The Student Room Group

Architecture or Engineering?

Hi everyone,

I’m currently finishing sixth form and wanted some knowledge. I’ll be starting a BSc Architecture course this year however I want to do Structural engineering for masters.

I’ve always been very interested in working in the space industry as an engineer but I’ve always been very interested in Architecture too. I was thinking of doing Architecture for bachelors and then switching to Structural Engineering for masters however I don’t know if that will be a good choice or not. Would it be better for me to do Architectural Technology instead for a bachelors??

I’ve seen a lot of people say they do civil engineering for bachelors and then structural engineering for masters however, I haven’t done any maths or science related subjects for A levels so I don’t think a bachelors in civil engineering would be quite right for me.

I’m really confused on what order I should do my degrees because I mainly want a job in Structural Engineering however, If i end up not liking it then I would like to have architecture as a second option.
To do any form of engineering, you will need maths. If this a subject you struggle with, then it might not be the best career choice for you.

https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/structural-engineer
https://www.istructe.org/become-a-structural-engineer/how-to-become-a-structural-engineer/
Reply 2
Original post by Maya716
Hi everyone,
I’m currently finishing sixth form and wanted some knowledge. I’ll be starting a BSc Architecture course this year however I want to do Structural engineering for masters.
I’ve always been very interested in working in the space industry as an engineer but I’ve always been very interested in Architecture too. I was thinking of doing Architecture for bachelors and then switching to Structural Engineering for masters however I don’t know if that will be a good choice or not. Would it be better for me to do Architectural Technology instead for a bachelors??
I’ve seen a lot of people say they do civil engineering for bachelors and then structural engineering for masters however, I haven’t done any maths or science related subjects for A levels so I don’t think a bachelors in civil engineering would be quite right for me.
I’m really confused on what order I should do my degrees because I mainly want a job in Structural Engineering however, If i end up not liking it then I would like to have architecture as a second option.

look carefully at the accreditation that you'll need for whatever career path you want to go down. Architecture has RIBA/ARB, architectural technology has CIAT, engineering has JBM. You can't do architecture or architectural technology at undergraduate then 'switch' to engineering for masters as they have different accreditation pathways - hence, most if not all engineering masters degrees require you to have done an engineering degree at undergraduate.

only a dual accredited degree (for example, this course at Sheffield) would work if you wanted to study architecture then go into engineering afterwards.
Reply 3
Original post by Pedr0
look carefully at the accreditation that you'll need for whatever career path you want to go down. Architecture has RIBA/ARB, architectural technology has CIAT, engineering has JBM. You can't do architecture or architectural technology at undergraduate then 'switch' to engineering for masters as they have different accreditation pathways - hence, most if not all engineering masters degrees require you to have done an engineering degree at undergraduate.
only a dual accredited degree (for example, this course at Sheffield) would work if you wanted to study architecture then go into engineering afterwards.


Omg thank you so much for that because I had no clue the accreditation had to match in both bachelors and masters! If i do Architecture BSc for bachelors and then a dual degree like the one you linked, would I be able to get registered as both an Architect and a Structural engineer?? I had most people at school tell me a dual degree isn’t a good option cuz you’re only getting 50/50 of both degrees but I’m not too knowledgeable on that.
Reply 4
Original post by Maya716
Omg thank you so much for that because I had no clue the accreditation had to match in both bachelors and masters! If i do Architecture BSc for bachelors and then a dual degree like the one you linked, would I be able to get registered as both an Architect and a Structural engineer?? I had most people at school tell me a dual degree isn’t a good option cuz you’re only getting 50/50 of both degrees but I’m not too knowledgeable on that.

nono you shouldn't do this degree after your undergrad, its only RIBA Part 1 for architecture which you'll already have after finishing your BSc architecture
the dual accredited degrees are basically undergraduate level (integrated masters - 3 yr bachelors + 1 year) meant for people like yourself who want the freedom to go into either architecture or engineering. because a normal BSc Architecture course won't help you at all to get into engineering, you would have to do another undergraduate degree
hope that makes sense 😅
Reply 5
I'm pretty sure you need to have done maths at A level to do structural engineering at all. I'm not sure if that's for every course so feel free to have a look yourself, but i had a look a quite a few and they all require you to have done maths.
Reply 6
tbh another big issue is the fact that you dont have A level maths which you need for most engineering courses, that Sheffield dual accredited one requires an A in maths for example.

so if youre dead set on keeping both architecture and structural engineering open as options, the fastest way to do that would be - decline your current BSc offer and take a year out to do A level maths, then do the 4 year arch/struct.eng course (MEng) at either Sheffield or UCL (both have dual accreditation with RIBA and JBM - there are a few other courses with similar titles but they only give you CEng qualification with JBM and not RIBA Part 1)

so after 5 years you would have RIBA Part 1 and be a chartered engineer and can then choose to either continue to RIBA Part 2 and 3 or go work as a structural engineer

this is obviously a very drastic course of action but otherwise it would take even more time, you would have to first complete your BSc in Architecture for RIBA Part 1 (3 years), then go do A level maths (1 year), then do a 4 year engineering degree for a total of 8 years
(edited 1 month ago)
Reply 7
Original post by Pedr0
nono you shouldn't do this degree after your undergrad, its only RIBA Part 1 for architecture which you'll already have after finishing your BSc architecture
the dual accredited degrees are basically undergraduate level (integrated masters - 3 yr bachelors + 1 year) meant for people like yourself who want the freedom to go into either architecture or engineering. because a normal BSc Architecture course won't help you at all to get into engineering, you would have to do another undergraduate degree
hope that makes sense 😅


