Student profile: Abbie Spencer

Why did you choose to study Architecture at the University of Liverpool?

The facilities – everyone is guaranteed a desk in one of the studio spaces, there are also multiple workshops with loads of technicians to help you out. The campus for the University of Liverpool is really nice and all the departments are close together so you always make friends in other courses; it’s only a 15 minute walk from the city centre as well.


What do you enjoy most about the course, and why?

I love that the course covers a wide range of things from designing buildings in the studio to visiting construction sites and touring buildings. Every day is different – you aren’t always sitting at your laptop designing floor plans.


Can you tell us about an exciting project you have completed on your course?

As part of the ARCH261 Structure and Construction module we got to visit a construction site on campus and were given a tour around the buildings that were being refurbished. We then had to write a site visit report on everything we saw on site. It’s a great way to learn and really helps with your design work.


What does Liverpool have to offer as a city?

Liverpool as a city is quite small but is big enough to still always find new places. There are loads of great bars, restaurants, and shops, as well as there being stunning places such as the waterfront and Sefton Park.


Can you tell us about the teaching methods/how your learning has been facilitated?

In 1st-year studio there is a 1:12 ratio of tutors to students, and all the tutors have different specialties from film making to model making, so you do a wide range of projects trying out all different techniques. In the theory modules my lectures are currently still online but the lecturers usually leave time at the end for everyone to ask questions and are always happy to answer any via email outside of the lecture slot as well.


What extra-or co-curricular activities do you take part in, and how do these affect your student experience?

I have a part-time job as a Student Ambassador for the School of Architecture which I really enjoy – I get to meet other Student Ambassadors in different years which isn’t something I’ve had the opportunity to do yet.

I’m also taking part in the RIBA Mentoring Scheme, which has been a really good experience, I’ve been able to go and work in my mentor’s office, giving them feedback on their current projects as well as learning about things not discussed at university, like admin and finance.


What are your ambitions for the future and how will your experiences at the University of Liverpool help you in your future career?

In the future, I’d like to work in practice then come back to Liverpool to do my Masters and hopefully become a qualified architect. I’d definitely like to stay in Liverpool both for my Masters and for work as I think it’s a great city for architecture. Studying here has helped me to develop a wide range of skills and to create a network of contacts within the industry.


If you could go back, what advice would you have given yourself before going to University?

Don’t spend ages working – work expands to fill the time you give it, so be strict with yourself and make sure you balance it with the rest of your life.