Architecture (BSc/MArch)

The BSc/MArch is a unique degree scheme, as following completion of the 3 year BSc the first year of the MArch is spent predominantly in architectural practice.

Architecture students working in studio on designs
Students at work in the studio

The Welsh School of Architecture (WSA) has a reputation for being one of the best schools in the UK. The BSc/MArch is a unique degree scheme as, following completion of the three year BSc (or equivalent qualification from another university), the first year of the MArch is spent predominantly in architectural practice.

The BSc satisfies Part 1 while the MArch fulfills Part 2 of the UK professional qualification for architects and is approved by the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Architects Registration Board.

The School believes that architecture should be imaginative, culturally rich, humane, site-responsive, environmentally responsible and thoughtfully made. This primary stance is reflected in the design teaching which students receive throughout the BSc/MArch and in the diversity of the lecture courses on offer.

We encourage the development of individual imagination and creativity while nurturing a growing understanding of a responsible attitude toward the physical and cultural contexts of design projects. This reflects our long-established concern for the needs of building users and for the environment which are foundations for many of the School's activities.

The majority of students’ time is spent in design studio, working on a range of hypothetical architectural design projects. Here the key teaching method is the traditional one-to-one tutorial, supported by lectures and group assignments. The lecture courses cover architectural history and theory, technological and professional aspects of architecture and digital design.

We offer high quality working spaces, workshops and computer aided design facilities.

Academic staff are supported by visiting professors and tutors from local and leading UK practices, providing an exciting mix of design approaches and experiences. As the 'national' school of architecture in Wales, we benefit from strong institutional support, and we also have significant links with government, construction industry bodies and professional practice, both locally and internationally.

Undergraduate students visit a major city usually for one week per year.

For those applicants with a first degree wishing to apply for the MArch Part 2 only, please visit our Postgraduate pages for further information.

Key facts

UCAS CodeK100
Entry pointSeptember 2016
Duration5 years
AccreditationsRoyal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)
Architects Registration Board (ARB)
Typical places availableThe School typically has approx 70 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe School typically receives approx 600 applications.
Typical A level offerAAA. We prefer a good academic base with a balance of skills in visual arts, sciences and writing. General Studies, Critical Thinking and PE are not considered.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerWBQ core at Grade A plus AA from 2 A-levels indicating a balance of skills.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer36 points from a good academic combination of subjects
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome.

Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course.
QAA subject benchmark

Architecture

Admissions tutor(s)

Mr Steven Coombs, Admissions Tutor

Mrs Anwen Cook, Course Administrator

Important Legal Information: The programme information currently being published in Course Finder is under review and may be subject to change. The final programme information is due to be published by May 2016 and will be the definitive programme outline which the University intends to offer. Applicants are advised to check the definitive programme information after the update, to ensure that the programme meets their needs.

About the course

Our Architectural Studies BSc is a three-year degree programme in its own right, but can lead on to the two year MArch programme, and eventual qualification for the profession of architecture, following completion of the Part 3 qualification.

The Welsh School of Architecture is consistently among the top-ranked Schools of its kind in the UK, and you will be taught by some of the leading experts in the field.

The course has an emphasis on architectural design, and two-thirds of the programme is based on project work in the studio. In addition, lecture-based modules address architectural history and theory, architectural technology, issues of professional practice and specific issues of digital design.  We run study visits to architectural sites in the UK and overseas as a regular and integral feature of the course.

The progression through the three undergraduate years of design studies starts in year 1 with a foundation in creative methods and fundamental skills, developed through relatively simple architectural design projects. Year two moves into more challenging territories, addressing issues of sustainable design and architectural challenges of greater complexity. In the second half of second year students choose from a number of studios on offer, working within a particular deign unit and following a particular brief. In the third term of year one and of year two, students from these two year groups work together in a number of elective ‘vertical studios’, addressing a range of exploratory and conceptual projects run by visiting tutors and members of the WSA staff. The elective structure is continued into year three, the final year of the BSc, when each student will develop a year-long thesis project within a selected design unit.

We have large studio spaces, a media lab, and a fantastic library, plus for designing models we have a workshop and digital fabrication lab. I intend to become a qualified architect and feel strongly about the role that architecture can play in addressing poverty.

Tom Woodward, 1st Year Undergraduate

Year one

Year one sets and establishes a foundation for the student’s development, across all parts of the architectural curriculum, with the exception of economic and professional studies.

