A new approach to design teaching at Melbourne

bright and dynamic architectural design
Students studying in the Melbourne School of Design building on the University's Parkville campus

The University of Melbourne has announced a new undergraduate degree that will equip students with the design thinking and creative processes to tackle complex problems.

Commencing in semester one of 2017, the Bachelor of Design will provide an undergraduate education that responds to the needs and challenges facing the built environment in contemporary society.

University of Melbourne Provost Margaret Sheil said: “We have always aimed to ensure that Melbourne students are provided with a contemporary range of opportunities for their graduate study and job prospects.

“The Bachelor of Design will create new pathways for the large numbers of students who are passionate about the use of design and creative approaches across a wide range of disciplines and professions," Professor Sheil said.

The available majors in the new Bachelor of Design will include: Architecture, Construction, Computing, Civil Systems, Digital Media, Landscape Architecture, Mechanical Systems, Property, Spatial Systems, Urban Planning, and Visual and Performance Design.

Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning Dean Daryl Le Grew said the new undergraduate degree aligns strongly with professionally accredited graduate programs, and would provide students with great flexibility, “in the form of new majors, double majors, minors and unique specialisations”.

“Students will study the application of design to a wide range of contexts, from the macro-level of the metropolis to the construction of buildings, bridges, and landscapes, even right down to the small-scale of systems and micro-structures,” he said.

Understanding our environment has never been more important. In addition to the highly successful Office of Environmental Programs and the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, the University has also recently established a new School of Geography with an interdisciplinary approach to environmental issues.

During 2016 the University will consider how best to reposition our environmental curriculum in the light of these developments, accordingly the University will not take new students into the Bachelor of Environments during 2017.

“The new Design degree will encompass a number of the pathways to Masters programs currently available within the Bachelor of Environments,” Professor Sheil said.

“Students interested in environmental science and sustainability can continue to access an exciting range of majors through the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science.

“Current Environments students will be unaffected by these changes.”

Professor Sheil said these decisions were part of the University’s commitment to reviewing and improving its curriculum in the light of evolving expectations of our students and employers.