21, 14 4:57 pm

My comment on the technical aspect has been misinterpreted. It was a guide to help if recommending another field.

I'm not in the position to consider a BA and a MArch. I'll look into the US MArch, and I'll take a look at experience design. Open to more suggestions/experiences.

Mar 21, 14 5:48 pm

Unfortunately  there are no shortcuts.  Believe me, I took the long road to becoming licensed.  But , in the USA there really is only one way to do it     Accredited college degree (Barch or March)  3 year min. documented Internship (cant complete unless degree is completed) and state exam.   Length of time to complete this process varies.  So in order  to become licensed this is the traditional route.  There are other ways, but there are complications that you can read about here and in other forums.  There is no simpler way than the traditional route   

Mar 22, 14 12:33 pm

You could always do a 1 year MArch [say the bartlett].  The world is changing quickly - EU is forcing the UK to try to go to a 4 year fully licensed model - after a year at the Bartlett - see where you go - 

For Part 1-2 programmes, UK schools will accept non-part 1 students onto a part 2 but presently ARB will only allow students with Arch degrees to sit for Part 1/part 2 equiv.

Mar 22, 14 8:09 pm

I work as an architect without having an architectural qualification but obviously I can not call myself an architect. I do have a degree in engineering. You probably already know much more than most qualified architects as the majority of qualified architects don't actually know much about building and seem to blunder their way through most projects. There are of course many exceptions but the level of knowledge in the architectural community is pretty low as a general rule. I hear hundreds of complaints about architects. Most qualified architects are nowhere near as well qualified to design buildings as pilots are to fly planes. (I found that comment highly amusing).

The UK law does not say you need to be an architect to design buildings. I would start by designing simple projects and work your way up. Just call yourself a building designer rather than an architect.

Sep 19, 17 4:34 am

What an honour, the one and only Art Vandelay here on archinect!!! Really loved your Guggenheim extension and all those railroads you've built <3 <3


Hmm not sure most architects 'blunder their way through projects' but rather they come out will loads of good ideas that are instantly quashed by the dull reality of making a living is a very commercial greedy world and not having the belief of their skills. And meanwhile engineers are often just bitter that they cant get paid the same and have to do all the rubbish stuff.


Thomas Heatherwick, Frei Otto, Ted Happold and Peter Rice gave more to architecture than most who call themselves proper 'Architects' in the UK.

Sep 19, 17 3:28 pm

True, but I somehow don't think trevorcharlesmorgan fits in that same category though :)


Technically you don't have to get a degree, you just need to pass the 3 parts and they don't require a degree.

I know folks who have made a portfolio, paid the admission fee to part1/2 examination and passed.

Sep 21, 17 6:17 am

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