Star performers: Experiences of the Bachelor of Architecture and the Living Curriculum project


Over the last few months I worked with Chris Murphy, the programme leader of the Bachelor of Architectural Studies, to prepare the programme for the Unitec “Tick” process. The aim of the “Tick” is to ensure that each programme of study complies with Policy 24 Curriculum Design.  A key feature of the policy is the concept of a “living curriculum”.  The policy states that Experiences and pursuits are driven by curiosity and questions that arise within the learning process and lead to inquiry”.  The challenge that Chris and I face together was the preparation of evidence to convince the Unitec Teaching and Learning Committee that the programme met the policy requirements.

Intially, we met to discuss the policy and “Tick” documents. We determined the key elements of the policy and examined the process to support the policy. We decided that we needed to submit to the committee two documents. A revised definitive programme document and a complete “Tick” document, entitled Characteristics of a Living Curriculum”.

As programme leader, and the person most familiar with the programme, Chris wrote a summary of the ways in which he believed the programme was meeting the policy. The document was a very full and descriptive summary. Taking that summary, I suggested we revise three sections of the programme definitive document.  The sections we revised were Student Development, Methods of Delivery and Assessment.  Using Chris’s summary I wrote addressed the specific requirements of the policy, drawing upon the graduate profile, the course learning outcomes, assessments and programme regulations and processes.  There were a number of areas in which I lack the knowledge of the programme, so I highlighted to Chris areas for further work.

We met several times, sharing documents and discussing the programme in depth. I gained a much greater understanding of the discipline and was able to make some suggestions for further improvement in managing the progress of students in the programme, supporrting Maori and Pacific learners and ensuring success of first year students.  Together we completed the revisions for the definitive document.

Once we complete the revisions the new version was submitted to the Programme Committee for discussion and approval. Once approved the new definitive document and the “Tick” evidence template will be submitted to the Learning and Teaching Committee.


Working with Chris on the Bachelor of Architectural studies has been an absolute pleasure. Chris is a complete professional with a keen eye for detail and significant knowledge of the programme. The programme itself is exciting, well grounded in the discipline with plenty of opportunities for creativity, inquiry and collaboration.  I am not surprised we will be one of the first programmes to complete the process.



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