What can I do with my architecture and built environment degree?

Discover employment and further study opportunities that you could consider once you graduate with an architecture or built environment degree and learn how you can stand out to graduate employers.

We encourage you to:

  • undertake career planning and research
  • build your networks, meet employers and graduates
  • gain essential work experience during your course
  • attend career fairs and events
  • continually develop your skills and knowledge
  • get involved with relevant clubs and societies
  • visit the Careers Service for advice.

Knowledge and skills

  • Presentation skills
  • Written and verbal communication
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Creativity, with proficiency in drawing and modelling
  • Awareness of industry trends and adherence to regulations
  • Flexibility and the ability to problem solve
  • Project management and efficient time planning
  • Attention to detail, particularly with data interpretation and analysis
  • IT skills (such as CAD/AutoCAD, or computer-aided design) and digital literacy
  • Researching and writing project proposals
  • Decision-making and negotiation
  • Personal development, through professional performance reflection

Career options

Architects and surveyors work in a variety of organisations, and it is typical for graduates to be employed within smaller, localised firms to begin with before moving on to bigger practices. Regardless of the size of the company, you might benefit from drawing on your work experiences and degree specialisms to determine what would suit you. Planning, construction, urban design and environmental services are just some of the departments that built environment graduates can work within, and these can occur across the sectors.

If you studied architecture, and want to qualify as a registered architect, you will need to complete the final stages of the qualifications recognised by RIBA and the Architects Registration Board (ARB). Similarly, if you have completed a quantity surveying degree, you can become chartered by completing the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC). There are some good websites below that can help you investigate these in more detail to see if they are right for you.

Researching your career options

With such a wide range of careers open to you as a graduate, it is important to make sure you explore and research your options thoroughly so that you can make informed decisions about your future.  

Take a look at the Prospects and the design association websites for inspiration:  

Employment opportunities

Below is a snapshot of what some of University of Plymouth architecture graduates told us they were doing 15 months after graduation. For some graduates, these jobs serve as ‘stepping stones’ to other roles by providing relevant workplace experience.

  • Architect
  • Part 1 Architect Graduate
  • Architectural Assistant
  • CAD Technician
  • Part 1 Architectural Assistant
  • Freelance Designer


  • AG Design and Construction
  • Bond Bryan
  • Design Engine Architects
  • Eric Cole Ltd.
  • Holder Mathias Architects
  • Hyde and Hyde Architects
  • Make Architects
  • Mark Waghorn Design
  • Prewett Bizley
  • Quattro Design Architects Ltd
  • RS Studio
  • South Central
  • SRA Architects
  • Studio Lime Architect

*Data is from the Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017/18. Graduates were surveyed 15 months after graduating. Data displayed is for 30 UK-domiciled, first degree, full-time graduates who are working, studying or looking for work.

Further study

Some of the careers chosen by graduates will require or benefit from further study, so this should be considered carefully. The University of Plymouth offers the following postgraduate study options related to architecture and built environment:

You should consider the financial implications of further study as well as selecting a programme that suits your interests, learning style and future career direction. The following websites are a good starting point for exploring postgraduate options, but you may also benefit from talking to a Careers Consultant about your particular situation.  

Some useful websites to help you find a suitable post-graduate programme:  

It is also worth investigating what further study options the University has to offer as you may find the perfect course for yourself in an institution you already know. There are also sometimes financial benefits of staying on such as a fee discount to Alumni, find out your funding options here.

Careers Service support

Accessing support from the Careers Service couldn’t be easier, come along to the Careers Service Helpdesk in the Student Hub or access our 24/7 online resources.

There is a wide range of support available from skills workshops to events, placements and internships advice, 1-2-1 appointments and help getting started with LinkedIn.

Our bite-sized Skills Workshops can give your career the boost it needs. Choose from a range of topics:

  • effective career planning
  • job hunting techniques
  • finding part-time work
  • CVs and interviews
  • mastering LinkedIn
  • and more.
Workshops are delivered by the Careers Service, however they are also an opportunity to learn from your peers, share experiences and ask questions. Visit myCareer to see the full range of activities and to book your place.

Connect with graduates

Build your network and job sector knowledge using LinkedIn’s alumni tool. This will allow you to see the career journeys of graduates from your programme, the qualifications they completed, the skills they developed and employers they worked for. You can then ‘connect’ with people of interest.

  • search LinkedIn for ‘University of Plymouth’
  • click on ‘Alumni’
  • filter the results by subject, sector, company or location.

For more information about the alumni tool click on LinkedIn alumni tool guide. If you are looking for help to set up or learn how to make the most out of your LinkedIn profile, click on the LinkedIn guide for students or come to one of our workshops.

Other advice and guidance

Gain work experience

Undertaking work experience in your first and second years will help you stand out from the crowd when the time comes for you to complete applications for graduate employment and further study. Work experience develops valuable skills and qualities that employers are looking for and is essential for many roles. It can also help you to confirm or rule out particular career choices. Furthermore, experience in the workplace can bring you into contact with people who may be able to assist you at the beginning of your career.

You have plenty of options open to you. You could apply for a placement year, work part-time around your studies, undertake volunteering or approach organisations directly to negotiate short periods of work experience. Some organisations offer paid internships over the summer or of one year’s duration.

The University of Plymouth Students’ Union also offers a wide range of volunteering opportunities

Clubs & societies   

Engaging in a sport or society shows employers you are engaged and seek out opportunities, it also helps you improve your teamwork, communication and negotiation skills. Committee members develop leadership, diplomacy and organisational skills and will gain experience of meetings, handling funds, and society promotion

You may choose to join a society that is specifically linked to architecture such as Parcs or take the opportunity to explore the huge range of clubs, societies and sports, all of which can help you to broaden your horizons and explore new interests.

Tutor and academic support

Your tutor and other academic staff are an excellent source of support for your career development. They will have experience and contacts across industry and academia, so do approach them for advice and insights into careers you are considering. Your tutor will ultimately be writing references for your employment or further study applications, therefore establishing a positive relationship with this person is invaluable.