Educating Tomorrow’s Masters

Part two of the series presents a selection of today’s top Architecture Schools.

Similarly to interior design, architecture is witnessing a resurgence in popularity. Despite falling to a 5 year low in 2012, the number of applications have risen to almost pre 2009 levels. Helped no less by fame gained by leading figures such as Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry, the timings seem intrinsically tied to the perceived well-being of London’s property market. With over 200 skyscrapers currently underway in our capital there are many opportunities awaiting students looking to forge a career as an architect.

So Which One is the Right Choice?

Although the basic principles taught at each university are broadly similar, many of the top schools have distinct approaches to how these are applied. For instance, the Cambridge School of Architecture offers a  comparatively more traditional approach to the Architectural Association, with the latter renowned for a more conceptual methodology. Understanding the differences between each school will help you make the best decision for your career.

We’ve put together a list of our top 3 UK universities, so you can work out where best to start your career:

1. The Conceptual Architect: Architectural Association School of Architecture (AA)

Offering twelve postgraduate courses alongside the highly regarded undergraduate school, the Architectural Association School of Architecture provides students with one of the most diversified learning environments available anywhere in the world.

Based in Bloomsbury, London; the school is set within a historic row of Georgian townhouses. It is unique in being the only remaining private architecture school in the UK. Due to this, the AA does not feature in many of the national rankings. The highly regarded faculty are renowned for their experimentalist and conceptual approach. Producing some of the finest architects in the world today, the AA continue to redefine the limits of architecture.

NB: It is common industry knowledge that many of the leading architecture firms have expressed a preference for the graduates of this school.

Featured Courses:

  • Architecture & Urbanism (DRL) MArch
  • Conservation of Historic Buildings Graduate Diploma
  • Design & Make MArch (MSc/MArch)
  • Emergent Technologies & Design MSc/MArch
  • History & Critical Thinking MA
  • Housing & Urbanism MA/MArch
  • Landscape Urbanism MA (MSc/MArch)
  • Spacial Performance & Design Postgrad Diploma (MA/MFA)
  • Architecture & Urban Design Taught MPhil
  • Sustainable Environmental Design MSc/MArch
  • PhD/MPhil programme

Notable Alumni: Rem Koolhas, Zaha Hadid, Richard Rogers, Nicholas Grimshaw & Daniel Liebskind


Contact Details:

  • Address: 36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ES
  • Phone No: 020 7887 4000
  • Undergraduate Enquiries:
  • Graduate Enquires:


2. The Academic Architect: Cambridge School of Architecture:

Founded in 1912, the Department of Architecture at the University of Cambridge is considered to be one of the best architecture schools in the UK. Recently placed #1 in the UK in the Guardian’s 2015 ratings table (knocking the Bartlett School down to 2nd after 3 years at the top).

The faculty’s unashamedly academic approach to architecture is best demonstrated in the school’s Bachelor of Arts and Masters programmes. Here students are expected to master the technical subjects but also acquire a deep understanding of the theoretical, historical and cultural context of architecture.

Additionally students have the unique benefit of working alongside the research arm of the Department of Architecture (the Martin Centre), enhancing their already close-knit creative and intellectual community. The Martin Centre is one of the leading architectural research units in Britain, with over four decades of successful global research for government and industry.

NB: Taking an active approach to providing new sustainable solutions to the building profession, the department has recently added the program Master of Philosophy in Engineering for Sustainable Development. Similarly, a part-time Masters in Interdisciplinary Design, built especially for architects, was introduced.

Featured Courses:


  • BA Degree – ARB/RIBA Pt1 
  • MPhil Degree in Architecture and Urban Design (MAUD) – ARB/ RIBA Pt2 
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Practice in Architecture – ARB/ RIBA Pt3 

Research Degrees:

  • MPhil in Architecture
  • MPhil in Architecture & Urban Studies (MAUS) 
  • PhD in Architecture
  • MSt in Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment – (part-time)   
  • MSt in Building History – (part-time)

Notable Alumni: Edward Cullinan, Spencer De Gray, Patrick Lynch, Richard MacConnal, Sunand Prasad


Contact Details:

  • Address: 1-5 Scroope Terrace, Cambridge, CB2 1PX
  • Phone No: 01223 332950
  • Admissions Enquiries:


3. The Global Architect: The Bartlett School, UCL:

Located in London and part of the esteemed UCL campus, the school’s vast range of programmes aim to develop students into professional architects with specialisms including advanced architectural design. With a strong global approach, the Bartlett seeks to set international agendas for what architecture is and what it could be. 

They are described by IBID as ‘world-leading faculty for multidisciplinary education and research for the built environment.’ The Director of the Bartlett School of Architecture, Professor Iain Borden, says: “This is a school where people constantly design, invent, explore, write, draw, teach, speculate, theorise, map, film, critique, analyse and imagine.

With its wide reaching influence and partnerships with architectural, charity, design, educational and governmental organisations, extensive studios and other impressive facilities, the Bartlett School of Architecture is clearly a leading choice for those serious about pursuing a career in architecture.

 NB: With around 800 students, 40% of whom represent more than 45 nations, The Bartlett School also has more than 220 staff also diverse in their backgrounds.

Featured Courses:


  • BSc Architecture (ARB/RIBA Pt 1)
  • BSc Architectural & Interdisciplinary Studies


  • MArch Architecture (ARB/RIBA Pt 2)
    B-Pro: MArch Architectural Design
  • B-Pro: MArch Urban Design
  • MA Architectural History
  • MA Architecture and Historic Urban Environments
    MRes Architecture and Digital Theory
    Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Architectural Research
    MSc/MRes Adaptive Architecture and Computation
  • MSc/MRes Spatial Design: Architecture and Cities


  • MPhil/PhD Architectural Design
  • MPhil/PhD Architectural History & Theory
  • MPhil/PhD Architectural Space and Computation

Notable Alumni: Basil Spence, Hubert De Cronin Hastings, Julian De Smedt, Pernilla Ohrstedt.


Contact Details:

  • Address: 140 Hampstead Road, London NW1 2BX.
  • Phone No: 0207 3108 9646
  • Email:

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