Graduate School of the Environment at Centre for Alternative Technology

Graduate School at the Centre for Alternative Technology
New Skills for a New Future


Professional Diploma in Architecture: Advanced Environmental & Energy Studies Part II course

Professional Diploma in Architecture summer school studio time at CAT

Online Application Form

A diploma from the University of East London, based at the Graduate School of the Environment at the Centre for Alternative Technology

This course is delivered at CAT’s Graduate School of the Environment based in the award-winning Wales Institute for Sustainable Education (WISE). Surrounded by mountains and forest, this location fosters a unique learning environment.

CAT’s 40 years of sustainable education experience has led to the development of courses that not only tackle environmental issues, but are focused on sustainability at the core of every aspect of learning.


The Professional Diploma is aimed at the architecture student who understands that the world is in a time of transition and that building design plays an important role in environmental impact. Therefore there is great potential within the profession for environmental change and this is pivotal to the entire sustainability debate.

  • Aimed at students who wish to pursue a career in architecture and wish to attain a highly credited Part II diploma.
  • Graduates of this course will understand built environment design in the context of adaptation to sustainability issues.
  • Monthly intensive residential study weeks immerse students in their projects.
  • Collaboration with external designers, architects and community projects add 'real-life' experience to the students' resumes.
  • Intensive eighteen month course allows graduates to respond more quickly to the urgent need for a greater understanding of sustainability issues in the built environment.
Videos relating to the course

Yearbooks of student projects

The Programme content

The Professional Diploma programme offers a unique blend of design and academic study together with practical experience. Students are equipped with the knowledge and vocational skills that are becoming increasingly important in the architectural industry.

The following modules are delivered via a lively mixture of practical workshops, studio-based design work, site visits, seminars and lectures.

  • Design studies with professional practice.
  • Design and fabrication: collaborative project.
  • Design and fabrication: renewable energy engineering.
  • Design studies: summer school.
  • Environment, energy, climate and human beings.
  • Building performance and energy use.
  • Building performance and use of materials.

See the list of upcoming module dates here.

Methods of assessment

Students are continuously assessed on essays, presentations and practical work.

There is a final exhibition of students’ designs exhibited in the prestigious WISE building and assessed by external examiners. See the 2015 Exhibition photos here

Entry requirements

  • Exemption from RIBA part 1
  • Presentation of a portfolio of work

Applicants who have been educated overseas but lack RIBA part 1 exemption can gain exemption by presenting their previous work independently to the Architects Registration Board (ARB) as an external student.  Further information can be obtained from the ARB at: -

The Professional Diploma in Architecture: Advanced Environment and Energy Studies is currently prescribed by the Architects Registration Board (ARB), subject to periodic review, for the purposes of entry onto the United Kingdom Register of Architects. Prescription is normally granted on a four-yearly basis subject to ARB being satisfied that standard requirements have been met. The prescription of this qualification will be due for renewal by September 2018 as part of the four-yearly review cycle.


Tuition Fees 

UK and EEA students: £8250

Accommodation/Food/ Service Fees


A budget plan is available on request.

See our fees policy here.

International students should note that we do not have a Tier 4 Sponsor licence, therefore we are not able to accept International students who require student visas to study on this course.

Please take a look at our MSc Sustainability and Adaptation (S&A) courses which are available to International students via distance learning.  A mixture of residential and distance learning is possible on all S&A courses if you are eligible for a 6-month student visa - for more information on eligibility, please visit

How to apply

Please complete the online application form here.

Once we have received your initial application we will contact you to let you know if we wish for you to come for a visit.

We are planning open days for applicants  when you will be expected to join us for an informal interview and presentation of your portfolio.


Initial enquiries: 

Student Support Officer:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Tel +44 (0)1654 704985

Duncan Roberts, Programme Leader: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Trish Andrews, Senior Lecturer: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Tel +44 (0)1654 704957

Is this the course for you?

If you are interested in joining the course please make an online application or contact us to arrange to attend one of our open days and interview sessions. 

See the video of course lecturer Trish Andrews talking about the Professional Diploma course.

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See videos of practical modules

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Read the FAQs relating to the Professional Diploma

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Use this quick and easy online application form.

Programme Handbook

Programme handbook

A detailed, 80 page description of the course.

Programme Specification link

Programme specification

A summary of the course on the University of East London website.

Get in touch

Professional Diploma Student Blog

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Every month a different student from the Professional Diploma in Architecture programme writes a blog about the module they have just completed. The blogs give a great flavour of the course from a range of perspectives:

Blog from the Centre for Alternative Technology » Prof Dip Student Blogs

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