To practice as an architect in Europe, it is necessary to have a Bachelor’s Degree in Fundamentals of Architecture (lasting 5 years) and a University Master’s Degree in Architecture (1 year) that enables them to work as a professional. You can study the Architecture Master in Europe.
With the implementation of the Bologna Plan, the Architecture degree changed its name and structure, and there are still many doubts that revolve around this profession since each School of Architecture in Europe offers the Degree differently. Here we explain what you need to study to be an architect in Europe.
Background: Bachelor of Architecture and Diploma of Technical Architecture
Before the Bologna Plan, which structured university careers in ECTS credits, two different architecture professionals: the Bachelor of Architecture, and therefore, Architect, and the Diploma in Technical Architecture, also known as surveyor /to. By changing to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), the Qualifications Framework for Higher Education was established, establishing four levels of higher education: level 1, Higher Technical; level 2, Grade; level 3, Master; and level 4, Doctorate.
With this modification of the European university system, the title of Architect is equivalent to level 3, Master’s degree, and the title of Technical Architect to level 2. Those who have the title of Architect and Technical Architect can obtain this certificate of correspondence through a procedure of the Ministry of Education that is permanently open.
Now, this equivalence implies that, currently, to be an architect in Europe, one must have a master’s degree that qualifies for the exercise of said profession, having previously passed the Degree in Fundamentals of Architecture (of a minimum of 300 ECTS or 5 years duration).
The Architect as a regulated
Professional activity for which access or exercise a degree is required constitutes a profession in a Member State of the European Union. In Europe, among the regulated professions is that of Architect, which requires having a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and a University Master’s Degree in Architecture. This must be of an official and enabling nature to be able to work as an architect. It is necessary to register with an Official College of Architects corresponding to the professional address.
If you are not registered, it is not possible to freely exercise the profession of an Architect in any of its aspects. Whether they are formalized jobs and subject to a collegiate visa (construction projects or end-of-work certifications) or works that do not require a visa (planning instruments, reports, opinions, expert opinions, etc …).
In some Autonomous Communities, architects who are linked to the Public Administration through a regulated service relationship by administrative (civil servants) or labor law are not obliged to join as long as their activity is confined solely and exclusively to the public function.
Difference between the Degree in Architecture and the Degree in Building Engineering
There may still be some confusion about which career to study to be an architect since several names are for the Degree in Architecture. Some European universities call it a Degree in Architecture or Degree in Fundamentals of Architecture, and it can also be found as Degree in Architecture Studies. These degrees give access to the qualifying Master’s Degree in Architect and, therefore, to said profession. This professional can design all types of buildings with their corresponding facilities and structures, planning and ordering the territory.
The Degree in Architecture is structured in 300-330 ECTS credits and has five years. It prepares students to know the history and theories of architecture, urbanism, and the techniques applied in the planning process, knows the physical problems, the different technologies and functions of buildings, or understand the problems of structural conception, construction, and engineering. Some universities offer the Bachelor and Master in Architecture jointly, so they have 360 credits and 6 years of total duration, depending on the center. In turn, many universities include external internships during the completion of the Degree.
It can also be found as a Degree in Building, Degree in Building Science and Technology or Degree in Technical Architecture. This career allows you to practice as a technical architect, commonly known as a surveyor, a professional in charge of directing the material execution of works, drafting safety plans or preparing technical projects. These degrees have a duration of 240 ECTS (4 years) and give access to the regulated profession of Technical Architect. As in the case of architects, membership is mandatory for the free exercise of the profession.
What is the enabling Master in Architecture for?
The University Master’s Degree in Architecture is an official and qualifying master’s degree that allows you to practice as an architect, and usually lasts one year and has 60 ECTS credits. If you have finished the Degree in Architecture but have not completed the Master’s Degree, you cannot sign projects as an architect. However, you can work in companies, in public administration, in universities or in research centers.
The Master allows to know the methods of research and preparation of construction projects, learn to create architectural projects that satisfy the aesthetic and technical demands and the requirements of their users, and understand the profession of Architect by developing projects that take social factors.
Once you have completed the Master’s Degree, you will practice as an architect to direct building works, draft projects, advise on urban works, and assess and appraise land, among other functions. For this, it will be necessary to enroll in an Official College of Architects. As it is a qualifying master’s degree, the price of the credit is lower than that of other Master’s degrees. Hence, the price ranges between 800 and 2,000 euros, depending on the Autonomous Community where you will study. Both the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, as they are adapted to the European Higher Education Area, are recognized in the 27 countries of the European Union, without the need for homologation.