The second cycle degree course in Architecture combines in-depth theoretical studies of core professional subjects with a solid applied and technical approach to design. Courses in the different design subjects (architectural composition, renovation, town planning and architectural and construction technology) are organized into laboratories where students, supported by theoretical studies, carry out an applied activity during lessons hours; accordingly, from the outset students are not only acquiring knowledge, but also the skills necessary to draw and design. Graduates of the Second Cycle Degree in Architecture can sit the Italian State examination to become registered as architects, planners, landscapers, conservators and civil and environmental engineers. The professional skills to be acquired cover a very wide range. An architect has specific skills in architectural design and, in a more general sense, in public works, including reinforced concrete structures, urban and regional planning, building surveying and quantity surveying, as well as in civil works of significant artistic interest and in the restoration and rehabilitation of listed buildings protected by the Cultural Heritage and Landscape Code. Planners have expertise in spatial, landscape, environment and town planning and in carrying out and coordinating complex and specialized analyses of urban, spatial, landscape and environmental structures. Planners also have the task of coordinating and managing environmental assessment activities and the feasibility of urban and territorial plans and projects. Landscapers have expertise in the design and supervision of works relating to gardens and parks; in the preparation of landscape plans; and in the restoration of historical parks and gardens. Conservators operate in the field of conservation of architectural and environmental heritage and diagnosis of processes of decay and damage of architectural and environmental heritage, identifying measures and techniques for their restoration or recovery. The possibility of sitting the Italian State examination for engineers also involves acquiring skills in design, development, supervision of works, estimating, testing, management and evaluation of the impact of buildings, structures, infrastructures, and civil systems on the environment and the territory. Legislation states that, as far as Architecture degree courses are concerned, each University must choose whether to maintain the traditional 5-year degree or move to the 3+2 system (three-year first cycle degree plus two-year second cycle degree). The University of Parma has chosen the latter option, the only one in the Emilia Romagna region to have a two-year Degree Course in Architecture to complete the three-year first cycle degree course in Architectural Science. The second cycle degree, the conclusion of the so-called 3+2 cycle, has exactly the same legal and essential value as the traditional one-cycle 5-year degree. Admission to the second cycle
The Second Cycle Degree Course in Architecture requires a three-year degree or university diploma, or other study qualification obtained abroad and recognized as equivalent, as well as the following academic prerequisites:
- students must have graduated from the previous university studies with a minimum mark of 90 out of 110;
- students must have obtained, in previous university studies, at least 125 university credits in the relevant subjects and activities defined as basic, specific, related and supplementary by the study programme of the Architectural Science degree, class L-17, of the University of Parma. Before completing enrolment, students who have achieved a first cycle three-year degree with a mark below 90 out of 110 must sit an oral exam that will test whether they possess the basic knowledge deemed essential for admission to the second cycle degree.
We feel satisfied with the approach adopted and the results achieved: in recent years, most students have obtained their degrees within the set three years and gone on to the second cycle degree; only a minority did not continue their studies. Currently, 485 students are enrolled in the second cycle Architecture Degree course. The courses are organized in accordance with European Directive 85/384/EEC concerning the reciprocal recognition of diplomas, certificates and other qualifications in the Architecture sector. For the 2012/2013 academic year, the teaching body on the Architectural Sciences course comprises 30 lecturers on the University of Parma staff, and 39 lecturers on a contract basis from a variety of professional backgrounds. They include freelancers, public administration managers and academics who are all able to offer invaluable interaction between the world of work and academia. This feature is reinforced by the role of internships and work placements, compulsory for both degree courses, which are organized in conjunction with approximately one thousand public bodies and private firms, mostly professional studios affiliated with the University. The courses are mostly held within the University Campus (in Via Langhirano) called Parco Area delle Scienze, the scientific centre of the University of Parma. The campus, located in a 77-hectare green area on the outskirts of the city, is easily accessible from the train station and the historical centre; it includes the most modern and well-equipped facilities of the University Sports Centre (swimming pool, tennis courts, facilities for football, golf, athletics, basket, volleyball and five-a-side). Course instructions can be given in all the forms envisaged by current legislation as well as other experimental ones. The programme includes theoretical teaching as well as practical exercises, laboratories and internships. Laboratory activities, focused mainly on design and of the duration of 150 hours each, cover various subjects and receive a single final evaluation. In the first year of the course architectural, urban, restoration, construction and executive representation design subjects will be taught exclusively in laboratories; the second year, with the exception of the final laboratory, involves single subject courses regarding more professional aspects, such as building site management, building and public works legislation, surveying and advanced technological components. Practical and laboratory activities are part of individual course subjects and internships. Upon approval of the Course Council, they may be carried out at qualified public or private entities with which the University has specific agreements. Each course year is organized in two teaching periods (usually lasting fifteen weeks each and called semesters) separated by periods dedicated exclusively to exams. Course attendance is the students’ right and duty. Students automatically receive an attendance certificate at the end of the teaching period established in their study plans, except for the courses referred to as laboratories. Indeed attendance of lessons for all these courses is obligatory. Only students that have attended at least 70% of the lesson hours of the laboratory may sit the exam. It is the responsibility of the lecturer in charge of the laboratory to provide a document certifying student attendance.
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