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How to apply for the Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Practice in Architecture

Entry Requirements:

To be eligible for the Part 3 examination at the University of Cambridge candidates must:

  • Have ARB/ RIBA Parts 1 and 2 (or confirmed equivalence, see below).
  • Have recently completed a minimum of 24 months’ practical experience under the direct supervision of a professional working in the construction industry.
  • At least 12 months of the 24 months experience should be completed in the UK, under the direct supervision of a UK-registered architect.
  • Each period of practice must normally have lasted at least 3 months.

Students may register for the Course in their second year of practical experience but must have 2 years of supervised practice in order to qualify to take the examinations.

As part of the assessment process this experience will be documented by Professional Experience Development Record (PEDR) and be approved and countersigned by each candidate’s Professional Studies Adviser (PSA).

Each student is allocated a PSA once accepted onto the course. It is anticipated that any Part 1 experience intended to count towards practical experience will already have been countersigned by the PSA appointed by the Part 1 provider.

Before they apply, applicants are advised to consult the following links for further information on practical training requirements and PEDR:

ARB: Practical training requirements

RIBA: Professional Experience and Development Record


For the year 2018-19 the Course Fee will be £3100 (including registration fee of £250)

The full fee will then be payable by successful candidates by 31st July 2018.

How to Apply

Applications for 2018-19 will be accepted from January 29th 2018.

Applicants should complete the online application form to be found by following link to the Institute of Continuing Education website and going to the How to apply section.

You will need to submit copies of your academic certificates for Part 1 and Part 2 as part of this online application process (or confirmed equivalence, see above). The application form can be completed, saved and reviewed for 7 days before being submitted.

PLEASE BE AWARE that the Institute of Continuing Education will require references from the referees nominated in your application form. Your application is not actually considered complete until these have been received. Applicants are STRONGLY ADVISED to ensure that referees have their references prepared and ready to send, when required, otherwise the consideration of their application may be delayed.

Timetable for Applications 2018-19

Applications will be accepted until the 21st May 2018. All applications submitted before this deadline will be considered together (please note comment above concerning references). 

A shortlist of applications will then be prepared and these shortlisted candidates will be notified by email and asked to conduct a short interview on the telephone with the course director some time during the w/c 4th June 2018.

Provisional/unconfirmed offers will be made w/c 11th June and unsuccessful candidates will be notified by email.

At this stage, successful candidates will be asked to make a non-refundable registration fee of £250 to secure their place. The remaining balance of fees (£2,850) will be payable by 31st July 2018 and no later.

Assessment Criteria

In assessing applications we will ultimately be looking to select candidates who will succeed and benefit from the course. We would look for a good academic grounding, suitable practical training experience, commitment and motivation.



Student Feedback

"The Part 3 course at Cambridge brings together fantastic speakers with a breadth of experience and expertise in different roles in the construction industry, from sole practitioners to those working in research or for large firms. The variety of the lectures and different points of view encourage independent thinking and student participation. This makes this course very interesting and enjoyable to attend."

Student Cohort 2015-16

"Although the lectures are grouped into three intensive sessions, the course facilitates the formation of study groups with a range of work experiences, which provide the backbone of regular revision classes. Be prepared to take these seriously and structure your learning to align with the Part 3 criteria."

Student Cohort 2015-16

"Alert! No spoon feeding. This course demands a self-driven attitude towards learning and coursework. The lectures cover the basics but they also provide an insight into the complexities of planning and running a business."

Student Cohort 2015-16

"I am very proud to have completed my Part 3 in Architecture at the University of Cambridge. The combination of structured learning with group study sessions proved to be a very successful balance for learning. The guest speakers through the course were excellent, whilst a special mention must be given to the course director, Miranda, for her continued commitment to ensure that each student feels supported and on the right path to succeed."

Student Cohort 2016-17

"Generally I think the selection of speakers was outstanding."

Student Cohort 2016-17

"The best lecture was definitely the one about health and safety, that has absolutely stuck with me." 

Student Cohort 2016-17

At a Glance

Course Length and Date

One part-time year course from September to September. This course is run jointly by the Department of Architecture and the Institute of Continuing Education.

Students are required to attend three 2/3 day workshops in September, March and June and to submit work and attend written and oral examinations in the following September.


The assessment comprises several elements to successfully complete the course the candidate will need to pass all elements:

Case Study

Professional Experience Development Record

Personal Statement and CV

Written Examination (Paper 1+2)

Oral Examination

 Entry Requirements

The course is open to all graduates who have obtained ARB/ RIBA Parts 1 and 2 (or confirmation equivalence) and who will have recently completed the appropriate practical training experience. Applicants for this course will normally have achieved a UK 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent). Non-standard candidates who do not satisfy the normal academic criteria will be asked to provide evidence of relevant and equivalent experience to support their suitability for the course.

Please note that the University of Cambridge differs from other Part III providers in ONLY accepting candidates who have ALREADY OBTAINED confirmed equivalence of their qualification from the ARB. This policy has been adopted in the interests of the candidates as the ARB equivalence process have proved extremely unpredictable. Applicants are required to submit their equivalence documents as part of the application process.

English Language Requirement

For students for whom English is not their first language, we will require evidence of having met the required level in a recognised test. Further information regarding the required level can be found on the Institute of Continuing Education website.

Applicants holding non-UK passports should note that, owing to these University requirements, they may be required to take a language assessment despite this sometimes being patently unnecessary from a common-sense perspective.

Applications Accepted From

January 29th 2018

Applications Deadline

May 21st 2018

Course Fees

There is a non-refundable application fee of £50 that all applicants need to pay.

Course Fees for 2018-19 will be £3100 (including a registration fee of £250). The full fees will be payable by 31st July 2018.