What A Levels for Architecture: Top Subjects to Be an Architect in UK

What A Levels for Architecture: Top Subjects to Be an Architect in UK

February 9, 2024 | 3months | General

Are you interested in pursuing a career in architecture? It can be a great option, indeed! 70% of architects find a full-time job in the first 15 months after graduating, as seen in this research carried out by Prospects, which means that this profession is constantly growing and has room for continuous career development.

If you want to be an architect, you may be curious about what A-Levels are best suited for this field. In this article, we will guide you through the various subjects that can give you a solid foundation for studying architecture at the university level.

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What A Levels do you need for Architecture?

When it comes to A Levels for architecture, there are both core subjects and facilitating/complementary subjects that can greatly benefit your studies:

Core subjects


As architecture involves calculations, understanding mathematical concepts is crucial. A solid foundation in mathematics will help you grasp structural engineering principles and spatial reasoning. Have a look at our online A-level Maths course brochure and discover what the course has to offer.


Physics plays a significant role in architecture by explaining the forces and materials that affect the structural integrity of buildings. A good understanding of physics will aid you in designing structurally sound and sustainable structures. Discover how a Physics A-level course can help you acquire this knowledge easily.

Art and Design

Building design is an artistic process, and having a creative flair is essential for aspiring architects. Studying art and design will improve your visual thinking, drawing skills, and ability to communicate your ideas effectively. That said, some schools require an arts background and some do not.

Facilitating & complementary subjects

While the core subjects are important, choosing facilitating and complementary subjects can broaden your knowledge and make you a well-rounded architect:


Architecture is deeply rooted in history and culture. By studying History, you can gain insights into different architectural styles, social contexts, and the evolution of buildings and urban planning over time. This knowledge is invaluable when designing structures that reflect cultural heritage.

Design and Technology

This subject focuses on practical skills, problem-solving, and creative thinking. It will equip you with technical expertise and the ability to apply design principles to real-life situations, which are essential for architecture.


Studying geography will give you a broader understanding of how natural conditions (climate, soils, terrain, etc.) impact the design and materials chosen. Geography A-level will help you analyze the impact of geography on architecture, sustainability, and urban planning.

Business Studies

Architects need to be able to manage their own business, attract clients, and take care of finance. Business studies can help you gain the necessary skills to do so, especially if you aspire to manage an entire architecture studio.

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Best A-Level combinations to study Architecture

Now that you have an idea of the individual A-Level subjects that are beneficial for architecture, let's explore some recommended combinations:

1. Mathematics + Physics + Art and Design

This combination provides students with the technical and creative aspects of architecture. While Maths includes all the algebraic and calculus skills students need to develop the physical feasibility of a building, Art and Design goes beyond its functionality and dives into the aesthetic side of architecture.

2. Mathematics + Art and Design + Design and Technology

Although we highly encourage you to take Physics among your A-levels, this can also be an excellent combination. Design and Technology provides students with the knowledge to test the functionality and features of different materials, understanding how they react and interact. Merging these three subjects will help you find the balance between calculus, functionality testing, and aesthetics.

3. Mathematics + Physics + History

History and architecture come hand in hand, as different aesthetic movements throughout the years have affected the way civilizations build their cities. Adding History to the list, together with Mathematics and Physics, will provide you with the necessary baseline knowledge for your university career.

4. Mathematics + Physics + Business Studies

Besides Mathematics and Physics, which are highly valued by university entrance juries, Business studies can give you another layer of knowledge from the practical point of view of managing your own business in the architecture industry. Additionally, you could use the topics in the syllabus for other professions, if you were to consider a career change in the future.

University A-Level Requirements for Architecture

University of Cambridge

Cambridge University is composed of different colleges located around the UK, and not all of them present the same entry requirements. However, most of these colleges require A*AA grades in three subjects, including Physics and Mathematics, plus an essay-based subject.

University of Bath

The entry requirements at the University of Bath include getting A*AA in three A-level subjects, including Mathematics and Physics, and ideally another subject related to Art and Design.

In case you don’t have this last one, you must prove to have experience and knowledge in the field through other paths, such as volunteering programs, extracurricular activities, or personal experience.

University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield requires students to have AAA grades at A-level for relevant subjects or AAB + B in Core Mathematics. Additionally, students should have a portfolio of their artistic work to demonstrate their creative skills and Maths GCSE. Language A-levels do not count towards these requirements, but an English GCSE is required.

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Tips for Choosing the Right A-Levels

Many students struggle with how to choose A-levels, but in fact, there are several factors they can base their choices on.

  • The optimal way to make your A-level choices is to have a clear path for your future career. This way, you can decide on a university course and institution, research their entry requirements, and select A-levels accordingly, ensuring that the subjects you choose are relevant to your goal.
  • You can also choose subjects among the facilitating ones. These are subjects that most university courses and institutions usually accept to earn a spot in courses, as they provide you with general knowledge and skills. However, these may not be the most specific for certain degrees.
  • Personal preferences can also be a determining factor when choosing your A-levels. This way, you can guarantee that you enjoy the process and stay motivated throughout the preparation courses. Nevertheless, we recommend choosing subjects that are not overly specific or too similar, as these may reduce your options when it comes to enrolling in a university course later on.

Ready to start your architect journey? Let us help!

If you have already decided that you want to study architecture, you can start your journey by enrolling in A-level preparation courses for related subjects. By choosing CloudLearn, you can take A levels online from home, at your own pace, and even fast-track courses, making the path to university much easier and faster.

Check out our comprehensive list of online A-Level courses. Enrol today, take advantage of seasonal discounts, and start studying right away!

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Can I do architecture without A-levels?

A-levels are some of the most important requisites to enter prestigious architecture schools in the UK. Exceptionally, mature students without A-levels may get a spot if they have relevant experience in the field, but this only applies in some universities.

What marks do you need to study architecture?

Studying architecture at the most prestigious universities implies achieving AAA A-level grades in Maths, Physics, and Arts or Design subjects. These requirements may vary slightly depending on the university, so we recommend checking their websites specifically.

Do you need Maths A-level for architecture?

Although it is not strictly mandatory, most universities require the Maths A-level certification to enter architecture courses. This subject will provide you with the necessary knowledge to carry out structural calculations during your university studies and also your professional life.

Do you need Art A-level for architecture?

A background in Art A-level is often seen as beneficial for architecture courses, enriching your understanding of aesthetics, artistic movements, and creative abilities. While some universities require Art A-levels, others may consider applicants without them, especially if they can showcase their artistic skills through a portfolio.

Do you need Physics A-level for architecture?

Physics is another very important subject to enter architecture school, as it is considered a prerequisite by most universities. Taking the A-level Physics online course will provide you with the necessary knowledge about forces, resistance, and material behaviour for your future career.

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