Highline - Advice for non-UK architects struggling to find work in London
Advice for non-UK
Architects struggling

to find work in London

London has high levels of incomers and a hugely diverse population. A look around any London work force will show you that people from anywhere can make it.

As people who filter incoming CV’s the most common mistake is that many non-UK qualified Architects mistakenly promote themselves as Architects, which is a protected title in the UK and requires completion of the Part 3 Exam and registration with the ARB. It is therefore important to identify yourself correctly when seeking a job in the UK (or indeed any country you are looking for a job in) – otherwise it instantly raises questions about someone’s understanding of that country’s system.

For those who are not registered as Architects in the UK our advice on job hunting would be first to change your title (not to claim to be an Architect), and to look for jobs for which you are qualified for (Part 1/2 Assistants, Stage I/II Assistants, Architectural Assistant, etc.), and to then qualify by taking the Part 3 Exam before seeking jobs as Architects. By doing this you promote yourself correctly and your CV will be judged alongside similarly qualified people. Once working within an architectural studio you can demonstrate your skills and abilities, but the most important thing in getting a job is getting an interview which means having the correct details on your application and showing you are competent to work in the UK.


Zain Q – Architectural Assistant Part II via LinkedIn

Even though I have 5-6 years of experience abroad. Coming to the UK to do my M.arch which is Part 2. There is some resistance towards jobs because then you don’t have the “UK experience”. So my question is how can someone in my situation convince a firm to hire someone in my situation.

Response from Alan Sampson – Founder of Highline via LinkedIn
Thanks Zain, great question. It’s a very common response but mainly from lazy studios or recruiters. So many architectural studios in London are proud to highlight how many nationalities work for them and how many languages are spoken in the office. It’s because this culture exchange helps in the design process. So in terms of how you can present your experience gained abroad; I would suggest to put more focus on what your responsibilities were on the projects, how you worked in the team and what challenges you faced and overcame. After all we know the building regulations will be different but in regards to transport projects, hospitals or public buildings the way people interact with these spaces and access the sites remains the same anywhere in the world. Likewise with large scale residential projects – different building regs and processes, yes! But ultimately the goal is to handle housing shortages whilst building or maintaining communities. The same challenges around the globe.

I am currently registered with ARB and hold EEA qualifications, will I be affected?
If you are already registered with ARB, you are entitled to remain on the Register and your registration will not be affected. You do not need to do anything.
You will be required, as always, to renew your registration each year by paying the annual retention fee.

I hold qualifications listed in Annex V.7.1 of the MRPQD, what do the changes for mean for me?
Those who hold qualifications that were listed in the ‘frozen’ Annex V.7.1 and have access to the profession in the state that the qualification was issued (or an ARB prescribed Part 3) are still eligible to apply for registration.

I hold overseas/non-recognised UK qualifications :

If you hold overseas qualifications obtained outside the EU or hold a non-recognised UK qualification you will need to pass ARB’s Examination for Equivalence to Prescribed Qualifications (also known as the ‘Prescribed Examination’) to progress towards registering as an architect in the UK. Once you have satisfied Part 1 and Part 2 requirements, either by obtaining qualifications or by passing the Prescribed Examination, you will then need to obtain a UK Part 3 qualification from a UK school of architecture. Please note if you hold EU qualifications at degree level, that is equivalent to Part 1, you will be required to sit the examination at Part 1 level as the Directive does not provide for qualifications at degree level only.


For Part 1 Examination you must have successfully completed a three year course of study; for Part 2 you must already hold Part 1 and have completed two further years of postgraduate study in architecture.


If you hold qualifications that are not principally in architecture, for example, you have a degree in Interior Architecture, Interior Design or Architectural Technology, it is unlikely you will be eligible to sit the examination unless you fall under the current transitional arrangements.

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