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PgCert|Postgraduate Taught

Professional Practice in Architecture

Entry year
Entry requirements
Approved ARB (UK) Part 1 and Part 2 course. Applicants with qualifications from outside of the UK are welcomed (see entry notes below).
1 year (Part-time)
Places available
60 (Part Time)

This Postgraduate Certificate provides exemption from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)

Final Examination Part III and is recognised by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) for the UK for the purposes of registration under the Architects Act 1997.


Applications for this course received after 31st October 2024 may not be accepted. In addition, a deposit will be required to secure a place.

Applications for this course received after 31st October 2024 may not be accepted. In addition, a deposit will be required to secure a place.

Professional Practice in Architecture highlights

Professional Accreditations

This programme is validated every four years by the Royal Institute of British Architects and prescribed every four years by the Architects Registration Board, ensuring compliance with the professional standards of the ARB, the RIBA and the European Architects Directive.

The staff experienced in leading practice and education, expert guest speakers, postgraduate study centre, extensive library with free access to books, journals and online resources (including free access to ebooks and the extensive Construction Information Service database of reports, standards, books journals and key texts, and access to industry experts) make for a very relevant, well-resourced and supported learning and study experience.

Course Structure

This is a single 60 credit module representing 600 hours of input by the candidate – attending lectures / workshops / events / study group activities and preparing and submitting assessment and attending a final oral examination.

Course Details

The content is in accordance with the RIBA/ARB criteria for validation and prescription at Part III level. The module schedule of events has evolved over time to be effective make best use of students’ time - including an introduction day, full day lectures/workshops/coursework briefings etc. For further details of the programme content, please contact the School :

People teaching you

Senior Lecturer (Education)


Teaching Times

Morning / Afternoon / Evening

Learning and Teaching

A variety of recognised postgraduate learning and teaching methods are used in the delivery of this PG Cert. Because of Queen’s University’s reputation and and standing within the industry we are able to ensure sector leading architects and specialists deliver learning and teaching and support candidates in their progress through this PG Certificate.

  • Optional extra

    Realising that not every practice pays the Part 3 fees for their employees, the fees are kept low by offering the ‘Contracts Game’ is an optional extra, with an additional fee involved (approximately £200). Feedback from this optional extra is very positive, with participation of approximately 75% of the cohort.

  • Optional extra (2)

    Again keeping the core Part 3 fees low, but realising a number of practices and applicants are or will be undertaking work in the jurisdiction of the Republic of Ireland we also offer an optional extra covering ‘Irish building legislation, standards, statutory obligations and contract administration” (requirement of RIAI application Route B) with an additional fee involved (approximately £200). This is a new offer for 24/25, reflecting conversations with practices, candidates and professional bodies.


Assessments associated with the course are outlined below:

  • Submission of validated tri-monthly PEDR (Professional Experience and Development Record) sheets for the 24-month, office-based experience in the UK or Ireland.
  • Office-based case study
  • Two office-based ‘open book’ Examinations.
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Personal evaluation of experience
  • Oral examination
  • To qualify for the Certificate, all candidates must pass all of the elements at a minimum threshold level to the satisfaction of the examiners.
    By the final examination at the end of this programme all students must have a minimum total of 24 months formally recorded (PEDR or equivalent system) practical experience of which a minimum of 12 months must be in a UK or Ireland based architectural practice since graduating at Part II level.




The information below is intended as an example only, featuring module details for the current year of study (2023/24). Modules are reviewed on an annual basis and may be subject to future changes – revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year.

  • Year 1

    Core Modules

Entrance requirements


Entry is open to applicants who have successfully completed the Queen's University Belfast BSc in Architecture or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University from an approved RIBA/ARB Part 1 course in a recognised UK institution. Applicants must also have successfully completed (i) the Queen's University Belfast BArch or MArch or (ii) any other approved RIBA Part 2 course in a recognised UK institution.

Applicants from other institutions must normally be able to demonstrate that they have taken and successfully completed Professional Studies type elements within their RIBA/ARB Part 1 and Part 2 courses to the satisfaction of the University. Professional experience at Part 3 level is normally required within UK or Ireland jurisdiction.

Those with Part 2 or equivalent awards delayed through industrial action by a recognised trade union (eg UCU) can commence and complete this programme, and it will have part 3 status upon the relevant university confirming the student receiving the recognised part 2 award.

For the successful completion of this programme to have the status of UK Part 3, international applicants must demonstrate through the ARB assessment process that they possess the equivalent qualifications for RIBA/ARB Parts 1 and 2. Only then will a graduate of this programme be able to apply for registration with ARB (UK) and membership of the RIBA.

UK and Irish applicants who have completed this programme can also apply to other bodies for registration e.g. to the RIAI through their ‘route B’ process here:

International applicants who do not demonstrate that they possess the equivalent qualifications for RIBA/ARB Parts 1 and 2 may be permitted to undertake the programme for personal professional development purposes only.

As part of the application process you are required to complete the relevant questionnaire and upload with a current CV.

The deadline for applications is normally 31st October 2024. However, we encourage applicants to apply as early as possible. In the event that any programme receives a high number of applications, the University reserves the right to close the application portal earlier than 31st October deadline. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Application Portal against the programme application page.

Please note: A deposit will be required to secure a place on this course.

International Students

Our country/region pages include information on entry requirements, tuition fees, scholarships, student profiles, upcoming events and contacts for your country/region. Use the dropdown list below for specific information for your country/region.

English Language Requirements

Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.

International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

  • Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.



Career Prospects


Part III is the final examination in an architect's education and the foundation for lifelong learning and development as a member of the architectural profession. Graduates who have successfully completed this programme are eligible for entry on to the register of architects with the ARB, registration with the RIAI and chartered membership of RIBA.

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

Graduate Plus/Future Ready Award for extra-curricular skills

In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Graduate Plus/Future Ready Award. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.

Tuition Fees

Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £2,390
Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £2,390
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £2,390
EU Other 3 £2,390
International £2,390

1EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled status, will be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB will be charged the GB fee.

2 EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI are eligible for NI tuition fees.

3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.

All tuition fees quoted relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

More information on postgraduate tuition fees.

Additional course costs

Terms and Conditions for Postgraduate applications:

1.1  Due to high demand, there is a deadline for applications. 
1.2  You will be required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the course.
1.3  This condition of offer is in addition to any academic or English language requirements.

Read the full terms and conditions at the link below:

All Students

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.

Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.

If a programme includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.

Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.

There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

How do I fund my study?

The Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £6,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study. Tuition fee loan information.

A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £11,836 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.

More information on funding options and financial assistance - please check this link regularly, even after you have submitted an application, as new scholarships may become available to you.

International Scholarships

Information on scholarships for international students, is available at



How to Apply

Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

Apply now

When to Apply

The deadline for applications is normally 30th June 2021. In the event that any programme receives a high volume of applications, the university reserves the right to close the application portal earlier than 30th June deadline. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Entry Portal (DAP) against the programme application page.

Terms and Conditions

The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.
Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.

Download a prospectus