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RIBA Studio

North elevation of Function Follows Form: Compotorium by Tristan Kelly - RIBA Studio Part 2

RIBA Studio

The RIBA’s practice-based Part 1 & Part 2, and Foundation qualifications

Practice-based Part 1 and 2 courses

Whether you are looking to continue your studies, a new career, or a more flexible route into the architecture profession, RIBA Studio offers the opportunity for you to work full time in practice, retain your salary, and gain your RIBA Part 1 or RIBA Part 2 qualifications. 

RIBA Foundation

In 2021, we introduced our new and exciting RIBA Foundation programme, aimed at those with an interest in architecture wanting to develop a portfolio, and gain experience before joining a Part 1 course. The foundation forms part of our wider range of ongoing initiatives to create a more inclusive profession.

RIBA Studio graduation ceremony
Students at RIBA Studio Graduation Ceremony 2024 (Image courtesy of Jackie King)

Part 1 and 2 course information

RIBA Studio is delivered under a unique partnership with the School of Architecture at Oxford Brookes on behalf of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

RIBA Studio Part 1 and Part 2 qualifications are currently prescribed by the  Architects Registration Board (ARB) and validated by RIBA.

Following a consultation process in 2023, ARB are making changes to their course recognition process and the way they accredit architecture programmes. These changes do not affect the validation processes of RIBA. RIBA will continue to validate architecture qualifications at Parts 1, 2 and 3 – these are terms developed by RIBA and our three-part validation pathway forms a route to RIBA Chartered Membership.

The Architects Registration Board (ARB) is the statutory regulator for architects in the UK and sets the education and registration requirements for anyone wishing to practise and use the title ‘architect’ in the UK. They do this by accrediting qualifications required for registration as an architect. Details of ARB can be found at on the.about section of the ARB website.

Following the statutory consultation in 2023, ARB has published changes to the educational requirements necessary for registration as an architect which will come into force from December 2027. Currently, and up until December 2027, UK graduates wishing to register as an architect will need to have an ARB accredited Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 qualification, alongside relevant work experience.

From 31 December 2027, ARB will only accredit Master’s level qualifications (Level 7 in England, Level 11 in Scotland) and the professional diploma which follows. This means that from 2028 an undergraduate Level 6 qualification in architecture will not be required for registration as an architect in the UK.

Course evolution is an ongoing process and like other course providers, RIBA Studio will be developing the focus of the RIBA Diploma in Architecture to meet the new ARB academic outcomes and regulatory requirements, whilst continuing to address the RIBA Themes and Values and Graduate Attributes for RIBA Part 2.

The RIBA Part 1 Certificate in Architecture will continue to serve as the preparation course to enable students to thrive on the RIBA Part 2 Diploma. ARB will expect providers offering an accredited qualification assessing the ARB academic outcomes to ensure that students entering the course have the necessary abilities upon entry. It is likely that the majority of entrants to a level 7 qualification will continue to apply holding an undergraduate degree in architecture and/or a RIBA Part 1 validated qualification, such as the RIBA Certificate in Architecture.

As well as making changes in response to new requirements from professional and regulatory bodies, we also develop our programme to ensure it reflects the needs of the profession, and in response to feedback from students. Applicants will be kept informed of significant programme changes and developments as they arise.

RIBA Part 3

In addition to the academic Part 1 and Part 2 qualifications, RIBA also runs the RIBA Advanced Diploma in Professional Practice in Architecture (Part 3) which is validated and prescribed by RIBA and ARB respectively.

Graduates of the RIBA Studio at Part 2 are eligible to apply for RIBA Part 3. Those who are successful in completion of the Part 3 examination, are eligible for registration under the Architects Act 1997, and for RIBA Chartered Membership.

Studying with RIBA Studio

The RIBA Studio Certificate and Diploma, whilst also offered independently of each other, should primarily be seen as an integrated programme - where the certificate forms the preparatory course. This then enables students to develop three-dimensional thinking and problem solving skills, in the context of learning about design process and its critical connection to building performance. The diploma builds upon this, with the dissertation being a key element, enabling students to raise their cultural, technological or professional understanding of architecture and encouraging a culture of research based work.

Why study with RIBA Studio?

Students do not attend lectures at Oxford Brookes University and remain students of RIBA. Instead, you will be supported by an appointed office mentor in your practice and, in conjunction with your self-chosen personal tutor, you will investigate chosen themes and curate your design briefs in academia which have a direct influence on your capabilities in practice. This is a very affordable route into the profession and incorporates flexibility for the timing and planning of studies, with the main contact mechanism being virtual.

RIBA Studio is a unique system in which formally assessed academic work is supported by learning through experience in the student's place of employment, with the syllabus sequence mirroring the development and realisation of design projects in architectural practice from both an academic and conceptual perspective.

Any coursework submissions or examinations whilst studying the course take place online, meaning you will not need to travel to Oxford Brookes University whilst studying this programme. There are four subjects covered across each course and workshops, all coursework submissions, written examinations, and design examinations will all be conducted online. There are no lectures or seminars, but there are specific assignments and a series of reading lists to guide you on preliminary resources. The work is developed in conjunction with a personal tutor who you will meet with on a one-to-one basis regularly.

The RIBA Studio route is unique and all applicants are reviewed for their appropriate starting point on the programme, based on a combination of their evidenced practice experience and academic learning outcomes to date.

Architects Registration Board logo RIBA validated courses in architecture

“Undertaking this course has shown my employers my desire to progress in my career and ultimately to become an architect.” -Former Part 2 student

You will have access to benefits including:

  • online Moodle platform for assignment submission
  • free RIBA student membership
  • SCONUL access to academic library resources 


The annual course fee for the 2025-26 academic year is £3,475.

You will need to appoint and pay an hourly tuition rate to a personal tutor, and there may also be additional material costs.

Information for employers

Do you want to retain your talented staff? Why not support them to gain their Part 1 and 2 qualifications whilst continuing to work in practice. Join one of our open sessions to find out how RIBA Studio could support you and your employees to build their professional careers.

Open Sessions

Join us at one of our live webinars to find out more about our unique route to qualification via the RIBA Foundation, RIBA Part 1 and Part 2. Sign up below:

How do I apply?

The next available admission point for the Part 1 Certificate and Part 2 Diploma is March 2025, with applications open from April to August 2024.

You must work at least 24 hours per week under the supervision of a registered architect in the UK, EU, EEA, Channel Islands or Isle of Man.

For information on eligibility, requirements, key dates, assessment criteria and more, visit the Oxford Brookes University website.

RIBA Studio tutor symposium series

This series shares pedagogic design experiences for students on RIBA Studio, and for anyone interested in tutoring techniques, including architecture students, academics, and those in practice.

To catch up on our recent tutor symposium series, visit our RIBA Studio YouTube channel.

Registering as an architect

To register as an architect in the UK, you will typically need to hold all of the following:

  • An ARB-prescribed Part 1 qualification
  • An ARB-prescribed Part 2 qualification
  • 24 months' practical experience, which comply with Rule 13B of ARB’s General Rules
  • An ARB-prescribed Part 3 qualification

ARB's registration requirements will be changing as previously detailed, you can find further information their website.

To register in EU member states, please note that requirements for registration varies. We recommend making sure your proposed combination of qualifications will entitle you to seek registration, or establishment as an architect, in the member state(s) where you want to practice. Please directly contact your related competent authority to check.

Student stories

Read our graduate profiles:

Our talented students have achieved commendations in the RIBA President’s Medals, worked on RIBA Stirling Prize winning projects, and have featured on the television show Grand Designs. 

RIBA scholarship and bursary recipients

One of the five recipients of the 2022 RIBA Wren Insurance Association Scholarships included RIBA Studio Part 2 student Rebecca Smith, commended for showing potential to make a significant contribution in the field of architecture.

Recipients receive £6,000 and mentoring by an architect member of the Wren Insurance Association. You can also find recipients from RIBA Studio who received the RIBA Part 1 or Part 2 bursaries in previous years.

Showcase of student work

Check out our latest graduates work in the Oxford School of Architecture digital exhibition.

RIBA HQ plan - Joanne Massey
Joanne Massey - RIBA StudioHouse interiors
Justine Naruseviciute - RIBA Studio
Garden view, Nourishment by Morten Jensen - RIBA Studio Part 1
Nourishment by Morten Jensen
Microrayon interior of Urban Density: Re-thinking High Rise_The Irony of Fate, by Robert Hodgen - RIBA Studio Part 2
Urban Density: Re-thinking High Rise_The Irony of Fate, by Robert Hodgen
View, Community Glass, by Paul Colfer - RIBA Studio Part 1
Community Glass by Paul Colfer
Masterplan of Urban Habitats by Rachael Jones, RIBA Studio Part 1
Urban Habitats by Rachael Jones

Contact us

The programme is managed by the RIBA Studio team at the School of Architecture, Oxford Brookes University

Follow us on social media

Follow RIBA Studio on Twitter and YouTube.

For keeping up to date on our RIBA Education channels, follow our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and regional RIBA channels for news, events and opportunities in your local area.

Banner image at top of the page from Function Follows Form by Tristan Kelly (2020).

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