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RIBA: Practice in the UK (short course)

Why study this course?

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 if you are returning to practice after taking time out from your career. The Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design at London Metropolitan University is a Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Continued Professional Development (CPD) provider.


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This short course will give you an introduction to all aspects of working as an architect in the UK. This includes making appointments and setting fees, and working with sub-consultants and the wider design team. You will also gain an understanding of the constraints around the construction industry such as 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 RIBA 3 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 understanding of the UK construction industry
  • it is not focused on assessment

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

The RIBA: Practice in the UK short 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 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 modelling (BIM) and its implications
  • practice issues: finding and charging for work, setting up practice, insurance

On completion of the course, you'll 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.

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. Keywords 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.

"Extra material was of a great quality and all the resources the teacher gave us were very helpful! The course 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 per cent on what was being done rather than on taking notes."

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

"An excellent course, Richard Gatti has a wealth of knowledge to share and it has the gift of making even the most difficult issue sounds doable. I recommend the course to all foreign architects coming to work in the UK."

Course dates 3 October to 5 December 2016
Length One evening a week for 10 sessions
Day and time Monday, 6.30pm to 8.45pm (excluding bank holidays)
Maximum class size 40
Contact hours 22.5

A 20 per cent discount is available for:

  • those who are registered as unemployed and in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • those whose sole or main income is a Department of Social Security (DSS) state retirement pension
  • those who are registered as disabled and in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • full-time and part-time UK students on credit-bearing courses
  • London Metropolitan University students on year-long day courses
  • London Metropolitan University Alumni Association members
  • London Metropolitan University staff

If you're eligible for the 20 per cent discount, please contact us on 020 7320 1842 or thecass.shortcourses@londonmet.ac.uk before booking.

The cost of materials is included in the course fee. 

Please read our terms and conditions.

How to apply

To book on to one of our short courses, click the apply button to visit our eShop.

When to apply

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 and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Fees and key information

Short Course