module specification

AR6001 - Design Project Development 3.1 (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
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
219 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Portfolio
Running in 2022/23

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

Module summary

This module establishes a process of research, design development and proposition that generates the design brief for Design Project Resolution 3.2: Comprehensive Design project.  It supports the student as an independent learner within the framework of the Studio. Whilst improving their practical skills and refining their 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.

The student has already been introduced to the basic range of constituents and conditions that pertain to the design of a building in their previous design projects, technology studies, and historical, theoretical and professional studies.  In this module, the student is expected to draw on these as well as the agenda offered by their choice of Studio.  The module helps the student 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 the students the opportunity to test working methods, clarify intentions, frame their project proposal and develop their 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.  Its aim is to provide the context in which the student can research, generate, explore and test the parameters of their 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.

Prior learning requirements

Completion and pass (120 credits) of previous level.


Students study within a design Studio that provides the project framework and a supportive working environment.  Within this context students are expected to work with a greater level of independence in identifying and researching project issues and parameters, generating their detailed brief, their approach and appropriate design processes, exploring and testing their ideas, developing proposals and prototypes, and employing the required bodies of knowledge.

The detailed syllabus is project based and varies from year to year.  The following programme is indicative.

Autumn term  LO:(1,2,3)
Project: Manage self-directed work to develop brief and design process; optional field trip study; ‘Interim Project Review’ (crit). ‘Interim Portfolio Review’(internally assessed)
Spring term  LO:(1,2,3,4)
Project: Design proposal; ‘Final Project Review’ (crit).
Summer term  LO:(1,2,3,4,5)
Integrate, contextualise and present cultural and technical research; ‘Final Portfolio Review’(internal & externally assessed)

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Scheduled teaching ensures that independent study is effective and addresses the learning outcomes and assessment tasks. Students are expected to, and have the opportunity to, continue with their 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, its contents and delivery, have been scrutinised and will be regularly reviewed to ensure an inclusive approach to pedagogic practice.

The module and course utilise the University’s blended learning platform to support and reinforce learning, to foster peer-to-peer communication and to facilitate tutorial support for students. Reflective learning is promoted through assessment items and interim formative feedback points that ask students to reflect on their progress, seek help where they identify the opportunity for improvement in learning strategies and outcomes, and make recommendations to themselves for future development. Throughout the module, students build a body of work, including reflections on progress and achievement.

The School’s programme of employability events and embedded work-related learning within the curriculum supports students’ personal development planning. Through these initiatives, students are increasingly able, as they progress from year to year, to understand the professional environment of their disciplines, the various opportunities available to them, and how to shape their learning according to their ambitions.

Material specific to each studio is visible on weblearn, with ‘turn it in’ facilitating the submission of a progressive reflective summary which is uploaded at both formative and summative stages so you may receive the studio tutors written feedback.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

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

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

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

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

Assessment strategy

The module is assessed as a whole, in portfolio, at the end of the academic year.

The assessment criteria are based on how well the student has fulfilled the learning outcomes. The project development work, practical and critical studies embedded in this module are key in supporting the major project and producing a final exit portfolio in preparation for a student’s year out in practice.

The portfolio will normally include a complete set of drawings at a variety of scales appropriate to demonstrating the breadth of their design decisions, digital and material models of the project. Modes of documentation may include: drawings; photographic material; multi-media material; quantitative
data; qualitative data; 3D models, web-based material and prototypes. All 3D, direct action and multi-mediawork should be recorded in graphic form and explained to a standard suitable for assessment purposes.

Written formative feedback is given through weblearn following the Interim Portfolio Review and Interim Project Review (Interim crit).
Written summative feedback is given through weblearn following the ’Final Portfolio Review.

Overall performance is indicated in the feedback and indicative rubric score on ‘Turn it in’ at Interim stages and given as a final grade at Final Portfolio Review’

Students are expected to attend all taught sessions. Attendance will be reviewed as part of the assessment process and a ‘mark’ of either satisfactory or non-satisfactory will be awarded. Satisfactory attendance means that a student has attended over 60% of taught sessions.


The specific bibliography is studio and project related. The following titles are indicative.
Core Text:

Beigel, F., Christou, P., Boudet, D., Woon-gu, K. and Woodman, E., (2010) Architecture as City : Saemangeum Island City, Springer

Holl, S., Pallasmaa, J. and Perez Gomez, A., (2008) Questions of Perception : Phenomenology of Architecture, William Stout

Koolhaas, R., McGetrick, B. and Brown, S., (2004) Content: Triumph of Realization, Taschen

Mitchell, M., and Tang, B., (2018) Loose Fit City : The Contribution of Bottom-up Architecture to Urban Design and Planning, Laurence King

Tsujimura, Y., (2016) Ami Sioux : Tokyo 35 N : Romantic Geographic Archive 1, Editions OK FRED

Oliveira, de, O., (2007) Subtle Substances, the Architecture of Lina Bo Bardi, GG

Zumthor, P., Oberli-Turner, M. and Schelbert, C., (2006) Thinking Architecture, Birkhäuser

Other Texts:

Castanheira, C., Considine, J., Faria, T. and Guerra, F. (2014) Alvaro Siza : The Function of Beauty, Phaidon Press
Correa, C., (2000) Charles Correa - Housing and Urbanisation, Thames & Hudson
Mack, G., (2009) Herzog & de Meuron : The Complete Works. Volume 4, Birkhauser
Steele, J., and Doshi, B.V., (1998) The Complete Architecture of Balkrishna Doshi : Rethinking Modernism for the Developing World, Thames and Hudson
Weston, R. and Aalto, A. (2007) Alvar Aalto, Phaidon


‘2G.’, 2G., 2016
‘Building Design.’, Building Design.
‘El Croquis.’, El Croquis., 2002
Institut for Internationale Architektur-Dokumentation (MUnchen), ‘Detail English Edition : Review of Architecture and Construction Details. English Edition : Review of Architecture and Construction Details.’, Detail English Edition : Review of Architecture and Construction Details. English Edition : Review of Architecture and Construction Details., 2004
Royal Institute of British Architects., ‘RIBA Journal.’, RIBA Journal., 1960
‘The Architects’ Journal AJ’, The Architects’ Journal AJ, 2012


‘ArchDaily.’, 2008 <>
Fairs, Marcus., ‘Dezeen’, 2006
‘Http://’, Http://

The specific bibliography is studio and project related. These titles are indicative.