The first year comprises five units, exploring design, communication techniques, history and theory. You will also be introduced to new software and at the end of the year, design a small building.
You'll look at fundamental issues, processes, skills and tools that will be relevant in your studies in architecture, focusing on design in relation to the human body. The role of architecture in defining our spaces and experiences is explored as a means by which the body might be guided through site-specific design proposals.
This unit introduces you to representation as a critical practice. You'll learn a range of techniques in the context of a number of projects, supported by lectures and seminars. These will provide cultural and technological contexts.
Through the use of materials, the unit examines aspects of technology associated with the built environment. It will also explore their relationship with design as both a process and an outcome.
Cultural Context 01
This unit looks at the study of the histories and theories of architectural and spatial design. It aims to address the ways in which designed spaces, buildings and cities are situated culturally. It also provides you with the required tools of analysis and interpretation to make informed readings of your environment.
The content and themes of the previous unit are synthesised through the design of a small building, focusing on relationships between architecture and time. Whilst the first half of the unit focuses on site analysis, research and design strategy, the second focuses on lighting, structure, materiality and finish.
There’s six units across the second year, which will challenge you to experiment, explore and test theories, designs and materials. The potential for specialised learning and the implications of different choices of direction will become clearer, with personal preferences emerging.
You'll focus on the ways in which architecture can establish social, political, physical and environmental dialogues with wider, as well as immediate, conditions. The importance of identifying and then developing or suppressing these relationships consciously through the design of external space will be interrogated.
Cultural Context 02
The unit, entitled Design, Theories and Operations, considers how ideas are socially, historically and culturally located. It is primarily concerned with theory and represents a step up, challenging you to interrogate architectural ideas, designs and actions. You’ll engage with, and make explicit, theories which are shaping the built environment, or can be used to develop a more nuanced critique of its production.
This unit explores the coverage of building materials and methods of construction introduced in Year One. It introduces low energy design strategies as a vehicle to discussing sustainability in the built environment.
Has two themes:
Intelligent skin: You will be introduced to a design methodology with a technology focus, providing you with the opportunity to use technology as a generator for an engagement with cultural objectives, contextual study and communication through design development.
Synoptic: You’ll undertake a synoptic project where the main emphasis is on the integration of different design preoccupations and resolving these together to present a well-considered outcome. Typically, the project set will be concerned with a manufacturing process of current social or aesthetic concern or interest.
You’ll look in more detail at how computers, which allow simultaneous working on a variety of resolutions and modes, have broadened possibilities. You'll also be introduced to parametric digital design.
Creative Practice 01
This unit is designed to provoke experimentation, risk-taking, exploratory and playful work following the rigours of professional practice and the creative industries.
Study Abroad (optional)
This optional unit will allow you to spend a period of time in an overseas educational institution.
You’ll gain the depth of knowledge to resolve a complex design programme with a substantial amount of self-determined direction. You'll establish preferences and viewpoints expressed in verbal and written design discourse within each subject area, and will relate subject areas to design.
You’ll learn to be highly self-driven and self-directed, presenting and writing in detail about your specialist knowledge and viewpoints, and develop a sophisticated appreciation of how architecture can significantly improve the worlds of today and tomorrow.
You'll also build an appreciation of how architecture can become more significant in today’s world. Your communication skills will be enhanced, so a project can be presented coherently to the public or external professionals.
This unit has two ‘home’-based themes:
Terrain: You’ll examine ‘home’ from the viewpoint of an individual user. You'll explore ways in which this individual might seek to influence the wider world.
Urban: you’ll explore ‘home’ as a respondent to the wider cultural, social and/or political visions for, and/or conditions of, the city. You’ll examine the ways in which these interface with conditions for the individual. Housing is addressed as a key contested constituent of the city.
Creative Practice 02
You'll learn the legal and procedural characteristics of practising as an architect in the UK. Weekly lectures and workshops will be supplemented with independent study and weekly submissions.
You’ll undertake a period of self-directed research on a subject related to the historical, theoretical and critical concerns of architecture. The subject matter will be informed by the specific interests you have developed and will be supported by the particular expertise of staff within the School of Architecture through its Research Groups.
This unit allows you to showcase all the design skills you have learned, compiling these into one extended, professional standard portfolio of drawings, diagrams, models and prototypes.
You'll investigate the current political, social and economic issues relevant to the future of a city which is unfamiliar to you, and which may also apply to the future success of similar cities. From tehre, you'll design a large building in your chosen city, establishing a sophisticated dialogue between topography, social and political issues, city scale structures, networks, regional objectives and the way these impact the lives of individuals.
You will engage pre-existing, disparate functions in new ways to generate cultural outcomes, agendas and patterns of use.
This course offers the opportunity to study abroad for part of your second year. To find out more about studying abroad as part of your course please see the Study Abroad section:
Fees and additional costs
The course fees per year for 2021 entry are:
- UK students - £9,250
- International and EU students - £16,950 (standard fee)
- International and EU students - £16,270 (full early payment fee)
Additional course costs
In addition to the tuition fees please see the additional course costs for 2021 entry.
Find out more about our course fees and any financial support you may be entitled to:
These fees are correct for the stated academic year only. Costs may increase each year during a student’s period of continued registration on course in line with inflation (subject to any maximum regulated tuition fee limit). Any adjustment for continuing students will be at or below the RPI-X forecast rate.
Our course enjoys excellent relationships with a number of high-profile organisations, which are listed below:
- Architects Registration Board
- Architectural Association of Ireland
- Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists
- Chartered Institute of Building
- Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment
- International Interior Design Association
- Residential Interior Design
- Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland
- Royal Institute of British Architects
- Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
- Royal Society of Ulster Architects
- Royal Town Planning Institute.