Architectural Practice PGDip

Architectural Practice Postgraduate Diploma (Part 3)

The Postgraduate Diploma in Architectural Practice (PG Dip) is a qualification leading to exemption from the ARB/RIBA Part III examination, while developing the professional and business-focused skills for a successful career in architecture.

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The Postgraduate Diploma in Architectural Practice at the Leicester School of Architecture – one of the oldest schools of architecture in the UK – prepares you for registration and chartership.

You will reflect on the evolution of the professional architect, relevant legislation and alternative approaches to practice and management. The course will develop your professional acumen in business organisation, management and commerce, advocacy, ethics and marketing, contracts and interpersonal skills.

The course offers a flexible learning programme comprising three study units, each lasting three days, typically running from October to October.  Study units cover the following topics:

Marketing, Management and Practice, covering the skills and knowledge needed to understand the set-up, professional and economic management, and marketing of a professional architectural practice in various forms.

Building Contracts, covering the range of common building contracts, their application and the contractual relationships between contracted parties.

Architect and the Law, covering legislation affecting contract law, planning and development, and the wider regulations related to architecture and the building industry. 

Key features

  • Successful candidates gain eligibility to join the register at the Architects’ Registration Board (ARB) and chartered membership with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
  • The  long-standing Leicester School of Architecture is one of the  oldest architectural schools in the UK.  Our approach draws on years of experience to challenge conventions and redefine the future of architectural practice.
  • Learn the key aspects of the role of the architect such as setting up, marketing and managing a practice, and gain an understanding of legislation and contracts related to the building industry.
  • Learn from established practitioners, academics and consultants, who will  ensure you are responding to contemporary, real-world issues grounded in theory and practice.
  • Our award-winning  Vijay Patel building  has been designed to provide the space and facilities where  all of  our art and design students can develop their ideas and flourish.

Talk to our course team

If you would like to find out more about how this course can help you achieve your career ambitions, send a message to our course team [Russell Vernum] who would be happy to chat to you. Alternatively, you can register for our next postgraduate event or call our course enquirers team on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70  / WhatsApp: 0797 0655 800.

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DMU has been shortlisted for the Postgraduate Award in the 2024 Whatuni Student Choice Awards (WUSCAs), as voted for by students.

  • UK/EU
  • International

Key facts for UK/EU students

Duration: One year part-time.

Start date: September 2024

Fees and funding: For 2024/25 tuition fees are £2,450

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Contact us: For more information complete our online enquiry form or call us on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70.

Key facts for international students

This course is not suitable for international students

Entry criteria

Typical entry requirements 

You must have ARB/RIBA Part 1 and 2 exemption.

You must also be in full-time work in a practice with an ARB registered architect.

You will automatically be enrolled on the PEDR course. You are required to have at least eight PEDR sheets completed by the time you take the professional interview in November, four of which must be post-part 2.

The qualification leads to access in the UK register with title and access to market. Please note that the qualification may have no bearing on registration in a legal jurisdiction other than the UK.

Don’t forget to include your personal statement, CV, a reference from your current employer / practice and your PEDR sheets as part of your application to DMU.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with 5.5 in each band (or equivalent) when you start the course is essential.

English language tuition, delivered by our British Council-accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.

Structure and assessment


Course modules

Teaching and assessments




Practice, Management and Law
This module covers some of the key aspects of the role of the architect such as setting up, marketing and managing a practice, as well as Building Contract and the Architect and the Law. There are three assignments, each in the form of a long evaluative report on specific aspects of practice, management and law.

Case Study
This module leads to a substantive and evaluative written submission that demonstrates an ability to investigate several areas of architectural practice, normally by examining a project and formulating a report on its background and progress through RIBA Work Stages, or a comparative study of different projects in order to cover all the Stages. 

Evaluation of Practical Experience (& PEDR)
This module leads to a critical appraisal by the candidate covering the entire period of their professional experience.  

