Architect Apprenticeship - Architecture MArch
Building a great future
Our apprenticeship programme produces educated, trained, and registered professionals. You'll be able offer creative problem solving and strategic advice related to various types of building, arts, and construction projects.
We'll teach you to consider structural integrity, the character and location of a site, methods of construction, value for money, design quality, impact on the environment, as well as the legal responsibilities for life safety and statutory consents. Full completion of the apprenticeship qualifies you as a Master of Architecture (MArch) and provides you with Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Practice and the professional award of RIBA Part II & III.
The architects are educated, trained, and registered professionals who plan, design, and review the construction of buildings for a client. They use their skills and knowledge to offer creative problem solving and strategic advice related to various types of building, arts, and construction projects. This includes developing building designs taking into account a range of complex issues such as structural integrity, the character and location of a site, methods of construction, value for money, design quality, impact on the environment, as well as the legal responsibilities for life safety and statutory consents.
Architects work responsibly to deliver the interests of their clients and the core requirements of cost, time, and quality for the end user.
This course is 3 years, plus 1 term part time. Apprentices usually attend university one day per week for the 15 week first semester, and one day per week for the 15 week second semester. The day in at LSBU will be communicated well in advance to enable apprentices to plan their working week in practice, and does not vary from week to week.
The full apprenticeship standard and assessment plan can be found on the Institute for Apprenticeships.
Why Architecture at LSBU?
- No.1 London modern university for research intensity in Architecture (Complete University Guide 2019).
- Professional accreditation – the course is fully validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects.
- Experience - with roots in London Council School of Building (1904) and Brixton School of Building (1940), LSBU has been offering architectural education for over 100 years.
- Design 401 (20 credits)
- Design 402: Arts, media and digital design (20 credits)
- History and theory: critical thinking (10 credits)
- Architecture and theory: dissertation (20 credits)
- Technology 5 (lectures only) (0 credits)
- Design 501 (20 credits)
- Design 502: Arts, media and digital design (20 credits)
- Design 503 (40 credits)
- Technology 5: technical thesis(20 credits)
- EPA professional interview and case study (30 credits)
Introduction to modules studied
- DesignDesign at LSBU is taught in four postgraduate studios. A presentation is made to apprentices at the start of each academic year, outlining the scope and character of the studios offered on the MArch/Diploma programme; apprentices vote for their choice of studios, and those themes reflecting their individual interests in architecture. Within the first month of the course, apprentices may review their studio choice and request a studio change if feasible.
Design studio projects are introduced in small group apprentice-led seminars; these are followed by individual evaluative tutorials. Apprentices make interim presentations of 2- and 3-D analogue and digital material to their studio staff, peer group, and invited critics illustrating the scope and detail of their emerging design proposal. Apprentices also make a final presentation of 2- and 3-D analogue and digital material to the studio staff, peer group, and invited critics illustrating the scope and detail of their developed final design proposal. All design studio work is subject to continuous assessment. Studio tutors monitor design scheme proposals throughout the semester, and collectively moderate assessments at each semester’s end. Individual feedback on scheme proposals is provided at every individual studio tutorial. An evaluative, critical summary of design studio project is provided at all students’ final presentations. Provisional grades are given at the end of semester 1, with all apprentices offered opportunities to review, revise, and add to their design studio submissions.
- Technology 5: technical thesis This module is a taught course and two reports, including a design studio project-related submission which integrates the thematic interests and methodologies of the postgraduate design studios, develops the technological focus of the final studio design project, and reflects the requirements for material qualification of the graduation project/s through making. There is an opportunity for students to develop production drawings and medium scale physical constructional elements exploring, in 2- and 3D, creative interpretations of materials, components, and structural systems technologies underpinning advanced architectural design appropriate to the final year of postgraduate study.
By situating architectural design in a material, constructional, and manufacturing environment, students will consider the impact of technical decisions when completing a comprehensive design proposal. It's a chance to further creatively develop students’ structural and constructional understanding, as well as to extend and enhance the technological profile and presence of students’ diploma project (Design 503) through i) a technology report and ii) iterative medium scale physical constructions. They'll understand the means to optimise and convert digitally generated design drawings to production information, and short run component manufacture. The module provides the opportunity to consider design alternatives within the technological parameters influencing progressive architectural design, and expressing these in sequences of 3D elements, constructed in the LSBU workshops.
