Whilst there are no RIBA validated correspondence courses or Open University-style courses in architecture, there are options for those who are unable to study full-time or have previously gained other related qualifications and work experience.
The RIBA Examination in Architecture for Office-based Candidates
The RIBA Examination for Office-based Candidates offers an established route to qualification for mature candidates working in architectural practices who are unable to attend courses in schools of architecture. Further information can be found on the webpages relating to the RIBA Office Based-examination.
A number of schools offer part-time RIBA validated courses so students can train in architecture while earning a salary, though it will take longer to qualify via this route.
Accredited Prior Learning
Some schools offer entry with advanced standing to applicants with related qualifications. If you are already studying at a university with a school of architecture, speak to them as soon as possible. If you want to start again somewhere else, the new school may give you some exemptions from parts of their course in recognition of related subjects you have already studied. This is strictly at the discretion of the school of architecture concerned.
Even if you don't possess the usual admissions requirements, some schools are happy to judge a mature student on other grounds, especially your portfolio. Some universities and higher education colleges run foundation courses and access courses to enable you to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills.
If you have studied or qualified to be an architect outside the UK, your qualification(s) will need to be assessed for equivalence to the UK Parts 1 & 2 by the Architects Registration Board (ARB). The RIBA recognises ARB recommendations at this stage. You will then be able to progress your studies on a recognised Part 2 course; or undertake a Part 3 qualification once you have met the required criteria.