The Master of Design Administration (MDA) aims to equip graduates with the expertise necessary for the successful administration and management the design process in the procurement of buildings. It is intended to fulfil the growing need for experts in design management, working within consultancies, or in contracting or specialist contractor firms, or in client bodies.
The programme combines management and legal aspects of procurement with a unique focus on design aspects, addressing current topics of key interest to construction professionals. It is taught by blended learning methods, which comprise distance learning supplemented by Cardiff-based short courses, and is undertaken while students are working in practice. The distance learning element is supported by regular online seminars and tutorials with written feedback on all course assignments. The short courses are a wonderful opportunity for the students to meet each other and those that teach on the programme.
Although new, the MDA has been developed from an existing degree that has been running very successfully for over twelve years. It receives excellent feedback and has been commended by the RIBA over successive visits. We have taken the best elements of the existing degree and combined them with several new features, to create an exciting and unique programme. The particular blend of topics offered, and the title MDA, are unique so far as we are aware.
This programme is led by Professor Sarah Lupton, a well-known expert and author of books on specialist topics relevant to the course, such as ‘Design Liability in the Construction Industry’, and a popular series on standard form building contracts. Her strong links with industry (for example as Liability Champion for the Construction Industry Council) and involvement in practice (as a partner in Lupton Stellakis architects) ensure that the course encompasses current topics of direct relevance to those involved in procuring construction projects, and managing the design process. Sarah is dual qualified as an architect and as a lawyer, and is a Chartered Arbitrator and adjudicator.
The MDA is intended for those who have a degree in a design, construction or building management field, for example architects, engineers, contractors and client representatives. All those registered on the course would normally be in employment, with several years’ experience, but may be looking for promotion to a more senior design management position, or perhaps to set up their own firm. Many graduates from the existing degree have gone on to become partners or directors of a firm within a relatively short time.