Master of Architecture (Urban Design)
Cities are one of the best inventions by humankind. Defined as economic engines,
human agglomerations, and the fields of intense energy, cities are habitat for all
kinds of culture. The joy of life in city is one of the strong forces to attract
population towards urban areas. Like living organisms, cities also originate, grow
and expand; this process of life of the city is critical for us to understand. The
urban design programme at SPA Bhopal aims to imbibe knowledge to the students to
invent newer approaches to the issues of urbanity in Indian and Asian cities through
the process of collaboration and amalgamation between the disciplines of architecture
and planning. Urban Design at SPA Bhopal will initiate new theoretical as well as
practical ways of dealing with cities posed with challenges from the forces of the
Urban Design Programme at School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal is a four-semester
course of two years duration and leading to a degree of Master of in Urban Design.
Each semester consists of wide range of theory and studio subjects ranging from
history, sociology, ecology and legislation, sequentially increasing in their complexity
to make students well versed with urban design issues and approaches of universal
values. Urban design programme at SPA Bhopal will explore ways to design, create
and sustain the rich and productive urban environments.
Urban Design at SPA, Bhopal will focus on finding new dimensions of urbanity based
on theory and praxis relevant in today's context.
1) School of Planning and Architecture at Bhopal aims to sequentially expose the
students to the complexity of urban environments to understand-analyze-synthesize
and then contextually intervene in an urban structure.
2) Urban Design at SPA Bhopal also aims to make the students acquainted with various
tools of urban design to intervene in rich and complex urban fabric of India and
to encourage participatory approach and inclusive design encompassing all stakeholders
of the city.
3) Being located in Bhopal, SPA intends to focus on important issues of city of
Bhopal and its surrounding areas and thus providing a platform for various authorities,
local bodies and other organizations to discuss the future of the city.
4) School intends to encourage dialectic method of dialogue to achieve a more global
approach to urban design including the diversities and possibilities, any culture
offers to make urban design rich in experience. Students will be free to decide
the method and insight of design.
5) SPA Bhopal intends to imbibe the skills in students to critically analyze the
surrounding environment based on theoretical and intuitive knowledge gained through
personal experience of reading urban and corresponding social-economic-political
6) School intends to develop a strong database to form a hub of information relating
to Indian cities. School will also start consultancy services in the field of urban
design and systems.
Structure of the Programme
Urban design course at SPA Bhopal aims to create a holistic approach towards analyzing
and designing complex urban environments with critical importance to the context
of the place by sequentially exposing the students to the hierarchy of subjects
encompassing history, sociology, economics, ecology, politics and design.
The first semester in the course introduces the realm of urban environment and components
of its complexities through design studio and urban design methodologies wherein
the focus lies on techniques of documentation, analysis and representation. History
of urbanity is an important area to be explored in order to understand the various
movements and schools of thought which shaped our urban surrounding. The other major
thrust is on site planning and systems studio to grasp better understanding of multiple
factors influencing the design process at both urban and site level.
The second semester further increases the thrust on dealing with issues of urban
design at city level in the Networks and Systems Studio by conducting the actual
case study of a city. These studies are reinforced by the parallel theoretical inputs
through the subject of Theory of City form. This semester also introduces the planning
aspects of urban design through transport planning and planning theory to understand
urban design as a bridge between the disciplines of planning and architecture. Administrative
and legal aspects of urban design will further strengthen the legislative and practical
angle of urban systems. Short duration practical training during the summer will
make student acquaint with the office practices in organizations imparting consultancy
in urban design.
Design studio in third semester stresses on more complex issues of city through
the aspects of conservation, renewal and extension with simultaneous inputs from
the theory subjects of Urban Conservation and Advanced Theory of City Form. The
subject of Sustainable Development introduces the critical components of balanced
development in urban context. The Housing subject in this semester concurrently
introduces the dynamics of housing policies and design in Indian context.
A common pool of electives is being introduced in the third semester of the course.
