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Architecture, Building & P…×

Cardiff University, Full Time MA Degrees in Architecture, Building & Planning

We have 3 Cardiff University, Full Time MA Degrees in Architecture, Building & Planning

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Our MA Urban Design programme is jointly delivered by the Welsh School of Architecture and the School of Geography and Planning. The goal of this programme is to enable practitioners and scholars to transform the field of urban design through critical thinking and creative practice. Read more
Our MA Urban Design programme is jointly delivered by the Welsh School of Architecture and the School of Geography and Planning. The goal of this programme is to enable practitioners and scholars to transform the field of urban design through critical thinking and creative practice.

Urban design is transdisciplinary, straddling professional fields such as architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning and public policy, and also disciplines such as politics, economics, sociology and cultural studies. The programme fully embraces this transdisciplinarity through the theory, research training and design teaching it offers.

You will learn from academic staff from both schools who are highly accomplished and locally engaged in Cardiff, nationally in the UK, and internationally across the world. In the context of the design studios, you will also be able to benefit from the input and expertise of leading practitioners.

Studio teaching focuses on developing critically informed as well as creative and practical proposals for real sites, addressing important contemporary issues of design and urbanism

Distinctive features

• Learn from academics in two Schools which are ranked among the top 50 in the world.

• The course is taught via lectures, workshops and design studios, by staff drawn from both the architecture and planning schools, who are leading experts in their fields. Design Tutors include leading practitioners who bring their experience of cutting edge practice to the core of design studio work.

• The course is recognised by the Royal Town Planning Institute as a 'specialist' masters for those who have completed at least a three-year RTPI recognised undergraduate spatial planning degree, allowing completion of the RTPI's educational requirements for membership. For further details visit the Royal Town Planning Institute website.

• Accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), allowing completion of the educational requirement for RICS membership.

Structure

This is a one-year full-time degree.

The course is structured to provide a set of three lecture-based modules and three studio-based design modules, followed by a dissertation in the form of a research-based design project. The three lecture-based modules run in parallel with studio-based design projects which enable you to continually relate theory and practice.

Your research-based design project represents the culmination of your studies. You will be required to develop proposals relating to a chosen site, demonstrating an understanding of all aspects of urban design drawings and a written, reflective commentary.

You will have between 2-3 days of contact time each week, working between the design studio and your module lectures/seminars.

Core modules:

Urban Design Thinkers
Urban Design Foundation
Research Methods and Techniques
Development Management
Autumn Studio
Spring Studio
Research Based Design Project

Teaching

Teaching takes place in new light-filled studio spaces in the centre of the City. You will also have access to the latest modelling and workshop facilities in the Architecture School.

This MA is taught via lectures, workshops and design studios, by lecturers who are all experts in their fields – in geography, urban planning, urbanism, urban design and architecture. The design tutors also include leading practitioners who bring their experience of cutting-edge practice to the core of design studio work.

Studio teaching focuses on developing critically informed as well as creative and practical proposals for real sites, addressing important contemporary issues of design and urbanism.

Assessment

Non-design modules provide the foundations for developing understandings of urban design. These are assessed through:

• Essays
• Reports
• Presentations

Most of these provide the opportunities for summative assessment. However, tutorials, and a number of essays provide the opportunities for formative assessment.

Summative assessment is conducted at the end of each module. Formative assessment elements include design reviews, usually one or two per design module, and weekly tutorials also provide an opportunity for this.

Other forms of assessment include:

• Drawings
• Sketchbooks
• Viva voce examination of the dissertation
• Reports

Career Prospects

Graduates move onto careers as urban designers, or in urban design related work. Most of these careers are to be found within the wider areas of architecture, urban planning, property or public policy. These may be within the public, private or voluntary sectors. Some of our graduates continue to higher research degrees.

Guidance and mentoring on careers are provided during the year.

Fieldwork

As part of your studies you will take a field study visit within a UK city or a city in mainland Europe, which is fully funded within the advertised fees.

Study visits are an intrinsic part of this programme. Where your experience during the visits inform assessed assignments in required core modules, the visits are compulsory.

These field study visits are compulsory since experiences of urban design ‘in the field’ are required for completing some assignments. However, modified versions of the field trips may be allowed at the discretion of the Course Director.

The trip will require you to move around the city and make observations and presentations during these journeys. Every effort will be made to accommodate students with disabilities. It is advisable to speak to the Course Director about the possibility of adjustments before enrolling.

