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    This will be quite a rambling post, which will give you some indication as to my lack of direction at the moment!

    I am a mature student and I did my Part 1 having done a prior degree. Even with all the arguments for not doing architecture, the length of course and the lack of financial reward etc. I decided to take the plunge and start from scratch. I wanted to do some form of design and the reason I chose architecture was that I felt it was a branch of design that could help me make an impact socially.

    I did enjoy my Part 1 but I found that it was just a taster and did not actually teach me very much about architecture. With the benefit of hindsight I would have done it differently a second time round, but I basically learnt how to render and present my ideas.

    Until recently I did not really want to go back to do my part 2. I do want to do architecture, but I am put off by the time and the money involved in doing the diploma. I felt that I would be better off using the two years to get experience on live projects, and that I would be able to pursue a more vocational route to becoming an architect. For example Thomas Heatherwick has not studied architecture and yet designs buildings. Is the standard Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 route really the only way? If wasn’t a mature student I would be more likely to go down the standard route, but as this is the case I am not so keen. Moreover I have a family, so the decision to take two years out to study is made even harder.

    I have been working for the last 2 years as an Architectural Assistant, one year with a small practice and one year with a large practice, so I feel I have quite a good idea of what the spectrum architectural practice entails. I have learnt a lot, especially at the small practice; however I don’t really think I have come that much closer to building the socially engaged architecture I would like to pursue.

    So my choices are:

    Find another job and the end of my current placement and carry on working within a supportive practice, to learn as much as I can (whilst earning a wage!) with the aim of eventually doing my own thing having gotten more experience

    OR

    To do my part 2, develop my identity as an architect by doing an in depth project that I enjoy and hopefully use this as a spring board to develop a more focused idea of what I want to do in architecture.

    I felt that doing Part 2 part time could be a compromise. So I applied and was accepted into London Met. I chose London Met because it is in London and I can do the course part time. It also purports to be socially engaged and seems quite grounded compared to some of the other London universities. It also has an open studio where you can work on a completely self-initiated project.
    However I discovered that the fees for the part time course will be under the new system, i.e. 9k even though I started studying under the lower fee system. If I did the course full time I would pay 3.5k. It is annoying but there is nothing London Met can do about that.

    Given that I would pay higher fees for the part time course, I am now considering doing it full time, which opens up the possibility of applying to other universities. Although I would like to stay in London I am drawn to Cardiff and Cambridge because they allow you to work for a year in practice so you spend just one year at university, which would reduce the amount of time away from London, as well as reduce the overall cost of the course. Although I am not a fan of highly conceptual work, I am drawn to the Bartlett simply because it has a good reputation, is in London and would stand me in good stead with employers.

    It would be great to get your thoughts/ideas if you have managed to read this far!
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    Cardiff is a good course - did my Part 2 there and as you rightly say, its only one year full time which means you don't have to be away from your family so much and you also don't sacrifice a year's salary. Its a good city to live in, easy train ride or drive back to London.

    The downside of it being a year is that it is very, very intense - you essentially have to write your dissertation in parallel with your thesis design project. So you need to be prepared for that mentally and also to prepare your family for that.

    I didn't have a family when I did my Part 2 there - I wonder if I would have coped if I did though. I know doing Pt3 put enough strain on my partner / family.

    Architectural education is quite tortuous for so meagre financial / broader reward at the end...
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    (Original post by oo01)
    This will be quite a rambling post, which will give you some indication as to my lack of direction at the moment!

    I am a mature student and I did my Part 1 having done a prior degree. Even with all the arguments for not doing architecture, the length of course and the lack of financial reward etc. I decided to take the plunge and start from scratch. I wanted to do some form of design and the reason I chose architecture was that I felt it was a branch of design that could help me make an impact socially.

    I did enjoy my Part 1 but I found that it was just a taster and did not actually teach me very much about architecture. With the benefit of hindsight I would have done it differently a second time round, but I basically learnt how to render and present my ideas.

    Until recently I did not really want to go back to do my part 2. I do want to do architecture, but I am put off by the time and the money involved in doing the diploma. I felt that I would be better off using the two years to get experience on live projects, and that I would be able to pursue a more vocational route to becoming an architect. For example Thomas Heatherwick has not studied architecture and yet designs buildings. Is the standard Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 route really the only way? If wasn’t a mature student I would be more likely to go down the standard route, but as this is the case I am not so keen. Moreover I have a family, so the decision to take two years out to study is made even harder.

    I have been working for the last 2 years as an Architectural Assistant, one year with a small practice and one year with a large practice, so I feel I have quite a good idea of what the spectrum architectural practice entails. I have learnt a lot, especially at the small practice; however I don’t really think I have come that much closer to building the socially engaged architecture I would like to pursue.

    So my choices are:

    Find another job and the end of my current placement and carry on working within a supportive practice, to learn as much as I can (whilst earning a wage!) with the aim of eventually doing my own thing having gotten more experience

    OR

    To do my part 2, develop my identity as an architect by doing an in depth project that I enjoy and hopefully use this as a spring board to develop a more focused idea of what I want to do in architecture.

