Our Architectural Practice postgraduate course enables you to complete your qualification as an architect.
You’ll be able to join the register of UK architects and develop your professional career in this dynamic, evolving industry. Our graduates design and create the buildings of the future and have secured successful positions with a wide range of architectural practices including Associated Architects, Glen Howells Architects and Birmingham City Council.
If you’re looking to start this course in 2017, it's important to know that the content and structure are undergoing a substantial review and are likely to be different to what is outlined here. We’ll publish more detailed information about the changes over the next few months. If you’re starting in 2016, the course content/structure won’t be affected by the review.
Aimed at students engaged in architectural practice, this postgraduate course gives you the skills and knowledge to gain your qualification. It can also form the basis of your ongoing professional architectural development.
You’ll gain a critical understanding of legal requirements, practice management and construction procurement in the architecture industry, and the fundamentals of good architectural practice.
The course leads to recognition for RIBA Part 3 and qualification as an architect. On completion you can register with the Architects Registration Board, use the title architect and become a full member of the RIBA.
You’ll receive the support of outstanding professional staff whose connections with more than 100 architecture firms offer you exceptional opportunities. Lectures are delivered in four two-day intensive courses by a number of leading practitioners and experts in their field. They cover the legal framework, clients and building procurement, as well as practice and management.
Based on your own experience in architectural practice you’ll be required to prepare a case study in two parts, one around a pre-contract issue and one around an issue arising during the construction phase of a contract. You’ll also use records of experience to develop a critical career appraisal.
You’ll be based in our multi-million pound City Centre Campus Parkside Building with access to advanced digital studios for rapid prototyping and digital production, as well as drawing workshops, CAD and digital visual communication skills.
Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be on Wednesday 23 November, between 2pm and 7pm. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:
RIBA Part 1 and RIBA Part 2 or an equivalent qualification that the ARB has formally recognised.
And including one of the following, or equivalent:
At the final examination a minimum of 24 months' practical experience, 12 months of which may have been obtained after passing Part 1.
Entry to the final examination is based on advice by the Course Director that the candidate has sufficient and adequate experience of project management in excess of 24 months, all of which should have been recorded on the Professional Education and Development Resource (PEDR).
RIBA Part 1 and RIBA Part 2 or an equivalent qualification that the ARB has formally recognised.
And including one of the following, or equivalent:
All non-UK students will be required to take the Birmingham City University English Language Diagnostic Assessment on arrival at the University.
|PgDip||Sep 2016||PT||10 to 24 months||£2,168 per year|
|PgDip||Feb 2017||PT||10 to 24 months||£2,168 per year|
|PgDip||Sep 2017||PT||10 to 24 months||TBC|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.
Sorry, this course is not available to international students.
The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.
Your portfolio will form the basis of the interview discussion and should include the following:
You will also be asked to prepare a critical self appraisal which should be 2-4 sides of A4 and should include the following:
We are looking for motivated and ambitious students with a broad range of experience - this needs to come across in your application and portfolio.
We generally expect applicants to have undertaken at least nine months of practical experience, though we welcome enquiries from those with alternative experience.
Our courses include activities such as performance, exhibitions, field trips and production of works or artefacts which may require you to purchase specific equipment, instruments, books, materials, hire of venues and accommodation, or other items. Many of these activities are essential and compulsory parts of your learning experience.
The link below gives you an estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course.
All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.
Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.
You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our pdf application form instead.
On receipt of your application form, your application will be considered and you may be called for interview. After interview, if you are considered suitable for the course you will receive an offer of a place.
Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.
We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.
Did you know that you will soon be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000 for some courses and options?
Legal Framework - 2 day lecture course
Covering legal, professional and ethical issues, this module will be assessed by an open essay paper on a current topic in the legislative environment for architectural practice.
Practice and Management - 2 day lecture course
You’ll look at the business priorities, required management processes and risks of running an architectural practice. Assessment is by an open-book, office-based examination on management practices and procedures.