It will be a group of subjects pooled in from all Post Graduate Programmes running
in the institute. Students will have a choice of picking one elective from this
pool. This shall give the students a choice to take a subject of his or her interest
from a different discipline. This is in addition to the electives available in other
semester within the Urban Design programme.
Pre-Thesis seminar is introduced in the third semester, so as to enable the students
build up their ideas towards finalization of the thesis topic, either by research
or design, and to carry the same in to the fourth semester.
The fourth and the culminating semester requires Students to continue their thesis
work on the topic finalized in the previous semester. Students are required to undertake
the research or design based inquiry into the urban domain ranging from theory to
practice and develop an opinioned thesis to showcase the understanding in a comprehensive
way. Two related subjects are also taught in this semester.
In addition to above mentioned subjects, Urban Design at SPA Bhopal will also conduct
joint studios, workshops, conferences to create environment for interactions and
debates with discussions on national and international level Urban Design Projects.
Master of Architecture (Landscape)
The demand for specialization in Landscape Architecture is ever rising in both the
urban and the rural sectors. Bhopal, with a great history of integration of landscape
design into urban fabric, is an ideal place for studying in the above Post graduate
programme. This course is the only one in Central India.
This programme shall offer students an interdisciplinary setting to learn and think
critically, creatively, to be able to address environmental issues. The future landscape
architects, graduated from our institute, shall be versatile in the various aspects
of practice, strengthened with an environmental ethic, design development, project
management at multiple scales, communication, emerging technologies, ethical conduct,
as well as relevant areas of research.
The expertise of landscape architecture is highly sought after in the planning and
development of new residential and commercial areas and to meet the needs of a growing
population. At the same time, the forests need to be protected from the negative
impacts of the urban development and spread. With land costs rising, and the public
desiring livable cities and more beautiful spaces, the importance of good site planning
and landscape design is ever growing.
The mission of the Master of Landscape Architecture is to educate for ultimate leadership
in the profession of landscape architecture. This mission requires the development
and exercise of both intellect and the sensibility.
The Programme has the dual objectives of providing students with a core of design
and technical skills in combination with experiences in pure and applied research.
This duality prepares students for problem solving in the profession through design
and research, and it is a programme focus. Student preparation is enhanced by specialized
course work taken inside and outside of landscape architecture and by the topic
of one's thesis.
The programme focus shall be on environment sensitive landscape designs, to manage
both the storm water run-off and water resources, integration of new structures
with the natural environment in the least disruptive way, preservation and restoration
of wetlands and other environmentally sensitive sites. Special focus shall be on
the historic preservation, land reclamation, and refurbishment of existing sites,
eg. Industrial and mining sites.
The course has been designed in four semesters of equal durations and credits, spread
in a total of two years.
The core subjects like Landscape Technology, History and Theory of Landscape Architecture,
Water Management, run through two to three semesters. These are designed to assist
the Landscape Studio through building up a strong scientific, technological, theoretical
and historical base. The first semester has a subject devoted to climatology and
the Third Semester has subjects to develop understanding of land economics and research
methods. This semester is also designed to form the prelude to the independent Thesis.
The fourth semester equips the student for the profession with the subject of Professional
Professional Training under a Landscape Architect or as a Research Associate with
a Landscape faculty is a necessary component of the course. This equips the student
with the practical aspects/ research base, offering the required exposure to the
realm of the profession and research, before the Thesis is taken up.
Flexibility (through electives)
The course is designed with flexibility for the student to pursue the area of his/
her interest. The second semester offers an array of specialized landscapes to choose
from, the third semester offers a common pool elective wherein the student can opt
for an elective outside the department, promoting the interdisciplinary approach.
The fourth semester offers electives with focus on conservation of energy and historicity.
Environment & Management studios: These studios focus on Plants, Ecology, Site planning,
Development processes, Water resource as the most valuable and vulnerable asset,
Planting design, Environmental Impact Assessment and a Seminar in landscape Appreciation.
