module specification

AR7P41 - Design Project (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Design Project
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 40
School The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass)
Total study hours 400
72 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
328 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Dissertation 100%   Portfolio to be Submitted in Week 15 of SEM2
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year City Wednesday Afternoon
Year City Thursday Afternoon

Module summary

Module Title: Design Project
Description: Within this module, the student will develop a design proposition, which allows
them to test and refine their design research, established within the context of
an MA Architecture Specialism.
Semester: Autumn / Spring
Assessment: 100% portfolio

Prior learning requirements

The following are corequisites:
ADPP40N, Design Research and Technique

Module aims

This module is taught throught an MA specialism, within the MA Architecture Programme. Within this module the aim is to realise a coherent, holistic and sophisticated design project, which allows the student to develop, test and refine ideas within a particular circumstance, in the context of their design research and the particular specialism. Questions of space, material, form and process will be addressed as methods of embodying, conveying and developing design research. The student will be asked to examine these issues within wider physical, economic, political or professional contexts, as appropriate to the specialism.

The student will be asked to build creatively upon the knowledge acquired within the specialism specific Specialist Knowledge module in Semester A and to apply it to their own interests. The intention is that this will allow the student to develop clear strategies and a critical position in relation to the particular area of study, to consider how the development of a particular knowledge and expertise interfaces with and augments the students understanding of broader design issues.

The module runs across both Autumn and Spring Semesters, it operates in conjunction and in parallel with the MA Architecture module: Design Research and Technique. Throughout the year, the student will be asked to apply the skills and knowledge gained through this module, with respect to the development of the Design Project. At the same time, it is expected that the issues, opportunities, discoveries and particular circumstances which arise through the development of the Design Project will directly engage with and affect the research themes of the Design Research and Technique Module. This reflective and iterative process will allow the student to construct a more precise understanding of the parameters and direction of their research and its translation and direct application within a particular design situation. The student should, over the duration of the module, develop an increasingly precise and sophisticated ability to understand how the particularity of circumstance within a design project can refine a conceptual proposition and vice versa.


The MA Architecture Programme offers the opportunity for specialised areas of study to be undertaken, within the context of the broader subject. It is taught primarily within these specialisms. These individual specialisms fulfill the various parameters of this module through the establishment of specific, focussed briefing documents. These set out the manner in which particular interests will be addressed through the course of the academic year. The briefing documents are underpinned by the formal teaching of the individual Specialist Knowledge modules which pertain to the specialisms and which are co-requisite to this module. Courses of specialised study within the MA Architecture Programme result in an award of MA Architecture and (Specialism), as defined in the relevant course specification.

Learning and teaching

The student will learn and be taught through the following
- Discussions and Seminars within the studio environment.
- Talks and workshops involving the student group, tutors and external input.
- Individual and group work, developing design scenarios and resources
- Site and other visits, relevant to the specialism.
- Critical evaluation, individually, in discussion with the tutors and in the context of the group,
examining the effectiveness and value of processes, methods of working, means of
representation and the overall qualities of the resultant
- An individual reflective and iterative process of evaluating the relationship between the
process of design development undertaken within this module and the developing research
and conceptual processes within the parallel Design Research and Technique module.
- Individual development of a design project, drawing upon the work undertaken above and
in accompanying modules.
- Individual development of a comprehensive design portfolio, that fully addresses the range
of investigation and resultant production, during the course of the year

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student shall be able to:
- Develop and evaluate appropriate, relevant methods of interpreting, engaging, integrating and
otherwise using design research material in order to establish design parameters which can
intervene in, adapt to and potentially transform particular situations or processes.
- Test the rationale for design proposals, in the context of design research, the MA specialism
and the particular circumstances of the project and adjust and develop the design as
- Establish an appropriate and thorough design process in order to achieve a convincing
design proposal. This should demonstrate the ability to manipulate and synthesise spatial,
material, formal and organisational systems within a well understood context.
- Demonstrate an appropriate level of intellectual ambition within the Design Project
- Effectively communicate the ideas, intentions and resolution of the design proposal, in its
own terms. Demonstrating an understanding of its development in relation to the
accompanying Design Research and the wider body of knowledge encompassed by the
specialism, alongside an awareness of how this might be adjusted or transformed by wider
social, political, economic and physical contexts.

Assessment strategy

The student will be assessed as follows
1. 100%, Portfolio
modes of documentation may include: drawings, photographic material, multi media
material, web-based material, 3D models and prototypes, constructions, quantative and
qualitative data, primary and secondary data. Three dimensional models and prototypes can
be submitted for assessment, however, they should also be thoroughly recorded within the


This will be included in the briefing documentation provided by the tutors and specific to individual specialisms with the MA Architecture Programme