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Architect Degree Apprenticeship (Master of Architecture and Professional Practice) MArch

On this architect degree apprenticeship, you can get the RIBA and ARB Part 2 and 3 qualifications you need for a career in architecture.

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Overview

Earn a salary and get the qualifications needed to become a professional architect

On this integrated three-year Master's and one-year Part 3 qualification, you'll build on your undergraduate degree and RIBA Part 1 exemption and become an ARB-registered architect at the end.

You'll gain valuable on-the-job experience during this four-year degree apprenticeship, which will help you develop the professional and creative skills needed to succeed in architecture. You’ll cover topics such as urbanism, landscape, sustainability and culture in a studio environment. 

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

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Eligibility

This course only accepts UK and EU students.

Unfortunately, we can't accept international students on this course.

Course highlights

  • Develop the creative and professional abilities needed to become a registered architect with the ARB
  • Get a MArch degree while you earn a salary
  • Learn how to come up with creative and strategic solutions to a variety of architectural challenges
  • Benefit from top-class facilities in this studio-based course, including our Centre for Creative and Immersive Extended Reality (CCIXR) – the UK’s first integrated facility for virtual, augmented, and extended realities
  • Put what you learn into practice in the workplace, preparing yourself for Part 3 studies in your final year
  • Gain further professional knowledge from our network of visiting lecturers—past ones include Pamela Cole, Alastair Lewis, and architects from Tibbalds
  • Get practical work experience, giving you an advantage in leaving the course as you'll have four years' experience plus your qualifications
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Architects Registration Board (ARB)

Recognition and validation

This course is prescribed and recognised by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The Royal Institute of British Architects has accredited this course for parts 2 and 3 of exemptions.

Once you've completed this course, you'll receive the MArch, Part 3 Professional Qualification and Apprentice Qualification. You'll also be eligible to join the register of architects held by the ARB.

Modules

What you’ll study

Core modules

All modules in the year are core.

Through research exercises and analytical investigations, you'll develop knowledge of how theory and history inform design.

Seminars will hone your skills in creating complex ideas and presenting clear critical arguments.

By interpreting architecture through diverse cultural lenses, you'll gain perspective on the discipline's ongoing evolution.

This module provides crucial preparation for deepening your understanding of architecture's rich historical and theoretical dimensions.

Through advanced research, you'll analyse how cultural and political contexts shape theory and practice.

Seminars will hone your skills in formulating original positions and presenting rigorous arguments.

This module provides vital preparation for situating your studies within the discipline's rich intellectual landscape.

Examine precedents critically to evaluate integration of these elements in architectural projects. Enhance personal understanding of a building's environmental impact through reflection on your own integrated design process.

You'll explore legal requirements, marketing, finances and team leadership - developing business acumen alongside design skills. You'll reflect on providing client-focused services in a responsible manner.

You'll also identify your ongoing learning needs and get essential preparation for the realities of practice. You'll emerge with an enterprising spirit to thrive in the architectural profession.

You’ll learn about the laws, rules, and management skills you need in this field. See how projects work from start to finish — from getting the job to meeting the industry standards. You’ll improve your professional skills by thinking reflectively and analytically. You’ll also join in the learning process with different teaching methods.

Give feedback to improve the module. Learn how to solve problems creatively and work independently.

By the end, you’ll have a firm grasp of how to manage successful architectural projects.

This module will prepare you for the real world with the abilities and vision you need as a project manager.

Core modules

All modules in the year are core.

Tackle challenging questions and explore a range of contexts—from cultural to environmental—to create designs that address real-world problems sustainably. Develop a detailed design proposal, backed by critical research and representation. Focusing on the specifics, you’ll work out the structural and material aspects of your design, ensuring it meets all legal standards and is ethically sound.

Adapt your strategic designs to fit various purposes through innovative thinking. You’ll be challenged to perfect skills in understanding client needs, responding to different situations, and delivering detailed designs at all levels.

By the end, you’ll be able to show your strategic thinking and practical skills, using professional methods to present your ideas. Prepare yourself to lead significant architectural projects.

Use complex briefs to craft innovative design ideas, guiding your projects from rationale to completion. You’ll critically consider various influences to create designs that are sensitive to climate issues and incorporate both structural integrity and sustainability.

Through continuous testing and improvement, you’ll address intricate details related to construction and materials. Your strategic thinking skills will help you tailor your designs to fit specific purposes. You’ll also learn to communicate your design journey clearly and professionally, from analysis to resolution.

This module will show your ability to integrate architectural knowledge across technical, cultural, and regulatory lines. Become equipped to lead with innovative architectural solutions.

