The D-Lab Architectural Apprentice Accelerator will be a series of education and mentoring programmes in Newham, East London where local AS level students will be introduced to some of the key skills architectural assistants require alongside support in finding employers who deliver the apprenticeship scheme.
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What is the architectural assistant apprenticeship?
The RIBA Architectural Assistant Apprenticeship is a new route to becoming a qualified architect through a combination of work and study. The new scheme was introduced in 2018 to offer all students an opportunity to complete their part one qualification.

Read more about the degree.
How does the accelerator support this scheme?
In order to apply for the apprenticeship scheme you must first find an accredited employer who will support your application. Our research has shown that many students find the process of finding an employer difficult, especially if they have no architectural core skills that will add value to the business in the short term.

Stages 1 - 3

Core Skills

History and theory
Urban design and planning
Construction and engineering

Stages 3 - 6


Presentation skills
3D Printing
Model Making

The programme is designed to give students an overview of what is involved in architectural practice and give them the opportunity to develop a professional portfolio of creative work and basic working skills valued within the industry.

Skills development

Core skills should relate to those that are in high demand from employers and give the students an introduction to some of the tools that architects use and what they will be expected to study during the degree.

Portfolio development

It's expected that students will need to submit a portfolio of work for consideration when applying for the degree. This part of the course will give students access to mentor-ship, tools, and training to complete a portfolio project including model design and drawings.


All students are supported throughout the programme by qualified architects who will offer support in finding employment through CV writing and references.

There are some key skills that architects require that are not always taught in an educational environment. Public speaking, negotiating skills, and confidence are all important and we will endeavor to provide training to help individuals discuss and defend their work.


Register to partner with the scheme and get access to a talented and diverse cohort of students with a passion for architecture and skills to match.


Contact us to find out more about the accelerator and guidelines for application.


Join our teaching or mentoring team and help improve socioeconomic diversity in the architectural profession.

"Without D-Lab and Kirkland Fraser Moor I wouldn’t be completing my RIBA Part 1 as I cannot afford to purse my career via the traditional route. The ability to qualify and gain experience in practice while having access to a makerspace has distinct advantages over university routes. However, I was lucky - most people trying to enter the industry at Apprentice-level lack the skills to apply for what is effectively a Part 1 Architectural Assistant position before they have even started the course.”"

Stephen Pearcy
Architectural Apprentice | Berkhamsted

"Thank you so much for my work experience the past 2 weeks, I have really enjoyed myself and have developed and learnt skills which will come in beneficial over the years to come. The experience has inspired me to want to do architecture even more!"

Louise Holden
Architectural Work Experience | Berkhamsted

"I am very appreciative of the work experience I was able to carry out last week. Yourself and everyone at D-Lab gave me invaluable knowledge and advice throughout the week and I feel that I have gained confidence in how I conduct myself in a workplace environment and my choice in studying Architecture at University. Moreover, the opportunity to use equipment and software not usually available at school such as the WASP printer and Cura has been an amazing learning process"

James Burkhalter
Architectural Work Experience | Berkhamsted


2021 - 2022 PROGRAMME

Join us and learn how to design, build and live on the edge of the possible and then come back home and join in reshaping our world for the benefit of people, places and planet.  

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An architecture & design programme in the community of East Village, Stratford. The primary aim is to assist and empower those seeking to enter careers in architecture & design by engaging with a cross section of design and fabrication experiences.

Our programme will involve learning new digital skills, visiting construction sites and architects offices, developing designs and preparing portfolio content.


1 Mirabelle Gardens, East Village, Stratford, E20 1BP


Summer 2021 - Summer 2022


Our brief is to design a Mars Habitat Unit. Participants will gain an understanding for creating healthy living systems using digital technology and minimal resource. Lessons and insights learned will be valuable for future participation in problem solving within more local 21st C design challenges. All course content will be grounded within the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as set out by the  UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Charter.


Although the A^3 programme focuses primarily on individuals considering a career in architecture, those looking into other options within creative industries will also be very welcome to apply.

This opportunity is for ambitious AS & A level students, tertiary education students and those interested in starting a career in architecture.  Participants must have an interest in design, drawing and making, as well as having a basic level of skill with digital drawing tools. Access to a laptop computer will be required and  Sketchup should be installed ahead of the programme.

Places are limited and those shortlisted will be selected to participate in a short informal interview process before the final individuals are selected.

The programme is offered free of charge.

D-Lab operates and encourages an inclusive policy.