School of Architecture

  • The RIBA Foundation in Architecture

    Image credit: Ani Markova (2020)

  • The RIBA Foundation in Architecture


    The RIBA Foundation in Architecture course is designed to develop your skills in creative and conceptual thinking for architects 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
    • build skills, knowledge, and confidence required to begin pursuing a career in the field.

    On this part-time course you will study while working in a design practice. If you do not already have a job in practice, the RIBA Foundation team will partner with you in finding the minimum salaried practice hours (200) which are required to complete the course. This process will take place upon successfully submitting your portfolio and completing an interview. Portfolio submissions are due mid-August and interviews usually take place in September. This allows you to remain in full-time work, earning a salary and living in a geographical location that suits you best. 

    A design practice includes:

    • an architecture firm
    • interior design practice
    • landscape or urban design firm
    • other closely related design fields.

    A professional will act as a mentor to ensure your range of experience helps prepare you for further studies in architecture.

    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 Foundation course with distinction are offered automatic entry to the RIBA Studio Certificate course.

    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.

    Entry Requirements

    All 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.

    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

    Start dates

    • January 2021, January 2022

    Course content and assessment structure

    You will study 4 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
    • 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. All of the work is developed in conjunction with a 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 Moodle platform to do so. This is an online platform that you will be given access to when you enroll on the course.

    Your design module is the only exception however. Your design work will be presented in person at Oxford Brookes, where two examiners (one architect from practice and one from academia) will be present. This is a great opportunity to get feedback on your work from both academics and professionals in the industry and the aim will be to further your personal development.  

    How to apply

    Applications for January 2021 are now closed. Applications for January 2022 will open in the New Year.

    In order to apply, you will need to:

    1. fill in and submit the eligibility form
    2. if eligible, you will receive an application pack
    3. complete and submit the application pack, including your CV and Vision Statement
    4. your application will be reviewed and you may be selected for an interview.

    We encourage you to bring with you any examples you may have of relevant, creative work. We can share a portfolio guide with you to help you put this together but in general it can include:

    • photography
    • collages
    • music
    • videos
    • art in any medium
    • 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.

    Information for practices

    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.

    Please get in touch with the programme lead: Maria Faraone,

    Information for schools and colleges

    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 an introductory session in schools. They will deliver the same learning but with a focus on the subjects used in architecture. This includes classes in:

    • Maths
    • History
    • Technology
    • Geography

    We would also be happy to attend an assembly or career days.

    For more information, contact the programme lead, Dr. Maria Farone: