Programme Specifications for Bachelor of Science in Urban Planning and Architectural Design

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1 Programme Specifications for Bachelor of Science in Urban Planning and Architectural Design 1 Name of Degree Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Urban Planning and Architectural Design Background and Rationale Background of the Degree Programme The Bachelor of Science in Urban Planning and Architectural Design at GUtech reflects the distinct features of the Bachelor of Architecture at RWTH Aachen University. Traditionally, part of the special profile of Aachen s architecture education is a focus on urban design, which allows graduates to enter the profession of urban planners. An interdisciplinary approach that includes courses from related disciplines, such as architecture, construction engineering and geography, covers the broad range of content demanded by the profession and results in the unique profile of this degree programme. Urban planners are currently experiencing dramatic transformations in their profession as their role in shaping and designing the built environment increasingly involves interdisciplinary issues concerning a preservation of resources. They are increasingly obliged to think globally in terms of urban, architecture and landscape planning as well as in economical, political and cultural senses. Profile of the Degree Programme The Bachelor programme at GUtech prepares future urban planners for their core fields of activity, including the conceptualisation and design of urban development plans, their legal and procedural implementation, balancing differing public and private needs, project management and the supervision and moderation of public participation (participation procedures). Key emphasis is placed on design planning in different scales, urban development and process design. This is supplemented and embedded within analyses of the development and design of cities, architecture and landscapes as well as an intensive study of historical aspects and theoretical issues. In all courses, both Western and Arab specifics are taken into account. As architecture is closely linked to urban design and urban planning, courses in this field play an important role throughout the study programme enabling students to continue their studies after receiving a Bachelor s degree either with a Master of Urban Design or a Master of Architecture. The close connection between urban planning and architecture furthermore mirrors the specifics of the study programmes at the Faculty of Architecture at RWTH Aachen University. Therefore, the term Architectural Design does not refer to a specific job outline, but stresses the role of urban design and the shape of our urban surroundings. A key feature of the BSc in Urban Planning and Architectural Design lies in an articulation between day-today teaching and application-orientated research. At RWTH Aachen University, the faculty of Architecture is engaged in a wide variety of prestigious international projects, including: Planning of university campuses primarily for two universities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Designing of master plans for greater regions as well as new towns e.g. the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bamyian Valley, Afghanistan; Development of curricula for study programmes a curriculum for the Congolese faculty of architecture and civil engineering of RWTH s partner university Université Notre-Dame du Kasayi, and the curriculum for GUtech. The teaching and research competences of academic staff at RWTH Aachen University, their involvement in teaching activities at GUtech and their interest in developing new research activities will enable students of GUtech s Bachelor of Science degree in Urban Planning and Architectural Design to participate in relevant real-life projects. Course Structure The Bachelor of Science degree in Urban Planning and Architectural Design is a competitive programme with an international orientation. It is spread over eight semesters and qualifies its graduates to work in diverse areas of the profession and to enrol in the independent Master s degree programmes of Urban Design or of Architecture. The course prepares future urban planners for their core fields of activity. Key emphasis is placed on different scales of design planning, urban development planning and framework plans, sustainable urban development and process design.

