The RIBA has revealed plans for a fundamental shake-up of architectural education.
The RIBA Council will discuss extraordinary proposals to hugely expand the way architecture courses are accredited at a pivotal meeting in Newcastle next week.
Crucially, the plans could render the distinction between Part 1 and Part 2 redundant, allowing more flexibility in how architects qualify.
If given the green light, the proposals would allow students to gain credit - which could be put towards a professional qualification - for work carried out in architectural practices.
This move could come into effect as early as 2008.
The RIBA is aiming to counteract the discrepancy between the number of students enrolling in Part 1 and Part 2 courses, which it partly attributes to the growing financial costs of studying architecture.
The architecture body claims this financial burden will get much heavier after the introduction of top-up fees this autumn.
The proposals also aim to foster closer links between schools and practices.
Simon Allford, RIBA vice president for education, said: 'The two worlds of practice and academia have grown apart.
'Let's try and allow positive new models to emerge. Ultimately we are interested in architecture. I think there's plenty of room for life to change and move on.' by Rob Sharp