Document Sample
School of Architecture and Civil Engineering

                       RIBA Part 1
Staff Contact Details............................................................................................................ 4
Placements in a Page ........................................................................................................ 5
Last Year’s Students Said: .................................................................................................. 6
Introduction ........................................................................................................................... 7
Why do I Need to Complete a Professional Placement?......................................... 8
When Will I go on Placement and for How Long? .................................................... 10
Fees........................................................................................................................................ 11
The University of Bath Code of Conduct for Students Undertaking Placement 13
Additional Requirements from the Department........................................................ 14
Writing a CV......................................................................................................................... 15
Covering Letters ................................................................................................................. 15
Approaching an Office.................................................................................................... 16
Interviews ............................................................................................................................. 17
Practical Points ................................................................................................................... 19
     Registering with the University ....................................................................................
     Choosing optional units ...............................................................................................
     Accommodation ...........................................................................................................
     Notifying your bank or building society of your change of
     correspondence address............................................................................................
     Holidays ............................................................................................................................
     Student loans and fees ................................................................................................
     Student Union membership ........................................................................................
     Council Tax, Income Tax & National Insurance....................................................
     Student Concession Transport for London Placements (Oyster card)...........
     Emailing Whilst on Placement ....................................................................................
Health & Safety ................................................................................................................... 21
Student Induction Checklist............................................................................................ 23
Your Rights ........................................................................................................................... 24
Alternatives to Placements ............................................................................................. 25
A Placement Abroad?...................................................................................................... 26
     Costs: .................................................................................................................................
     Hours and Holidays:.......................................................................................................
     Language: .......................................................................................................................
     Culture Shock:.................................................................................................................
     Student Card:..................................................................................................................
     Driving Licence:..............................................................................................................
     Insurance and Health Care:.......................................................................................
     Passports and Visas: ......................................................................................................
     Safety: ...............................................................................................................................


   Appendix a) Check List in Preparation for your Placement: .......................................... 28
   Appendix b) Useful Resources: ...................................................................................... 30
   Appendix c) Sample CV: ................................................................................................ 32
   Appendix d) Sample Covering Letter: ............................................................................ 37
   Appendix e) Questions you might be asked at interview: .............................................. 38
   Appendix f) Practices that have employed Bath University students in previous years: 40
   Appendix g) RIBA Recommended activities for Stage 1 Graduates:............................. 41

Staff Contact Details: The People
Professional Studies Advisor (PSA) and Placements Tutor

Dyfed Griffiths,
Room: 6East.4.2A
Tel: 01225 38 3185


    1. The Professional Studies Advisor should be contacted for all academic and
       professional matters in respect of the Practice placement.
    2. All Professional Experience and Development Record (PEDR) forms must be submitted
       to the PSA for signature and endorsement within 2 months of the last date of the
       experience period to which they refer
    3. Where a placement cannot be secured, all submissions for approval to an alternative
       to Placement1 must be discussed and endorsed by the Professional Studies Advisor
       before it is undertaken and an Alternative Activity Details form submitted for the
       endorsement of the PSA2.
    4. The Student Placement Feedback form3 should be submitted to the PSA and the
       Faculty Placements Officer at the conclusion of the Placement

Faculty Placements Officer

Hannah Samuel
Office: 6West.2.06
Office Hours: 8.00am - 1.00pm
Tel: 01225 383462


    1. Hannah Samuel is the person responsible for maintaining the official record of all
       students undertaking this Unit, whether in Practice Placement or undertaking the
       Alternative to Placement. All Placement Details forms (Form 14), Health and Safety
       Forms (Form 35) or the endorsed Alternative Activity Details forms must be submitted
       to the Faculty Placements Officer as soon as the Placement has been confirmed or
       the Alternative Activity has been endorsed. These forms must NOT be submitted to
       the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering,
    2. The Alternative to Placement Approval form must be signed and endorsed by the
       PSA and not by any other member of staff before it is submitted to the Faculty
       Placements Officer
    3. No undergraduate will be recorded as having secured a placement , and therefore
       fulfilled the academic requirement for the programme, until the Placement Details
       form is submitted

  See also pp24 below
  Form 2 Alternative activity details
  Form 4 Student feedback about placement
  Form 1 Placement details
  Form 3 Employer Health & Safety questionnaire
Placements in a Page

This is a very brief guide to placements and you should also read the appropriate
sections of this handbook which give you detailed information on all aspects of the
Placements process.

    • In semester 2 of your second and third years you are required to undertake a
        period of work experience called a Professional Placement.
    • The unit codes for this are: AR20064 (second year) and AR20065 (third year)
    • Finding a placement is your responsibility. You will be given the opportunity to
        attend guidance sessions and in this handbook you are given plenty of
        resources to begin your search. If you need more help please see Dyfed
        Griffiths as soon as you are aware of needing help.
    •   If you are unable to find a Placement (proof of applications will be needed)
        you must contact Dyfed Griffiths, your Placements Tutor no later than April 1st.
    •   The minimum amount of time you are required to spend on placement in each
        year is 12 weeks6 or the extent of the number of teaching weeks in the
        semester, whichever is the greater.
    •   Your must complete 3 forms for your placement for Faculty records. These can
        be found at and on the
        Moodle page for Placement 1 and 2. They are:
        1. Placement Details Form. To be completed as soon as your Placement has
            been confirmed7
        2. Health and Safety Questionnaire. To be completed by your placement
            Practice/organisation within 1 week of your commencing work)
        3. Placement Provider Feedback. To be completed towards the end or
            immediately following the completion of your placement
    •   Each of your placement periods contributes to the overall minimum of 24-
        months professional experience that you are required to attain before being
        able to offer for the final RIBA Part 3 qualifying examinations. You are therefore
        required to complete a Professional Experience and Development Record (the
        PEDR) for each 3-month period of that experience. In order for you to do so
        you will need to register to use this form on the RIBA website: The PEDR must be endorsed by your mentor and
        submitted for signature by the PSA
    •   You are also required to complete a Placement Report. The final submission
        date for submitting this piece of work will be advised to you by the PSA, but will
        not be before a date in August in any academic year.
    •   Whilst you are on placement you will have to choose your optional units for the
        following year. You will be emailed about how to do this.
    •   You are required to comply with all regulations set by the university, the
        department and the RIBA as detailed in this handbook.

Please ensure that you read and fully familiarise yourself with all the matters relating
to Placement set out in this Handbook, and also all the details given within the
Moodle page for Placement 1 and 2 (2nd and 3rd year undergraduates respectively)

  The RIBA/ARB minimum period of placement for the experience to contribute to the overall number of 24
months practice experience to be able to sit the RIBA Part 3 examinations is 12 weeks i.e. One PEDR Sheet.
Refer also to pp 8 below
  Where a student is unable to secure a placement in Practice, provision is made for an alternative activity to
placement to be undertaken. Refer also to pp24 below.
Previous Year’s Students Said of Placement:

“Early starts and all the additional hours I have worked here have really
made me feel part of the team.”

“My placement has been interesting in that the aspects of architecture I felt I
was good at in university I have not had the opportunity to explore in the
workplace. This has led to me finding new strengths and interests.”

“My initial lack of knowledge in building detailing let me down.”

“A lesson I’m surprised to have learned is how a healthy social life, working
environment and open communication makes working more satisfying.”

“At first I was really shy about sharing my design ideas. But once I overcame
this I found the team really encouraged my thoughts.”

“I have been involved with an enormous range of projects over the last 3
months and have had an amazing time.”

“One of the best things I have learned is how a practice works and how my
experiences at university fit into that.”

“I really enjoyed my placement, but didn’t get everything out of it that I
wanted. Next time I go on placement I will be more selective in where I go
and more vocal with my manager about what I want to learn.”

“My placement has rekindled my enthusiasm for architecture.”

“I found it very frustrating that elements given emphasis in the strategic brief
were given less consideration as time went by due to financial constraints.
However, I have learnt to work with real market conditions and this will be
invaluable to me in my career.”

“My placement was excellent. They provided a variety of jobs and pushed
me to my limits.”

“I made an effort to get to know the whole team and this allowed me to find
out about all the projects that were going on.”

A Database listing all the Practices with whom Bath students have undertaken
a Placement in previous years is held by the PSA and published within the
Moodle pages, and guidance can also be given on appropriate contacts
within regions of the UK where Bath students have worked previously.


“ The Mother of Art is Architecture. Without an architecture of our own we have no soul of
our own civilisation.”
Frank Lloyd Wright 1867-1959

The Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering as a whole and the teaching of
architecture in particular is founded in the belief that design at its best is rooted in a practical
understanding of ‘making’ which informs the entire creative process. All the architects that
we remember had a profound knowledge of how things need to go together and used their
powers of invention to derive elegant, inspirational solutions to the practical and intellectual
problems posed by their own era. Design therefore relies on a combination of vision and

Historically, architects were trained in offices as apprentices under ‘a master’. It is a
comparatively recent development for professional training to take place in a University
environment. Clearly both methods have advantages and a combination of both under our
system will give you the best platform to start your careers and provide you with the widest
range of skills to help you realise your creative aspirations.

