School of Architecture

  • The RIBA Certificate in Architecture ‘Part 1’

    Work towards your Part 1 qualification whilst working full-time in practice.

    Image credit: Lucinda Prophet (2019)

  • The RIBA Certificate in Architecture ‘Part 1’


    The RIBA Studio 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 your Part 1 qualification whilst working full-time, under the direct supervision of an architect.

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

    Upon graduating from the course, you will be eligible to apply for a Part 2 qualification such as the RIBA Diploma in Architecture. 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.

    Entry Requirements

    All applicants must be working at least 24-hours per week in a suitable architectural practice in the EU or EEA and be directly supervised by a registered architect, employed in the same practice, and meet the following academic qualifications:

    RIBA Certificate:

    • 3 O-level/GCSE passes including English Language and Mathematics;
    • 2 A-level passes or equivalent qualifications, e.g. HNC

    Tuition fees

    The annual fee for the 2021-22 academic year has been confirmed at £2,858.

    Course content and assessment structure

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

    You will develop your awareness of architectural precedent, in particular through reference to contemporary projects and emergent ideas; you will learn how to evaluate design projects including your own, being aware of your individual position in the sphere of architecture. There is an emphasis on expanding your methods of developing, testing and presenting ideas, placing high value on the design process.

    There are four subjects covered across each course, three of which require the digital submission of course work, while the design subject work is assessed in person through design examinations. 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 very regularly.

    How to apply

    Applications for March 2021 are now closed; applications will recommence in April 2021 for March 2022 entry.

    Students are required to apply online and provide a series of documents including an extract of their personal portfolio before being eligible for an interview. The application process consists of three stages:

    Stage 1

    • Submitting the Eligibility Form.

    Stage 2

    • Subject to meeting the eligibility requirements, the second stage is the completion and return of a full application form and supporting documents including:
      • A written statement of support from the applicant's current employer
      • A written statement of 200-300 words explaining applicant's suitability for office-based study, and the reasons for choosing to apply
      • An extract of applicant's personal portfolio. Applicants for the RIBA Diploma (Part 2) should 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
      • And 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.

    Stage 3

    • Short-listed applicants will be invited to attend an interview at Oxford Brookes; this should be regarded as having the status of an entrance examination.