The BArch and DipArch are unified as a five-year-programme in Architecture. It is internally organized in three units: Introduction to Architecture, Basic Studies in Architecture, and Synthesis and Deeper Study of Architecture. This structure aims to ensure a cohesive education and the conditions for the development of research interests and specializations that can be developed after the Diploma, through research or post-graduate studies. The first unit, during the first two semesters, is called “Introduction to Architecture”. Its goal is to introduce the students to architectural and spatial thinking, equip them with the basic skills and convert the graduate of the secondary school to an aspiring architect, by challenging their stereotypes. The second unit, lasting six semesters (3-8), is called “Basic Studies in Architecture”. During this unit, students will face the problems, issues, knowledge and practices which are at the core of architectural education. They will shape a basis on which they will organise their personal choices, specialisations and their specific interests in architecture. On completion of this cycle, students acquire the B. Arch degree. The third unit lasts two semesters (9-10) and is called “Synthesis and Deeper Study of Architecture”. The goal is to synthesise the knowledge and skills acquired so far. It attempts to go deeper in architectural design, in technology and new materials, in theories of architecture, and in the cultural and environmental dimensions of architecture. During this period, students are expected to formulate a specialisation according to their personal interests, which will be mapped in the selection of an elective studio (9th semester) and the subject of their diploma design thesis. On completion of this cycle, students are awarded the DipArch degree. The program requires examinations to be taken at the end of each teaching period. It is a very intensive course and students undertake a substantial amount of private study and project work. The Programme of the School of Architecture, Land and Environmental Sciences covers all topics needed for the education of an architect. Students enrolled must complete the requirements of the following thematic areas.
The Architecture Studio (AS)
With the concept of space as the central issue, the structure of the programme aims to highlight the Studio environment as the main field of knowledge on architectural design. To fulfil this goal, each semester is devoted to a major Studio with a specific subject, with other courses interrelated. The Studio teaching faculty is supported by the active participation of faculty of other courses. The teaching hours for each major studio are 9 hours per week (with the possibility to be divided in 2 days, with 4 or 5 hours each). The core skill of an architect is design, therefore the Architecture Studio is at the heart of the programme, with theoretical, technical and contextual studies underpinning and informing design. The Studios respond to contemporary events and issues. Each studio approaches architecture from a different specialized position, including Architectural Design, Urbanism, Landscape, the Historic City, Bioclimatic Architecture and Sustainable Development, Humanities and Environmental Sciences. The Architecture Studios are structured to help students develop an integrated and interdisciplinary approach to design. Studios are supported by courses in Theory and History, Technology and Means of spatial visualization. The Architecture studios are paired with courses that develop technical skills, expand students’ working knowledge of material and constructive methods and explore design theory and history. Studios further develop students’ collaborative abilities. The Architecture Studio is normally taught by two teaching faculty, is organized in small research groups and is the primary integrative performance arena for architectural studies, within which the results of studies in other areas of the curriculum are made manifest. Students carry out analytical, synthetic and critical judgment exercises throughout each semester as they conduct research and develop design proposals.
Building Technology (BT)
The Building Technology courses cover all the requirements of the materiality of the building. Its aim is to give students the possibility to think about construction when they design the architectural form, to be able to select and use materials and methods of construction in a creative and informed manner. Furthermore, students acquire knowledge on environmental issues, and the principles of sustainability and energy-conscious design. Technology is taught as a tactile and inventive subject, where the workshop, studio and lecture space are interwoven places for its development and understanding. Over the first three years, Building Technology courses increasingly stress the interactive nature of design and the place of technical realization in the process. The fourth year (semesters 7 and 8) design studio is the peak of the process. The technical component is taught through lectures, seminars, visits to worksites and design exercises. The technology component is taught through lectures, seminars, laboratory work and discussion with practitioners. Professional Practice is supported by two lecture series. All students are expected to make a written submission at the end of each series.
History courses extend from the prehistoric period to contemporary architecture. With the social substance of spatial formations as their central axis, these courses are structured in the form of three different but interconnected levels. The first refers to the actual informational material, which is further widened by the comparative study of different periods, attempting to study the methodological problem of chronological definition. In the second, the role of pre-existing architectural constructions, in contemporary social reality is studied. The main issue has to do with the understanding of these remnants, as documents not only of the past but constituents of the present. In the third level, the remnants of the past are studied as objects which while being documents of the period of their production, at the same time they are contemporary objects of autonomous aesthetic value.
Architecture theory courses are considered as an educational field of high importance. They constitute a field which:
- Plays a decisive role for the wider cognitive background of the students, against uncontrolled empiricism.
- Develops the problematics on issues relating architecture with Philosophy and science, with the social substance of built space, and with humanities studies.
