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Head of Norwich's new architecture school named

Architect and academic Adrian Friend is to develop and lead Norwich University’s new architecture school

From September 2012 students will be able to study BA Architecture at Norwich University’s College of Art after the institute, says Friend, was approached by the RIBA and asked to set up the school to fill the regional gap in architectural education.

The decision to open the school, which Friend describes as ‘fantastic and brave’ given the current economic climate, has been welcomed by local architects and students who hope the move will help retain talent in the region.

Friend, the founder of award winning firm Friend and Company Architects, joins NUCA from Nottingham University where he is head of BArch Year 2 studies. Talking to the Architects Journal on Friday Friend said he was ‘delighted, honoured and excited’ about the position.

As well as developing the course over the next year, Friend and his team will be picking the brains of the best architecture schools both in the UK and international. He hopes this will enable him to achieve his long term ambition ‘to establish an undergraduate course recognised as a regional centre of excellence and fuelled by local cultural identity and talent’.

Last Saturday saw the first of six Undergraduate Open Days where potential applicants were shown the superb workshop facilities used by photography, film, textiles and the 3d workshop. Following this one student said they ‘will now put NUCA top of their list, having already visited Architecture course open days at UCL and Kingston.’

At £8,500 a year the course is also set to be one of the cheapest in the UK with entry requirements based on a portfolio interview and 280 UCAS points. The school will be seeking prescriptive validation for the first year from ARB this month; however RIBA accreditation is not normally given until after the first three years.

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