Last edited 28 May 2021

Main author

Grant Erskine Architects Architect

Architectural training


[edit] Traditional route.

This is the route that most individuals follow and takes at least seven years. Prior to this a student must achieve sufficient grades to apply to University. There is no set requirement for subjects or grades, some universities may insist on art, others may not, some may ask for 3 A’s at A level, others might accept 3 C’s. Some universities will accept a relevant HND instead of A Levels.

[edit] Part I

This is the first degree or undergraduate degree and normally takes the form of a 3 year BA(Hons) or BSC at university, where students learn about the theory of architecture, design skills, construction methods and the built environment. Different universities will teach these skills in different ways, but the outcome is likely to be similar.

[edit] Part I assistant / 1st year out

This is the first 'year out' during which students work under the supervision of an architect, in a position which is normally paid, and learn a more ‘hands-on’ approach to architecture. Students are expected to keep Professional Education Development Records (PEDR's or log books). Due to the economic climate, obtaining a position is not a certainty, however most universities will offer allowances to overcome this.

[edit] Part II

An additional 2 years of advanced study, known as the BArch, where students build on what they have learnt in the past 4 years and develop their theoretical understanding of the world of architecture. Again different universities teach this in different ways.

[edit] Part II assistant / 2nd year out

At this stage students can call themselves an ‘architectural assistant’. Once again they work under mentored supervision for a period of at least 12 months, keeping PEDR’s. Some individuals may take longer than 12 months at this stage.

For more information, see Architectural assistant.

[edit] Part III

For entry onto the Part III students must have completed RIBA accredited Part I and Part II courses, with a minimum of 24 months PEDR’s.

Part III is the professional exam that must be taken in order be called an Architect. Different universities approach it in different ways, but the output normally includes a project review, an exam and a final oral exam. The emphasis is on management and professionalism.

If students pass, they can register with the Architects Registration Board and then call themselves an Architect. This title, the word Architect, is protected by law.

They may also become a chartered member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), allowing them to use the letters RIBA after their name. Membership of the RIBA is voluntary and is not necessary for architects.

[edit] The non-traditional route or alternative route.

Some universities run part-time courses, which allow students to work while they study. They can also apply for accreditation of prior learning on other courses.

If students have been working for a long period in practice, some universities will assess them and their portfolio to allow them access onto the Part III course.

The RIBA Examination in Architecture for Office-based Candidates is an alternative route to qualification for RIBA Part 1 and Part 2 for people working full-time under the supervision of an architect. Applicants must have a minimum of three years’ experience in architectural practice to join the examination at Part 1; or 3 years post-Part 1 experience to join the Part 2 stage (as well as holding Part 1).

[edit] Apprenticeships

In March 2017, the RIBA announced that an ‘Architecture Trailblazer’ group of practices had won approval from the Department for Education (DfE) for apprenticeship schemes for for two apprenticeship routes:

  • Architectural Assistant: A level 6 qualification equivalent to Part 1, taking four years, with 20% academic training and a degree being awarded upon completion.
  • Architect: A level 7 qualification taking four years (beyond Level 6/Part 1), with 20% academic training and no further studies required for registration.

On 27 June 2018, the Institute for Apprenticeships approved standards and end point assessment documents for an architectural assistant apprenticeship, which encompasses a Part 1 qualification, and an architect apprenticeship, which encompasses a Part 2 qualification and a Part 3 qualification. Ref

The scheme is due to start in 2019, funded by a levy on employers with an annual payroll of more than £3m.

[edit] Cost

There is concern that architectural training has become relatively expensive now that universities can charge fees of up to £9,000 a year. Training to become an architect takes at least seven years, with four or five of these at university. Adding in necessary living expenses on top of university fees, it is thought that the total cost of training to become an architect could be as much as £100,000.

This may result in architecture becoming the preserve of students whose parents were able to support them through their training. Whilst the number of applications for places at schools of architecture remains high, increasingly this is from students outside the EU, with applications from UK and EU students decreasing.

This article was originally created by --Grant Erskine Architects 09:45, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

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