The journey of a budding architect...

8th January 2021

Sam Ocock has reached a moment in his career he has been eagerly waiting for; he has just passed his part 3 and is now registered with the ARB; he can officially call himself a qualified Architect.  Eight years of study, professional practice, collaboration, listening and learning and he’s finally arrived at the beginning of his lifetime career in the architectural industry. Here’s Sam’s story about his journey and some key factors to his success…

Sam began his architectural education in 2012, enrolling on the MEng Architecture and Environmental Design course at the University of Nottingham. The MEng course is one of few in the country which also explores environmental services, sustainable design, building performance and occupancy comfort. The engineering aspect of the course naturally appealed to Sam, given his strengths in mathematics, physics and design, whilst helping to inform his creative design approach. Whilst progressing through the course Sam began to recognise that creating new places and spaces is primarily formed through engaging with the lives of the people who will use and occupy them and isn’t just about creating a building or structure.

His interest in ‘people focused’ architecture led him to IDP where he undertook a summer placement in 2018 whilst completing his Part 2. Although only 3 months, Sam worked on a multitude of projects in sectors such as residential, commercial and healthcare. The exposure to real life projects proved to be an invaluable experience for Sam and furthered his knowledge of working within the architectural profession. This experience combined with working at IDP’s city centre office provided inspiration for his thesis project “Automotive Manufacturing in Coventry, A study of the factory typology and how its effective implementation can lead to culture-led urban regeneration’.

Sam proposed an autonomous car factory within the heart of Coventry, allowing him to explore abstract ideas which culminated in a well-resolved masterplan and building proposal which incorporated many of the ideas he had generated throughout his education and time in practice. Having graduated in the summer of 2019 and received a commendation for the university architectural drawing prize, Sam returned to IDP as a full-time member of staff with support from the practice to embark on his Part 3 qualifications.


The Part 3 course consists of a number of assessment criteria including 24 months of recorded practical experience, a professional CV and career evaluation, coursework assignments, a case study and written and oral examinations. Sam felt supported by IDP throughout his year out with knowledge and advice given from colleagues across multiple teams and projects. His case study project at Sherbourne Fields SEND School was an incredibly useful experience which saw him act as job runner and architectural lead for the refurbishment works of the hydrotherapy swimming pool and external courtyard. Sam was exposed to the majority of the RIBA Plan of Work Stages and saw his knowledge, skill and confidence grow throughout thanks to the mentorship of his Directors. Sam gained good insight to understand the roles and responsibilities of an architect and prepared him well for his written and oral examinations.


Having recently completed his final exams, Sam was delighted to learn that he had successfully passed the Part 3 course. In his own words  ‘it was an incredibly challenging but highly rewarding experience and I am grateful to IDP for the knowledge, experience and support they have provided me throughout the last 12 months.’ Sam’s hard work, willingness to learn and ability to keep growing will stand him in good stead for his future as an architect.

Investing in young, talented people like Sam is at the heart of what IDP stands for. Our people are our greatest asset, driving our creativity and innovation. This symbiosis is the key to all of our success.