As a student you are likely to have two main costs to meet: tuition fees and living costs. Most students need pay no tuition fees upfront, as these should be covered by a tuition fee loan. Student support through maintenance loans are also available to help with living costs. These loans accrue interest and the repayments are contingent on your future income. Additionally, depending on the university you study at, and your family income, you may be entitled to apply for grants and bursaries that you do not need to repay.
Please refer to the information about student finance on the government's student finance webpages.
For information about managing your money, the UCAS website has some helpful information on budgeting and debt management.
Day-to-day living costs can vary considerably depending on where you live and study. Most universities publish information about the costs of living on their websites. The NASMA also has a helpful section about budgeting for students.
The Money Saving Expert website and the BBC also provide straightforward, independent advice for students and parents.
Architecture students will also have to budget annually for printing, materials, travel for site visits and field trips. The costs of these additional materials and activities can vary considerably from school to school, so it is worth asking current students and staff at the schools you are considering, so that you can factor this into your budget.
Students enrolled with their universities as 'year-out' students between their Parts 1 and 2, for example on a 'sandwich' programme, may be entitled to apply for student loans, even if they are in paid professional experience. Please speak to your university office or student finance department to check if your course is eligible.
Full-time architecture students who started Part 1 before 1 September 2012
Any full-time student who started their Part 1 course before 1 September 2012 will be treated as a continuing student for the duration of the course and will not be subject to the new student finance arrangements. This will be the case even if they switch institutions* between Part 1 and Part 2, as long as they do not change their mode of study (eg, from full-time to part-time); do not take more than three academic years out between Part 1 and Part 2; and remain in the UK.
The maximum tuition fee for Part 1 and Part 2 continuing students at publicly funded institutions* in 2012/13 and 2013/14 will be £3,465. Eligible students will be able to apply for a tuition fee loan of up to £3,465 and the maintenance package will be the same as for other continuing students.
To be considered as a continuing student and remain on the same student finance package, Part 2 must be undertaken no more than three academic years after completing Part 1. For example, a student who completed Part 1 in July 2011, takes a break of three academic years and starts Part 2 in September 2014, would usually be treated as being on a single course.
This policy is supported by the Education (Student Support) Regulations. Further information is published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
*Publicly funded institutions only. The Royal College of Art and Architectural Association have different fee regulations.
The single course provision in the Education (Student Support) Regulations applies only where both parts of the architecture course are undertaken on a full-time basis. Students that study Part 1 full-time and then plan to do Part 2 on a part-time basis, or indeed study both parts on a part-time basis, cannot be treated as being on a single course and will be ineligible for any student support for Part 2.
According to the Regulations, by changing your mode of study, or when you study architecture part-time, the two courses are treated as separate courses and the Part 1 degree will be taken into account when assessing eligibility for student support. The previous degree will also be taken into account for the purposes of regulated fees; therefore, the tuition fees will be unregulated. This means that higher fees may well be payable.
Students who started their Part 1 course on a part-time basis who will be affected by the changing tuition fee structure, or those who were considering part-time study for Part 2 following completion of a full-time Part 1, may wish to consider an alternative route to qualification through the RIBA Office-based Examination.
Architecture students who start Part 1 after 1 September 2012
The maximum tuition fee at publicly funded institutions in 2012/13 and for 2013/14 for full-time study will be £9,000. Eligible students will be able to apply for a tuition fee loan of up to £9,000 and the maintenance package will be the same as for other new students. In future years this fee cap may change and you should contact Student Finance England for further advice and information.
Many students who are about to embark on their five-year architecture degree with the increased tuition fees may be considering the value of such a long degree. However, students need not pay the tuition fees upfront: through the student loans system the tuition fees are repaid according to your earnings after you graduate.
Any full-time student who starts their Part 1 course after 1 September 2012 should be eligible for student support for the duration of the course. This will be the case even if they change institutions or their mode of study (eg, from full time to part time) between Part 1 and Part 2 as long as they remain in the UK. The Part 2 course will attract support even if the student is additionally awarded a postgraduate degree (such as M.Arch) as long as the content of Part 2 is undergraduate level and undergraduate fees are charged.
Further information is published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Students should contact Student Finance England for further advice and information.
If you normally live in Wales, you may be eligible for services provided by Student Finance Wales.
If you normally live in Scotland, you may be eligible for services provided by the Student Awards Agency for Scotland.
If you normally live in Northern Ireland, you may be eligible for services provided by Student Finance Northern Ireland.
If you are planning to study in the UK your fee status will be determined by the UK institution that you plan to attend. Information about student loans and other funding available to you is available on the DirectGov website. Other useful websites include the UCAS website, the UK Council for International Student Affairs and the British Council website.
Students with disabilities can get extra support through the Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA). Please refer to the Direct Gov website.
The RIBA Education department administers a number of bursary and scholarship schemes to support students of architecture. Please refer to our Prizes, Scholarships and Bursaries
page for full information about the opportunities on offer.
There are many organisations and bodies that support students with the cost of their education. The Funding Opportunities
document at the bottom of the page provides a list for architecture students to consider.
Some architectural practices may sponsor students of architecture – for example, by contributing to the Part 2 course fees of a student who has worked in the practice between Parts 1 and 2.
Some universities operate bursary schemes for their students. You should therefore research the options available at universities you intend to apply to.
The RIBA Education department administers a number of bursary and scholarship schemes to support students of architecture. Please refer to our Prizes, Scholarships and Bursaries page
for full information about the opportunities on offer.