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MEng, BEng Architecture

Prescribed until 10 May 2022

The Board at its meeting of 11 September 2018  decided that the University of Leeds MEng, BEng Architecture qualification should be prescribed until 10 May 2022 under section 4(1)(a) of the Architects Act 1997 for the purposes of entry onto the United Kingdom Register of Architects.

Prescription of the qualification is subject to the standard conditions set out in Section 2.11 of the Board’s procedures, namely:

  • The University of Leeds’ MEng, BEng Architecture (4 years, full-time; 5 years, full-time with placement year); qualification should be prescribed for the period 10 May 2018 – 10 May 2022;
  • Prescription of the qualification shall be by reference to the Programme Specification for the MEng, BEng Architecture (4 years, full-time; 5 years, full-time with placement year) qualification.  No change may be made to the title of any course or qualification or substantial change to the content so defined within that programme specification (allowing for normal course development) without first obtaining the written permission of the Board;
  • Annually by 1 October each year, commencing on 1 October 2018, the institution will be required to provide the Board with information of the nature set out in Appendix 2 of its procedures to enable the Board to see that i. all its criteria and the relevant requirements set out in Article 46 (or Article 47) of the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive [2005/36/EC] are being attained by students who have been awarded the qualification prescribed; ii. adequate systems are in place to ensure that all the Board’s criteria will be met by students for the period of prescription; iii. that the institution’s resources remain as set out in its application and are adequate; and iv. all of the factors referred to at paragraphs 6.6 and 6.7 of the procedures continue to be demonstrated; and
  • The institution will ensure that appropriate procedures will be maintained so that all students undertaking a prescribed qualification are fully informed of the extent of the application of that qualification to entitlement to registration as an architect in circumstances in which the student lacks a required antecedent qualification e.g. Part 2 without Part 1.

In addition to the standard conditions of prescription, the Board decided that the following additional conditions of prescription would be applicable to the qualifications under Section 3.5 of the Board’s procedures.

  • On an annual basis, the institution must provide the Board with evidence that it has given appropriate written warnings (in a form acceptable to the Board) that the Board may not be able to secure the successful listing of the qualification under Annex V of the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive and as a consequence individuals holding the qualification may not be eligible for automatic recognition under the terms of the Professional Qualifications Directive. The warnings required are to be received by each and every student both prior to their acceptance of an offer of a place on the course and again prior to the awarding of the prescribed qualification.
  • The institution will ensure that appropriate procedures will be maintained so that all students undertaking the prescribed qualification are fully informed of the extent of the application of that qualification to entitlement to registration as an architect in circumstances in which the student lacks a required subsequent or additional qualification e.g. Part 2
  1. The Board’s reasons

The Board also noted that there was sufficient evidence in the material submitted in support of the application as supplemented by the institution’s additional explanations to enable it to be confident that:

  • the course proposal, including the educational aims, the intended learning outcomes, the assessment criteria etc., have been designed with the clear aim of ensuring that all those who receive the qualification meet all the Criteria;
  • the institution has adequate systems in place to ensure that students awarded the qualification meet all the Criteria; and
  • the institution has adequate resources to maintain and where appropriate increase the achievements of students in meeting the Criteria.

The Board agreed that the institution had provided it with reasonable assurance that the MEng, BEng Architecture qualification met the Board’s requirements in relation to student’s ability to meet the Criteria; that appropriate systems were in place to ensure student attainment of the Criteria; and that appropriate resourcing was in place.

The Board was not satisfied that the qualification provided three of four years of study for which either taken collectively or individually the principal component was architecture.

The Board was satisfied that the architectural component of the qualification was equivalent to that required as being the principal component of a three year Part 1 course but spread over four years.

The Board was satisfied that the principal component of the third and fourth years of study was architecture but it appeared that the architectural component of the first and second years may not be regarded as principal for Directive purposes.  This made the future acceptance of the qualification as Directive compliant (in accordance with guidance) by the European Commission uncertain. It may only be accepted as evidencing two years of the required five years of architectural study rather than the three years normally provided by a prescribed Part 1 qualification.

The Board agreed to prescribe the MEng, BEng Architecture qualification on an exceptional basis with the addition of a special condition whereby the University of Leeds must make clear to all students undertaking the MEng, BEng Architecture qualification that the Board may not be able to secure the successful listing of the qualification under Annex V of the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive and as a consequence individuals holding the qualification may not be eligible for automatic recognition  under the terms of the Professional Qualifications Directive.

The Board agreed that an exception could be made in this instance, because although the Board had a lower level of assurance that the qualification would comply with the principally in architecture component of Article 46 of the Directive, there remained the possibility that the European Commission would approve the qualification for listing under Annex V of the Directive.

The Board agreed that in this instance it was exceptionally accepting a lower level of assurance from an institution that a qualification would be accepted in due course as compliant with Directive requirements. The Board’s reasons were:

  1. The Board did have assurance that over the four years of the course coverage was sufficient to be equivalent to the architectural content of a prescribed three year Part 1;
  2. In the Board’s opinion the dilution of the architectural content in the first two years of the course was insufficient materially to undermine the assurance of overall architectural content required for a Part 1 prescribed qualification;
  3. If the qualification was rejected by the European Commission, prescription could be revisited going forward;
  4. The University could adequately protect the position of students by warnings;
  5. Previously similar courses had been accepted by the European Commission although it had not been possible to obtain any confirmation that a comparable new qualification would still be acceptable;
  6. The minority subject was engineering which although not architecture was a usefully related area of study;
  7. If the qualification was rejected under the Directive the Board would be able to consider the rationale for such rejection very carefully to ensure that the merits of any such decision were appropriately scrutinised;
  8. The number of recipients of the qualification could be expected to be sufficiently few to allow effective monitoring of the required warnings in the period until the qualification came to be considered under the Directive;
  9. The time period before automatic recognition was relevant to holders of this qualification would be at least several years and the position in relation to the UK’s relationship with the EU at that time was uncertain; and
  10. The Board reaffirmed for the present its policy that prescribed qualifications should support automatic recognition and that the Board generally required reasonable assurance when considering new qualifications that they would be recognised by the Commission as complying with the requirements of the Professional Qualifications Directive.

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