The RIBA Foundation in Architecture
If you are new to the field of architecture and don’t currently have the experience or portfolio to progress onto a Part 1 or undergraduate level course, the RIBA Foundation in Architecture programme will help you develop the skills and portfolio required for further study. We will also help you find an opportunity to gain your first salaried experience in practice.
The RIBA Foundation in Architecture course is designed to develop your skills in creative and conceptual thinking and help you build a portfolio of work that will enable you to pursue further study in the field of architecture.
The course will help you to:
- develop your skills in creative and conceptual thinking for architects,
- build a portfolio of work that will enable you to pursue further study,
- evolve the skills, knowledge, and confidence required to begin pursuing a career in the field,
- help you to find your first salaried experience in practice.
On this part-time course, you will meet us on a bi-weekly basis and separately with a personal tutor. At some point during and exceptionally beyond the course you will undertake your first salaried work in practice in a creative field for a minimum of 200 hours. If you do not already have a job in a creative practice, the RIBA Foundation team will work with you to find the minimum salaried practice hours which form part of the experience of the course.
The first steps in the application process involve submitting an eligibility form, and preparing a portfolio for the interview. Eligible applicants will then be invited for an online interview. Portfolio submissions are due by mid-August at the latest and interviews take place in September. Being online, this course allows you to remain in your current employment where you are earning a living and you can be based in any geographical location in the world.
For the purposes of defining work in practice, we define a design practice as either:
- an architecture practice,
- interior design practice,
- landscape or urban design firm,
- theatre production company,
- furniture or fashion design practice / production firm,
- and a range of other closely related design fields.
A professional in the practice will act as a mentor to ensure your range of experience helps prepare you for further studies in architecture. We welcome exceptional recent graduates from the Part 1 and Part 2 courses to act as mentors in practice.
Upon completion of the course, you will graduate with a portfolio of work key to advancing your career. You will have the skills required to progress onto a Part 1 Architecture qualification. Students who complete the RIBA Foundation course with merit or distinction are offered automatic entry to the RIBA Studio Certificate (Part 1) course. Those with a passing to fair grade will be in good standing and invited for an interview after applying.
This is the perfect course for someone with an interest in architecture but who has not had the chance to develop specific skills and who may not have a link into the network of practice. It will provide you with the skills, knowledge, and confidence required to begin pursuing a career in the field.
The course is modelled on the RIBA Studio and directly prepares students for the Certificate Part 1 course. There are joint events including a student-led conference and student representative roles that network between the RIBA Foundation, Certificate (Part 1) and Diploma (Part 2) peer groups.
Students also use the course to prepare for other Part 1 routes including the Apprenticeship and the full time taught routes. We discuss the details of these applications as part of the course.
Applicants will be supported in finding the minimum of 200 hours of local work in practice within the creative industries which they will undertake while studying and exceptionally after the course. Eligible applicants will also be supported in developing their portfolio for entry to the Foundation course (in other words, we help you prepare your application to join our course).
You are also required to have:
- Maths and English GCSE Grade C or level 5 or above,
- or Functional Skills, Key Skills or Skills for Life certificates in number and communication at level 2.
The above applies mainly to school leavers.
For applicants with previous studies in higher education including certificate or degrees these would be considered in lieu of the GCSE and Level 2 requirements.
For the RIBA Foundation, students do not have to be British citizens and they do not need to be based in the UK. You can be of any nationality and be based in any country in the world. We will work with you to find a suitable tutor and partner with you on your search for 200 hours of work in practice wherever you are living during the course.
(Note that in the next stage of study on the RIBA Certificate (Part 1), while you do not need to be a British citizen you do need to be working in practice somewhere in the UK / European Economic Area / Channel Islands.)
You will study 6 modules on the course. Each one will cover a different area of thinking within architecture and will help prepare you for studying at Part 1 level. These modules include:
- conceptual design,
- establishing expectations in academia and practice,
- gaining the awareness of an architect,
- learning to represent ideas like an architect.
You will work on these modules in your own time with the supervision of your chosen tutor. We support you in the selection of a personal tutor from a diverse group of exceptional Part 1 and Part 2 graduates. All of the work is developed in conjunction with your personal tutor who you will meet with on a one-to-one basis very regularly. When it comes to submitting your work for assessment, you will use Oxford Brookes University’s platform to do so. This is an online platform that you will be given access to when you register on the course.
Your design module is the only exception however. Your design work will be submitted and presented online where two or more examiners (from academia and from practice) will be present. This is a great opportunity to get feedback on your work from both academics and professionals in the industry in order to further your personal and professional development.
The course runs from December 2022 until October 2023. The tuition for the course is £1,600 which can be paid in three instalments. We run sessions on how to find and apply for funding from academic charities as well as learn from the experience of previous students who have done so.
Applications are now closed.
In order to apply, you will need to:
- Fill in and submit the eligibility form.
- If eligible, you will be invited to a general portfolio surgery to help you prepare your application portfolio
- Applicants will be invited for an individual portfolio surgery along with an interview on the same day
- You will then submit your portfolio, your CV, Vision Statement and skills for practice summary
- Your full application will be reviewed before selections are made for a place on the course
- Students who are offered a place and who take up their offer will be invited to induction where they will meet their prospective personal tutors before the course begins.
We encourage you to include in your portfolio any examples you may have of relevant, creative work. We will share a portfolio guide with eligible applicants to help put their portfolio together but in general it can include:
- sketches, models, drawings on any topic,
- art in any medium,
- illustrated literature,
- your favourite keepsake and the story behind it.
If you are in a career transition, we welcome a portfolio that includes aspects of your current career work.
If you work for a practice we can help you to:
- offer the RIBA Foundation in Architecture to your employees,
- hire a student who will be undertaking the Foundation,
- understand the roles and tasks they are ready to undertake,
- understand remuneration and responsibility of practices,
- realise the impact you are making in terms of diversifying the profession.
Please get in touch with the RIBA Studio & Foundation Programme Director, Dr. Maria Faraone firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out how the RIBA Foundation in Architecture could be an access route to Architecture for your students. The RIBA Foundation team is available to run architecture workshop sessions in schools or online. We will deliver the same learning but with a focus on the subjects used in architecture at GCSE and A level or earlier. This would include classes in:
We would also be happy to attend an assembly or career days to discuss routes into the profession.
Please get in touch with the RIBA Studio & Foundation Programme Director, Dr. Maria Faraone email@example.com.
Banner image credit: Ani Markova (2020)