Course specification and structure
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PMARCTEC - MA Architecture

Course Specification


Validation status Validated
Highest award Master of Arts Level Masters
Possible interim awards Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate, Advanced Diploma in Professional Development
Total credits for course 180
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass)
Subject Area Architecture
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 1 YEARS  
Part-time 2 YEARS  
Course leader Philip Christou

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

This course builds upon the established strengths of the School of Architecture and CASS Faculty, the common interest in architectural design and a critical theoretical framework. It is open to architects and is taught in parallel with the Professional Diploma in Architecture, offering a rare opportunity for high-level joint study. The different elements are coherent and testing. The course is design-based and research-orientated. It will enable you to focus your skills and develop excellence in your work. The coursework provides a strong platform from which you can develop your thesis creatively and intellectually. The main subject areas are in design, history and theory, and a range of specialisms, taught through a wide choice of tutors, studios and interest groups with a strong emphasis on self-directed study.

Course aims

The overall aims of the course are to:

• Identify a field of personal interest through research and creative thinking;
• Plan and execute an appropriate thesis programme;
• Synthesise the outcomes in the production of a theoretically grounded thesis.

The course addresses the needs of graduates from architectural and related backgrounds, where traditional roles are increasingly blurred and design skills may be needed in a variety of guises. It emphasises generic and transferable skills in design of the built environment, and locates the subject in this broader context to encourage its graduates to seek and create opportunities for the practice of their discipline.

The more specific aims of the course are to develop:
Design ability;
• Provide a design education of excellence that advances a broad range of conceptual and practical design skills and acknowledges the value of research;
Theoretical understanding;
• Provide a programme of study that encourages students to explore the theoretical frameworks of their work within its cultural and professional contexts;
Professional skills;
• Develop professional skills in developing and delivering work that meets with high standards of communication; is sensitive to the needs and expectations of its intended recipients and the larger social context; is responsible towards its ethical, environmental and legal frameworks;
Student development;
• Encourage students to know and expand their own capabilities and see themselves as life-long learners; to critically reflect on their experiences and take steps to consolidate their self-presentation; to encourage them to contribute to the cultural debate and articulate these debates within the community at large;
Specialisation;
• Provide a programme of learning that will encourage students to develop specialist skills and interests;
European/ Internationalism;
• Foster interest, understanding and knowledge of European design, architecture, culture and urbanism within a wider international context.

Course learning outcomes

11.a Knowledge and Understanding
By the end of the course, the student is expected to:

1. Have knowledge of, understand and utilise processes of investigative and speculative research and design methodologies drawn from multidisciplinary sources within the built environment.
2. Acquire a deeper knowledge and critical understanding of historical and theoretical frameworks and complex cultural traditions relevant to the discipline of architecture, and the various and diverse forms of architectural practice
3. Acquire and develop a specific set of interests in the built environment that can be described as 'specialist'. The vehicle for these specialisms is the focus of the design unit and includes some of the following for example; community regeneration; urbanism and the suburbs; landscape and housing infrastructures; third world development + sustainability; architectural materiality; and occupation and use of buildings.

11.b Cognitive Skills/ Intellectual Skills
By the end of the course, the student is expected to develop higher order skills that are reflected in their ability to:

1. Develop design ability through an iterative process that tests, communicates and negotiates ideas and propositions through critical and self-reflective processes of evaluation.
2. Formulate and communicate clear and well-founded conceptual frameworks that underpin design proposals.
3. Construct effective design processes that can be used to test concepts against practical and theoretical criteria relevant to the built environment.
4. Critically reflect on implications of design propositions.
5. Advocate a design scheme that responds convincingly to complex cultural conditions; that navigates a route through ethical issues whether environmental, cultural or economic.
6. Clearly formulate a critical framework of ideas through appropriate models of representation or written argument.

