When Lewis came to the University of Liverpool, School of Architecture (SOA) on their Open Day, he was struck by the beautiful buildings gracing the City. That inspired him to join the SOA, and he is now happily enjoying his learning there.
“As an architecture student, it is great that Liverpool offers such a variety of historic architecture especially St. George’s Hall and Metropolitan Cathedral,” Lewis excitedly shares, adding that knowing about Liverpool City’s history just increased the charm of studying at the SOA.
Indeed, walking around Liverpool City gives you a sense of appreciation for their easy access to everything, and more importantly, the award-winning contemporary architecture including the 2014 Stirling Prize-winning Everyman Theatre. Their heritage of Georgian and Victorian architecture juxtaposed against the modern background makes for fantastic study as well.
At the same time, the SOA’s past is so intertwined with Liverpool’s that it feels like travelling through a “microcosm of 20th century architectural influences and values”. From being the first UK university to design and award RIBA-accredited degrees and producing six Gold Medal winners among their staff and students along the way, the SOA has grown to become an international centre of excellence in architectural research and education.
Today, as part of the famed University of Liverpool – a top Russell Group University, the SOA is ranked an impressive 8th across the UK for Architecture (Guardian University Guide 2022). Even more remarkable is that 40% of their faculty’s research work is rated as 4* or world-leading in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, making the SOA third nationwide for research outputs.
In fact, many of the researchers are experienced professionals and leading academics. Their work is varied, extensive and broad, with a strong focus on furthering knowledge and enhancing architectural design.
“The tutors are very passionate about the course. The way teachers teach is fantastic, and adds to the great and friendly atmosphere within the classes,” Lewis enthuses.
The SOA recognises that professional life is becoming more specialist and complex. That is why their carefully designed undergraduate and graduate programmes are made to give students choice and flexibility, to match their diverse strengths and career aspirations.
Right from the start, the SOA gives critical support through their outstanding facilities including the large open-plan Design Studio that comes with 24 hour access for individual and group study and work. The Print Media Design Suite – a multipurpose facility with the latest equipment like 3-D printers, backlit drawing boards and guillotines – allow students to obtain precise printing, cuttings, scans and drawings.
That is not all. Students can enjoy model making workshops, a laser suite, a CNC router room, dedicated computing labs with essential software, research labs (controlled environment rooms, noise transmission suites) and a well-stocked library too.
With such facilities, it comes as no surprise that they are one of the top draws for enrolling in the SOA. There is one more reason: although the Professional Studies Advisor (PSA) is an usual feature of schools of architecture or Part 3 course providers, it has become an indispensable value-added service for SOA students.
All Part 1 year-out students are encouraged to apply for a PSA that will meet with them two to three times annually for signing the PEDR log sheets, one of the requirements to qualify as a UK architect; post Part Two students can request for a RIBANW PSA. Should anyone feel they are not getting the right practical experience, the PSA can link up with the Employment Mentor; best of all, it only costs 25 pounds for yearly subscription.
Besides the PSA, SOA students can easily drop by the Career Help Centre, where they can receive advice on filling in applications for work and external placements. The Student Support Centre provides Learning, Teaching and Support Officers for those facing difficulties in their academic and personal life as well.
At the same time, it is the little things that make other students feel valued at the SOA. David believes that the Architecture course in itself truly gives the much-needed framework for practice.
“It is a rewarding course. Of course it is hard work, but you get what you put into it,” David shares, adding that he has personally found the Disability Services helpful and useful.
Yashin, another Architecture student, particularly enjoys the fact that she gets to meet a lot of people in the course. Liverpool is known as the fourth friendliest city in the world so it is not surprising that over 7,700 international students flock to the university.
SOA students can take advantage of the University of Liverpool’s myriad International Opportunities such as Internships and Careers. Inbound and outbound exchanges with universities in other countries are possible too.
Altogether, SOA offers an extraordinary experience for anyone wishing to be part of a top-ranked UK university for architecture. Learn more here.