ARCT4461 Architectural Practice

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Multi-mode
This unit introduces students to the broad set of roles, activities, contexts and documents that are common to the everyday practice of architecture in Western Australia. Legal, technical, ethical and social issues are addressed alongside the creative and professional enterprise of architects. The stages through which a project progresses are presented in relation to important contractual mechanisms and key concepts of procurement, as well as the participants and stakeholders involved in projects besides the architect: client, consultants, contractors, authorities, building users and the general public. As a way of tangibly illustrating the fundamentals of practice, weekly sessions are framed around a key document that plays an essential role in influencing, regulating and shaping the practice of architecture, its built outcomes, and the communication between participants. The documents include the Project Brief, Client-Architect agreement, Metropolitan Region Scheme, Town Planning Scheme Text and Map, Development Applications and Building Contracts. As well, the National Standard of Competency for Architects is discussed as the core mechanism underpinning the assessment of architectural competence in Australia.
Students are able to (1) develop familiarity with the process of architectural practice (as exemplified in various modes and scales of practice and in regard to local, national and international projects); (2) demonstrate understanding of the types and key mechanisms of contracts in relation to project design and delivery; (3) identify the major documents that shape and influence architectural practice in Australia; (4) gain experience in the formulation and management of project design teams, project research and professional oral presentation; (5) articulate the important roles, responsibilities, ethical and legal obligations of the architect in practice; and (6) identify the major documents that shape and influence architectural practice in Australia.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) debrief group project; (2) architects documents: interview/video project; and (3) in-class quiz. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Kate Hislop
Contact hours
face-to-face seminars: 2 hours per week for 12 weeks (in preparation for these seminars students are required each week to do 1-2 hours prior study of resources which is available on the Learning Management System)
Enrolled students can access unit material via the LMS (Learning Management System).

'Acumen', a comprehensive set of advisory notes published by the Australian Institute of Architects, will form the primary text for the unit. This is available through the EDFAA library online.

A list of recommended texts and other resources will be available on LMS.


  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.