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About Us.

Editor Florian Kossak Design Jordan J. Lloyd

Welcome .

This brochure will give you an overview of our profile both in teaching and research. Its intention is to introduce you the ethos and the various parts that make up our School – and that make our School unique amongst the schools of architecture. The University of Sheffield School of Architecture is one of the oldest architecture schools in the UK and has remained now for many years one of the leading schools for architectural education in the country. Its research activity is nationally and internationally of a continuous outstanding and acclaimed standard. This has enabled us to attract excellent national and international undergraduates as well as postgraduate students and academic staff to this School who all contribute to a socially vibrant and academically challenging environment. The city of Sheffield is very special place within this country. It is an excellent place to learn, teach and research architecture and The University of Sheffield School of Architecture is firmly placed within this environment. Welcome to The University of Sheffield School of Architecture.

Professor Flora Samuel Head of Department

The School’s Ethos.

This School embraces the reality of contemporary society. From our own research and that of others we know that architecture has the potential significantly to enhance the quality of life of those who inhabit and use it. We seek to bring that evidence to bear on design practice and policy, and this often means pushing at the boundaries of the profession. We understand that architecture is a network and that the influence of a building spreads well beyond its site. Its impact, both on lives and on the wider environment, must be considered in the long term. For some decades research at Sheffield has been consistently rated as excellent and international. It is also highly interdisciplinary. We benefit from the presence of a great many graduate students and a growing portfolio of masters programmes, so we have recently created a Postgraduate School to provide even more support and stimulus to those who come to work with us. We believe that the presence of those students, with their varied backgrounds and cultures, also enriches the undergraduate experience. Sheffield has high admissions standards, yet diversity and accessibility are central to our practice and to our beliefs. Staff are joined in their desire to bring talented but unlikely people into our orbit through outreach programmes in schools, and through special workshops for mature students. We pride ourselves on being an inclusive, friendly and accessible place to study. Live Projects are central to what we do, and have been now for 15 years. Our staff and students can often be found working not only with communities in Sheffield, but more widely across the United Kingdom and beyond. By applying our creativity while simultaneously grounding our students in practicality, we seek to benefit those communities. Our school pioneers new approaches to architectural education underpinned by our world-class research. We are critical of the ways in which architectural education has traditionally been delivered and of the nature of the architectural profession as it is now. It is our aim through rigourous research and painstaking reflection to open up the field of architecture, embracing all those who engage with it, so making it more relevant and effective in its social purpose.


The School’s History.

The University of Sheffield School of Architecture is among the oldest in the UK, founded by university architect Edward Gibbs in 1908. It began with an Arts and Crafts ethos under W.S. Purchon, but switched in 1928 to a Beaux Arts based course under Stephen Welsh. Before the Second World War there were never more than 50 students, and the School served the local region. The post-war years brought a series of expansions. Welsh’s successor John Needham initiated the department of Building Science bringing a technical strength that has remained. He also helped found the departments of Town and Regional Planning, and Landscape Architecture, which accompanied Architecture and Building Science in a Faculty of Architectural Studies which existed until 2006. During the early 1960s the city of Sheffield was known for its progressive welfare state architecture, and the university itself expanded with a series of buildings by Gollins Melvin and Ward including the Arts Tower, whose top five floors became the new home of the School of Architecture in 1965. On Needham’s retirement in 1973 George Grenfell-Baines, founder of Building Design Partnership, brought a new emphasis on the integration of education with practical training. He also initiated a rotating headship that was held in turn through the later 1970s and 80s by his successors David Gosling and Ken Murta, a period of great success in the RIBA student medals thanks to a teaching system of visiting critics that constituted almost a ‘Who’s Who’ of British architecture. In the 1990s under Bryan Lawson the emphasis shifted towards theory and research. Jeremy Till in the early years of the new century added a new emphasis on the nature of practice and the question of agency. This was accompanied by a shared concern about energy use and sustainability. In 2009 the School moved to temporary accommodation in the Crookesmoor Building to allow for the refurbishment of the Arts Tower (2009-2011) and Flora Samuel took over as Head, continuing Till’s agenda whilst engaging more with the potential of the digital world. Despite a high reputation and expertise in technical studies and humanities, the School’s fundamental ethos remains social service, though it is not lacking in the lively scepticism that a leading university must allow. 6

World Class Research.