A study visit to a major city occupies about one week in the second term, in recent years students have visited Paris, Barcelona and Copenhagen.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Building through TimeAR100720 credits
Design Principles and Methods 1AR100610 credits
Architectural Technology 1BAR100210 credits
Architectural Design 1AR110170 credits
Architectural Technology 1AAR110210 credits

Year two

During the first term of second year, students currently work on concepts of 'making place' through the medium of a sustainable housing project. In the second term the present projects address broader social and contextual challenges, applying the analysis of an existing settlement to a proposal for a small public building and an attached public space.

The Design Principles and Methods module addresses issues of digital design, whilst Architecture in Context provides a challenging course in the physical and cultural contexts of architecture, addressed through the research interests of the School’s staff and visiting lecturers.

The teaching of Architectural Technology aims to develop a thorough understanding of domestic and medium-span buildings, and to equip students with techniques to evaluate and predict the environmental performance of their designs.

As in Year 1, a week is taken with a study visit to a major city.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Architectural Technology 2AR200220 credits
Design Principles and Methods 2AR200610 credits
Architecture in ContextAR200720 credits
Architectural Design 2AR220170 credits

Year three

The studio programme in year three is run on a unit basis, with students electing to work with a particular group of students and tutors on a thematic brief. Proposals offered address a range of diverse sites and building uses. The year starts with a master planning exercise, embracing the broader context of site; and in the second term focusses into the design of a specific architectural proposal for a moderately complex building. The design proposal will be explored at various scales, addressing appropriate technical strategies (the making and its tectonic) and architectonic language. The third year study visit serves as a preparatory stage to introduce the aim of second term project.

Lecture courses continue with the technical, cultural and digital studies established in earlier years, whilst introducing a course on ‘Practice Management and Economics’.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Architectural Technology 3AR300220 credits
Architectural Design 3AR330170 credits
Issues in Contemporary ArchitectureAR300310 credits
Practice Management and EconomicsAR300410 credits
Design Principles and Methods 3AR300610 credits

Year four: Sandwich year

MArch

The MArch (Master of Architecture) is a unique degree scheme, taken after the BSc (or equivalent qualification from another university). It satisfies Part 2 of the UK professional qualification for architects, and is approved by the RIBA and ARB.

There is no automatic right to progression from BSc to MArch within the School although graduates from the BSc in Architectural Studies are given priority. Students with 1st, 2.1 or 2.2 class degrees are granted progression provided that their marks for design work are over 55%. Normally, students with 3rd class degrees are not granted progression. 

The first year of the MArch - the Year of Education in Practice - is spent predominantly in architectural practice. It includes three short courses, held in the School, and has a modular structure of associated coursework.

The second year of the MArch is spent full-time in the School and takes students to an advanced level of architectural design. It offers an intense and lively forum for the exploration and discussion of issues in contemporary architecture, and also includes courses in building economics and professional practice.

The focus of MArch 2 is the Design Thesis module. Students are asked to define and establish their own position in architectural design while meeting the requirements of the RIBA/ARB Part 2 syllabus. The thesis is structured around thematic studios – Units - led by design tutors with expertise and interest in specific areas of research and practice. The themes are often related to research activities and strengths within the School.

The range of unit leaders varies from year to year, including both internal and external staff. The MArch programme is currently convened by Dr. Juliet Davis, architect and PhD graduate of the Cities Programme at the London School of Economics.  Core teachers in MArch 2 who are permanent staff within the School include Jacob Hotz, architect and graduate of the Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, and the Architectural Association, London, and Peter Salter, Professor of Architectural Design. Peter has a notable reputation in design and was recognised for his excellence in teaching in 2004 when he won the RIBA’s Annie Spink Award for Teachers of Architecture.

