Host practice

Host Practice provides a facility for practices and universities to advertise desk vacancies, and for students to browse vacancies and apply online.

Host Practice is designed to support Part 1 and 2 architecture graduates to develop their professional experience and skills when they have been unable to find suitable work placements.

The initiative acknowledges that due to the effects of the economic downturn there are empty desks in practices and existing resources that would benefit graduates. Host Practice enables practices to offer these desk spaces to graduates to work on independent or personal projects relating to architecture.

This scheme enables practices and graduates to come together outside of the traditional employer-employee relationship. Graduates are offered an overview of practice activities and the opportunity to develop their own professional networks while engaging in activities related to the practice of architecture, including competitions, private commissions and research.

Please note: this is not an internship scheme. Graduates are expected to work independently of the work of the practice, while benefiting from the office facilities and professional environment of their Host Practice. For further details about the scheme and for best practice guidance, please read the Memorandum of Understanding and Frequently Asked Questions below.

PDFMemorandum of Understanding File size: 24kB

PDFFrequently Asked Questions File size: 35 kB


To advertise a desk space please email and request a dedicated login for Host Practice, including your organisation name, contact name and email address. Your login details will be sent to you by email within 24 hours (Monday - Friday).

Please ensure you have read the Memorandum of Understanding and agree to the terms of the scheme.


Log in to the members-only area to browse vacancies and apply online.

Student applications and CVs are emailed to the relevant practices and universities once they have been uploaded.

When applying to this scheme, students should have a clear plan of the independent work or personal projects that they intend to complete while at the Host Practice. This is not an internship scheme, and students are not employed by the practice, so applications should not be made to the practices to this affect (please refer to the Memorandum of Understanding above).  

Some practices may prefer Part 1 or Part 2 graduates, rather than continuing students. Please make your current commitments and availability clear in the application process.

If you have any enquiries about the scheme please contact

Case studies


Carol Norton, Norton Ellis Architects, February 2012

We have been involved with the Host Practice scheme since September 2009 and have had two Part 1 graduates with us during that time.We became involved in the host practice scheme as I finishedmy Diploma course in 1991 during a similar recession, andit took me 18 months to get a job in an architects office soI could get the further practice-based work experience I needed in order to qualify as an architect. I therefore thoughtthe Host Practice scheme was an excellent idea in order tohelp architecture students progress with their careers and education despite a lack of paid employment.We give the students who have been placed with us a daily allowance to help pay for travel and lunch and we usuallyexpect them to be in the office about four days a week. It is a mutually beneficial arrangement as we can give them first-hand experience of how an office works and let them come to site visits and meetings to observe the architectural process first hand, in return if we suddenly have some extra work then we pay the student to help do it. The set-up means we have access to extra staffing resources as needed and the student gets some paid work as well. When we don't have additional work the student can work on their own competitions or projects. It means we get a fresh perspective on architecture from the student and they benefit from our experience and office resources.I would highly recommend the scheme to other architects as it gives the practice the opportunity to help students develop their careers and it is good to be doing something positive, rather than dwelling on the gloomy economic forecasts!

Nathan Ireland/Norton Ellis Architects Host Practice participant 2011 - 12

I completed my BA Architecture at the University of Liverpool in June 2011 and began looking for work. During this period I learnt about the Host Practice scheme from the RIBA website and thought that it could be a great opportunity to get into a practice as I already had a project to work on, designing an extension for my grandfather's property.I contacted Norton Ellis Architects to see if they were still running their host practice programme and then sent them my CV and an outline of my project. I was invited to an interview with Carol Norton and Rob Ellis where we discussed both my project and portfolio, as well as the type of work that the practice is involved in. I was offered the position and began to work on my project within their office four days per week, for which they provided an allowance each day to help fund travel expenses. Not only has this provided me with access to the office resources and their professional advice on my scheme, but also I gained experience of how a practice runs on a daily basis.After a few weeks in the office Norton Ellis were able to offer me paid work, as new projects were coming in. I worked on the basis of a four-day week, allowing me to use the rest of the week to work on my own project.The Host Practice scheme has provided me with insight into the 'real world' of architecture and given me the experience I require to return to university to study for my Part 2. I would recommend the scheme to graduates who have their own project as it is beneficial to both graduate and architectural practice. The practice gains a resource that is familiar with their office systems, while the graduate gains the advantage of advice and experience from architects within the practice. The scheme also allows the practice to see what the graduate is capable of. 


Competition entry relating to a temporary structure for retail in appropriate locations.

Matt Ruddy, Brunskill Design Architects

Originally from the North East and going to Newcastle University for my Part 1 degree, I felt it was important to live and work in another part of the UK for my Year Out. I applied to many practices during and after finishing University most of which were advertised on the RIBA Appointments website. I researched the Host Practice scheme, administered by the RIBA, and saw it as a way for me to keep using my skills in a practice environment. 

I applied to a several practices on the Host Practice list was successful in gaining a place starting 1 September 2011 at Brunskill Design in St Albans. It was agreed that I would be involved in shadowing all aspects of the practice and projects for an initial period of three months. After that, it would be up to me to decide if I wanted to continue. After working there for two months I was given further responsibilities. 

In the end, I ended up staying at Brunskill Design with the intention to complete my full 12-months Year Out before returning to University in September 2012. The practice is small and therefore I have been involved in a fantastic range of diverse projects. These include high-end residential projects as well as working on smaller scale projects such as Pop-Up shops and washrooms for an international train station. 

I found the RIBA’s Host Practice a great resource and would recommend to it others who are looking for a place to expand upon the skills they gained at University. In addition to allowing me to be part of a professional environment in my practice of choice, the scheme offered me the opportunity to benefit from a professional relationship and the potential for a fully fledged placement for 12 months.