The School of Architecture is one of the leading architectural research centres in the UK. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 35% of our staff were rated 4* (world leading), which is the highest percentage score achieved by any School of Architecture. The School has maintained its position in the top rank longer than any other UK school, with excellent ratings in the two previous RAEs in 1996 and 2001. It is also one of the highest ranking departments within the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Sheffield. Research in the School covers a wide subject range, including history and theory of architecture, design, sustainable environments, digital communication, education environments, and architecture for health and wellbeing. While the range of research activity is wide, there is a common interest in research that concerns the relationship between architecture and society and is interdisciplinary in scope. Our aim is to make an impact on policy and practice, and to be involved in the national and international debate about the shaping of future architectural environments. We have been successful in attracting funding for our research activity from UK Research Councils and The European Commission, The National Institute for Health Research, The Royal Society, The British Council, and a number of charities. Knowledge Transfer is increasingly part of our agenda and our staff act as consultants to government bodies, businesses, and other organisations. We carry out international research projects and collaborate with researchers worldwide. All academic staff are active researchers, and they bring their individual expertise and specialisms to the teaching in the School, though some are designated research staff when this is their primary focus. We foster an active research culture within the School through regular interdisciplinary research seminars and specialised subject groupings and engage in an ongoing architectural research discourse with students, particularly at postgraduate level.

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Postgraduate School. Dr. Doina Petrescu Director of Postgraduate School

With currently over 60 PhD students and 80 Taught Masters students (home and overseas), the School has one of the largest cohorts of architecturally based research students in the UK, reflecting its pre-eminence in the field of architectural research. Responding to growth in this area, a Postgraduate School has recently been formed which embraces Doctoral and Taught Masters programmes. This should strengthen links between post-graduate students and research staff to support the flourishing research culture within the School. Our postgraduate research is intrinsically inter-disciplinary and is open to students with an interest in any aspect of architectural research. These include histories, theories, practices and politics of architecture, environmental design (lighting, acoustics and the thermal environment), sustainability and structures, design processes and user behaviour, computer-aided design, emergent systems and complexity, socio-technical systems (particularly related to sustainable energy technologies) urban design and development, community design and participation, places and placemaking, children’s environments, feminist approaches, and

transformative education. We also encourage proposals for research by design. A training programme supports students’ individual research and members of staff offer supervision in their own specialist areas. Research students are encouraged to take part in conferences and academic life both inside and outside the University. With a tradition of innovative education, our school encourages studentled initiatives and exchanges in research and education. We have a lively postgraduate student society, which organises social events and seminars. There is also a student-staff committee that discusses issues directly relevant to the postgraduate student community.


Postgraduate Research. Dr. Steve Fotios PhD Admissions Tutor

To be admitted for a PhD, students will need a good honours degree in an appropriate subject: architecture, building, engineering, science or related disciplines. They are required to register initially for an MPhil, transfer to PhD registration taking place after one year and successful completion of an upgrading report. Those with an MPhil qualification can register for PhD directly. Applicants must demonstrate a sufficient level of skill in written and spoken English. A number of University studentships and fee waivers are available each year for PhD students (see the University Research and Innovation Services website).

Inter-departmental research opportunities Staff actively collaborate with industry and with colleagues in other departments in the University (for instance: Civil Engineering, Urban Planning, Landscape, or Social Science) and with research groups at other universities and institutions in the UK and elsewhere. International collaborations have taken place with Sweden, Norway, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Singapore, France, Germany, Canada, Spain, Turkey, Mexico, Holland and the USA.

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Postgraduate Taught Masters. Dr. Renata Tyszczuk Director of the Postgraduate Taught Masters Programmes

The School of Architecture offers several postgraduate Taught Masters programmes. Each is tailored to meet the specific needs and interests of its students and to build on the strengths of the contributing academic staff. Courses range from computer aided design to participatory urban design, conservation and regeneration, design for education and healthcare, and sustainable architectural design.

