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Third of student architects bankrolled by parents

Nearly a third of Part 2 and Part 3 architecture students rely on cash from a trust fund, an inheritance or an allowance to get them through their studies, according to an RIBA pilot survey

The findings are the results of a pilot study of 138 recent part 1 graduates of seven UK architecture schools and were unveiled last night (21 June) at launch of a ten-year RIBA survey into employment trends for part 1 graduates.

Run in partnership with the University of Sheffield, the ten-year RIBA Student Destinations Survey has been established to monitor the impact of tuition fee hikes on architectural education.

According to the pilot survey, 32 per cent had received just over half of respondents said they had to work during their degree to make ends meet. 

The initial study also revealed that 73 per cent of post-part 1 students had found paid employment by the beginning of this year (2011) and that 78 per cent of which were working ‘within architecture’.

Just over half of respondents said they had to work during their degree to make ends meet. 

As many as 94 per cent of respondents indicated they thought paid employment opportunities in architecture were ‘difficult to find’ while 17 per cent of students had found architectural work outside of the UK.

Nevertheless 97 per cent said they were glad they had studied architecture and 71 per cent said they were undisturbed by the prospect of student debt.

RIBA president Ruth Reed said: ‘Higher education sector is in a period of profound change particularly as a result of the impending rise in tuition fees. Given the length of the course to qualification, students of architecture are likely to bear the full brunt of a substantial increase in course costs.

‘The RIBA’s Student Destinations Survey is an important long term exercise that will over the next decade and will provide additional evidence about the health and happiness of our architecture students.

‘The RIBA is doing all it can to ensure that the architects’ profession is fully accessible to all students with ability and potential regardless of their background. There is much more to do if we are to secure an improvement in these results during the course of the study’.


  • Architecture schools which took part in the pilot survey included: Birmingham City University; Cardiff University; Kingston University; Northumbria University; Queen’s University; Robert Gordon University and the University of Sheffield.


Readers' comments (1)

  • There was a rather depressing survey recently pointing out that 60% of current charting British pop artists had some sort of private education. Its probably a lazy comparison but we can we presume that architecture will now only be the preserve of the rich and not the talented and British architecture will become as bland as our pop music now is?

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