Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass)

This short course is specifically designed for EU qualified architects (covered by the Professional Qualifications Directive) who are working or preparing to work in the UK, but it equally serves as a refresher course to those returning to practice after time out.

Key information

Key information about this course

Location Central House
FacultySir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass)
Study LevelShort Course
Course LengthOne evening a week for 10 weeks (Mondays 6:30-8.45pm): beginning 4 April 2016
EntryOctober 2015, January 2016, April 2016
Attendance typesPart-time
Part time cost
UK and EU students
Many of our students are eligible for a non-means-tested Postgraduate Loan of up to £10,000. Check to see if you could be eligible.

Course overview and entry requirements

Course overview

This short course is specifically designed for EU qualified architects (covered by the Professional Qualifications Directive) who are working or preparing to work in the UK, but it equally serves as a refresher course to those returning to practice after time out.

It will give an introduction to all aspects of working as an architect in the UK, including appointments and setting fees, working with sub-consultants and the wider design team, understanding the constraints around the construction industry including planning, appointing contractors and the different contractual options, and managing health and safety and risk. It will also contain sessions on professionalism, the roles of the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), and an introduction to British law.

The course covers similar ground to the RIBA Part 3 course but will not lead to accreditation as an architect. It is designed for people who have already qualified in the European Economic Area and who have a qualification covered by the Professional Qualifications Directive (2005/36/EC). For more details on qualification equivalence, contact the ARB. For the accredited RIBA 3, Examination in Professional Practice, please visit our course page.

This course is different from the Part 3 course in the following ways:

  • you do not need to have done RIBA Part 2 to do the course
  • it does not assume that you already have an understating of the UK construction industry 
  • it is not focussed on assessment

You can read the RIBA Visiting Board Report for our architecture courses from January 2012.

Entry requirements

This course is aimed at fully qualified architects and has been designed with European Economic Area (EEA) qualified architects with a qualification covered by the Professional Qualifications Directive (2005/36/EC) in mind, although candidates with other backgrounds will be considered. Please note, this course will not lead to accreditation as an architect, as above. It is also suitable for qualified architects seeking to refresh their professional knowledge before returning to practice after a break.

Please note, the course will be delivered in English. This is a technical course and will involve technical language. Key words and phrases will be explained as simply as possible but in order to complete this course you will need to read and understand English well.

Course structure and assessment

Course structure

The RIBA: Practice in the UK Short Course course will be delivered in 10 sessions. Each session will last two and a quarter hours and, while the structure can vary slightly from week to week, it will typically include:

  • an introductory lecture of about an hour
  • a lecture, case study or interview with or by a professional related to the field (these guest speakers are drawn from across the industry and will include lawyers, journalists, architects, clients and representatives of the professional boards)
  • the opportunity to ask questions or explore opinions

The aim of each week is to complement theory with a real life, worked example to reinforce the ideas, and to offer a different perspective. Each session is supplemented by a handout, which includes a summary of the main points and resources for further study.

Over the course of 10 weeks, we will cover:

  • the architectural industry in the UK: how it is structured, how to become an architect, the state and role of the architectural press, and the role of the architect and other consultants
  • the UK legal framework and how it relates to the architect: planning and building control, rights of way, rights of light, party wall, contract and procurement (two weeks)
  • the rights and responsibilities of the architect: the role of the ARB and RIBA, employment rights and responsibilities, health and safety and the new Construction (Design and Management) (CDM) rules, building information modeling (BIM) and its implications
  • Practice issues: finding and charging for work, setting up practice, insurance. 


On completion of the course, the students will receive a RIBA Continuing Professional Development Certificate of Attendance. In between the last two sessions of the course, a short case study and a series of questions will be issued. This will be completed in class as a joint exercise. While it will not be formally marked, this is an opportunity to test understanding. Constructive feedback will be given.

Career opportunities

Career opportunities

The course gives an introduction to the UK architectural industry and as such provides a useful grounding for candidates looking either for their first UK-based job or to improve their career prospects. It also serves as a refresher for candidates returning from a break in the industry.

Further information

The maximum class size is 40.

Course contact hours: 22.5.

What our students say

"Extra material was of great quality and all the resources the teacher gave us were very helpful! It went far beyond my expectations in this sense. The teacher was thorough and very clear when doing the practical exercises and the recorded material meant we could focus 100% on what was being done rather than taking notes."

"The course was very useful to understand the architecture industry."

Applying and entry

How to apply

To book onto one of our Short Courses, please visit our eShop.

Please note: the deadline to book a place on one of our short courses is one week before the start date. If you have missed the deadline, please get in touch. 


A 20 per cent discount is available for:

  • those who are registered as unemployed and in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance or ESA
  • those whose sole or main income is a DSS state retirement pension
  • those who are registered as disabled and in receipt of DLA or PIP
  • RIBA members
  • full-time and part-time UK students on credit bearing courses, London Metropolitan University students on year-long day courses or London Metropolitan University alumni members
  • London Metropolitan University staff

Please contact us before booking.

Terms and Conditions

Please read our T&C's before booking.

When to apply

Course length One evening a week for 10 weeks (Mondays 6.30-9pm)
Course dates 4 April - 20 June (no classes 2 or 30 May 2016 due to bank holidays

Contact details

Tel0207 320 1842

Apply online

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