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Study architecture abroad

An in-depth guide to studying architecture as an international student.

Architecture degrees abroad

Architecture is the art of designing and constructing buildings and other structures. It's a popular subject that combines elements of art and science. Although it’s regarded as a vocational subject, studying architecture abroad still opens up a number of great career opportunities.

There are many great architecture programs you can choose to study overseas at all levels including bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate.

Choosing to study abroad can be a great way to experience different architectural styles, and to see first hand how different cultures interact with the architecture around them.

Architecture program structure

Architecture can be a very hands on degree, and most programs will include a lot of practical elements. Design projects make up a large part of many architecture degrees, but the exact content and scope of the curriculum will vary from university to university. Some of the topics and modules you can expect to study include:

  • Design projects
  • Drawing and modeling
  • History of architecture
  • Design technologies
  • Trigonometry and algebra

If you choose to study architecture at postgraduate level, you will build on what you learned during your bachelor’s degree at a more advanced level.

Check the details of the program when you’re applying, because some are more science focused, while others spend more time developing your design skills. Look carefully at the structure of each program you’re interested in and choose the one that best suits your interests.

Coursework and projects often make up the majority of assessments for an architecture degree, but there will also be exams to take, usually in the first couple of years.

Architecture programs will involve traditional lectures, workshops, studio work and field trips. The further you progress, the more time you’ll be expected to spend independently working on projects.

Types of architecture degrees

There are several other subjects you can study that fall under the architecture umbrella. These programs usually focus on a specific area of architecture, and include:

  • Architectural engineering
  • Architectural technology
  • Construction management
  • Environmental design
  • Sustainable construction
  • Building services engineering
  • Landscape architecture
  • Quantity surveying
  • Regional planning
  • Urban administration
  • Urban design
  • Urban development
  • Urban planning

You should consider studying one of these specializations if it covers an area you’re interested in, or offers more direct path into the career you want.

Why study architecture abroad

Architecture is all around us, with examples and inspiration around every corner. Studying abroad gives you the enviable opportunity to see and experience another country’s architecture, perhaps different to what you'd see at home.

You’ll also be able to see how different cultures interact with the architecture around them, and how society and history influenced its style, aesthetic and functionality. This new perspective could broaden your understanding of the subject, and give you an advantage in the field.

Choosing to study architecture abroad also means you’ll expand your choice of programs and universities. This means you can ensure you study a program that matches your interests and ambitions, while experiencing a new country and way of life. You can learn more about the benefits of studying abroad here.

Where to study architecture abroad

There are many options when it comes to studying architecture abroad, so it can be difficult deciding on the right destination for you. Consider these questions to help you make your decision:

  • Do you want to remain in the country to work as a qualified architect?

    Qualifying as an architect can take up to eight years in some countries like the US and China, where as you could qualify in six years if you study in France.

  • Is there an architectural style you want to experience?

    You might want to put cities and countries and cities that feature diverse and exciting architecture at the top of your list.

  • What part of the world do you want to study in?

    Think about things like climate, culture, politics and location when choosing a country to live in. For example, if you want somewhere warm, with a relaxed culture that’s only a short journey home.

For more help on making your decision, read our guide on choosing where to study abroad.

Best countries to study architecture

There are many things to consider when working out which country is the best to study architecture. If you want the best, or most highly ranked programs, the US and UK lead the way.

There are also a number of well respected architecture schools elsewhere in Europe, with Germany, Spain and Italy all ranking highly. Asia is also home to several top architecture programs in China, Singapore and Japan among others.

If you have an interest in modern architecture, Asia boasts some of the most forward thinking new buildings in the world. Spain is also a great location that showcases the old and the new side by side. For classical architecture, Italy and other areas of Europe present an irresistible option.

Best universities to study architecture

When choosing which university to study architecture at, it’s important to first think about what you want the program to cover, before looking at which institutions rank highly.

Architecture programs differ in terms of want they cover, and some universities focus more on certain aspects than others. For example, some may focus more on construction and technical elements, and others may be more concerned with innovation and design. Work out the areas you’re interested in, and find a program that has a curriculum that matches your interests.

Another important factor is what the university offers outside of the classroom. Some offer things like internships and years studying abroad. Also consider what that university offers in terms of campus facilities and lifestyle.

