Architects design buildings and the space around them. They develop designs which reflect the client’s needs and specification. They have to make sure that buildings are fit for purpose and meet environmental standards.

This page has information on the role of an architect in the NHS, including entry requirements and skills needed. 

Working life

The NHS owns a huge number of buildings. As an architect, you may be involved in renovating and extending existing buildings or designing new ones. Many of the buildings owned by the NHS are of historic value. Some have been listed to ensure they are preserved. When renovating or extending historic buildings, you'll have to be aware of the heritage while still meeting modern healthcare standards and requirements.

Architects working on NHS buildings may work within the NHS or for a private firm which specialises in designing NHS buildings.

Architects work with other staff from corporate services, such as surveyors, finance staff, estates and facilities managers, project managers and purchasing and contract managers. They may meet healthcare staff when they travel to NHS sites. Architects are unlikely to have contact with patients. They also work with people outside the NHS, mainly in the construction industry.

Architects in private firms may work in a team with other architectural staff.

You'll be based in an office but travel to meetings and spend time on site.

Entry requirements

To practice as an architect, you have to be registered with the Architects Registration BoardTo get onto an undergraduate architecture degree, you usually need

or alternative qualifications, including

Some universities ask for a portfolio of your design work. Each institution sets its own entry requirements, so it’s important to check carefully.

Skills needed

Architects need to be

You'll also need

Training and development

Training takes at least seven years and is a mix of university courses and practical experience, consisting of

There is a list of accredited courses on the Royal Institute of British Architects website.

Architects can become members of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). RIBA offers meetings and seminars where architects can update their skills and network with others.

Employers may offer short courses in particular topics such as budgeting or project management.

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