Landscape Studios: These are designed as the Core studios of Landscape design, which
run through the entire program with increasing complexities, wherein the student
makes an application of all the above modules, culminating in an independent Thesis.
Master of Architecture (Conservation)
India is a country with rich natural and cultural heritage. The variation in heritage
is due to geographical locations, time periods, builders, architectural styles,
different sizes and scales of cultural heritage, existing traditional knowledge
systems, continuity in traditional practices, and different categories of built
heritage ranging from prehistoric, historic and archaeological sites and different
typologies from a building to large cultural regions. Today in our country there
are around 3600 Centrally Protected Monuments, around 5000 State Protected Monuments,
large number of living monuments protected by various religious bodies and a huge
amount of built heritage under the ownership of private organizations/ owners. Hence
the need of Conservation Architect is felt by all stakeholders. Today not more than
200 qualified conservation architects are practicing in India, making it a profession
in demand. The requirement for a qualified conservation professional is more challenging
as with technological advancements the society is drastically changing and it is
important to understand the meaning of heritage in the present society. The heritage
is also vulnerable due to threats like rapid urban growth, industrial and intensive
agricultural activities, growing land prices, encroachments, etc.
The location of SPA Bhopal in central India near two world heritage sites including
a cultural landscape that provides the institute a unique opportunity to use this
heritage as a pedagogical resource. Drawing from the cultural context of central
India and myriad of diverse communities, we are inspired to launch a Post Graduate
Programme in Conservation.
Conservation Practice requires a professional with skills towards interpretation
of heritage values; maintenance and management of heritage; process and knowledge
of construction and building; and knows how to use technological advancements and
expertise. Hence the Conservation programme is devised in training the students
towards theory and philosophies in conservation, process and techniques necessary
for maintenance and management of heritage, appropriate use of standards of practice.
This training shall facilitate informed decision making and application of acquired
skills and techniques.
Theory and Philosophy
Focuses on building the theoretical background necessary for all conservation activities
including knowledge systems approach, communication skills, interpretations and
understanding of core disciplines of interactions.
Scientific (Traditional and Modern)
Focuses on the various kinds of techniques required to handle various types, scopes,
and scales of conservation including various kinds of knowledge required related
to materials, structural systems, physical properties and traditional techniques
towards making of an artifact or construction of a building.
Scales and Components
Focuses on various levels required for management, for various scales of conservation
projects likely to be handled by conservation professional. It deals with various
approaches required for management including holistic and integrated approach, participatory
Laws and Jurisdiction, Profession
Focuses on the administrative, political and legal frameworks under which the conservation
works are undertaken. The restrictions and opportunities of jurisdictions towards
implementation of various conservation activities are explored.
First Hand Experience on various scales of live project
The programme shall fulfill the objectives of the charter of SPA Bhopal towards
imparting quality education inclusive of environmental, social and cultural sustenance.
It shall build a Comprehensive Database of India through research and documentation.
The Conservation programme aims at developing appropriate management and technical
skills for Conservation Practice. Thus the trained professionals shall provide leadership
in Conservation Profession.
The two year Masters Programme in Conservation is designed to impart skills and
knowledge and train students in a multidisciplinary and integrated approach of historic
conservation. The programme is divided into five modules namely:
The Programme is a two year programme organized in four semesters with practical
training in summer vacations for not less than eight weeks.
SPA Bhopal aspires to create conservation professionals sensitized about the significance
of heritage, having understanding of the role of scientific disciplines and appropriate
skills & techniques for conservation practice.
Master of Design
The Master of Design Degree programme at School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal offers a unique opportunity for learners to collaborate with the disciplines of Art, Architecture, Planning, Social Sciences and Technology with positioning themselves in the mutating field of Design. The programme is intended towards innovative and sustainable design explorations for complex scenarios of production and consumption.
It offers an opportunity to relook at the postgraduate design education framework and provide a pragmatic platform for learners to pursue the discipline of Design from a user-centric systemic approach.
