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International Professional Practice Part 3 Architecture

This one-year, part-time course completes your journey to becoming an architect, following RIBA Parts 1 and 2 or an equivalent.

Upon graduation, you're eligible for the Final Certificate in Architecture (Part 3) ARB/RIBA, qualifying you to practice.

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If you’re an international student or architect without UK qualifications and want to enter the UK Register of Architects, our International Professional Practice (part 3) Architecture course is the last step in becoming a professional architect registered with the ARB. 

You need to be in full-time employment to be eligible for this course, preferably in a UK architectural practice.

Ideally, you’ll have studied architecture, surveying or civil engineering in the past, and have completed RIBA parts 1 and 2 or their international equivalents. You should have a minimum of two years in architectural practice, with 12 months of that experience in a UK or EU practice. 

You'll learn about current practice issues, legal and building legislation, and contractual issues in the industry as you improve your knowledge of the environment and sustainability, the social and economic side of the construction industry, and develop your practice and project management skills. 

Supported by staff with extensive academic and architectural practice experience, you’ll use a combination of lectures and workshops with real case studies to inform your learning. You'll practice specific skills including contract administration skills in workshops which use a JCT Standard Building Contract, and work towards being a fully qualified architect when you graduate.

Uniquely to Portsmouth, our studio-based course offers a range of design studios which you can choose to join. Each has its own design ethos, theoretical positions, design briefs, and investigation methodologies. Use your professional judgement and problem-solving skills to develop your professional experience and practice, and benefit from top-class facilities, hardware, software, and 3D modelling.

As you study, you’ll gain knowledge and experience to help you to enhance your future career, whether you want to continue with your current employer or find alternative employment.

Starting this course without RIBA 1 and 2

If you do not hold the UK RIBA 1 and 2 qualifications, you may still be suitable for this course. You can apply if you hold an international equivalent to RIBA Parts 1 and 2, or if you have 5 years of HE qualifications in a suitable field, preferably architecture, and a minimum of two years in architectural practice. 12 months of your experience should be in a UK/EU practice.

If you hold international equivalents to RIBA 1 and 2, the ARB will validate qualifications from your country or ask you to complete the relevant ARB exams. These qualifications can be validated before or during your course, or for up to two years after you graduate. 


This course accepts international students only.

If you are a UK or EU student, please see our UK version of this course: Final Examination in Professional Practice (Part 3) Architecture.

Course highlights

  • Be eligible to apply for the Final Certificate in Architecture (Part 3) ARB/RIBA and practice as a qualified architect when you graduate
  • Complete a case study of a live project, relevant to your current professional role
  • Study Practice Management, Law and Contract, as set out in the ARB/RIBA syllabus
  • Use our design studios, featuring advanced architectural computer facilities, CNC milling machine, laser cutting machines, a virtual reality suite and professional printers
  • Access our Centre for Creative and Immersive Extended Reality (CCIXR), the UK’s first integrated facility to support innovation in the creative and digital technologies of virtual, augmented and extended realities
  • Benefit from our nurturing teaching environment and a mix of lectures and workshops, supported by staff with extensive academic and architectural practice experience, and construction industry experts
  • Hear from industry experts working in UK construction, including barristers (Crown Office Chambers), lawyers (Fenwick Elliot), solicitors, architects (National practices such as AHMM and local practices), and planning consultants (Savills)
Architects Registration Board (ARB)
Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)

This course is accredited by the Architects Registration Board and accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).


Contact information


+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Contact Admissions

Entry requirements


This course accepts international students only.

If you are a UK or EU student, please see our UK version of this course: Final Examination in Professional Practice (Part 3) Architecture.

September 2024 start

  • Professional status in Surveying, Architecture or Civil Engineering
  • International equivalent to RIBA part 1 and 2 is essential for entry

Please get in touch if you're not sure if your undergraduate subject is relevant to this degree.

Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will also be considered, such as previous study, employment, voluntary work and training courses, including courses and qualifications you didn't complete. Learn more about our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 (or equivalent) with no component score below 6.0.

You do not need an IELTS or equivalent certification if:

  • you have a UK degree
  • you have a degree from a majority English speaking country (not taught by Distance Learning)
  • you are a national of a majority English speaking country

Degrees taught solely in English from non-majority English speaking countries will be considered on a case by case basis. Find out more about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

  • All applicants will be invited to attend an interview.
  • Full time employment in a UK/EU architectural practice is essential, along with a case study project, assessed by course leader for suitability.
  • Minimum 15 months of recorded experience (PEDRs) is required prior to starting the course. Refer to ARB for practical training requirements.

