(23 Posts)
cantkeepawayforever Sat 18-Aug-18 21:44:42

This is a 'long time in the future' query for DD, just about to enter Y11.

She excels at Art, Maths and Sciences (pretty good at most things, tbh, with very high predicted GCSE grades, but those are her main strengths).

She is interested in the 'practical' side of art, and has expressed an interest in, and has lots of opinions on, architecture / buildings. However, architecture is one of those subjects which, because they don't link to a particular school subject or even an extra-curricular hobby, are quite difficult for a prospective student to evaluate as an option. Other options are things like costume / theatre design (she also does Textiles, and is a serious non-vocational dancer who has performed in e.g. professional panto, so those are perhaps nearer to her own experience)

Are there insight courses / days / summer schools for architecture that she could do, probably next summer? With an older child between Y12 and Y13 I am only too aware how much needs to have been decided by that point so end of Y11 and the extended summer break would be a perfect time. I know that the Sutton Trust might be a possible option but we don't get too many 'ticks' for them, as I am an Oxbridge graduate and DD's state comprehensive school is very good and in a leafy area.

Any ideas / experience?

OP’s posts: |
bionicnemonic Sat 18-Aug-18 21:48:58

The Bartlett do short courses
Maths, physics and art (or dt) would be good

bionicnemonic Sat 18-Aug-18 21:50:47

cantkeepawayforever Sat 18-Aug-18 21:56:23

Current plans for A-levels (start with 4, do ASs, down to 3 for Y13) are Art, Maths, Physics and Chemistry or French.

Lack of accommodation in London could be an issue for an unaccompanied 16 year old girl - but thanks!

OP’s posts: |
Skiiltan Sat 18-Aug-18 22:24:36

There's an architecture summer school in Cambridge ( but it's outrageously expensive (£4,295). Whereabouts are you? There might be ones local to you that are much cheaper, or free for some students.

Your daughter shouldn't be deterred by the lack of connection to a school subject. I've never understood why so many people carry on school subjects at university when there is such an enormous range to choose from. I just looked at Cardiff University's entry requirements: AAA in A-levels with a balance between art/design and science/humanities plus a portfolio of anything created by the student (photographs, clothes, decorations, illustrations, etc.). These sound like they would be straightforward for your daughter to meet.

BubblesBuddy Sat 18-Aug-18 22:25:30

RIBA does “Skill Up” for teenagers and other events for young people thinking of Architecture as a career. I believe these events are held at RIBA in Portland Place, London because they use their extensive collections but I think you might have to see this as a family holiday if she cannot commute. Does she have to be unaccompanied? I think these events are a good introduction and worthwhile.

BubblesBuddy Sat 18-Aug-18 22:28:54

Over £4000 is outrageous! What sensible person pays that? RIBA is committed to the Architects of the future and their events are not fleecing parents.


cantkeepawayforever Sat 18-Aug-18 22:29:53

Sorry, that sounded a bit dismissive - I didn't mean it to!

I can see that a 2 week course with no linked accommodation would work brilliantly if we lived in or near London, or had relatives who did, or if DD was a bit older and able to stay in some kind of student or other accommodation on her own (I remember from looking into it for DS last year that Youth Hostels, for example, won't accept 16 year olds without an older person). I'll have a good google to see if other architecture departments round the country do anything similar.

OP’s posts: |
cantkeepawayforever Sat 18-Aug-18 22:38:50

Bubbles, sorry, X-posted.

Skill Up looks really good - we could manage a less-expensive 5 day course with accommodation for DD + an accompanying adult who went off to do something else each day (leaving DS + other adult at home) as long as it was during school holidays for me - teacher, so no possibility of absence during term time. Thanks!

OP’s posts: |
hellsbells99 Sun 19-Aug-18 00:30:39

Get your DD to contact local architecture companies and see if she can do some work experience.

IvySquirrel Sun 19-Aug-18 08:35:34

My DS has just finished y11 and is also considering architecture. He did a week's work experience in a local firm and is planning a levels in maths, further maths, physics and DT, which his school has said would be fine for architecture except at Cambridge which prefers art over DT. We have been recommended RIBA courses and they also have a young architects forum for 6th form.
Definitely recommend work experience as it gave a good idea what it would actually be like to work as an architect, unlike Grand Designs!

ajandjjmum Sun 19-Aug-18 08:39:38

Both of my DC did a weeks work experience in London at Canary Wharf when they were 16.

We booked a room at the local Ibis hotel, and I went down for the first night and last night to settle them in. It worked really well and they enjoyed their taste of freedom, although it is a fairly safe area.

Might that be worth considering?

user1499173618 Sun 19-Aug-18 14:49:32

Two more summer programme ideas.

BubblesBuddy Sun 19-Aug-18 17:07:36

I think that Work experience can be quite limited for a 16 year old. From what I can see, the RIBA events are more hands on and designed for teenagers rather than having a non focussed week sitting next to an architect. When they are at university, the work experience comes into its own a bit more.

cantkeepawayforever Sun 19-Aug-18 20:25:03

Thank you all!

I can see that both events / courses and work experience have their place - the events / courses to explore what it is like studying architecture, and work experience to see what it is like working as an architect.

I think both would be useful for DD. Where we live, the architecture firms are small (mainly 1 - 2 people) and so perhaps limited in the experience they offer. Combining work experience with something more 'hands on' like Skill Up or anything similar available more regionally is probably the way to go. 'Official' work experience week was in Y10 (DD chose a very, very 'full on interacting with people' work placement as she felt those were skills she lacked) but I suspect if she approached places with a much more flexible set of dates she might be able to find something for next year

OP’s posts: |
greathat Sun 19-Aug-18 20:36:07

Have a look on futurelearn? There's courses on everything, might be something of interest

greathat Sun 19-Aug-18 20:36:07

Have a look on futurelearn? There's courses on everything, might be something of interest

BubblesBuddy Mon 20-Aug-18 12:27:55

The other very useful course is run by the University of the Arts London (UAL). They run a Portfolio Preparation for Architecture degree applicants. It is one week at Christmas (there may be other dates). Current cost is £580. This is gives helpful pointers as to what is required.

cantkeepawayforever Mon 20-Aug-18 13:10:05

Thanks Bubble. It sounds as if you have been through this route?

At the moment, we have Skill Up and possibly local work experience on the list for the summer after Year 11. Then it looks as if the UAL course may be good for the Christmas of Y12 if she intends to apply for architecture in Y13. She could also apply for a Sutton Trust summer school between Y12 and Y13, but I don't think she would be accepted - but who knows, without ever trying?

Will start saving now.....

OP’s posts: |
BubblesBuddy Mon 20-Aug-18 16:20:44

DD did a UAL course before applying for an arts course with them. I forgot they did Architecture when I posted earlier! Also have a friend who was RIBA president!

My DN really ought to have a shout at Sutton Trust on income but like you, the school is quite good and parents have degrees. I think looking at reasonably priced alternatives is necessary!

nessus Tue 21-Aug-18 21:18:11

NLA offer free summer courses, alongside a wider year-round access programme, for teens in state schools.

cantkeepawayforever Tue 21-Aug-18 21:36:04

Thanks! There seem to be a wealth of opportunities in London. Any Midlands / West options? Birmingham would probably be the most accessible 'big city' for DD; Scottish central belt would be another option through friends / family.

OP’s posts: |
NameChangedAgain18 Tue 21-Aug-18 21:40:28

This online course (starting soon) looks ideal for your daughter:

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