The projects that you are given at University endeavour to be as realistic as possible but
your placement is a great opportunity to practice what you have learnt. These experiences
can then be used to enhance the work you subsequently undertake at University. The
School is unique in offering a thin sandwich system that allows practical experience to be
regularly interwoven with your academic studies; in this sense your placements are an
integral and essential part of your education.

The PSA/Placements tutor will endeavour to give you the skills, confidence and support in
finding your own placement. As well as gaining CV writing and interview techniques,
researching the job market and the differences between firms you may want to work for is an
important part of this unit and will prepare you for finding a position in Practice after you
have finished your studies.

The role of the Professional Studies Advisor is to give guidance to students who are
seeking a placement, which may be undertaken within the UK, in Europe or Overseas.
Within the discipline of Architecture, and particularly at Part 1, a placement is
therefore sought by the student rather than offered by practice. It is therefore the
responsibility of the student to identify the centre or practice within which they may
wish to gain experience and the PSA will assist in the preparation of a design
portfolio, curriculum vitae and in writing a letter of interest. Information on the
preparation for placement and other assistance is given within the following Moodle
Placement 1 and 2 web pages: (Year 2) or: (Year 3)

Why do I Need to Complete a Professional Placement?

To meet the requirements of the RIBA Professional Experience and Development Record
(PEDR) the RIBA specifies certain mandatory minimum requirements to be achieved by the
student in preparation for undertaking Part 3. These are:

    •    A minimum total of 24 months of recorded professional experience since commencing their
         architectural training, a minimum of 12 months of which (4 PEDR Sheets) must be gained after
         passing or gaining exemption from Part 2 of the RIBA Examination in Architecture.
    •    It is a mandatory requirement that all post-Part 2 practice experience must be undertaken
         under the direct supervision of an architect in the United Kingdom. (Regulation 1)
    •    A minimum of 10 working days' approved study leading to the RIBA Examination in Professional
         Practice and Management, (Part 3). (Regulation 3)
    •    A minimum 35 hours of continuing professional development per year after passing or gaining
         exemption from Part 2. (Regulation 4)

The RIBA encourages students to obtain a broad spectrum of experience in UK and other
countries.8 However, the ARB guidelines to students provides for experience gained only
within a practice registered in the EEA. Admission of experience gained within any other
country outside the EEA will be subject to approval of the PSA and the Registrar of ARB.9

Time Management:

Learn to achieve deadlines and to ‘pace’ your work and decisions. You need to be able to
prioritise and organise your work and to produce it within agreed time-frames and in
readiness for other people’s requirements.
Design Detailing
The elegance of design is fundamentally reliant upon the manner in which the detail
responds to and expresses the overall concept. An enhanced knowledge of how buildings
and structures are put together will enable your design work to mature and flourish. The more
things you think about in parallel the better.


An understanding of the whole design process from inception to construction will inform and
improve your designs. Practical constraints and the tolerances involved in building processes
are areas that designers are notoriously naïve about. This often leads to tension between the
constructor and the consultant; therefore some mastery of this process is essential if you want
your designs to be as good as you imagined them at inception.

Presentation Skills

At University your work is frequently concerned with excellent presentation particularly with
the use of computer generated graphics. These skills can be enhanced further by observing
how other people do this and learning what information needs to be conveyed for different

  Although it is not mandatory, the RIBA advises that a minimum of 3 months' experience of professional
architectural practice under the direct supervision of an architect outside the United Kingdom provides useful
experience for architectural students as part of his or her educational and professional development.
  Refer also to the directive of the Architects Registration Board at

Working as part of a team will teach you the crucial skills of communication and listening.
You will need to observe and learn how people present their views with clarity and
conviction whilst at the same time negotiating with them.

The Office experience

Quite often an office will provide you with a larger variety of experiences than would be
offered to long term employees. Use your placements to explore what types of practice and
sales of project are best suited to your own needs in readiness for your future.
The RIBA set guidelines regarding suggested part 1 activities. A copy of their guidelines is
available in appendix g. Please remember that these are only guidelines, and that you do
not have to complete all the suggested activities during your placement.

When Will I go on Placement and for How Long?
       You will undertake 2 periods of Professional Placement during your BSc, which will
       be of a duration equal to the number of teaching weeks in that semester.
       Your first placement will take place during the whole of semester 2 of your second
       Your second placement will take place during the whole of semester 2 of your third
       For this period of Practice experience to contribute towards the overall requirement
       of 24-months practical experience necessary for eligibility to enrol upon the Part 3
       course and examinations, your placement must last extend for a minimum of 12
       weeks (3 months) to meet the RIBA requirements but can be longer if you wish.
       All students who succeed in securing a Placement will complete the academic
       requirement for the year. The Department recognises and acknowledges that in
       certain circumstances and for reasons outside the students’ control, the length of
       the placement period may not be sufficient for a PEDR sheet to be completed in
       accordance with the RIBA requirements i.e. less than 12-weeks in duration. The
       PSA will however endorse the PEDR as contributing to the academic requirement
       for the year.

  £    For existing/continuing, pre 2006/7 or deferred entrant Home & EU undergraduates,
       full tuition fees are payable for the first year they spend partly on placement and
       partly at the university
  £    For the second year the level of tuition fee charged will depend upon the aggregate
       of     the     length   of    the   two     periods    of   professional   placement;
       - if the aggregate of the two placements is greater than thirty weeks (excluding
       vacations) then the fee is approximately half the full time fee
       - If the aggregate of the two placements is thirty weeks or less (excluding vacations)
       then the full fee is payable for both years
  £    For Overseas students on a thin sandwich course the fees payable, in both years
       are 75% of the full overseas rate
  £    For new Home & EU undergraduates studying under the new variable fee regime,
       the fees payable will be 75% of the full time rate in each of the placement years
  £    For further information refer to the following University web-link:


The Placement Unit comprises two written elements, 1. the Placements Report, and 2. the
Professional Experience and Development Record (PEDR), both of which are assessed on a
pass/fail basis.

1. The Placement Report. The final date for the submission of the Placement Report will be
   confirmed on the Moodle web page.

The submission will be assessed as a pass or fail basis. As a minimum content the Report is
required to include the following:

A description of the practice and showing examples of          A maximum of 300 words
their key/iconic projects (some of which may have              plus illustrations.
established the practice some years ago)
An analysis of the practice’s staff structure, way of          300 words.
working and particularly their design ethos/process. This
information will be treated in confidence. It will be useful
to you if it is intelligently critical/effusive. This is an
opportunity to clearly analyse how other people design as
a means to understanding your own process.
A conceptual diagram that best and most succinctly             1 for each project you
describes its essence.                                         worked on.
A description of the key projects that you worked on           This should form the bulk of
wherever possible showing drawings/models that you             your report and typically will
have produced.                                                 run to 5 A4 pages of visuals
                                                               and 500 words of text.
A critical analysis of your own strengths and weaknesses
of which you became aware within the practice
environment; what you learnt and what you consider you
need to improve on.
TOTAL                                                          10 A4 Pages

   • The deadline has been set at the latest date possible before the exam board meets.
     Therefore it is vital that this work reaches the office on time as delay may result in your
     being unable to progress into the next year.
   • Late submissions will not be accepted without prior written approval of the PSA.
   • It is recommended that if you post your work you should use registered post and keep
     a note of the reference number. All submissions should be addressed to Emma Perry in
     the Department Office.

2. The Professional Experience and Development Record (PEDR)

• It is a requirement both of the academic Unit and of the RIBA that you complete a record
  of your professional experience, including PEDR sheets that record less than 3-months of
  practice experience. Only the official PEDR record published by the RIBA should be used
  for this purpose, which can be downloaded for a fee from
• The PEDR:
            • records professional experience in 3-month periods. One PEDR sheet must be
                completed for each 3 month period.
            • must be completed for any period of professional experience of less than 3
                months duration.
            • should be signed by your placement mentor at the end of each 3 month
                period. Your mentor must be a qualified and registered Architect, but does not
                have to directly supervise your work whilst on placement.

             • is a mandatory component of Part 3 which provides a formal record of the
               professional experience gained, so time and effort should be taken over its
             • should not be illustrated and it should aim to show progression in your work.
             • should be submitted via recorded post to Dyfed Griffiths at the completion of
               each 3 months period of your placement.10 One completed form must be
               submitted with the Placement Report.

SPECIAL NOTE: Should you have to re-sit part of the year it is suggested that you do submit
both your report and PEDR by the deadline in order to gain the credits for this part of your
course. In addition you should do a placement next year as well in order to assist your
education but technically you would not need to if you complete the present one fully and
to a satisfactory level.

   It is an RIBA requirement that a PEDR must be submitted for signature by the PSA within 2-months of the
last date of the period of experience to which it refers. At the discretion of the PSA and PEDR sheets may be
retained and formally submitted together with the Placement Report on the submission date stated. This date is
confirmed within the Moodle pages.