Course costs and funding

Tuition fees

This course is open to EU and International students only. Fees below are for EU and International applications.

  • Part-time: £2,875 per year

University of Portsmouth graduates may receive a 20% alumni tuition fee discount

Fees are subject to annual increase. Read our tuition fees terms and conditions.

You'll be able to pay your fees in instalments. Find out how to pay your tuition fees.

Funding your studies

Explore how to fund your studies, including available scholarships and bursaries.

Funding for international students

Learn more about sponsorships, scholarships and loans for students applying from outside of the UK.

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Loans, scholarships and bursaries

Browse funding such as the Government Postgraduate Loan, our scholarships for new and returning students, and subject specific loans.

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Fees and funding for Master's courses

Explore Master's funding options, including loans, scholarships, bursaries and more.

Explore funding

Additional 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 could include:

  • Accommodation: Accommodation options and costs can be found on our accommodation pages.
  • Recommended reading: You can borrow key texts from the library and if you choose to purchase these texts they may cost up to £60 each.
  • General costs: Such as photocopying, memory sticks, printing charges, binding and specialist printing. We suggest budgeting £75 per year.
  • Final project transport or accommodation: where necessary, which related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.


What you’ll study

Core modules

All modules in the year are core.

You’ll learn both the theory and how to apply it, getting to grips with laws, managing projects, handling risks, and understanding finances. We’ll help you see how social responsibility and ethics fit into architecture. You’ll become skilled at inspecting how you work with clients and how to manage projects from start to finish. You’ll also get coaching on how to communicate like a pro, so you can competently present your ideas.

When you finish, you’ll be prepared to take on the real-world problems you’ll face as a smart architectural manager and leader. Broaden your abilities beyond just design, which is crucial for successful practice.

You’ll show how your skills align with architect roles and ethical conduct standards by analysing your work placement. We’ll guide you to thoughtfully assess how projects are carried out, teams work together, and companies operate. Reflecting on your own growth, you’ll pinpoint ways to keep improving through professional development opportunities. Learn how to showcase your unique skills and understanding in a CV, a case study, and self-evaluation, proving you’re ready for a professional role.

By the end, you’ll have the tools to adeptly handle the challenges of the architectural field. Make a smooth move from your studies to a meaningful career.

You’ll gain a deep understanding of your subject with help from tutors. We’ll teach you how to carefully choose and analyse sources, and how to make convincing arguments backed up by solid proof. You’ll also work with others, learning to share tasks and work as a team while also improving your public speaking skills. This module will help you ask the right questions, write well-organised papers, and present your ideas persuasively.

By the end, you’ll be equipped with the important research abilities that are key in the fields of architecture and scholarly study.

Become a proactive and adaptable researcher who can contribute significantly to your field.

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, course content is revised and regularly reviewed.  This may result in changes being made in order to reflect developments in research, learning from practice and changes in policy at both national and local levels.


Architecture Studios

Our open-plan learning spaces encourage a studio culture of collaboration, creativity and dialogue, preparing you for the ways of working you'll experience in your career.

Explore studios

3D Workshops

Our Workshops are ideal for model-making, with high-grade kit for crafting wood, metal, plastics, polyurethane, concrete and plaster works.

Explore Workshops

Centre for Creative and Immersive Extended Reality (CCIXR)

Create stunning works for film, TV, music, gaming and immersive reality in the UK's first integrated facility of its kind.

AED - Feb 23
Discover the Centre

How you'll spend your time

We recognise that you'll probably be juggling more demands when you do your Master's degree, as you may be working or you may have family responsibilities.

We'll give you as much indication here as we can of how much time you'll need to be on campus and how many hours you can expect to spend in self-directed study, but please note that these indications are always subject to change. You should receive your full timetable several weeks before you start with us.

Course structure

This postgraduate degree will take 1 year (part-time).

You can expect to:

  • attend campus for 10 teaching days including 1 Friday in September, and 3 three-day seminars on Wednesday-Friday in November, January and March
  • attend campus for 2 assessment days, one each in May and July
  • access online learning materials in your own time 

Master's study is deeper and more specialised than an undergraduate degree. This means you'll focus on something that really matters to you and your career as you work closely with academics committed to the subject.

You'll spend more time in independent study and research than you did for your undergraduate degree, but the majority of your teaching time will be in-person and face-to-face.

