Deciding on a career path that leads towards architecture is no easy to route to follow, with a number of twists and turns plus an awful lot of hard work likely to be required along the way. If however you have decided that being an architect is the career for you and you feel confident you have the skill set for success, the following step by step guide to the education process involved in gaining the necessary qualification should be of use.
Combining a mixture of both University study and practical placement, your stepping stones to a successful career in architecture within the UK follow this particular route;
Step One: RIBA Part One
The first stepping stone involves a three year undergraduate course at University on a Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) course. This will give you your first real taste of architecture where you will develop your understanding and discover the skills required to be a success.
Within this three year period, there may be opportunities available to take part in an exchange programme for one of the study years which will see you join a University abroad where your skills and knowledge of architecture can develop further.
Step Two: Practical Experience
The next step on your journey to becoming an architect is for you to gain some practical experience, which can be arranged whilst you are still at University. In order to gain the qualification, you are required to complete at least two years of this kind of experience so completing some as early as possible is advisable.
RIBA sets students up with employers who are either in the field of architecture or are alternatively a construction industry professional. The experience will be recorded by you whilst you are out on the placement and monitored by your University throughout.
Step Three: RIBA Part Two
A further two years full time study will give you the increased experience and knowledge that becoming an architect requires. Specialist study and the opportunity to work abroad are likely to be available to you at this stage of your study.
With RIBA part two, you have the option of completing it at the same University as you completed part one or alternatively you can apply for the course at a different University.
Step Four: Paid Practical Experience
This level of practical experience enables you to put some of the skills you have developed to work in a paid position. 2 years of practical experience is required for you to move on to the final stepping stone, 12 months of which must be taken under the direct supervision of an architect in the European Economic Area (EEA), Isle of Man or the Channel Islands.
Increased responsibility will be put on your shoulders during this placement as you take control over certain projects and begin to learn important features that will be invaluable for the final stage of your learning.
Step Five: RIBA Part Three
The final stepping stone on your quest for a career in architecture sees you complete the final qualifying exam which focuses on professional practice and management. This exam is to be taken at a RIBA validated provider and will assess the practical experience you have undertaken, your CV, a case study, a written examination and the final oral examination to determine whether you pass or not.
If you pass each of the three parts to the RIBA qualification you can then go on to register as an architect through the Architects Registration Board, ensuring the public can see you as a fully qualified and registered architect. Following on from this, you can then gain access to a range of services by becoming a member of RIBA and move forward in your career as a newly qualified and highly skilled architect!
This post was written by Oliver Kyle for Wide Format Solutions; suppliers of wide format printers to suit the needs of an architectural firm or a newly qualified architect just starting out in the industry.