module specification

AR6001 - Design Project Development 3.1 (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Design Project Development 3.1
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 300
72 hours Guided independent study
228 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 Friday Afternoon
Year City Friday Morning

Module summary

Design Project Development 3.1 will establish a process of research, design development and proposition that generates the design brief for AR6002 Design Project Resolution 3.2: Comprehensive Design project. It supports you as an independent learner within the framework of the studio. Whilst improving your practical skills and refining your ability to use them productively, the focus in this module is on developing a depth of knowledge and understanding and strengthening approaches to research and project development.

You have already been introduced to the basic range of constituents and conditions that pertain to the design of a building in your previous design projects, technology studies, and historical, theoretical, and professional studies. In this module, you are expected to draw on these as well as the agenda offered by your choice of Studio. The module helps you to establish ownership of the process of research, design development and proposition that generates the design brief and its resolution in the project. The module allows you the opportunity to test working methods, clarify intentions, frame your project proposal and develop your design position within an evaluative and critical context, including external and professional reference points.

The module consolidates skills and knowledge gained at Levels 4 and 5. It works in partnership with Design Project Resolution 3.2 and runs in conjunction with the AR6003 Technology 3, Integrated Design Audit module that requires specific and highly detailed appraisal of its cultural, professional, technical and environmental issues. Its aim is to provide the context in which you can research, generate, explore and test the parameters of a project, its central themes and features. The module places emphasis on developing self-direction and personal focus whilst acknowledging external and professional reference points. This module is complemented by Technology 3: Integrated Design Audit module, which requires highly detailed reflection on the integration of cultural, professional, technical and environmental issues within the design project.

The aims of the module are to teach skills pertaining to Health and Life Safety; Ethical and Professional Practice; Structure, Construction and Resources; and Design Processes and Communication (‘themes and values’ from Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA):: The Way Ahead 2021), appropriate to Level 6. The module also aims to provide a practical framework through which you can address the academic 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

Pre-Requisite: AR5001 or equivalent. Co-Requisite:  AR6002 and AR6003
Available for Study Abroad NO.


You will study Design Project Development 3.1 within a design studio that provides the project framework and overall context. Within this context you are expected to work with an ever-greater level of independence in generating you detailed syllabus and developing your final architectural design (LO 5). The module enables a process of research, design development and proposition to support the design brief for Design Project Resolution 3.2: Comprehensive Design in AR6002. These projects may be weighted towards a strategic scale, as found in urban design, or a more detailed scale as appropriate to a technologically focused design. The detailed syllabus is project based and varies from year to year (LO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). The following programme is indicative.

Project 1 introduces you to the studio culture including its teaching pedagogy, associated methods of design and studio themes. Developing Project 1 as research by design, diagnostically deploying the design of a medium scale building, to explore the setting, its social, environmental, and tectonic concerns. This becomes the vehicle to articulate the design brief for Project 2 in the second semester (LO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).  

Your major project continues the research and development of the brief for a complex design project, further the integrating knowledge of the social, political, economic, environmental, and professional context that guide the building development. In so doing it enables synthesis of spatial, technical, environmental, material, structural and constructional strategies, in relation to its users, in support of AR6002 Design 3.2: Comprehensive design Project (LO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Scheduled teaching on Design Project Development 3.1 ensures that independent study is effective and addresses the learning outcomes and assessment tasks. You are expected to, and can, continue with your studies outside of scheduled classes. There will be a range of learning strategies deployed and individual learning styles will be accommodated. The module’s learning outcomes and assessment tasks, its contents and delivery, are regularly reviewed to ensure an inclusive approach not only to pedagogic practice and appropriateness to the Profession.

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 their progress, receive help where they identify the opportunity for improvement in learning strategies and outcomes and make recommendations to themselves 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 Project Development 3.1, a number of Learning Outcomes (LOs) will have been addressed. You will be able to:

1. generate a well-constructed project brief for a coherent architectural design of sufficient ambition and complexity and a well described political, economic, social,cultural and ethical framework;

2. construct a well-judged and rigorous design process including testing and reflecting on ideas and proposals through constructing prototypes, digital and 3D models, together with a range of drawings;

3. develop a well-grounded outline design proposal which integrates knowledge of the social, political, economic, environmental, and professional context that guides building construction;

4. collate and document the critical design development process to a professional standard of presentation;

5. identify, devise, and manage a self-directed program of appropriate and productive research.