Contact time with teaching staff is high, and students receive regular verbal and written feedback on their progress. Design projects and related exercises are assessed continuously through the year. At the end of each session, a portfolio of all design-related work is presented for formal examination. Generous resources support studio work including: an excellent dedicated architecture library in the school, media lab, a well-equipped workshop, environmental modelling facilities and digital fabrication equipment

MArch year 1

The Year of Education in Practice 

Students are based full-time in an architect’s office, but contact with the School is maintained throughout the year. Students are normally visited by a member of staff, and also return to the WSA for short courses in aspects of architectural design and technology, research and cultural studies, professional practice and building economics. These are timed to allow those students wishing to work abroad to do so with the minimum of disruption and additional travel costs.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Research PreparationAR440220 credits
Design in PracticeAR440160 credits
Reflective PracticeAR440340 credits

Year five

MArch year 2

Based full-time in the School

The second year of the MArch asks students to define and establish their own position in architectural design while meeting the requirements of the RIBA/ARB Part 2 syllabus in order to undertake and produce a Design Thesis. MArch 2 students also submit a 10,000 word Dissertation on a research topic for which they undertake preparatory work during the Year in Practice. Students are encouraged to relate this research, where possible, to their Design Thesis. They are supported in its development by dedicated members of staff within the school.

Architectural technology teaching is integrated with the Design Thesis. Specialist advice is provided through consultancies with experts in structural design, environmental design, construction and fire safety. Studies in building economics and professional practice are supported by a lecture module and related coursework is closely integrated with the design work.

Our graduates have a reputation for being able to design buildings that combine aesthetic and compositional considerations with performance and buildability. They are therefore very much in demand and are to be found in leading practices around the world.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Practice, Management and EconomicsAR500310 credits
DissertationAR500230 credits
Design ThesisAR500180 credits
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

The Welsh School of Architecture aims to provide an inspiring and enriching educational experience for students by teaching from a world-leading research and scholarship base. The School engages with research and practice to ensure its teaching courses remain attractive and relevant.

The School develops integration across all aspects of the subject, with project-based studio teaching providing the focus, and encourages effective student-led and autonomous learning, underpinned by professional and personal development planning which is referred to as 'reflective practice'.

The School produces students who are valued by the profession and who can compete successfully in the economic climate of today and the future, with skills that are valued by the architectural profession and transferable to other sectors.

In the School the studio is the focus of activity, the location for design teaching and learning, model-making tutorials, workshops and debate. The studios are also used for exhibitions and interim and final 'crits' - at which students display their work for critical discussion and assessment by staff, peers and visiting critics.

Contact time with staff is high, and students receive regular verbal and written feedback on their progress. Design projects and related exercises are assessed continuously through the year. At the end of each session, a portfolio of all design-related work is presented for formal examination.

In 2015, 95% of graduates were in employment or continuing their studies.

Employers included: architects practices, building energy consultants, town planning departments, construction companies, and universities. Career destinations included: architect, urban designer and research officer.

The majority of graduates proceed to a career in architectural practice, and are found in many eminent practices in the UK and across the world.

Jobs

  • Architect
  • Urban Designer
  • Research Officer
  • Project Manager

The Admissions process is led by the Academic Chair of Undergraduate Admissions and the Undergraduate Admissions Tutors with administrative help from the Admissions Office. All members of academic staff are involved in the applicant selection process on a rota basis.

All applications for a place on the BSc in Architectural Studies course must be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) application service. Applications for the MArch are made directly through the University. Applications can be made either in the English or the Welsh language. We recognise that if you are a Welsh speaker, you may feel more comfortable speaking to a Welsh speaking personal tutor. Provided there are Welsh speaking members of staff available, every effort will be made to allocate a Welsh speaker to you at any point of the application process.

Admissions (BSc) 

All applications to the BSc in Architectural Studies are considered on individual merit, taking into account a range of factors including academic qualifications and/or predictions, the personal statement, reference(s) and portfolio.

The typical offer for the BSc in Architectural Studies is AAA at A2 level, or equivalent qualification available on the University’s website: http://courses.cardiff.ac.uk/undergraduate/course/detail/K100.html

We require all candidates to submit a small portfolio. This should consist of 4 sheets of A4 size reproductions of some of the applicant’s art and/or design work. This need not be architectural in any way and may include drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, graphics, product design or any other work in visual design. We will not be able to return your work to you so please do not send originals. Following submission of the UCAS form, applicants will be contacted by WSA to submit a portfolio to the Admissions Administrator at the School.

An application will not be considered until we have received both the UCAS form and the portfolio. Where a portfolio is of exceptionally high quality, lower academic qualifications may be acceptable. Mature students who do not have these or equivalent qualifications, but who have strong motivation and relevant skills and experience, should contact the School to discuss the possibility of being admitted.

