The core of the year is practice-based research and associated design exploration, with a practice-based design research project leading onto a design exploration of your research findings. Specialist research modules during this year in practice will give you valuable practice-led research skills for your future career.
Building Case Study
This module provides the opportunity for you to develop your understanding of the nature and context of architectural practice, particularly focusing on how environmental principles, strategies, and technologies inform the design and development of buildings.
During your extended period in practice,you will become more aware of the range of skills and knowledge that inform the design and construction of buildings, and of the different professions such as acousticians, lighting specialists and environmental designers that contribute to this process.
This module requires you to apply this knowledge in the critical appraisal of a building case study of their choice that draws upon the experience gained from practical experience, and the knowledge obtained from distance-based learning via the Moodle platform.
The analysis of a building either currently being developed by practice, or via post occupancy evaluation of a practice scheme is encouraged by the University.
The study will develop from an integrative and holistic perspective and explore professional knowledge centred on how environmental design and technologies have informed the design outcomes of the selected building.
Culture and Context in Practice
This seminar module aims to support the development of architectural thinking to an advanced level through a critical examination of architectural culture.
It offers the opportunity to support the Architectural Research Study by contextualising the chosen area of research being undertaken in the co-requisite module, Architectural Research Study in the broader theoretical and culture context of architecture.
The alternative to this is to develop a separate piece of theoretical work in line with the on campus version of this module, Design, Culture and Context.
The work will be developed in liaison with the practice mentor and the module convenor, and allows you to develop a literature review and/or propose a relevant research method for further research exploration and will be supported by a series of humanities / theory lectures delivered on MOODLE -the university's online learning platform.
Architectural Research Study
The research study is at the heart of the new course and offers a unique opportunity for Part 2 students to take an active role in developing practice research, with the space for practice to explore research topics that may be inaccessible in a commercial operating environment.
The topic of the study is to be defined by student and practice. Importantly, there are no defined limits on the choice of topic, with the only criteria being that the university is comfortable that the research study is deliverable within the given timeframe.
You will be offered teaching in a range of architectural research methods, before being guided through the preparation of their research study by the university teaching and research team. Although the research study will be led by practice, all academic guidance and tutoring will be given by the university, augmented where relevant and agreed by university research staff.
The aspiration of the module is that wider peer review dialogue will be formed with other likeminded and interested practice partners, and that the outputs from the reports will be publishable to a wider audience.
Live Design Studio
This design studio aims to develop your core design, critical thinking and application skills as prescribed by the ARB/RIBA for Part II students via a live design project founded on practice / client interests.
It is structured to link with co-requisite modules, Professsional Studies in Practice and Applied Architectural Technology covering professional studies and environment and technology modules, to deliver a holistic design development experience encompassing multiple facets of the profession.The output of these modules collectively is a Comprehensive Design Project supported by professional and technical reports.
You will have the opportunity to identify a site, brief and typology emerging from your research study, by which they can further explore their research conclusions through an architectural solution. The aim is to continue live practice investigative work, drawing learning from continued practice and client engagement as the design develops.
To meet the required level of rigour and complexity, the proposal must meet core brief objectives in terms of project scale, complexity of programme and urbanity of place. If criteria are unable to be met the brief will revert to the MArch Comprehensive Design Project (K14ADS) brief in order ensure that Learning Outcomes are met. The studio will be structured around a design process that leads progressively from analytical investigations into site, programme and context, through synthesis of a summary concept, which is ultimately applied towards resolving a complex building programme.
With an emphasis on an integrative design approach, you are encouraged to test emerging proposals during each work stage, and to draw on specialist technical and environmental design and professional studies workshops and tutorials input from co-requisite modules, Professsional Studies in Practice and Applied Architectural Technology.Teaching support is provided to augment the relevant knowledge and skills that will enable you to develop and represent their architectural proposals.
Reflective Practice Portfolio
This module is focussed on your continuation Part 1 work experience in architectural practice.This formative period of collaboration between education and practice is an important period for acquiring professional attitudes, working in a live studio setting, and developing the ability to make decisions based on knowledge and applied skills.
This module focuses on reflective evaluation of these years in practice, including both the professional and design skills development of the student, and a reflection of the impact of the research study on the host practice.The reflective evaluation of practice is based around the recording of practical training, presentation of a developmental portfolio of studio work undertaken in practice and reflection upon the learning experience.
During your time in practice, you will be expected to record your practical experience, and evaluate and monitor your performance. At the end of the period in practice, you will submit PEDR records for assessment, along with a reflective statement about the overall practice experience and a portfolio of design work demonstrating your progression during this period.
Environment and Technology 2
Following on from Environment and Technology 1, this lecture-based module aims to develop your practical knowledge and understanding of the environmental, construction, structural and technological dimensions of architectural design.
The module is designed to support practical applications in the studio, reinforcing skills in the integrative nature of architectural design.
You’ll have a two-hour lecture and a three-hour workshop each week.
Professional Studies in Practice
The course will give an overview of architectural practice, with particular emphasis on legal frameworks, forms of contract, and structure of architect’s services (RIBA Work Stages) with an emphasis on more complex client relationships, project partnering, joint venture working.
Lectures and workshops will cover construction law, building regulations and planning law. All delivered content will be streamed to co-ordinate with the practical application of the co-requisite live design studio project. It will also cover professionalism, business management, project financing, risk management and the building team.
The scope also includes the financial implications of construction costs as related to decisions about procurement routes, contract and design decisions, CDM Legislation and the implications of the Equalities Act.
The activities of this module will generally be programmed to complement the development of the associated live design studio project, Live Design Studio and Reflective Practice portfolio, to allow you to apply the theoretical concepts to their design project work and analysis of the professional practice environment.