2 The programme is conducted exclusively in English and is divided into three sections: a foundation phase in the first year of the course (Level 1), a second advanced phase in the following two years, (Levels and ) and a third phase allowing students to take first self-dependent professional steps (Level ). The last year of the programme concludes with the completion of the Bachelor s thesis. Students complete their studies with the Bachelor s examination, which is designed to assess whether students have acquired in-depth knowledge required to make the transition into the professional world. This also ascertains whether students are able to grasp the interconnections in the subject material and apply the scientific methods and expertise they have learnt, as well as work independently in both technical and creative terms. Each course of the study programme consists of an overview of the subject within the worldwide context, which is followed by an application (e.g. small assignments) within the national context. This way, students will receive a comprehensive overview. Graduate Attributes and Skills The generic attributes and skills that graduates are expected to develop during their undergraduate studies apply to all degrees programmes at GUtech. These key attributes build on the purpose and the core values of the University and are listed below: Ethics The graduates have developed awareness and holistic understanding of their role as responsible citizens in an increasingly globalised context. Critical thinking and problem solving The graduates are able to approach practical problems in a theoretically knowledgeable, rigorous, and questioning manner. They are able to devise solutions, select the most appropriate one, implement it, and reflect on its performance. Creative thinking The graduates are able to think laterally and develop creative ideas. Individual and team work The graduates are capable of working effectively alone or in a team, to be self-managing, and to show independent judgment. Communication The graduates are effective communicators, applying oral, written, and electronic communication skills. They can interact confidently in a variety of settings, with a range of people from both genders, individually and in team situations, from peers to the wider community. Life-long-learning The graduates appreciate that learning is continuous and have the ability to continue learning throughout life. They have developed a variety of approaches to learning, including self-directed, collaborative and self-reflective processes. In addition to the above, graduates from the Bachelor of Science in Urban Planning and Architectural Design are also expected to have the following specific attributes needed to participate effectively in the urban planner s professions: Scientific-theoretical and analytical skills The graduates have developed scientific and analytical skills especially through the courses of history and theory, sociology, economy, planning law and environment. Method-based and problem-solving approach The exercises within the courses enable graduates to take a targeted approach to problem solving in their work. Interdisciplinary and integral thinking graduates have learned to think in interdisciplinary and integral terms in their project works and Bachelor s thesis as well as during their internship. Creative experience The graduates have gained creative experience in small assignments during many courses and particularly during the project works and the Bachelor s thesis. Practical experience The graduates have gained practical experience through the internship. Communication skills The graduates have developed communication skills during their work with other students and teachers as well as during the oral presentations of their project works and Bachelor s thesis. Computer literacy The graduates have basic knowledge of and practical experience with computers and software used in urban planning and architecture (AutoCad, SketchUp, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator etc.) Career Opportunities The study programme Urban Planning and Architectural Design at GUtech follows the specific standards of a Europe-wide (including the European Parliament and Council directive 00//EG) and internationally (UNESCO/UIA Charter for Architectural Education) recognized profession of urban planners orientating the Bachelor degree internationally. Following Aachen s study programmes, GUtech s graduates of the Bachelor in Urban Planning and Architectural Design meet all requirements needed to register as urban planners with a Chamber of Architects list in the Federal Republic of Germany these are the Chambers of Architects and Civil

3 Engineers after a minimum of four years of full-time study at a university followed by at least years of practical experience. They have the opportunity of also registering as architects after graduating as Bachelors in Urban Planning and Architectural Design and continuing a two-years Masters study programme in Architecture, since they then meet all requirements needed to register as architects with a Chamber of Architects list (see above) after a minimum of four years of full-time study at a university (half the courses of the Bachelor study programme will contribute to the requirements) once again followed by at least years of practical experience. Urban planners work in many different fields, and have a diverse range of tasks. They play a major role in shaping the natural surroundings of our lives and the interplay of these surroundings with the social and built environment. The focus of graduates later professional work is in administrative and institutional sections of municipal, administrative and government organisations and, increasingly, in larger private project development companies, housing construction companies, construction companies and as freelancers in teams of architects, engineers, traffic planners, geographers and economists. The Urban Planning and Architectural Design degree course at GUtech is designed to prepare graduates to work in major international fields and in particular Arabic-speaking regions, which enable progressive and sustainable urban and regional development. The content of the course focuses on the following fields: Planning in Accordance with Legal Regulations ("Official" Planning) Development planning, federal state planning, regional planning, development planning procedures, impact assessments General development planning, land use planning, local development planning, project and site development planning Urban development contracts Preparation and implementation of procedural steps (public participation procedures) Investigations and planning for general and specific urban planning law measures (rehabilitation and development measures, preservation statutes, urban planning mandates etc.) Statutes of local/city law (protection of monuments statute, design statute, extension statute, clarification statute etc.) Informal (Communal) Planning Urban development planning, village development planning, project-related development planning, structural planning City district planning, urban master planning Sustainability studies, feasibility studies Specialist studies, concepts and planning for individual urban planning issues Location and urban economic investigations General urban design Design of public areas (e.g. streets and squares) Design of residential environments Further Activities (Management, Consulting, Urban Research and Teaching) Planning management, interdisciplinary coordination Project management, project controlling Moderation and mediation, informal participation procedures Urban development consulting and support services for municipal authorities and consulting for parties affected by planning regarding individual aspects of urban planning, urban design and urban development City marketing Preparation, tendering and management of urban development competitions Top-level urban development management of project implementation Research on urban and regional planning and urban design Entrance Requirements A pass in a relevant stream of GUtech s Foundation Programme or equivalent academic results entitles students to enrol into the Bachelor s degree programme in Applied Geosciences. As English is the tuition language at GUtech, students must demonstrate adequate competency in this language (equivalent to at last IELTS.0 or TOEFL 0).