The University of Bath Code of Conduct for Students
Undertaking Placement
• Students should:
• be aware of their responsibility to find a suitable placement by the due date,
• make full use of individual departmental and central University assistance and support,
• understand and adhere to any assessment requirements for placement,
• attend ALL required placement briefings and debriefings organised by individual and
  central University departments,
• behave appropriately at ALL times (before, during, after, in and out of work) acting to
  enhance the reputation of all parties involved.

•   Students should be aware of their rights to:
•   an appropriate learning experience,
•   a safe working environment,
•   be treated in accordance with applicable legislation.

• During recruitment, students should:
• ensure that all applications are well researched, presented and meet specified
• contact their potential placement provider with reasonable notice should they wish to
  withdraw their application or are unable to keep an appointment for a valid reason,
• be prompt in replying to communications from potential placement providers and
  departmental Placements Staff,
• recognise that both the offer of a placement and its acceptance form a contract.

•   Once placed but prior to commencement, students should:
•   submit promptly all requested details and paperwork to the department,
•   recognise that it is their responsibility to find suitable placement accommodation,
•   comply with all reasonable requests from the employer and inform Placements Staff of
    any changes.

• During placement, students should:
• take every opportunity to optimise their learning experience.
• return required contact details and paperwork within the timeframes set by the
• act within the terms and conditions laid down by their placement provider and comply
  with relevant Health and Safety regulations,
• not give notice to their placement provider without first consulting their Placements Tutor,
• inform their Placements Tutor of any problems that cannot be resolved at a local level,
• before finishing placement, ensure all requirements of both placement provider and
  department have been met.

• After placement, students should:
• submit all required assessment materials by the due date and attend any organised
• reflect on and evaluate their placement and share their experiences with potential new
  placement students,
• comply with any terms and conditions that still apply after the placement has ended.

• In addition to the above, students are expected to conform to the RIBA’s Professional
  Code     of   Conduct    for  Architects,  which   may    be    downloaded      from:

Additional Requirements of the Department

The success and usefulness of your placements will significantly depend on your attitude to it.
‘The real world’ as it is often and wrongly referred to, is not a place where creativity is stifled
by practicality, budgets and time. It is rather another strand of your learning where your
thoughts and skills are challenged and tested.
For most offices (particularly smaller ones) employing a student is a real commitment and
very often the place within the practice will have been created for you. You are far more
likely to achieve more if you show enthusiasm and initiative and take responsibility for your
own learning rather than expecting to be ‘spoon-fed’. Your supervisor is likely to be very busy
and your own capacity for self-management will help him or her to enjoy working with you
and therefore provide you with the widest range of experiences.

 •   You are representing the University of Bath and therefore are required to conduct
     yourselves accordingly as a young professional.
 •   As with most things in life you will get out of a placement what you put in. Of course
     money is important but the quality and range of experience is more critical to your
     career in the long run.
 •   You will be expected to work efficiently and intelligently, with commitment and
     enthusiasm. Offices are busy places and employers do not want to feel that they are
     responsible for your every move nor for micro-managing your work.
 •   Take initiative wherever possible as this will inspire your employer to give you greater
     responsibility from which you will learn.
 •   If in doubt, ask. No one expects you to know everything.
 •   At times the work may be repetitive and perhaps menial. If this continues for long periods
     of time try not to harbour ill-feeling but bring the issue up politely with your supervisor or
     through the university feedback system. Communicate before it is too late.
 •   Most employers will be keen to understand that you are comfortable in the work which
     you are undertaking; therefore you need to be clear when you need help and
     guidance. Ask to be involved in opportunities that you are interested in, but accept that
     sometimes the answer will be no, for a variety of reasons.
 •   Boredom is usually a result of not knowing what to do. Even the simplest of tasks can be
     undertaken with thoroughness and neatness.
 •   Punctuality is important however informal an office is; always keep your supervisor
     informed if your work pattern needs to change.
 •   Show a willingness to take part; this again will encourage employers to widen the
     experience which they give to you.
 •   You are helping the practice by virtue of your employment but they are also helping
 •   Sick leave does not represent an additional holiday entitlement and should not be
 •   Avoid using your mobile phone in the office or using the internet/e-mail during working
     hours for personal use.
 •   Ensure that you have been issued with and have read a contract of employment.
 •   If you are being asked to do something that you feel is either dangerous or you feel
     uncomfortable with you must feel confident to raise your concern.

Writing a CV
Preparing your C.V. is a design project in itself and can be quite a lengthy process when
done properly. It needs to balance inspiration with practicality by conveying the relevant
information clearly and neatly. Your C.V. should be an ongoing activity whereby at the end
of each university project you select the key images and add them to it, removing those
which over time start to look naïve.

   Think carefully about the format, A4 portrait is not the only way of organising a sheet.
   Avoid being too flash. Better to be subtle rather than gimmicky.
   Immaculate presentation is essential.
   Use a clear, easy-to-read layout. Use bold, italic and underlined for emphasis, but not
   Choose a font which is easily readable, such as Times New Roman or Arial.
   You can use different font sizes where applicable.
   Your CV should look attractive in terms of amount of text to background – not too dense
   and difficult to read.
   Check for typing errors - use spell check but do not rely on it as some spellings are the
   American version.
   Make it snappy and interesting; use •bullet points and avoid essay form.
A sample CV and more detailed guidance can be found in appendix c of this handbook.
Additional help can be found on the Careers Advice web pages:
The careers service also runs CV help and advice sessions:

Covering Letters
Points to remember:
 • The covering letter should be one side of A4 only.
 • Use a font and size that is easily readable.
 • Put your address on top right corner, with text lined up to the left.
 • Don’t forget to sign your letter.
 • Include a reference number if you have been given one.
 • The heading of the letter should be in bold.
 • Block paragraphs to the left and leave one line between each paragraph.
 • Check spelling; grammar and punctuation.
 • Your letter should always be typed. Save your own copy to disc, you can then tailor it for
     different applications. You can also re-read it before your interview.
 • Address your letter to the person responsible for employing students. Avoid ‘Dear
     Sir/Madam’ or ‘To Whom It May Concern’.
 • Check that you have included all the things you have said you have included.
 • Ensure that you know the work of the practice that you are applying to and make
     reference to some projects that you admire or their stated ethos.
 • Give examples of skills you claim to have.
 • Don’t forget to include all your contact details: full name, address, phone number(s) and
     an email address.
 • Make all your experiences positive ones, avoid writing anything negative or
 • Present a clear, cogent, precise account of why you are suited to the particular
     placement you are applying for, based on your strengths, interest in the area, and
An example of a well constructed and presented covering letter is given in Appendix d of
this Handbook.

Approaching an Office

Finding an appropriate placement takes time and preparation for which you are all
individually responsible. If you apply too early you will find that a practice is unable to
predict its work load and therefore will be unlikely to commit, whereas if you leave it too late
others may have got there before you. Typically you should begin searching about two
months before the earliest date that your placement can begin. The choice of the practice
can make or break your feelings about your career therefore careful research is important.

There are many ways of choosing and finding your placement, the following are the most

 •   Decide what region you would like to work in.
 •   Research which practices you would like to work with by looking at their websites.
 •   Some of the tutors at university are in practice or indeed run their own practice. Often
     they will approach students whose work they admire and offer them work. By all means
     approach tutors with whom you have an affinity but try not to hound them!
 •   The placements notice board on the fourth floor (as well as online at: is regularly updated
     and carries adverts from practices that are looking to employ students. This is a useful
     resource. A list of practices that employed students last year is included at the end of this
 •   The    RIBA   have  a   vacancies          notice     board,    it   can     be      found   at:
 •   Occasionally adverts are placed in Building Design and other journals for students. In
     addition it may be that practices will be advertising for more experienced staff because
     of an increased workload and they might be worth contacting since students can often
     resolve a temporary situation for them.
 •   ‘Cold calling’ either by telephone/e-mail or a speculative personal visit, on occasions
     can produce a result. Please remember that you are representing the University and
     therefore be polite and not too insistent. Practices are often plagued by sales people,
     this can feel like an intrusion/annoyance and you may be viewed in the same light.
 •   Advertise yourself in local journals or with the R.I.B.A through their newsletter.
 •   Personal recommendation or contacts can at the very least give you an inside line to a
     practice. Be sure however that you do not use this as the easiest route as your choice of
     practice needs to be careful and also based upon the type of work they do.
 •   Register with an employment agency who will ‘market’ you to local practices for which
     they usually receive a ‘finders’ fee from the practice they find a placement position in.

The R.I.B.A. offers a searchable list of practices in the U.K. at
You can search by commercial or domestic, size, location, countries worked in, services
offered and sector!

Because your placement is important to your education you should use the interview
process to understand what the practice can offer you (within the bounds of normal
etiquette) and whether indeed it is the right place for you.


