top of page

Recent changes to the architectural education system.

What are the changes to the RIBA education stages, and what it means for Part 1 and 2 students currently in the system?

At SPD Studio, we have staff at various levels within their career. The company structure ensures that fully-qualified Architects, Engineers and Town Planners oversee assistants to progress with their educational and professional goals.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is the leading industry establishment for UK architects. Our architectural assistants are currently on a pathway of two Parts set out by the RIBA to become chartered architects.

"The recent changes to the RIBA stages offer a more contemporary approach to the design and construction process, allowing us to tailor our services better to meet the needs of our clients."- Jack Baron, Design Director

This year, RIBA proposed significant changes to the Part 1 and 2 criteria and is dismantling the current process, reducing the overall time and obstacles; therefore, considered a gateway for UK students wishing to pursue a career in architecture. This article will discuss the new changes and how they may affect prospective students and professionals.

The changes to the system have opened routes to qualifications and is a more tailored interpretation of the previous stages as it is no longer a one size fits all programme. For students, the Part 1 exam changes are now a two-stage process. The first stage is the Professional Practice and Management (PPM) exam, which covers professional practice and management, finance, sustainability, and business. This exam intends to ensure that graduates understand the essential administrative and legal aspects of architectural practice.

The second stage of the Part 1 exam is the Design, Technology and Environment (DTE) examination, which focuses on designing and constructing buildings. This exam covers building technology, environmental design, and building regulations.

The Part 2 exam has also been restructured. The Design and Communication (DC) exam is now split into two sections: the Design, Technology and Environment (DTE) exam and the Professional Practice and Management (PPM) exam. The DTE exam covers topics such as building technology, environmental design, and building regulations, while the PPM exam covers topics such as professional practice.

"Being an apprentice, my journey to studying architecture has been a different approach to the traditional route, one I find to be really positive. Having practice-based knowledge as well as the education within the university has proven a success for me against my peers in the full-time part 1 route. I think the architectural education change is positive and will be an exciting change for young professionals."- Lilli Bartella, Architectural Assistant

In recent years, the RIBA has made significant changes to its stages of work, as well as the educational requirements for architects, their implications for the work, and impact on education and the people who practice architecture. As our studio is a RIBA Chartered Practice, we use the RIBA Stage of Works as a base for our studio approach, enabling all staff and clients to familiarise themselves with what stage they are in the project.

The RIBA stages of work have been redefined and consolidated in recent years. The initial three stages have been combined into a single stage, and the remaining stages have been restructured and renamed. The new stages are now: 'Feasibility and Design', 'Technical Design', 'Delivery', 'Handover and Close Out'. This streamlining of the RIBA stages has resulted in removing some aspects of the process, such as the 'Specification' and 'Construction' stages. This has directly affected the practice of architecture, as many of the tasks previously carried out in these stages have been absorbed into the new stages.

The changes to the RIBA stages have also affected the education of Architects. Many of the courses and qualifications that were once required to become a professional Architect have been removed, and the focus has shifted towards a more practical approach. This has resulted in a greater emphasis on the practical application of design principles, as well as an increased focus on the actual construction of buildings. This has directly affected the people who practice architecture, as they now need a more comprehensive knowledge of the building process.

We are embracing this change and looking to welcome the next generation of students, providing them with relevant experiences and mentorship from the early stages of their careers. As an overdue change to the system approaches, this reflects positively on the architectural industry.

The changes to the RIBA stages and educational requirements have significantly affected the practice of architecture and the people who practice it while allowing for a more inclusive outlook on the programme. Architects now need to be more skilled and knowledgeable, and designing and constructing buildings has become more complex. The new stages and qualifications are essential for the profession to keep up with the demands of the modern world, and the people within the work must adapt to the new requirements to remain successful.


bottom of page