The taught Masters courses run in parallel with our professionally recognised MArch in Architecture (RIBA Part 2) with which they share some modules. All courses are for a full 12-month study period (24 months if taken parttime).

The programmes draw strongly on the School of Architecture´s intellectual ethos, which emphasises social and environmental responsibilities in relation to the design and production of the built environment. The aim of our programmes is to equip students with the knowledge and skills for international careers in academia, research, practice and other commercial and professional fields where an advanced understanding of the built environment is an advantage. Each of the Masters courses also gives training in research methods in different areas, relevant to students wishing to pursue further study at PhD level.

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MArch Studies (Sustainable Architecture Studies) Dr. Hasim Altan

MA in Architectural Design Dr. Renata Tyszczuk

This programme provides a broad education in the area of sustainable architectural design set within an international context. It thus provides a good foundation for further research.

The MA in Architectural Design is a design-based Masters course focusing on knowledge of design processes and methodologies, in order to to allow students to develop a distinctive design practice.

MSc Sustainable Architecture and Computer Aided Environmental Design Dr. Hasim Altan

MA in Conservation and Regeneration Dr. Jo Lintonbon

This programme allows the opportunity to study computer aided architectural design in conjunction with effective environmental design. One of the main emphases of the course is the integration of techniques into the design of buildings and their surroundings.

The MA in Conservation and Regeneration specialises in the theory and practice of conservation-led regeneration and it is offered as a full-time and part-time programme of study.

MA in Urban Design Dr. Florian Kossak The focus on participatory design of the MA in Urban Design is unique amongst national and international courses in the subject. It is both international and local in scope.

MA in Learning Environment Design Dr. Rosie Parnell A multi-disciplinary course exploring the relationship between pedagogy and spatial design, informed by Sheffield’s cutting edge research into international educational design and England’s major school (re)building programme.


RIBA/ARB Accredited Programmes.

One of the main tasks of a School of Architecture is to prepare students for architectural practice and the profession. We educate our students to be knowledgeable, open, enquiring, and critically aware, thus enabling them to lead and change the profession over the next 50 years. The School is accredited by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). There are three stages in becoming registered as an architect. First, the BA(Hons) degree, giving RIBA Part 1 accreditation is a wide-ranging and popular degree with both formally taught and studio-based teaching. Not all students will necessarily become architects, and some may choose related or supporting disciplines later. We also offer dual undergraduate degrees in Architecture and Landscape and Architecture and Structural Engineering. These innovative courses were developed to cater for a desire in society for increased interdisciplinarity and understanding between professionals. They allow our students to gain accreditation in both disciplines. Following their degree, students work in practice, completing a minimum of nine months’ training as an architectural assistant before they return to the University for the MArch course. Our RIBA Part 2 accredited MArch course allows students to pursue their own architectural interests and directions, guided by an innovative programme of studios which offer different thematic and theoretical positions. This variety provides a broad path of learning, and we expect a mature and research-orientated attitude from our students. Right from first year our students are active in the wider community, participating in our pioneering educational initiative Live Projects. Besides developing participatory practices and collaborative techniques, these projects also raise skills in communication. All are essential and relevant to the future practitioner. After working in practice again for at least a year, students may prepare for their professional examination. Our Professional Practice course results in RIBA Part 3 accreditation and allows the student to register as an architect. It builds on the strengths of the earlier courses to give a balanced and contemporary view of professional studies.


Learning & Teaching Ethos.

Learning and teaching in The University of Sheffield School of Architecture is intimately connected to the research in the School. The design studio is seen as an opportunity for both students and staff to develop ideas and to push at the boundaries of what architecture might be. Students are encouraged to continue this exploration even after they leave the School. We aim to help students develop into skilled and critical researchers, no matter what kind of problem they face. The School follows the model of architectural education currently pursued across the UK, which focuses primarily around the design studio. This is supported by lectures, seminars, and workshops in the humanities, technology, and communication. Designs are set within a range of learning environments in the public realm, in cyberspace, in dialogue, in peer groups. Work takes place also in physical studio space, where it is exercised and tested through questioning, exposure, and reflection. Students are assigned work individually or in groups, undertaking design projects under the guidance of a designated tutor. From the undergraduate years, the projects are intended to develop skills and to introduce a range of issues explored through both self-generated and directed research. In this learning environment process is considered as important as product, and it must therefore be made visible in each project. All students are expected to engage fully in the development of their own and their peers’ work by taking an active role in tutorials, discussions, and project reviews. The culture of participation is made explicit within our school ethos and MArch students may develop this experience more formally with a module that contextualises and reflects upon their architectural education. Much of the design studio work is focussed on regional and local issues with both undergraduate and MArch students undertaking a range of Live Projects, which respond to issues emerging from real client needs. This results in a diversity of architectural production, ranging from the individual building to the strategic planning scheme. Our students are thereby equipped to enter a profession that is multi-faceted, diverse and changing.


