Posted by Linus on March 16, 2004 at 09:23:05:
In Reply to: Opinions about UK architecture schools posted by Stephen Mitchell on February 28, 2004 at 04:50:35:
I'm currently a third year ba architecture student at newcastle university.
First the RIBA approval - I wouldn't be too concerned. The four institutions listed are all red brick universities and whilst i only have personal (and even then limited) experience of manchester and sheffield (from when i went through the application process), i'd be very surprised if they lost approval - it really doesn't happen very often. I'm surprised to hear about demont though. Apart from that i've only heard of one other case of a course losing accreditation, and that was from someone on that course who then transferred onto our course at the start of second year, so even in the very unlikely event of problems with riba accreditation, it's not necessarily the end of the world - transfers are possible. I'm happy to vouch for sheffield and manchester being well respected, but i can't really say any more than that. Look at the points score they have from their last inspection, and see what the newspaper surveys say - accreditation isn't removed lightly so if the course looks fairly healthy now, i'd be very surprised if it went downhill quickly enough to lose accreditation within a few years
I'm afraid i can't be so reassuring on your other query, however. As I am currently experiencing to my cost, Architecture by its very nature does not lend itself to vast amounts of structure - its design and coursework based with very little timetabled content, and whilst there's ongoing assessment, it's not like degrees that rely predominantly on lectures and revision with the odd essay thrown in: its essential to learn self discipline and forward planning when it comes to time management. This is something i, and i'm sure many others, struggle with. All i can suggest is try to find out how "hands on" and supportive the course tutors are, and how much personal contact time they have with students - also, the size of the year group will have a big effect on any given tutors awareness of how an individual student is doing.
Hope that helps
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