TV personality and architect George Clarke has helped create a degree in housing design to be run by Birmingham City University
Subject specialists from the university will also teach parts of the degree, which will sit within the School of Architecture and Design but will not be accredited by the RIBA nor count towards the professional qualification as an architect.
Head of the school Kevin Singh said the course was aimed at creating graduates with the skills to improve quality and quantity of new housing from within a range of organisations.
‘We are trying to be quite disruptive here,’ Singh told the AJ. ‘Developers, housebuilders, local authorities, housing associations and other bodies are crying out for these people. We think they will come in and challenge the status quo.’
Students will challenge and disrupt traditional thinking around the idea of home and develop radical alternatives
The course will borrow some modules from existing architecture degrees along with others – such as marketing, branding and business – from elsewhere. There will also be a focus on modern methods of construction such as offsite manufacturing, and a look at the planning process as well as the economics of housebuilding.
‘The problem with any normal architecture degree is that there is so much ground to cover,’ said Singh. ‘We will drill down into housing; the design projects will focus on housing.’
Clarke last month urged the government to commit to building 100,000 new council homes a year for the next three decades. His charity aims to inspire young people to innovate in the design and construction of homes in the UK and abroad.
He said: ‘I am thrilled to have helped develop and to be a part of this incredible new course at Birmingham City University.
‘Through innovative ideas, new design methods, advanced technologies and entrepreneurial skills, students will challenge and disrupt traditional thinking around the idea of home and develop radical alternatives that are fit for the future and fit to live in.’
Around 30 places will be available when the course starts in September 2020. Students can enrol now by undertaking a foundation year or apply during the winter.
The number of people accepted on to the course could double in future years.