The Master of Design programme in design at School of Architecture and Planning, Bhopal offers user-centred design learning approach through various possible streams of design. In this approach, opportunities will be provided to explore and understand complex socio-cultural-environmental problems and design products and process that respond to core elements for the well-being of individual and societies, like economic growth, social inclusion and environmental sustainability.
Design in the present society is a complex process and is no more just limited to the design of everyday objects. It is consistently breaking the boundaries of theoretical domains and combining different approaches to knowledge cultures to promote interdisciplinary studies, techniques and practices. In this perspective, subjects from different disciplines are structured along four semesters of this design programme with a part to the whole approach, where object-oriented design learning will come at the initial stages, and system-oriented design learning will come at the later stages. In this way, students can understand the essence of objects within a system and their relationships with others.
Structure of the Programme
The Master of Design Degree programme is offered for a duration of two years and consisting of four academic semesters with six to eight weeks of compulsory Industry internship between two years at School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal.
The interdisciplinary approach can be observed as one can progress semester wise. In every semester, subjects are distributed based on knowledge (art and science) domain, design domain and skill domain. The subjects offered in this curriculum are broadly from the field of Product Design and Visual Communication Design. They are divided into three categories across four semesters i) Compulsory Core subjects, ii) Specialization subjects and iii) Common Electives subjects.
i. Compulsory Core subjects, cover the common and necessary areas of all the design streams and approaches. Their credits must be earned by all the students to obtain the degree.
ii. Specialization subjects, are divided into two streams: Product Design and Visual Communication Design. Students have to earn all the credits from the subjects offered in any of one the two sets of subjects. The specialisation group will allow the learner to explore the subjectivity as the subjects help students to gain knowledge about the specific design streams in early semesters.
iii. Common Elective subjects, are the ones, where students have the option to choose any two/three/four subjects from the pool offered covering a wide area of interest and contemporary needs. Common elective subjects are flexible in nature and offers a bridge between the emerging needs and learner’s own limitations. Experts will be regularly invited to offer new common elective subjects as per availability under the scope of ‘Open Subjects’.
Further, in every semester students will work on a self-initiated design project guided by mentors based on the acquired knowledge until that stage. This design project will run parallel with the other subjects. The experience gathered from various design subjects will enrich student’s understanding of the design process, tools and techniques to work on the design project in every semester.
In the first semester, the core subjects are intended to provide an understanding of the scope and spread of design through its presence in scientific and historical paradigms. With further sharpening the basic knowledge and skills of design, the specialisation groups offer a thread of subjectivity to be pursued. Perception and visualization techniques of objects and human activities are to be pursued along through electives. The project, in this semester, will be evolved around these basic understanding of design subjects.
In the second semester, after revisiting and exploring the base, the learners will be exposed to subjects which deal with creativity, technicality and advancement of design domain. The subjects are evolved based on various aspects of human life, like, cognition, anthropometry, consumer culture, daily life activities, user experience and thinking etc. Different types of research methods to observe and understand user patterns are facilitated in this semester. A total process from understanding the user to design brief, ideation, conceptualization and detailing of design deliverables are done in the project, in this semester.
In the third semester, the idea is to collect all the knowledge, those were acquired in the previous two semesters, and to counter the complex nature of problem spaces at a macro and micro levels interlinked to one another at different levels and create solutions at every stratum of the problem space. In this semester, the approach of learning is more combined in nature, so that students can do the assignments in collaboration with each other to understand and realize the role of various types of stakeholders in the creation of solutions.
The fourth semester is mostly dedicated to self-initiated design project or taking the third-semester project to an advanced level. Comparatively, higher credits are allotted to this project and students are expected to showcase equivalent rigour and details in the design deliverables.
The performance of the students in every subject is evaluated either in the form of seminar, jury or written format. Every subject carries credit system, and the number of credits may vary from subject to subject according to the content and methodological approach of dealing that particular subject.