Read less
Our MA Urban Design programme is jointly delivered by the Welsh School of Architecture and the School of Geography and Planning. The goal of this programme is to enable practitioners and scholars to transform the field of urban design through critical thinking and creative practice. Read more
Our MA Urban Design programme is jointly delivered by the Welsh School of Architecture and the School of Geography and Planning. The goal of this programme is to enable practitioners and scholars to transform the field of urban design through critical thinking and creative practice.

Urban design is transdisciplinary, straddling professional fields such as architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning and public policy, and also disciplines such as politics, economics, sociology and cultural studies. The programme fully embraces this transdisciplinarity through the theory, research training and design teaching it offers.

You will learn from academic staff from both schools who are highly accomplished and locally engaged in Cardiff, nationally in the UK, and internationally across the world. In the context of the design studios, you will also be able to benefit from the input and expertise of leading practitioners. 

Studio teaching focuses on developing critically informed as well as creative and practical proposals for real sites, addressing important contemporary issues of design and urbanism.

Distinctive features

• Learn from academics in two Schools which are ranked among the top 50 in the world.

• The course is taught via lectures, workshops and design studios, by staff drawn from both the architecture and planning schools, who are leading experts in their fields. Design Tutors include leading practitioners who bring their experience of cutting edge practice to the core of design studio work.

• The course is recognised by the Royal Town Planning Institute as a 'specialist' masters for those who have completed at least a three-year RTPI recognised undergraduate spatial planning degree, allowing completion of the RTPI's educational requirements for membership. For further details visit the Royal Town Planning Institute website.

• Accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), allowing completion of the educational requirement for RICS membership.

Structure

This is a one-year full-time degree.

The course is structured to provide a set of three lecture-based modules and three studio-based design modules, followed by a dissertation in the form of a research-based design project. The three lecture-based modules run in parallel with studio-based design projects which enable you to continually relate theory and practice.

Your research-based design project represents the culmination of your studies. You will be required to develop proposals relating to a chosen site, demonstrating an understanding of all aspects of urban design drawings and a written, reflective commentary.

You will have between 2-3 days of contact time each week, working between the design studio and your module lectures/seminars.

Core modules:

Urban Design Thinkers
Urban Design Foundation
Research Methods and Techniques
Development Management
Autumn Studio
Spring Studio
Research Based Design Project

Teaching

Teaching takes place in new light-filled studio spaces in the centre of the City. You will also have access to the latest modelling and workshop facilities in the Architecture School.

This MA is taught via lectures, workshops and design studios, by lecturers who are all experts in their fields – in geography, urban planning, urbanism, urban design and architecture. The design tutors also include leading practitioners who bring their experience of cutting-edge practice to the core of design studio work.

Studio teaching focuses on developing critically informed as well as creative and practical proposals for real sites, addressing important contemporary issues of design and urbanism.

Assessment

Non-design modules provide the foundations for developing understandings of urban design. These are assessed through:

• Essays
• Reports
• Presentations

Most of these provide the opportunities for summative assessment. However, tutorials, and a number of essays provide the opportunities for formative assessment.

Summative assessment is conducted at the end of each module. Formative assessment elements include design reviews, usually one or two per design module, and weekly tutorials also provide an opportunity for this.

Other forms of assessment include:

• Drawings
• Sketchbooks
• Viva voce examination of the dissertation
• Reports

Career Prospects

Graduates move onto careers as urban designers, or in urban design related work. Most of these careers are to be found within the wider areas of architecture, urban planning, property or public policy. These may be within the public, private or voluntary sectors. Some of our graduates continue to higher research degrees.

Guidance and mentoring on careers are provided during the year.

Fieldwork

As part of your studies you will take a field study visit within a UK city or a city in mainland Europe, which is fully funded within the advertised fees.

Study visits are an intrinsic part of this programme. Where your experience during the visits inform assessed assignments in required core modules, the visits are compulsory.

These field study visits are compulsory since experiences of urban design ‘in the field’ are required for completing some assignments.
However, modified versions of the field trips may be allowed at the discretion of the Course Director.

The trip will require you to move around the city and make observations and presentations during these journeys. Every effort will be made to accommodate students with disabilities. It is advisable to speak to the Course Director about the possibility of adjustments before enrolling.

