ARC3015 : Theory into Practice

Semester 1 Credit Value: 5
Semester 2 Credit Value: 5
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To extend students' design vocabulary and analytical/critical skills.
To develop students' verbal/visual presentational skills.
To foster a reflective approach to architectural design and representation.
To encourage critical engagement with architecture as a design-led discipline.

The module comprises a series of lectures and small-group seminars. The lectures and seminars explore the theoretical parameters of architectural design and representation, the role of taste cultures and critical doctrine as formative influences on design, as well as the methods and approaches that inform design as a creative discipline. These lectures and seminars are closely co-ordinated with and in-part delivered by staff teaching ARC3001 design graduation studios. The critical studies offer students the opportunity to engage with critical practice and discourse around their graduation studio project/s.

Outline Of Syllabus

Theme: Creating & Evaluating Quality in Architecture

The syllabus – and therefore the subject and scope of the examination – comprises student selected critical studies of design and representation. These studies will take the form of drawings and exhibition pieces together with individual reflective essays.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion251:0025:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture61:006:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading301:0030:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching11:001:00Exhibition and presentation(s)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching62:0012:00Seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study261:0026:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This module is structured so as to engage students in activities that will impact directly on the development of their design, presentation and critical abilities. To highlight this symbiotic relationship between design and theory/ criticism the module is linked to the design module ARC3001 through the production of a reflective piece on their graduation studio work (drawings, models, videos etc) including critical analysis of the methods deployed. For this module students are expected to write an illustrated critical appraisal and assessment of their chosen representation method(s).

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M100Individual 1500-word essay
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Individual student performance is assessed by means of one short (1500 word) illustrated essay which reflects on their design studio work undertaken in the ARC3001 module. The essay should unpack the representational techniques employed by the student, exploring their practice within the defined pedagogy of the studio they are working within. Students should demonstrate an awareness of the various meanings and codes attached to architectural representation and be able to situate their own work within a wider, ongoing series of practices.

Criteria for assessment are each student’s:

• Ability to carry out independent research into architectural representation and the principles and theories that underpin it.
• Understanding of the principal design concept(s) underpinning their chosen architectural designs and the way they are represented.
• Ability to analyse the relative success of their architectural solutions in terms of the cultural factors that influenced the project.
• Ability to relate the selected project to the context of current architectural debate, and to their own personal design philosophy.
• Skill in communicating ideas and conclusions, succinctly, by means of appropriate media.

Reading Lists