What GCSEs and A-Levels do you need to become an architect?

How do you become an architect? Everything you need to know about grades, GCSE subjects, A-Levels and skills that will qualify you as an architect.

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Date: 14th Feb 2022

Author: Blueprint for All

Type: Blog

If you have amazing drawing skills and are quick with numbers too, architecture might be the job for you. But how do you become an architect?


Laying the foundation for your career in architecture (no pun intended!) might seem like a daunting task when you don’t know where to begin. Luckily for you, our Building Futures team at Blueprint for All have written up this guide on how to become an architect. 


What subjects are needed to study architecture?

People often ask what subjects are needed to study architecture at university, but it really depends on the university that you want to apply to. If you’re only now choosing your GCSEs, don’t worry about the specifics now… Just focus on picking subjects that will help your future application! 

As a rule, you will need to have good maths skills, as well as a great knack for design and drawing. When applying to be an architect, you will need to show a portfolio of your artistic work – so think about how you can build up some work throughout your A-Levels.


What GCSEs do you need to be an architect?

As is the case with many different degrees, GCSEs make up just some of those building blocks for your future studies – you will still need A-Levels and that portfolio to get into your preferred course. 

Although there are no specific subjects required by every university, you can think about which ones will support your A-Levels. Subjects such as art and DT would be a huge help. 

Rather than asking what GCSE subjects you would need, think about what grades you need for architecture. At GCSE, you must get at least a 4 in English Language and Maths to apply. Most universities require at least a 4 in three other GCSE subjects too.


What A-Levels do you need to be an architect?

Similarly with GCSEs, there are no set A-Levels that you need to be an architect. However, consider signing up for A-Levels that are more creative – such as art and design – to help with your UCAS application. This will allow you to create a portfolio during your college or sixth form, rather than having to spend lots of time outside of school doing one.

Given that architecture requires a lot of maths, it’s also a good idea to pick this at A-Level. But it’s not a requirement, even at more prestigious institutions.

While there are few GCSE or A-Level subjects required to study architecture, the grades needed at A-Level are quite similar. Ranging from CCD to A*AA, UCAS has found that the average grades required for a degree in any built environment course is around BBB.


What skills do you need to be an architect?

  • Creativity and drawing skills. 
  • Maths skills. 
  • Able to think analytically and logically 
  • Good communication skills.
  • Good problem-solving skills.


Want to know more about how you can become an architect? Find out what financial support, work experience and skill-sharing is on offer.

Building Futures Programme

If you are considering a career in architecture, are already studying or are working in the profession and would like to join our Building Futures programme, apply to join our Class of 2022 below.


To be eligible to join our Building Futures Programme you must be aged 17+, living in the UK, and of diverse ethnic heritage.

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