Course overview

Our ARB prescribed and RIBA validated programme is long-established and consistently achieves high first pass rates (85%+). The course combines two in-person recall days (at the Nottingham campus) with online lectures, study groups and self-led learning that combines knowledge and understanding of the professional criteria in the context of your life in practice. Our team includes architects, part 3 specialists and academics, with inputs sought from a range of industry experts and professional examiners from within practice.

Supported throughout the year by your PSA (Professional Studies Advisor) the assessment of the course is via individual and group assignments, an open-book, ‘in the office’ exercise designed to reflect the real, and varied, world of architectural practice, and a case study based on a live project you’re involved in in at the office. Our student cohort has a range of experience and, working within your study groups, you will benefit from that shared knowledge, ensuring that your ‘world view’ is not confined to that of the practice you are working in.

The course content covers professional practice from the macro to micro level; the way political/social/economic changes affect the profession and practice, down to the detail, such as how to fill in an Architect’s Instruction or the process of awarding an extension of time.

Completion of the course is the final stage in becoming an architect. You will demonstrate competence, knowledge and understanding across both the ARB Professional Criteria and the RIBA work stages, forming a strong foundation for your career (and life-long learning) within the architectural profession.

Why choose this course?

Top 3

architecture school in the country


Architects Journal (2020)

Top 10

Best Architecture schools in the UK

Practical learning

Practical learning including marketing and management, contract and procurement and architecture law

12 month

practice-based course is the final step towards registration as an architect in the UK

Course content

This programme runs from the end of September 2023 to the beginning of November 2024, and is structured around the professional criteria, as set out by the ARB, namely:

  • PC1 Professionalism
  • PC2 Clients, users and delivery of services
  • PC3 Legal framework and processes
  • PC4 Practice and management
  • PC5 Building procurement


The course comprises two 30-credit modules.

Course Content

Starting with an in-person recall day on campus in Nottingham in September, students will meet their cohort, be allocated a study group and receive an overview of the course. Our key-note speaker will then introduce professional ethics, values and consider the future of practice and the profession.

The majority of the course is then delivered via 30+ lectures which are accessed remotely on Wednesday afternoons (1-4:30pm) between September – April. Four written assignments are completed alongside the lectures, building on experience in practice to demonstrate knowledge and understanding across all five of the professional criteria, and the 'academic' component of the course concludes with a 3-day office-based assignment in May which aims to reflect the variety experienced in an architectural practice. Between June-August, the focus is on completion of an 8000 word case study which is based on live project experience in the student's practice.

In preparation for the professional interview in November, candidates prepare a 2000-3000 word critical reflective career appraisal, CV and criteria mapping exercise that documents and reflects on their experience to date. This is accompanied by a minimum 24 months of completed PEDRs.

The course concludes with a 45-minute professional interview which is conducted by professional examiners from in practice and seeks to determine a candidate's competence across the professional criteria determined by the ARB.

Throughout the course, candidates are supported by their dedicated PSA (Professional Studies Advisor) via 1:1 tutorials, by their peers via the study group format and in study sessions with the whole cohort (usually 30-40 students). 

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Lectures
  • Tutorials
  • Group study

This course will produce graduates who are able to provide professional expertise and leadership within the construction industry by providing them with the necessary intellectual and practical skills. The intention of the assessment process is to ensure that students demonstrate an appropriate baseline of competence for entry to the profession and a commitment to maintaining and extending that competence through continuing professional development.

How you will be assessed

  • Assignments
  • Verbal exam
  • Case studies

Assessment of learning, knowledge and understanding is through a series of submissions made throughout the course of the year:

  • Four written assignments of around 4000 words each (mix of individual and group work), covering all five of the professional criteria, supported by the lecture series
  • Office-based, open-book scenario-based assessment
  • Case study (8000 words) based on your experience in practice
  • PEDR sheets (minimum 24 months, 12 of which are required to be post-Part 2)
  • CV and career appraisal and criteria mapping
  • Professional interview

Contact time and study hours

Students on this programme will be working in practice alongside their studies. Course content will be delivered via 30+ hours of online lectures and sessions which are complemented by peer study group sessions, 1:1 tutorials with PSA, self-led learning and support in practice.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2023 entry.

Professional qualification

Applicants should have parts 1 and 2, and experience of working in an approved practice.


The programme, Professional Practice in Architecture K10G, is available to Part 2 graduates from any UK ARB/RIBA prescribed and validated school of architecture. 

Candidates who completed their Part 2 qualification at the University of Nottingham should apply for the MArch Conversion K109. This course is for graduates who have achieved an average final mark of at least 60%, including a mark of at least 50% for the final year of the course.

Teaching for both programmes is identical and students form a single cohort.

Applicants should have parts 1 and 2, and a minimum of 12 months working in practice, as well as IELTS 6.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element). Candidates should be currently working in an approved practice and will require a minimum of 12 months experience post-Part 2 before they can sit the professional interview. For further details, see our course information.

Our step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know about applying.

How to apply


Qualification PGCert
Home / UK £2,600
International £2,850

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) .

These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).

Additional costs

All students will need at least one device to approve security access requests via Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). We also recommend students have a suitable laptop to work both on and off-campus. For more information, please check the equipment advice.

You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies or more specific titles which could cost up to £100 per year.

You will be expected to attend an in-person recall day at the start of the course and may incur travel expenses for this. You may also need to travel to attend your professional interview but there is the option to complete this online if required. Lectures will be delivered remotely and you will need internet access. All submissions are made digitally and therefore printing costs should be minimal.


There are many ways to fund your postgraduate course, from scholarships to government loans.

We also offer a range of international masters scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.

Postgraduate funding


We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students.

Expert staff can help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

Each year 1,100 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

International students who complete an eligible degree programme in the UK on a student visa can apply to stay and work in the UK after their course under the Graduate immigration route. Eligible courses at the University of Nottingham include bachelors, masters and research degrees, and PGCE courses.

Graduate destinations

Students attending our part 3 course work in a range of local and national practices of varying scales, and with experience of a diverse scale and type of projects. Recent graduates have been supported by practice such as:

  • Arc Partnership (Nottingham)
  • Atkins (London)
  • Benoy (Newark)
  • EPR (London)
  • Gensler (Birmingham)
  • Glenn Howells (London & Birmingham)
  • Harrison Stringfellow (Liverpool)
  • Lathams (Derby)
  • Leonard Design (Nottingham)
  • Maber (Nottingham & Derby)
  • MCW Architects (Cambridge)
  • rg+p Ltd. (Leicester)
  • Sheppard Robson (London)
  • Stridetreglowan (Bristol)
  • Weston Williamson (London)
  • Whittam Cox (Chesterfield)
Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates
" The course leader led a positive, purposeful, and refreshing take on the Part 3 course at University of Nottingham. The line-up of guest speakers was excellent. I particularly enjoyed the engagement with the best co-professionals in the industry to discuss relevant topics in the context of current events. "
Jia Xin Lim, Professional Practice in Architecture (Part 3) PG Cert ARB RIBA alumni

Related courses

This content was last updated on Wednesday 26 October 2022. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur given the interval between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.