Clients and Building Procurement - Two 2-day lecture courses
This module gives you an understanding of the range of services offered by architects and an understanding of UK construction and contract law, construction procurement processes and the roles of built environment professionals. It is assessed by an open book examination.
Record of Experience
Preparation of the PEDR, self-appraisal and CV. The 3,000 word critical self-appraisal is assessed with reference to the PEDR and CV as supporting evidence.
Based on your own experience in architectural practice you prepare a case study in two parts, one around a pre-contract issue and one around an issue arising during the construction phase of a contract. They can be from a single building or from two different projects. The preparation of the case study is supported by tutorials.
This module is pass/fail and is focussed on an assessment of professionalism and the applied knowledge demonstrated in the practical experience modules by oral examination by the professional examiners.
You’ll be assessed in five parts: record of experience (which includes professional experience record sheets, CV and self-appraisal), case study, essay, open practice and management paper, open book written examination and oral examination.
Your professional, practical experience is a key part of your studies and helps form the basis of case studies and career appraisal.
Lectures are delivered in four two-day intensive courses by a number of leading practitioners and experts in their field. Modules are preceded by recommended reading and office based preparation.
The course is studied part-time and completion is flexible over a period between nine months and two years. There are two course entry points and two opportunities to complete the oral examination per year.
Our course is accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects, allowing you to achieve RIBA Part 3 exemption. This allows you join the ARB’s register of architects and use the title ‘architect’ and optionally to join the RIBA as a full member affording the title ‘chartered architect’.
RIBA is a global member organisation, with 44,000 members. It champions better buildings, communities and the environment and provides the standards, training, support and recognition to put members at the peak of their profession.
Our accreditation shows employers that students graduating from our course have the levels of knowledge and skills they need.
Graduates of this course may like to go on to study a MPhil or PhD research degree. There are also a wide range of other postgraduate courses, all of which involve innovative research and provide vocationally valuable experience.
The final exam with the award of Postgraduate Diploma in Architectural Practice gives exemption from the RIBA Part III examination and enables you to become a registered architect and chartered member of RIBA.
You’ll have demonstrated the professional and practical skills needed to be a successful architect, with the knowledge of the necessary business frameworks and legal issues.
A sound knowledge of UK construction and contract law, construction procurement processes and the roles of built environment professionals will enhance your professional understanding.
You’ll also be able to demonstrate understanding of the business priorities, required management processes and risks of running an architectural practice.
OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.
It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.
Employment in an architectural or related practice is a pre-requisite to entry to the course. Our graduates become qualified architects working for respected practices, or even set up their own business.
Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.
The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.
Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:
International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.
BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.
We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.
Birmingham School of Architecture and Design is based at the state-of-the-art £62 million Parkside Building, a new development on our City Centre Campus within Eastside.
The new building has added an extra dimension to the School. Our campus has extensive studio and workshop provision and cutting-edge equipment reflecting the broad range of study opportunities on offer. The building has been designed to actively promote shared space opportunities, for students to engage with others across the University as part of the learning experience.
In many cases, our main studio and workspace is the city of Birmingham.
We give our students the opportunity to work on many collaborative projects involving the transformation of the city. These include:
We have our very own digi.lab, which is used for prototyping and as a learning resource. Here, you can experiment with 3D printing and laser cutting, preparing you to work on our range of larger machines. You will work in a home studio base five days a week, and also enjoy the opportunity to share others’ facilities and space when necessary.
At the School, we have placed a large emphasis on digital presentation. We currently have nine plasma screens for such uses, and try to keep our facilities as paper-free as possible.
Ian Shepherd is the course leader within the School of Architecture. He integrates teaching with practice through live projects, design, research and consultancy. Prior to joining the university, Ian was a partner in a local architectural practice for more than 20 years, with experience in design and delivery of community, education and leisure projects.