Architectural Practice (RIBA Part 3 Exemption) - PgDip
Successful completion of the programme gives you recognition for RIBA Part 3, registration with the Architects Registration Board, direct access to title as an architect and therefore gain membership of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). There are two separate entry and completion points per year, providing a flexible approach to obtaining the final professional qualification....
Studying with us in 2021/22 and 2022/23
The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses. Information about the arrangements for the 2021/22 academic year can be found here.
Should the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continue in the 2022/23 academic year or subsequent years of your course, any additional and/or alternative arrangements put in place by the University in response will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.
- Level Postgraduate Taught
- Study mode Part Time
- Location City Centre
- Award PgDip
- Start date September 2022, February 2023
- School Birmingham School of Architecture and Design
- Faculty Faculty of Arts, Design and Media
Successful completion of the programme gives you recognition for RIBA Part 3, registration with the Architects Registration Board, direct access to title as an architect and therefore gain membership of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
There are two separate entry and completion points per year, providing a flexible approach to obtaining the final professional qualification. Intensive two-day lecture and workshop sessions are supported by weekend revision and study groups, which allow the programme to be delivered harmoniously alongside your existing work commitments.
What's covered in this 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.
You’ll receive the support of outstanding professional staff whose extensive connections with architectural practices 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, CAD and digital visual communication skills workshops.
This course is accredited by:
I thought the course was a rich learning experience, every part of it was very useful. I really enjoyed it.
Kalpesh Patel, Graduate.
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 and Design 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.
Choose your modules and study via CPD
Selected modules on this course are available through Continuing Professional Development (CPD). This route allows you to select individual modules around your area of interest and study alongside current students.
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).
All non-UK students will be required to take the Birmingham City University English Language Diagnostic Assessment on arrival at the University.
Fees & How to Apply
- UK students
- International students
Starting: Sep 2022
- Part Time
- 10 to 24 months
Starting: Feb 2023
- Part Time
- 10 to 24 months
Starting: Sep 2022
- Part Time
- 10 to 24 months
Starting: Feb 2023
- Part Time
- 10 to 24 months
Access to computer equipment
You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.
You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.
All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.
Access to Microsoft Office 365
Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.
You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.
Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.
Free access to Rosetta Stone
All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.
Excess printing (optional)
Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.
You may wish to purchase subscriptions to additional journals and websites.
Accommodation and living costs
The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.
Your portfolio will form the basis of the interview discussion and should include the following:
- Examples of the range of projects that you have been involved with in practice sufficient to demonstrate the breadth of you experience to date.
- Examples of the potential projects that could form the basis of the Case Study, including the programme and details of your personal involvement.
- Evidence of a minimum of 18 months relevant practical experience in accordance with the ARB/ RIBA guidelines prior to starting the programme.
- Evidence of previous academic achievements in higher education including exemption RIBA Parts 1 and 2.
Students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.
Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Your passion and motivations
Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?
Why this course?
Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.
What makes you a good postgraduate candidate?
Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.
Relevant academic or work experience
Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?
You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
Course in Depth
In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):
The purpose of this module is to develop your existing professional attributes and skills gained through work-based experiential learning in the areas of professional legal framework and practice management. This includes critical analysis of the architect’s responsibility to society and the profession, the legal and legislative context for practice and the business and management processes involved in running and developing a successful business.
The purpose of this module is to develop your existing professional attributes and skills gained through work-based experiential learning in the areas of building procurement and contract administration. This includes critical analysis of the architect’s responsibility to society and the profession, the legal and legislative context for practice and the business and management processes involved in running and developing a successful business.
The purpose of this module is to enable you to record and develop your professional experience in practice and to critically reflect on your learning within that context. You will be expected to map your work-based learning to the professional criteria in order to demonstrate your direct experience and to enable you to develop an approach to your future learning needs and career development. As a minimum you are required to record 24 months professional experience, 12 months of which must be recent and post Part 2.
The purpose of this module is to enable you to develop professional judgement and critical analysis gained through your practical experience through a live project case study. The case study will be a current or recent project where you have had a reasonable level of involvement and that has an appropriate level of complexity to facilitate in depth analysis. The case study will provide the vehicle for critical analysis through the investigation of an issue or issues during the pre-contract and construction stages of a project. Your experience and research of these issues should be compared to best practice. You should also make comparisons with other forms of contract in order to reinforce your understanding of the different processes, risks and responsibilities involved in dealing with the issued raised. The case study will cover most of the professional criteria for Part 3 and will bring together the material covered in the academic taught sessions with your practical experience and work-based learning.
You’ll be assessed in four parts: Your professional, practical experience is a key part of your studies and helps form the basis of case studies and career appraisal.
Producing an open scenario-based Professional Practice and Management paper will be part of your assessment. Following on from this, you will sit an open book written examination on building procurement and contract administration. The final Viva (professional interview) is embedded within the Professional Experience and Development and Case Study modules.
Reflecting on professional experience and development is an important part of the process, which includes professional experience record sheets - PEDR, CV and critical career evaluation.
You will also evaluate your own experiences in architectural practice through producing a detailed case study.
Lectures are delivered in four, two-day intensive courses by a number of leading practitioners and experts in the 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 ten 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’.
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.
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: 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.
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:
Facilities and Staff
When you join Birmingham City University, the first thing you will notice is the exceptional quality of our campuses. With an investment of £340 million across our buildings and facilities, we are committed to giving you the very best learning environment to help shape your experience.
You will be based in our multi-million pound Parkside building – a state of the art facility located within our City Centre Campus. Here you will have full access to our recently upgraded, high spec CAD (Computer-Aided-Design) workstations situated within our dedicated computer labs and open access areas. We also provide access to leading edge digital design software, enabling you to explore technical drawing, graphics, 3D modelling, visualization, animation, computation, simulation, and virtual reality.
The Parkside Building is also home to our digital fabrication labs, where you will be able to explore 3D printing, laser cutting, water-jet cutting, CNC machining, ceramics, glass and traditional model-making, guided by our team of expert technicians with access to our on-site material store, and professional printing facilities.
You’ll also benefit from:
- Design studios
- Physical and digital library
- Loanable laptops
- Dedicated social spaces
From industry-standard software, to our workshops and studio spaces, everything you need will be at your fingertips from day one. Working with our dedicated teaching teams and expert technicians, you'll be supported from concept through to completion.
Director of Professional Studies
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.More about Ian
Deputy Head of School and Associate Professor
Studied architecture at Kingston and the Architectural Association. Worked in architectural practice for 10 years, public and private sector. Founded art practice / project Art in Ruins with Glyn Banks – exhibitions, published critical writing, curating, teaching. Founding Chair of association of architectural educators.More about Hannah