1. Research the placement provider
 • Look on the internet for a Company website. Read appropriate sections of daily/weekly
     papers and periodicals, all of which will be in the Library. Look out for general news in the
     industry at the moment.
 • If we have had students there before ask to be put in touch with them; bearing in mind
     that as no two students are identical, neither will two placements be.
2. Read up on interviewing
 • There are plenty of publications about this. Refer to appendix b for a bibliography.
 • There are also courses put on by our Careers Service and the Students' Union on
     interview practice.
3. Prepare for anticipated questions
 • Many placement providers ask the same types of questions and a list of examples is
     given in appendix e. Practise answering them with a friend acting as ‘interviewer’.
 • If there are any questions you know you may find difficult to answer, consider how you
     will cope with them.
4. Plan any questions you want to ask them
 • At the end of an interview an employer usually asks if you have any questions. Make
     good use of this time. Some examples are given in appendix e.
5. Get in the right frame of mind
 • Psyche yourself up - you want this placement more than anyone else and you have this
     one chance, so don't undersell yourself.
 • Make sure you can mention all your strengths and accomplishments - read through your
     application form/CV beforehand to remind yourself of your ‘selling points’ and how they
     relate to the placement applied for.
 • Think about what you can offer them, and what you are hoping to gain from the
     placement in terms of personal and academic development.
6. Allow yourself time
 • This means an early night the day before so you appear fresh and bright! Ensure your
     interview clothes are ready the night before. Allowing yourself time to get ready so you
     feel you look good will give you confidence.
 • Allow heaps of time for getting there. Get good clear directions from them; ask them to
     send directions or use an A-Z. You can also download directions from the internet.
 • Check bus, train and coach times just prior to travel. Take their phone number, your
     mobile phone (making sure that it is charged!) and any correspondence from them with
     you and then if your transport is delayed at least you can phone to explain the problem.

During the interview

1. First impressions
 • The first few minutes are very important, so you want to make a good impression. Be on
      time, smile, and shake hands firmly if a hand is offered to you (no ‘wet fish’ handshakes)
      Wait to be shown where to sit if it is not immediately obvious. Establish good eye contact
      during the interview. Be enthusiastic and interested, do not be laid-back - this comes
      over as bored or dull. Try to be confident but not cocky and watch your body language.
 • Placement providers are looking for a student who shows keenness, enthusiasm and
      interest and who they think will work hard and will also enjoy the placement and be right
      for it - contribute as much as you can to the interview; it is a two-way process.
 •    Try to relax but remember too that you really need to pay maximum attention and think
      hard all the time about what you are saying and also the purpose of their questioning -
      what are they hoping to find out about you? Don't be afraid to ask questions or to ask
      them to expand on something or pick up particular points of interest.
2. Responses to their questions
 • Be sure you can support anything you say. Offer complete answers to questions, not just
      monosyllables. If you find a question hard then ask for a moment to consider it; or ask to
      have it rephrased if you've not understood it.
 • Try and make effective use of your interview time by emphasising your strong points.
 • Avoid waffle, try and give a sensible answer but if you really cannot answer their
      question then be honest and admit this, or admit you had not thought about that
      aspect but that it is an interesting question.
 • There are often not any ‘right’ answers, they just want to see how you think and react
      and will sometimes ask an unusual question to test your ability to ‘think on your feet’.
3. Presenting your work
    • Your portfolio should include key examples of different parts of your work not all your
      university work. 10 -15 sheets is a realistic maximum, beyond that it becomes trying to
      look at.
    • Avoid A1 portfolios as these are cumbersome to carry and to look at, indeed most work
      looks better reduced.
    • Put your best and most recent work towards the beginning to capitalise on first
    • During the interview despite being nervous avoid endless monologues explaining all the
      intricacies of every project. The interviewer will want to form an overview of your
      different skills. Do not speak continuously for more than about 7 minutes.

After the Interview
 • Think about how it went; consider your own performance.
 • Think about questions you were unhappy about and also things that went well.
 • Follow up the interview with a phone call or letter thanking the interviewer for their time.
 • Respond quickly in writing (by mail or email) to any offers you are made accepting the
    offer and thanking the company.
 • Make sure you have information regarding your office locations, start date and time, pay
    rate and dress code before you arrive on your first day.
 • Fill out form 1 and give to Claire in the school office. This should be done as soon as you
    accept a placement.
 • Use the whole experience as a learning one and don't be discouraged if you have more
    than one interview before securing a placement.
 • If you are not successful; ask for feedback on your performance. Use this information to
    work on your weaknesses for next time.
 • If you feel you need extra help then do talk to Martin, Nigel, Claire or the careers
    department, who can then devise some means of getting you some extra practice.

Practical Points
Registering with the University
Don’t forget that you need to re-register online at the start of the academic year, at

Choosing optional units
In April or May you will receive an email telling you that you are now able to add unit
choices to SAMIS. Please make sure that you do this promptly as you will not be able to add
units after this window of opportunity closes.

If you are on a placement away from your normal place of residence you will need to find
suitable accommodation for the duration of your placement. It is your responsibility to make
all arrangements with regards to this accommodation, but you might find the following
websites useful:
Also, don’t forget to check the Students’ Union advice on house hunting at:

Notifying your bank or building society of your change of correspondence address
If you are not going to be living at your usual address during your placement then you need
to let your bank or building society know that they should send all correspondence to the
address at which you will be living for the duration of your placement. Don’t forget to
change your address back again when you return to Bath!

• Most placement organisations offer paid annual leave. This is normally equivalent to four
weeks a year (i.e. 20 working days) but pro rata if you work less than a year; you are also
entitled to Bank or National Holidays.
• If uncertain, check your Contract or contact your Personnel department.
• Arrange your holidays well in advance with the agreement of your manager - the same
thing applies to odd days off. Remember that you are expected to behave as an employee
and not as a student, and to fit in with the needs of the employer/department.

Student loans and fees

Student Union membership
• You are still a full member entitled to use the Union facilities whilst on placement.
• You can also use the Union facilities at other Universities with which Bath has reciprocal
agreements on production of your Union membership. You should also be able to look at
their accommodation lists.
• To renew your NUS card log on to the BUSU website, click ‘sign up’
and follow the steps.

Council Tax, Income Tax & National Insurance
Please also refer to the relevant sections of the Students' Union Placement Students'
Handbook at:

Council Tax
For those of you living in private rented accommodation with other students for your
placement you will need proof of your student status to exempt you from Council Tax. (You
will be exempt as long as you are a full time student and re-register for the Placement year.)

This is the procedure to get a letter saying you are a registered full time student:
     1. Email from your Bath email address (which confirms you are a student here)
     2. To Student Records:
     3. Requesting a To Whom letter
     4. Give your Bath Student number
     5. Make sure your online registration is up-to-date.
     6. Give the address where you are living, and also your home address -these must
          match those which you have entered on registration online.
     7. The letter will be prepared in two days.
     8. Collect the letter from Student Records (Wessex House -2.12c) or if you aren’t in Bath,
          ask for it to be posted.
NB: If you share with non-students then the house is liable for Council Tax and you will be
asked to contribute your share.

• Check out your tax status prior to starting your placement to avoid over-payment of tax
• If you have worked before make sure you take your P45 & P60 with you when you start
   work; keep all your pay-slips showing deductions. Obtain your P45 from your employer
   when you leave as this shows the total tax paid. You may be able to claim a tax rebate so
   keep this P45 in a safe place, with pay slips as additional evidence.
• If you have not worked before, you will need to complete a P46 which your employer will
• If your total pay is going to fall below your own personal tax threshold you will need to
   complete a P38 - again the employer will provide this.

National Insurance
You will all have received your National Insurance Card when you reached school leaving
age and you will need to take this with you on placement. All people earning over a certain
level have to pay N.I.

If you have any difficulties/queries on matters such as tax, social security, Council Tax, etc,
contact our Students' Union who are experienced in helping students on placement with
these issues.

Student Concession Transport for London Placements (Oyster card)
Students on placement in London are entitled to 30% off transport in London on travel cards
on the rail, underground or buses that are for seven days or longer. You have to call the
Oystercard helpline (0845 330 9876) and select the 'Student Oyster photocard' option. You
will be sent an application form which you must fill in and send back with a passport photo,
£5 and a supporting letter from us. It normally takes about three weeks to come through. You
can then top it up yourself, in most newsagents and tube stations. The website is:

Emailing Whilst on Placement

We will only use your Bath email whilst you are on placement as we can send group mail to
the whole of the year; therefore you need to ensure that your inbox is clear and access it
regularly. The majority of contact will be made through Moodle