See all universities offering architecture programs

How to study architecture abroad

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Architecture study abroad programs

There are a number of architecture degree options when you study abroad at undergraduate, postgraduate and doctorate levels. These include:

  • BA
  • BSc
  • B.Arch
  • M.Arch
  • MSc
  • PhD

The B.Arch is a bachelor of architecture, and is normally a five year accredited professional program that allows you to qualify as an architect. If you take a three or four year pre-professional BA or BSc degree, you’ll need to study a M.Arch in order to qualify.

In most countries you’ll also need to have at least two or three years of experience in an internship program after you’ve completed a B.Arch or M.Arch before you can qualify with an exam to complete as well.

Architecture undergraduate programs

Bachelor's in architecture

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    Interior Architecture and Environmental Design - BSc Altinbas University, Turkey

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    8,500 USD
    Start date
    February, September
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Interior Architecture and Design - BSc University of Kansas, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    26,960 USD
    Start date
    January, June, August
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Architecture - BArch Louisiana State University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    28,700 USD
    Start date
    January, May, August
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Architecture - BDes University of Central Florida, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    22,478 USD
    Start date
    January, May, August
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Architecture RIBA Part 2 - BA (Hons) University of Dundee, UK

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    17,275 GBP
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about
See all bachelor's degrees in architecture

Certificate in architecture

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    Foundation Studies: Art, Design and Architecture - Cert RMIT University, Australia

    Program type
    Undergraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    25,500 AUD
    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about
See all undergraduate certificates in architecture

Pathway in architecture

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    Architecture (Foundation) - UGP Leeds Beckett University, UK

    Program type
    Undergraduate pathway
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    10,900 GBP
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Architecture, International Year One - UGP University of Brighton, UK

    Program type
    Undergraduate pathway
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    17,100 GBP
    Start date
    January, September, October
    Show program overview about
See all undergraduate pathways in architecture

Architecture graduate programs

Master's in architecture

  • false

    Architecture - MArch Altinbas University, Turkey

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    3,450 USD
    Start date
    February, September
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Architecture - MArch Arizona State University, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    29,168 USD
    Start date
    August
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Architecture - MArch University of Kansas, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    5 years
    Tuition fees per year
    26,960 USD
    Start date
    January, June, August
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Architecture - MArch University College Dublin, Ireland

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    25 EUR
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Design (Architecture & Design) - MSc (Research) RMIT University, Australia

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    34,560 AUD
    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about
See all master's degrees in architecture

Doctorate in architecture

  • false

    Architecture & Design - PhD RMIT University, Australia

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    38,400 AUD
    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Architecture and Urban Environment - PhD University of Tasmania, Australia

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    33,208 AUD
    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Architecture Engineering - PhD Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    9,000 EUR
    Start date
    February, September
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Architecture - PhD University of Portsmouth, UK

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    6 years
    Tuition fees per year
    8,150 GBP
    Start date
    October, February
    Show program overview about
  • false

    Architecture - PhD London South Bank University, UK

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    13,780 GBP
    Start date
    January, February, March, April, May, June, September, October, November, December
    Show program overview about
See all doctorates in architecture

Certificate in architecture

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    Network and Security Architecture - OCGCert Fanshawe College, Canada

    Program type
    Postgraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    16,022 CAD
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about
See all postgraduate certificates in architecture

Entry requirements to study architecture abroad

To be admitted onto an architecture program you’ll need to meet the university’s entry requirements. These will be different based on the country and university you’re applying to, standard requirements include:

  • Completed secondary education with good grades in relevant subjects, for example some insist on mathematics or a science subject
  • A portfolio of work
  • A personal statement that outlines your interest in the architecture
  • Satisfactory English language proficiency test scores
  • Academic references
  • A bachelor’s degree (BA or BSc) in architecture to study at postgraduate level

Look closely at the requirements of the programs you’re interested in to see what you need to provide, and what grades or GPA you need.

The process of application will also differ depending on where you apply to. Some countries use a centralized application service (like UCAS in the UK), and in many other countries you’ll need to apply directly to the university. Here is more on how to study abroad.

Future architecture careers

Architecture has a has a strong vocational link, with many students going into the subject to become an architect. However, there are a number of other fields and career paths an architecture degree can open up, including:

  • Building conservation
  • Building technology and management
  • Town planning
  • Interior design
  • Civil engineering
  • Structural engineering
  • Production design
  • Construction
  • Planning and development
  • Property and estate management

Think about what career you want before you start applying for programs. Your chosen career may influence what type of degree you need to choose, for example, to become a qualified architect, you need to study a B.Arch, or a BA and an M.Arch, which can take between five and seven years.