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RIBA COVID-19 student survey: key findings

How is the crisis continuing to impact architecture students? Read the findings from our COVID-19 student survey.

20 October 2020

How is the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis continuing to impact architecture students? Read the findings from our COVID-19 student survey.

Mental and physical health

Our survey shows that students are under personal stress because of the pandemic.

58% of respondents told us that their mental health had deteriorated because of the COVID-19 crisis and 39% said their physical health had deteriorated.

As well as the direct impact on mental and physical health, participants told us:

  • 45% were feeling isolated and 39% were not keeping in touch with their peer group
  • 41% are worried about their family’s wellbeing
  • 42% feel they can get help with their wellbeing when they need it
  • 86% feel supported by their families; 64% feel supported by their peers; 33% feel supported their university; and 16% feel like they have no support

See our guidance on how to look after your mental health and links to free support.

Concerns about the future

Students are also worrying about the future, as job prospects have been impacted by the pandemic.

48% worry about being able to get a job as an architect when they complete their studies. 41% don’t feel they have the money they need to get by, and the same amount are worried about their family’s finances.

10% of students had a job offer at a practice, but it was withdrawn; 9% have lost a part-time role; 9% have stopped working towards their qualification; and 5% no longer wish to become an architect.

Online teaching and learning

Our survey shows that home-working and online teaching and learning does not suit everyone.

83% stated that online teaching and learning is suitable for only some parts of the curriculum and 81% would be put off applying to a course that’s entirely online.

However, 58% feel it is good preparation for the digital future and 36% say it has challenged them to be more creative.

Additional findings

The survey also shows:

  • 72% of students feeling that they are getting a “second class education”
  • 65% said online teaching and learning has not improved the focus of their work
  • A quarter of participants say that where they live is not adequate for them to work in and the same amount say their equipment is not adequate for the work they need to do

The survey ran from July to August 2020 and received 398 responses from students.

Read the findings from our second COVID-19 survey of the profession.

The RIBA remains committed to responding to the needs of its members and will carry on providing the information, guidance and support they need. Members with any concerns are encouraged to email

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