Architecture & Interiors

Industry overview

Hundreds of architects, interior architects and designers for theatre and film qualify in the UK each year. There are an estimated 136,000 architecture-related jobs in the UK's creative economy, with 69.3% of these occupied by people with degrees or equivalent level qualifications. (Source: Creative Industries Economic Estimates - January 2014)

Architecture is a blend of technology and art, and every architectural project has its own story, from drawing board to becoming a physical reality. Modern architecture often means shifting away from boxy geometric shapes and towards subtle visual effects, echoing specific landscapes and objects or triggering particular emotions. Other trends are challenging the sector to be more concerned for environmental impact and sustainability.

The fast-growing sectors of interior architecture and design are responsible for a wide range of interior spaces – from large commercial shopping centres and airports to cultural hubs, such as theatres, cinemas, sports venues, schools and even our own homes.

Contemporary interior practice can mean working with ambitious ideas and challenging locations to craft unforgettable experiences through space and design.

Career paths

The world of architecture and interior design offers you an abundance of employment possibilities and career choices across a variety of specialist areas, including:

  • Architecture
  • Interior architecture
  • Retail leisure
  • Exhibitions and events
  • Office and conference design
  • Hotel and venue design
  • Residential developments
  • Film and computer animation sets.


What you can earn

Part 1 and first-year-out architecture students can expect to earn £17,000-£21,000 per year, with newly qualified architects looking to earn £30,000-£34,000 per year. For more information, check out the latest salary guide from RIBA (the Royal Institute of British Architects.)

Starting salaries for graduate interior designers typically range between £15,000 and £20,000.

Graduate employment

Recent UCA graduates have gone on to work in leading architecture practices, including the offices of Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster and Will Alsop. Some have established their own research collaborations too.

Skills and qualities

Potential employers want to be impressed by architecture graduates, and you’ll develop professional and personal skills that are highly marketable, such as:

  • Excellent communication – graphic, written and spoken
  • Leadership
  • CAD
  • Numeracy
  • Critical thinking and evaluation
  • Planning, time management and working to deadlines
  • Design
  • Sense of colour, proportion and scale
  • Presentation
  • Research
  • Problem solving
  • Visual awareness
  • Observation
  • Spatial awareness.


Industry connections

We’ve established a range of strong connections in this sector, with many leading organisations involved with UCA student placements or postgraduate employment - including:

  • Aston Martin
  • AT&T
  • BBC
  • Four Seasons
  • H&M
  • Harvey Nichols
  • Hotel Chocolat
  • Imperial War Museum
  • Jaguar
  • JW Marriott
  • Karen Millen
  • Mercedes
  • Ritz-Carlton
  • Science Museum
  • Selfridges
  • The Victoria and Albert Museum.


Subject area at UCA

  • Architecture & Interior Design