Professional studies

These pages will guide you through the year in practice element of the architectural training, which students undertake between RIBA Part 1 and RIBA Part 2 courses.

Sheffield graduate working with colleagues at desk at work

You are required to have undertaken nine months or more practical work experience in the field of architecture by the start date of our MArch courses. You may wish to work in practice for longer and many students benefit from this as it gives a better understanding of practice.

Should you be considering UK qualification at some point in the future, you may undertake 12 months of work experience anywhere in the world. However, at the time of your Part 3 examination, you would also be required to have undertaken and logged 12 months experience in an EEA member state, including the UK, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

You should be doing the kinds of work and tasks typically done by an architect in practice in the UK. This covers a huge range of task and topics and will also depend on the size of the practice and the practice workload. The RIBA publishes guidance on Stage 1 & Stage 2 activities. The RIBA Part 3 Criteria sets out the skills and knowledge you will be assessed against. If you have any concerns about the nature or quality of the experience you are gaining you should contact your PSA for advice

If you are having trouble finding a placement, RIBA publishes a download that has some simple suggestions that may help you while job hunting:

  • Contact your third-year tutor and the department PSA, to let them know you are struggling to find a placement. If they are unfamiliar with your work you may wish to send a CV with work examples. They will be able to let you know of any vacancies.
  • Prepare a well-designed CV with good illustrations of your work and emphasise the practice experience you have already gained.
  • Research and target practices you’d like to work for. Send them a CV and examples of your work with a brief tailored letter that makes reference to the work of the practice.
  • When you send a CV it is a good idea to follow up your initial inquiry.
  • Remember an interview is different from a design review. Don’t include all your project work, but a good cross section of your best work. Allow the interviewer to do the talking and respond to their questions.
  • Some practices may also be interested in your written work and ability as well as your design strengths. Include brief examples as necessary.

The Professional Experience and Development Record (PEDR)


If you have any queries regarding the year in practice, please contact the SSoA Professional Studies Advisor on

Exhibition catalogue

View our catalogue of student design work from the 2019 exhibition.

2019 catalogue