Health & Safety

 Before the placement commences the UCEA ‘Placement Health & Safety Checklist’ needs
 to be completed by the placement provider and signed and dated to ensure all relevant
 health and safety checks/regulations exist within that practice/organisation. You must not
 start your placement until this is completed. A copy of this form will be found on the
 Moodle website, and must be submitted to the Faculty Placements Officer.
 The PSA will contact your employer when the placement is confirmed to inform them of
 the status of the Health and Safety checklist, and why they are required to provide this
 information to the University. Whilst the Placement Practice/Organisation is responsible for
 your safety and well-being whilst in their employ, whether within the Office or on site, and
 to indemnify you against any personal injury caused to you or damage that you may
 inadvertently cause, you remain a full-time undergraduate of the University of Bath who
 carry overall responsibility for your safety and well-being whilst you are an
 undergraduate, and the University therefore has a requirement to satisfy itself that no
 undergraduate is placed at unnecessary risk whilst undertaking their placement.
 For those who wish to undertake a placement in Europe or Overseas, other Health and
 Safety Checklist forms are provided within the Moodle web-page for work in Germany,
 France and Spain, and for other Overseas countries. Contact the PSA if you are unsure
 what circumstance may apply to you.
 Whilst on placement you should be covered by your Employers Liability Insurance and
 subject to their rules. Students must conform to their host organisation's disciplinary
 procedures and Health & Safety Regulations. The following wording from the document
 ‘Criteria for Integrated Undergraduate Sandwich Courses’ (produced by the Universities
 Committee on Integrated Sandwich Courses) should be carefully noted:- ‘Students
 working in industry, commerce or public service as part of an approved integrated
 sandwich course must regard themselves as employees of the host organisation and
 conform to its rules and disciplinary procedures. Host employers should accept students
 are employees for the purpose of insurance. Universities generally accept no liability and
 provide no insurance cover for students who are injured or ill whilst on placement. Nor
 can they consider themselves liable for any act which students may perform on the
 employers premises.’
 When visiting site always report your presence to the site agent and always wear a hard
 hat (whilst not necessarily fashionable they are life savers). You should not be expected to
 visit sites for survey work alone if the building is unoccupied.
 The legal standards for Health, Safety and Welfare should be similar within most of Europe,
 Australasia and North America. However, outside these areas the standards may be less
 strict, and it may be necessary to take greater care for your own safety and welfare
 within the workplace.
 There are procedures that need to be followed before during and after the placement.
 These procedures are displayed in the UCEA ‘Approval of Employer’ flowchart (UCEA
 Handbook, p13) which details each stage in turn and who is responsible. This sequence
 only needs to be followed once through for each company.
 In addition to this each company only needs to be assessed for Heath & Safety every
 three years so the student must check to see if the company they will be doing their
 placement with has already been assessed within the last three years.
 Students are expected to observe the Health and Safety Regulations of their workplace,
 and to work in accordance with these regulations at all times. These regulations should be
 explained to you at the start of your placement as part of your induction process and
 should cover the location of emergency exits, first aid and assistance and the use of any
 safety equipment etc.
Health & Safety (Cont’d)

 You should also follow the procedures of the organisation regarding the reporting of
 accidents at work.
 For more information about UCEA and Health and Safety procedures please refer to the
 following website:
 It is essential that you read the health and safety guidance notes for students on
 placements, which may be found on the following website:
 Whilst the responsibility for your health and safety lies with your employer, and the
 University will accept no liability for students who are ill or injured on placement, it is
 essential that you use a large degree of common sense with a view to keeping yourself
 safe at all times.

Student Induction Checklist

The following items should be included in your induction into the organisation, preferably on
your first day. This list is for your information and you should not necessarily expect your
placement provider to follow this form. You do not need to return this checklist but it is
important that you are aware of these items.

           Overview of the organisation and explanation of department structure.
           Introduced to my immediate supervisor
           Introduced to key members of staff and their roles explained
           Instruction on equipment you will be using such as computers, copiers,
           scanners, fax machines and how to answer the telephone, transfer calls and
           make calls both internally and externally
           Health and Safety Issues explained
           Emergency Procedures including location of fire exits, fire extinguishers and fire
           assembly point(s)
           Safety policy received or location known
           First Aid arrangements (including names of first aiders)
           Location of first aid box
           Accident reporting and location of accident book
           Manual handling procedures
           Protective clothing arrangements
           Location of toilet facilities
           Location of rest room, canteen (if relevant) etc
           Lunch, tea and coffee arrangements
           Place of work
           Dress code
           Work space
           Sickness and absence reporting – who to contact and when
           Disciplinary and grievance procedures
           Post arrangements
           Car Parking
           Other issues specific to the company
Your Rights

Contract of Employment11

A contract of employment exists once an employer and an employee have agreed terms,
i.e. an offer has been made and accepted. Employers have a statutory duty to put into
writing the main terms and conditions of employment. (Employment Rights Act 1996) s.1 ERA
1996. The statement of terms and conditions must, as a minimum, set out:

        1. The names of the parties, i.e. employer and employee
        2. The date when the employment began
        3. The scale, rate or method of calculating remuneration.
        4. The intervals at which remuneration is paid.
        5. Hours of work.
        6. Entitlement to holidays/holiday pay.
        7. The job title or a brief description of the work the employee is employed to do.
        8. Place of work.
        9. Terms and conditions relating to sickness, including sick pay.
        10. Pension and pension scheme details.
        11. Length of notice the employee is required to give and entitled to receive to
            terminate the contract.
        12. Period of contract, including an end date for fixed-term contracts.
        13. Collective agreements (if any).
        14. Details relating to working outside the UK.
        15. Disciplinary rules and where these can be found.
        16. The name of the person to whom an employee may take a grievance.

Employment Rights
 •   The right to a written statement of the main terms and conditions of employment.
 •   The right to an itemised pay statement.
 •   The right to equal pay (for men and women).
 •   The right to statutory sick pay (subject to qualifying requirements).
 •   The right to work no more than 48 hours over a seven-day period and to take specified
     rest breaks.
 •   The right to four weeks’ paid annual leave.
 •   The right no to be discriminated against on the grounds of sex race or disability.
 •   The right not to be treated less favourably on the grounds of being a part-time worker or
     a fixed-term employee.
 •   The right to certain maternity benefits.
 •   The right for employees to belong, or not to belong, to a trade union.
 •   The right to statutory minimum periods of notice on termination of employment.
 •   The right to have a written statement detailing reasons for dismissal (on request).
 •   The right not to be unfairly dismissed (subject to service).
 •   The right to certain protections where there is transfer of undertaking.
 •   The right not to have unauthorised deductions made from pay.
 •   The right to a safe workplace and a safe system of work.

  An RIBA Model Contract of Employment is included within the Moodle Placements website. This should be
considered for guidance only as practices will have their own forms. The principle Heads of Terms shown
within the Model Form however set out the matters that all employment contracts should confirm.
Alternatives to Placements
An alternative to placement is NOT elective; it applies ONLY in circumstances where a
student has firstly attempted to secure a placement and has been unsuccessful, and is able
to produce evidence of their having attempted to do so. All students must make every
endeavour to secure a placement and the Department, through the Placements Tutor,
Dyfed Griffiths will assist in this process where particular difficulty is encountered. Placement
periods contribute to your overall degree and therefore, only where ALL alternatives have
been exhausted and it becomes evident that you are unable to find a position for the
duration of the 3-month minimum period required, you must undertake an alternative in
order to gain the necessary credits and complete the academic requirements of the
programme. Please refer also to the following for further guidance:

but note ARB requirements at

You are not permitted to undertake any alternative activity in lieu of placement without
receiving prior written permission from your PSA who may require you to submit evidence of
rejection from practices you have approached before considering your proposal.

Some alternatives are:
   Work on a construction site.
   Undertake a study tour of key buildings and prepare a presentation board/sketch book
   and essay describing your visits and analysing those buildings:
          o The diary and sketchbook will reflect a visit at least one calendar month in
              duration. A high quality of presentation will be required, only a limited amount
              of photographs are permitted. The sketchbook should be supplemented by
              notes and analysis and should demonstrate that you are researching that at
              which you are looking, and not simply drawing it.
          o Some suggestions for sketchbooks may be: a wide-ranging look at a
              region/country; a general comparison of some towns/cities in one country;
              examination of one aspect, such as public or religious buildings, in a number
              of towns/cities.
   Architectural study through measured drawing and report:
          o A set of measured drawings of a fine building of your choice. Your choice of
              subject should include: 1500 word report on the buildings and its significance,
              drawings of the main elevations, plans and sections, detailed drawings, plan,
              section and elevation at 1:5 of the door case and a typical window.
   Work on development projects abroad: with organisations such as VSO, Architects 4 Aid.
   Work for a related discipline such as Interior Design/Computer Visualisation.

Alternatives to the assignments set out below may be put forward but require approval by
the PSA.

A Placement Abroad?
 £    The cost can be considerable - consider if can you afford this, and how you will fund it.
 £    You need to research the cost of all possible expenses such as flights, visa, medical
      insurance and accommodation.
 £    You will need to think of how you will provide additional funds, and you may be asked
      for evidence of funding if you have to make a visa application.
 £    If you are going to Europe on placement at a university then you may be entitled to
      additional travel funding from your LEA or the Erasmus Program - again you need to
      research this.

Hours and Holidays:
      Hours worked in other countries are different than in the UK, you will be expected to fall
      in line with your employers regular hours of work, even if they are longer than in the UK.
      There may also be fewer or different Public Holidays.

      If you are going to be working in another country you will likely need to speak that
      country’s language in order to fully participate in the placement work. The university
      can help you with learning a new language through the Foreign Languages Centre and the Self Access Language
      Centre; although you need to remember that
      it may take some time to learn a new language.

Culture Shock:
     Be aware of your host country’s laws. For example, in the USA the legal age for drinking
     in a bar is 21 in most States and ID is required. If you drink illegally and are involved in any
     kind of accident then your insurance will be invalid.
     You need to think about the culture you'll be going to and do some research on the
     country, climate and customs, and also of any immunisations etc that you will need to
     have: is                 the
     website for the Department of Health and will give you information on vaccinations and
     health precautions and travel advice.
     You need to think about how you'll cope far away from your usual support network, e.g.
     without friends and family.
     You should be prepared for ‘culture shock’ - even if the language is English, the social
     norms may be quite different.

