School of Architecture

  • RIBA Studio

    Courses in Architecture for students working in practice.

    Image credit: Ioli Belezini (2020)

  • RIBA Studio

    Courses in Architecture for students working in practice

    The RIBA Studio programme is for students working in practice, who would like to work towards qualifying as an architect whilst remaining in employment. Unlike any studio and lecture based programme in architecture, you will work towards either your Foundation, Part 1 or Part 2 qualification whilst working full-time, under the direct supervision of an architect in your office and with a personal tutor who has taught design in a School of Architecture.

    If you’re already working in an architectural practice, or in the architectural department of a multi-disciplinary practice, and wish to complete your Part 1 or Part 2, the RIBA Studio programme will allow you to work at your own pace whilst investing your time in practice, earning a salary.

    If you don’t have the necessary experience or portfolio to progress onto a Part 1 course, the Foundation in Architecture course will help you develop the skills and portfolio required for further study.

    You’ll benefit from choosing your own tutor to fit your learning style who will help guide you to get the most out of the course. You will graduate with an RIBA Certificate in Architecture ‘Part 1’ or an RIBA Diploma in Architecture ‘Part 2’ that is certified by the Royal Institute of British Architects upon completing your studies.

  • 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 syllabus sequence mirroring the development and realisation of design projects in architectural practice from both an academic and conceptual perspective.

    Flexibly operated

    The RIBA Studio is offered as an alternative route to qualification for those that may not be looking for traditional full-time or part-time degree courses and for those who learn best while practicing. Operated flexibly to accommodate fluctuations in students' circumstances, the programme is managed through a system of annual learning contracts and formal deferrals.

    Office mentors

    Individual study for 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 your learning.

    Personal tutors

    Tutors are appointed by students for the duration of the course 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 to Diploma 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.


    Find out more information about the courses available in the RIBA Studio programme, such as the entry requirements for each course and how to apply.


    Feedback from students

    "Completing the RIBA Studio qualifications had a considerable influence in my approach to the design of my practice projects.

    Taking the course has vastly improved my skill base, knowledge, attitude and confidence, allowed me to grow as a person and given me a route to qualification not offered anywhere else.

    The course has broadened my perspective on architectural thinking and set about widening my understanding of architecture as a whole.

    I have found that engaging in practice work and academic studies simultaneously has allowed me to improve in both areas, with each informing the other.

    Chris Rogers, RIBA Studio graduate

    Feedback from practices

    "We have long been advocates of RIBA Studio (formerly known as the RIBA Office Based Examination) – beginning when our Founding-Partner undertook the process in the 1960s. Our practice has since encouraged and supported a further six members of staff in the completion of their architectural qualifications through RIBA Studio over the past two decades.

    We have found that RIBA Studio enables those who may not have had the financial or geographical availability of educational support to undertake their full architectural studies in the first instance, a chance to fulfil their academic aspirations.

    While the course is indeed challenging - particularly when undertaken in the context of full time employment - we feel the process leads to well-rounded architects, with an understanding of both the theory and practice of architecture.

    The practice would have no hesitation in recommending the examination, or indeed encouraging further members of staff to undertake the same in the future."

    Juneanne Falconer RIBA ARB MRIAI, Partner at C.J. Falconer & Associates

  • Travel

    All written and design examinations take place in Oxford, so travel expenses need to be considered. Students may wish to book overnight accommodation prior to assessment days. 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