School of Architecture


    The programme integrates academic learning and preparation for professional qualification with work based practice.

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    Architect Degree Apprenticeship

    The Architect Degree Apprenticeships offer employers an opportunity to support talented employees who have completed Part 1 training to become Registered Architects. The programme integrates academic learning and preparation for professional qualification with work based practice.

    The Architect Apprenticeship Standard is mapped against the ARB and RIBA shared Part 2 and Part 3 criteria. This apprenticeship enables apprentices to apply to become a Registered and Chartered Architect upon successful completion if they so wish.

    The cost of apprenticeship training and assessment can typically be met, in full or in part, through the apprenticeship levy or government funding for non-levy payers.

    Key benefits:

    • Employers can retain talented staff who have completed part one and wish to achieve part 2 and 3.
    • Collaborative Research and Development - Apprentices will join a R&D cluster formed of academic experts and students engaging in research in design, technology and management practice and law, enabling them to develop the skills required by the next generation of architects.
    • Apprentices gain MArchD Part 2 and Part 3 qualification at no cost while in paid employment.
    • Apprentices qualify through an accelerated learning programme maintaining an engagement with architectural practice while also benefiting from an academically rigorous context.
    • Collaborative Research and Development - Apprentices trained in research skills provide industry partners with opportunities for developing cutting edge expertise and become centres for Incubating Innovation.

    Programme information

    Apprenticeship title:
    Architect Degree Apprenticeship

    Qualifications/ components:
    MArchD, Part 2 and Part 3 examinations (subject to the final approval of the apprenticeship standard and ARB prescription).

    Available start dates:
    September 2019 

    Teaching location:
    London and Oxford Brookes University, Headington campus for intensive sessions. Apprentices study the majority of their programme in the workplace.

    Course length:
    48 months

    For full application details, please see the 'How to apply/ entry requirements' section.

    • Founded in 1927, the School of Architecture at Oxford Brookes University has established an international reputation for the quality of both its research and its teaching.
    • As one of the largest architecture schools in the UK, with around 600 students and 70 staff, it plays a leading role in defining the national, and international, agenda in design education and research.
    • The apprenticeship programme fully integrates the teaching, learning and support the University offers with the mentoring and training offered within your practice.
    • The school enjoys an international reputation in research, in areas ranging from computational design, sustainable design to modular buildings and from design for well-being to vernacular architecture.
    • Staff in the school regularly secure research funding from the UK's research councils and the European Union as well as industry, with an annual research grant income averaging £1m in recent years.

    The course runs for 48 months.  Apprentices attend the University for intensive blocks of study and train on a continuous basis within their Practice.  

    Apprentices complete:

    • An MArchD and Part 2
    • Part 3 an Examination in Practice and Management
    • An End Point Assessment comprising of a design project, a case study report, a career appraisal and interview

    Study modules

    The Apprenticeship programme is based on the full time MArchD and Part 2 programme at Oxford Brookes University, which is accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Architects Registration Board (ARB) as well as the Board of Architects Malaysia (LAM). For full application details, please see the 'How to apply/ entry requirements' section.

    This programme is grounded on the belief that architects should be thinking well beyond the constraints of market forces and the traditional disciplinary limits of the profession, towards forms, technology and spaces for a more sustainable future.

    Programme Outline – Year 1: Simulation Research and Development

    Year 1 has a very strong emphasis on acquiring in-depth skills, knowledge and behavioural attitudes towards research and development methodologies related to architecture. Three interrelated modules of Applied Design in Architecture 1, Research Methods and Management, Practice and Law 1 will provide a solid grounding for Year 2.

    The R&D clusters focuses on cutting edge topics within a global agenda. Simulated design projects challenge the students to apply R&D methodologies that combine learning and research. Through the use of critical thinking methodologies, students will be encouraged to challenge the fundamental basis of design and generate individual design and research agendas.

    The Research and Development Methods module for design, technology and management, practice and law aims to widen the apprentices’ thinking of what constitutes research, and help them develop critical thinking skills and improve problem solving and analytical abilities. The module will Introduce diverse research methodologies and help apprentices to critically reflect on their process of design and creativity situate their ideas within a wider research context.