The UCAS form and portfolio is the main base to offer a place. Not all applicants will be invited for an interview, however the admissions tutors may use their discretion and invite applicants for an interview when they require further information. A team of admission tutors (mainly core staff) who are very much involved with our teaching in architecture and related fields will make decisions throughout the selection process. Once a decision has been made you will be informed via the UCAS Track system.

Please note that the Admissions Team carefully consider all applicants once we have received your application and portfolio, we do not operate a sifting process therefore please note that it can take up to approximately 6 weeks to hear from us. If you do have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us, more information on the application process can be found here.    

Use of Contextual Data

All suitable applicants who are eligible for additional consideration and are predicted a minimum of grades ABB plus a good portfolio, will be guaranteed a typical offer on the Welsh School of Architecture's undergraduate course.

For details of University policy, please click here

Admissions (MArch) 

Entry to the MArch is invited from graduates from other schools who have at least an upper second class degree giving exemption from RIBA/ARB Part 1. Selection is based on an application accompanied by a design portfolio and often an interview. Direct Applicants should complete a postgraduate application form available on the University website and provide the School with an A4 size paper copy of your portfolio and a sample of any written work undertaken e.g. dissertation. Selection for the MArch is often based on an interview.

Please note we can only consider applicants for the MArch who have an ARB and RIBA Part I recognised qualification from their first degree. To check if your degree gives you RIBA and ARB exemption please visit the validated courses section of their websites:

www.architecture.com

www.arb.org.uk

There is no automatic right to progression from BSc to MArch within the School although graduates from the BSc in Architectural Studies are given priority. Students with 1st, 2.1 or 2.2 class degrees are granted progression provided that their marks for design work are over 55%. Normally, students with 3rd class degrees are not granted progression. 

Admissions Tests

The Welsh School of Architecture does not have any standardised admissions test requirements.

Selection Interviews

The Welsh School of Architecture does not routinely interview applicants for its undergraduate programmes. Interviews may be given in special circumstances and where there is not enough evidence provided for acceptance.

Admissions (Higher Degrees) 

The School welcomes enquiries and applications from suitably qualified people wishing to conduct research in Architectural Science, History and Theory or Design and Practice. For PhD/MPhil research application queries please contact the Research Executive Officer.

For Taught Masters course application queries please contact the Postgraduate Officer. For Postgraduate Taught degrees, applications are invited from candidates with an upper second class Honours degree in a related discipline.

Applicants to these higher degrees should apply online

Each application is considered on individual merit. Applicants are encouraged to provide as much information and supporting documentation (where requested) as possible about their academic record, relevant work experience and funding support.

For research degrees, it is essential to outline a topic or area of interest in the Research Proposal. Applications can be made at any time of the year, and if successful, students may start their study on the first day of October or April.

Duration

5 Year(s)

Next intake

September 2016

Places available

Typical places available

Typical places available The School admits 75 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes, with a further 12 places available for direct entrants to the MArch

Applications received

Typical applications received

1000 (BSc) 200 (MArch)

Accreditations

QAA subject benchmark

QAA subject benchmark

Architecture

What are the aims of this Programme?

BSc:

The overall aim of architectural education in the School is to help students become well-rounded and capable architectural designers, who possess: the creative skills and disciplines of architectural design; a broad understanding of the historical and cultural context of architecture; the foundations of technological competence relating to the construction of buildings and environmental design, including issues of sustainability; an understanding of the professional responsibilities and duties of architects to clients and to society; and good  habits of enquiry as a basis for lifelong learning.

Specifically, the Scheme aims to bring students to a level of skill in architectural design where they are able to produce good quality propositions for set design briefs of moderate to high complexity.

MArch:

The overall aim of architectural education in the School is to make the world a better place through well informed design. We support our students to become well-rounded and capable architects, by addressing creative skills, architectural design, the construction of buildings, environmental design, sustainability and the understanding of the historical and cultural context.

These studies culminate in a good understanding of the professional responsibilities and duties of architects.

What is expected of me?

BSc:

Students are expected to attend all lectures, tutorials and reviews unless a good reason for absence has been agreed with their year chair.  Students are expected to submit assessed work at the specified time.  Students will receive tutorial support but are expected to spend the majority of their time engaging in independent learning (generally for a minimum of 25 hours per week).

Students are expected to adhere to the Cardiff University policy on Dignity at Work and Study.

