Urban Design Masterplanning Day

Urban Design Masterplanning Day

Undergraduate: Year 2


The urban design master-planning day is a yearly event that brings together more than 300 architecture and structural engineering students.

What is the Urban Design Masterplanning Day

Working in mixed teams, the students investigate a local area and site, before developing a low-carbon urban design strategy for that place. The day is concluded with students presenting their ideas, and prizes being awarded. The fast-paced event provides an opportunity for students to begin to understand architects’ and structural engineers’ design processes and explore how engineers and architects collaborate through the design process. It is also important for students to consider the specialism and expertise of colleague’s professions as well as learning how to share ideas and communicate effectively through design conversations and drawing. The feedback back from students is very positive, recognising this informative and enjoyable event as an important part of their education. The master-planning day helps to foster cross-disciplinary understanding and communication skills, which are vital in a globalised construction industry.

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Careers Sessions

Careers Sessions

Undergraduate: Year 3


The School provides a series of careers events for Year 3 students. The sessions focus on preparing and informing students not only how to reflect on their skills and experience to date but also how to achieve success in the job market.

About the Careers Sessions

The School provides a series of ‘Preparing for Part one / year in practice’ careers events for Year 3 students. These are delivered with the University Careers Service. The sessions focus on preparing and informing students not only how to reflect on their skills and experience to date but also how to achieve success in the job market.

The series includes: 

  1. Recognising my skills and preparing to apply: including characteristics of the part 1 jobs market, and finding suitable opportunities, networking/speculative applications. 
  2. CV and covering letter applications and interview skills. Innovative practical insight into how practices really select from students’ CVs, plus discussion of interview techniques, salary negotiation, and how to cope with rejection and develop resilience.
  3. Alternatives to architecture – round table discussion with students interested in considering other options with examples of related career areas and practical suggestions. 

First hand live insights from current and former students are also included throughout. These   highlight and build upon established  and respected  relationships of our school within practice and industry.

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Management, Practice & Law

Management, Practice & Law

Undergraduate: Year 3


The Year 3 Management Practice & Law module explores and aims to develop a greater understanding of practice in relation to the legal, economic and contractual factors.

About the Management Practice & Law module

The Level 3 Management Practice and Law course aims to explore and develop a greater understanding of practice in relation to the legal, economic and contractual factors. In particular, there is a focus on understanding the political, social and financial aspects that impact the practice of architecture.

Equipping students for practice

The following area are explored and investigated: 

  1. The role of contracts, regulations and statutory frameworks during the design and construction of a project.
  2. The issues related to setting up and operating an architectural practice including the legal responsibilities and roles of the design professional.
  3. The role of professional organisations that legislate, support and advocate the role of the architect within the built environment. 
  4. How practice calculate fees and the direct impact this has on staff salaries.
  5. The future challenges facing the profession that you are about to enter. 

By fully understanding the context of contemporary architectural practice we believe that students are better prepared for their year out and future careers.

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Matter Reality

Matter Reality

Undergraduate: Year 1


Matter Reality, and its subsequent iterations, is a short group project undertaken in the second semester of Year 1 of the undergraduate architecture degree, in which students design and construct installations within the public realm.

What is Matter Reality

Matter Reality, and its subsequent iterations, is a short group project undertaken in the second semester of Year 1 of the undergraduate architecture degree, in which students design and construct installations within the public realm.  The project is an important element in the thread of “liveness” that runs through the Sheffield School of Architecture, and requires of the first year students a number of attributes which can enhance their employability. 

In the inception of the project, they are required to identify a local community need or user group, and develop a proposal to benefit that in some way.  They are also required to identify potential sites in Sheffield city centre, and engage with the landowner, local businesses, or local government to obtain permission to occupy the site for a day.

Developing ideas & skills

The students need to develop effective group working dynamics and share out roles and responsibilities as they develop designs for the installation to be located on their site, source materials for negligible cost (whilst considering their responsibilities for potential re-use or recycling afterwards), develop and refine construction techniques, and publicise their proposals using social media or in some cases local broadcasters.

On the day of the installation, the students must be resourceful and collaborative in planning and executing the swift and safe erection of their designs, and to be gregarious and welcoming as they engage with the people of Sheffield to discuss their work in situ.

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Karim Hadjri

Karim Hadjri

The Sheffield School of Architecture is known for its strong social and environmental ethos.

We believe in architecture that makes a difference and know that it has the potential to enhance the quality of life of those who inhabit and use it.

