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Figuring out what A-Levels to take for Architecture can be hard. There are so many subjects to choose from, and you want to ensure you’re taking the right ones. It’s hard enough deciding what A-Levels to take, let alone worrying about whether or not they’ll be good enough for a career in Architecture.

Our Immerse Architecture summer course students have a well-informed plan for further education and future goals because they’ve received 1:1 individualised coaching from expert Architecture tutors.

That’s why we know what you need. So we’ve created this guide to help make things easier for you. In it, we’ve outlined the best A-Levels for aspiring architects and provided information on what universities are looking for in potential students.

What Is Architecture?

Architecture is the art and science of designing and creating buildings and other structures. Architects use their knowledge of mathematics, engineering, and design to ensure that buildings have:

  1. structural integrity
  2. spatial functionality
  3. pleasing aesthetics 

The goal is to make a structure both useful and beautiful.

What are some of the factors architects consider when designing buildings? Space, volume, light, shadow, texture, and materials. They must combine these elements and ensure they align with cost, construction, and building codes.   

Architects can build and design anywhere from a macro level structure involving town planning and urban design to a micro level construction of houses and offices.

Why Study Architecture?

Because according to The Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) “What Do Graduates Do” survey, 88.9% of Architecture graduates were employed or enrolled in further study within 15 months after graduation. Taking an Architecture degree will open doors to various career options. And if you choose to pursue Architecture as a career, the average annual salary of Architects in the UK is £48,547 yearly.

Architecture is everywhere! You experience it when you stay home, go to school or the office, and visit the supermarket. Any man-made building has architectural elements in it.

Do you know that architecture is a powerful medium that affects a person’s mood and productivity? This, in turn, affects the way people relate to each other. 

As a result, good architecture can foster healthy communities and neighbourhoods and even decrease crime! While poor architecture does the exact opposite.

Notice how the beautiful buildings and surroundings of historical Cambridge and Oxford buildings inspire students to study history, philosophy, and the arts and sciences. There is power in architecture, and if you’re particularly attuned to the functionality and aesthetics of space, why not study architecture?

What A-Levels to Take for Architecture

To determine the Best A-Levels to take for Architecture, let’s examine the Top UK universities for Architecture and what A-Levels they require. 

  • University College London – AAB no specific subjects. At least two A-Levels should include any from UCL’s preferred subject list. It’s a long list, including subjects such as Ancient History, Art and Design, Biology, Chemistry, and Film Studies. 
  • University of Cambridge -A*AA, no specific subjects required by all Cambridge Colleges. However, some colleges require Physics or Mathematics and an essay-based subject.
  • Manchester School of Architecture – AAA, with a preferred mixture of science/maths, humanities and arts subjects. You won’t be considered if all of your A-levels are arts subjects.
  • The University of Sheffield – no specific A-Level subjects. It’s recommended to choose from a wide range of subjects. Choosing subjects too similar to each other should be avoided. 
  • Cardiff University – AAA-AAB, with a combination of subjects. 

Best A-Levels for Architecture

Based on the A-level requirements for Architecture from the top architecture universities in the UK, it’s best to take a wide range of A-Level combinations. Choosing a combination of science/maths, essay-based subjects, and arts is a frequent combination. 

With this in mind, it’s useful for you to be aware of “Facilitating Subjects”. 

And, what are facilitating subjects? 

They are A-Level subjects most universities require to apply for a wide variety of degree courses. Having at least one of these will help you keep your options open. Facilitating subjects include:

  • Maths and further maths
  • Physics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • English Literature
  • History
  • Modern languages
  • Classical languages
  • Geography

Is there an A-Level Architecture?

No, there isn’t an official A-Level Architecture like there is for Maths or Physics. To help you prepare for university-level Architecture, taking a wide combination of A-Level subjects is highly recommended. You can’t go wrong with science/maths, arts, and an essay-based subject combo!

Immerse Education offers an Architecture summer school programme for aspiring young architects who want to gain valuable insight on whether to pursue Architecture in higher education. 

You can choose from two options: a residential summer programme available at the University of Cambridge and an Online Course so you can access it from the comfort of your home. 

Do you need Maths A-Level for Architecture?

You don’t need Maths A-Level for Architecture for most universities. But taking Maths is often desirable. Not feeling like taking Maths A-Level? Then why not take Physics instead? It’s a good alternative to maths because it still uses Mathematical principles while focusing on science.

Here’s the catch, even if you decide not to take Maths A-Level, you’ll still use Mathematics during the Architecture course. 

Do you know that algebra, geometry, and trigonometry are essential in Architectural design? So by taking Maths at A-Level, you’re giving yourself the necessary tools to better prepare for Architecture at the university. 

It would be challenging to catch up when you’re out of practice in Mathematical computations while you’re still entirely new to Architecture and are trying to get a good grasp on it. 

In addition, if you abhor Maths, perhaps you should think twice about Architecture. Will you enjoy designing buildings using algebraic, geometric, and trigonometric principles? If you think you won’t enjoy Maths at all, then you may, in turn, also dislike Architecture.

What Other Requirements Do You Need to Get Onto an Architecture Degree?

Personal Statement

Application to any UK university requires a Personal Statement. It’s a written essay detailing your interests and achievements. Essentially, you’re answering the question, “Why do you deserve entry into ___ University to study Architecture?”