Undergraduate Programme. Satwinder Samra Director of Undergraduate Programme

The First Year studio course is directed towards three main aims. First, it widens the perception of architecture by introducing students to the diversity and richness of historical and contemporary ideas and in so doing it offers a range of potential starting points for the design process. Second, it provides the opportunity to experiment with and to develop representational skills through which architectural ideas can be communicated. Third, it introduces primary issues of cultural and technological significance within a series of studio projects which stimulate both individual exploration and collective discussion. The studio project work in First Year is loosely focused on the idea of ‘Dwelling’, in particular, the nature and significance of the ‘Home’ as represented by the architecture of the ‘House’. The Second Year studio pursues two broad aims. First, it allows students to consolidate, expand, and gain confidence in manipulating their approaches to the understanding and generation of architecture, building on the technical and communication skills introduced during the first year.

Second, it increases the range and scope of analysis that students might undertake to enable them to design a wider range of building types and external spaces with more complex cultural, planning, and technical requirements. The Third Year studio expands further some of the issues already developed. The projects provide a framework allowing students to concentrate on developing appropriate and relevant theoretical agendas within their own architectural solutions. Students are encouraged to develop their own approaches and to take the initiative to pursue projects in greater depth. The briefs set are challenging, and students are expected to think creatively and inventively at all times. Our dual degree, a BA (Hons.) in Architecture and Landscape, is unique in the UK. We have developed this course to enable students to integrate their architectural design work with the wider landscape context. The course offers an opportunity to think about sustainability and a sustainable future in an interconnected and contextual way.

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MArch in Architecture. Russell Light MArch Course Co-ordinator

The MArch in Architecture course at the University of Sheffield is a two year, full time, professionally validated course in architecture that carries RIBA Part 2 exemption. The course acknowledges that architectural practice is a diverse field and prepares for this diversity through a combination of transferable analytic skills in research and synthetic design skills. Students are encouraged to develop a specialist interest in their final year. The course is based around a series of thematic studios which contain both fifth and sixth year students. These studios investigate architectural themes in depth; the themes develop out of the studio leaders’ own research interests. The aim is to consider design within the context of rigorous and innovative research. This implies that the product of the studio courses will extend beyond the comprehensive design of a building and into other areas such as consultation, historical analysis, technical innovation or cultural investigation.

Live Projects have now established themselves as a core part of the MArch course, and are seen as a pioneering initiative in architectural education. For a six-week period in both Fifth and Sixth Years, students work on Live Projects with a range of clients local community groups, charities, to regional authorities. In some cases the projects involve actual building, in others design of urban frameworks, in others consultation exercises. In all cases the projects have a twoway benefit. Clients get access to architectural or design input that would often be denied them and can draw on the research base and innovation of the School of Architecture. Students get the opportunity to bring their developed skills into the real world, often with immediate social benefit. Finally, the live project develops communication skills and group working, both of which are essential skills for future life in practice.

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MArch in Architecture and Town and Regional Planning. Russell Light

Professional Practice Course. Steve Leighton Part 3 Co-ordinator



The MArch in Architecture and Town and Regional Planning is a dual couse that has full recognition from both the RTPI and RIBA (at Part 2 level), the only course in the country to have this accreditation. It thus provides a unique opportunity for students to gain two professional qualifications, and also to make connections between the two fields. During Fifth Year and Sixth Year students follow a route that is largely a combination of elements of the postgraduate course in architecture and the MA course in Town Planning. The final year is extended by three months, with students completing their work in September rather than in June. Candidates must have RIBA Part I exemption.

