Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


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.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face

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; and (5) articulate the important roles, responsibilities, ethical and legal obligations of the architect in practice.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) brief; (2) quiz; and (3) mini-podcast. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Kate Hislop and Emily van Eyk
Contact hours
face-to-face tutorials: 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). Plus face to face lectures for 6 weeks.
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.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.