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Professional Diploma in Architecture - RIBA2

Why study this course?

The Professional Diploma is a design-driven course that will enable you to focus your skills and develop excellence in your work. In the most recent (2014-15) Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 96.9% of graduates from this course were in work or further study within six months.

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In an increasingly competitive profession we distinguish ourselves as an academic forum engaged responsibly and directly with the world around us. We are committed to expanding the creative possibilities through courageous and ambitious engagement with the world around us. Design drives the speculation within the school, used as both tool and intention.

The Professional Diploma is a design-based course that will enable you to focus your skills and develop excellence in your work. The main areas of study are in design, technology and practice, and history and theory. Each area is taught through a wide choice of tutors, studios and interest groups with a strong emphasis on self-directed study and ambitious agendas. You are encouraged to explore particular lines of interest and develop ideas in depth.

The course as a whole encourages fresh thinking, experiment and risk. You will also be encouraged to understand and engage with the society you are part of and serve; and to engage with social, political and economic infrastructures that predetermine built form. Our students have had considerable successes in the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) President's medals, winning the RIBA Silver Medal in 2012, 2003 and 2002, and the Bronze in 2004.

The Department is housed in a purpose designed building on Whitechapel High Street, created by our own faculty architects, ARU, and has access to the Graduate Centre, designed by renowned architect, Daniel Libeskind. Students benefit from the course's central London location and its close proximity to its internationally renowned creative and industry hubs. The faculty's extensive networks encourage graduates of the course to expand their knowledge and skills through lectures, events and careers advice, leaving them with excellent career prospects.

You can watch a video of our course leader Nate Kolbe talking all about the Professional Diploma in Architecture here.

And you can watch a video of Professor Robert Mull giving an introduction to the Professional Diploma in Architecture (RIBA Part 2) here.

Assessment

Your design projects will be assessed via your portfolio and a presentation at the end of the course. The history, theory and practice coursework is assessed through seminar papers and an essay. The technology studies are examined in portfolio and through a technology dissertation, coursework and professional reports.

Professional accreditation

Our course is fully accredited by the RIBA and ARB. Upon graduation you will receive your RIBA part 2 qualification, the second stage of three in the professional qualification of an Architect in the UK.

You will be required to have:

  • a good degree in architecture 
  • passed RIBA Part 1
  • the ability to demonstrate your talent as a designer as well as your motivation to complete the course successfully

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Selected candidates are asked to attend an interview with their portfolio, which should include a wide range of work.

If you're studying full-time, each year (level) is worth 120 credits.

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2016/17 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday morning

    This module looks at the practice of architecture as a complex form of advocacy, the different manifestations of which promote different values. Students are encouraged to examine an existing form of practice (either traditional or non traditional) and the way real buildings and their ideas are procured and explore alternative forms of managing the process. The module deals with implicit and explicit codes and different forms of argument and evidence. The final essay will advocate a particular role for architects within society, arising from the study of a current piece of architecture and understanding of legal (planning/contractural) economic and political constraints. There will be a short test of the students' knowledge of professional codes and legal issues with feedback prior to the final submission.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    Module code: AR7022
    Module title: Applied Technology in Architecture
    Description: The module asks students to develop and demonstrate key technical skills.
    Semester: Autumn/Spring
    Prerequisite: None
    Assessment: 40% Final Report; 40% Design Report, 20% Diary.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    This module develops a student's ability to effectively realise a design proposition.

    Corequisite: AR7030 Design Level 4: Subject and Context

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    Module code: AR7030
    Module title: Design Level 4: Subject and Context
    Description: This module asks the student within an individual design unit to engage with the wider context and establishment of a rationale for a design proposition.
    Semester: Autumn/Spring
    Corequisite: AR7021 Design Level 4: Subject and Context: Process and Proposal
    Assessment: 100% Portfolio

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Tuesday morning

    Film can often reveal a hidden, poetic truth that even though inherent in reality, is at times not apparent, except through the lens of a camera. Thus, the module aims to introduce film as an alternative form of study of the city and architecture.

    Still an infant art, film has developed together with modernity and, arguably, its influence on modern perception has been more profound than any other art’s. Therefore, it remains an invaluable tool for studying and understanding modern life.

