Architecture TO Masters in Interaction Design

Hey all,

I’m an architectural undergraduate and tbh I’ve lost the love for architecture after working in two firms and was hoping for some guidance from someone who is already experienced

However, I love design, research methodologies (from my b.arch) and I’m also familiar with most of the applied psychology terms. I’m good with computers. That’s why I want to get into UX design.

My question is, If I want to work abroad in a new country, without any prior experience in UX design; will it make sense for me to continue my Masters in UX design in the specific country and working on my portfolio while at school or should I just intern at an office with self learning?

Can I also have some recommendations of countries which are supportive after the course completion in terms of working since I don’t have plans to move back to my home country.

Hi Ben, to answer your questions:

Will it make sense for me to continue my Masters in UX design in the specific country and working on my portfolio while at school or should I just intern at an office with self learning?
For international people, the hard requirement for working in another country is a valid working visa, which can be typically acquired by getting a job that meets the salary bar. However, in a popular country like the US, you’ll likely have to go through the lottery drawing process even the company decides to hire you. As a result, most employers wouldn’t bother hiring foreigners unless the candidate’s skill is absolutely irreplaceable in the market (less likely for a UX designer). This is why many people, like myself, decided to first get a Master’s degree to be able to get a valid working visa after graduation. More info see this answer.
Other than the working visa, these are benefits I see in terms of getting a UX Master’s degree.

Can I also have some recommendations of countries which are supportive after the course completion in terms of working since I don’t have plans to move back to my home country.
This depends on what you meant by “supportive”. Take the US for example, the benefits are that it provides the most job opportunities in tech, and getting the work visa seems attainable. The downside is that you’ll likely face a fierce competition in the UX job market. For European countries, the main challenge I see is the need to master the local language if you want to build a UX career in long term. I recommend talking to international people who are already working in your target countries to see how they went through their path.

Some advice on getting scholarships
This question is very program-dependent. Usually the scholarship info is available in the program’s website. These are other ideas in terms of budgeting.

Some advice on starting my portfolio
Check out this article and this response.

Lastly, just wanna point out that I’ve seen quite a few architect-turned-UX people in the field. I feel the training of architecture is usually very solid in a traditional design sense. Switching from architecture to UX is definitely doable in a shorter period of time comparing to people with zero design-related background, so you are at the advantageous starting point.

Good luck!! :slight_smile:

Hi, @kaitinghuang,

Thank You for your response. You gave me a really good idea of what I must prioritize on. Here’s what I’m planning to do. (please correct me if I’m wrong)

I will start courses which are more structured and gives me a holistic idea of UX design process meanwhile, building myself a portfolio and using this, I’ll be applying to masters programs abroad.

How was your Delft experience? How would you say that the things you learnt at Delft helped you as a professional? And how was your first portfolio which you used to apply for Delft? What kind of projects did you work on? Was it an Online Portfolio? I’d love to get some insights.

Hi Ben,

Your plan sounds good to me!

For my portfolio for TU Delft, see this answer.

My overall experience with TU Delft DFI was good. Here are some pros and cons based on my experience from 2011 - 2013 (things might have changed):


  • TUD is a reputable school in the Netherlands. The overall quality of teaching and students are high.
  • TUD DFI collaborates with companies in the industry a lot. Students can often get feedback from company representatives whose company sponsored the course.
  • TUD DFI required an “individual” capstone project to graduate, which gave me the opportunity to touch on all tasks in the UX spectrum V.S. the group project, I could only work on a specific aspect (usually tasks I’m already good at).
  • I was very lucky to receive a Taiwanese-specific scholarship that covered almost all my tuition fee.


  • The average age of Master’s students at TUD DFI is very young (<25) because the faculty offers a 5-year Bachelor’s + Master’s combo degree. As a result, many of your peers would be Dutch college fresh grads. (Could be a pro for some people?)
  • TUD DFI belongs to the Industrial Design Faculty. When I studied there, most of the professors have a traditional industrial design background (physical design). If you are very into the digital side of things (e.g. interface design), you’ll have to teach yourself many practical software skills. (Things might have changed)
  • The class size is quite big. Some lecture courses you’ll have 100+ people in the room.
  • I summarized the overall cons about studying in the Netherlands in this article. Basically, the language barrier and limited UX job opportunities.

