MArch Studies (Advanced Architectural Studies)

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  • Objectives
    This Masters Degree programme in the School of Architecture allows the opportunity to study a range of subjects at an advanced level in an academic unit with a distinguished reputation in both teaching and research. The Degree Programme is well established, and took on its current format in 1992 with revisions in 1998. Course units may be followed to give a broad education in the area of Advanced Architectural Studies; the degree also gives training in research methods which is particularly relevant to students wishing to pursue further study at the Ph.D. level in the area of architecture or building science. In addition the programme provides the opportunity to specialise in a subject area in which the School of Architecture possesses particular expertise. The degree is not designed to give exemption from professional examinations (such as those covered by the RIBA/ARB) which are covered by alternative courses. The requirements for the Masters degree may be satisfied by one year's full-time study (September-September). The degree is also available on a part-time basis, normally over a period of two years.
  • Entry requirements
    Entry requirements Good honours degree or equivalent qualifications/experience in architecture, building science, engineering, construction, planning, building management or other cognate disciplines of the built environment.
  • Academic title
    MArch Studies (Advanced Architectural Studies)
  • Course description
    Course Structure

    The Masters Degree Programme is designed to be flexible in its modular nature in order to be responsive to a variety of student needs.

    To obtain the degree, students must pass a number of taught course units (each normally worth 15 credits) at the required level. Candidates take course units from the taught course programme during the two semesters (Autumn - September to January, and Spring - February to June). Full time students normally take modules with credit ratings totalling 60 credits in each semester; part-time students normally take modules totalling 30 credits in the same period; overall taught course modules totalling 120 credits must be completed. The units in Advanced Study and Research Methods are compulsory.

    In addition to the taught course units, each student must complete an Advanced Project (worth 60 credits), usually submitted in the form of a dissertation. This may involve practical work in architectural science or computing, or architectural design work. Indeed, the range of topics that may be studied for the Advanced Project within the Master of Architectural Studies programme is extremely wide and is not limited by the subject matter of the taught modules of the programme.

    Course Units
    Autumn Semester (September-January):
    Advanced Study and Research Methods 1
    An introduction to the techniques of scholarly research giving knowledge and skills needed for research in all areas of architectural studies. It normally leads to the definition of a research proposal and identification of bibliography/references that relate to an area of interest of the student.

    Computer Aided Architectural Design
    This course provides a basic introduction to the technical background and analytical use of CAD concepts. Successful students will acquire the following skills: proficiency in modelling complex architectural structures; ability to structure CAD models for analytical purposes; presentation of projects from analytical perspectives e.g. lighting, structure, circulation, etc. Successful students will also gain an understanding of rendering principles and of multimedia principles. As a result they should gain an ability to describe and present complex design projects from analytical points of view.

    Climate Sensitive Environmental Design
    This module deals with technologies and techniques for the design of buildings and the built environment. The purpose is to enable such design to be assessed and optimised with respect to climatic, both the effect of climate on buildings and the effect of buildings on climate.

    Applied Design Project
    This is a design analysis based unit; students will work on several small-scale analysis projects and be expected to employ appropriate computing-based and environmental design techniques. The focus will be very much participatory in nature with a number of student-led activities. A range of sectors within the built environment are considered and the main component of design considered is environmental in nature.

    Architecture and the Design Process
    This course unit is primarily intended for graduate students who have not studied architecture as an undergraduate subject and also for those who wish to further their study of design at graduate level.

    Spring Semester (February-June):
    Advanced Study and Research Methods 2
    A course which provides information on techniques and resources suitable for tackling research projects. The output from the module normally includes the completion of a literature and methodologies review relevant to an area of interest for the student.

    Advanced C.A.A.D.
    This is a practical module in which students apply a range of CAD presentation and visualisation techniques to a live design project in which individual students are expected to contribute to a group multimedia project. The aim of this module is to develop the skills of experienced CAD users who have more than just cursory knowledge of the underlying principles of computer graphics.

    Building Environmental Simulation and Analysis
    The course unit aims to provide a general understanding of, and practical experience in computer modelling software systems which are used for simulating and predicting the environmental performance of buildings. A theoretical explanation of the processes simulated in the computer models (such as heat transfer, air flow and lighting) is followed by a description of individual software packages. Practical work using each package is also included.

    Interactive Urban Visualisation Modelling
    The module introduces the theoretical and technical aspects of Web-based interactive urban visualisation modelling. An overall aim of the unit is to provide a learning process for graduate students to further develop their digital modelling skills and knowledge through experimenting with a dynamic virtual city modelling platform.

    Integrated Design Project
    This course unit enables the skills, knowledge and techniques assimilated in other course units to be applied in an integrated way to the design of a building and its environment. It is normally undertaken as a group exercise.

    Individual Integrated Design Project
    This course unit covers the same material as the Integrated Design Project but is undertaken on an individual basis (with tutor support) and carries double the credit rating. It is designed to enable the skills, knowledge and techniques assimilated in other course units to be applied in an integrated way to the design of a building and its environment.

    Renewable Energy
    Renewable energy sources along with conservation techniques are often seen as the key to the solution of the world's future energy supply and pollution difficulties. This course introduces and describes energy sources of a renewable nature and how these sources might be used at a variety of scales to supply a variety of needs. The course is interactive in nature and provides knowledge and skills development.

    In addition to the choices listed above, students taking the Master of Architectural Studies degree may select up to 30 credits of taught course units over the teaching semesters from other postgraduate course units in the University
    Summer (June-September):
    Advanced Project
    A special subject is studied and researched in depth, usually resulting in the production of a dissertation.

    Please note that the University reserved the right to alter the availability of course units within the programme

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