In each semester the student needs to earn a minimum of 26 credits and s/he can achieve a maximum of 30 credits through a combination of courses. Overall, a learner needs to earn a total of 104 credits to obtain the degree of Master of Design.
The project credits gradually increase every semester to restress the focus on the need to accommodate students’ choices. The complexity of the project will increase with the advancement of the semester. Each credit has an engagement of 15 periods or 12.5 hours. Hence, a week-long course would cover two credits through 30 periods of teaching-learning.
Master of Planning (Urban and Regional Planning)
Master of Planning in Urban and Regional Planning is being offered by the Department
of Planning as a two year post graduate programme since 2010. In India, growing
needs of increasing population, coupled with a very fast pace of urbanization, is
resulting in depletion of natural resources, polluted environments, stressed economic
conditions and fragmented social structure.
The rate of urbanization has increased manifold in recent years. It has been perceived
that the urban problems, which have grown in recent years having direct correlation
to the surrounding rural hinterland, cannot be handled in isolation. Issues related
to urbanization thus need to be addressed holistically in the perspective of the
region around. A study of resources and infrastructure of the region to provide
a blueprint of balanced environmental and settlement system development is thus
a priority in all institutes of planning.
This course aims to produce professional planners who are equipped to rise to the
challenges posed today and assist communities, organizations and policymakers in
addressing the present day problems of settlements and evolve new strategies for
improving the quality of life in cities and regions. The students will be trained
to address contemporary and emerging issues of cities and regions, through planning
exercises set in varied geographical and socio-cultural locations. Emphasis of this
programme is on acquiring practical skills for spatial planning through studio and
lab exercises. At the Post Graduate level of education, learning is not restricted
to the academic curriculum alone. Students are encouraged to participate in workshops,
conferences and seminars and develop their capabilities as a professional, both
through enhancing their professional knowledge as well as through development of
personality. The programme through the design and delivery of its curriculum endeavours
to develop students as robust individuals capable of contributing meaningfully to
the planning profession.
The curriculum is designed in a semester format comprising of four semesters spread
over the duration of two years with studio projects being at the core of each semester
and theoretical subjects plugged in, providing the underlying backbone of knowledge.
Use of state of the art computer applications for GIS and other spatial and non
spatial analyses is a forte of the School and finds extensive application in the
core studio projects integrated in the curriculum.
The first semester of the course referred to as the 'Integrated Semester' is common
across all specializations under Master of Planning in which the students will be
taught basic foundational subjects to enhance their analytical understanding of
planning. Students will also be introduced to planning history, theories and thought
besides the tools and techniques of planning. Students from diverse backgrounds
shall be brought to a common platform of understanding and shall be facilitated
to get an opportunity to learn the fundamentals across disciplines.
The Second and Third semesters will deal with core subjects of Urban and Regional
Planning. The main focus in these semesters will be on studio exercises and intensive
theoretical knowledge on core subjects to complement and supplement the studios.
Studio problems would address issues of regional and urban planning in consecutive
semesters respectively. Dialogue with government departments related with planning
of cities and regions is arranged during studio exercises to establish a meaningful
process and to generate a purposeful product.
The curriculum would also offer a wide range of elective subjects including common
pool electives (designed for all specialisations under Master of Planning) in the
higher semesters to encourage students to develop interests in diverse areas of
specialisation within the broad realm of urban and regional planning.
The subject 'Thesis Programming' incorporated in third semester will orient the
students towards finalizing their research work of final semester. Students will
take up an urban or regional planning topic in the final semester for their thesis
work having spatial implications on the natural and built environment. Topics of
research could be across a wide range covering many contemporary issues such as
environment, industry and economy, city sprawl and real estate dynamics, tourism,
urban infrastructure systems management, to name a few.
SPA Bhopal aspires to create professionals who are sensitized about the various
facets of planning for human settlements and who have the required analytical skills
needed for performing the assigned task related to planning and implementation.