I think the TUD degree definitely provided me the fundamental training as a “designer” and helped me land on a job in the Netherlands after graduation. If your goal is to stay in the Netherlands for the long term, it is one of the best UX programs you can get. :slight_smile:

Thanks a dozen Kaiting, I myself was looking into Delft and you gave a pretty good picture as to what I should expect. I better get to learning and implementing as I already have some problem - solution ideas which I have encountered in my day to day life in my country. People struggling with complex UI. I will be using these to start my portfolio with case studies and so on as I have already read a few books which you have mentioned.

Overall, thank you for spending the time to reply. It means so much to those of us who are passionate and are just starting.

Happy to help! Let us know how your plan pans out. Good luck!!

Hey there (again),

Good day @kaitinghuang. I started to discover ideas and problems for my portfolio and since I’m from an architectural background, I have a project which is User Centered (for children) and I wondered If I could use my Floor plans and building design plans to explain how I solved real world problems. Of course I will go through the UX design process such as research, define, ideate, prototyping (schematic floor plans).

My question is, can I make my portfolio an architectural one BUT one which solves and is completely user centered. I do not know how to make beautiful interfaces for apps since I’m not trained yet. But I can make building plans and renders which are catered to solving real world problems.

Will Universities accept this manner of approach or is it better to make a portfolio as to how “my app” will solve a problem for the user?

Thanks again.

You are right about the fact that “app” shouldn’t be the only way to solve a problem. As long as your solution is based on the user’s need, it doesn’t matter what type of deliverable you have in the end.

However, other than demonstrating that you understand the “user-centered process”, your portfolio will also be used by schools and employers to evaluate your “design skills”. If your portfolio has only architectural deliverables, the viewers will probably assume that you don’t have experience designing digital interfaces.

I think a “safer” approach is to try to have both UI & architectural work in your portfolio because it’s really hard to predict what evaluators are looking for.

That’s a good point. I’ll be working on both of them then. Thanks for the insight.

Hi kaiting,

It has been a little more than a month and firstly, I just want to thank you for all the work that you have put into making this website and sharing your experiences with us. I knew I wanted to get into Ux from architecture degree but I had no clue how to start and what to do.

I read every one of your blog posts and the information provided in this site. I started reading medium articles, did a couple of MOOC courses, a udemy course, Ux podcasts, read entry level UX books and I made my first UX portfolio with two projects with the stuff I learnt from the above mentioned sources. It has been an amazing experience even if it has just been a month.

I have offers from universities in UK, France for my masters in UX. Kingston University and Brighton University are my favorites. Is there any info you could share with me about UX career in the UK ( especially London) since I am aiming for continuing this work pace during my university days to secure a job in the UK (of course you would know/understand the hard situation for us, international students)

Also, the Kingston program has a 2 year program with work placement in the second year… Will that be helpful in transitioning and helping me with the job prospects? Overall, I’d really like if I could get some info on the overall scope of UX in London or UK as a whole. Thanks again.

Hi Ben,

To determine the employability for international students in UK, I think it’s best that you reach out to the alumni from Kingston University and Brighton University.

Some key things to ask:

  1. What kind of post-graduation work visa do international students get?

  2. How long does it take for students to find a job?

  3. What kind of work do they do?

  4. Where do most students go after 5 years? (Still stay in the country or move to somewhere else?)

I’ve personally never studied or lived there, so my knowledge is limited. I appreciate if you can share back what you find! Thanks!


Thanks for your input @kaitinghuang

I’ve decided to wait out a bit before going for a master’s as the UK is really unstable at the moment for international students.

Meanwhile, I’m working on a UX Online portfolio and I love the diagrams and flowchart which you have made to illustrate your thought process. Is there any tool you used specifically for this ?

I’d love to know more. Thanks again.


Hai Ben,
I recently completed Architecture and I am planning to go for Masters in UX design next year ie. 2022 fall. I would like to know your process since you were on the same path. From start what all you did, also was there an issue with visa because you did BArch. Did you get in?Are you already in some country doing masters?