Becoming an architect

International graduates and architects

International graduates

Graduates with architecture qualifications gained outside of the European Union wishing to continue their studies in the UK are encouraged to make direct contact with course providers to discuss their options. It may be necessary to undertake a further assessment to obtain equivalence to UK qualifications and further information can be found on the website of the Architects Registration Board. For course information, see the list of RIBA validated courses in the UK

EU qualified architects

Directive 2005/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications came into force from October 2007.

Under the provisions of this Directive, qualifications or registration status gained in the European Union may be accepted in the United Kingdom by the Architects Registration Board (ARB).

Architects qualified via the EU Directive need not sit the Part 3 Professional Practice Examination in order to register. The RIBA has developed an advanced CPD course entitled Practice in the UK which aims to provide these architects with an understanding of statutory and regulatory matters.

EU qualified architects may apply to become an RIBA Chartered Member after a period of five years' approved post-qualification professional practice experience, as documented by a comprehensive curriculum vitae.  Whilst undertaking this experience, RIBA Associate Membership is available. However, in order to reduce this required period of professional experience, EU qualified architects who undertake and pass a recognised UK Part 3 examination may apply for Chartered Membership immediately afterwards. 

Non-EU qualified architects

Architects qualified outside of the European Union must undertake assessment with the Architects Registration Board (ARB) to gain equivalence to Parts 1 and 2 and demonstrate a minimum of 24 months experience, including at least 12 months working in the EEA (including the UK), Channel Islands or Isle of Man under the supervision of an architect before they can undertake Part 3 and join the ARB register.

For more information on the assessment process, known as the ARB Prescribed Examination, see the ARB website. 

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