Architecture offers a uniquely holistic programme of education spanning various fields of study from the worlds of art and the humanities, science and technology, management, practice and law. The project work-based curriculum enables you to gain valuable transferable skills in research, analysis and interpretation, the generation of and testing of ideas, visual and verbal presentation techniques, teamwork and initiative which are of lifelong value.
We are looking for students with an enthusiasm for design, who wish to engage in the debate on the future of the built environment. You should have a willingness to read around the subject widely. You should be willing to gain first hand experience of buildings, towns and cities and possess the following essential qualities: -Information retrieval techniques, as you will be expected to read around the subject and draw upon your findings for essays and projects. -Analytical skills, so that you can critically assess your own work and the work of others. -IT skills, as you will be expected to develop and submit project work using a wide range of specialist software applications. -Communication skills, as you will be expected to contribute to tutorials and host presentations. -Time management skills, as you will have to work to deadlines on a regular basis. -Team-working skills, as you will have to work closely with others.
The PG Diploma in architecture programme is a vocational programme fully validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Architects Registration Board (ARB) to award RIBA Part 2 exemption to its graduates. Graduates of the programme have the opportunity to convert the award to the MA in Architecture or an MA in Architecture and Urban Design via further study (6 months full time of 12 months part time).
How will you spend your study time?
Architecture is a diverse and dynamic course where you will work both in groups and individually, on theoretical and practical subjects, while focusing on your design projects.
The course is structured in a way to allow you to take advantage of the unique opportunities offered by an post graduate architecture programme located in a dynamic and forward looking School of the visual arts. Cross programme collaboration is encouraged particularly in the ‘Special Study’ project in semester two and the Comprehensive Design Project in semester four.
The programme is modular and spans two years (full time) or four years (part time). In each year you are required to gain 120 credits by undertaking a mix of modules components, each covering a specific subject. These modules are organised in sequence ensuring that you are prepared for gradually more complex tasks. The modules are reviewed annually to maintain their up to date context. The following is a summary of subjects studied during the two years post graduate course (In part time mode one semester equates to one year):
Semester One - Theory, Design Studies, CAD Workshops and Management, Practice and Law
Semester Two – Specialist Study, Design Studies, CAD Workshops, Management, Practice and Law, Building and Case Studies.
Semester Three - Urban Design Project and CDP Brief development, Theory, Best Practice Studies and Management, Practice and Law
Semester Four - Comprehensive Design Project, Technical Workshops and Management, Practice and Law
Teaching is intensive and you learn by one-to-one and group discussions and regular presentations of work, so that continuous group and self assessment is built in.
The course is project oriented where you develop design ideas in the studio, guided by semester tutors, and at regular intervals by joint review panels of design tutors and external critics, who make comments on your progress.
Technical workshops explore, environmental, structural and constructional aspects of your design projects based upon one to one tutorials with external engineers from ARUP and other internationally renown engineering practices with whom JMU have formed working relationships with over a number of years.
The studio is also where peer group reviews and exhibitions take place, so it forms a truly interactive learning environment.
Beside the hands-on studio sessions, learning takes place in formal lectures and seminars delivered by a range of staff with expert knowledge in the various fields of expertise. These lectures are usually timetabled to be relevant to the projects being undertaken in the design studio.
To ensure that you are getting the most out of your education with us, PDP (Personal Development Planning) sessions will be held at the end of every academic semester where you will be given individual assessment and advice regarding your personal development and individualised learning goals.
How will you be assessed?
Design and Technology module components form the core of the programme and are assessed via the completion of project work which may at various stages entail the production of drawings, artistic rendering, physical models, computer generated models, written reports and verbal presentations.
History and theory module components are assessed via formal presentations to peer groups and review panels.
Management, Practice and Law module components are assessed via the submission of written reports, and through project work integrated with the design modules.
What are the special features of this programme?
Architecture at LJMU is a long standing and nationally respected programme that has been fully validated and externally accredited for over 30 years. The department has well established links with local and national professional bodies and close ties with a number of architectural practices, locally nationally and internationally.
The course is located within a school of art and design alongside a range of other closely related visual arts programmes. This creates a unique and stimulating environment for staff and students providing varied sources of inspiration, the opportunity to share creative ideas between disciplines and access to specialist shared facilities.