    This module will support apprentices to identify their strengths and address their weaknesses, both in terms of visual and verbal communication methods. The module will allow time to fine-tuning techniques in sketching, model making, 2D and 3D CAD, and build confidence in verbal communication skills through presentations. The Management, Practice and Law module explores new and existing methods of practice. This module is taught by practicing architects through a series of workshops that require apprentices to work on topics that are essential to the professional practice of architecture.

    The Management, Practice and Law module encourages a different mindset from that often adopted and puts design at the centre of the project delivery challenges.

    Due to the diverse and preparative basis of this year apprentices must pass all compulsory components of year one in order to progress to year two.

    Programme Outline – Year 2 & 3: Application Research and Development

    Year 2 and 3 offer apprentices the opportunity synthesise a broad range of complex cultural, aesthetic, research and technical factors, as well as specialist knowledge gained through research undertaken in Year 1, and develop a major design project and portfolio. The three modules include a Applied Design in Architecture 2, Advanced Technology for Design and Management, Practice and Law 2 modules.

    Situated within a design studio, apprentices will be guided to develop their own design and research programme and agenda and design methods, and creatively generate a comprehensive major design project. The design studio is taught by some of the brightest designers and tutors in the country and consequently a high levels of creative and intellectual endeavour, as well as high levels of productivity is required. Their aim is to raise design thinking, skills and production to the highest possible standard.

    During Year 2 and 3 the design work must develop into technically ambitious architecture. The Advanced Technology for Design module integrates design and technology and is conceived to complement and strengthen the design studio work. There is a strong emphasis upon the creative possibilities for architectural technology and an emphasis on exploration. The school has an open and experimental approach to technology, but expects a clear understanding of its context and aims.

    Sitting alongside the design and technology is the second Management, Practice and Law module. This module builds on the learning and skills from the first year module and prepares for practice post Part 2. The module is delivered by practicing architects. Through focus groups with architectural practices, this module fosters skills that are seen as highly desirable for a Part 2 graduate to have when seeking employment.

    Throughout the two years of the programme there will be interim and final reviews, which alongside regular tutorials, offer many opportunities to receive feedback from outside of the design studio.

    Programme Outline – Year 4: Part 3 Examination in Practice and Management

    The Part 3 Examination in Practice and Management programme leads to apprentices qualifying as a registered architect. It is the final stage of an architect’s education. The Part 3 programme leads to the admission to the UK Register of Architects. Candidates who successfully pass the Part 3 examination are entitled to register as an architect in the UK (ARB Registration) and to apply for worldwide corporate membership of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). This final part of the programme is delivered through intensives sessions throughout the year.

    Teaching and learning

    Apprentices will attend the Oxford Brookes University for intensive blocks of study every three to four months. Apprentices will follow an online programme of study throughout the year. Progress in the workplace will be monitored through regular contact between the employer, apprentice and tutors.

    Teaching Learning methods:

    Intensives class based - intensives throughout the academic year will be structured so to offer the students suitable contact time aligned with the current MArchD course and the current Part 3 intensive seminar/workshop course. The intensives will be located in Oxford and in London during the academic year (Winter/Spring/Summer).

    Simulation - each Intensive will provide learning conditions through simulated projects that require the students to perform a series of measurable tasks that are mapped against the Assessment criteria (skills/ knowledge/ behaviour). Upon completion of the simulated project the students will be required to present to a panel of examiners who will mark and offer feedback to the student.

    Blended/ online delivery - outside of the intensives the students will have access to an online platform which will provide suitable material such as lectures, literature, tests and collaborative forums offering a peer-to-peer learning environment, and the ability to communicate between student, employer mentor and academic staff. Students will be required to respond to tests directly on the platform allowing for continued assessment and progress analysis offering clear visibility into the performance of each student at key junctures through the course.

    Work based - Brookes will support the employer to ensure the learning criteria are met through the course. Brookes will build upon existing RIBA Professional Experience Development Record (PEDR) system and include additional criteria that student must complete. The enhanced PEDR+ will be used to assess the work-based learning, provide clear instruction for student development throughout the course, and indicate to the employer mentor the strengths and weaknesses of the student’s performance.The University and the Employer will also be responsible for preparing candidates for the integrated End Point Assessment. The core delivery of the academic content will be undertaken by Oxford Brookes University staff.

