UWTSD architecture student gains her degree and her first job in an architecture practice


An architecture student from UWTSD is celebrating achieving not only her degree but also her first position as a part 1 architectural assistant within a Welsh architecture practice.

Naomi Pocknell

Naomi Pocknell from Cardiff studied Architecture at UWTSD’s SA1 waterfront campus in Swansea and has graduated with a first-class honours BSc in Architecture – the first step to becoming a fully qualified architect.

“I chose UWTSD after I attended an open day and found it to be very welcoming and informative,” she says. “Everyone was very helpful, and it was a great opportunity to meet the lecturers and get to know more about the course.”

“At the interview I met with Ian Standen, Programme Director for Architecture, and it was a very positive experience - he was very friendly and full of enthusiasm. At the time UWTSD was only one of two universities in Wales to offer the architecture course, I found that the smaller cohort numbers to be an attraction.”

She adds that she benefitted from being part of a smaller cohort during her studies.

“It has meant that we have had excellent contact with the lecturers, and it provided a more personal and individual approach, which I prefer,” she says. “Other universities were providing courses with larger cohorts, and I feel I would not have gained the same experience.”

Highlights of the course included opportunities to attend various project sites, get involved with other professionals outside of the university, and participate in community projects provided by the lecturers.

“The course has also had a practical aspect to it and has allowed us to both design and build some projects, including a homeless shelter,” she adds.

The Covid-19 pandemic posed a significant challenge during the course, with much of the teaching switching to online.

“As this is largely a practical course, working from home massively changed the experience. However, the support and guidance from the lecturers helped significantly - for example, during the pandemic the lecturers were very accommodating, such as providing studio tutorials and examinations online” says Naomi. “In addition, new equipment was used to assist with explaining work and sketching out ideas - for example an over-head camera. We were still able to receive the same amount of time and feedback from professionals and all the modules were organised well. Communication from staff via email has been good and they are very understanding with regards to any technical problems.”

During the final year of her studies the lecturers encouraged their students to participate in a Royal Society of Architects in Wales (RSAW) mentoring scheme which entailed partnering with professionals in practice.

“This opportunity was excellent and has since led me to achieve my first position as a part 1 architectural assistant, at Oochitecture, a Welsh architecture practice” says Naomi. “The course provided me with an excellent grounding for this position and the modules assisted with applying for jobs.”

Naomi now hopes to continue with her studies and become a fully qualified architect. She adds that she would highly recommend UWTSD to other aspiring architects.

“The course was excellent, and the input received from the lecturers was very professional and supportive,” she says. “I would definitely recommend this course to anyone looking to study architecture.”

Ian Standen, Programme Director, said: "Naomi is an all-round excellent student, working consistently hard throughout the course. Her enthusiasm for the subject is evident in her work and she showed great ambition in each design project to push herself to learn and try new things. We all wish her the very best for her time in architectural practice this year. I am sure she will be a great asset to Oochitecture."

Further Information

Rebecca Davies

Swyddog Gweithredol Cysylltiadau â’r Wasg a’r Cyfryngau

Executive Press and Media Relations Officer

Cyfathrebu Corfforaethol a Chysylltiadau Cyhoeddus

Corporate Communications and PR

Mobile: 07384 467071

Email: Rebecca.Davies@uwtsd.ac.uk