How this course is delivered
We've made some changes to the way our courses are taught to keep everyone safe, connected and involved in university life.
At the moment, students have a blend of on-campus and digitally enabled remote learning that provides lots of opportunities to interact and engage with lecturers and other students.
Why study with us?
- Experimental course that stretches your imagination and critical ability and helps you to become a leader in your field
- Based in the creative and vibrant city environment of Brighton and Hove, and with close proximity to London
- Past field trips to cities have included London, Berlin, Marseille, Lisbon, Glasgow and Edinburgh
- Teaching staff who are also practitioners in architecture and urban design
- Workshops and guest lectures from leading figures such as Robert Mull and Publica, Ed Parham of Space Syntax, artist Anthony McCall, Stefano Rabolli Pansera of Beyond Entropy
- A thriving alumni network of professional architects, academics and urban designers
Making sure that what you learn with us is relevant, up to date and what employers are looking for is our priority, so courses are reviewed and enhanced on an ongoing basis. When you have applied to us, you’ll be told about any new developments through Student View.
Students on a field trip at the Unite d’Habitation designed by le Corbusier, built between 1947 and 1952
Areas of study
The course is taught over three semesters over 12 months.
Design 1: Urban Strategies
This module introduces you to design strategies, methods and issues pertinent to your design studio, helping you to explore the potential of different approaches to design. There is a strong emphasis on the development of conceptual ideas and their correlation with the development of design strategy, helping you to articulate your individual position as a design practitioner.
Design 2 aims to consolidate and extend the priorities, ideas and strategies established in Design 1. You will explore architectural and urban ideas in more depth and complexity. The emphasis here is on curiosity and speculation, supporting the development of methods to help with enquiry, reflection and debate.
The independent project runs concurrently and is concerned with your identification of places of ‘conflict’ and negotiations of space. The module encourages experimentation in a specific field of study. Students have developed projects in fields of architectural and artistic practice, creative design, techniques of communication or new technologies.
The Critical Readings module will develop your skills in critical practice through an analysis of cultural, historical, theoretical and practical issues in architecture. It provides the opportunity to carry out initial investigations into the ideas that will drive your masterwork project.
Research Practices introduces you to the challenges involved in designing, implementing and disseminating a research project. You will develop a written proposal that can inform the development of your masterwork project, encouraging you to consider how your investigations contribute to the academic knowledge in your field.
The masterwork is the final stage of study, requiring you to perform as a self-reflective critical researcher and lay down the foundations for innovation in your future practice. You will develop your project from an agreed research proposal, which may be either a text-based dissertation or a design-led research project with critical reflection. You will be asked to focus the areas of interest that have developed in your previous practice and studies, identify research questions and develop research methods, bringing critical investigation and creative responses together.
Entrance to the Kings Cross Historic Game by Ekaterina Novikova
Examining the permeability of the boundary to the Kings Cross site by Evelina Klimaite
Meet the team
Sarah Stevens, course leader
Sarah’s research interests focus on architectural engagement with temporality, ambiguity and uncertainty explored through agendas of sustainability and architectural experience. This work directly informs her teaching and design studio agendas and was informed by her PhD in responsive architecture, focusing on kinetic facades, sponsored by Arup.
Previously a senior architect in practice, Sarah’s experience included design research into zero carbon housing prototypes and the development of adaptive portable structures. As a freelance consultant her work has included contributions to the BRE Green Guide to Specification for Housing and Green Guide to Specification for Offices. Read Sarah's full profile.
Other staff who teach on the course include:
Sue Robertson, Alex Fitch, Sam Lynch, Ben Sweeting, Sally Sutherland, Peter Clash, Ed Parham and Judit Pusztaszeri.
Our studio produces an astonishing variety of work, but the core values remain the same: critical engagement and creative response.