Taught course

Master of Design Administration

Cardiff University · Welsh School of Architecture

Entry requirements

See our website for details.

Months of entry


Course content

The Master of Design Administration, or MDA, is a new programme that aims to equip students with the expertise necessary for the successful administration and management the design process in the procurement of buildings. It is intended to fulfil the growing need for experts in design management, working within consultancies, or in contracting or specialist contractor firms, or in client bodies.

The programme combines management and legal aspects of procurement with a unique focus on design aspects, addressing current topics of key interest to construction professionals. It is taught by blended learning methods, which comprise distance learning supplemented by Cardiff-based short courses, and is undertaken while students are working in practice. The distance learning element comprises a series of set tasks, supported by on-line seminars and tutorials and regular written feedback. The short courses are a wonderful opportunity for the students to meet each other and those that teach on the programme.

Although new, the MDA has been developed from an existing degree that has been running very successfully for over twelve years. It receives excellent feedback, and has been commended by the RIBA over successive visits. We have taken the best elements of the existing degree and combined them with several new features, to create an exciting and unique programme. The particular blend of topics offered, and the title MDA, are unique so far as we are aware.

This programme is led by Professor Sarah Lupton, a personal chair at the Welsh School of Architecture and a partner in Lupton Stellakis architects. She is dual qualified as an architect and as a lawyer. She lectures widely on subjects relating to construction law, and is the author of many books, including ‘Design Liability in the Construction Industry’, a series on standard form building contracts, and ‘Which Contract? ’, and is co-editor (with Manos Stellakis) of a series on legislative controls. She contributes regularly to the International Construction Law Review, and acts as an adjudicator and expert witness in construction disputes. She is Chairman of the CIC Liability Panel and a member of the RIBA President’s Advisory Committee on Dispute Resolution.

Qualification and course duration


part time
36 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Enquiries