11.c Practical Skills
By the end of the course, the student is expected to:

1. Collate, document and present sophisticated and complex research material to produce cogent schemes/documents
2. Direct and manage a design process to achieve a convincing and well-worked proposition.
3. Communicate in an ambitious and effective way, the ideas and intentions behind a design proposal through an appropriate range of representational techniques; drawing, CAD, model making, collage, diagrams etc.
4. Give verbal presentations of the above to an appropriate standard.
5. Produce a cogent document of professional interest.
6. Express oneself effectively in prose
7. Develop effective means of group or team working

11.d Key/Transferable Skills
By the end of the course, the student is expected to:

1. Communicate effectively in writing and representational drawn techniques and in oral presentation of complex design concepts and propositions.
2. Apply research and design skills appropriately and be able to transfer techniques from one field of architecture to another.
3. Work as a member of a team.
4. Manage time and resources.
5. Learn independently, with open mindedness and in the spirit of critical enquiry.

Course learning outcomes / Module cross reference

Knowledge & understanding

11a1 Have knowledge of, understand and utilise processes of investigative and speculative research and design methodologies drawn from multidisciplinary sources within the built environment:

AR7016 Design Research
AR7027 Energy Comfort Buildings or AR7047 Digital Design Techniques or AR7043N Advanced Digital Design Techniques

11a2 Acquire a deeper knowledge and critical understanding of historical and theoretical frameworks and complex cultural traditions relevant to the discipline of architecture, and the various and diverse forms of architectural practice :

AR7016 Design Research
AR7001 Histories or AR002 Theories or AR7003 Interpretation or AR7004 Cinema and the City or AR7006 Forgetting of Air or AR7045 Concepts of Space or AR7049 The Problem of Irony or AR7061 the Soundscape of Modernity or AR7037 Changing Places or AR7044 Critical Transformations or AR7059 Architectural Publication & Journalism or AR7060 Media Voices

11a3 Acquire and develop a specific set of interests in the built environment that can be described as 'specialist'. The vehicle for these specialisms is the focus of the design unit and includes some of the following for example; community regeneration; urbanism and the suburbs; landscape and housing infrastructures; third world development + sustainability; architectural materiality; and occupation and use of buildings:

AR7001 Histories or AR7002 Theories or AR7003 Interpretation or AR7004 Cinema and the City or AR7006 Forgetting of Air or AR7045 Concepts of Space or AR7049 The Problem of Irony or AR7061 the Soundscape of Modernity or
AR7027 Energy Comfort Buildings or AR7047 Digital Design Techniques or AR7043 Advanced Digital Design Techniques or AR7037 Changing Places or AR7044 Critical Transformations or AR7059 Architectural Publication & Journalism or AR7060 Media Voices or DN7010 Interior Contexts

Cognitive and intellectual skills

11b1 Develop design ability through an iterative process that tests, communicates and negotiates ideas and propositions through critical and self-reflective processes of evaluation:

AR7016 Design Research
AR7017 Design Concept and Proposition

11b2 Formulate and communicate clear and well-founded conceptual frameworks that underpin design proposals:

AR7017 Design Concept and Proposition

11b3 Construct effective design processes that can be used to test concepts against practical and theoretical criteria relevant to the built environment:

AR7017 Design Concept and Proposition

11b4 Critically reflect on implications of design propositions:

AR7017 Design Concept and Proposition

11b5 Advocate a design scheme that responds convincingly to complex cultural conditions; that navigates a route through ethical issues whether environmental, cultural or economic:

ADP017N Design Concept and Proposition

11b6 Clearly formulate a critical framework of ideas through appropriate models of representation or written argument:

ADP017N Design Concept and Proposition
AR7001 Histories or AR7002 Theories or AR7003 Interpretation or AR7004 Cinema and the City or AR7006 Forgetting of Air or AR7045 Concepts of Space or AR7049 The Problem of Irony or AR7061 the Soundscape of Modernity or
AR7027 Energy Comfort Buildings or AR7047 Digital Design Techniques or AR7043 Advanced Digital Design Techniques or AR7037 Changing Places or AR7044 Critical Transformations or AR7059 Architectural Publication & Journalism or AR7060 Media Voices or DN7010 Interior Contexts

