Architecture and Professional Practice (Degree Apprenticeship) MArch

Architecture degree apprenticeship students working in hotwalls in Portsmouth
Mode of Study
2 years part-time
Start Date
September 2018


Do you want to earn a salary and get valuable on-the-job experience while you get the Part 2 and Part 3 qualifications you need to register as an architect?

On this 4-year MArch Architecture and Professional Practice degree apprenticeship course, you'll develop the professional and creative skills you need for a successful career as an architect. You’ll cover architectural topics such as urbanism, landscape, sustainability and culture, and learn to put your knowledge and skills into practice.

During term time, you'll spend 1 day a week on day release at the University and the other 4 days applying your skills and getting practical experience in the workplace. The Government or your employer pay your tuition fees – so it doesn’t cost you anything.

When you complete this degree apprenticeship successfully, you'll have Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)/ARB Part 2 & Part 3 exemption and be able to register as an Architect with the Architects Registration Board (ARB). You'll also be able to apply for registration as a Chartered Architect with the RIBA.

What you'll experience

On this course you'll:

  • Develop the creative and professional abilities needed for a practicing architect
  • Learn how to come up with creative and strategic solutions to a variety of architectural challenges
  • Get a Master's degree (Part 2) while you earn a salary
  • Put what you learn into practice in the workplace, preparing yourself for Part 3 studies in your final year
  • Have full access to the University's student support services and community including the Library, study support, sports and recreation facilities, and the Students’ Union
  • Build a network of professional peers during your time at university, sharing your ideas and knowledge
  • Get practical work experience in your job, giving you an advantage over students who go to University full time
  • Get a personal tutor from the University and a workplace mentor

You'll typically go to university 1 day a week for around 30 weeks every year to attend lectures, seminars and workshops. On the weeks you don't go to University, you'll still spend 20% of your time studying or training away from your normal working environment.

If you need somewhere to live, you may be able to stay in the University's halls of residence – talk to our Housing team for more information.

Careers and opportunities

This course gives you the professional knowledge and creative skills you need to advance your career as an architect, in your organisation and beyond.

You'll be eligible to apply for register as an Architect with the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and as a Chartered Architect with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

After you finish your apprenticeship, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

Professional accreditations

This course is in the process of obtaining professional accreditation by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Architects Registration Board (ARB). This means you'll satisfy the criteria for RIBA/ARB Part 2 exemption and be able to register as Architect with the ARB once you've completed Part 3 of the course in your final year.

Entry requirements​

Entry Requirements

  • A minimum of a second-class honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject or a master's degree in an appropriate subject. Royal Institute of British Architects part 1 exemption. Students with appropriate qualifications and design skills may be accepted directly, but would have to undertake and pass the ARM prescribed exam for Part 1 prior to the endpoint assessment and completion of the Apprenticeship. An online portfolio submission may be required as part of the selection process. Applicants may be subject to interview.
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2018 start)

The payment of the course fee is shared between the Government and some employers, meaning no cost to you as the degree apprentice. Total tuition fees are £21,000.

Your employer will also need to pay the End Point Assessment (EPA) fee. The cost of the EPA varies. This is in addition to the tuition fees.

Please see our Degree Apprenticeships page, or contact us, for further information about fees and the EPA. 

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending. 

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

​What you'll study

Example units

  • Strategic and Integrated Design
  • Technology for Sustainable Design
  • Cultural and Historical Studies
  • Thesis Dissertation
  • Design Preparation for Thesis
  • Thesis Design
  • Topical Research Project
  • Practice Management
  • Professional Practice
  • Practice, Law and Procurement
  • Professional Case Study

Changes to course content

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • computer-based tutorials
  • studios
  • workshops
  • online learning

You'll keep regular contact with your mentor, especially during your work-based learning project in the final year.

How you'll spend your time

On this degree apprenticeship, you'll work 4 days and study 1 day for around 28 weeks each year.

The day of the week you're at University varies, but will be the same day of the week throughout your course so you can fit your study time into your working routine and other commitments.

On the weeks you don't go to university, you'll still spend 20% of your time learning outside of your main job role.

How you're assessed​

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Lecture coursework and written essays
  • Individual and group work in taught units and studio
  • Design Portfolio

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study with us, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply. 


How you apply for a degree apprenticeship depends on whether you’re currently employed or not.

How to apply with your current employer

If you’re in full-time employment and would like to do a degree apprenticeship with your current employer, ask them to contact us so we can discuss with them how we can work together. 

You might find it useful to share our information for employers page with them.

How to apply with a new employer

If you’re not employed full-time or not working for a company that can fund and support your degree apprenticeship, you'll need to apply for a degree apprenticeship with a company that offers them.

You'll follow their standard recruitment process and we'll assess your academic suitability for the course once you've applied.

We can let you know when there are degree apprenticeship vacancies available with companies we work with – contact us to give us your details.

You can also browse degree apprenticeship vacancies with employers with whom we already have relationships.

If you have questions about degree apprenticeships, please get in touch with us

Contact information
  • The degree apprenticeship team
  • +44 (0)23 9284 8599

Subject Area
Architecture and surveying