Read less
This one year full-time MA in Architectural Design is aimed at students who are looking for a rich, engaging and design-focused post-graduate programme, but do not wish to qualify as a UK registered architect. Read more
This one year full-time MA in Architectural Design is aimed at students who are looking for a rich, engaging and design-focused post-graduate programme, but do not wish to qualify as a UK registered architect.  It shares many of the design elements of our established MArch (Master of Architecture/ Part 2) programme, but provides greater flexibility in terms of study choices, allowing you to engage with the interests of our research staff. 

In the programme, we will focus on using design-led research to inform your learning and investigation. You will develop your existing design skills by focussing on how design thinking might address current global challenges. This approach offers an intense and lively forum for the exploration and discussion of design issues. This is why we place particular emphasis on using design as a means to conduct research. Researching through design is a creative activity that closely integrates the process of designing with the act of researching, so that they can mutually inform each other.  You will explore problems by making and testing design propositions, introducing and developing established knowledge as and when required.  Through project work, you will draw on knowledge from many disciplines.

You will work in small groups called ‘design units’ under the guidance of an experienced tutor and also work independently to develop a research-focussed approach to your studies. This will require you to question and evaluate evidence and think creatively and iteratively. Emphasis will be on individual discovery and personal reflection as a learning process.

Distinctive features

• Study in one of the top Schools of Architecture in the UK
• Supported by the School’s award-winning Design Research Unit Wales (DRUw) 
• Learn from notable design-led practitioners; currently more than 50% of our design programmes are delivered by practising architects
• Perfect for students who prefer a more practical/active approach to learning through our focus on investigation through design
• Choose from a range of optional modules to supplement your learning in areas of interest to you and develop important skills in design-based research

Structure

This programme is available on a one year full-time basis. You will be based in the Welsh School of Architecture for the duration of the programme. The taught element of this programme is structured around a 60 credit design module, where you will use techniques of research through design to explore an issue of interest related to one of the School’s design units.  This will normally run between October and April and will conclude with a final presentation in front of a panel of reviewers. Your work in the design studio is complimented by a 30 credit module analysing architectural precedent, and a choice of optional study modules.

You will usually start the dissertation element of the programme in May and complete this over the summer. The dissertation is the culmination of your design research throughout the programme.  The dissertation usually comprises of a documented design project, accompanied by a 5000 word critical commentary.  Support for developing the necessary skills of research through design will be provided during the taught elements of the programme.

During your year on the programme, you will focus on developing a design-research agenda, defining and establishing your own position in architectural design. The topics covered are usually structured around thematic studios, or ‘units’ led by design tutors who have expertise and interest in specific areas of research and/ or practice. The themes are often related to areas of research expertise within the School and may be run in conjunction with the units offered on the MArch programme.

You will undertake analysis of architectural precedent within the studio environment and choose 30 credits worth of optional modules, chosen from a list of subjects based on the research interests of the staff in the school. This list is reviewed on an annual basis. You can choose any combination of 10 and 20 credit modules for your option. 

For your dissertation you will work independently using the skills that have been developed during the taught programme to develop a critical research argument through design.  This will involve completing a design thesis project. You will be expected to supplement this with a 5000 word critical written commentary.

Core modules:

Architectural Design and Research
Analysis of Precedent
Design Thesis (Dissertation)

Optional modules:

Issues in Contemporary Architecture
Design Principles and Methods 3
Earth and Society
Low Carbon Footprint
Climate Comfort & Energy
Architectural Technology 3a

Assessment

Design projects and related exercises are assessed continuously, often through pin-up reviews and symposia where feedback is given. At the end of the year, a portfolio of all design-related work is presented for formal examination by panels of reviewers.

Optional modules are usually assessed through written examination and coursework submitted during the semester. Please read the module descriptions for your chosen optional modules to find out more about the ways they are assessed.

The criteria by which assessments are made are contained in the School’s Teaching Handbook, in project and coursework documentation, and explained at introduction to the various modules and design projects.

Career Prospects

Whilst many of our graduates will choose to undertake a career within architecture or other built environment professions, the programme provides a large number of transferable skills which will be of benefit across a wide range of professions.  The focus on independent, project based learning is welcomed by employers in that it provides graduates with skills in creative thinking, conceptual organisation, critical reflection and taking initiative.

Fieldwork

During the course we go on a range of study trips in the UK, Europe, or further afield. On these trips we will organise guided visits to buildings that demonstrate how principles taught in the programme are applied in revolutionary large-scale eco-buildings. You will also have the opportunity to meet architects and built environment professionals who collaborate with the School. In the past, students have travelled to Barcelona, Venice, Rome and the Ruhr Valley, amongst other places.

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