Student Card:
 $    You should consider purchasing an International Student Card (ISIC) as this will give you
      student status in many countries. They are available from the Student Travel shop on
      campus, on production of your NUS card - website is You also
      need to renew your Student Union card.

Driving Licence:
      If you have a driving licence you should take it with you.
      You should also get yourself an International Driving Permit. It takes about two weeks to
      process and costs £4.00; you’ll need a passport-sized photo. Up-to-date information on
      International Driving permits can be obtained from

Insurance and Health Care:
      You will not be allowed to do a placement overseas unless you have full medical
      Make sure you have any dental treatment, medical treatment and eye tests before
      you go and also renew any prescriptions before you go. Take a small tailor-made first
      aid kit with you.
      Students going to Europe need to organise Health Care cover. Students travelling and
      working in the EU should obtain the new European Health Insurance Card. The EHIC
      booklet and application form can be obtained from the Post Office. For further details,
      look                       on                       the                       website
      You are also strongly advised to check carefully the amount of cover for possessions
      and health cover with an insurer. Endsleigh Insurance, which is on campus, provides
      good and affordable cover, though do shop around. If using the mandatory health
      and possessions cover that the USA visa agency require, you may wish to top this up or
      check if your parent’s house insurance and contents policy will provide additional
      cover for you when you are overseas.

Passports and Visas:
      Your passport must be valid for a period after the placement ends. Check via the
      Passport Office the period for the area you are travelling to. Again you have to provide
      a photocopy of your passport details page when you apply for your visa, so do check
      your passport expiry date.
      Never assume that a placement provider overseas can get the visa for you.
      NEVER, EVER book flights that are non-transferable until you have your visa approved;
      your passports stamped, and have received all the relevant documentation.
      PART. It can take MONTHS to get a visa to work in another country.
      Visa requirements will vary and each case will need to be carefully researched.

 ! Research the area. Invest in a good guidebook such as Lonely Planet or Rough Guide.
 ! Take reasonable safety precautions - do not travel alone or on foot if it is dark or late.
     Carry a mobile phone, identification and a personal alarm with you. A small high-
     powered torch is useful. Let someone know your whereabouts.
 !   Set up an email account so you can contact friends and family easily. Buy an
     International calling card so you can phone home, and you may want your family to
     invest in a cheap international account or phone card.
 !   You will probably have to sort out a new mobile phone once you have arrived.
 !   Ensure you can get hold of cash via a credit card, and that you have sorted out banking
     before you depart.
 !   Keep a note of the numbers that you will need to report credit card theft and any other
     emergency numbers; it’s a good idea to have a duplicate copy of these and keep
     them in separate places.
 !   Take 2 photocopies of your passport and insurance documents. Leave one with
     someone responsible at home, and take a copy with you.
 !   When travelling it is a good idea to only keep a small amount of cash on you in case of
     theft, and have cash in several different pockets. Don't carry all your important
     documents together and be vigilant in airports, clubs and crowded places.
 ! Dress and behave appropriately for the country you are going to, and be aware of what is
   and is not appropriate, especially if you are travelling after your placement.


Appendix A: Check List in Preparation for your Placement:

Page                                                                        Tick   when
            Decide on the type of placement you want. Is there a
            particular firm you want to work for/field you want to work
            in/region you want to live in?
            Create a CV and covering letter.
            Approach selected practices.
            Follow up any practices from whom you do not hear with a
            polite letter.
            Prepare for interviews. What kind of questions will you be
            asked/want to ask?
            Attend interview(s).
            Follow up interview(s) promptly with a letter of thanks.
            When your placement is confirmed complete the
            Placement Details Form and return to the Faculty
            Placements Officer, Hannah Samuel. Contact address is
            given on pp4 above.12
            If taking a placement in London, apply for your Oyster Card
            at least 2 months before the start of your placement.
            Find accommodation for the duration of your placement.
            Request your Placement Provider to complete the
            Health and Safety Form and return to the Faculty
            Placements Officer, Hannah Samuel. Contact address is
            given on pp4 above.

Whilst on Placement:

            Complete an Induction with your supervisor.
            Download the PEDR form. This needs to be completed
            throughout your placement.
            Apply for your proof of student status form and forward it to
            the local council for the area in which you are living during
            your placement so that you do not have to pay council tax.
            At the start of the academic year; register with the
            Write your Placement Report throughout your placement.
            Submit by hand or by post your Placement Report and
            your PEDR sheet(s) to the Department office by the
            required submission date13.

   Note: ALL the requisite forms are listed and can be downloaded from the Moodle
   The final submission date for this Unit is confirmed within the Moodle page
After Your Placement:

         Make sure your employer issues you with a P45. This states
         how much national insurance has been paid and is therefore
         evidence of your contributions and that your employer has paid.
         Submit your completed PEDR (1 record sheet only), signed
         by yourself and your employer, together with your
         Placement Report to the Department Office by the required
         submission date.

Appendix B: Useful Resources:
Careers Department
     Careers Department Placements Webpage:
     Careers Department Advice on Applications and Interviews:
     Careers Department schedule of help and advice sessions:

 Students’ Union
     Students’ Union Placement Students Handbook:
     Placement Tutors Forum:

 How to:
     Register with the University:

 Health and Safety
     Health and Safety Information:
     Health and Safety Form:

 Official Bodies

 Working in London?
     Oyster Card Applications:

 Department of Architecture
    Placements Notice board:

 Recruitment websites

     This list is by no means exhaustive nor are these firms recommended by the university,
     they simply represent a sample of what is available to you:
     Info4Study, work placements page:

 Careers Information


 The following books are held by the university library:

 Writing a CV / Interview Techniques

     Ros Jay, The Successful Candidate: How to be the candidate they want to hire
     Rebecca Corfield, Successful Interview Skills: how to present yourself with confidence
     Malcom Peel, Readymade Interview Questions
     Mathew DeLuca, Job Interviews: top answers to tough questions
     Susan Hodgson, Brilliant answers to tough interview questions: smart answers to
     whatever they can throw at you

 Managing your Career

     Ian Herbert, Managing Your Placement, a skills based approach
     Christine Fathom, Work Placements: a survival guide for students
     Stella Cottrell, Skills for Success: the personal development planning handbook
     Lee Harvey, Work Experience: expanding opportunities for undergraduates
     David Chappell, The Architect in Employment
     Rodger K. Lewis, Architect? A candid guide to the profession

Appendix C: Sample CV:

The following is an example of a very good CV. It is shown to almost full size.

                                                                           Contact Details

Contact Details   Contact Details
Contact Details
What needs to be on your CV and usual order:

1. Personal details
• Full name (usually at the top of the document in nice large type). There is no need to use
    the heading CV as it is perfectly obvious what the document is.
• Term and home address and phone numbers for each; mobile phone number.
• Date of birth
2. Education & Qualifications
• Use reverse chronological order, i.e. University first.
• You should describe your degree as follows: ‘University of Bath, Department of
    Architecture and Civil Engineering, BSc (Hons) in General Architectural Studies (RIBA Part
    1)’ (or part 2 for MArch students).
• Courses studied so far. Use a small font to get them across the page. You may wish to
    give your grades or percentages if they are good, but you do not have to.
• You need to show the employer one or two examples of the different skills that you have
    acquired from the following list:
        o   Design ability, showing a few examples of schemes which show you at your best.
        o   Draughting ability such as neatly drawn plans and elevations.
        o   Three dimensional drawings.
        o   Photos of Models.
        o   Examples of your ability to sketch.
        o   Technical Drawing (for example some construction details of buildings you have
        o   Drawings undertaken on other placements.
        o   Presentation sheets such as precedent studies or analysis of famous buildings.
        o   Avoid showing multiple examples of either the same scheme or the same skill
            example from the list above.
• Secondary Education: name of school(s); location (town/county only); dates attended
    (years only). Primary education is not required.
• A levels: subject, year taken and grade, or Access course or A level equivalents OR
• GNVQ/BTEC/International Baccalaureate and grade or overseas qualifications (explain
    grading system briefly, e.g. ‘on a scale of 0-6 where 6 is excellent’).
• GCSEs or equivalent.
• List A levels or GCSEs horizontally to save space. A levels and GCSEs do not really
    differentiate you, as many students will have virtually the same academic credentials, so
    do not use too much space describing these.
• Academic Awards: Prizes or Awards for ‘best student on course’, etc.
3. Work Experience
• Be selective in presentation.
• Slant these towards experiences relevant for your placement (i.e. teamwork, design skills,
• Usually in REVERSE CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER (i.e. most recent first, or the most relevant or
    important experience for a placement)
• Include name of employer; town and type of business if this is not obvious.
• Dates worked (months/year or summer vacation etc.)
• Job title. Then a brief bullet-pointed description of duties and responsibilities. Include
    activities involving teamwork, communicating, negotiating, using initiative, problem
    solving, organisational skills, time management skills/prioritising, leadership,
    understanding and acting on instructions, IT skills, working under pressure and to
• Use ‘action’ verbs e.g. ‘created’, ‘implemented’, ‘organised’; mention any progressive
    increases in responsibility.
• Group together similar or repeat jobs or agency work.
• Give more detail on jobs relevant to Architecture and ‘tease’ out the skills used.
4. Additional Skills
• Include computing qualifications and packages you can use.