OHHH i was wondering why it said part 1 architecture course! But i’ve unfortunately already selected my unis on UCAS and none of the unis do a dual course like the one you listed😭😭 This was honestly a really sudden change of heart i feel stupid for not considering the change sooner but if I do either BSc Architecture (RIBA/ARB) or BSc Architectural Technology (CABE, CIAT, CIOB) would there be no chance of me getting into an Engineering course? I’ve looked at Structural/Civil Engineering and Computer Engineering but none of the accreditations match but i’ve read other forums where people have said they’ve been able to switch but I’m not sure on their specific circumstance and idk where or what to look at. The engineering courses also do have specific entry requirements but I wouldn’t mind doing prerequisites as I’ve heard that’s an option too.
Reply 8
Original post by stnaley
I'm pretty sure you need to have done maths at A level to do structural engineering at all. I'm not sure if that's for every course so feel free to have a look yourself, but i had a look a quite a few and they all require you to have done maths.


Yeah i honestly didn’t think about structural engineering up until recently so I am having a lot of regret but i’ve heard you can do prerequisites??
Reply 9
Original post by Maya716
OHHH i was wondering why it said part 1 architecture course! But i’ve unfortunately already selected my unis on UCAS and none of the unis do a dual course like the one you listed😭😭 This was honestly a really sudden change of heart i feel stupid for not considering the change sooner but if I do either BSc Architecture (RIBA/ARB) or BSc Architectural Technology (CABE, CIAT, CIOB) would there be no chance of me getting into an Engineering course? I’ve looked at Structural/Civil Engineering and Computer Engineering but none of the accreditations match but i’ve read other forums where people have said they’ve been able to switch but I’m not sure on their specific circumstance and idk where or what to look at. The engineering courses also do have specific entry requirements but I wouldn’t mind doing prerequisites as I’ve heard that’s an option too.

Look for 'conversion' masters courses, these are designed for students without prior experience in a field to switch to it. but read the requirements carefully, some are marked as conversion engineering masters but actually you still need an engineering undergrad to meet the entry requirements. software engineering conversion masters don't really have that problem, you can go into the field without a prior engineering degree (cause its not really 'engineering' i guess in the same way as structural or mechanical or something)

The main issue with going into structural engineering specifically, as far as i can tell, is chartership, due to this you would be unlikely to be eligible for most struct.engineering masters with an undergrad in architecture or arch.tech - but if in doubt email unis and check, their admissions departments will know way more about what the exact criteria are

and don't worry, after an architecture BSc, you can definitely get into the more technical side of buildings or other types of engineering through other master's courses, like if you just want to do a job with 'engineer' in the name then here are some postgraduate degrees you could keep in mind

MSc Facade Engineering (UWE - undergrad just needs to be in any built environment subject)

MSc Transport Engineering and Planning (UWE - any degree background)

MSc Energy Engineering (De Montfort)


have a quick look on FindAMasters and see if there are any courses that pique your interest and that an architecture undergrad would meet the requirements for, then email the unis and ask if your BSc Architecture would be accepted,
and if not ask if there are any steps you can take during your undergraduate degree (like placements, additional modules, stuff like that) to help you successfully make the switch to an engineering masters afterwards if you decide that's what you wanna do. Here's a search to get you started
Reply 10
Original post by Pedr0
Look for 'conversion' masters courses, these are designed for students without prior experience in a field to switch to it. but read the requirements carefully, some are marked as conversion engineering masters but actually you still need an engineering undergrad to meet the entry requirements. software engineering conversion masters don't really have that problem, you can go into the field without a prior engineering degree (cause its not really 'engineering' i guess in the same way as structural or mechanical or something)
The main issue with going into structural engineering specifically, as far as i can tell, is chartership, due to this you would be unlikely to be eligible for most struct.engineering masters with an undergrad in architecture or arch.tech - but if in doubt email unis and check, their admissions departments will know way more about what the exact criteria are
and don't worry, after an architecture BSc, you can definitely get into the more technical side of buildings or other types of engineering through other master's courses, like if you just want to do a job with 'engineer' in the name then here are some postgraduate degrees you could keep in mind

MSc Facade Engineering (UWE - undergrad just needs to be in any built environment subject)

MSc Transport Engineering and Planning (UWE - any degree background)

MSc Energy Engineering (De Montfort)


have a quick look on FindAMasters and see if there are any courses that pique your interest and that an architecture undergrad would meet the requirements for, then email the unis and ask if your BSc Architecture would be accepted,
and if not ask if there are any steps you can take during your undergraduate degree (like placements, additional modules, stuff like that) to help you successfully make the switch to an engineering masters afterwards if you decide that's what you wanna do. Here's a search to get you started


Thank you so so much for your dedication in helping cuz i’ve been stressing for the last 2 days so i deeply appreciate the help! I have found 3 unis on FindAMasters that don’t have a specific maths requirement for both civil and structural engineering and only require a 2:2 or above UK honours degree. I will email them now and look at conversion masters like you suggest while i await their responses! Thank you for the help!!!!!

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