module specification

AR7026 - Integrated Design Study (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Integrated Design Study
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 200
161 hours Guided independent study
39 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 5%   Interim presentation
Coursework 5%   Final presentation
Coursework 40% 50 Process diary and pdf
Coursework 50% 50 Report and pdf
Running in 2024/25

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

Module summary

The module asks students to develop and demonstrate key technical skills. The module asks students to develop and demonstrate their ability to integrate key fields of architectural knowledge in the context of their level 5 design project.
Aims of the module are to promote and demonstrate the integration of key fields of professional architectural knowledge in the level 5 comprehensive design project.
The module provides a practical framework through which students can address the professional practice and academic discipline of architecture as outlined by the ARB/RIBA Joint Criteria (GC1-GC11).
The student will be required to demonstrate that within their comprehensive design project they have a knowledge, understanding of and ability within the following four areas:
A. cultural context and communication;
B. professional context;
C. environment and sustainability;
D. construction, materials and structures.

The module will require students to manage, coordinate and learn from a range of sources and from consultants within the department and externally. The use of external consultants, the gathering of information and cross-disciplinary collaboration simulate the dynamic, interdisciplinary and fast changing nature of contemporary architectural practice giving students an understanding of practice and an ability to work in teams.


Students will be expected to investigate, communicate and appraise each of the following as they have informed and been realised within the Comprehensive Design Project:

Cultural Context and Communication
• the social political economic and professional context that guides and supports the design;
• the histories and theories of architecture, urban design and the arts that have informed the design;
• the use of precedent and case studies in the development and resolution of the design;
• the use of visual, verbal, written, multimedia and participatory methods of communication in the development and communication of the design;
• the influence and relevance of the practices, technologies and creative application of the arts on architectural design in terms of conceptualisation and representation;
• the relationship between the forms of communication used and different stakeholders: lay, professional and academic involved in the design. LO1,LO2,LO3,LO4,LO5

Professional Context
• the relationship between the design and regulatory requirements including the needs of the disabled, health and safety legislation, building control and planning legislation;
• the way the design would be financed, procured and realised including a discussion of emerging trends in the construction industry such as partnering, integrated project processes, value engineering and risk management in as much as they relate to the design;
• the role of the architect implied by the design and the management, organisational and practice structures necessary to realise it. LO1,LO2,LO3,LO4,LO5

Construction, Structures, Materials, Environment and Sustainable Design

• the structural and constructional strategies and theories employed by the design;
• the construction techniques and processes necessary to realize the design;
• the provision and integration of building services;
• the physical properties and characteristics of the building materials and components used in the design;
• the visual, thermal and acoustic principles which guide the design;
• the relationship between the design and the wider environment including the life styles promoted by the design and the energy it consumes;
• the way building technologies, environmental design construction methods, materials and components have been integrated into the design in relation to: human wellbeing, the welfare of future generations, the natural world, the sustainable environment;
• the study of the role and impact of sustainability, environment and services from; interior spatial strategies to regional infrastructural decision making including the scale between, for example, architecture, sitting and landscape;
• comfort and health in buildings: the interactive nature of the relationship between buildings and their occupants; the role of building design in achieving comfort in diverse climates;
• an appreciation of the techniques and design principles for energy responsible and socially appropriate buildings and infrastructure set in diverse climates and cultures, within in the context of the risk of global warming;
• the discussion of autonomy and interdependence in architecture and the built environment;
• study of natural ventilation, utilisation of daylight, passive solar energy techniques and relevance of intensive services provision;
• study the interaction of form, placement, skin, services and spatial strategies in the creation of architecture, including form-finding techniques in architecture;
• study the role and impact of services in a wide range of building types from housing to complex architectural projects;
• investigation of the changing nature of services in twenty-first century specifications and procurement. LO1,LO2,LO3,LO4,LO5

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 have the opportunity to study outside of scheduled classes. A range of learning strategies are deployed and individual learning styles accommodated. The module’s learning outcomes, its contents and delivery, are regularly reviewed to ensure an inclusive pedagogical approach.
The module and course utilise the University’s blended learning platform to support and reinforce learning. Peer-to-peer communication is fostered in seminars and tutorial support provided at key points in the calendar. Reflective learning is promoted through assessment tasks and formative feedback. Students are encouraged to reflect on their progress and engage in sequential decision making through staged submissions and worksheets, and to make recommendations to themselves for future development.
The School’s programme of employability events and embedded work-related learning within the curriculum supports personal development planning. Through these initiatives, students are increasingly able – as they progress – to understand the professional environment of their discipline, the various opportunities available to them, and how to shape their learning according to their ambitions and aspirations.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module students will have:

1. an ability to gather, process and make use of the information, processes and strategies necessary to develop a complex design proposal within the four key areas of professional competence described in the module;
2. an ability to manage, coordinate and learn from consultants across a wide range of disciplines;
3. an ability to integrate knowledge acquired from taught courses, consultancy, industry, testing, prototyping and participatory processes into a complex design proposal, including theories of urban design and the planning of communities and the influence of the design and development of cities, past and present on the contemporary built environment;
4. an ability to make and communicate clear strategic decisions in relation to the wider political, economic, professional, environmental, industrial and legal context informing their design, including the influence of history and theory on the spatial, social, and technological aspects of architecture;
5. an ability to communicate with lay, professional and technical audiences and allied professionals.


General Construction and Reference Books
Baden-Powell, C. (1997) Architect’s Pocket Book, (Architectural Press)
Davies, C. (2005) The Prefabricated Home, (Reaktion Books)
Wentworth Thompson, D. (Reprinted 2000) On Growth and Form, (Cambridge Architectural Press)
Deplazes, A. ed. (3rd ed. 2013) Constructing Architecture: Materials, Processes, Structures, a Handbook, (Birkhäuser)
Frampton, K. (2001) Studies in Tectonic Culture, (MIT Press)

Materials & Components
Gonzalo, R. and Vallentin, R. (2014) Passive House Design, (Birkhäuser)
Herzog, T. (2004)  Facade Construction Manual, (Birkhäuser)
Herzog, T. (2004) Timber Construction Manual, (Birkhäuser)
Hugues, T. and Peck, M. ed. (2014)  Modern Concrete Construction Manual, (Birkhäuser)
Hascher, R. (2014)  Emergent Timber Technologies, (Birkhäuser)
Kolb, J. (2008)  Systems in Timber Engineering, (Birkhäuser)
Koolhaas, R. (2014)  Elements of Architecture, Marsilio
Spiro, A and Ganzoni, D. (2013) The Working Drawing, The architect’s tool, (Park Books)

Sustainability and Services
Zeumer, M., Fuchs, M and Thomas Stark (2008) Energy Manual: Sustainable Architecture, (Birkhäuser)
Nordenson, G. ed. (2008) The Green Studio Handbook: Environmental Strategies for Schematic Design, (Architectural Press)
Anink, D. and Boonstra, C. (1996) Handbook of Sustainable Building: An Environmental Preference Method for Choosing Materials in Construction and Renovation, (Revised ed. James & James, Science Publishers Ltd.)

Zimmerman, A. (2009) Constructing Landscape: Materials, Techniques, Structural Components, (Birkhäuser)
Zimmerman, A. (2009) Planning Landscape, Dimensions, Elements, Typologies, (Birkhäuser)

Detail Magazine:
Brick Bulletin:

Building Regulations and Standards
UK Building Regulations:
Planning Portal:

Online Resources:
Construction Information Service (CIS) available through LondonMet Webcat
Concrete Centre
Riba product selector
Building Research Establishment
Green Guide to Specification