    Approach to assessment

    All work is assessed and marked as a percentage. Apprentices must pass all compulsory components of the programme without exception. The pass mark for all modules is 50%.Work based practice will be assessed through observations and meetings in the workplace. Employers will contribute to this assessment on a regular basis. There will also be internal and external portfolio based examinations at the end of the programme for all students. The final assessment for the Applied Design in Architecture occurs in the final semester of the programme, at which point every student presents their portfolio and display of work to an internal assessment panel, and then to an external examiner in an individual examination.

    End Point Assessment

    The End Point Assessment is delivered in the final six months of the apprenticeship. The EPA is worth 30 credits and contributes towards the achievement of Part 3 and represents the completion the apprenticeship.

    The EPA comprises of:

    Interview supported by career appraisal - The apprentices will be required to prepare a Career Appraisal based on their academic and practical experience. This will outline the development of the relevant, knowledge, skills and behaviours. Following completion and submission of the Career Appraisal, the apprentice will be required to attend an interview. The purpose of the interview is so that the Assessors can assure themselves that the apprentice has the competence to work as an Architect.

    Case study report supported by design project or challenge - The completion of this work will involve the practical application of creative problem solving and professional management through a Design Project/ Challenge to demonstrate each of the relevant knowledge, skills and behaviours (KSBs) being assessed by this method.

    Programme changes

    On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our Changes to Programmes page.

    Apprenticeship fee 2018/19: £21,000.

    Please note that the cost of tuition for this programme must be met by the employer. Where reassessment or retakes are required, the employer will be liable for additional costs.

    Apprenticeship funding and the levy

    Levy paying employers can pay for the cost of training and assessment (up to the maximum funding band) using the apprenticeship levy. Please note that the cost of tuition for this programme must be met by the employer. Where reassessment or retakes are required, the employer will be liable for additional costs.

    Unfortunately the University cannot offer the programme to non-levy payers who wish to draw down a contribution from the government to meet the costs of tuition.

    For more information about levy funding and options for non-levy payers visit

    Questions about fees?

    Contact Student Finance on:

    +44 (0)1865 483088

    Employment/ job role requirements

    The apprentice should be employed as a Trainee Architect/ Architectural Assistant. Over the course of their employment, the apprentice should have work based opportunities which will allow them to successfully complete the apprenticeship.

    Academic entry requirements

    Apprentices should hold level 2 qualifications in English and Maths and should have successfully completed RIBA/ ARB Part 1 training.

    Interviews and assessments to check suitability

    The delivery team will meet with candidates the employer would like to put forward to ensure that the programme is a good fit in terms of their previous experience, prior attainment and the apprentices career aims. Initial assessments will include a portfolio review, review of existing qualifications and a short interview.

    Accredited Prior Learning

    If an apprentice holds any relevant qualifications in related subject at level 7 this will be taken in to consideration and modular exemptions will be applied as appropriate.

    How to apply

    Employers should contact the Oxford Brookes University Apprenticeship team. The team will conduct an initial assessment to ensure the apprenticeship will be suitable for proposed candidates and will meet the employer’s requirements.

    When contracts including the commitment statement have been agreed, Oxford Brookes University will complete the signup process with the employer and apprentice.

    Supporting 20% off the job training

    Apprentices are required to spend 20% of their contracted hours off the job engaged in training, assessment or associated activities. Apprentices are typically employed on a contract of at least 30 hours, so should have time for off-the-job-training for an average of 6 hours per week. Off-the-job training hours can be delivered in blocks or weighted differently at different times of the year.

    Employment rules

    An apprenticeship lasts for the duration of the apprenticeship training. The minimum duration is a year and a week. The employer should have an apprentice agreement in place with the apprentice. The employer will also need to comply with ESFA rules about apprentice wages as set out in the Apprenticeship funding: rules and guidance for employers.

    Requirements specific to this Apprenticeship

    The employer is required to support the apprentice throughout their training and development; conduct reviews to monitor progress and determine when the apprentice is competent and ready to attempt the End Point Assessment. The employer facilitates the design project/ challenge which is carried out in the workplace.

    UK Partnerships and Apprenticeships

    +44 (0)1865 484945