    More often than not film relies heavily on story and characters. Through this perspective of the inhabitant, the module uses a wide variety of films and attempts to read between the ‘lines’ of architecture and urban planning and explore areas often neglected by those disciplines.

    Spring semester. Assessment: Essay 75%; Class presentations 25%; Satisfactory Attendance 0%

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Tuesday morning

    AR7045 Concepts of Space.

    The module examines different concepts of space and their development.

    Spring Semester. Assessment: Essay 75%; Class presentations 25%; Satisfactory Attendance 0%

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday

    This module provides an overview of development economics, and an analysis of historic and current policies and practices involved in the economics of delivering sustainable urban change. It is linked with AR7004; Sustainable Communities and Governance of Place module in its analysis of sustainable communities and urban governance.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Tuesday morning

    AR7006 Forgetting of Air.

    The module offers a critique of the theories of modern perception rooted in ocular-centric concepts of space. The ‘forgetting of air’ refers to alternate ways of approaching the materiality of space through interrogating the overlooked medium of the air and how it is understood through the body and by the mind in different contexts.

    Spring Semester. Assessment: Essay 75%; Class presentations 25%; Satisfactory Attendance 0%

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester

    Module code: AR7007
    Module title: Poetry and Architecture
    Description: The course examines the critical application of poetic ideas to architecture in order to construct an alternative discourse.
    Semester: Spring
    Prerequisite: None
    Assessment: 75% Essay; 25% Seminar Report; Satisfactory Attendance

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon

    This research module includes both a generic component, ensuring that students have a full understanding of the research and analysis required to provide the evidence base and other forms of research relevant for spatial planning, and a component specific to each specialism, housing strategy or urban design.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday afternoon

    This module provides an overview of the social, environmental, physical, economic and political dimensions of planning sustainable communities, and assesses this alongside the role of communities and those in governance in planning, delivering and maintaining sustainable, successful and vibrant places. The module works in parallel to AR7003 Economics of Place.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday afternoon

    AR7049 The Problem of Irony.

    The module examines historical and philosophical ideas that deal with architecture as a means of cultural dialogue and discourse since the Enlightenment.

    Spring Semester. Assessment:75% Essay; 25% Class presentations; 0% Satisfactory Attendance

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday morning

    The module explores the relation of the broader intellectual context of technology to architecture.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Tuesday morning

    AR061 The Soundscape of Modernity.

    The module offers an interdisciplinary study of music and architecture in a historical context, with a focus on the theory of the soundscape of modernity in relation to architecture and urban design, and the practical application of sonic studies in the built environment.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon

    AR7052 Urban Design
    This module provides an overview of urban design theory and practice which enables the student to produce a a project based portfolio of an aspect of urban design.
    Assessment: Portfolio 100%

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday morning

    This module reviews the main ways of writing about architecture, using a wide range of texts by outstanding practitioners to exemplify each type. Students will practice the various modes themselves.

    Semester: Spring
    Prerequisite: None
    Assessment: 75% Essay; 25% Seminar Presentation; Satisfactory Attendance 0%

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Year 2 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    Module title: Design Thesis Project: Resolution
    Description: This module develops from the context established with the design thesis project:
    Specialisation and Proposal, and is concerned with the development and "closure"
    of the thesis design project.
    Semester: Autumn/Spring
    Prerequisite: Design Level 4: Subject and Context; Design Level 4: Process and Proposal
    Corequisite: Design Thesis Project: Specialisation and Proposition
    Assessment: 100% Portfolio

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    Module title: Design Thesis Project: Specialisation and Proposition
    Description: This module establishes a specialisation and through it develops a design proposal.
    Semester: Autumn/Spring
    Prerequisite: Design Level 4: Subject and Context; ADP030N, Design Level 4:
    Subject and Context
    Corequisite: Design Thesis Project: Resolution
    Assessment: 100% Portfolio

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    The module asks students to develop and demonstrate their ability to integrate key fields of architectural knowledge in the context of their Level 5 design project.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday

    Techniques (analogue and digital) in architectural design, representation and
    production continually and rapidly evolve. The module does set a specific set of software tools.
    This module will present a variety of digital techniques relevant to a wide range of design
    agendas. It will also discuss the potential relationship of these techniques within their applicability
    to architectual design. The student will be asked not only to master their techniques but to
    demonstrate a critical understanding of the context of their research and its value as a resource
    within their own work in related design modules.

