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Architectural Apprenticeship Advice

Hi there, I am 23 and a part 1 architectural assistant in the UK at a large architecture firm in London, really enjoyed the experience I got after my first year, some mentions about a level 7 apprenticeship was talked about and how it was a great opportunity and my parents agreed. After some digging it was clear to see the course would be difficult a 3-4 year course part time while working 4 day a week, did seem quite insane after just completing a 3 year undergraduate jumping back into education was the last thing on my mind.
…12 months later… I’m starting the level 7 Arch Apprentice course, through family and work pressures I applied on a whim and got it. I’m now 2 months into the course and am really struggling with the work load although only 1 day a week at uni the work quickly gathers pace picking up 2 -3 modules a semester, the work ends up being done in the evenings after work and at the weekends, the study days given aren’t enough, causing it to eat up all of my life and cause a great deal of stress leaking into other aspects of my life morphing into 6-7 days a week .

I began summarising my options on pulling out of the apprenticeship scheme and continuing another year’s experience (making it 2yrs) that I would probably enjoy more and give me more time to make a call on whether or not to do my masters full time or look at side stepping in areas around construction maybe BIM or parametric design, I don’t feel the need to rush and committing to the first field I set my eyes on feels wrong.

I any general advice? Or students that have passed through the system thought ? both full time and apprenticeship about the field in general in the Uk? and any advice? Cheers!

Also bit of a tangent here :

The attitude of architects being overworked, stressed and underpaid all worn as a “badge of honour” seems odd. Which also had me questioning what the future of architecture will be if this is where it’s at right now… is this a place I want to spend the rest of my life, not feeling like my efforts are financially satisfied with my hard work and investment of time and money in the industry. Thanks again !

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