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APL8014 : Urban design and the use of design codes

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Tim Townshend
  • Lecturer: Mr Smajo Beso
  • Owning School: Architecture, Planning & Landscape
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


This module aims to develop students skills and knowledge in respect to the use of design coding in the broader field of urban design.

Students will learn about the principles and practices involved in the production of design codes. They will be introduced to a specific code that has been developed by a local authority in North East England. They will be required to critically engage with this and produce an intervention in line with the code.

Students will also write a short reflective piece on the use of coding and the efficacy of their wider application.

Outline Of Syllabus

The syllabus and project work will cover the following topics:
•       Undertaking site surveys and investigations
•       Analysis, including historical analysis, landscape character analysis, functional analysis, structure, spatial and other analyses as relevant
•       The evaluation and communication of issues, conflicts, opportunities and potentials
•       The production and communication of the conceptual basis for the design
•       The production of integrated, optimal and sustainable solutions in the form of urban design proposals
•       The illustration and communication of those proposals

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching24:008:00Critical reviews.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching44:0016:00In studio design tutorials.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching42:008:00Group design exercises
Guided Independent StudyProject work1152:30152:30Project Work
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork17:007:00Site visit.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery90:304:30One-to-one bookable sessions, not mandatory.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk22:004:00In studio lecture
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The design studio is the integrative environment where students can synthesis knowledge from other modules and develop their understanding and skills in the context of a design problem set by tutors. Students are supported in their learning through the site visit, briefings (lecture), tutorials and design review. Design tutorials and review are also the principle means through which students receive feedback on their progress.

Studio tuition and review sessions allow for the Tutors to assist and encourage students in the development of their projects.

Contact hours combine synchronous in studio (face to face) and online individual and group tutorial sessions. Synchronous in studio sessions allow for large group reviews and face to face peer contact whereas synchronous online sessions enable targeted and smaller group reviews. The design studio pedagogy, is centred on a dialogic and responsive approach to students’ own creative work and research. Urban design pedagogy is reliant on a high proportion of independent learning to support the design process. The MOF hours are consistent with this approach.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Design/Creative proj2M90Design project as outlined in the module handbook
Reflective log2M10Reflective Essay. illustrated piece c800-1500 words (length dependant on number of illustrations)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

During design tutorials work will be reviewed and tuition carried out on a weekly basis to encourage progression. The interim critical reviews allow students to learn from each other as well as from the tutor. This reviewing technique also provides practice for the final reviews, and for the kind of presentations commonly expected of urban design professionals in practice.

The presentation of project provides students with the opportunity to explain and communicate the development and depth of their knowledge and understanding.

Assessment of the graphic representation of projects indicates the ability of students to select and use appropriate communication techniques and media for urban design projects.

The reflective piece will again demonstrate the student’s knowledge and understanding.

Reading Lists