Top Architecture Schools in UK (2017)
If you are planning to study architecture in the UK, and you are not sure which School you should be applying to, then this article can be quite helpful. Here we will review the rankings of the UK Architecture Schools in 2017 as proposed by the Guardian and the Complete University Guide. Both rankings show the different criteria based on which the architecture schools were evaluated. The criteria include student satisfaction and graduate prospects among other points. Following these rankings, we will briefly introduce some of the UK’s most reputed architecture schools. So now, let’s take a look at these rankings.
With a long-standing tradition in Architecture, the Cambridge University focuses on something contemporary architects tend to forget as an important factor in design: urban contextualization. Paired with emphasis on sustainable building, manual labor, and digital research, the Cambridge University offers a versatile and complete methodology.
The Bartlett has become a “go to” source when trying to find new architectural styles. The famous Architecture Research Group have heavily impacted the school trend and the Bartlett is now famous for the interdisciplinary project approach, which guarantees new and unconventional mannerism in architecture. The Bartlett also hosts a multitude of workshops, which propose out-of-school activities in order to better students from various other universities as well. If you are a fan of digital research and ultra-contemporary design, the Bartlett is a safe choice for you.
It has been a real struggle to choose between the Architectural Association and the Bartlett as our top school. It may seem cliché or to convenient to choose it as our top school, but let’s be honest – the AA is one of the most unique architectural schools in the world. From the basic studios, which emphasize material research, new digital approaches and unconventional themes, to the more famous studios such as the AA – DRL (Architectural Association Design Research Laboratory), which is the ultimate trendsetter design speaking, the AA is for sure the best school if you want to spread your wings as an architecture student and go beyond conventional architectural paradigms. Additionally, the AA Workshops and Visiting Workshops throughout the world are definitely the best choices to learn new form finding techniques.
The architecture program at the University of Bath provides students with the opportunity to develop holistic design skills through integrating the artistic and technical domains. Objectives of the program are based on: the acquisition of skills necessary to explore, interrogate and communicate architectural proposals; the ability to control, manipulate and compose internal space and external form; the ability to integrate, within architectural proposals, principles of structural design, environmental design and sustainability; a knowledge of materials and the detailed assembly of building elements; an understanding of the ways in which cultural, historical and socio-economic factors influence design decisions.
As the name suggests, this university has a more artistic approach, which we found to be highly needed in the present architectural scene. However, it would be an error to consider the works developed at the Royal College of Art as highly conceptual or unrealistic – the university has one of the best series of manufacturing workshops, focusing on the actual physical modelling of objects, which aids its students to become familiar with various materials, a much-needed element in order to develop good design.
University of Sheffield
Architects are nowadays faced with the question: can you become a household name in this area if you are not a good entrepreneur? Possibly, but it is highly difficult. This is why the University of Sheffield proposes, alongside traditional architectural courses, to teach its students political, social, and business classes, which architects rarely learn early on. This offers its students obvious advantages in front of other graduates and enables them to become self-sufficient instead of being dependent on big architecture firms to create a name for themselves.
London Metropolitan University
The skill that is developed in a unique manner in this University is the writing one. Heavily focusing on the manner in which students develop their brief and research for their projects, we recommend The Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture, and Design within the London Metropolitan University as a school to attend if you passionate in the field of architectural press.
Glasgow School of Art
Famous for the MacMag magazine, written for students, by students, the faculty of architecture of the Glasgow School of Art particularizes itself by the projects assigned to students – from realistic, site-assigned themes to competition themes, the approach varies and develops in a multi-oriented manner.
With a hands-on approach, marked by the motto “thinking through making”, the Kingston University is a school that heavily relies on the importance of manual work, which offers a different towards form and material than digital modeling.
Owing to the different evaluation criteria for both rankings, they might have turned out slightly different; however, Cambridge, Bath, and Cardiff seem to be holding well in both, satisfying most of the criteria. On the other hand, some of the most prestigious and historically famous architecture schools, like the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, are, actually, missing from the top positions in both. Have times changed or are the evaluating points not sufficient? You can be the judge of that.