module specification

AR4002 - Design Project 1.2 (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Design Project 1.2
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 300
156 hours Guided independent study
144 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Portfolio
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year City Monday Morning
Year City Thursday Afternoon
Year City Thursday Morning
Year City Monday Afternoon

Module summary

Design Development 1.2 introduces you to the scope and scale of architecture and interior architecture through design projects, culminating in a well-resolved small building design. It emphasises the critical understanding of context and introduces methods of observation, analysis and interpretation of conditions affecting the project(s) and demonstrates how your creative engagement with these conditions informs and assists the design process.

The module will enable you to develop your designs via a sequence of relatively simple projects, each of which, or component of which, focuses on a specific set of relationships. Together these projects introduce you to the different and interrelated issues and inputs affecting the architectural design. These include: the relationships between an architectural design and its physical setting; a client’s brief and the needs of users; cultural context and the natural environment; spatial strategy, and methods of construction.

The module design process is expansive and exploratory and emphasises the creative and imaginative thinking involved. You will learn how to retrieve information and research project ideas as well as develop and present their ideas using the range of techniques developed in Design Skills AR4001. You will develop an understanding of how an architectural project is defined through wide reference to historical and current practice and practice in related disciplines in including art, interior design, planning, urban design and engineering.

The aims of the module are to teach skills pertaining to Structure, Construction and Resources; and Design Processes and Communication (‘themes and values’ from Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)) appropriate to Level 4 study. The module also aims to provide a practical framework through which you can address the discipline of architecture as outlined in the RIBA document ‘The Way Ahead, Education Themes and Values’ 2021 as well as ‘Guidance Notes to Institutions’ issued by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) in 2021.

Prior learning requirements

Co-Requisite: AR4001 (Design Skills 1.1)

Available for Study Abroad: NO.


Your study within a year group on Design Development 1.2 provides both the project framework, overall design context and a supportive environment to carry these out. Within this program you are expected to work with some independence in generating detailed projects and developing your architectural or interior designs (LO 1, 2, 3).

The project work is structured by written briefs that are particular to the aims and ambitions of the year whilst fulfilling the aims and learning outcomes of the module. The briefs for the design proposals including writing a simple brief yourself and are strongly related to their sites and contexts (LO 3).

The syllabus examines the initial stages of the design process through investigative and interpretative techniques and explorations (LO 1, 2, 3). You are set 'real-life' situations to analyse and respond to and a variety of exercises to support you in moving from engaging with specific material and social conditions to a design brief. The module includes several design proposals culminating in a small building project, a small-scale adaptation of an existing building or a well resolved interior project (LO 4). You will analyse and explore the potential of a location or framework of ideas in the development of a strategic and conceptual approach to design that can be tested spatially, materially, and environmentally (LO 4, 5).

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Scheduled teaching on Design Development 1.2 provides the guidance and foundation to ensure that independent study is effective in addressing the module’s learning outcomes and assessment tasks.

In-class activity makes use of varied student-centred approaches such as active, flipped and blended learning, so that a range of learning strategies is deployed, and individual learning styles are accommodated. Information is provided through a range of means and sources to minimise and remove barriers to successful progress through the module. The course team seeks to embed the University’s Education for Social Justice Framework in fostering learning that is enjoyable, accessible, relevant and that takes account of the social and cultural context and capital of its students.

Activities foster peer-to-peer community building and support for learning. Reflective learning is promoted through interim formative feedback points that ask you to reflect on your progress, receive help where you identify the opportunity for improvement in learning strategies and outcomes and make recommendations to yourself for future development. Throughout the module, you will build a body of work, including written reflections on progress and achievement.

The School’s programme of employability events and embedded work-based learning within the curriculum supports your personal and career development planning. Through these initiatives, you are increasingly able, as you progress from year to year, to understand the professional environment of your discipline, the various opportunities available to you, and how to shape your learning according to your ambitions.

Learning outcomes

On satisfactory completion of Design Development 1.2, a number of Learning Outcomes (LOs) will have been addressed.

You will:

1. Show evidence of self-motivation, reflection and critical thinking; demonstrate an understanding of different ways of thinking in design through applying logic, imagination, innovative and lateral thinking skills in analysing situations and solving problems;

2. Show the application of skill, care and imagination in the design of inhabitable space, which demonstrates qualities of curiosity and engagement, and a creative and responsible approach;

3. Construct and interpret simple briefs, identifying key constituents and conditions to be met;

4. Develop simple design strategies and produce imaginative, appropriate, and competent design proposals in response to a variety of briefs that satisfy social, cultural, aesthetic, technological and environmental needs;

5. Make coherent presentations of design projects in reviews, orally and in portfolio using a range of appropriate and effective media and techniques and combining competent scale drawings and models with qualitative techniques.