The Part 3 course at The University of Sheffield is offered primarily for graduate students working towards their ARB and RIBA Professional Practice Part 3 qualification and is the final step towards becoming registered as architect in the UK. It is also aimed at practitioners wishing to broaden their knowledge of the administration and management of construction projects and construction contracts.

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The course focuses on the context and management of practice, the management of architecture, the legal basis of practice and the management of construction projects. Those taking the course attend a number of intensive lecture and workshop study modules where they are introduced to the core curriculum and key topics. An individual’s own research and revision is spread across the year through a number of assessed assignments that encourage them to become more familiar and involved with the running and management of their practice. The course has full ARB/RIBA accreditation and is reviewed each year to ensure that we not only deliver the ARB/RIBA syllabus but also go beyond it and respond to developments in practice and the construction industry. 23

The Sheffield University Architectural Society (SUAS).

The Sheffield University Architectural Society (SUAS) submitted its constitution to the Students’ Union in 1984; rumours trace its foundation back to the swinging 60s, or even further with the foundation of the School in the beginning of the century. Notorious for their fancy dress parties and eccentric banquets, architecture students play as hard as they work and SUAS is in charge of executing the School’s more sociable agenda. Following long standing traditions, every year SUAS hosts the School of Architecture Ball in the heart of Sheffield, a chance for students and staff alike to celebrate what unites them: a unique dress code and an inimitable dancing prowess. But SUAS ventures beyond the confines of the city: dwellers of Bakewell, a quiet village in the Peak District, welcome a swarm of architects into their pubs and bars on a mellow winter’s evening, and bear witness to the raucous ritual, but veritable triumph of sportsmanship that is the Boat Race. But it’s not all fun and games, each year SUAS presents an exciting guest lecture series, with a variety of speakers both from within and outside the profession. From fashion designers to developers and architects, our guests deliver a truly inspirational range of talks, fuelling long debates amongst students. SUAS also exists to support the students in a more direct way, by operating the Shop: selling art materials at competitive prices. Finally SUAS reinforces the unique cohesion that makes this School of Architecture one of the most attractive and energetic departments in the country.

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School of Architecture Staff.

Jules Alexandrou Hasim Altan Cheryl Armitage Nishat Awan Irena Bauman Martin Bradshaw Matthew Bradshaw David Britch Isabel Britch Melvyn Broady Carolyn Butterworth Leo Care Cristina Cerulli Chris Cheal Roy Childs Prue Chiles Susi Clark Dan Cruickshank Rachel Cruise Mark Dudek Mark Emms Howard Evans Evan Ferguson Steve Fotios Denise Hall Charlotte Harrison Ian Hicklin Pat Hodgkinson Aidan Hoggard Anthony Hunt Judith Jackson Dan Jary Peter Blundell Jones Jian Kang Claire Kemp Florian Kossak Ranbir Lal Carole Latham Peter Lathey Bryan Lawson Steve Leighton Alan Lewis Russell Light Jo Lintonbon Matthew Margetts Glen McGowan Alison Orrell Rosie Parnell Steve Parnell Mark Parsons Maria Patsarika Chengzhi Peng Doina Petrescu Maggie Pickles Lisa Helen Procter John Sampson Satwinder Samra Flora Samuel Tatjana Schneider Steve Sharples Annabel Smith Yuliya Smyrnova Peter Szalapaj Paul Testa Judy Torrington Renata Tyszczuk Sam Vardy John Paul Walker Stephen Walker Sarah Wigglesworth Peter Williams John Worthington For more information visit


All information is correct at the time of printing (January 2010). Please check for updates at

Contact us.

University of Sheffield School of Architecture. Crookesmoor Building, University of Sheffield, Conduit Road, Sheffield, S10 1FL From October 2011 the School will move back to its previous address at: The Arts Tower, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN

General Enquiries Tel. +44 (0) 114 222 0399 Fax +44 (0) 114 222 0315 E-mail Web

University of Sheffield School of Architecture: About Us  

An overview of the school.