Andrew J Knox-Watson - BSc (Hons) Architectural Technology

Andrew Knox-Watson graduate
After visiting architecture schools across Scotland, 23-year-old Andrew Knox-Watson says The Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment at RGU stood out by a country mile. Not only for the course content, brand new facilities and industry leading staff, but also for the picturesque campus.

Cumbernauld based Andrew Knox-Watson says for all the time he can remember, he was obsessed with taking things apart and working out how they went together again. At school, he was drawn towards craft and design, maths and science subjects. Going to university seemed like the natural choice and architecture the best fit for his skill set. After working hard to achieve the results he needed, Andrew secured a place at RGU, his top university choice from Greenfaulds High School.

Andrew says he’s learnt a lot in his time at RGU, not just about the subjects he’s studied but also about himself. He initially started his university journey in architecture however, after completing his second year, realised his interests lay more in technical design. He was able to take advantage of the flexible degree program, moving over to Architectural Technology to continue his journey.

“Looking back, for lots of reasons, my degree was tougher than I thought it was going to be. I’m glad I persevered and got there in the end. For me, that’s the achievement.

“My industrial placement has been my course highlight. I relished the opportunity to practically apply all of the skills and knowledge I’d learnt on the course whilst simultaneously building my portfolio, essential for applying for jobs after university.”

Another highlight for Andrew, was playing RGU Lacrosse. Starting as a sport he had rarely heard of before university, Andrew turned up at a training session in his first year, to eventually make the first team and travelling internationally with them. The experience taught him leadership and team working skills along the way.

Like others, the pandemic has impacted Andrew’s studies and he accessed a range of student support services available to help students throughout lockdown, including the counselling service as well as RGUs legal support service, following a close bereavement. The pandemic also affected his self-sourced placement.

“Just five weeks into my placement in January 2020, the entire world went into lockdown. I feared my placement, and possibly my degree, was in jeopardy. Fortunately, the company I was working for, Glasgow based CRGP, were quick to pivot to remote working. Through their support I met the required learning outcomes and completed all 600 of my placements. I’ll be forever grateful to CRGP and with their help, I got there in the end.”

Despite concluding his studies in the midst of a global pandemic, Andrew says he’s found a number of career opportunities available to him. Looking beyond the job titles and deconstructing job adverts, he could see direct links to the subject specific skills he’d learnt in his degree. His online portfolio also held him in good stead and he was noticed by Ironside Farrar, a leading industry civil engineering and landscape design firm. Based on his extensive portfolio and with the success of his BSc in Architectural Technology, Ironside Farrar offered him a graduate role which started last April.

“All-in-all my time at RGU has instilled in me the need to be hard working, resilient and given me a willingness to adapt to change. In a post-covid world, all these qualities will stand me in good stead. Looking ahead, having secured my graduate job, the next step is to continue to pursue my CIAT Chartership and therein continue my professional development.”

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