Teaching on this course includes:

  • seminars
  • tutorials
  • study groups
  • discussions
  • debates
  • self-directed learning


You'll be assessed through: 

  • essays and written assignments (25%)
  • written examinations (25%)
  • written case study and career evaluation (50%)
  • oral examination (Pass/Fail)
  • professional experience and development records — 24 months' worth (Pass/Fail)

Meet your course leader

Emma Elizabeth Dalton Portrait

Mrs Emma Dalton

Senior Lecturer

School of Architecture

Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries

Read more

Term dates

September start

The PGCE academic year runs from September to the following June/July. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter, and half terms in October, February and May.

Graduation Class of 2021

Joining us as an international student

You'll feel at home in our international community and our diverse city. You'll be joining over 5,000 international students from more than 150 countries who are studying with us.

Learn more about international student life and how we can help you with visas, applications, arrival and settling in. 

Information for international students

Career development

To become a practicing architect in the UK, you need to study architecture at postgraduate level.

During this course, you'll build your professional network and graduate with the skills and knowledge you need to work as an architect in the UK or abroad.

Careers this Master's prepares you for

You'll have opportunities in both the public and private sectors, or you may choose to start your own architectural practice.

Graduates of this course have gone onto roles in:

  • architectural design
  • interior design
  • landscape architecture
  • urban design and master planning
  • architectural technology
  • project management
  • construction management

Qualifying as an architect

When you graduate, you'll be eligible to apply for the Final Certificate in Architecture (Part 3), recognised by ARB and RIBA, and practice as a qualified architect. Once you have your Final Certificate, you'll be able to join the register of architects held by the ARB.

To apply for your Final Certificate, you need to hold RIBA Parts 1 and 2 (or equivalent) and have the minimum amount of required practical training documented in your Professional Experience and Development Record.

Career planning

During your course, you'll have expert career support from your tutors and from our Careers and Employability Centre, which you can access for 5 years after you graduate.

Female student standing at careers and employability help desk

Career support

You'll benefit from:

  • Networking events
  • 1-to-1 appointments
  • CV and cover letter advice
  • Interview preparation and practice
  • Workshops to enhance your employability skills
  • Recruitment events, including the Student and Graduate Opportunities Fair
  • Support starting your own business

Learn more about your career support

Supporting you

Master's study is more focused on independent learning than undergraduate study, but you'll get lots of support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

You'll have regular contact with your personal tutor in learning activities or scheduled meetings. You can also make an appointment with them if you need extra support.

In addition to the support you get from your personal tutor, you’ll also have access to a Faculty student support advisor. They can give you confidential, impartial advice on anything to do with your studies and personal wellbeing and refer you to specialist support services.

You'll have help from a team of faculty academic skills tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • understanding and using assignment feedback
  • managing your time and workload
  • revision and exam techniques

If you need support with software and equipment or you want to learn additional skills (including skills not covered on your course), our creative skills tutors provide free workshops, activities and one-on-one tutorials. Skills you can learn include life drawing, film camera operation and video production.

Computing support staff are always available to give technical support in the Faculty's computer suites during normal working hours. There's also some support available from 5.00pm to midnight at busy times of the year.

As well as support from faculty 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

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone, or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.


Unlike undergraduate applications, which go through UCAS, applications for this postgraduate courses are made directly to us.

There's no deadline for applications to this course. We accept applications right up until the start date in September, as long as there are places available. If you wait until September to apply, you may find that the course is full. You should also make sure to leave plenty of time to get your visa organised.

You can find more advice about applying in our Master's application checklist. New students, current students, and recent graduates of the University of Portsmouth also have some different application options, which are detailed below.

As an international student, you could get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region. To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.

If you don’t meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Ready to apply?

Start this course in September 2024

Apply now (Part-time)

I'm a current Portsmouth student, or a recent Portsmouth graduate

If you're currently in your final year of study at Portsmouth, or you graduated since July 2023, you're eligible to make a fast track application. You'll have:

  • a shorter application form to complete
  • access to the 20% Alumni fee discount
  • a guaranteed conditional offer, for most Master's courses 

Learn more about fast track

After you apply

Once we receive your application, we may ask you for further information. We will then either make you an offer or suggest alternatives if your application is unsuccessful.

You'll usually get a decision within 10 working days, so you shouldn't have to wait too long. Some courses have an interview stage – we'll let you know if you need to prepare for one.

Learn more about how we assess your application.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.