PART 2: MArch

If you are looking for a truly progressive and practical route into the architectural profession, come to the LSA for your Part 2. We provide a progressive and practical educational model that unites a world-beating network of professional practitioners and academics (the first of its kind in London), alongside a design-focused curriculum that combines studio-based study with practice-based learning. These pages will give you insight not only into what we teach, but how we enable, and collaborate with, our students to meet their ambitions.




Our Part 2 course outputs

Year 1 is the Inter-Practice Year: alongside the three-day-a-week Student Placement in our Practice Network, you will work on defined school projects on the other two days of the week. Our three design modules place an emphasis on urban scale and collaborative work through Design Cities and Design Think Tank. In parallel we explore forms of Critical Practice, and you produce a manual and manifesto about your current and future professional life. Design and Critical Practice come together in Design Direction where you begin to explore the thesis project for Year 2.


Design Cities_Urban Agriculture Group 2020

Urban Agriculture submission, Design Cities 2020

Our first design module explores the wider context of how the built environment and the city are made and remade, introducing you to the structures, systems, power relations, practices, processes and influences that shape the city and region of Greater London. This module supports you, as an emerging professional, in developing research and analytical skills and in constructing a mature reading of the city, a borough, a neighbourhood and its constituent architectures.

Design Cities explores the aesthetic, typological and morphological consequences of different forms and processes of development, relating the political and economic processes of the city to architectural and urban form, type and character, recognising that the architect is only one protagonist among many in creating the form and nature of our built environment. Three general models of development are explored:

  • Private – developer and private-sector-led
  • Public – local authority and state-led
  • Alternative – radical and activist-led

Working in groups with your peers, you will use drawing and mapping to study and test spatial strategies from these different perspectives. You will then produce an individual design proposition that tests your understanding of how the urban built environment is produced.


Shifting Gear group submission, Design Think Tank 2021

The Design Think Tank (DTT) is the LSA’s most innovative module, generating creative design propositions informed by rigorous research aimed at addressing tangible built environment issues in London. Think Tanks are conducted by collaborative teams of Students and leading figures in Practice; they explore subjects and issues rooted in contemporary practice and the future of the city proposed by the Practice Network.

Faculty Tutors will support the team in the research and design process, and you will come away not only with a deep understanding of a contemporary issue or topic in practice and city-making, but also with a set of tools to conduct architectural exploration rigorously, through the lenses of people, place, culture and technology.

Your Think Tank will produce a comprehensive report setting out the research and design propositions for distribution to political leaders, administrators, business leaders and opinion formers in London and beyond.


Design direction_Carlos Pereira

Carlos Pereira submission, Design Direction 2021

In Design Direction, teaching and learning moves from group work to the development of your individual thesis project. You will undertake a series of intense and provocative design exercises aimed at focusing your design position on a chosen topic, site and programme as well as positing a research and design method.

The pragmatism and poetics of environmental, sustainable, political, social and atmospheric factors are embraced at this stage. You’ll define a personal thesis topic developed from reflections on the intersections of urban design, theory, social, environmental, economic and political frameworks and the macro and micro conditions that contextualise professional practice. You will move between urban analysis, community/user engagement, programmatic research and a strategic proposition, learning to control design techniques and methods over a range of typologies that are relevant to the thesis.


Critical Practice: Placement & Critical Practice: Theory are two inter-related modules that run alongside the design modules in First Year. Critical Practice: Placement is the work-based component and grounds your understanding of the opportunities and constraints of the profession through undertaking an examination of how they are currently practised.

A seminar series on the forces that shape client-focused/commissioned work is supported by a writing workshop and additional dedicated series on sustainable forms of practice. Together they set a framework for you to process, prioritise and relate complicated and competing demands, from understanding cost constraints and regulation to environmental performance. You’ll develop a mature awareness of the negotiated nature of contemporary practice and the professional judgement to operate successfully and ethically within it.

Your Critical Practice Manual will use your Student Placement in our Practice Network as the principal site of investigation, testing the relationship between process and product, ideas and outcomes. The manual should capture a comprehensive understanding of you practice experience alongside a detailed analysis of one of your practice’s projects.


Critical Practice: Theory asks you to articulate an ideal of how you would like to practise in future – a personal exploration of your professional purpose. Two lecture series with both internal and invited speakers relate contemporary practice to theories and ideas from within architecture and beyond it. The Methods & Models series examines the relationship between process and outcome of architectural production, and seeks to uncover and propose different models of practice and praxis. The Humanity & the Planet series questions the role of the architect in wider contexts of humanity and the geosphere and will offer students tools to better understand and deal with forthcoming challenges. The series is framed around four key topics: People, Politics, Planet and Place.

You will produce a Critical Practice Manifesto setting out the kind of practitioner and professional you aspire to be. In doing so, you’ll develop a deeper critical understanding of the agency of the architect in relation to others in the construction industry and creative economy, your professional and moral responsibilities, and the value that your architectural design skills can bring to the built environment and wider society.