Once you’re shortlisted from among a sea of applicants, universities often ask for an interview. It’s worth noting that each degree has unique questions. So if you applied for Architecture, the interviewer would ask Architecture-related questions. Need tips on how to ace your Architecture interview? Here are some of the common Architecture questions schools often ask and how you can ace them.


Many universities ask for a portfolio of recent artistic work, such as drawings, paintings, photography, and sculptures. Of course, you’re not expected to submit Architecture-related work. Why do universities require this? Because you need to show that you have good artistic abilities to succeed as an Architect. 

When you take the Immerse Education Architecture summer course, you’ll receive valuable sketching and drawing lessons from world-class Architecture tutors. The best part? By the end of the programme, you’ll have a full-fledged Architecture portfolio to show. Giving you a huge head start over your competition.  

What Undergraduate Architecture Degrees Can You Study?

There are various undergraduate Architecture degrees you can choose from depending on which university you study. Some universities offer single Architecture courses, while others provide joint Architecture courses. Check out the list below:

Other universities offer Architecture with Urban Planning, Interior Design, or in combination with a subject of your choice. So how can you decide which undergraduate Architecture degree to study?

For starters, you can scan top UK universities offering undergraduate Architecture degrees and note your Top 3 choices. Then, you can work backwards and decide which A-Level combinations will give you the most options and chances of success.

What Topics Does an Architecture Degree Cover?

A single Architecture degree may have a narrower scope of subjects than a joint Architecture degree. But generally speaking, here are the usual topics an Architecture degree covers:

  • Architectural History– learn about Architectural styles through time, and the influence of culture on Architecture.
  • Theory of Architecture – involves the philosophy of Architecture and what criteria are used to judge whether a building is Architecturally sound.
  • Principles of Construction – talks about construction safety, mathematics, and tools.
  • Structural Design – is concerned with the structures’ strength, stability, and rigidity.
  • Environmental Design – addresses environmental concerns when building structures to ensure they’re sustainable and ecologically safe. 
  • Urbanism and Design – looks into intelligent designs for towns and cities. 
  • Design Technology – talks about the crucial technical issues in your design proposal, such as lighting, ventilation, water management, and acoustics. 
  • Practice, Law, Ethics, Management – how do you practise Architecture in the real world when dealing with clients and building codes? Here you’ll learn about standard industry behaviour in Architecture.

How Will You Be Assessed?

Since Architecture is design-heavy, most UK universities assess their students based on coursework primarily involving design portfolios. As a result, Architecture students spend most of their time sharpening their skills inside design studios.

Some schools, such as the Manchester School of Architecture, don’t offer exams. Others may include essays, examinations, written reports, and presentations. Group works are also common scenarios in Architectural university assessments.

Universities usually require a written research paper for the final year. For instance, the University of Cambridge requires a 7,000-9,000-word dissertation on an Architectural topic of your choice.

So if you’re planning to pursue Architecture in higher education, you need to have decent drawing, essay-writing, collaboration, and presentation skills.

What Qualifications Do Architects Need?

The qualifications you need to be a licensed Architect by studying full-time at a university include:

  • Completing an Architecture degree accredited by the Architects Registration Board (ARB)
  • One year of practical work experience
  • Additional 2 years of full-time university course such as MArch, BArch, Diploma
  • One year of practical training
  • Passing a final qualifying exam

When searching for an Architecture course at the university, it’s crucial to check whether the degree is recognised by the ARB. You’ll need it for further steps to becoming a licensed Architect in the UK.

Graduate Destinations

Here are key data for Architect graduate destinations according to the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) 2021/22 “What do graduates do?” survey in the UK:

  • 89% of Architecture graduates are enrolled or studying further within 15 months after graduation. 
  • 69.1% of those employed are working as Engineering and building professionals
  • 6% are working as managers
  • 5.7% are working as retail, waiting, catering, and bar staff  
  • 62.3% of those studying further are taking a Masters degree
  • 15.2% are studying for a professional qualification 

What Jobs Can You Get as an Architecture Graduate?

The top professional jobs Architecture graduates go into, according to AGCAS 2021/22 survey, include:

  • Architects
  • Civil Engineers
  • Drawing, CAD, and Architectural technicians
  • Quantity and Chartered surveyors
  • Chartered architectural technologists
  • Architectural consultants
  • Planning officers
  • Construction project managers
  • Construction directors
  • Production managers
  • Interior designers
  • Estimators, assessors, valuers

Here are other occupations Architect graduates can get into:

  • Town planner
  • Urban designer
  • Fire risk assessor
  • Historic buildings inspector
  • Visual Effects (VFX) artist
  • Structural Engineer

Do you want to know in-depth the responsibilities of some of these occupations? How much do they earn? You’ll discover the answers for what career prospects for Architecture are available.

What Do Architecture Graduates Earn?

The National Careers Service in the UK reports that an Architect’s average annual salary is between £30,000 – £45,000, depending on the experience. Check out the average salaries of the common occupations for Architect Graduates here

What Are The Postgraduate Opportunities?

Here are some of the postgraduate degrees for Architecture graduates:

There you have it! You’re now aware of the best A-Level combinations in preparation for taking an Architecture degree at the university. Plus, you have valuable information to help you decide whether to pursue Architecture in higher education. So what are your Top 3 A-Level combinations so far?

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