- Energy and resource efficiency in design This is a taught course and project submission integrating thematic interests and methodology of studios with requirements for resource efficient and environmentally conscious architectural design. The module considers: development of students’ understanding of energy conservation, and reduction of environmental impact of building materials and systems; consideration of strategies for resource and energy efficient design relevant to current professional practice; and application of environmental research data to developing design proposals for small to medium sized building undertaken in design studio.
- History and theory: critical thinking This module addresses critical thinking in architecture in terms of the methodology, historical context, strands of theory, key issues in the production of architectural knowledge, and the relevance of architectural discourse. It is divided into two parts: Critical Readings (component 1), and Research Methods (component 2). The module aims to develop intellectual and practical tools that can be used by students in several ways: to inform and support – and to enable students to define – a critical position; to exercise intellectual capacities that may be mobilised in a variety of professional, scholarly, and lay contexts, thereby enhancing employability; to present and debate diverse architectural subjects in relation to issues of cultural, economic, social, political, philosophical or ethical significance; and to inform the design and execution of research.
- Architecture and theory: dissertation This module addresses the research, analysis, interpretation and communication of architecture, in the form of a written dissertation on a topic of the student’s choice concerning the histories and theories of architecture. The module aims to introduce the principles and practice of scholarly research, enabling students to: define and elaborate a critical position; organise and communicate ideas in writing; develop a coherent argument expressed in the form of a connected text; and become familiar with the procedures specific to critical investigation and analysis in architecture.
- Professional practice and design economics This module comprises Professional Practice and Design Economics. The objectives of the module are to develop and question professional practice and practice themes introduced at an earlier stage of study and encountered in practical training experience. Students are introduced to the approaches to comprehensive and critical integration of practice issues with design, design considerations and finance and to a recognition of the enhanced capabilities that this awareness and skill provides. They'll gain knowledge of the professional, legal, and managerial responsibilities of a practising architect, including relationships with other co-professionals. Additionally, they'll garner the ability to develop, test, and evaluate design options and produce architectural designs that meet clients' and building users' requirements, including compliance with budgetary and time constraints, and relevant UK building legislation.
This module will see students recognise the criteria by which clients evaluate investment potential, and the practical consequences of design decisions. It will provide knowledge of project procurement and building contract options, and the methods for making an appropriate selection. The module situates architecture and building in a financial context; examining cost and economic concepts, and considers the impact of design decisions on building costs and project viability Considering project appraisal techniques to evaluate design options
Postgraduate apprenticeship as an Architect is a cost and time effective means to the second and third stages of the three stages of professional qualification. The course is for those already working in practice, and leads to the university award of Master of Architecture/Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Practice and the professional award of RIBA part 2&3; apprenticeships in architecture build on the already close relationship between schools of architecture and the professional workplace of the architect.
The MArch Architecture aims to develop apprentices’ understanding – and practical application – of the following issues:
- architects are involved globally in creating a range of buildings and spaces, which not only house people and facilitate their activities but reflect the shared beliefs and values of their societies
- the scope of architecture involves the conception, elaboration, and production of those spaces, buildings, cities, and landscapes forming the built environment
- design as the central focus of the LSBU architecture programme where this is understood primarily as a critical, reflective, and analytical cultural practice. Design has a reciprocal relationship with areas of specialist knowledge including histories and theories of architecture, constructional and environmental technologies, and professional skills
- the value of a creative and focused education, and rigorous programme of study for apprentices from diverse backgrounds already working in practice and who wish to become professionally qualified architects
- the intellectual capacity required to think critically, and the practical skills to develop and communicate design ideas through processes of thinking, making, and designing students engage with the material, social, and environmental issues of the contemporary world, drawing inspiration from that world and the world of imagination
By completing the apprenticeship route, you’ll have the advantage of having real-world work experience, working in a role related to your area of study. This will give you a competitive edge among other graduates when you complete your apprenticeship standard.
During your studies – and for two years after you graduate – you’ll have access to our Employability Service, who can help you develop your skills through the Careers Gym workshops and presentations. Our JobShop advisers support students and graduates with finding the right job for them.
We are University of the Year for Graduate Employment - The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018.
