You'll be introduced to the main teaching and learning methods used across the course and the facilities available on campus. You'll gain the knowledge to complete and present a simple design programme, and draw on a variety of cultural and technical influences and various techniques of communication.
You'll look at fundamental issues, processes, skills and tools that will be relevant in your studies in architecture, focusing on design in relation to the human body. The role of architecture in defining our spaces and experiences is explored as a means by which the body might be guided through site-specific design proposals.
This unit introduces you to representation as a critical practice. You'll learn a range of techniques in the context of a number of projects, supported by lectures and seminars. These will provide cultural and technological contexts.
Through the use of materials, the unit examines aspects of technology associated with the built environment. It will also explore their relationship with design as both a process and an outcome.
Cultural Context 01
This unit looks at the study of the histories and theories of architectural and spatial design. It aims to address the ways in which designed spaces, buildings and cities are situated culturally. And it provides you with the required tools of analysis and interpretation to make informed readings of your environment.
The content and themes of the previous unit are synthesised through the design of a small building, focusing on relationships between architecture and time. Whilst the first half of the unit focuses on site analysis, research and design strategy, the second focuses on lighting, structure, materiality and finish.
During the second year, you'll increase your confidence and engagement with the course and its facilities. You'll develop the knowledge to address a reasonably complex design programme with elements of self selection. And the potential for specialised learning and the implications of different choices of direction will become clearer, with personal preferences emerging.
You'll focus on the ways in which architecture can establish social, political, physical and environmental dialogues with wider, as well as immediate, conditions. The importance of identifying and then developing or suppressing these relationships consciously through the design of external space will be interrogated.
Cultural Context 02
This unit is chiefly concerned with theory, specifically the ways in which (design) theories have been made operational through (design) propositions.
This unit explores the coverage of building materials and methods of construction introduced in Year 1. It introduces low energy design strategies as a vehicle to discussing sustainability in the built environment.
Has two themes:
1) Intelligent skin: we'll introduce you to a design methodology with a technology focus. This will provide you with the opportunity to use technology as a generator for an engagement with cultural objectives, contextual study and communication through design development.
2) Synoptic: you'll undertake a synoptic project where the main emphasis is on the integration of different design preoccupations and resolving these together to present a well considered outcome. Typically, the project set will be concerned with a manufacturing process of current social or aesthetic concern or interest.
The possibilities afforded by the computer to allow simultaneous working on a variety of resolutions and modes will be exploited. You'll also be introduced to parametric digital design.
Creative Practice 01
This unit is designed to provoke experimentation, risk-taking, exploratory and playful work following the rigours of professional practice and the creative industries.
Study Abroad (optional)
This optional unit will allow you to spend a period of time in an overseas educational institution.
You'll gain the depth of knowledge to resolve a complex design programme, and with a substantial amount of self-determined direction, establishing preferences and viewpoints expressed in verbal and written design discourse, within each subject area, and relating subject areas to design. You'll study some topics more generally related to architecture in detail. And you'll also build an appreciation of how architecture can become more significant in today's world. Your communication skills will be enhanced, so that a project can be presented coherently to the public or external professionals.
Has two themes:
1) Terrain: you'll examine 'home' from the starting position of the values of an individual user. You'll explore ways in which this individual might seek to influence the wider world.
2) Urban: you'll explore 'home' as a respondent to the wider cultural, social and/or political visions for, and/or conditions of, the city. You'll examine the ways in which these interface with conditions for the individual. Housing is addressed as a key contested constituent of the city.
Creative Practice 02
You'll learn the legal and procedural characteristics of practising as an architect in the UK. Weekly lectures and workshops will be supplemented with independent study and weekly submissions.
You'll undertake a period of self-directed research on a subject that is related to the historical, theoretical and critical concerns of architecture. The subject matter will be informed by the specific interests that you have developed on the course to date and will be supported by the particular expertise of staff within the School of Architecture through its Research Groups.
This will establish current political, social and economic issues relevant to the future of an unfamiliar city that may apply to the future success of similar cities.
This course offers the opportunity to study abroad for part of your second year. To find out more about studying abroad as part of your course please see the Study Abroad section:
Our course enjoys excellent relationships with a number of high-profile organisations, including the regeneration of London’s Olympic Park, the Lea Valley, the Thames Gateway, Channel ports and the Pas-de-Calais. You’ll also benefit from the latest industry insight through our open lecture series, Multistory, which is a long-established alumni and student-led programme. This highly acclaimed series is one of the most successful in the world, and brings innovative approaches to practice into the School every Thursday evening in term time.
Professional and industry links include:
- Architects Registration Board
- Architectural Association of Ireland
- Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists
- Chartered Institute of Building
- Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment
- International Interior Design Association
- Residential Interior Design
- Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland
- Royal Institute of British Architects
- Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
- Royal Society of Ulster Architects
- Royal Town Planning Institute.