Practical skills

11c1 Collate, document and present sophisticated and complex research material to produce cogent schemes/documents:

AR7P18 Design Thesis

11c2 Direct and manage a design process to achieve a convincing and well-worked proposition:

AR7017 Design Concept and Proposition

11c3 Communicate in an ambitious and effective way, the ideas and intentions behind a design proposal through an appropriate range of representational techniques; drawing, CAD, model making, collage, diagrams etc:

AR7017 Design Concept and Proposition AR7P18 Design Thesis

11c4 Give verbal presentations of the above to an appropriate standard:

AR7016 Design Research
AR7017 Design Concept and Proposition

11c5 Produce a cogent document of professional interest:

AR7P18 Design Thesis

11c6 Express oneself effectively in prose:

AR7P18 Design Thesis
AR7001 Histories or AR7002 Theories or AR7003 Interpretation or AR7004 Cinema and the City or AR7006 Forgetting of Air or AR7045 Concepts of Space or AR7049 The Problem of Irony or AR7061 the Soundscape of Modernity or
AR7027 Energy Comfort Buildings or AR7047 Digital Design Techniques or AR7043 Advanced Digital Design Techniques or AR7039 Changing Places or AR7044 Critical Transformations or AR7059 Architectural Publication & Journalism or AR7060 Media Voices or DN7010 Interior Contexts

11c7 Develop effective means of group or team working:

AR7016 Design Research

Transferrable skills

11d1 Communicate effectively in writing and representational drawn techniques and in oral presentation of complex design concepts and propositions:

AR7016 Design Research
AR7017 Design Concept and Proposition
AR7P18 Design Thesis
AR7027 Energy Comfort Buildings or AR7047 Digital Design Techniques or AR7043 Advanced Digital Design Techniques

11d2 Apply research and design skills appropriately and be able to transfer techniques from one field of architecture to another:

AR7P18 Design Thesis

11d3 Work as a member of a team:

AR7016 Design Research

11d4 Manage time and resources:

AR7P18 Design Thesis

11d5 Learn independently, with open mindedness and in the spirit of critical enquiry:

AR7P18 Design Thesis
AR7001 Histories or AR7002 Theories or AR7003 Interpretation or AR7004 Cinema and the City or AR7006 Forgetting of Air or AR7045 Concepts of Space or AR7049 The Problem of Irony or AR7061 the Soundscape of Modernity

Principle QAA benchmark statements

QAA Masters Degree characteristics

QAA Honours Degree Benchmark Statements:
Architecture (2010)

Assessment strategy

Design projects are assessed through an end-of-year portfolio presentation. History and Theory coursework is assessed through a written dissertation. Optional modules are assessed according to the nature of the module. The format of the thesis submission is a bound document but the format and layout should be appropriate to the topic.

All modules are passed on aggregate

Assessment Strategies:
Knowledge and Understanding:
• coursework submitted upon completion of the relevant modules, comprising a 4-5000 word essay.
• presentation of a portfolio of research and design work made in response to the detailed programme of a studio project. It will involve systematic collection and collation of primary and secondary data relevant to the field of research and a clearly communicated design concept and design production process that is perceptive in its analysis of key issues and agendas, identifying the range and relevance of the criteria involved.
• submission of the 10-15000 word Thesis.

Cognitive Skills/ Intellectual Skills:
• the presentation of a portfolio of research and design work, made in response to the detailed programme of a studio project. It will involve a clearly communicated design concept and design production process that illustrates the above.
• submission of the 10-15000 word Thesis.

Practical Skills:
• submission of a portfolio of design work that should be well presented and well communicated. The ability to make oral presentation of this work is also considered.

Key/Transferable Skills:
• submission of a portfolio of design work which is well presented and well communicated to be accessible to members of staff and of the wider profession.

