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Architecture Postgraduate Diploma Professional Practice (RIBA/ARB Part 3)

Course Description

This third and final adjunct of architectural education is designed to take place during the second period of mandatory practical training after the completion of the Part 2.

The course can be completed in 12 to 24 months, according to employment circumstances. Graduates of the course receive a Postgraduate Diploma in Architectural Professional Practice and can apply for registration with ARB, and for Chartered membership of the RIBA.

Course content

The Diploma is the final part of an architectural student’s professional training and the culmination of a minimum of seven years’ education and professional development. The content of the course and each module builds on the professional experience and knowledge that you will have gained over this period.

Core modules

•Architectural Practice Management
This module aims to develop your understanding of the role and value of the architect in the commissioning, procurement and management of architectural projects. It builds on the legal and practice models studied in the law module and places them in a wider managerial context. It also introduces and applies generic management principles and relevant procedures to the key elements of the design and construction cycle, and places current practice in the context of wider developments in construction and the built environment. Topics covered include organisational and financial management in architectural practice, marketing and briefing, the Plan of Work, and the role of the professional in the construction team. It is delivered as an intensive three-day short course during January.

•English Law, Regulations, Contracts and Procurement
This module investigates the principles of construction law, relevant statutory regulations, procurement, forms of construction contract and dispute resolution. It is delivered as a series of ten lectures with question and answer sessions. You will be expected to carry out self-directed learning during the semester relating to each lecture topic.

•Professional Case Study
This work-based module allows you to choose an architectural project to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding through analysis and evaluation of a project and the professional, legal, organisational events relevant to architectural practice. You will develop your analytical and evaluative skills, and your ability to present clearly complex data and events. The module builds on the theoretical models and practical examples studied in the taught modules, and develops your understanding of the key areas of professional practice, design and construction and provides an opportunity to make professional judgements and recommendations for future practice.

•Professional Development and Experience
This work-based module consists of the Professional Experience and Development Record, a professional Curriculum Vitae, a Critical Self-Appraisal and an Oral Examination (the Viva Voce). The module enables you to assess the experience you require for practice, to evaluate your achievements and experiential learning in the professional workplace, and to demonstrate your professional judgement based on that experience.

Associated careers

The Diploma in Professional Practice in Architecture is a professional qualification leading to registration as an architect with ARB and professional membership of the RIBA. Students who have successfully completed the course have obtained senior positions or taken greater responsibility in architectural practice, developed their own architectural practice, and also gone on to work overseas. Former students have also developed specialism in construction law. The Diploma may also form a platform for continuing study in academia and research and may lead to study for an MPhil/PhD degree.


At Westminster, we have always believed that your University experience should be designed to enhance your professional life. Today’s organisations need graduates with both good degrees and employability skills, and we are committed to enhancing your graduate employability by ensuring that career development skills are embedded in all courses.

Opportunities for part-time work, placements and work-related learning activities are widely available, and can provide you with extra cash and help you to demonstrate that you have the skills employers are looking for. In London there is a plentiful supply of part-time work – most students at the University of Westminster work part time (or full time during vacations) to help support their studies.

We continue to widen and strengthen our links with employers, involving them in curriculum design and encouraging their participation in other aspects of career education and guidance. Staff take into account the latest data on labour market trends and employers’ requirements to continually improve the service delivered to students.

Visit the Architecture Postgraduate Diploma Professional Practice (RIBA/ARB Part 3) page on the University of Westminster website for more details!

Entry Requirements

You must have RIBA Parts 1 and 2 from a recognised school of architecture or have successfully passed the ARB assessment for RIBA Parts 1 and 2. If your first language is not English you will need an IELTS score of 6.5.

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