International Professional Practice (Part 3) Architecture - University of Portsmouth
Part 3 Exemption

International Professional Practice (Part 3) Architecture

Part Time1yr

The final stage of architectural qualification

Course Overview

Why take this course?

This professional course covers current practice issues, recent legal and building legislation, and contractual issues.

You will focus on important peripheral matters on the environment and sustainability, while gaining a broad understanding of the construction industry in social and economic terms and wider issues of practice and project management.

What will I experience?

On this course you will:

  • Debate and solve real-life case studies to apply your learning and make an effective contribution to your workplace
  • Participate in live web-based chat forums to discuss your work with lecturers and other students
  • Tap in to our Library’s vast selection of electronic resources, which you can access from anywhere with an internet connection

What opportunities might it lead to?

This course can lead to the Final Certificate in Architecture (Part 3) ARB/RIBA. It is recognised by Architects Registration (ARB) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). Successful completion, together with Part 1 and Part 2 qualifications, enables you to register with the Architects Registration Board.


Robert Leslie, architecture and property student

I've really enjoyed the excellent sessions by visiting lecturers from different areas of the industry which have brought the real world into the classroom.

Robert Leslie, architecture and property student

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Structure & Teaching

Your studies will rely on a practice-based learning approach through a case study of a live project relevant to your current professional role. Learning will also take place via intensive three-day teaching seminars.

Here are the units you will study:

  • Topical Research Project: In this unit, you'll work in a small group to research a given topic over a period of months. You will present a scholarly text that critically appraises your particular area of research. Your group will also produce a hand-out for fellow students that combines the findings of the group and make a formal presentation to the class during the summer seminar. This unit allows large areas of practice and construction industry knowledge to be covered by the groups to the benefit of all participants.
  • Practice Management, Law and Contract: This unit covers the main topics as set out in the ARB/RIBA syllabus. It makes you aware of the size and relative importance of the construction industry to other sectors of the national and international economy, as well as the role of the architectural profession relative to the industry. It also introduces legislation and the law applicable to architectural practice and building procurement, giving you an understanding of the principles and processes of practice management and business administration. The unit is delivered through lectures together with a one-day contract workshop using real-life scenarios that you will examine, discuss and respond to. This unit is assessed through formal examination. Past papers are available and you will need to practise these prior to the formal examination.
  • Professional Experience and Practice: This unit is where you will demonstrate your understanding of good practice and management skills through interpretation of practical experience. The case study provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate your ability and professional judgement in coping with situations and problems that arise during the course of a typical building project. It is the key document that will illustrate to the examiners the professional knowledge and experience you have gained through your involvement with the project. You should carry out the professional career evaluation with a high degree of professionalism and is a critical evaluation of your career to date. These two documents, together with a personal CV and practical training records, form the documentary submission for this element of the course. Group and individual tutorials will be offered for the career evaluation and case study components.

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.

Teaching and Assessment

You will learn using a variety of methods including seminars, tutorials and study groups that encourage a vibrant culture of discussion and debate. You will also undertake a significant amount of self-directed learning for which you will need to be self motivated and well organised and possess excellent study skills.

How are you assessed?

Assessment is through examinations and coursework. This tests your knowledge of professional practice and processes, your ability to apply knowledge in practice and the quality of your professional judgement while you do so.

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Facilities & Features

Design studios

You’ll have access to superb facilities to help prepare you for professional practice. Our dynamic studios house advanced architectural computer facilities, with Macs and PCs offering the latest design software. Other facilities include:

  • CNC milling machine for building three-dimensional models
  • Laser cutting machines, which automate the production of complex models 
  • Life drawing studios and a virtual reality suite
  • Professional printers as well as extensive computing, film and video facilities

Flexible learning

Although you may not be campus based, you will still benefit from web, email or phone access to many of our facilities and services. Our student website, LookUP, will be your one-stop shop for all news, information and links to other services, and 24/7 online access to the University Library’s vast electronic book, journal and database collections will help you find the right resources for your studies.

University library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There may be extra costs arising from your studies which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Some are common costs to all courses of study. These may include the cost of study texts, reference books, photocopying and computer supplies. Others relate to specific courses and may include field trips, materials and specialist equipment.

Other costs to consider

There are costs relating to the purchase of drawing equipment, model making, stationery, reprographic requirements and the production of a portfolio. This may be in the region of £100 - £300 each year. We support digital review of some project assessment work to reduce costs.

If you choose to complete a project not supported by existing University resources, you may wish to purchase extra materials or software. These costs will depend on the nature of the project.

For optional study trips you will be expected to pay full costs. Optional study trips to Europe will cost in the region of £300 - £500.

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Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Once you’ve completed this course, you can apply for the Final Certificate in Architecture, which carries the Part 3 award (recognised by the ARB and the RIBA). To be eligible you must hold RIBA Part 1 and Part 2 qualifications and have the minimum required practical training documented in the Professional Experience and Development Record. Achieving this Part 3 award will enable you to join the register of architects held by the ARB and will lead to many opportunities within the architectural profession.

Career planning

One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the support that we provide to our Master's and Research Degree students in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities. Help is also available if you wish to find a part-time job while studying your degree.

We offer our postgraduate students and alumni one-to-one appointments with a careers adviser, or an online service for those not able to travel back to the University. Our alumni can call on our career services for five years after graduation.

In addition, regular employability events offer you the chance to meet employers, find out about different career sectors and improve your applications or CV. The Graduate Summer Programme provides a range of guidance and employability seminars and workshops.

Benefits of Postgraduate Study

Regardless of whether you are seeking to build on your studies, further your career or pursue a career change, a postgraduate qualification adds to your achievement record.

  • Postgraduate study may greatly improve your chances of getting that first break.
  • Many graduate employers prefer the higher intellectual rigour displayed in postgraduate students.
  • Recruiters for roles requiring specialist knowledge or research particularly target those with higher level qualifications.
  • Postgraduate study shows you can take the challenge of in-depth study; acquiring transferable skills in team working and problem solving techniques.
  • If you have a passion for a particular subject, postgraduate study can also be something undertaken as part of your own development at an appropriate time in your life.

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Apply now or visit us

Online application form

Apply direct using our online form

Your application will be received by the University Admissions Centre for consideration.

Postgraduate Open Evenings

Our Postgraduate Open Evenings are taking place between February and April. Lecturers and support staff will be available to discuss your options. You'll also find out more about your chosen course and subjects that interest you.

Booking will open soon but in the meantime, watch our Postgrad Live series to hear from our staff and students about what it's like studying at Portsmouth. 

Other opportunities to visit

Download our free walking tour PDF for a self-guided tour of the University.

We have an open-door policy so you will be able to take a look in our buildings, speak to some of our support services and get a feel for the campus.

Find out more about our self-guided walking tours.

Can't get to Portsmouth?

If you can’t make it to Portsmouth, come and see us at one of the events we attend around the UK.

If you would like to speak with a member of staff about any courses you are interested in, please email and we will arrange this for you.

Staff from the University of Portsmouth Global office also regularly attend overseas exhibitions. To find out more about these and our visits to your region see our exhibitions page.

Fees and Funding

Find out more about fees and funding available to you at Portsmouth.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, 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.

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