You'll define your own unique thesis topic, guided by your interests and course specialism. Through diligent research and clear, original writing, you'll advance knowledge in your field - from architecture to design. This is your chance to make an impact. Immerse yourself in a subject you care about. Carry out rigorous research and analysis to produce an insightful, logically argued thesis that pushes boundaries. Reveal your potential as an independent, critical thinker. Tailor your focus to support your wider course and career goals. This module helps you take charge of your learning and make your distinctive mark on your discipline.

Core modules

All modules in the year are core.

You'll explore legal requirements, marketing, finances and team leadership - developing business acumen alongside design skills. You'll reflect on providing client-focused services in a responsible manner.

You'll also identify your ongoing learning needs and get essential preparation for the realities of practice. You'll emerge with an enterprising spirit to thrive in the architectural profession.

Pick an impactful area to research and turn complex ideas into a detailed architectural plan. With expert help, you’ll test and refine different design solutions. Your final product will showcase your understanding of design, beauty, ethics, and sustainable practices.

After finishing, your work will be a testament to your portfolio of your talents in research, idea development, and design completion. You’ll be all set for the professional world.

Let your enthusiasm shape spaces that are enjoyable, inspiring, and push the boundaries of architecture.

In this module, you’ll look into the cultural, social, and environmental factors to come up with a design idea. Keep refining your ideas to make a focused project that fits with your concept. Use knowledge of architecture, arts, and sciences to form and test your theories. Think about how design affects people and their surroundings. You’ll shape your own unique view through independent study that goes beyond usual limits. Get regular feedback to help grow and change your ideas.

You’ll finish this module with a well-thought-out concept for your thesis. Your skills in critical thinking, analysing, and communicating will also improve. This groundwork will get you ready to turn your idea into an impressive design plan.

Core modules

All modules in the year are core.

You’ll get to show your design abilities and a deep understanding of the design process by creating concepts that fit well in their environment. Prove your technical know-how, communication skills, and construction expertise with exams, presentations, and a detailed case study. 

You'll also break down how you incorporate engineering, the environment, and user needs into your designs. Plus, you’ll display your knowledge of everything from laws and finance to managing projects and reducing risks. 

Most importantly, you’ll show that you have the professional attitude and strategic thinking necessary to lead projects and firms. 

This final assessment confirms you meet the standards for knowledge, skills, and mindset in the industry. With this capstone experience, you’ll be ready to start your career and help create better futures through architecture.

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 make documents that show off your skills, way of thinking, and experience, making sure they match what the industry expects.

Create a CV, a career review, and a case study where you look back at your own background, skills, and what you need to learn. You’ll get better at thinking clearly, leading teams, and managing projects from start to finish.

Learn to think strategically about everything from ethics to how to deliver a project. You’ll get feedback to help you present your skills and dedication as an architect in the best way.

By clearly showing your qualifications, you’ll be well-prepared for the big final assessment and ready to start a meaningful career in architecture.

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, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Facilities

Student using a 3D printer at Engineering Project Day

3D Printing Workshop

Explore our 3D Printing Workshop, and find out more about the range of equipment and technical support available during the 3D printing and finishing processes.

MUSIC FACILITY AND BAL B ROLL 2022

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.

AED - Feb 23

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.

You and your employer

When you begin studying for your degree apprenticeship:

  • You need to be 18 or over
  • You should be able to satisfy government requirements on residency: 
    • you must be a citizen or have the right to live in the UK/EEA
    • you must have been a resident in the UK/EEA (not the Channel Islands or Isle of Man) for a minimum of 3 years
    • you must not need a Student Route visa, and must not have been on a Student Route visa within the past 3 years
  • You need to have the right to work in the UK, and to spend at least 50% of your working hours in England
  • Your job should meet the requirements of the apprenticeship standard relevant to this degree – we can advise you and your employer on this
  • Your employer needs to have registered an apprentice service account – we can help your employer with this if needed

If you aren't currently working in a relevant field, you can apply for a job and degree apprenticeship simultaneously. Read more about applying for this degree apprenticeship.

Careers and opportunities

This architecture degree apprenticeship prepares you to become an ARB-registered architect. This will expand your professional knowledge, skills, and reputation at work.

Besides being able to legally call yourself an architect, having an ARB registration ensures you:

  • Are a qualified, fully trained professional, which highlights your integrity amongst clients and members of public
  • Maintain your professional obligations by following the 'Architects Code: Standards of Conduct and Practice'
  • Can work in virtually any practice or organisation, as some contracts or employers require you to be registered before you work with them
  • Continuously update your professional skills, knowledge and abilities through Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
  • Can work internationally, subject to individual country requirements

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

How you'll spend your time

Course structure

This part-time course runs over four years. You can expect: 

  • One day of teaching per week, in your first three years
  • Up to 300 hours of independent study work each semester

In your final year, the Part 3 is taught in block seminars.