MArch

During M.Arch 1, students will be expected to be working in an architects practice or for a related profession.  Students are normally expected to spend 9 months working in their practice, although during times of economic constraint, the school can exercise some degree of flexibility if students are struggling to find suitable employment.  Whilst out of the school, students are expected to maintain regular contact with the school through email and an online blog notice board.

Students are expected to attend all lectures, tutorials and reviews and short courses unless a good reason for absence has been agreed with their year chair.  Students are expected to submit assessed work at the specified time.  Students will receive tutorial support but are expected to spend the majority of their time engaging in independent learning.  In addition to their time in practice, M.Arch 1 students would generally be expected to spend an average of about 7 hours per week on independent study, whilst M.Arch 2 students might be expected to spend a minimum of 30 hours per week on independent study.

Students are expected to adhere to the Cardiff University policy on Dignity at Work and Study.

 

How is this Programme Structured?

BSc

Please see 'How will I be taught'

MArch

The MArch is a two-year second degree that combines experience in practice with challenges in
advanced architectural design. Uniquely in the UK, the first year, which has its own modular structure, is conducted primarily in practice. Students return from practice to the school to pursue an intensive year of study and design to complete their RIBA Part2 exemption. This structure creates a good balance between learning in practice and in the university.

Will I need any specific equipment to study this Programme?

Any equipment required will be provided by the School.  Students have the opportunity to work within the school’s dedicated design studios.  Students have access to a suite of PC computers running the necessary software.  The school also provides large-format plotters, and digital laser cutter, and a well-equipped workshop.

 

Students are asked to bring basic drawing equipment.  A laptop computer with appropriate software is highly recommended.  Much of the software typically used by students is available through educational agreements at zero or reduced cost.


 

What skills will I practise and develop?

BSc/MArch

Students will acquire and develop a broad range of valuable skills, both those which are discipline specific and more generic ‘employability skills’.  Through the design projects students will develop skills in analysis, creativity, problem solving, planning and organisation and decision making, initiative taking judgement and attention to detail.  They will develop interpersonal skills such as empathy, ability to influence, listening, questioning.  Through group work they will develop team working skills. Through regular presentations, students develop strong communication skills.  Students will learn to deal with working with uncertainty, and develop skills in adaptability and flexibility.  The intensive nature of the programme means that students will develop skills in time management, and tolerance of stress.  Students are specifically taught skills in Information Technology (and Computer Aided Design), information retrieval and rudimental research.

 

 

 

 

How will I be taught?

BSc: 

The core teaching method used within the B.Sc Architectural Studies is design project work. The acquisition of skill in design is central to the school’s ethos, and is the focus of a series of design projects, progressed in the design studio during each year. Most design work is done individually, but there are some opportunities for group work. Students are encouraged to reflect on the design process by keeping a design diary of their work as it develops through each year.  Project work teaching usually involves one to one tutorials supported by project lectures and year meetings.

The remaining part of the curriculum is based around a series of taught modules.  These are predominately lecture based, but are supplemented by seminars, symposia, and individual and group exercises.  Where possible attempts are made to integrate the content of these modules with the students current design projects in studio as the ultimate design platform.

Overseas study visits take place in most of the years as appropriate and are an integral part of teaching.  Destinations vary between years reflecting educational needs and the unit system by the final third year.

The course is based around a three-term system (two terms in final third year of BSc).  During years 1 and 2 students spend the third term working together within a “Vertical Studio” where they are able to focus on a specific aspect of architectural design, often related to a lecturer’s research interests. 

M.Arch 1

Experience in architectural practice is an essential part of the professional education of architects. In the MArch scheme a Year of Education in Practice is combined with a year of continued design-oriented education in the School.

(During the Year of Education in Practice,) MArch Year 1, students experience and learn about many aspects of architectural practice that it would be impossible to cover within the School. They typically experience life in an architectural practice, work alongside experienced architects, and gain an understanding of the relationship between architects and: other members of the design team; clients and client organisations; building contractors and developers; local authority building control and planning officers. Learning in this situation cannot be pre-structured, and to some extent depends on opportunities that arise in individual circumstances; but the School lays down a carefully constructed framework of modules which require students to record, reflect on, and structure their individual experience in practice.

