Global Opportunities

ARC2098 : About Architecture: Cities, Cultures and Space (Semester 1)

Semester 1 Credit Value: 15
ECTS Credits: 8.0


To enable students to:
Develop an awareness of theories and ideas from a range of disciplines relating to architecture,
cities, space and the production of the built environment.
Recognise how factors external to the practice of architecture, such as planning, regulation,
economy, diverse cultures, ways of living and thinking about the world, influence both the production
of the built environment and the frameworks we use to evaluate it.
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 since the late 19th century to the present day.
Inform and strengthen the theoretical basis on which students develop design approaches and take

Outline Of Syllabus

This course examines the major currents in architectural and urban thinking, and the social, political,
economic, environmental, technological and ideological factors that have shaped, and continue to
shape, the production and design of buildings and cities since the emergence of modernity.
Organised in three thematics; cities, cultures and space, the course introduces
students to key concepts and theories for thinking about architecture, space and the built
environment and to the importance of disciplinary perspectives from beyond architecture such as
planning, urban design, social sciences, anthropology, philosophy, cultural studies, history and the

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture102:3025:00In person lectures and guest slots
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion156:0056:00Ongoing essay development towards semester 1 submission
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials101:0010:003x 20min pre-recorded videos to accompany in person lecture content per session
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading116:0016:00Independent study
Guided Independent StudySkills practice34:0012:002 hour per week reflective writing on related article
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities102:0020:002 hours per week related reading
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching31:003:001 hour long seminar per student per block (cites/spaces/cultures)
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion40:302:00Non-synchronous online discussion forum for module Q&A with ML/lecturers
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity31:003:00In person reading group
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery31:003:00Essay-writing ‘drop-in’ session with staff
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
ARC2024About Architecture: Cities, Cultures and Space
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Teaching is by means of weekly blocks 2.5 hour lecture sessions. These will be in-person, with 1 hour dedicated to subject introduction and close reading of texts led by lecturer. 1 hour will be a continuation of last years ‘zoom-interviews’ - which will take place either with an interviewed guest in conversation in person, or via zoom to the lecture theatre. This enables us to invite guests from across the world, as has happened in 2020/21, but with a live ‘in-person’ audience. This structured interview in the lecture theatre will be followed by a half hour Q+A with invited guest.

These in-person event will be supported by one hour per week of pre-recorded content that takes students on a virtual tour of a city, exploring thematic content in relation to real world examples. These will be in twenty minute sections and relate to the content of the in-person lecture and interview.

Seminars will be delivered in-person where allowed, with 1 hour per block, allowing students to explore a key thematic text with an academic colleague.

Online discussion groups and fora will remain, with canvas used to file and respond to lecture questions and module information as the semester progresses.

In the event of further public health measures, all of this content and student engagement can move online as in academic year 2020/21.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M1003,000 word illustrated essay
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

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

Reading Lists