Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering

Becoming an architect

RIBA part 1

Traditionally comprising a continuous period of three years of full-time academic study followed by a one-year placement, an undergraduate degree programme is designed to provide the student with the opportunity to develop a broad range of skills and architectural understanding.

At Bath, this traditional route is adjusted so two six-month periods of placement are built into the four-year programme (see the diagram to the right of this page).

University of Bath BSc Architecture (RIBA part 1) programme >>

Part 1 practical experience

An architect's journey

Our diagram shows both the traditional pathway and the University of Bath pathway to becoming a Chartered Architect.

Click on the image below to enlarge it.

Flow diagram showing the journey to becoming an architect

Typically one year in duration, and known as the ‘year out’, this period of experience is normally undertaken immediately following the completion of the Part 1 degree and before a graduate commences the Part 2 academic programme.

This period of practical experience is followed under the guidance of an architectural practice and is formally recorded by the student and monitored and endorsed by the Professional Studies Advisor appointed by the university.

Some students choose to work for longer than one year to earn money or to gain additional experience. Other students take time out to work in the wider construction industry, work overseas, volunteer or travel.

RIBA part 2

The Part 2 degree programme is conventionally two years of full-time academic study, and is designed to provide students with enhanced architectural knowledge and project complexity. Students are still regarded as undergraduates in the architectural education process, and may choose to return to the university where they completed Part 1, or apply to study for Part 2 at another university.

At Bath, one semester of this two-year programme is given over to additional practical experience ensuring that all students on the course have a solid grounding in the reality of architectural practice.

University of Bath MArch (RIBA part 2) programme >>

Part 2 practical experience

Undertaken immediately following completion of the Part 2 degree, the graduate is required to complete a minimum period of 12 months' experience in practice before being eligible to sit the Part 3 qualifying examinations. In addition, they must demonstrate that they have completed a total minimum of 24 months overall practice experience since commencing their formal architectural training, of which a minimum of 12 months should be undertaken in the EEA under the direct supervision of an architect.

Provided the student is able to demonstrate compliance with the requirement for this minimum period of European experience, they are able to complete the remainder of their experience in any overseas country should they wish.

RIBA part 3

This final stage in the process of qualifying as an architect in the United Kingdom is preparation for the formal examination undertaken whilst the candidate is doing Part 2 practical experience.

The Part 3 qualifying examinations can only be undertaken after the completion of a minimum of seven years of academic and practice training and is taken at a university or institution whose Part 3 programme has been validated by the RIBA and prescribed by the Architects Registration Board.

Candidates are assessed on the following elements:

  • 24 months of practical experience entered on the Professional Experience and Development Record (PEDR)
  • Professional CV and career evaluation
  • Case study
  • Written examination
  • Final oral examination.

University of Bath PGCert Professional Practice (RIBA part 3) programme >>