Careers Service Occupations

Architecture, Planning & Landscape

Architecture, Planning and Landscape


Careers advice



Planning & urban design


Industry news


Planning & urban design


Professional bodies

These represent people working in the sector, providing training and networking opportunities. They often provide careers support for students and graduates. They also provide development for people already working in the sector. Follow them on LinkedIn, or visit their websites for news, contacts, work experience and vacancies.

The main professional associations for this sector include:


Planning & urban design


Find professional bodies outside of the UK on GoinGlobal by selecting ‘Professional and Personal Networking’ on each of the individual country guides. 

Making contacts

Making contacts is essential for success in this sector. Many jobs in this field come through networking and speculative applications. You could start with:

Social media, particularly LinkedIn and Twitter, is useful for making contacts, finding employers and opportunities. Find out more about how to use social media for your career.


Recruitment fairs, open days, talks and events give insights and opportunities to make contacts. Regular events organised by the Careers Service include Employer & Sector Insights and Recruitment Events.

Related sectors

You may also be interested in Property and Surveying and Civil Engineering, Geomatics and Construction, or see our other Explore Occupations pages for more options.

Roles & Skills

Have a look at the job profiles in this sector on Prospects and targetjobs to find out more about what these roles involve and how to get into them. These are just some of the profiles available:


Planning & urban design


Skills employers look for

  • strong design, drawing and drafting skills
  • a creative approach, paired with an analytical mind and strong problem-solving skills 
  • practical skills with the ability to work with accuracy and attention to detail
  • project management, organisational and planning skills
  • IT skills and a proficiency in computer-aided design software
  • leadership and the ability to work effectively in a team

Gaining Experience

Getting into architecture, planning and landscape is competitive. Work experience is invaluable in developing relevant skills. It also demonstrates your interest and commitment to recruiters.


Several large companies offer internships, for example, Aaron Evans Architects and Aukett Swanke. Applications generally open around September, with closing dates as early as October and November.

For more information see:

Post-Part 1 Placements

Completing a Post-Part 1 placement is an important stage in progressing your career as an architect. Some graduates resume their studies on a part-time basis, balancing the completion of their Part 2 with part-time work.  

Finding placements 
Placements are advertised on the following websites:

You may also find opportunities advertised in local press and technical journals. Newspapers which North East practices use to advertise vacancies include The Journal, Evening Chronicle, Evening Gazette, and the Northern Echo.

Many practices accept speculative applications for Post-Part 1 placements. Find companies that interest you and get in touch, ideally with a named contact. Be specific about why you are writing to them and what you’re looking for. 

To apply speculatively;

  • Research any employers that interest you. You could search the Architects Registration Board directory of members for registered architects in the area you would like to work in.
  • Send them a tailored CV, cover letter, and portfolio. Find out if they want a hard copy or a digital copy of your portfolio. 
  • Give the practice a couple of weeks to respond to your application. If you do not hear from them, contact them, preferably by telephone, to find out if they’ve had the opportunity to consider your application. Keeping in touch will show that you are interested and can help build a positive impression.

See the making applications tab for advice on how to create a professional portfolio and CV, and how to impress at interview.

Overseas opportunities
Securing a placement overseas can count towards your Post-Part 1 professional experience, on the condition that you are supervised by a registered architect. 

If you want to look for placements outside of Europe, you will have to consider the visa regulations for the country you would like to work in. Some employers or work placement providers may arrange, or help you to arrange, your visa. If you are responsible for arranging your own visa, start by checking out the information on Prospects country profiles, but for the most up to date information visit the embassy or consulate website for the country you are interested in.

Finding international practices

International placement providers:

  • IAESTE – international work experience, including architectural placements
  • – sometimes advertise architecture internships
  • Finding work experience – links to additional international work experience providers

You could also enter competitions to boost your CV. 

