AAMRM2-Research Methods 2

Module Provider: School of Architecture, School of Built Environment
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Pre-requisites: AAMRM1 Research Methods 1 and AAMAD1 Architectural Design 1 and AAMAT1 Architectural Technologies and AAMPS1 Professional Skills 1 and AAMAD2 Architectural Design 2
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites: AAMAD3 Architectural Design 3- Thesis Design and AAMPS2 Professional Skills 2
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Prof Flora Samuel

Email: f.b.samuel@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

Research and innovation should be central to architectural practice. A key ambition of the school is to give students the research skills to advance the cause of architecture as a research discipline in the workplace, and in doing so, to promote innovation and the development of a knowledge base for the field. This module will therefore provide students with an important grounding in research methods (theory) and their development through history and relation to societal change. This module will prepare students to deliver a sustained and rigorous piece of independent research through the production of a written dissertation. 


This module aims to  evidence and apply relevant  research methods and academic enquiry, as well as an understanding of their development and relationship to the history of the field of architectural practice in order to produce a significant piece of independent research.

Assessable learning outcomes:

At the end of this module, students will:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding and knowledge of a range of research methodologies (including art practice), their appropriate usage and their place in the history of architectural knowledge; GC3.1

  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the cultural, social and intellectual histories, theories and technologies that influence the design of buildings; GC2.1

  3. Demonstrate knowledge of the influence of history and theory on the spatial, social, and technological aspects of architecture; GC2.2

  4. Demonstrate knowledge of how the theories, practices and technologies of the arts influence architectural design; GC3.1

  5. Demonstrate knowledge of the creative application of the fine arts and their relevance and impact on architecture; GC3.2

  6. Demonstrate critical understanding of how knowledge is advanced through research to produce clear, logically argued and origin al written work relating to architectural culture, theory and design; GA2.4

  7. Have problem solving skills, professional judgment, and ability to take the initiative and make appropriate decisions in complex and unpredictable circumstances; GA2.6

  8. Demonstrate ability to identify individual learning; GA2.7

Additional outcomes:

At the end of this module, students will have:

  1. Employability skills: written, visual and verbal communication, research, project planning, ethical good practice, interviewing and data management.

  2. Understanding of a range of research methods applicable to architectural practice.

  3. Knowledge of the history of research and innovation within the field of architecture.

  4. Ability to develop a robust well researched research project proposal evidenced through a piece of critical writing.

Outline content:

This module consists primarily of independent research. The module is closely related to other modules, including Architectural Design 3 (AAM AD3) module, providing an opportunity to further develop research skills in relevant current architectural issues that in some form relate to questions and problems that arise from/ are addressed by the design studio practice. This module offers an opportunity to evidence a deep understanding of a topical issue in architecture through a substantial refl ective piece of critical writing/dissertation. This final written dissertation should bring together a ‘position’ informed by the RM1 module and inform the major design thesis project AAM AD3.

Global context:

The skills and knowledge which the student will acquire from this module have universal application. 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Students will conduct their research and writing under the direction of the supervisor who will arrange discussions in seminar and tutorial sessions around the progress and development of an individual piece of writing. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 10 10
Tutorials 5 5 5
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 20 20 20
    Wider reading (directed) 20 20 20
    Other 20 20
    Preparation for seminars 5 5 5
    Preparation of practical report 10
    Carry-out research project 50
    Dissertation writing 20 20
    Essay preparation 20 30
    Reflection 10 10 20
Total hours by term 120 130 150
Total hours for module 400

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Dissertation 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:


Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Fieldwork report  Research progress seminar presentation 

Formative assessment methods:

This module includes formative assessments from both lecturer(s) and peers participating in seminars, tutorials and group discussions. A research question, plan and reading list are submitted and agreed with the supervisor before summer. A draft dissertation is submitted at the beginning of Autumn term that receives feedback through tutorials. 

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:

A mark of 50% overall 

Reassessment arrangements:

Reassessment will be by coursework to be completed August/September 

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

  1. Required text books: Required and recommended textbooks are usually available in the University Library.

  2. Specialist equipment or materials: N/A  

  3. Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: N/A

  4. Printing and binding: N/A

  5. Computers and devices with a particular specification: There is access to computers with specialist software, however, students may also wish to buy their own computers.

  6. Travel, accommodation and subsistence: N/A

Last updated: 17 August 2020


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