    I felt that doing Part 2 part time could be a compromise. So I applied and was accepted into London Met. I chose London Met because it is in London and I can do the course part time. It also purports to be socially engaged and seems quite grounded compared to some of the other London universities. It also has an open studio where you can work on a completely self-initiated project.
    However I discovered that the fees for the part time course will be under the new system, i.e. 9k even though I started studying under the lower fee system. If I did the course full time I would pay 3.5k. It is annoying but there is nothing London Met can do about that.

    Given that I would pay higher fees for the part time course, I am now considering doing it full time, which opens up the possibility of applying to other universities. Although I would like to stay in London I am drawn to Cardiff and Cambridge because they allow you to work for a year in practice so you spend just one year at university, which would reduce the amount of time away from London, as well as reduce the overall cost of the course. Although I am not a fan of highly conceptual work, I am drawn to the Bartlett simply because it has a good reputation, is in London and would stand me in good stead with employers.

    It would be great to get your thoughts/ideas if you have managed to read this far!
    I feel as though this post could have been written by me. I am just starting my second year out as I can't decide what to do regarding part 2. I know I definitely want to do it but everything you have mentioned has held me back from applying this year. I never knew the deal with part time study though, is there no way around this?

    If anyone else has any ideas on other routes I'd be interested to hear them as well...
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    (Original post by oo01)
    This will be quite a rambling post, which will give you some indication as to my lack of direction at the moment!

    I am a mature student and I did my Part 1 having done a prior degree. Even with all the arguments for not doing architecture, the length of course and the lack of financial reward etc. I decided to take the plunge and start from scratch. I wanted to do some form of design and the reason I chose architecture was that I felt it was a branch of design that could help me make an impact socially.

    I did enjoy my Part 1 but I found that it was just a taster and did not actually teach me very much about architecture. With the benefit of hindsight I would have done it differently a second time round, but I basically learnt how to render and present my ideas.

    Until recently I did not really want to go back to do my part 2. I do want to do architecture, but I am put off by the time and the money involved in doing the diploma. I felt that I would be better off using the two years to get experience on live projects, and that I would be able to pursue a more vocational route to becoming an architect. For example Thomas Heatherwick has not studied architecture and yet designs buildings. Is the standard Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 route really the only way? If wasn’t a mature student I would be more likely to go down the standard route, but as this is the case I am not so keen. Moreover I have a family, so the decision to take two years out to study is made even harder.

    I have been working for the last 2 years as an Architectural Assistant, one year with a small practice and one year with a large practice, so I feel I have quite a good idea of what the spectrum architectural practice entails. I have learnt a lot, especially at the small practice; however I don’t really think I have come that much closer to building the socially engaged architecture I would like to pursue.

    So my choices are:

    Find another job and the end of my current placement and carry on working within a supportive practice, to learn as much as I can (whilst earning a wage!) with the aim of eventually doing my own thing having gotten more experience

    OR

    To do my part 2, develop my identity as an architect by doing an in depth project that I enjoy and hopefully use this as a spring board to develop a more focused idea of what I want to do in architecture.

    I felt that doing Part 2 part time could be a compromise. So I applied and was accepted into London Met. I chose London Met because it is in London and I can do the course part time. It also purports to be socially engaged and seems quite grounded compared to some of the other London universities. It also has an open studio where you can work on a completely self-initiated project.
    However I discovered that the fees for the part time course will be under the new system, i.e. 9k even though I started studying under the lower fee system. If I did the course full time I would pay 3.5k. It is annoying but there is nothing London Met can do about that.

    Given that I would pay higher fees for the part time course, I am now considering doing it full time, which opens up the possibility of applying to other universities. Although I would like to stay in London I am drawn to Cardiff and Cambridge because they allow you to work for a year in practice so you spend just one year at university, which would reduce the amount of time away from London, as well as reduce the overall cost of the course. Although I am not a fan of highly conceptual work, I am drawn to the Bartlett simply because it has a good reputation, is in London and would stand me in good stead with employers.

    It would be great to get your thoughts/ideas if you have managed to read this far!
    i'm having the similar problem. Basically I don't want to do the standard two years route into architecture part 2. The other option would be applying for Cambridge, Bath, or Cardiff which offers a shorter part 2 course in exchange for working in practice.

    Yeah I wanted to do the part 2 part time but the fees are £9k and you can't get student finance support with that. So some how you would need to get £18k from somewhere and its not like you can save that on a year out on a £20k salary job.
    The other option was to do one year full time, then split the second year into a part time study. So you would get the student finance support for the first year, then pay £9k over two years. This would mean the 2 year course took 3 years to do, but overal would cost about £14k. I think its possible to get £4k a year to pay this off, even if you had a crap job in a bar or something.

    The other option is asking your firm to pay for your part 2 choice and you working there part time, or over the summer.

    I think I might wait it out till next year and apply for Cardiff, Bath and Cambridge. London Met is okay units but I've heard they are disorganised as a university itself.
 
 
 
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