Planning & urban design

Getting into town planning is competitive. Relevant ways of getting experience could include:

  • internships with large companies, for example, Savills and DHA (openings around September)
  • planning assistant jobs, which allow you to gain extensive experience but are competitive
  • administrative jobs in planning departments, advertised on sites such as Local Government Jobs or jobsgopublic
  • volunteering for organisations such as Planning Aid England where opportunities include consultancy and community engagement

RTPI offer guidance on finding and applying for work placements in the UK. 

Finding companies / public sector departments

Find companies that interest you and get in touch, always with a named contact. Be specific about why you are writing to them and what you’re looking for.

Show your enthusiasm for the sector and highlight any relevant skills. Don’t give up if you don’t get a reply – follow up with a phone call or email to show that you’re keen.

Try the following sites to find planning consultancies to approach:

Use the following directories for contact details of local government planning teams:

You could also consider approaching government departments or other organisations with responsibility for planning, land use, or related areas such as protecting the natural environment, for example:

Other types of employers you could gain relevant experience with include:


Volunteering with non-profit environment and landscape organisations can help you to develop relevant skills. For example, Groundwork have projects to get involved in. 

Finding companies

Speculative applications are commonly used to gain landscape architecture experience.

Search for government departments, traders and non-profit organisations to contact using the following resources:

Specialist recruitment agencies

Finding Jobs

Competition is strong, especially for entry-level positions.

Use the following resources to find advertised vacancies and research employers for speculative applications.

Vacancy sites


Find jobs and additional vacancy source websites outside of the UK on GoinGlobal

Graduate & entry level jobs

Public sector jobs

Opportunities for employment within property and construction are commonplace within the public sector. Use the following specialist websites to help you look for opportunities in this area:


Also see vacancy sources listed under 'general'.


Also see vacancy sources listed under 'architecture' and 'general'.

Planning & urban design

Also see vacancy sources listed under 'architecture' and 'general'.

Specialist recruitment agencies

Finding companies

Find companies that interest you and get in touch, always with a named contact. Be specific about why you are writing to them and what you’re looking for. Show your enthusiasm for the sector and highlight any relevant skills. Don’t give up if you don’t get a reply – follow up with a phone call or email to show that you’re keen.

Find organisations on My Career - click on ‘search organisations’ under the Vacancies tab



Planning & urban design

Try the following sites to find planning consultancies to approach:

Use the following directories for contact details of local government planning teams:

You could also consider approaching government departments or other organisations with responsibility for planning, land use, or related areas such as protecting the natural environment, for example:

Other types of employers you could gain relevant experience with include:

See Researching Employers for more information on finding organisations.

Study & Training

Entrance into these sectors typically requires a university degree or professional qualification.


To become a qualified architect it generally takes seven years of study and training. The standard route is:

  • Part 1: a BA or BSc-approved degree in architecture generally completed in three years
  • Stage 1 practical experience: 12 months recorded practical experience under a qualified architect or construction specialist
  • Part 2: a BArch, Diploma or MArch degree generally completed in two years
  • Stage 2 practical experience: another 12 months recorded practical experience. This makes up 24 months needed for part 3.
  • Part 3: a final qualifying examination in professional practice and management

Once you've completed all parts, you can register with the Architects Registration Board (ARB).

See Gaining Experience for more information about finding and applying for post-part 1 placements.

For further information see:

In 2018 RIBA introduced degree apprenticeships as a route to become an Architects Assistant (level 6) and an Architect (level 7). The apprenticeships combine practical experience in the workplace with academic training.


Graduates enrolling on RIBA accredited Part 2 courses are usually classed as ‘continuing students’ and remain eligible for student finance, including grants and loans, to support their studies.

Students who started their Part 1 course before 2012 will be subject to maximum tuition fees and fee loans of £3,465 for the Part-2 course, even if they switch to a different institution.

