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Becoming an architect at Bath

Find out about the educational steps you'll take to become an architect and how the course at Bath varies from other institutions.

The architecture studio at the University of Bath
Bath offers a unique path to becoming an architect


To become an architect in the UK, applicants are required to hold qualifications specified by the Architects Registration Board (ARB). These are referred to as Parts 1, 2 and 3. Holding these qualifications also allows you to become a Chartered Architect as a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). Our courses are validated and prescribed by both the RIBA and the ARB.

In the UK, Part 1 is typically a BA or BSc in Architecture, Part 2 is typically a Masters in or Diploma of Architecture and Part 3 is typically a Postgraduate Certificate. In addition to these three qualifications, all architects are required to have completed a minimum of two years professional experience. Read the student-produced Bath Architecture Annual to see examples of BSc and MArch student work.

Bath offers a unique structure for all three parts, integrating the required periods of professional experience within the academic course.

ARB/RIBA Part 1: Architecture BSc (Hons)

The undergraduate degree course is designed to provide you with the opportunity to develop a broad range of skills and architectural understanding.

In traditional courses students complete a three year degree before undertaking a year of professional experience. Uniquely at Bath, the year of professional experience is embedded in the second and third years of a four-year course. These integrated placements provide students with the opportunity both to apply what they have learnt and to feed their practice experience back into their academic work. The diagram below shows how the Bath structure compares to the more traditional route.

Placement details

You'll be able to exploit our Department’s extensive network of placement providers, helping you gain experience in leading practices in the UK and overseas. For overseas students, your status as registered students during these placements greatly simplifies the process of obtaining work experience in the UK.

You may also be able to extend your placement over the vacation period, giving you additional experience. Students entering their final year of study at Bath have usually spent more than a year in practice already, which helps ensure the standard of final year work is very high. The integrated placements also help Bath graduates have high levels of success gaining graduate employment.

Find out more about our BSc in Architecture.

ARB/RIBA Part 2: Architecture MArch (Hons)

The Part 2 course is conventionally two years of full-time academic study, and is designed to provide students with enhanced architectural knowledge and experience of complex projects.

Students are still regarded as undergraduates at this stage and may choose to return to the university where they completed Part 1, or apply to study Part 2 at another university.

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

Additional practical experience

Taken immediately following completion of the Part 2 degree, graduates are required to complete a further 12 months' practice experience at this time, and a minimum 24 months' experience overall, before being eligible to sit the Part 3 qualifying examinations.

A minimum of 12 months' practice experience should be completed in the European Economic Area (EEA) under the direct supervision of an architect. Once completed, you're able to finish the remainder of your experience in the UK or any overseas country.

Find out more about the MArch at Bath.

ARB/RIBA Part 3: PG Certificate Professional Practice

This final stage in the process of qualifying as an architect in the United Kingdom is the formal qualifying exam. Preparation starts while the candidate is still completing their Part 2 practical experience. The Part 3 qualifying examinations can only be taken after a minimum of seven years' academic and practice training. It is taken at a university or institution whose Part 3 programme has been validated by the RIBA and prescribed by the Architects Registration Board.

At Bath, our PG Certificate Professional Practice is RIBA approved to give candidates their Part 3 qualification. The course consists of 12 months' intense, integrated, practice-based approach to the management of the practice of architecture.

To qualify, you'll be 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.

Find out more about our PG Certificate Professional Practice.

Becoming an Architect

Play our video on the educational and professional steps taken to become a Chartered Architect.

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