University of Portsmouth

University of Portsmouth

Professional Practice (Architecture)

This professional course is designed to cover 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.

Entry requirements

Professional status in surveying, architecture or civil engineering. Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) part 1 and 2 or international equivalent are essential for entry. A case study project is required. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Course modules

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: This unit enables you to work in a small group to research a given topic over a period of months. You will be asked to present a scholarly text which critically appraises your particular area of research. Your group is also asked to produce a hand-out for fellow students, combining the findings of the group, and to 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 will make 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 will also introduce 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 which are examined, discussed and responded to. This unit is assessed through formal examination. Past papers are available and candidates are encouraged to practise these prior to the formal examination.
Professional Experience and Practice: This unit is where you can 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. The professional career evaluation should be carried out 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.

Assessment methods

Teaching and Assessment:

You will be taught using a variety of methods including seminars, tutorials and study groups which 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, well organised and possess excellent study skills.

How are you assessed?

Assessment takes the form of examinations and coursework. It is designed to test your knowledge of professional practice and processes, your ability to apply knowledge in practice and the quality of your professional judgement exhibited in doing so.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
Short Course Certificate Part-time January 2017 - 1 years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Main Site Portsmouth PO1 2UP South East

Key information

Admissions Team - Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries
Telephone number: 
023 9284 2421