4 The final decision on whether entry requirements are fulfilled lies with the Dean of the respective Faculty at GUtech. Completion Requirements The Bachelor of Science in Applied Geosciences encompasses a work load equivalent to 0 credit points, distributed over eight semesters. One credit point corresponds to a student work load of hours. Study requirements consist of contact hours (in class, on excursion or during practical stages) and related individual study work (reading of related literature, exam preparation, writing of seminar papers or reports, and completion of Bachelor s thesis). Each of the eight semesters covers around 0 credit points. In order to qualify for graduation, students must have earned: 17 credit points by successfully completing courses of the core courses 7 credit points by successfully completing the internship credit points by successfully completing elective courses 0 credit points by completing courses on 1 credit points by successfully completing general elective courses 1 credit points by successfully completing the Bachelor Thesis As a pre-requisite to the commencement of their Bachelor s thesis, students must have completed at least 1 credit points including their internship. 7 Overview of Courses Semester Courses Credit Points Contact Hours Level 1 History of Urban Development I CAD I Creative Techniques I Planning Cartography Perception of Space and Shapes Introduction to Project Design Introduction to Architecture History of Urban Development II Environmental Basics Urban Design I Basics of Building Design Introduction to Landscape Planning Integrated Project 1 Building in Urban Context Creative Techniques II CAD II Urban Planning History I Adobe Design Suite Urban Infrastructure & Technologies I Sociological Basics I Urban Design II Housing Landscape Architecture I Integrated Project Housing Estate Arabic Urban Design Urban Planning History II CAD Visualization Urban Infrastructure & Technologies II min. 1 min. 8 min. 9 Level 1 (basic Level 1 (basic Level Level

5 Sociological Basics II Urban Design III Building Construction Landscape Architecture II Integrated Project Prominent Building in a Public Space Arabic Building Typologies Urban Planning Theory I Economics I Urban Preservation & Renewal Structural Design Integrated Project Master Plan Planning Law Basics I Fieldwork Urban Planning Theory II Economics II Arabic Planning & Law Systems International Urban Design Integrated Project Arabic Theme Planning Law Basics II Technological Building Systems 7 Theory & Models of Spatial Development I Decision Making Theory and Techniques Excursions (Urban Planning + Architecture) Integrated Project Theme of Urban Context Internship Electives Faculty 8 Theory & Models of Spatial Development II Bachelor Thesis + Colloquium Electives Faculty min. 78 min. 9 min min min. 17 Level Level Level (self-dependent Level (self-dependent 8 Distinctive Features of Delivery The first year of the Bachelor s degree in Urban Planning and Architectural Design is designed to establish a broad framework of conceptual and practical skills. It consists of 17 courses introducing students to the various topics of urban planning. The second and third year extend and develop these abilities, by placing a stronger emphasis on the professional context. They consist of courses, which offer students insights into major and minor fields of urban planning, urban design and architecture, with a strong emphasis on practical project work. In the final year, students need to take first self-dependent professional steps within their 11 courses. Among these steps are the completion of an internship in a planners office (public or private), experiencing foreign countries during a large excursion, choosing two elective courses, which reflect the student s interests, and preparing a Bachelor s thesis. Successful completion of the Bachelor s thesis is an essential requirement for graduation. At the end of the fourth year, students are expected to have developed the advanced professional skills and thinking needed to start a professional career in their chosen area and or to take up post-graduate studies. The degree combines a rigorous understanding of the theories of urban planning, studies of design and scientific methods, socio-economic and legal basics, ecological and technical factors as well as architecture and landscape design principles, practical work projects and an internship working alongside urban planning professionals. Further, courses dealing with the cultural, historical and climatic characteristics of Islamic culture enable students to understand and apply general and specific design components.

6 A strong emphasis is placed on project work. Throughout their studies, students have a workstation in one of the faculty s studios, which are supervised by faculty staff. Here, students are taught general design and layout skills, which are of fundamental importance to urban planners. With a different focus each semester, the project work reflects the content of the semester s courses and enables students to apply the newly learned theoretical skills to a practical context. This implementation of practice-oriented teaching strategies gives students the opportunity to develop the skills needed later in their work environment. 9 Assessment The University s Academic Regulations and the University s Assessment and Examination Policy regulate all matters related to examination and assessment. Students are informed of the completion requirements of each course through the corresponding Course Specifications. These Course Specifications are made available to the student in the first week of each semester.

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