•   Languages: Be honest –should be A level or above or a very unusual language to
    warrant a mention and indicate level of competency e.g. fluent spoken and written. If
    you are bi-lingual emphasise these skills.
• First Aid Certificates
• Full, Clean UK driving licence
5. Activities and Responsibilities
• Be selective and think about what this tells someone about you.
• Clubs or Societies (‘for recreational purposes’ is quite acceptable), but if you have a
    specific role or have organised an event for a society, be sure to emphasise this.
• Think widely. Placement providers are seeking evidence of skills and personality, so
    activities showing teamwork, organisational abilities and willingness to assume
    responsibility are those that you should emphasise.
• Mention any prizes or awards (e.g. sports, music, Duke of Edinburgh) and grades
• Travel: Only if self-funded; point this out and include the countries visited.
6. Additional Information
• Only needed to explain gaps in your CV, special circumstances or perhaps why you
    chose to go to University if you are a mature student, or explain change of course. Only
    use if it applies to you.
7. Referees
You should use two referees:
• One must be a university tutor. Include their full title (Dr., Prof if applicable), full address,
    email address and phone number.
• The other another tutor or your manager at work; again full details including phone
    number and email address if known.
• Ask permission before you use a referee and inform them what it will be for. You may
    need to give academic referees details of your grades.

Appendix D: Sample Letter of Enquiry:

                                                               Your Address
                                                               31st February 2020

[name if known]
[job title]
[company name]

Dear [contact name if known] or Dear Sirs if not

BSc in Architecture - Placement

I am a 2nd/3rd year undergraduate student at the Department of Architecture and
Civil Engineering at the University of Bath, currently completing my second/third
year of study for the B.Sc. Architecture (RIBA Part 1) degree. As part of the first
degree curriculum, we are required to undertake a period of experience of a
minimum of 3 months duration in professional practice during the second
semester of this year of study, which is to commence in February 2010.

The Department is unique in offering a thin sandwich academic structure that
allows our practical experience to be regularly interwoven with academic study
over two core years and the placements are therefore an integral and essential
part of our architectural education.

I am particularly interested in your practice and the nature of the work which
you undertake, and I would be pleased to have the opportunity to meet with you
to discuss the prospect of my undertaking this formal period of practical
placement with you.

In this respect I am enclosing a copy of my curriculum vitae together with some
examples of my work, which I trust will be of interest to you.

I am available for interview at a time that may be convenient to you, and I look
forward to hearing from you further in due course

Yours sincerely if personal/Yours Faithfully if to Practice

A Student

Enc. Curriculum Vitae

Appendix E: Questions you might be asked at interview:

    Tell me about yourself. (A very difficult one - where do you start?)
    Why did you choose to do an Architecture degree? Are you enjoying your course?
    What attracted you to Bath University?
    Why did you choose to take a degree here rather than at home? (overseas students)
    Why did you decide to take a year out? What did you learn from your year out?
    What advantages do you think a sandwich course offers you?
    Has the course lived up to your expectations?
    Which topics/areas are you enjoying most at University?
    What group work or team work have you been involved in?
    What have you learnt from group work? What role did you play?
    What do you consider your greatest strength?
    How would your friends describe you?
    If I ask your Head of Department/personal tutor for a reference what will s/he say about
    What are your weaknesses? (You can turn this question to your advantage -one has
    disguised strengths rather than weaknesses.)
    What have you done that has shown initiative?
    What is your greatest achievement to date? What are you most proud of?
    What are you looking for in a placement -what do you want to gain from it? How will a
    placement develop you?
    Why do you think you are suitable for this placement?
    What do you know about this placement/sector?
    What attracts you to this placement and why?
    What are the differences between qualitative and quantitative research, and which do
    you prefer?
    What do you aim to get from your course and your time at University?
    How have you changed since coming to University?
    What has been the most difficult situation you have ever found yourself in -how did you
    cope with it?
    What do you like to do in your spare time?
    What can you offer us?
    What motivates you - in your course or in a job?
    What work do you find boring and/or difficult to cope with (and how do you cope with
    What goals do you have? Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
    What are your career plans?
    What lessons have you learnt from your work experience/job?
    What part do you play in University life and your community? (clubs, teams, voluntary
    work, etc.)
    How are these contributing to your development?
    How do you cope with pressure? How do you manage your time?
    What computer skills do you have?
    Are there any questions you would like to ask us? Is there anything else you would like to
    tell us about yourself? (Useful if you are longing to show relevant work or bring in some
    related skills they have not asked about.)

Also be prepared to talk about specific courses you have taken that may relate to the
placement, or show evidence of interest and reading in their specialist field. Do your
homework on the placement and also on the options in your final year, they may ask what
courses you are hoping to take.

Questions you might wish to ask the employer

    Who will be my supervisor, or to whom will I be responsible?
    Will I be part of a team? Where would I be located (i.e. physical space)?
    Will I have my own project or area of responsibility?
    Is this the first time you have had a student in this particular function?
    How will my work/project be evaluated?
    Will I have an induction or training course? Is there going to be an overlap from the
    previous student? Are there other placement students here?
    Will I be able to gain an overview of how the whole project operates or be able to visit
    different departments or offices?
    Do you recruit graduates from your placement students?
    When will I know if I have been successful in securing this placement?
    When would you want the placement student to start with you?
    Could you give me more information about ... ? (e.g. a specific part of the placement
    brief that has not been discussed fully at the interview.)
    You can also ask questions about any recent developments within the area that shows
    you have done your research.
    Would I have the opportunity to work with engineers, attend meetings or shadow other
                                  members of staff (if this has not been covered at Interview)

You can also ask general questions about expenses/salary, hours of work, holiday
arrangements, accommodation, location and transport, etc. but make sure these are not
the only questions you ask!

Appendix F: Practices that have employed Bath University students in
previous years:

Aaron Evans Architects             Hopper Howe Sadler
Acanthus Ferguson Mann             JCMT Architects
Aedas Architects Ltd               Kohn Pedersen Fox
Alec French Architects             KSS Design Group
Allies and Morrison                Latitude Architects
Amatrix Architects                 Lee Shu Fan Hong Kong
Angus Meek Partnership             Lewandowski Architects
Archiplan sl.                      Living Architects
Archipeleco                        MacCormac Jamieson Pritchard
Ark                                Mackay and Partners London
AWW Architects                     Marek Dziedzic
Axis Architects                    Mitchell Taylor Workshop
B3 Burgess                         MJP Architects
Barton Willmore                    Nash Partnership
BBA Architects                     Nadel Architects, LA
Borana Ranch Ltd                   Nicholas Pearson Associates
Broadway Malyan                    Noma Architects
Building Design Partnership        NPS Property Consultants
Claire McDonald                    NVB Architects
Chedburn Design&Conservation       O'Leary Goss Architects
Christian Garnett Partners         Onuma Inc
Chapman Associates                 Open Arch
Childs and Sulzmann                Parsons Brinckerhoff Ltd
Construct House                    Patel Taylor
David Brain Partnership            Paul Berkemeier Architect
David Kent Architects              Planquadrat
David Morley Architects            Riva Architects
Design Engine Architects           Rogers Stirk Habour & Partners
Design Group Chester               RSP Architects, Singapore
Designscape Architects             Ryder HKS
DSDHA London                       Sami Mousawi
EDAW                               Sanei Hopkins Architects
EPR London                         SNUG Projects
Feilden Clegg                      Stanton Williams
Foster and Partners                Stride Treglown
Genesis Design Studio              Stubbs Rich Architects
GHD, Australia                     Studio Octopi
Grant Associates                   Sutton Griffin Architects
Grimshaw Architects                TP Bennett LLP
Hadfield Associates                Tweed Nuttall Warburton Architects
Hazle McCormack Young LLP          Urban Renewal Authority
Hetreed Ross Architects            WS Atkins
Heyningen and Haward Architects    Watson Bertram & Fell
Holder Mathias Architects

Appendix G: RIBA Suggested activities for Stage 1 Graduates:

