Course Title: Architecture Professional Practice 1

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Architecture Professional Practice 1

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


315H Architecture & Design


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007


City Campus


315H Architecture & Design


Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013


City Campus


320H Architecture & Urban Design


Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 1 2022,
Sem 1 2023,
Sem 1 2024

Course Coordinator: Helen Duong

Course Coordinator Phone: Via email

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 100

Course Coordinator Availability: Appointment via email

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities



Course Description

The Professional Practice stream of courses is a core subject area within the architecture program and forms a key study stream supporting design studio learning and the School of Architecture and Design’s integrated practice research model. 

Together, the three compulsory courses develop competencies and skills outlined in the AACA competency standards for accreditation and will enable students to enter practice under the supervision of an architect and to apply for registration following completion of required practical experience. The professional practice stream also prepares students for working more broadly within an expanded field of practice and in shaping the built environment by developing an understanding of the complex systems within which the built environment is shaped, funded and procured. 

The Professional Practice subject area is underpinned by the idea that professional practice and project management are tools which enable architects to turn design ideas into built outcomes. Each of the three compulsory courses is presented with case study projects and invited lectures from industry and practice with intention of highlighting the context within which architecture is practiced and innovative design projects are realised. 

The first of these courses, Architecture Professional Practice 1, introduces students to the fundamental principles of working as an architect by offering an overview of the profession and practice of architecture as it currently exists in an Australian context. With a focus on project delivery, in a traditional architectural service and the functioning of a practice, the course aims to provide a knowledge base to prepare you for working in a professional setting, for registration as an architect and for further study and research. The course covers issues ranging from procuring commissions to insurance and time management, business planning and project delivery and standard form construction contracts. 

The course has been designed to encourage you to explore this area of study as widely as possible, to share your explorations with each other and to create opportunities to debate and interrogate the various dimensions of design practice with peers, teaching staff and guests. 

This course includes a work integrated learning experience in which your knowledge and skills will be applied and assessed in a real or simulated workplace context and where input from industry and/ or community is integral to your experience.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes 

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:  

  • Critically analyse, evaluate and make informed arguments on a complex range of architectural problems and situations 
  • Research and examine a large range of local and international architectural works, cultural movements and ideas, their theoretical and cultural context and relevance to design in order to form a reasoned position and apply this through design 
  • Professionally communicate, transmit and defend complex design ideas through verbal, visual and written media to specialist and non-specialist audiences 
  • Reflect upon your learning achievements in design, taking responsibility for an articulated position toward the discipline of architecture and theorise about its contribution to the profession and demonstrate this through the planning and execution of a substantial, independent Design Major Project 
  • Identify, critique and apply a comprehensive body of knowledge in relation to the legal, economic, social and political context of the practice of architecture and its regulation as a profession 

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to: 

  • Describe and analyse the professional framework in which architecture is practiced; 
  • Demonstrate and apply an awareness of the legal, regulatory frameworks and the economic context of architectural practice; 
  • Assist in the planning, management and operation of a design practice with respect to professional responsibility, awareness of risk and sound business principles and practices; 
  • Summarise, compare and advise on the appropriate selection of a range of typical construction contracts used in Australia; 
  • Locate and apply advice from the Acumen Practice Notes, and respond to requirements of the National Construction Code (Building Code of Australia), local and state planning regulations and other key sources when required. 

This course addresses core competencies included in the Architect’s Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA) National Standard of Competency for Architects. Through successful achievement of the course learning outcomes listed above you will have demonstrated the following performance criteria:  

1.1 Preparation & endorsement of an agreement between client and Architect. This agreement will clearly communicate terms, services to be provided, and fees appropriate for the scale and type of project.    

1.2 Establishment, analysis and evaluation of client project requirements and objectives. 

1.7 Preparation of project brief for approval by client and relevant stakeholders. 

2.3 Evaluation of factors influencing and impacting on project cost. 

3.6 Assessment of the economic impact on the project of design strategies and options. 

7.1 Identification of available procurement methods and assessment of relevance and application to the project. 

8.1 Selection process for appropriately qualified contractors is in accordance with procurement method and project contract 

9.1 Knowledge and implementation of appropriate practice model to ensure efficient, effective and ethical professional service.   

9.5 Knowledge of the legal and ethical obligations relating to copyright and intellectual property requirements. 

9.6 Knowledge and application of professional ethics and ethical practices in respect to practice management and provision of professional service. 

9.7 Knowledge of legal and regulatory requirements and obligations in regard to architectural practice, practice management and registration as an architect.   

9.8 Clear and consistent communication with client and relevant stakeholders throughout project.  

Overview of Learning Activities

Professional Practice is taught in face to face mode through a combination of lectures and guest lectures with an extensive backup of online resources.

Learning activities will include weekly teaching sessions consisting of lecture on a weekly topic relating to a key area of practice and project delivery and supporting lectures by guests drawn from architectural practice or a related field. In addition, tutorial and review sessions will review ongoing and completed assessment tasks These lectures offer the opportunity for discussion and questions. You will spend additional time each week working on project work.

You will be engaged in learning that involves a range of activities including:

  • Self-directed research and presentation of findings
  • Attending lectures, tutorials and participating in class discussion
  • Research through library holdings and online sources, indirect and primary sources
  • Written, visual and verbal presentation of research presented in progress and through a detailed final report
  • Critical and constructive feedback to peers

Professional Practice courses incorporate high levels of work integration through assessment tasks and learning activities. Students simulate the resolution of practice and professional issues in design projects with assistance from industry tools and documents. The course includes external lectures from professional architects and consultants. In addition, the core staff and sessional tutors are predominately practicing architects. Professional activities such as brief and letter writing; budgeting and business planning; project management and contract administration are simulated with respect to an architectural practice.

Overview of Learning Resources

The Professional Practice subject area has an extensive backup of online resources with a dedicated library web portal including an interface with the Australian Institute of Architect’s Acumen Practice Notes.

The course has a dedicated Canvas site where you can access lecture notes, handouts, assignments and additional resources.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. 

Assessment will include a series of projects and assignments which are designed to develop your understanding of architecture as a profession, the roles and responsibilities of the architect, frameworks of governance supporting the profession, as well as the simulating the process of undertaking a traditional architectural engagement. 


Assessment Tasks 

Assessment task 1: Diagram and a 150-word description. (Individual Task) 25% CLO1 

Assessment task 2: A ten-point manifesto. (Individual Task) 20% CLO2, CLO3 

Assessment task 3: Portfolio of practice file notes. (Group Task) 50% CLO2, CLO3 

Assessment task 4: Competencies quiz. (Individual Task) 5% CLO4, CLO5 


Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks. 

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more. 

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions.