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RIBA Education Review (RER)

A review of the current structure and sustainability of architectural education in the UK.

The RIBA Education Review group, representing academia and practice, intends to catalyse relevant new models for architectural education, to be taken forward and established by schools of architecture and other course providers. The timeline for the most critical elements of the review follow:

  • by 1 September 2019, the RIBA strongly encourages all recognised UK schools of architecture to have completed detailed proposals for offering an integrated academic framework (‘the principal pathway’) reflecting the 5 recommendations of the RER (see below)
  • whilst other pathways to qualification may be run in parallel with the principal pathway, the framework offering registration upon graduation (with 120 credits, or 60ECTS, reflecting knowledge and understanding of professional skills) will form the basis for future RIBA validation of courses and qualifications in UK schools of architecture

  • all recognised UK schools of architecture should approach the RIBA informally to discuss their proposals for interpretation/s of the integrated academic framework, and formally submit these to the RIBA New Courses Group (NCG); wherever possible, NCG will consider proposals as course changes rather than new courses

  • it is intended that the new RIBA validation procedures, criteria, and graduate attributes will be introduced from 1 September 2019, with an approved draft available for reference from September 2018; schools may elect to be re-validated under the outgoing procedures until September 2020, but are strongly encouraged to adopt the RER protocol at the earliest opportunity

  • the development of a new recording platform which encompasses both professional practical experience and CPD (and will replace the PEDR) is under development, with a view to implementation in 1 September 2019; this will be introduced concurrently with The Compact, which structures work placement to further enhance the criteria for, and responsibilities of RIBA Chartered Practices


In Autumn 2013 the RIBA launched a review of the current structure and sustainability of architectural education in the UK, concluding the first substantive phase – and defining five principal recommendations – at the RIBA Education Forum in March 2017. These recommendations were as follows:

  • R1 - a requirement for a minimum of 2 years of assessed professional practical experience (PPE) within typically a minimum 7 year period [i]
  • R2 - typically a 7 year integrated award (with the facility for universities to still award a first degree in architecture) [ii]
  • R3 - academic credits available for 1 year of work based learning, with the option for students to study within a framework of 4 years full time study + 3 years PPE [iii]
  • R4 - a 300 ECTS credit programme compliant with the requirements of the Bologna agreement [iv]
  • R5 - access to the register of architects and title of architect on successful completion of the integrated course

Following the EU Referendum in June 2016, RIBA Education is also working to consider new opportunities resulting from the changed political landscape, and identify the benefits of a wide-reaching strategy for collaboration between individuals, institutions, and countries.

RIBA Education will also clarify the UK’s future position with regard to a number of points including: the Professional Qualifications Directive, loans for EU students, exchange programmes, criteria for professional practical experience, and university research funding. These may all nuance the implementation of the RIBA Education Review, and some of the timescales outlined below impacted. We will continue to update this page regularly as further developments happen.

For further reading, see the Review Timeline and FAQ document below.


(i) whilst, typically, a combination of academic study and PPE will be delivered within a 7 year period, the framework proposed specifies an amount of academic study (300 ECTS credits), the level of study (level 7/Masters level graduate) and the length of PPE (2 years minimum)

(ii) in this context, the term ‘integrated award’ will typically mean a combination of academic study and professional practical experience (PPE) that upon graduation leads to a final award of a level 7 Master’s degree, as defined by the Quality Assurance Agency. PPE in this context is not credit-bearing. The term ‘integrated award’ does not refer to a single seven year academic award (see footnote 3)

(iii) work-based learning typically refers to the delivery of credit-bearing, academic units or modules by the university while a student is located in the work place (but remains registered with their university). These academic units can be related or unrelated to activity in the workplace, as defined by the institution, with the credits gained in work-based learning forming part of the academic programme of study. The undertaking of PPE may involve a student being registered with a university for the purpose of logging and monitoring the experience, (e.g. using the RIBA’s PEDR system), but sits outside the academic framework

(iv) based on the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) 1 ECTS credit = 2 UK credits, therefore a 600 UK credit programme typically involving 5 years full time study = 300 credits in ECTS terminology. It is anticipated that, typically, the 300 ECTS requirement would be met by a three year Bachelor’s degree programme and two year Master’s degree programme, compliant with the current principles of the Bologna agreement

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