Architectural Practice (RIBA Part 3 Exemption) - PgDip

Attendance:
Part Time
Starting:
September 2016, February 2017, September 2017
Campus:
Fees:
£2,168 per year for UK/EU Part Time 2016 entry (view all fees)

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.

New for 2017/18

Architectural Practice (RIBA Part 3 Exemption)

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.

Sign up for course updatesMore about our new curriculum

What's covered in the course?

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.

Why Choose Us?

  • We are the only Royal Institute of British Architects-accredited School of Architecture for the Part 3 course in the region.
  • The course meets and exceeds the joint criteria set out by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and RIBA. Its scope corresponds with the guidelines for RIBA validation and ARB prescription.
  • The course also meets the requirements of Article 46 of the European Directive on the recognition of Professional Qualifications.
  • Birmingham School of Architecture is highly respected and has a rich history of providing education and opportunities. It celebrated its centenary in 2009.
  • Many students have degrees from other UK academic institutions for architecture, resulting in a dynamic body of high-calibre students.
  • Visiting tutors come from local practice and we involve other high profile practitioners, such as eminent architects, visiting professors and world-renowned consultants.
Visit our open day

Postgraduate Open Day

Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be on Wednesday 23 November. Registration will open shortly.

Sign up for Open Day info

This course is open to International students

Birmingham School of Architecture and Design

Discover Birmingham School of Architecture and Design

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Cumming Anderton Architects
  • Mott Macdonald

And in jobs such as:

  • Landscape Architecture
  • Graduate Landscape Architect

This course is accredited by:

RIBA

Entry Requirements

UK students
Essential

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:

  • GCSE (grade C or above) in English Language
  • IELTS: overall score of 6.5 or above
  • TOEFL: overall score of 550 or above
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English: grade C or above
  • IGCSE English Language: grade C or above
  • Hong Kong Use of English test: grade C or above

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).

EU/International students
Essential

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:

  • GCSE (grade C or above) in English Language
  • IELTS: overall score of 6.5 or above
  • TOEFL: overall score of 550 or above
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English: grade C or above
  • IGCSE English Language: grade C or above
  • Hong Kong Use of English test: grade C or above

All non-UK students will be required to take the Birmingham City University English Language Diagnostic Assessment on arrival at the University.

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
PgDip Sep 2016 PT 10 to 24 months £2,168 per year
Feb 2017 PT 10 to 24 months £2,168 per year
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.

International Students

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.

Portfolio Guidance

Your portfolio will form the basis of the interview discussion and should include the following:

  • Final project from your BA course.
  • Other projects from final year or second year.
  • A copy of your written dissertation or final year essay.
  • Selected excerpts from sketchbooks and workbooks.
  • A range of work from your practical training year or architectural employment (this includes technical work as well as design and presentation work).
  • Evidence of your RIBA Part 1 exemption (e.g BA certificate).

You will also be asked to prepare a critical self appraisal which should be 2-4 sides of A4 and should include the following: 

  • A summary of your education since leaving school.
  • An analysis of your portfolio and working methods whilst on your BA course.
  • Your relevant work experience to date.
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses both as a student and in the workplace?
  • Any architectural issues you are particularly interested in.
  • Your reasons for applying to this particular course.

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.

Additional costs

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.

Find additional costs for your course

Your personal statement

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:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

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.

This course is available part-time

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.

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Financial Support

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?

Postgraduate loans

Knowledge – academic modules

Legal Framework - 2 day lecture course
15 credits

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
15 credits

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
30 credits

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.

Practical experience

Record of Experience
15 credits

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.

Case Studies
30 credits

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.

Final review

Oral
15 credits

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.

This course is accredited by:

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
Royal Institute of British Architects

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.

Further study

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.

Enhancing employability skills

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

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

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.

Graduate jobs

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.

International Students

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:

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

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

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.

Learn more about BCUIC

Our Facilities

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.

Workspace

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:

  • Working on-site at the £600 million re-development of New Street Station
  • Work on our neighbouring Curzon Building, which forms Phase 2 of the City Centre Campus development
  • Nearby Off-campus Nest Gallery based within Glenn Howells Architects

Digi.Lab

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.

Digital Presentation

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

Course Leader

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.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 7880