What A Levels Are Needed For Architecture

Academic Requirements

When it comes to studying architecture, there are a range of qualifications that may be needed to get onto an undergraduate course. Most architecture degrees require a minimum of two A Levels at grades AAB or above. Popular choices among applicants include maths, physics, geography and art & design.
A Levels are important for two reasons; They demonstrate an ability to study a subject to a certain level, and that a student will be able to add value to the course. As well as A Levels, it’s also important to meet any other further education entrance requirements such as AS Levels, BTECs, International Baccalaureate or a combination of all.

Skills and Attributes

The qualifications that you need to become an architect go beyond academics. Architecture is a creative and collaborative profession, yet logic and practicality must also be utilised. Applicants need to show strong written and verbal communication skills, excellent mathematical capabilities, be very organised, have excellent research skills and a passion for the subject. An eye for detail and excellent hand-eye coordination are just some of the factors which are taken into consideration when assessing applications.

Subjects and Competitions

It may also be beneficial to engage with relevant extracurricular activities such as visiting architecture exhibitions and photography. Taking part and doing well in art and design competitions or entering into design competitions such as the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) competition can be beneficial to the applicant’s chances of being accepted onto the course.

Interviews and Portfolios

Most institutions require applicants to attend an interview and to provide a portfolio of their work. The portfolio should demonstrate the applicant’s creative, technical and analytical abilities. Every architecture school has its own requirements for an interview and portfolio, so it is important to research these ahead of time.

The Future

Of course, you can only get a degree if you have the right qualifications, aptitude and skills and many architecture courses will choose their students based on these attributes. For those already on the course, it is important to maintain a diligent approach. To become an architect, you will need to take a Master’s level course, pass any licensing and legal exams, and gain the necessary experience needed to become full professional.

Continued Education

After getting onto the course, postgraduate qualifications can give you an edge. Specializations such as urban design, construction management, or digital fabrication can help to open up a range of opportunities in the industry.
Though A Levels are the main requirement for university entry, those who are accepted might need to take additional qualifications during the course. Continuing education helps to ensure that the practitioner has the necessary knowledge and abilities when it comes to dealing with a wide range of projects.

Recent Research

Recent research from the RIBA has highlighted the need for improved qualifications. Their report ‘Excellence in Architects’ Education’ recommends a number of enhancements to the system, including more flexible and collaborative learning, the integration of new technology, and engaging with industry more closely.
A Levels are the main way that applicants demonstrate their ability to study a specific subject. However, this is not enough by itself; applicants should also demonstrate other skills such as creativity, analytical skills and hand-eye coordination in order to be successful.

Alternative Routes

Studying architecture is not all about academic qualifications. Entry to architecture school may also be gained through an Advanced Level Apprenticeship offered by the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists. This allows students to undertake practical, hands-on projects that develop their skills, knowledge and understanding of the industry without taking traditional academic qualifications.

The Finest Examples

Observing examples of good architecture can be a beneficial activity for those looking to study the subject. Visiting some of the world’s finest examples of architecture such as the Pantheon in Rome, the Taj Mahal in India, the Sydney Opera House in Australia, or the Eiffel Tower in France can be an inspirational source of research.
These visits can help to give you a sense of the scale and complexity of architecture, but also inspire a sense of beauty that can help to apply to your own style and aesthetic. In terms of architecture, first impressions do count and students should keep visiting sites and museums to build a portfolio of inspired works.

Innovative Materials

Finally, students of architecture should keep up to date with innovative materials and technologies so that they can incorporate some of these into their designs. This could mean the use of sustainable materials, such as bamboo or recycled plastic, or researching the possibilities of 3D printing to create complex structural elements.
By understanding the possibilities of modern technology, studying the finest examples of architecture and developing an eye for detail, it is possible to achieve the qualifications and skills needed to study architecture. With a passion for the subject and the right qualifications, this field of work can provide an avenue for a fulfilling career.

Anita Johnson is an award-winning author and editor with over 15 years of experience in the fields of architecture, design, and urbanism. She has contributed articles and reviews to a variety of print and online publications on topics related to culture, art, architecture, and design from the late 19th century to the present day. Johnson's deep interest in these topics has informed both her writing and curatorial practice as she seeks to connect readers to the built environment around them.

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