Architecture (ARCH) 655

Architectural Practice Management (Revision 3)

ARCH 655 Course Cover

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Graduate Diploma in Architecture program or referral from the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB) for individuals with a professional degree in architecture from a university outside Canada.

Faculty: Faculty of Science & Technology

Centre: RAIC Centre for Architecture

Program: Graduate Diploma in Architecture

ARCH 655 is not available for challenge. Credit may be transferred for previous work considered equivalent.

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Note: For those students interested in pursuing a career as a registered architect, this course contributes to the RAIC Syllabus Diploma. Information about the RAIC Syllabus Diploma is available on the RAIC website.


Architecture 655: Architectural Practice Management integrates the study of management practice within the context of architecture as a profession. This course provides the necessary skill sets that architects use in the development of a successful practice. It challenges the graduate student to consider management practice issues that architects must consider and promotes strategic evaluation of project design and process.


  • Unit 1: Getting Work
  • Unit 2: Managing the Work
  • Unit 3: Architect Fees and Services
  • Unit 4: Project Management and Integrated Project Delivery
  • Unit 5: Construction Project Delivery
  • Unit 6: Pre-design Services
  • Unit 7: Design Services
  • Unit 8: Construction Procurement
  • Unit 9: Office-based Construction Administration
  • Unit 10: Field-based Construction Administration

Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to achieve the following learning outcomes:

  • Apply various management techniques to the successful operation of an architecture practice, including marketing, financial planning and accounting, risk management, and quality management.
  • Determine appropriate fees for a specific project and prepare client-architect agreements.
  • Manage architecture projects properly and efficiently from pre-design to takeover and commissioning.
  • Administer construction contracts.


You will be evaluated based on five assignments. In order to pass ARCH 655, you must complete all five assignments. Each assignment is worth 20% of your grade in the course. The minimum pass mark for the final project assignment is 50%. It should be noted that students who wish to be certified by the CACB must achieve and maintain a final grade point average of 2.3 or greater. This means that while a mark of 60% would constitute a pass in the course, marks of 67% or greater are required for students who wish to pursue registration or licensing in architecture.

The instructor will facilitate online activities and grade the assignments.

Students will be required to visit a construction site as part of an assignment.

Students are encouraged to visit construction sites for educational purposes, and safety is of paramount importance. To complete the assignment in ARCH 655, you must document information about a construction site. It is recommended that you do this from outside the perimeter of the site itself; you are NOT required to enter the actual work site to obtain pictures of the construction work. However, if you receive permission to enter the site and choose to do so, please understand that you enter it at your own risk and are entirely responsible for your own safety. Athabasca University does NOT have insurance coverage for accidents that might occur during visits to construction sites.

Course Materials

Architecture 655: Architectural Practice Management is taught using digital materials, online resources, and instructor support.

Hobbs, J. (Ed.). (2009). The Canadian Handbook of Practice for Architects (2nd ed., Vols. 1–2). Ottawa: The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. (online resource)

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 3, July 9, 2019.

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