Practice Paper Exam and Professional Interview
This includes an Office-based exam which is intended to test professional competence in realistic conditions; and the summative assessment in the Professional Interview where the candidates are expected to demonstrate overall competency, and the ability to discharge the role of an architect in an ethical and professional manner according to the ARB/RIBA 2011 professional criteria.

Note: All modules are indicative and based on the current academic session. Course information is correct at the time of publication and is subject to review. Exact modules may, therefore, vary for your intake in order to keep content current. If there are changes to your course we will, where reasonable, take steps to inform you as appropriate.


You will receive lectures from practising architects, academics, and consultants in seminars, and in consultation on an individual basis relating to case studies. Work assignments are based on your practical experience. Assessment is through work assignments relating to the study units, a written examination taken in your place of employment, documentary submission comprising practical training record (log book/ PEDR), case study, evaluation of practical experience, and an employer’s report. This culminates in the professional interview.

The written examination is taken over two days and assesses the candidates understanding and application, based on scenarios that replicate legal, management and contractual problems that arise in professional practice. The case study and evaluation of professional experience are components assessed by professional examiners.

Contact hours
The PG Dip is a 12 month programme, commencing in October. During this time you will undertake 3 study units, each one being delivered in blocks of 3 days. In addition, you will be expected to undertake an average of 4 hours of independent study each week throughout the 12 months




The Postgraduate Diploma in Architectural Practice (PG Dip) is a qualification leading to exemption from the ARB/RIBA Part III examinations. Successful candidates gain eligibility to join the register at the Architects’ Registration Board (ARB) and chartered membership with the RIBA.


Facilities and features

Art and design facilities

Our award-winning Vijay Patel building has been designed to provide the space and facilities where all of our art and design students can develop their ideas and flourish. 

The creative industries require imaginative graduates who can develop new ideas and products. Students use our sophisticated and contemporary workshops, labs and studios to experiment and test in the same way they will in industry, while the open and transparent spaces in the building encourage collaboration between disciplines. In doing so, the building prepares students for industry and helps develop them as future leaders in their respective fields. 

Take a look at our stunning showcase of the building at

You will also benefit from resources and support in the Architecture and Design Resource Centre, our online learning space.

More flexible ways to learn

We offer an equitable and inclusive approach to learning and teaching for all our students. Known as the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), our teaching approach has been recognised as sector leading. UDL means we offer a wide variety of support, facilities and technology to all students, including those with disabilities and specific learning differences.

Just one of the ways we do this is by using ‘DMU Replay’ – a technology providing all students with anytime access to audio and/or visual material of lectures. This means students can revise taught material in a way that suits them best, whether it's replaying a recording of a class or adapting written material shared in class using specialist software.


Campus Centre

The home of  De Montfort Students' Union, (DSU) our Campus Centre offers a welcoming and lively hub for student life. Conveniently located at the heart of campus, it includes a convenience store, a Subway and a Starbucks. Here you can find the DSU-owned charitable accommodation service Sulets and DSU’s shop, SUpplies, selling art supplies, stationery and clothing, and printing and binding services. The building is also home to the DSU officer team. 

Opportunities and careers

Find the people who will open doors for you

DMU's award-winning careers service provides guaranteed work experience opportunities DMU Careers Team

Careers and employability

DMU students are encouraged to pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions. Our Enterprise Team can help you explore your business idea, business growth, and the option of freelancing or being self-employed. There are lots of events, workshops, one-to-one consultation opportunities and enterprise competitions that you can get involved in to progress in your chosen career path.

Even if you don’t intend to start your own business, many of the Enterprise Team activities will be relevant to you if you simply want to develop your business acumen. Skills such as risk-taking, project management and budgeting can be invaluable in employment.


Graduate careers

On successful completion of the Part 3 exam, you will normally qualify for registration as an architect through the ARB, and for chartered status with RIBA. You would then be able to use the title ‘Architect’ and have access to markets that ARB registration affords. Graduates have found careers in major practices such as Foster Associates, or as sole practitioners such as dm3 architecture. 



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