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

Work based learning is embedded within the course through engagement in live projects and exhibitions, where students are required to take on organisational and entrepreneurial activities to support the marketing and presentation of their own practice or a collaborative venture.

Course specific regulations

The course will undertake a formal academic review of student performance at the end of each semester. Students performing below threshold standard will be recommended and/or required to revise their programme of study.

Modules required for interim awards

Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits):
Design Research (40) or Design Concept and Proposition (40) plus one module from Autumn or Spring options (20)

Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits):
Design Research (40), Design Concept and Proposition (40) plus one module from Autumn options (20) and one module from Spring options (20)

Career opportunities

Many graduates of our Architecture MA course go on to either continue or start work within architecture, interior design or fields that are connected to both.

If you want to develop your research further, then you’re encouraged to apply and undertake a PhD at London Met.

Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

  • a good honours degree in architecture, interior design or a closely related subject
  • design talent, ability and motivation demonstrated through presentation of a portfolio
  • a personal statement that articulates your academic and professional interests and ambition

Non-UK based students who are unable to attend an interview must submit a portfolio of their architecture and/or design work along with their application form.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2013/14 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 01 Sep 2013 Last validation date 02 Sep 2013  
Sources of funding HE FUNDING COUNCIL FOR ENGLAND
JACS codes K100 (Architecture): 100%
Route code ARCTEC

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 07 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
AR7016 Design Research Core 40 CITY AUT+SPR MON PM
          CITY AUT+SPR THU AM
          CITY AUT+SPR THU PM
          CITY AUT+SPR MON AM
AR7017 Design: Concept and Proposition Core 40 CITY AUT+SPR THU PM
          CITY AUT+SPR MON PM
          CITY AUT+SPR THU AM
AR7P18 Design Thesis Core 60 CITY SUM    
AR7001 Histories Option 20 CITY AUT TUE AM
AR7002 Theories Option 20 CITY AUT TUE AM
AR7003 Interpretation  Option 20 CITY AUT WED PM
AR7004 Cinema and the City Option 20 CITY SPR TUE PM
AR7006 Forgetting of Air Option 20 CITY SPR TUE AM
AR7007 Poetry and Architecture Option 20 CITY SPR WED AM
AR7008 The Question of Technology  Option 20 CITY SPR    
AR7027 Energy Comfort and Buildings Option 20        
AR7037 Changing Places Option 20        
AR7043 Advanced Digital Design Techniques Option 20 CITY AUT WED EV
AR7044 Critical Transformations Option 20 CITY AUT WED AM
AR7045 Concepts of Space Option 20 CITY SPR    
AR7047 Digital Design Techniques Option 20 CITY AUT WED EV
AR7049 The Problem of Irony Option 20 CITY SPR TUE PM
AR7051 Writing About Architecture Option 20 CITY SPR WED AM
AR7059 Architectural Publication and Journalism Option 20        
AR7060 Media Voices Option 20        
AR7061 The Soundscape of Modernity Option 20 CITY SPR    

Stage 1 Level 07 January start Not currently offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
AR7016 Design Research Core 40        
AR7017 Design: Concept and Proposition Core 40        
AR7P18 Design Thesis Core 60        
AR7001 Histories Option 20        
AR7002 Theories Option 20        
AR7003 Interpretation  Option 20        
AR7004 Cinema and the City Option 20        
AR7006 Forgetting of Air Option 20        
AR7007 Poetry and Architecture Option 20        
AR7008 The Question of Technology  Option 20        
AR7027 Energy Comfort and Buildings Option 20        
AR7037 Changing Places Option 20        
AR7043 Advanced Digital Design Techniques Option 20        
AR7044 Critical Transformations Option 20        
AR7045 Concepts of Space Option 20        
AR7047 Digital Design Techniques Option 20        
AR7049 The Problem of Irony Option 20        
AR7051 Writing About Architecture Option 20        
AR7059 Architectural Publication and Journalism Option 20        
AR7060 Media Voices Option 20        
AR7061 The Soundscape of Modernity Option 20