English / Welsh
Architecture is central to the major issues affecting society today. The performance of the built environment is a subject of national and global concern in relation to its impact on climate change, the use of resources, economic development and the health and well-being of individuals. Architecture embraces a range of disciplines and topics from the arts to the physical and social sciences, from history and theory to practice. Many topics have to be tackled in an interdisciplinary way. This provides enormous challenges to young architects to provide us with a future built environment that is efficient in its use of resources, effective in providing good conditions in which to live and work, and pleasing to the senses.
The Welsh School of Architecture [wsa] has a reputation of being one of the best schools in the UK. Its holistic approach to design embraces all aspects of architecture. The learning experience is focused around the studio project, based on the traditional one-to-one approach to design teaching. The studio culture is strong with high quality working space, workshops and computer aided design facilities. Academic staff are supported by visiting professors and tutors from local and leading UK practices, providing an exciting and informative mix of design approaches and experiences. Our graduates have a reputation for being able to design buildings that combine aesthetics with performance and buildability. They are therefore very much in demand and are to be found in leading practices throughout the world.
The School is recognised internationally for its research. All academic staff are engaged in research and scholarship activities, which means that they are at the forefront of their subject specialism. The School has the most advanced research facilities and computer modelling capabilities available, through which a range of design tools are developed. Research informs teaching across the curriculum.
Research in the School is actioned through a number of research centres. The Centre for Research in the Built Environment (CRiBE) specifically focuses on the field of sustainable built environment and is currently supporting the Welsh Assembly Government's initiative for a low carbon built environment in Wales. The BRE (Building Research Establishment) Centre for Sustainable Design of the Built Environment (SuDOBE) is a partnership between the School and the UK's largest built environment research organisation. PRASADA (Practice, Research and Advancement in South Asian Studies) is a group of researchers in the UK and India specialising in the rich architectural and cultural heritage of that continent. The Design Research Unit Wales (DRU-w), based within the School, is where design and research come together to produce innovative sustainable buildings. Real design projects are carried out in partnership with practice, producing award-winning buildings of national importance. The School also leads the Wales Low Carbon Research Institute (LCRI) which is a consortium of six universities in Wales carrying out cross-disciplinary research aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions and providing clean energy sources.
The School's taught Masters programme offers courses in Environmental Design of Buildings, Theory and Practice of Sustainable Design, Urban Design (in collaboration with the School of City and Regional Planning), Sustainable Energy and Environment (in collaboration with the School of Engineering), Building Energy and Environmental Performance Modelling and Professional Studies.
The MPhil/PhD programme is international, with students carrying out research in all aspects of the School's research agenda, often relating to issues in their countries of origin. The School has international research links in Europe, the Middle East, China and Malaysia and has relationships with national bodies in the UK.
The School prides itself on the high quality of its teaching, research and design, and on the commitment of its staff and students to engage with current issues relating to the built environment in Wales, the UK and internationally.
Professor Phil Jones (Head of School)