New architecture course for Norwich
Norwich's first architecture degree will raise the profile of architects working in the city, as well as give students who want to save money the chance to study in their home city.
The Norwich University College of the Arts (NUCA) will offer a new architecture undergraduate degree from September 2012.
Professor John Last, principal of NUCA, said there had been a growing demand from local architects and students for a degree course in the city.
Hilary Carlisle, dean of arts and design, said NUCA was interviewing a shortlist of qualified and experienced architects with university teaching experience to lead the full-time three-year degree course, which aims to give students the necessary skills to take the first step in qualifying as as a professional architect.
Architecture students have to take this three-year 'part one' course, as well as a two-year 'part two' masters course and a two-year 'part three' stint working in the industry.
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She said: 'Local architects and design practices recognise that in order to attract the best talent to the region there needs to be provision of a leading degree course. That's why NUCA has enjoyed close consultation with the architecture profession and the course will be complemented by a network of practitioners and industry representatives to ensure students are equipped with professionally relevant skills.
'Norwich's creative economy is generating growing recognition for the city as a hub for design talent. The region already has over 30 architectural practices operating within it and an injection of locally trained talent will provide a new stimulus for growth in this sector.'
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Michael Innes, immediate past president of the Norfolk Association of Architects (NAA), said: 'There's a substantial proportion of the population who could be disenfranchised if they don't have a local opportunity to study.
'I have long felt that Norwich should have a department of architecture.'
Anthony Hudson, director of Norwich-based Hudson Architects and the NAA's liaison who has been working with NUCA bring the degree course to fruition, said it would help to raise the profile of architecture and architects in Norwich and Norfolk, as well as bringing a new vibrancy to their work through a closer interaction of day-to-day practice and the more academic and theoretical ideas that will come from having a degree course in the city. This could include local architects taking lectures or visiting speakers sparking discussion among a wider community interested in the subject.
Mr Hudson also said there are few architecture degrees run by art colleges, and he though NUCA would be better placed than any to offer the chance for students to work alongside and learn from its other design students, for example in games design and graphic design.
He said: 'There's a possiblity of it being very cutting edge. I don't know of any courses which would have such a potentially close relationship with other design courses.'