The department uses the dynamic city of Liverpool as a test bed for most of its project work whilst referring to international best practice. This is based on a clear philosophy to encourage students and staff to be internationally aware and is supported with a programme of study tours which visit places of relevance to studio design projects. Recently students have visited Barcelona, Copenhagen, Rome, Amsterdam and Berlin.
You will also spend your time studying in the ‘European Capital of Culture 2008’, thus being part of a vibrant cultural and artistic milieu.
What facilities are available?
You will inhabit a range of learning environments including design studios, lecture theatres, seminar rooms, the learning resource centre (library), general IT suites, dedicated Computer Aided Design IT suites, rapid prototyping labs, various workshops for the manipulation of resistant materials including wood, metals, plastics, ceramics etc. and dedicated exhibition spaces. The new Art and Design Academy building will be completed in 2008 with new facilities in all art and design areas.
What career opportunities are available?
Architecture at LJMU is a vocational course that receives external validation from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and prescription from the Architects Registration Board (ARB). Graduates of the programme receive exemption from the professional award of RIBA Part 2.
Most students join the course with the ultimate goal of becoming a registered architect. This would usually entail working for at least one year in architectural practice on completion of the PG Diploma programme and then undertaking the RIBA Part 3 examination.
Why study at LJMU?
LJMU, one of the UK’s most progressive universities, is aiming to become the UK's number one university of employability. All of our courses are designed to help you realise success, and by choosing to study here, you will be giving yourself the best possible start in your chosen career.
Following extensive research and consultation with employers, we have radically adapted our teaching and learning strategy.
By choosing to study with us, not only will you get an excellent PG Diploma but you'll have access to state-of-the-art facilities. We have embarked on a major campus redevelopment programme and this will ensure that LJMU truly is a 21st century university. The £24 million Art and Design Academy - the biggest investment in arts education in the UK today - will be the first of our major projects to be completed. It is scheduled to open in 2008 and will play a significant role in Liverpool's celebrations as the Capital of Culture.
But, as the saying goes, it isn’t all about work and no play, and at LJMU we think it’s important that you enjoy your leisure time too. Our students come from 80 countries around the world and there's no better place to kick back with your new friends than in the very popular Liverpool Students’ Union. Run by, and for students, the LSU has three bars, shops, a lifestyle and fitness centre, its own radio station, and over 50 clubs and societies. It’s also the place where advice and support are available seven days a week. So, whether you want to refuel, revive, or simply socialise, LSU has it all.
Application and Selection
You know what the entry requirements are, what the course will cover and what it will be like to study at LJMU in Liverpool, but what skills do you need to secure a place?
Modes of Study
-2 years full time
-4 years part time
Applicants should have completed a first degree in architecture with RIBA Part One exemption or equivalent.
Assessment of suitability to the course may also be undertaken by review of a portfolio of work and an interview.
We welcome overseas applicants and normally require overseas applicants to show evidence of academic achievement equivalent entry qualifications. We also require that overseas applicants have attained a recognised English Language to LJMU’s requirements.
-Some tips and advice on writing your personal statement
-Take your time with your personal statement. It is an important part of your application form. This is the part of the form that will make you stand out as an individual. Organise your main achievements and interests into bullet points before you start completing it.
-Summarise why you have chosen the course(s) for which you are applying and link between your present and proposed course(s).
-Keep the statement brief and to the point. Don’t fall into the trap of including common interests such a socialising and reading. (Who doesn't do these things?) You should strive to make your statement personal. Think about things that you have done that are unique.
-Make sure that you include any work experience that you have had (this includes part-time and holiday work) particularly if this relates to your chosen field of study. We are looking for evidence of commitment and team-working skills, so give us details of these.
-Remember that we will consider your application not only on your exam grades but also on the strength of your personal statement and references. We may invite you in for an interview or ask you to complete a piece of work if we believe your exam grades do not accurately reflect your ability and potential. Remember that a good application form could even make up a shortfall in your exam grades and help secure your place at LJMU.
What happens next?
If you are from the UK or EC and meet the application criteria, you will receive a letter requesting that you attend an interview to which you should bring your full academic portfolio. This will also include an opportunity to meet academic staff and current students, as well as a tour of LJMU facilities. International students will receive confirmation of their offer from the International Office, along with details on accommodation, fees and other important information.