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ARC8095 : Learning Lab: Research by Design B

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Rosie Parnell
  • 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 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


The aim of the Learning Lab modules is to provide students with the opportunity to develop their understanding of architectural theory related to built environment education for children and young people. They will integrate this knowledge in an authentic context through collaboration on live action research and research by design projects with academic supervisors and partners.

The outcomes of live projects will vary year on year and be identified and developed collaboratively with partners to meet their real-world needs. Through participation in, and reflection on, these projects, students will also generate new knowledge that contributes to understanding of the action research and research by design methodology, built environment pedagogy and the ongoing development of a toolkit for practice.

The real-world context of live projects and participatory nature of the research by design methodology allows students to engage in outreach with local communities as well as to gain experience of professional practice and the complexities of working with clients and users.

Outline Of Syllabus

In ARC8094 (Module A), students will be introduced to key theories and concepts related to built environment education for children and young people as well as research by design as a methodology through preparatory small group teaching in order to support meaningful participation in live projects. This preparation for project work will be supplemented by workshops designed to develop the skills and approaches required to work with partners in education as part of participatory research.

Student groups will then work with partners to identify a relevant and authentic need that may be meaningfully addressed through engagement with action research/research by design and agree a project plan and intended outcomes. Group project plans (i.e. research proposals - including context and rationale) will be submitted for assessment along with individual reflective reports.

In ARC8095 (Module B) students will implement the agreed project plan. Students will engage with partners through workshops throughout the project. The aim of these workshops is to actively involve partners in research and the development of project outcomes, gather information and feedback to ensure partner needs are met, and identify any additional support required to progress the project. Identified support needs will be met by small group teaching facilitated by academic supervisors as well as guided independent research.

By the end of ARC8095, students will submit a group portfolio for assessment that includes a write-up of the research conducted and project outcomes, as well as recommendations for research by design / built environment education practice that can be used to develop, critique and update a toolkit used by subsequent cohorts to support project work. Students will also submit an individual reflective report. There will also be an invitation to submit a group conference proposal for the Newcastle University Learning & Teaching Conference (or other relevant conference) to allow students to disseminate their research findings if they so wish (unassessed and optional).

A detailed induction to the syllabus and student-centred approach of the module will be provided by academic supervisors at the beginning of the module.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading140:0040:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching33:009:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyProject work186:0086:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops42:008:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity82:0016:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision20:301:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The precise allocation of teaching activities to the 400 hour total across the modules ARC8094 and ARC8095 will vary depending on the nature of the live project.

The teaching methods will vary according to the nature of the live project and details of the approach will be included as part of project briefing sessions/induction.

Set hours will be delivered in person where permitted and facilitate:
•       Preparatory teaching and development for effective engagement with project planning and project work
•       Partner engagement (sessions will employ digital technology to accommodate for different needs and public health concerns)
•       Student-led small group teaching and facilitation to support project planning and project work

The student-led nature of teaching to support project work recognises the value in practitioners’ ability to identify and communicate challenges and self-identify development needs when addressing complex, real-world questions.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio1M60Group - Equivalent to 1,000 words per student
Reflective log1M40Individual - 2,000 words
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation1MGroup presentation and formative feedback on research project work and proposed content of portfolio.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The oral presentation offers an opportunity for students to present their research project process, findings and draft outputs to teaching staff and partners in order to receive formative feedback that can inform the development of the summative group portfolio submission. The group project portfolio offers students the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to plan and conduct action research/research by design projects that meet the real-world needs of partners and to effectively communicate their findings. These assessments also offer students an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to integrate theory, practice and partner input and justify their chosen approach through research and reference to relevant theories, concepts, and evidence.

Individual reflective assignments offer students the opportunity to critically reflect on and demonstrate their contributions to, and experience of, the research process, and identify challenges and development needs to support future practice. The reflective assignment also offers students an opportunity to reflect on the skills and approaches developed through involvement in the group project, particularly in relation to professional practice and collaboration with external partners/clients.

Reading Lists