module specification

AR7P42 - MA Architecture Thesis (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title MA Architecture Thesis
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 60
School The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass)
Total study hours 600
540 hours Guided independent study
60 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Dissertation 100%   Thesis document(s) (Local Submission)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Summer studies City Tuesday Morning

Module summary

Module Title: MA Architecture Thesis
Description: This module synthesises the knowledge, skills and techniques acquired
through the supporting modules of the specialist MA Architecture programme
and offers the student the opportunity to extend the critical position which they
have begun to establish and test within the Design Project Module.
Semester: Summer
Assessment: 100% Thesis Document
Note: Teaching semester: FT Summer, PT Autumn, Spring and Summer

Prior learning requirements

Prerequisite: ADPP40N, Design Research and Technique
Prerequisite: ADPP41N, Design Project
Prerequisite(FT) corequisite (PT): ADP039N Research Methods for Design

Specialist Knowledge Modules as appropriate to individual MA Architecture Specialisms:

Module aims

This module is taught throught an MA specialism, within the MA Architecture Programme. The intention of the Thesis is that, within it, the student is expected to undertake an original piece of research which adds to, in some manner, the body of excepted knowledge within the architectural specialism and beyond that, in relation to the wider subject of Architecture itself. The Thesis is also an opportunity for the student to synthesis the knowledge, skills and techniques which they have developed through the supporting modules and to further extend the critical position which they have begun to establish and to test in relation to their chosen area of study, within the Design Project module.

The Thesis should be understood as both a reflective and a propositional piece of work, rather than being seen, simply, as a culmination of the course. It should be understood as the point at which, within a student's postgraduate study, they might establish interests which can be taken forward as research projects at a more advanced level of study or positions which can be taken and developed within practice.


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. However, the development of the Thesis is a largely self directed activity, supported by tutorials, which should draw on a wider body of knowledge from the subject of architecture and beyond. The Thesis project should, therefore, bring together the various components of the course which has been undertaken but should also be able to situate them in the context of this wider conversation. Both the content and the format of the Thesis should be relevant to the subject which is being studied. In general this might be in the format of a written and visually illustrated document. However, within the area of architecture and design research, which might be both primary and secondary research, this should not be considered as a prerequisite. The student should consider and discuss, through tutorials with their tutor and if necessary the course leader, what the most appropriate form and media for the Thesis might be.

Learning and teaching

The student will learn and be taught through the following
- Self directed study, supported through individual tutorials and group discussions and
- Consideration of primary and secondary research material.
- Critique of work already undertaken within the supporting modules of the MA Architecture
Specialism, in relation to the stated aims of the Thesis and in the context of the wider body
of knowledge within Architecture and beyond.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student shall be able to:
- Further develop and evaluate appropriate, relevant methods of engagement with a field of
study, within the context of an area of specialism.
- Further develop systems for gathering, analysing, interpretating spatialising and otherwise
using research material, in order to establish a defined and distinct area of study.
- Synthesis the skills, tools and techniques demonstrated and generated through the MA
specialism programme of seminars, workshops and tutorials, alongside self-directed study.
- Employ processes which can rigorously test ideas and information in terms of their relevance
to a given area of study or situation.
- Effectively evaluate and document and further critique the research proposal, which has
been developing through the course of the MA Architecture programme.
- Reflect upon and develop the manner in which such a conceptual framework might inform
and engage with a particular working process or situation, in an iterative manner.
- Understand both the potentials and the issues raised by the developing research
programme, including being able to identify and adjust to unintentional consequences.
- Apply appropriate forms of academic writing, including the ability to effectively precis, and
draw conclusions, from the work.
- Effectively and articulately communicate the ideas and intentions established by the body of
research, through appropriate forms of representation, both visual and verbal.
- Following the techniques and standards established in the Research Methods module,
rigourously reference and footnote the thesis and prepare a comprehensive, correctly
formatted bibliography.
- Further articulate and defend a defined position within the field of study, established
through a comprehensive and precise programme of research and tested through design.
- Produce coherent, articulate, well presented documentation of the Thesis, which effectively
illustrates and establishes the students position, aims and conclusions.

Assessment strategy

The student will be assessed as follows
1. Thesis Document(s) - 100%


To be developed by the student, in the context of the bibliography, provided by the tutors, which has been issued through the MA Architecture specialism.