During the Year of Education in Practice learning and teaching takes place in the form of a number of ‘short courses’ (usually one week in duration / September, February and June) held back in the School, which focus on aspects of the cultural, economic and professional aspects of architectural practice. There is also a design project, and preparatory work of the major 10,000 word written dissertation that is submitted in MArch Year 2 which are tutored at the short courses, through correspondence, and by email.

 

M.Arch 2

The acquisition of skill in design remains central. (and is the focus of a series of design projects, progressed in the design studio, as part of the Design Thesis Module.)  Therefore MArch 2 is organised around the “Design Thesis”, which has a long history in architectural education, having figured in institutions as diverse as the Ecole des Beaux Arts and the Bauhaus. It remains a strong tradition in architectural education, not least at the Welsh School. It has been historically, and remains, an opportunity for students in school to demon­strate their abilities and take a stand in the discipline before beginning life as an architect in practice. Not­withstanding, the synthetic and propositional skills which it develops are valuable resources for a wide range of settings beyond practice.

The Design Thesis provides an opportunity for grad­uates to formulate an intellectual position through and perhaps also regarding architectural design.

Students will work within one of a series of design units, led by a unit tutor who may be a member of the school’s permanent staff, or a visiting tutor from architectural practice.  Weekly design tutorials are supplemented by a series of consultancies to support the technical, environmental and economic aspects of the student design. (Students are encouraged to reflect on the design process by maintaining a design apologia that is updated through the year. Students are encouraged to develop an independent standpoint during the M.Arch and are expected to develop their own design brief for the major Final Design Project of the year.

A regular programme of project lectures takes place to complement studio teaching. The collaborative culture of the design studio is considered an important aspect of student experience in the School.

Learning with regard to research and report writing takes the form of the preparation of a 10,000 word Dissertation. Formal lectures in MArch Year2 are kept to a minimum, with only one module – Practice Management and Economics – being lecture based 

How will I be assessed?

BSc:

Design projects are assessed formatively through individual and group tutorials, as well as through critical reviews, where students pin up their work for presentation in front of an audience. These enable staff to comment on and monitor progress against the learning outcomes.  In addition to oral feedback, written feedback is provided at critical reviews, usually using a standard feedback pro-forma.  Interim progress reviews are also held at the end of the first term, at which students receive guidance on their overall progress.

Final summative assessment is made at the end-of-session design examination, when all student work is pinned up for examination by panels of internal examiners, and then for moderation by external examiners.

Lecture-based courses are assessed through written examination, and coursework submitted during the semester.  Feedback on coursework is usually given using a standard feedback pro-forma or can be given orally, in a similar way to design project work.

The criteria by which assessments are made are contained in the school’s Teaching Handbook, in project and coursework documentation, and explained at introduction to the various modules and design projects.

It is a requirement of our professional accrediting bodies that all students meet to meet all of their validation criteria.  External examiners are expected to confirm that these requirements have been met.

MArch:

In MArch Year 1 (Education in Practice) students are asked to undertake a series of assignments which enable them to reflect on office processes and procedures as well as their own individual learning. These require students to conduct research within their office environments in order to gain an understanding of the context within which architecture is practiced.  Students critically evaluate their experience through an online e-portfolio and blog, and regular written feedback is given to students as this progresses.  Students are also expected to critically evaluate each other’s portfolios.  Assessment is based on the degree by which the students reflect on their experience, rather than on the nature of the experience itself. Progress on work is also monitored through staff visits to students in their workplaces.

Design projects are assessed formatively through individual and group tutorials, as well as through critical reviews, where students pin up their work for presentation in front of an audience. These enable staff to comment on and monitor progress against the learning outcomes.  In addition to oral feedback, written feedback is provided at critical reviews, usually using a standard feedback pro-forma.  Interim progress reviews are also held at the end of the first term, at which students receive guidance on their overall progress. .In M.Arch 1 reviews happen during the short courses but interim feedback is also provided by email between courses.

In MArch Year 2, general progress through the year is monitored at interim reviews, and final summative assessment is made at the end-of-session design examination, when all student work, focussing in particular on the Final Design Project, is pinned up for internal examination by panels of invited architects, internal staff and under the supervision of the External Examiners (, and then moderation by external examiners.) After all major formative assessments, students are provided with written feedback on their progress.

Lecture-based learning in Practice Management and Economics is assessed through coursework submitted during the semester (Isn’t there a VIVA / Inteview in place?)

