Architects are experts in the design of buildings and places, creating the setting for human life.
Their primary skill is design – the ability to imagine three-dimensional spaces and objects and apply knowledge of materials, structure and energy turning concept into reality working with engineers, contractors and many other professionals.
The course is the first stage (Part One) of the three stage process of professional qualification as an architect. The course is prescribed by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and the University is seeking recognition of the course by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
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Why choose this course
- This is a course with a fresh approach to architectural education that is rooted in it its locality but has a broad global perspective.
- We believe that architecture is fundamentally about meeting the needs of people in ways that respect their culture and values and the character and traditions of their communities while offering them the best that new technology and contemporary international design culture can contribute to the shaping of their environment.
- At the core of our approach is a rigorous and open-minded understanding of the complex set of ideas summarised in the phrase ‘sustainable development’ and a belief in the importance of the crafts of construction in the creation of good architecture and places.
- Our architecture course is a practical, project-based programme in which students work collaboratively in a stimulating, creative studio environment guided by a dedicated staff team offering regular tutorial support tailored to their individual needs. Our studios are equipped with up-to-date computers with a wide range of design and visualisation software and facilities for laser cutting and 3D printing.
- Our large workshops give students the opportunity to make full-size building elements as well as models of all scales and sizes.
- Our teaching is informed by research in subjects that extend across our portfolio, supplemented by external experts from the city, region and around the world.
- We believe in engaging with employers to develop, deliver and review courses that enhance our graduates’ opportunities for employment and career development.
- We are situated in the heart of close to the historic waterfront where the University is buildings its new campus and also within easy reach the unspoilt beaches and wild landscape of the Gower peninsula, Britain’s first designated ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’.
What you will learn
The course is intended for those whose ambition is to become a qualified architect, but is also a good choice for anyone who has an interest in architecture and design and seeking a broad-based degree programme that can lead to a wide variety of career opportunities.
The programme of study is centred on a sequence of design studio projects that start in the first weeks with the exploration of space, form, colour and materials. By the end of the first years, students are designing small but complex buildings and places in detail.
The second year focuses on ideas of home and community through the design of houses flats and neighbourhoods and the public buildings that support social life.
The final year introduces students to larger scale buildings and the course culminates in a comprehensive design for a substantial cultural building in a real setting.
The core design studios are supported by a suite of contextual modules that provide students with a coherent body of relevant knowledge in three areas: environment and technology (structures, construction and building physics), history and theory (an overview of architectural history and theoretical writing from related fields) and profession and business (basic construction law, building procurement, cost control and business management).
In the final year, each student writes a dissertation – an independent research study – on a subject of their own choice within the very broad field of architecture.
The course is the first stage (Part One) of the three-stage process of professional qualification as an architect. The course is prescribed by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and the University is seeking recognition of the course by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
- Design Studio 1A (Structure & Materials)
- Design Studio 1B (Space & Form)
- Design Studio 1C(Skills)
- History & Theory 1
- Environment & Technology 1
- The Modern World
- Design Studio 2
- History & Theory 2
- Environment & Technology 2
- Profession & Business 1
- Design Studio 3
- Profession & Business 2
Design project work is assessed on the basis of a portfolio of work consisting of a series of assignments completed during the year.
The portfolio will include drawings, photographs of models and illustrated written reports. Feedback on student progress is given throughout the year – usually in the form of verbal comments by a team of tutors on the basis of student presentations and review attended by fellow students. Formative assessment is made at the end of each project – usually in the form of a provisional mark, which allows students to respond to feedback before the final submission of the portfolio when the final (or ‘summative’) assessment is made.
Assessments of work in the contextual modules will take the form of practical exercises during the year, reports and essays and time-constrained assessment by means of tests and formal examinations.
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You will need 128 UCAS Tariff points from A levels or their equivalent.
The programme is designed to be prescribed/validated by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) as a Part One qualification in architecture so the most likely first destination for a graduate is work as an architectural assistant* in an architectural practice.
There are many other possible employment opportunities including other parts of the construction industry (building contractors and sub-contractors), the creative industries (applying computer drawing and visualisation skills) and planning or urban design.
Graduate skills developed by the programme (based on the ‘graduate attributes’ set out in the RIBA/ARB criteria for validation/ prescription of qualifications in architecture and the QAA benchmark statement for architecture).
- The ability to generate design proposals using understanding of a body of knowledge, some at the current boundaries of professional practice and the academic discipline of architecture;
- The ability to apply a range of communication methods and media to present design proposals clearly and effectively;
- Understanding of the alternative materials, processes and techniques that apply to architectural design and building construction;
- The ability to evaluate evidence, arguments and assumptions in order to make and present sound judgments within a structured discourse relating to architectural culture, theory and design;
- Knowledge of the context of the architect and the construction industry and the professional qualities needed for decision making in complex and unpredictable circumstances.
- The ability to identify individual learning needs and understand the personal responsibility required for further professional education.
(* the term ‘architectural assistant’ is the job designation of those on the route to professional qualification as an architect until completion of Part Three. Terms such as ‘assistant architect’, ‘architect in training’ or ‘part 1 architect’ may not be used as the title ‘architect’ is protected by statute and may only be used by those on the Register of Architects (apart from three exceptions stated in the Architects Act: ‘naval architect’, ‘landscape architect’ and ‘golf-course architect’).
It is possible to complete this programme of study without any additional costs.
Students may wish to purchase materials for modules, such as Major Project but this is not a requirement and will have no bearing on the final grade achieved.
- Architectural Technology
- Building Surveying
- Civil Engineering and Environmental Management
- Environmental Conservation
- Project & Construction Management
- Quantity Surveying
Alysha Martin BSc (Hons) Architecture
"The Dylan Thomas project has been great. We use computing design and model making, so it’s all useful and it makes you feel more confident, especially with the feedback we get."
Year 1 provides an introduction to the core competency of design in the three core studio modules that focus on: structures and materials; space and form and design skills. The parallel context modules lay the foundations of the body of key knowledge required by the architect construction technology, environmental design, architectural history and theory. Essential skills required for HE programmes are introduced in the Modern World module.
Year 2 further develops the skill and knowledge base introduced in the first year. Design studio are concerned with more complex buildings, groups of buildings and/or alterations to existing buildings. The technology and environment module deals with the construction of larger and more complex buildings. The history and theory module includes research methods in addition to addressing more advanced theoretical issues and its coursework includes a proposal for the dissertation to be completed in the third year.
Year 3 The final year design module deal with larger and more complex buildings and culminates in a comprehensive design project that integrates all aspects of the skills and knowledge addressed in the programme. Students complete the dissertation and the second business and profession module prepares students for their transition into the world of practice.
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