Architects are highly qualified professionals with an extremely wide range of professional skills and qualifications, from the technical sciences to the visual arts.
While in Germany or Great Britain the term ’architect’ is clear, protected by law, and roughly coincides with the title of higher education qualifications required for professional practice, in Hungary it is not always evident in public discourse who is called an architect. So, it is worth clarifying some concepts.
Before World War II, the word ‘architect’ was also used in Hungary, on the specialized diplomas obtained at the Technical University, but in the following Socialist era, the title was changed to certified architect-engineer. This coincided with the contemporary approach, which considered architecture primarily as a technical field, and its main task was to meet the quantitative requirements of planned economy.
Thus, it was possible to obtain a university degree at the Budapest University of Technology, called ‘certified architect-engineer’ (which was already an internationally recognized degree, even in Western Europe). In addition, college-level architecture and construction courses were held at the Miklós Ybl College in Budapest and the Mihály Pollack College of Civil Engineering in Pécs, primarily preparing the students for the jobs of contractors, investors, facility managers and authorities.
In the decades after the change of regime, new training courses were launched in more and more places, and during the so-called Bologna process, from 2005 the training of architects had to be integrated into the new system of bachelor's and master's degrees and then the doctoral training. At the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, the previous training remained an undivided course (similar to medical, dental, veterinary, pharmacy and legal trainings), but the university also started a BSc (bachelor) training, while former colleges – previously merged into different universities – have also launched MSc (master) courses.
Thus, today it is possible to study architecture at the bachelor’s or master's level in many places, but students are basically prepared for design work by obtaining the master's degree. When graduating, students receive a diploma of ‘certified architect-engineer’ at the TUB, ‘certified construction-artist’ at the MOME, ‘certified designer architect-engineer’ at the Szent István University and the University of Debrecen, ‘certified architect’ or ‘certified construction-artist’ at the University of Pécs and the University of Sopron, and ‘certified architect’ or ‘certified architect-engineer’ at the University of Győr.
There are separate MSc courses for interior designers, landscape designers and garden architects, land-use, and urban planners. Such degrees are awarded by, among others, the Moholy-Nagy University of Arts, the Budapest Metropolitan University, and the Corvinus University of Budapest.
Architecture is one of the regulated professions in the European Union, so the degree obtained does not in itself entitle the holder to pursue the profession independently, only together with a valid entry in the List of Members.