Master of Planning (Environmental Planning)
Given the growing importance of environmental planning and the consequent demand
for environmental planners, the course is designed so as to equip the students with
necessary knowledge and skills. The course endeavor to develop an understanding
of various aspects of environmental planning and management by introducing an array
of subjects, namely, environmental economics, environmental monitoring, environmental
policies and legislation, environmental impact assessment, natural management, bio-
diversity, climate changes, etc. With the first semester building a foundation,
the curriculum is spread across four semesters with each having a studio exercise.
The program is supported by well equipped GIS and computer labs for carrying out
spatial and non-spatial analyses. The students also join research projects, workshops,
competitions and other knowledge exchange programs to enlarge their domain of experience
Master of Planning (Transport Planning and Logistics Management)
Master of Planning (Transport Planning and Logistics Management) is offered by the Department of Transport Planning as a two year post graduate programme. It is proposed to be introduced in the institute in July 2018.
In India, the share of the urban population is expected to increase to 40 per cent of total population by the year 2021. There is a tremendous increase in the personalized mode of transport in urban areas. With increase in population and number of private vehicles, issues in urban areas are also taking different dimensions. Transportation issues are one of the severe issues faced in many of the Indian cities. Lack of land use transport integration, coordinated planning, manpower, etc., leads to congestion, increase in accidents, pollution and wastage of national resources.
Sustainable urban transport, seamless public transport availability and provision for NMT are the objectives of National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP) 2014 where people become centre stage. These objectives can be met only by creating specialized experts in academic, research and various implementing agencies including private and government agencies.
Transport & logistic Planners play a key role in ensuring that transport systems are efficient and equitable. For this, they need to understand the core principles, techniques and concepts that underpin the discipline. Compulsory modules ensure that all students, whatever their background, have a solid foundation including policy, economics, planning, modeling and data analysis. Optional modules then allow for specialization and expertise in specific areas. The focus of this programme is on planning and engineering solutions to transport issues, particularly how the design of systems determines the nature of flow of people and goods being transported. Students learn how to use planning aspects to meet the challenges of integrating different modes of transport and make it more sustainable.
The programme aims to address the complexities faced in the domain of transport and logistics planning in regions and develop innovative approaches to improving cities and regions.Emphasis has been laid on integrating theory and studio contents and application of theoretical inputs in the studio.
The present proposed syllabus is developed in keeping with the objectives mentioned in the preceding section.
The course is divided into four semesters. The first semester is common for all Master of Planning specializations, referred to as the ‘Integrated Semester’, in which the students will be taught basic foundation subjects to enhance their understanding of planning and to strengthen their analytical skills. Students from diverse backgrounds would get an opportunity to learn the fundamentals across disciplines and be brought to a common platform of understanding.
The Second and Third semesters deal with core subjects of Transport Planning and Logistics Management. The structure of the syllabus has one core studio with various theoretical subjects providing appropriate base of knowledge and tools. The studio problems would address issues of regional and urban scale in consecutive semesters. The subjects ‘Seminar’ and ‘Pre-Thesis Research Design’ in second and third semester respectively will orient students towards finalizing their research work to be taken up in final semester. There are electives offered in third semester. One in departmental elective and other is common pool.
There is an option for students to opt for a subject from Common Pool of electives across all disciplines of planning and architecture to foster a multidisciplinary approach prevalent in the Institute. The subjects listed under ‘Common Pool Elective’ in this syllabus are those that the Transport and logistics planning programme would contribute to the pool. Students would however have a wider choice of electives not limited to those listed in this scheme.
In the fourth Semester, the thrust is primarily on Thesis being undertaken on any topic related to Transport Planning and Logistics Management, having spatial implications on the natural and built environments. The final semester focuses on developing students as robust individuals contributing to the profession by assimilating and applying the learnings of the entire course.
Assessment and Evaluation pattern
The student will be as assessed and evaluated as per the academic manual.