ARC2018 : Cities, Cultures, Space


Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


To enable students to:

• Develop an awareness of theories and ideas relating to architecture, cities, space, ecologies, and the production of the built environment.

• Recognise how factors surrounding the practice of architecture, such as planning, regulation,
social justice, diverse cultures, ways of living, and thinking about the world, influence both the production of the built environment and the values it forms and perpetuates.

• Appreciate the complex interplay between architects’ designs, techniques and practices and their
theoretical approaches, principles, and political aspirations (such as ecology, participation, diversity, critique) in architectural cultures.

• Inform and strengthen the theoretical basis on which students develop approaches to design and research and take decisions in an ethical, responsible, and adaptive manner.

Outline Of Syllabus

The lecture course examines major currents in architectural and urban thinking, with reference to social, environmental, ideological, economic, and technological factors that have shaped, and continue to shape, the production and design of buildings and cities.

Organised in three themes – cities, cultures, and space – the lectures and seminars introduce students to key concepts and theories for thinking about architecture, space, and the built environment. In doing so, it introduces students to the importance of disciplinary perspectives from beyond architecture such as planning, urban design, social sciences, art practice, philosophy, cultural studies, history, and the humanities.

In the research skills thread, students will learn fundamental research skills, such as library search, compiling a bibliography, critical reading, referencing, developing an argument with reference to a body of existing literature, and good academic practice (avoiding plagiarism).

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture102:0020:00Thematic In person lectures with guest and Q&A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture33:009:00Skills lectures with classroom exercise. One per block (i.e. three week long blocks in cities, cultures, space)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion160:0060:00Essay development towards Semester 1 submission
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion110:0010:00Research skills report preparation
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities32:006:00Research skills activities
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading116:0016:00Reading and preparation for seminars
Guided Independent StudySkills practice34:0012:00Regular reflective writing on a related article
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities103:0030:00Independent study
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities83:3028:00Three and a half hours per week related article reading / video viewing
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching31:003:00One hour long seminar per student per block (cites/spaces/cultures)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops21:002:00Library skills in person workshop
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion40:453:00Non-synchronous online discussion forum for module Q&A with module leader/lecturers
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery30:201:00Essay writing drop-in session with staff
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Teaching is organised into two threads: the main content, and a supplementary research skills thread.

The main content is delivered primarily by means of weekly block 2.5-hour lecture sessions. These will be in person and will typically take the following form:
• One hour dedicated to subject introduction and close reading of texts led by the lecturer.
• One hour in the form of an interview with a guest contributor, either in person or via Zoom to the lecture theatre (the Zoom format enables us to invite guests from across the world, with a live ‘in-person’ lecture theatre audience).
• The structured interview in the lecture theatre will be followed by a half hour Q&A session with the guest.

In person lectures will be supported by:
• In person seminars, delivered in one-hour blocks, approximately every third week. In these, students will explore a key thematic text with an academic colleague.
• Whole year group Research Skills learning in interactive lecture format.
• Small group library Research Skills workshops.
• Online discussion groups on Canvas, which will also be used to file and respond to lecture questions and deliver module information as the semester progresses.
• Additional pre-recorded video materials as appropriate (such as a virtual tour of a city or exploring thematic content in relation to real world examples).

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio1A100A 3000 word illustrated essay & 1000 word research skills portfolio.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The essay assesses students’ overview and knowledge of the syllabus, their ability to consider the built environment in relation to some of the theories and ideas they have been introduced to, and their ability to access and synthesise materials and evidence to support their arguments.

The research skills report will assess students’ acquisition of a range of fundamental research techniques which are further evidenced in the essay.

Reading Lists