The increasing complexity of contemporary socio-economic, cultural and environmental issues requires architects to develop a broad skill set. This may be described as context-led – seeking solutions which address local issues arising from global agendas. Architects must move beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries to find innovative and sustainable design solutions. There is a growing need for contemporary city design which focuses not only on "hard" infrastructure but also the "softer". That is, not only buildings, transport and engineering but also systems of social networks, organisation and human interaction.
On M ARCH: Architecture, you will undertake three core design units. These are combined with an industry-embedded placement. You will also be supported to plan, develop and complete an independent major project. You will explore strong social, political and material engagement with the world. This may be facilitated through external partnerships and multidisciplinary collaboration.
Unit 1: Methodologies for Architectural Engagement
Through a series of projects, you will experiment with multidisciplinary approaches. You will develop methodologies for public engagement with architecture – ones that expand and challenge the conventional role of the architecture. You will test and refine these approaches through design propositions. You will be introduced to a variety of research methods and issues relevant to the discipline. You will then implement these through realised design work. While working on this unit you will also research and secure and industry placement to be undertaken in Unit 2.
Unit 2: Design Research in Architectural Practice
In this unit, you will define your own direction, beginning with your industry placement. Working with your advisor, you will work with a selected practice. You will assess the nature of their practice and projects. At the same time, you will research and develop opportunities for your own self-directed design project. Following your placement, you will begin this major project.
Following your placement, you will begin your major project. You will define your own brief, based on research and analysis of a chosen site. You will develop a schematic design proposal which will be resolved in Unit 4.
Unit 3: Constructing in Detail
This unit provides an opportunity to explore technical aspects of making and construction in close detail at 1:1, with your own hands. You will engage with the conditions and constraints of structural, constructional and material systems. This will occur through direct physical experience in a constructional prototyping project. Unit 3 will involve research and testing, collaborative teamwork and constructional implementation. It will primarily involve working as part of a team.
Unit 4: Innovating in Architectural Practice 2
You will continue to work on your major project. You will resolve it as an architectural proposal. If appropriate, you will also implement aspects of this proposal on site or with collaborators and partners.
Unit 5: Reflecting on Professional Practice
This unit is a culmination to the course and follows the completion of your major project. You will rehearse the integration of key areas through professional reporting. As a follow on from Unit 2, you will be asked to apply the technical and professional knowledge gained so far. You will demonstrate your understanding of the complexity of practice through a reflection on your own major project. This unit aims to simulate the demands and regulatory controls that professional practice is subject to. These include planning, building control, cost, contract, consultancy and constructional documentation.
Mode of study
M ARCH: Architecture is offered in extended full-time mode which runs for 79 weeks over two academic years. You will be expected to commit 30 hours per week to study which includes teaching time and independent study.
The course has been designed in this way to enable you to pursue studies, while also undertaking part-time employment, internships or care responsibilities.
Credit and award requirements
The course is credit-rated at 240 credits.
On successfully completing the course, you will gain a Master of Architecture (M ARCH degree).
Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications, an M ARCH is Level 7. All units must be passed in order to achieve the M ARCH but the classification of the award is derived from the marks for the second, fourth and fifth units.
If you are unable to continue on the course, a Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) will normally be offered following the successful completion of 60 credits, or a Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) following the successful completion of 120 credits.
M ARCH: Architecture is professionally validated by the RIBA. Successful completion of the course provides RIBA Part 2 qualification, the second of three stages of RIBA professional registration.
Please note that as a result of course specific regulations, unit compensation as detailed in UAL Course Regulations, is not available to students on this course.