Top 10 cities to study architecture


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By BAM Team

There are sunny, cold, rainy, wooded, and even desert ones; the only thing they have in common is that they are all cities. Some of them have better features to offer to their people, some of them are a little more hostile, but after all, they are what we call home; the place we relate to, which shapes our lifestyle and our habits.


In light of the current pandemic situation, some cities have grown from adversity. With the help of some policies, education, and the will of their citizens, these cities were able to overcome this unexpected circumstance.


As you are imagining, these rising cities are great places to live and study. So taking as reference BBC’s ranking of the best cities in the world to live and the 2021 Architecture and Built Environment QS ranking, here is a list of the top 10 cities to study architecture starting from the 10th position:

10. Brisbane, Australia

According to BBC’s ranking, Brisbane is the tenth best city in the world to live in. With a population of 2.28 million people (2016, UN), Brisbane is one of the most populated cities of Australia and the capital of Queensland. The City Council has a bikeway and pathway project that encourages a more active lifestyle, also a «green bridges» program which could make it easier to move around the city by foot, bike, or public transport.


Surrounded by the Brisbane River you can find the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), ranked between the 51st and 100th position by the 2021 Architecture and Built Environment QS ranking. Here you can find their architecture undergraduate and postgraduate offer.

9. Melbourne, Australia

The 9th place in BBC’s ranking is to another city in Australia: Melbourne. Being the capital of Victoria,  Melbourne is located at the southeast of Australia, and in 2013, more than 35% of its residents were born abroad. This coastal city is particularly attractive because of the number of plans from which you can choose to entertain yourself, from water activities, passing through scenic and wildlife, to extreme activities.


In Parkville, you can find The University of Melbourne, rated 23rd by the QS ranking regarding architecture and build environment subject. There you can study a Bachelor in Design or choose from a wide range of postgraduate studies.

8. Geneva, Switzerland

With about 200,000 citizens, Geneva is home to the European headquarters of the UN, the Red Cross, and is a world center of diplomacy and banking activities. It is also the 8th best city to live in, according to BBC’s ranking.


Geneva is only 375 meters above sea level and its main attraction is one of the largest lakes in Western Europe: Lake Geneva, where you can also find the Jet d’Eau, a large fountain that is one the most famous city’s landmark.


There you can find the Hes-so Genève, part of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland, and its School of Landscape, Engineering, and Architecture (HEPIA) where you can choose from a variety of Bachelors and Master programs related to architecture and engineering.

7. Zurich, Switzerland

Known for its delicious chocolate and cheese, Zurich is another popular Switzerland city and the biggest one, which sometimes may be confused as the country’s capital. 


Ranked as the 7th best city to live in by the BBC’s ranking, Zurich stands out for offering a high quality of life, starting with having the cleanest drinking water flowing in more than 1,200 public water fountains throughout the city, as well as being a hot spot for research and development. 


Zurich is home to ETH Zurich, ranked fourth by the QS ranking, and whose Master of Advanced Studies in Collective Housing (MCH) was rated third in the 2020 edition of the BAM ranking.

6. Perth, Australia

Perth is the capital of Western Australia (WA), which is a state that covers a third of Australia’s surface. The city is famous for its climate which offers more sunshine hours than any other big city in the country.


Perth is a port with more than 2 million residents, which makes it one of the most populated cities in Australia, and it has been ranked sixth in BBC’s ranking. This city has the biggest university in Western Australia, regarding the student population: Curtin University, which has been rated between the 51st and 100th positions by the QS ranking.


Here you can find Curtin University’s undergraduate and postgraduate programs related to architecture and construction.

5. Tokyo, Japan

Being the world’s biggest metropolitan area, Tokyo earned fifth place in BBC’s ranking. With approximately 2.5 acres of green areas, safe streets, vending machines every few steps, and even its own tower, this city has been chosen as one of the best places to live in 2021.


In the Japanese capital, you can find the University of Tokyo, ranked 16th in the 2021 Architecture and Built Environment QS ranking. In this university, you may study the Master Architecture and Urban Design Course (G30-UDA), which coined the 28th position in 2020 BAM’s ranking.


There you can also find the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) that has the 37th place in QS ranking and where you could study an Undergraduate Major in Architecture and Building Engineering or a Graduate Major in Architecture and Building Engineering, Urban Design and Built Environment, or Engineering Sciences and Design in its Department of Architecture and Building Engineering.

4. Wellington, New Zealand

In the southernmost capital in the world, you may have a healthy lifestyle as you become part of the 11% of the population who commute by foot on Wellington’s steep streets. Almost all of its residents live within three kilometers of the coastline, and being surrounded by more than 123,500 acres of forest, there’s no doubt you may enjoy nature’s magic in «windy Wellington».


Also, at a time when equality is becoming more important, you might like to live in the first country to give women the right to vote.


In Wellington, you may find the Victoria University of Wellington, ranked between de 101st and 150th positions in QS ranking with an interesting offer such in undergraduate as in postgraduate programs related to architecture

3. Adelaide, Australia

Famous for its reach multicultural environment,  the population of Adelaide was about 1.3 million people in 2016, according to the UN. Even though it is one of the biggest cities in Australia, you can get to any point in 20 minutes, which speaks well of the city’s urban planning.


Adelaide was named as the third best city to live in by BBC’s ranking, and the University of Adelaide can be found between the 101st and 150th positions in QS ranking. There you may find from a Bachelor and Honours Degree of Bachelor of Architectural Design, to a variety of postgraduate architecture-related programs.

2. Osaka, Japan

What was once the capital of Japan, is today the second best city to live in the world, according to BBC’s ranking. Currently, Osaka is listed in the top 3 biggest cities in Japan and it’s recognized for its outgoing people, its many gastronomic and shopping options as well as its ancient history and monuments, some of which have had to be restored because of wars’ effects.



There you may find Osaka University, located between the 51st and 100th places in QS ranking, which offers both undergraduate and postgraduate programs related to architectural engineering.

1. Auckland, New Zealand

And there’s the best city to live in, according to BBC’s ranking this year… Auckland, New Zealand, also known as the City of  Sails, since it is located between two harbours and most of the locals own some kind of ship.


Home to the Maori people, the largest Polynesian population in the world, Auckland offers diverse multicultural activities, sometimes related to its origins, some other times to its geographical location such as taking a hike from the Pacific Ocean to the Tasman Sea in four hours or visiting its over 50 volcanoes, you are never going to run out of plans.


There you may find the University of Auckland, also found between the 51st and 100th positions of QS ranking, where you can choose from an interesting variety of architecture and design-related programs.

Now that you have read about all of these cities and their wonders, have you made up your mind on where’s your next life and professional adventure?


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