The diploma programme balances academic and practice concerns; it concentrates on the skills needed to design well, build securely and communicate design ideas. The main discipline is architectural design informed by more advanced study in the school’s strong subjects of urban design, landscape and contextual studies.
Coursework is structured sequentially, starting with research and the analysis of an urban area and building upon the knowledge obtained to introduce meaningful buildings and urban spaces into the fabric of cities and landscapes.
The first year is introductory and experimental, with the work varying from urban design and theory to 1:1 technology fabrication. The second year is about developing and synthesising the thesis design in preparation for the student's entry into the next stage of their professional career. Students choose an atelier or design group in which to undertake their design work, each group having a different emphasis on landscape, technology, and culture. The part-time students develop their thesis design over two years and both part-time and full-time students undertake their dissertation or Thesis Design Research in their final year.
* Urban and Landscape Contextual Studies (theory course)
* Influences, Theories and Techniques (theory course)
* Urban Development Project (design projects)
* Urban Design Project (design projects)
* Design and Detail (design and integrated technology)
* Architectural Professional Studies
* Thesis Design Research (written paper)
* Integrated Thesis Design (design projects and integrated technology)
* Thesis Design Synthesis (linked to Integrated Thesis Design, this is a reflective portfolio presentation and synthesis)