KA6046 - Architectural Research Methods

What will I learn on this module?

Lectures will discuss research principles and concepts; academic theory and skills will be contextualised to an architectural idiom through case study examples of recent and current research projects.
Working in research seminar groups, will help frame the subject of your own, self-selected research proposal. You will identify the key researchers and seminal research, current ‘state of the art’, and any ‘gap in the knowledge’ in your chosen field or subject; and produce your research project’s methodology which you will then undertake in year 2.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through lectures, seminars, and independent learning, enabling you to apply the academic skills required to undertaking postgraduate-level assignments.
You will be encouraged to utilise and contribute to peer- to- peer support and learning within the structures of year group cohort, in group work/ seminar groups, and in design studio.
It is expected you will also be participating in wider cultural activities, for example, including but not limited to, attending symposia and lectures, exhibitions, performances, etc.; participation in community groups (including NSU societies), volunteering, campaigning and other associated cultural practices in support of your independent learning journey and the production of your assignment.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Although it is intended that you will become an autonomous, self-motivated learner, this will be achieved within a supportive environment.

The research seminar group will discuss exemplars such as set texts, podcasts, films etc. to contextualise and elaborate on the lectures’ contents; it will help you identify, discuss and refine your initial research project proposal; and to develop and use verbal and visual presentation and other media as appropriate to communicate your ideas clearly. You will be encouraged to utilise and contribute to this peer to peer group learning within research seminar groups, in order to test and appraise your and your peers’ research proposals and the emerging design for your research project.

Formative feedback will be offered verbally,. whilst written summative feedback will provide advice for the future development of your self-selected research project and an appraisal of your work and performance.

Learning material will be available on the eLearning Portal (Blackboard) so that you can access information when you need to and we operate an open door policy to help support student learning when it is needed most. The university library offers support for all students through its catalogue and an Ask4Help Online service.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

KU 1. Develop a systematic understanding of a specialist area of the discipline

KU 2. Critically evaluate current issues and alternative approaches within the discipline of architecture

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

IPSA 1. Demonstrate independent learning through research and critical thinking in order to take increased ownership of your own learning methods and knowledge acquisition.

IPSA 2. Research, evaluate and integrate sources of information and effectively communicate proposals using appropriate visual, verbal and written communication methods and media to represent testing, analysis, critical appraisal and resolution of problems within the discipline.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity):

PVA 1. Develop and apply a reflective approach to learning and personal development and engage with the ethical and social responsibilities of academic inquiry.

PVA 2. Develop and articulate an understanding of, and personal engagement with the ethical, professional, financial, and social responsibilities of a design professional with an influence on the environment.

How will I be assessed?

Formative feedback will be offered verbally in seminar group tutorials on the research proposal, e.g. discussions with and presentations to your peers, to provide ongoing developmental guidance and reflection.

You will be encouraged to take part in critical discussion and debate to promote peer learning

Summative assessment will be of coursework.

The assignment will take the form of an illustrated, extended essay of 6,000 words.

The summative assessment will test all Module Learning Outcomes.

Summative feedback will be in written form, to provide advice for subsequent development in module KA7013 Student Selected Investigation.

Moderation of summative assessments will take place at the end of the module.





Module abstract

In this module you will acquire and apply systematic research principles and practices to, in, or through the field of architecture.
You will acquire an understanding of the diversity of possible research related to the field of architecture, as a subject for research and as a mode of undertaking research in its own right, and as a cross-disciplinary framework for looking at everything from the sciences; the humanities, such as tangible and intangible culture; to the arts, and how these can inform and enrich each other. You will research, evaluate, and integrate sources of information and effectively communicate proposals using appropriate visual, verbal, and written communication methods and media to represent testing, analysis, critical appraisal, and resolution of problems within architecture.
By the end of this module you will: be familiar with academic research principles, terminology, and have demonstrated appropriate use of academic language and referencing; have proposed and justified a self-selected research project; researched the current ‘state of the art’ in your chosen subject, and will have identified and proposed your research project’s methodology. This will result in a comprehensive ‘road map’ to your year 2 Student Selected Investigation assignment.

Course info

Credits 30

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 2 years Full Time

Department Architecture and Built Environment

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


Useful Links

Find out about our distinctive approach at 

Admissions Terms and Conditions

Fees and Funding

Admissions Policy

Admissions Complaints Policy