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School of Architecture

  • Open Sessions

    Wednesday 7 March 2018
    5.00 - 7.00pm, London

    Friday 4 May 2018
    10.00am - 12.00 noon, London

    Saturday 2 June 2018
    10.00am - 12.00 noon, Oxford

    Register »

  • RIBA Studio

    Part 1 or Part 2 for students working in architectural practice

    School of Architecture offers an alternative practice-based route to becoming an architect with the RIBA Studio (formerly the RIBA Examination in Architecture for Office-based candidates RIBA OBE) for students working full-time in architectural practice in the EEA. The RIBA Studio is a unique programme for those wishing to obtain the RIBA Certificate in Architecture (Part 1) or the RIBA Diploma in Architecture (Part 2) qualifications while working full-time in an architectural office. Length of study is usually between 3-5 years. In order to accommodate students' lives, students may withdraw from study without penalty for up to 3 years.

  • Practice-based study

    The 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 sequence mirroring the development and realisation of design projects in architectural practice.

    Flexibly operated

    Because the RIBA Studio is offered as an alternative route to qualification for those unable t o benefit from full-time or part-time courses, it is operated flexibly, within prescribed limits , in order to accommodate fluctuations in students' circumstances. This is managed through a system o f annual learning contracts and formal deferrals.

    Office Mentors

    Individual study for the both courses must be supported by day-to-day learning and experience of architectural practice. To facilitate this, each student appoints a registered architect from their practice to be their mentor. The mentor ensures that the practice experience is wide ranging and contributes to learning.

    Personal tutors

    Tutors are appointed by students for the duration of the programme and must be completely independent of the student’s office. They should be experienced design tutors in architectural education, and ideally architects registered in the country where the student is working.

    Professional qualification

    Students who qualify through this route, are then eligible to take the UK Part 3 which leads to:

    • Full chartered membership of the RIBA.
    • Recognition by the Architects' Registration Board (ARB) for UK architects' registration.
    • Recognition throughout Europe under the European Union (EU) Professional Qualifications Directive.
  • Entry Requirements

    Students are required to be mentored by an experienced architect who is registered where the student's place of work is based, and who has responsibility for the regular supervision and professional development of the student. Examples of workplace types include:

    • architects practices,
    • an architects' section of a multi-disciplinary practice,
    • local authorities.

    ** Full-time employment is deemed to be met by working at least 1,250 hours per annum.

    In addition to the requirements concerning employment, the support of an office mentor, and the appointment of a personal tutor, the following minimum requirements must also be met:

    The RIBA Certificate in Architecture (Part 1)

    A minimum of 3 years' practical experience and similar educational qualifications to those required by schools of architecture (see below). Graduates from related construction industry disciplines are eligible to apply for entry to the RIBA Certificate if they have also gained a minimum of 3 years' certified working experience in architectural practice. Graduates with degrees in non-construction industry subjects are required to provide evidence of 3 years' certified post-graduate experience in an architect's office to enter the RIBA Certificate.

    The RIBA Diploma in Architecture (Part 2)

    A minimum of 3 years' certified practical experience after gaining the Part 1 qualification in architecture at a school of architecture ​prescribed by the ARB,​ ​​or validated by the RIBA, or through the ARB Prescribed Examination​ at Part 1. The 3 years of certified practical experience may be reduced, at the discretion of the Panel of Interviewers, if practical experience was acquired while gaining the Part 1 qualification through a part-time course at a recognised school of architecture, or through Part 1 of the RIBA Studio.

    Students who will have reached the minimum practical experience by the start of the course's year in March may be considered for interview in the previous year. They will need to demonstrate that they are sufficiently established and supported by their employers to have the potential to succeed through this route.

    Admission procedure

    Admission to the Programme comprises three stages. We will announce further details at the end of March/beginning of April.

      Stage 1
    • An application form for prospective student should be completed and returned as requested.
    • Stage 2
    • Subject to meeting the eligibility requirements, a second stage application form and extract from the Guide, Syllabus and Regulations will be sent out. On completion, this form should be submitted as requested.
    • Stage 3
    • Short-listed applicants will be invited to attend an interview, and this should be regarded as having the status of an entrance examination.
    Applicants are required to submit the following:
    Month Evidence of the minimum academic requirements Certified evidence of the required amount of office experience
    Part 1
    • 3 O-level/GCSE passes including English Language and Mathematics;
    • 2 A-level passes or equivalent qualifications, e.g. HNC
    3 years
    Part 2
    • A Part 1 qualification prescribed by the ARB, or validated by the RIBA (depending on the member states' requirements for registration)​
    • ARB Prescribed Examination at Part 1
    3 years post Part 1, or possibly less if practical experience was gained by taking a Part 1 course part-time, or by passing the RIBA Certificate in Architecture

    In addition, all applicants must supply:

    • A written statement of support from the applicant's current employer.
    • A written statement of 200-300 words explaining the applicant's suitability for office-based study, and the reasons for choosing to apply.
    • If called to interview, digital and hard copies of the following may be required:

    • A portfolio of personal work that includes a sketchbook, original sketches, photographs, projects, and a range of work carried out by the applicant in practice. Applicants for Part 2 should also include their final Part 1 project.
    • Examples of current work in practice that demonstrates the applicant's contribution to project work and current level of experience.
    • Written studies and reports: for example essays or a dissertation written as part of previous coursework, or practice-related planning reports for which the applicant had sole responsibility.
    • Evidence of qualifications: original certificates.
    • Final Part 1 design project (applies to RIBA Diploma applicants only).

    Applicants whose first language is not English

    Applicants whose first language is not English may need to provide evidence that their English language skills are at a high enough level to succeed in their studies by providing one of the following: A-level English, an IELTS score of 6.5+ including a minimum of 6.5 in each component, or an UCLES Certificate of Proficiency in English at Grade B or above. This also includes those applicants who may have a degree from the UK.


    Annual Registration Fee

    The annual registration fee is charged each academic year the student is on the course and is irrespective of the number of assignments chosen to be completed by the student. Annual registration fees are non-returnable nor may they be transferred to another academic year. The fee for 2018-19 will be £2,468.55.

    Suspended Studies Fee

    A nominal fee is charged to students who are unable to undertake any assignments during the year but who wish to remain registered on the RIBA Studio.

    Personal Tutors' Fees

    Students are advised to enter into a professional agreement with their personal tutor. As a general guidance, we recommend students pay their tutors an hourly rate of £45. It is expected that students would meet their tutors about twice a month.

    Terms and Conditions

    All written and design examinations take place in Oxford, so travel expenses need to be considered.

    Overnight Accommodation

    Students may wish to book overnight accommodation prior to assessment days.

    The Induction Session and Awards Ceremony are held at the RIBA in London.

    Study Leave

    Normally, students will not be expected to travel to Oxford or London more than five days each year. Whilst it is a matter for negotiation between students and their offices, it is expected that study leave would be granted without affecting annual leave.

    Contact us

    Sam Hughes

    School of Architecture
    Oxford Brookes University
    Headington Campus
    Gipsy Lane
    Oxford UK
    OX3 0BP

    Tel: +44 (0)1865 483413