This programme enables students to acquire an in-depth understanding of the legal and economic aspects of architectural practice and construction procurement, and the related skills necessary to practice effectively. The Diploma is approved by the ARB and RIBA (Part 3), thus providing a route to registration as an architect in the UK. The second stage (the MA) can be taken separately by those already qualified, together with any of the individual modules, in order to develop expertise or undertake research.
The course has an excellent reputation, and has received a Commendation from the RIBA Visiting Board. The feedback from the students is also very positive, as is that from external examiners, who have indicated that they consider the standard of teaching and achievement to be very high.
The programme is directed by Professor Sarah Lupton, who is well know for her expertise in this field, having published many books used widely by practising architects and on postgraduate courses throughout the UK. The programme emphasises course-work, workshop sessions and group working (made possible through having a small cohort). A key feature is the general thoroughness and care given to supporting the individual student, with tutoring provided by wsa staff, Distinguished Visiting Fellows and alumni. For example, students receive written feedback on all interim course work submissions, and the programme director visits all students in their placements at least once. The programme also has unusual features such as an adjudication writing exercise, and a module that focuses on international practice.
Stage 1 of the scheme leads to the qualification of Postgraduate Diploma and comprises six 20-credit modules. All modules are compulsory and have been designed to promote progression through levels of difficulty and complexity of skills, knowledge and concepts in an enabling sequence. The Diploma may be pursued on a full-time (one year) or part-time (two years) basis. Stage 2 (optional) leads to a Masters degree. Students who proceed to the MA undertake a dissertation (60 credits) on a topic related to the taught modules and agreed by the programme director.
The programme is intended for students who are graduates from an architectural degree course, either UK or overseas, and may be taken by architects who are already registered (for example architects from other EU countries). The modules may be taken individually by any graduate or professional as CPD. The MA may also be taken separately.
Applicants for the Dip/MA should have obtained degrees which have been validated at RIBA/ARB Parts 1 and 2 levels, or have obtained qualifications which have been assessed by the ARB as equivalent. They should also have completed a specified period of Professional Experience complying with RIBA/ARB regulations (normally 12 months for part time and 24 months for full time enrolment). Those wishing to take the MA separately should normally be registered architects.
The Diploma is taught through a combination of short courses and distance learning.
The student is required to attend three short residential courses held normally in October, January and April. The emphasis of the courses is on interactive learning, and they include seminars with invited experts, group work assignments, role-playing exercises, and face to face feedback sessions on course-work.
The course employs distance learning methods, using Blackboard, a web-based virtual learning environment. Activities carried out in the work placement contribute to the student's learning experience, and are monitored by the School. The student undertakes a wide variety of coursework tasks, designed to develop professional and academic skills. During the scheme the students are given opportunity to explore topics of interest to them in the form of essays, case studies or by dissertation.
The teaching on courses and by distance learning is supported by a team of WSA staff and external experts, with an important and growing contribution from visiting tutors who are alumni of the programme. A prize is awarded by Austin Smith Lord for the best Diploma graduate, and by the Society of Construction Law for the best adjudicator decision.
Further details of the modules and knowledge and skills acquired can be found here
October 14th - 18th
January 6th - 10th
March 17th - 21st
A prize is awarded by Austin Smith Lord for the best Diploma Graduate, and by the Society of Construction Law for the best adjudicator decision. Prize-winners over the last few years have been as follows:
Best Diploma Graduate
Best Adjudicator Decision
|2008||Tim Browne||Robert Stiles|
|2009||Elizabeth Smith||Samantha Pinn|
|2010||Samantha Pinn||Diana Rashkova|
|2011||David Roberts||Aimée Turner|
|2012||Sam Organ||Natasha Smiljkovic|
|2013||Rachel Witham||Rob Thomas|
Sarah Lupton MA, DipArch, LLM, RIBA , FCIArb (programme director)
Distinguished Visiting Fellows
Robert Firth BSc(Hons) MArch(Dist) MSc(Project Management), FRSA, FFB, RIBA; Senior Vice President, HOK (www.hok.com)
Manos Stellakis BSc, DipArch, MSc(Econ) RIBA; Partner, Lupton Stellakis (www.luptonstellakis.com)Link to details of other contributing WSA staff and visiting speakers
Gave an insight into all areas (relevant/current) of the construction industry
small group sizes and high standards of teaching staff
case study is very helpful; hands on learning
Thoroughly enjoyed the breadth of essays and discussions amongst the cohort and the level of feedback was very good
v. useful notes issued .overall very impressed with course structure and invited speakers
Good to review essay proposal with peers so they can input info/contact
Workshop and interactive stuff very useful and a change from just listening
Psychometric test v. interesting; the task/exercise was useful and helped look at the module from a different angle
speakers interaction with audience and audience participation in resolving real problems
to have in actual practitioners and people from relevant industries
It appears as though we are in safe hands