LSBU is helping transform the construction industry through its Building Information Modelling (BIM) Centre. The BIM Centre acts as a hub for innovation, professional training and networking amongst practice experts in the built environmental sector. These facilities are used by students and for short courses.
The Architecture Studio space at London South Bank University (LSBU) has inspirational views across London and is used on our undergraduate and postgraduate architecture degree courses.
This advanced digital manufacturing robotic lab is designed for high-quality research, as well as developing commercial applications for architecture, and features a Kuka robotic arm that can produce architectural components.
Teaching and learning
Learning on an apprenticeship offers a combination of academic education and practical training; it is learning informed and enriched by professional practice. Apprentices are required to attend a combination of tutorials, workshops, lectures, seminars, and site or building visits (the latter other than those undertaken in the workplace). The course is principally taught by staff in the division of architecture, although in some instances staff from other departments and disciplines are involved. Where possible, tutors and guests from outside the university are also invited to present lectures and provide specialist inputs to a particular subject area or project.
Central to the LSBU concept of postgraduate architecture education is the studio system, operating across part and full-time courses. The studios provide a framework for a range of relevant intellectual and practical specialisms to inform design work.
View the 2018 exhibition catalogue.
- recognised first degree in architecture, 2.2 or above, or
- level 6 Architectural Assistant apprenticeship certificate, or
- recognised first degree in architecture which is notified to the European Commission plus
- applicants must hold 5 GCSEs A-C including minimum B in Maths and English or equivalent (reformed GCSEs grade 4 or above)
Non-academic entry criteria, for example requirements set by professional or sponsoring bodies:
- confirmation of employment offer in architect’s practice registered as hosting L7 apprentices
How to apply
International (non Home/EU) applicants should follow our international how to apply guide.
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An Apprenticeship Standard is comprised of a programme of study, an End Point Assessment and on-the-job learning. This means that in addition to meeting academic requirements, you’ll need to be employed in a role related to your apprenticeship. The process of applying depends on whether you have an employer to sponsor (and support) you.
If you are employed and your employer has confirmed they will support your apprenticeship:
You are welcome to submit an application via our online application system. You’ll need to provide details of your employment/employer as part of the application. You’ll also need to ensure you and your employer meet the requirements – find out who can be an apprentice to see if you meet the entry requirements and employer commitments to find out more about your employer’s role.
If you are not employed:
- You will need to find a job role related to the apprenticeship you wish to apply for, with an employer who is happy to support you. If you would like to find an employer to support your apprenticeship with LSBU, you can search which employers are currently advertising Apprenticeships via the National Apprenticeship Service website searching for ‘London South Bank University’ as keywords.
- If there are no search results, this means there are currently no vacancies. We update our vacancies regularly, so please do check back regularly.
- Many employers advertise their apprenticeship vacancies on their websites or via other portals. You could search for ‘find an apprenticeship’ online.
- When you’re ready to apply, see the government's advice on how to write a winning apprenticeship application and make your application using our online application system.
Further information for apprentices
If you’re a prospective apprentice, you can find out more about who can be an apprentice on our student pages.
Further information for employers
Fees and funding
The cost of the apprenticeship is paid fully by the employer (sometimes part funded by the government) through apprenticeship levy. The apprenticeship levy is a pot of money some companies pay into, which all businesses have access to spend on the training costs of apprenticeships. Companies fall into two categories: levy-payers (who pay into the pot) and non-levy payers (who do not). You can find out more in our Levy and Funding section, specifically for employers
The apprentice does not contribute toward the cost of study.
Apprenticeship standards are all assigned a funding band by the Government – these funding bands are the maximum amount the Government will fund via the levy towards a given apprenticeship standard. There are currently 30 funding bands ranging from £1,000 to £27,000.
Employers with less than 50 staff sending an apprentice aged 16-18 will have 100% of the training costs paid by the government. All employers who employ an apprentice aged 16-18 on the first day of teaching will receive a £1,000 incentive from the government. You can find out more in our Levy and Funding section, specifically for employers.
Some modules include field with and site visits, which may be residential or outside the United Kingdom, ranging from three to five days. These are organised by the Division and students are required to contribute towards the cost. If there are any field trips or any course visits as part of your course, we will let you know in good time.
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