If you are considering a career in architecture, but you’re not sure if studying full-time at university is for you – or if you’ve completed part of your architect training and want to earn a salary whilst undertaking the next step – then a degree apprenticeship could be the right route for you. Or are you an employer, wanting to give your staff the opportunity to learn new skills and complete qualifications whilst working in practice?
Apprenticeships combine practical experience in the workplace with academic training provided by a university. A minimum of 20% of the apprentice's contracted hours must be spent undertaking this formal, 'off-the-job' training.
Two architecture degree apprenticeships routes are available, both approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education:
- Architectural Assistant, including Part 1 qualification
- Architect, which includes Part 2 and Part 3 qualifications
If you are interested in undertaking an apprenticeship, your first step is to secure an offer of an apprenticeship with an employer. The RIBA is encouraging all employers to advertise their apprenticeship vacancies with the National Apprenticeship Service but you could also contact practices in your local area to see whether there are any opportunities. You can use the RIBA’s database of Chartered Practices or our database of Chartered Members and you can also register your interest with universities, as they may be able to link you to practices who have expressed an interest in partnering with them.
Any practice can offer an apprenticeship, with funding for training costs available from the apprenticeship levy on all large UK employers, or directly from the government who will fund up to 95% of the training costs in smaller firms. Levy paying employers can also transfer unused levy funds to smaller employers. Some universities may only be able to offer places to apprentices whose employers pay the apprenticeship levy (you can contact them to find out more).
The following universities are offering apprenticeship pathways which are validated by the RIBA:
- London South Bank University, Level 6 Architectural Assistant Apprenticeship and Level 7 Architect Apprenticeship
- University of Bath, Level 7 Architect Apprenticeship (commencing September 2020)
- University of the West of England, Level 7 Architect Apprenticeship
- De Montfort University, Level 7 Architect Apprenticeship
The following universities are currently in discussion with the RIBA regarding validation for their apprenticeship pathways:
- Northumbria University, Level 7 Architect Apprenticeship
- Oxford Brookes University, Level 7 Architect Apprenticeship
- University of Cambridge, Level 7 Architect Apprenticeship (commencing Sept 2020)
- Nottingham Trent University, Level 7 Architect Apprenticeship
- University for the Creative Arts Canterbury, Level 7 Architect Apprenticeship
- Manchester School of Architecture, Level 7 Architect Apprenticeship (commencing Jan 2020)
- Sheffield Hallam University, Level 7 Architect Apprenticeship
- University of Nottingham, Level 7 Architect Apprenticeship
- University of Portsmouth, Level 7 Architect