- Offers the methodological and cognitive framework, for the appreciation of architectural products, as forms of architectural theories.
- Advances the abstract thinking of students.
Spatial Visualization (SV)
This subject area is Media and refers to all means and tools of visualization an architect may employ in order to create spatial forms and communicate them to people. It covers all possible means of design as speech, sketch, colour, painting, model, photography, digital means, collage, etc. The courses are those of Fine Arts, geometrical and digital means. Computer-aided design and allied digital media comprise an invaluable medium of expression, the exploration of which is transforming both the practice of design and the environment it creates. The teaching of this module runs through the main contemporary techniques of the three-dimensional space representation, with an emphasis on digital means in the design and the production of the built space. It also tends to broaden the scope of these applications to all possible forms of expression (speech, picture, sketch, sculpture, drawing, digital means, etc). Students are expected to find a field of self-expression in architectural creation but also a tool of their own world discovery.
The courses of Professional Practices provide an introduction to the professional and commercial factors that shape the environment. Further professional input is provided by the design tutors who can bring their knowledge and experience to the design studios. The teaching method is mainly lectures from the teaching staff and external experienced professionals and visits to worksites and architects’ offices. The subject-matter is the students’ familiarisation with the organisation of an architectural project, the organisation and management of the worksite, the institutional framework that controls the profession of the architect in Cyprus and other countries of the European Union.
Elective courses (EE)
The elective courses constitute an open system both in respect of its content, as well as its educational methodology. These courses respond to every student’s specific interests, while at the same time, they study new ideas and approaches to design, they widen the theoretical background of the students, they introduce innovative techniques, proposals and research areas. They upgrade the students’ aesthetic culture.
The Bachelor of Architecture is a full-time four-year course that comprises a total of 240 ECTS units. The units are distributed evenly to 8 semesters, 30 ECTS units each. The Diploma in Architecture is an additional full-time one-year course that consists of 60 ECTS units. The duration of each semester is 13 weeks.
Bachelor of Architecture
The Bachelor of Architecture is a four-year course that provides students with the skills and knowledge necessary to practice in the architectural profession and to be successful in the design of the built environment. The main aim of the Bachelor of Architecture programme is to provide students with a thorough foundation of the many aspects that make up the discipline of architecture and equip them with knowledge, critical thinking, and cognitive independence for successful careers. The course places a high priority on the integration of theory and practice and balances the aesthetic with the functional and the humanistic with technological aspects of the profession. The programme is centred on a series of design studios for all four years, and it covers a wide spectrum of topics in history and theory of architecture, advanced architectural design, restoration and preservation, environmental design, technology, means of representation, humanities and cultural issues, environmental sciences, management and professional studies.
Diploma in Architecture
The Diploma in the Architecture programme, an additional one-year course, is a focused, professional degree which qualifies graduates to pursue licensure with the Cyprus Technical Chamber as registered architects. The programme allows students to select a particular area of specialisation such as Advanced Architectural Design, Landscape Urbanism, Bioclimatic Architecture and Sustainable Development, Conservation-Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings and sites. Students get training in research by completing a studio-based design thesis. The goal of a programme, structured such as this, is the education and not the instruction of the architect. Learning methods include lectures, seminars, studio, tutorials, project work and independent study. Each semester is structured around the main component of the programme, namely the design studio, and complemented by courses on history and theory, technology, management and professional studies.
NUP aims to develop research activities in the areas of architecture and environmental design, within the framework of the local and the wider Mediterranean cultures, in collaboration with local authorities, international organizations, European programmes and research institutes. Together with the other Schools of the University, the School of Architecture, Land and Environmental Sciences is in a unique position to apply interdisciplinary research methods and practices. With this perspective in sight, the Department of Architecture targets the development of the students’ research skills, in order to involve them both as students and as graduates in the field of research. Students are encouraged to work with the faculty on research projects and in collaboration with research institutes. State-of-the-art computer labs, well-equipped laboratories and lecture rooms provide students with the necessary tools to acquire in-depth and specialized knowledge about their various research projects. Throughout their architectural degrees, students are immersed in a research-oriented milieu that uses the district of Pafos and the new University campus of NUP as a living laboratory, in which to apply their skills in field observation and analysis, data collection and processing, live and laboratory experimentation, research and invention. The design studios use as their case studies local and regional issues, building interventions and the upgrading of living conditions, in the spirit of promoting the well-being of the community and its natural and man-made environment.
Additionally, NUP intends to establish several workshops with the local authorities, professional organizations and architectural companies, high schools and other local and international Universities. Students are encouraged to get involved in real projects and enter architectural student competitions. The main objectives of the living laboratory and the workshops are to provide architectural students with hands-on experience, allow them to formulate associations with the professional community and encourage them to actively contribute to research and further development of the architectural profession in Cyprus