As part of the dissertation, all students are expected participate in a Viva-Voce examination, with an internal and external examiner

The criteria by which assessments are made are contained in the school’s Teaching Handbook, in project and coursework documentation, and explained at introduction to the various modules and design projects.

It is a requirement of our professional accrediting bodies that all students meet to meet all of their validation criteria.  External examiners are expected to confirm that these requirements have been met.

How will I be supported?

BSc:

Each academic year is coordinated by a Year Chair who has a responsibility overseeing student progress. In addition, each student has a personal tutor with whom they can (in confidence) discuss any concerns that may affect their progress.  Regular progress reviews are held throughout the year with the year team, and an open-door policy exists throughout the school.

The School provides opportunities for students to reflect on, and define their individual learning needs.  The nature of these varies from year to year, but generally takes the form of a reflective diary or sketch book.  Increasingly these take the form of on-line blogs.

Course materials are generally held on the University network for students to access as and when required.

The architectural library is located in the same building as the school, and therefore provides easy access to resources and support.

MArch:

During MArch 1 contact with the School is maintained throughout the year by email and an online blog.  Students are normally visited by a member of staff or a member of the School’s alumni.  The quality of their overall experience in practice is also monitored at those visits.  Students access materials and submit work for assessment on Learning Central.  The School also provides an on-line e-portfolio system which students use to help them reflect on their experience.

Each academic year is coordinated by a Year Chair who has a responsibility overseeing student progress. In addition, each student has a personal tutor with whom they can (in confidence) discuss any concerns that may affect their progress.  Regular progress reviews are held throughout the year with the year team, and an open-door policy exists throughout the school.

The architectural library is located in the same building as the school, and therefore provides easy access to resources and support

What are the Learning Outcomes of this Programme?

BSc:

Graduates from this programme will be able to:

  • Generate design proposals using an understanding of a body of knowledge, some at the current boundaries of professional practice and the academic discipline of architecture;
  • Apply a range of communication methods and media to present design proposals clearly and effectively (including digital design methods as taught at each year);
  • Understand the alternative materials, processes and techniques that apply to architectural design and building construction as part of taking a considered design approach;
  • Evaluate evidence, arguments and assumptions in order to make and present sound judgments within a structured discourse relating to architectural culture, theory and design. Recognise the context of the architect within society and culture and the professional qualities therefore  needed for decision making in a complex and unpredictable environment;
  • Identify individual learning needs and take responsibility for personal and professional development. 

MArch:

  • Ability to generate complex design proposals showing understanding of current architectural issues, originality in the application of subject knowledge and, where appropriate, to test new hypotheses and speculations;
  • Ability to evaluate and apply a comprehensive range of visual, oral and written media to test, analyse, critically appraise and explain design proposals;
  • Ability to evaluate materials, processes and techniques that apply to complex architectural designs and building construction, and to inte­grate these into practicable design proposals;
  • A critical understanding of how knowledge is advanced through research to produce clear, logically argued and original written work relat­ing to architectural culture, theory and design
  • Understanding of the context of the architect and the construction industry, including the architect’s role in the processes of procurement and building production, and under legislation;
  • Problem solving skills, professional judgement, and ability to take the initiative and make appro­priate decisions in complex and unpredictable circumstances; and
  • Ability to identify individual learning needs and understand the personal responsibility required to prepare for qualification as an architect.

Other information

BSc/MArch

Architectural education in the School remains focused on the development of the individual within a structured framework that promotes a creative but pragmatic, socially and environmentally responsible approach to the design and construction of buildings and surrounding spaces. The School adopts a clearly organised approach to research-based learning through its BSc and MArch schemes, which is based on a legible and thematic progression of educational experiences. This is underpinned by a strong studio culture allied to an open dialogue with committed and well-informed, research-active staff.

Admissions tutors

Mr Steven Coombs, Admissions Tutor

Mrs Anwen Cook, Course Administrator


Key Information Sets (KIS) make it easy for prospective students to compare information about full or part time undergraduate courses, and are available on the Unistats website.

Applying

Get information and advice about making an application, find out when the key dates are and learn more about our admissions criteria.

How to apply
Students outside the Glamorgan Building

Open Day 2016

Open days are your chance to get a real first-hand experience of the university and the city.

Related courses

Related links