Alternative routes to qualification

Various options are available for those who are unable to study full-time or have previously gained other related qualifications and work experience, and also for those already working in architectural practice.

The RIBA Examination in Architecture for Office-based Candidates

The RIBA Examination for Office-based Candidates offers an established, self-study route to qualification for 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 distance learning.

Part-time study

A number of schools offer part-time RIBA validated courses which can enable students to train in architecture whilst also earning a salary, though it will take longer to qualify via this route. If you are interested in studying on a part-time basis, then you should contact your chosen school of architecture directly, to see if this route is available.

Accredited Prior Learning (APL) or Accredited Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)

Some schools offer entry with advanced standing to applicants with related qualifications, by assessing whether the content of the course they have studied is relevant to architecture. If you are already studying on a different course at a university which has a school of architecture, arrange to speak to the admissions tutor. If you want to start your studies again somewhere else, the 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.

Mature students

Even if you don't possess the usual admissions requirements in terms of qualifications, some schools are happy to judge a mature student on other grounds, such as your experience and your portfolio. Some universities and higher education colleges run foundation courses and access courses to enable you to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills, prior to starting a degree course.

Overseas students

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 and 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.