1.1 adequate knowledge of the size and               O*    Delivered as part of the Degree course and
relative importance of the construction                    observed in Practice
industry to other sectors of the national +
international economy and the role of the
profession relative to the industry.
1.2 adequate knowledge of the overlapping            O     Client Meetings
interests of organisations representing the built
                                                     O/P   Direct discussion with Special Interest groups
environment and their relation to the role of
                                                           e.g. CABE, English Heritage, BRE, TRADA etc.
the architect
1.3 adequate knowledge of the range of on-           P     Production Information
going    specialist  panels   of   advisory,
                                                     P     Meetings with Statutory Authorities
consultative or government bodies which
have responsibility for developing policies          P     Design Team Meetings and Minutes
which guide or control construction industry
                                                     P     Site Meetings and Minutes
                                                     P     Library Research e.g. BRE, Office of the
                                                           Deputy Prime Minister; European Standards
1.4 adequate knowledge of the principles             O     Delivered as part of the Degree course and
underlying the law which is relevant to                    observed in Practice. Discussions within the
architectural practice + building procurement              Office
1.5 understanding of the social + economic           O     Client Meetings
context   for   investment   in   the  built
                                                     P     Project Appraisals
                                                     P     Feasibility Studies
1.6 understanding of professional conduct +          O     Discussions      with   the   student’s   Practice
the concept of "professionalism" with its                  mentor
relationship to a market economy; the codes
                                                     O     Discussions within the Office
+ standards regulating the profession of
architecture; the roles+ responsibilities of
registration bodies, professional institutes +
interest groups.
2.1 an ability to identify + articulate a client's   O     In-house discussions
brief to meet both 1st user + longer term
                                                     P     Design reviews to which the Client may be
needs + society's concerns for sustainable
                                                     P     Take minutes of Client Briefing meetings
                                                     O/P   Consultation workshops
2.2 an understanding of the client's                 O/P   Attend meetings; take minutes
perspective + an abiltity to communicate
                                                     P     Detailed Design; Working drawings
effectively with each part of the client body,
consultant + project team.                           O     Letter writing
                                                     P     Drawing issue
2.3 an ability to assess the variety +               O     Attendance        at    meetings   and    in-house
appropriateness of project procurement                     discussions

methods + their implications in relation to        P       CPD
client requirements + the architectural +
professional input required.
2.4 an ability to assess the architectural         O       OBSERVING RESOURCES/FINANCE MEETINGS
services required to deliver a project
                                                   O       PROJECT BUDGET PLANS
effectively + the establishment of appropriate
contracts of appointment for all members of
the project team.
2.5 an ability to programme + manage the           P       DRAWING ISSUE, RECEIPT OF INFORMATION,
flow of information among the members of the               LOGGING OF INFORMATION
design team
2.6 an adequate knowledge of appropriate           O
fees, negotiation + fee-bidding techniques,
bearing in mind the funding + procurement
basis for the project, + with reference to other
factors listed below.
2.7 an understanding of relevant statutory         P       PREPARATION OF PLANNING APPLICATIONS;
bodies,     construction   +   development                 MEETINGS WITH AUTHORITIES
legislation + consultative bodies, + their
                                                   O       PREPARATION OF BUILDING REGULATIONS
potential effect on programme, cost + quality
                                                           SUBMISSIONS; MEETINGS WITH AUTHORITES
of design.
                                                   P       VERY   OCCASIONAL      ATTENDANCE        AT
                                                           PLANNING APPEAL (RARE)
2.8 an understanding of legislation on health +    O (P)   ASSIST    PROJECT    ARCHITECT     WITH
safety and its implication on design +                     COMPILATION OF HEALTH + SAFETY FILE (AS-
construction                                               BUILT DRAWINGS, ETC)
                                                   O/P     ASSIST PROJECT ARCHITECT     WITH    RISK
                                                           ASSESSMENTS CPD
2.9 an understanding of methods + standards        P       COMPLIANCE WITH OFFICE       MANUAL      +
intended to ensure + manage quality                        QUALITY ASSURANCE SYSTEM
2.10 an ability to construct the team; to co-      O (P)   WORKING DRAWINGS, CO-ORDINATION OF
ordinate + integrate the work of other                     DESIGN DRAWINGS
consultants + an awareness of the terms of
                                                   O/P     IN-HOUSE DISCUSSIONS
their appointments
                                                   P       RESEARCHING PROJECT FILES
2.11 an ability to operate quality assurance       P       BUDGETARY + PROGRAMME CONTROL AT
procedures which ensure the maintenance of                 STAGE 2 ONLY
design standards + intentions in relation to
budgetary + programme control.
2.12 an ability to analyse the appropriateness     P       AT ALL PROJECT STAGES DETAILED SKETCHES,
+ completeness for its purpose of forms of                 PLANNING       DRAWINGS,       WORKING
documentation including written and graphic                DRAWINGS, AS-BUILT DRAWINGS
2.13 an awareness of technical standards +         P       LIBRARY FILING
sources of specialist information
                                                   P       WORKING DRAWINGS
                                                   P       TECHNICAL RESEARCH
                                                   O       SPECIFICATION RESEARCH + PREPARATION
                                                           (DEPENDENT ON SIZE OF PROJECT)
2.14 an ability to communicate effectively         O

with the full client body + an understanding of
methods of reporting.

3.1 an understanding of project planning,            O     ASSIST IN DRAWING         UP    PROGRAMMES
documentation + execution.                                 PREPARED BY OTHERS
                                                     P     RECORDING OF INFORMATION ISSUED AND
                                                           RECEIVED, FILING (SOMEONE HAS TO DO IT!)
3.2 an understanding of the range of methods         O     ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS - IN HOUSE + WITH
of building procurement, tender types +                    CLIENT, - MINUTE TAKING
codes of practice for procedure, + the
                                                           SPECIFICATION WRITING UNDER SUPERVISION
creation     of  appropriate     pre-contract
                                                           (STAGE 2) - EG PRELIMINARIES.
3.3 an ability to analyse contract types +           O     TEAM DISCUSSIONS WITHIN THE OFFICE
assess their implications for time, cost, quality,
information flow + the procedures related to
3.4 adequate knowledge of site organisation,         O     MINUTE TAKING AT PRE-CONTRACT MEETING
mobilisation    +    the    establishment      of          + CONTRACT PROGRESS MEETINGS
appropriate lines of communication in relation
                                                     P     CDM
to the specific responsibilities of the building
team.                                                O     Reading Tender returns/Reports
3.5 an ability to assess + organise a quality        O     Stage 2: Assist Project Architect
control + programming system in relation to
the architect's role in administering the
building process
3.6 an ability to use architect's instructions +     O     AT    STAGE   2:   DRAFT  ARCHITECT'S
certificates appropriately, + be aware of                  INSTRUCTIONS,   PAYMENT  CERTIFICATES,
procedures for the assessment + valuation of               CONSIDER CLAIMS, ALL TO BE CAREFULLY
claims                                                     CHECKED + SIGNED OFF BY PROJECT
3.7 an understanding of the implications of                Completion of Contract forms in conjunction
collateral agreements such as the nomination               with the Project Architect
of sub-contractors + the position of domestic
sub-contractors, suppliers, manufacturers +
statutory undertakings in relation to contract
3.8 an understanding of risk management in                 Reading project files; in-house discussions.
relation to construction + consultants'                    CPD
contracts, liabilities, indemnities + insurance +
awareness mechanisms such as public
indemnity insurance to deal with liabilities.
3.9 adequate knowledge of methods of                       IN-HOUSE DISCUSSIONS
decision making + dispute resolution,
including    techniques  such   as    value
engineering,       value      management,                  STAGE   2:  PARTICIPATION           IN   VALUE
conciliation, adjudication, arbitration +                  ENGINEERING MEETINGS
3.10 an understanding of post-completion             O/P   IN-HOUSE REVIEWS CLIENT QUESTIONNAIRES/
assessment + appraisal + methods of de-                    DE-BRIEFING MEETINGS KEY PERFORMANCE
briefing.                                                  INDICATORS, DQI, ETC.

3.11 an ability to create maintenance              P   COMPILATION OF AS-BUILT INFORMATION -
manuals + post-completion information for              DRAWINGS,        MAINTENANCE/PRODUCT
clients + building users.                              INFORMATION, ETC. - UNDER SUPERVISION OF
                                                       PROJECT ARCHITECTS
4.1 adequate knowledge of the resources                Reading Project Files
(technical,     financial,    personnel, etc)
                                                       ATTENDANCE         AT   TEAM      RESOURCES
necessary in order to offer professional
services for a particular project.
                                                       Discussions with Resources manager
4.2 an ability to use, and to assess the use of,   P   CAD Drawing
information technology in architectural
                                                   P   PREPARATION        OF          PRESENTATIONS
practice for design, administration, planning +
                                                       (POWERPOINT, ETC.)
programming to assist both the architect + the
client.                                            P   OFFICE-BASED ELECTRONIC RECORDING
                                                       SYSTEMS (DRAWING ISSUE, RECEIPT, ETC.)
                                                   O   ASSIST PROJECT          ARCHITECT       WITH
4.3 an understanding of different forms of         O   Office Discussions
architectural practice, for example, sole
trader, partnership, company, consortium or
joint venture, + their respective legal
4.4 adequate knowledge of the internal             O   Extension of 4.3
structures + organisations appropriate to
different forms of architectural + multi-
disciplinary practice.
4.5 adequate knowledge of the skills required      O   Office Discussions
for the management of people within an
organisation + a basic appreciation of
motivation, group dynamics, staff appraisal +
reward structures.
4.6 adequate knowledge of the techniques +         O   Office Discussions
context required to create an effective +
efficient ongoing environment for practice.

* O = Observer; P = Participant


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