KA5023 - Design and Specification

What will I learn on this module?

In responding to a client brief and understanding the request is a key attribute of the Building Surveyor. You will become used to interrogating the client and responding to physical and statutory constraints to produce a workable design solution. You will call upon historical and contemporary influences on Architecture and technological solutions to suit the practicalities of both construction and maintenance throughout the life cycle of a building. Further, emphasis will be given to communication of design logic and rationale, and communication of design choices.

How will I learn on this module?

There will be a mix of formal lectures form both University and other specialist guest speakers. Each group will be assigned a supervisor who will work closely during the group stage while outline designs and schematics are iterated and presented, and further through the individual preparation for discussion and summative submission.
Classroom, studio, tutorial and IT media will all be employed, together with site visits where applicable and appropriate.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will also be supported by the provision of on-line resources via the module e-learning portal. These resources include lecture and workshop information, interactive reading list with on-line access to a number of key articles plus links to topical news reports. Teaching staff will also respond to individual questions via the module’s discussion board so that everyone taking the module can benefit. Furthermore, module teaching staff are responsive to communication via e-mail to support your learning.

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?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• MLO1: Explore the nature of the design team and how the design process is informed and actioned by that team

• MLO2: Evaluate potential outline solutions to the requirements of a client by employing enquiry based tools and communicate these responses n teams. Demonstrate how urban, social and environmental development affect the built environment.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• MLO3: You will be able to research, evaluate and communicate information on client need and design principles

• MLO4: You will be able to use building informational modelling software as a way of digitally recording and describing existing buildings, and to use specification writing software to produce tender information.

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

• MLO5: You will develop an awareness of the professional and ethical process behind seeking tenders for building work based on coordinated and comprehensive information packages.

How will I be assessed?

Your assessment will be by means of a presentation of your outline design and production of a tender package.

Presentation (50%): Working in groups, you will prepare outline designs to respond to the client brief.

Tender Package (50%): You will submit an individual tender package which will include all relevant information to enable a building contractor to provide pricing information to enable the client to make informed decisions as to proceeding with any work.





Module abstract

This module will seek to combine your creative and technical strands with a view to compiling a comprehensive and coordinate package of information as required and expected by industry professionals. You will be presented with a live site and building with real constraints and encouraged to investigate, research and provide solutions to the utilitarian, technical, functional, performance related and aesthetic aspects of refurbishment and/or extension.
You will work in a small group to generate an outline design in response to a client brief, and individually to identify, detail and specify certain key elements of that brief.

Course info

UCAS Code K230

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Architecture and Built Environment

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.

Your Learning Experience

Find out about our distinctive approach at 

Admissions Terms and Conditions

Fees and Funding

Admissions Policy

Admissions Complaints Policy