    Semester: Autumn
    Co-requisite: AR7P40 Design Research and Technique or AR7P016 Design Research
    AR7P41 Design Project or AR7P017 Design Concept and Proposition
    Assessment: 20% Seminar(s)
    30% Technique Report Text
    50% Technique Research Project/Tests

    Read full details.
  • By undertaking Changing Places students will acquire the knowledge and skills to enable them to facilitate both individuals and communities in the transformation of the places and spaces in situations of scares resources and rapid culture and technology change.

    Autumn semester. Assessment: Illustrated Written Paper (5000- 4000 words) - 100%

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday morning

    This module emphasises the social and political perspective of space making at the scale of the city. It is an introduction to key concepts in urban history and theory from the 19th century until the present. It addresses historical and contemporary processes of migration, issues of politics, mapping, architecture and urban regeneration. Episodes of architectural and urban theory are placed in the context of political and cultural transformations, and in particular in the context of the changing geopolitical conditions by which the contemporary city is shaped. The module also investigates how different urban practitioners (rebels, soldiers, politicians, architects, artists, users and dwellers) intervened in the transformation of the city. It presents examples of new strands in current urban practices, particularly those focused on ‘design as research’. The focus is particularly on developing a cultural and political critique of planning practices, aiming to open an interdisciplinary debate, but also to assume the tools to form a position regarding existing planning strategies.


    Semester: Autumn/Spring
    Co-requisite: None
    Assessment: 25% Presentation; 75% 5000 words essay

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday

    The module investigates contemporary uses and tools of digital media in relation to architecture.
    Semester: Autumn
    Prerequisite: None
    Assessment: 30% 2D Representation, 30% 3D Representation - Diagraming, 40% 3D Representation Rendered/Animation

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday afternoon
    • autumn semester - Wednesday morning

    This module covers the basic principles of environmental sustainability and comfort in housing and non residential buildings in a range of climates. It introduces simple methods of surveying comfort preferences together with field measurements, and statistical interpretation of results.

    Assessment: 100% Case Study Essay

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday afternoon

    This module examines the relationship between buildings and history. It questions the simple chronology of time or period and looks at how architects use history to both quarry and validate ideas. The module examines architectural history through direct encounters with its objects, and the history of architectural history through texts, both contemporaneous and contemporary.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday afternoon

    This module's main task is to assist students in developing a creative skill in interpreting the built and lived world. It engages with the interpretation and representation of complex objects like London through the art of writing.

    Autumn semester. Assessment: Essay 70%; Class presentations 30%; Satisfactory Attendance 0%

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday afternoon

    This module provides a detailed analysis of planning practice in the UK, specialising in urban contexts and with comparisons made to international examples.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday

    This module provides an overview of the history of planning and urban theory, and an understanding of the current planning system and planning policies in the UK.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday morning

    Module code: AR7002
    Module title: Theories
    Description: The module examines the work of thinkers within and beyond architecture, relating these ideas to the experience of architecture and to the making architecture.
    Semester: Autumn
    Prerequisite: None
    Assessment: 75% Essay; 25% Seminar presentation; Satisfactory Attendance 0%

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Over 50% of the course structure consists of design-based project work undertaken each year in a range of studios, led by well-respected tutor-practitioners. Other areas of study in technology, practice and history and theory operate both independently and in association with design projects. These strategies enable you to develop key ideas and skills toward the practice of architecture.

Read more details about the modules

After securing a Professional Diploma in Architecture (RIBA 2), many students decide to study the Examination in Professional Practice (RIBA 3), following a period of practical experience. RIBA 2 also enables you to progress to a specialised Masters course.

Between 2016 and 2020 we're investing £125 million in the London Metropolitan University campus, moving all of our activity to our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching location of some courses will change over time.

Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2017. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.

All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of-the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

How to apply

Use the apply button to begin your application.

Please note, fees and course details are subject to change.

When to apply

You are advised to apply as early as possible as applications will only be considered if there are places available on the course.

Fees and key information

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