Our courses are outward looking with a focus on people and places, and our students regularly engage with real-world contexts, undertaking projects in Sheffield or beyond. As a student in our School you will engage with live architectural, societal and environmental issues. Employers value our students because of this approach as they graduate with skills that have been developed in real settings. Our graduates are very successful in gaining employment after their studies and our aim is to fully prepare them for their future career throughout their course.

Prof. Karim Hadjri
Head of School, Sheffield School of Architecture

What the SSoA offers students


Sarah Habershon

Sarah Habershon

The School has a great reputation and is considered an extremely good place to study by employers.

I began work soon after completing my final year, at Hawkins\Brown Architects. I had collaborated with them as part of a project in the School, so I had a good knowledge of their ethos and aims.

Sarah Habershon
Architect, Hawkins\Brown, + Alumni of SSoA

What the SSoA offers students


Alternative Careers

Alternative Careers

Transferable skills & knowledge


Our courses offer our students with a strong range of transferable skills, including verbal, written and graphical communication, team working, research, analysis, creativity, problem solving and critical thinking.

How our courses prepare students for alternative careers

Our courses not only offer professional skills suitable for an architecture career, but provide our students with a strong range of transferable skills, including verbal, written and graphical communication, team working, research, analysis, creativity, problem solving and critical thinking. Together with the broad range of subject areas covered within our degree programmes, such as humanities, technology, management and design, these skills place our graduates in a strong position to embark on a range of alternative careers or to pursue further specialist study.

Furthermore, our degree in Architectural Studies is specifically designed for students who decide during the course of their undergraduate studies that they wish to pursue an alternative to the professional qualification in architecture.

Inspiration

A number of our graduates, including those illustrated in our alternative employment profiles, have demonstrated success in a variety of employment types, building upon key attributes they have developed through our courses. Alternative careers for our graduates are typically within, but not limited to, areas of the built environment, design, creative industries or social and community interest.

We work with the University’s Careers Service to provide our students with careers support.


Architecture Careers

Architecture Careers

Beyond Architecture School


Our professionally accredited Part 1 and Part 2 courses form part of the professional route to becoming an architect. We also provide support to our students undertaking Stage 1 and Stage 2 practical experience, towards Part 3 qualification.

Pathway to qualification as an architect

We also work with the University’s Careers Service to provide our students with careers support.

For more information on the professional route to becoming an Architect, including requirements and guidance on practical experience, visit the RIBA and ARB websites:


PGT Programmes

Postgraduate Taught Programmes

Not RIBA/ARB accredited


There is a successful history of students undertaking PGT Programmes securing great jobs in various careers, such as architectural design, urban design, consultancy, academia, and beyond.

About PGT Programmes

In PostGraduate Taught (PGT) Programmes in Architecture, there is a successful history of securing great jobs in various careers, such as architectural design, urban design, consultancy, academia, and beyond. Many former students work for well-known companies or have become the CEO of a company, many have started their own business, and many have followed a PhD path leading to research and teaching. Employability development is an important part of the PGT agenda, it has been carefully formulated to enhance the skills, knowledge and experiences in relevant careers.

PGT Programmes at the SSoA

As part of the employability plan, many sessions are offered covering topics including CVs, cover letter, portfolio, networking, job hunting, interviews, Chinese job market, alumni panels, and other sessions. These sessions also bring together students from all PGT Architecture programmes to share good practice and experiences. As a result, the school has a great success rate of students securing a job, particularly in the UK; many even before graduating.


MArch Architecture

MArch Architecture

Postgraduate Taught Masters (RIBA Part 2)


This course encourages students to make sophisticated and relevant architectural propositions. Students develop skills appropriate to architectural practice through socially engaged design studios and the live projects programme.

About the MArch Architecture course

The course is validated by the RIBA at Part 2 and prescribed by ARB. Study is primarily studio-based, with design projects each year. To gain RIBA Part 2 qualification students produce at least one comprehensive design project and a dissertation.

Through our innovative Live Projects students can work with local, regional and international groups on real-life challenges. MArch students could be building, designing urban masterplans or designing in detail.

What the course offers

Validated by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) at Part 2 and prescribed by the Architects Registration Board (ARB).

Our design teaching is studio based with several research-led options. Programmes run by specialist staff link together lectures, studio work and research. The courses have similar structures. Each module is assessed individually by coursework. Course handbooks are available on our website with further information on modules and assessment procedures.