You'll also be expected to be on campus for a day each week during teaching weeks.

Teaching

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 methods on this course include:

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

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

Assessment

You'll be assessed through coursework and exams.

Teaching staff

These are some of the expert staff who'll teach you on this course:

Rebecca Galbraith Portrait

Ms Rebecca Galbraith

Senior Lecturer

Rebecca.Galbraith@port.ac.uk

School of Architecture

Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries

Read more
Guido Robazza Portrait

Mr Guido Robazza

Senior Lecturer

guido.robazza@port.ac.uk

School of Architecture

Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries

PhD Supervisor

Read more

Term dates

September start

The Master's academic year runs from September to the following September. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter. Over the summer you'll be writing your project/dissertation.

See key dates

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.

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.

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

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 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

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.

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.

Course costs and funding

Tuition fees

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 £21,000.00 over 4 years.

Please see our degree apprenticeships page for further information.

Funding your studies

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

If you're a UK student, you may be eligible for a Government Postgraduate Master's Loan, which you can use to help with course fees and living costs.

Loans, scholarships and bursaries

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

Female Master's student
Explore funding

Funding for international students

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

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Discover your options

Fees and funding for Master's courses

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

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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.

Entry requirements

Eligibility

This course only accepts UK and EU students.

Unfortunately, we can't accept international students on this course.

September 2024 start

  • A minimum of a second-class honours degree with RIBA Part 1 exemption.
  • Applicants would preferably have a year of professional, relevant experience. Applicants who do not hold a recognised UK Part 1 qualification will need to undertake and pass the ARB prescribed exam for Part 1 prior to joining the Apprenticeship course.
  • All applicants will be required to complete a Skills Gap Analysis before completing an application form.
  • All applicants will be invited to attend an academic interview and may be asked to submit a portfolio of work or undertake additional assessment.

All applicants to the Degree Apprenticeship courses must have an acceptable Level 2 qualification in English and Mathematics. Acceptable qualifications include GCSE with grade C/4 or above and Functional Skills with Pass - please note that we are not able to accept all kinds of Level 2 qualifications, so if you are unsure whether you have a suitable qualification please get in touch.

If you do not have an acceptable qualification you may be required to take an additional assessment during the application process.

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).

If you're applying as an EU student with a non-UK degree, you’ll need to show you meet the UK entry requirements listed above.

To find out if your non-UK degree or other qualification is accepted, please visit our page for your country and view the UK equivalent of your qualification. 

  • All applicants will be required to complete a Skills Gap Analysis before completing an application form.
  • All applicants are required to attend an academic interview and may be asked to submit a portfolio of work or undertake additional assessment.

For more information on how to put together a portfolio, read our Master of Architecture portfolio guide.

You and your employer

When you begin studying for your degree apprenticeship:

  • You need to be 18 or over
  • You should be able to satisfy government requirements on residency: 
    • you must be a citizen or have the right to live in the UK/EEA
    • you must have been a resident in the UK/EEA (not the Channel Islands or Isle of Man) for a minimum of 3 years
    • you must not need a Student Route visa, and must not have been on a Student Route visa within the past 3 years
  • You need to have the right to work in the UK, and to spend at least 50% of your working hours in England
  • Your job should meet the requirements of the apprenticeship standard relevant to this degree – we can advise you and your employer on this
  • Your employer needs to have registered an apprentice service account – we can help your employer with this if needed

If you aren't currently working in a relevant field, you can apply for a job and degree apprenticeship simultaneously. Read more about applying for this degree apprenticeship.

How to apply

The application deadline is to be confirmed. Applications received after the deadline may not be considered.

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.

 

I'm applying with my current employer

If you're already in full-time work, and your employer is interested in you studying this course, get them to contact us and we'll work out how to work together. 

If your employer isn't interested yet, you might find it useful to share our information for employers page with them.

Employer contact form  Information for employers

 


 

I'm looking for a job with a Degree Apprenticeship role

If you're not in full-time employment, or your current employer is not interested in degree apprenticeships, you'll need to find a role that does offer a degree apprenticeship. You can search the gov.uk list of open degree apprenticeship vacancies, or contact us with your details and we'll let you know when degree apprenticeship vacancies come up.

When you apply for a role that includes one of our degree apprenticeships, you'll follow the company's standard recruitment process for the job, while we assess your academic suitability for the course.

Search degree apprenticeship roles (gov.uk)  Contact us

 

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.