The exceptions to this are if you:

  • change your mode of study (i.e. from full-time to part-time)
  • move outside of the UK for study
  • take more than a 3-academic years break between Parts 1 and 2

Students who started their Part-1 course after 2012 will be subject to maximum tuition fees and fee loans of £9,000 for the Part-2 course, even if they switch to a different institution.

RIBA have information about funding on their website.

The UKCISA website provides comprehensive information on fees, funding and student support for international students in the UK.

The institution you are applying to should be able to provide you with more information about any support or funding you may be eligible for.  The departments most likely to be able to offer advice related to funding are admissions, student finance or the relevant school office.


To become a qualified landscape architect, you will need to complete a degree accredited by the Landscape Institute (LI). The degree takes four years.

If you have a degree that isn’t accredited, you can complete a LI postgraduate conversion course, taking up to two years to complete. The entry requirements for a conversion course can vary depending on the university. Check with each university to find out.  

For further information, see the ChooseLandscape careers website from the LI. This includes information on accredited courses.

Planning & urban design

For most careers in town planning and urban design, you will need a qualification accredited by the RTPI.

See Further Study for more information on finding, funding and applying for courses or come and talk to an adviser. No appointment is needed.  


Applications for roles in architecture, urban design and landscape architecture follow the same main principles as any other sector. However, you’ll also be expected to show examples of your work, design skills and creativity. Read on to find out how.

CVs and covering letters 

Our CV and covering letter pages offer advice on what to include, relevance and order of information and how to tailor to a specific employer.

You might also want to include images of your work, or present your information in a more creative style. This can be a positive way to showcase your design skills, but make sure that your CV remains easy to read and that the style or visuals are not replacing important information.

Some employers ask their staff to create professional CVs to be sent to potential clients. Check company websites to see if any staff CVs are visible, as this can help you understand their CV preferences, and give you an advantage when tailoring your application.

Our Architecture CV example (PDF: 1MB) can give you an idea of the type of written content to include, although it has a standard layout and doesn't include images. We also have an Accessible version (Architecture) (PDF: 172KB).

For inspiration on showcasing design skills, you could search for real CVs on, though they may not follow the main CV principles that we would recommend. You can also find articles and advice on creating architecture CVs on RIBA Jobs: CV and cover letters.

We offer more help with CVs, including individual feedback. You can book a CV appointment, or send us your CV for written feedback, via MyCareer.

Professional Portfolios

A professional portfolio should be easy for the employer to understand. Paper-based portfolios should be no larger than A3 and no longer than 16 pages, digital portfolios should be kept below 5MB if sending by e-mail.

Think about your audience:

  • What type of practice is it?
  • What work do they do?
  • Who are their clients?
  • Do they have a particular design style?

Be selective about what to include. Employers won’t have time to look through all the academic or extra-curricular work you’ve done, so it’s important to create impact with your most relevant designs.

Remember to put the work you consider to be your best towards the front of the portfolio to help make a strong first impression, rather than simply featuring projects in chronological order.

Aim to demonstrate a variety of skills within your portfolio. Include sketches, CAD drawings, elevations, photographs of models etc.

Your academic and personal tutors can offer advice and feedback when creating your professional portfolio. The following guides can help you get started:


Take a copy of your portfolio with you. If you’re taking a digital portfolio, make sure facilities will be available to view it. If you’re taking a physical portfolio, make sure it’s a manageable and appropriate size, both in terms of dimensions and length.

You may be asked to deliver a verbal presentation of your portfolio. This includes explaining your thinking, ideas, and the process behind your various pieces of work.

It’s helpful to think about what you want to achieve from the role in terms of your personal and professional development. Practices want to know that you are focussed, committed and worth investing in; they also want to know that you have realistic expectations.

The case studies below offer interview advice from employers. We offer support with preparing for interviews, including opportunities to practise.

Case studies

Employers have their own criteria when recruiting. Here you will find case studies from a range of employers about what they like to see in application forms, portfolios and interviews.