RIBA PART 3
Wilfred Achille, Alastair Blyth, Stephen Brookhouse, Samir Pandya
The University of Westminster runs the largest Part 3 course in the UK with over 450 students this year working in a broad range of architectural practices – more than 230 practices based in London and the south-east.
The students come from a wide variety of backgrounds including overseas schools of architecture. Often, architects who are registered but trained outside the UK attend the course to gain an in-depth understanding of the complexities of UK practice.
The course follows the requirements of the ARB/RIBA Professional Criteria and is structured as a series of building blocks with clear assessment points throughout the year. The lecture courses are repeated twice a week to allow students to balance attendance with work commitments. Lectures are delivered by industry experts – including former students – and are recorded for easy future access. Students’ professional development in the workplace is supported by a team of 39 professional tutors – all architects in practice – who provide one-to-one tutorial guidance on project-based coursework. Professional examiners consistently comment on the high, critical standard of the coursework which we attribute to the structured tutoring system where students are challenged to think about practice differently.
The different student backgrounds, as well as the types and number of practices represented on the course, along with the tutors and examiners, gives an unprecedented reach into the architectural profession. This enables the course to both draw from the breadth of practice experience as well as contribute to it.
One of our students, Patrick McEvoy, was one of three winning entrants to the London Festival of Architecture and Corporation of London City Parklets competition – a design competition for a parklet that will ‘transform a kerbside area into a place to rest, relax and admire the City’ which will be installed across the City of London in June 2019.
The Part 3 Course was validated by the RIBA for a further five years in November 2017 and the Visiting Board gave it a Commendation citing its scope and delivery, dedicated Chair of Professional Practice and dedicated administrative support. It was revalidated by the University in 2018.
This year, as in previous years, the course reached its target number of students in early May, an indication of the value that architectural practice attributes to it.