Module Catalogue 2021/22

APL2001 : Alternative Practice: Theories and Practices

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Andrew Law
  • Lecturer: Dr Christos Kakalis, Dr Abigail Schoneboom, Professor Katie Lloyd Thomas, Dr Diego Garcia Mejuto, Professor Andrew Ballantyne
  • Owning School: Architecture, Planning & Landscape
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



To critically explore, and gain knowledge and understanding of, theories underpinning alternative practices in architecture and planning.
To critique mainstream approaches to professional practice in the built environment.
To test theories of alternative practice in relation to ‘real world’ case studies.
To encourage the student to articulate a position in relation to the theoretical contexts of alternative practice in architecture and planning.

Outline Of Syllabus

Review of critical theories pertaining to architecture and planning, to include: Marxist and neo-Marxist approaches (for example, Harvey), Social Constructionist approaches (Bourdieu), Poststructuralist approaches (for example Foucault; Derrida), theories of democracy and their application (for example, participatory design, collaborative planning and community architecture), alternatives to market-centred interventions- mutualism, co-operatives etc.; professionalism and anti-professionalism (for example, Jacobs, Till); and ideas of rights, including rights to the city. Each theme will be illustrated with case study approaches from practice.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

A2 Evaluate arguments for intervention in the built environment and an understanding of processes for change and the role of professionals in achieving it
A4 Demonstrate an understanding of the complexities of issues and problems pertaining to the built environment.
A5 Demonstrate an understanding of theory and make appropriate connections between theory and practice.
A6 Demonstrate a critical understanding of values and ethics in built environment intervention.

Intended Skill Outcomes

B1 Define and analyse problems effectively and appropriately.
B3 Make effective use of evidence and information.
B4 Articulate reasoned arguments.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials11:001:00Introductory online ReCAP/video (15-30 mins) Activity: familiarise yourself with the module handboo
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00A combination of short recordings of lecture materials, as well as PIP lectures (50:50)
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials102:0020:00Key reading tasks to accompany the short recordings (above) and the guided independent study
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00Essay (100% weighting)
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading103:0030:009 x 3 hour Guided independent study (themed reading and/or visual resources to support lecture topic
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops52:0010:00Consolidating learning through in-depth discussion and problem solving activities. PIP
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery12:002:00Personal surgeries. PIP
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery12:002:00Surgery PIP
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity101:0010:00Student peer group reading and assessment discussion (mutual support group) – students will meet.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study160:0060:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk14:004:00Q & A session run over a day in a seminar room (PIP)
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The Structured Guided Learning Activities provide a detailed explanation of the key issues and an examination of important literature. The Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities provide support for discussions about the application of the techniques to planning issues. The Guided Independent Study will enable students to both achieve the intended knowledge and skills outcomes identified for the module, as well as enabling to help them prepare for the creation of their assessment submission. This MOF is based on a blended learning approach and includes a mixture of online learning and present in person (PiP) provision

The module will include 11 lectures. 5 of these lectures will take place via PiP provision; the other 6 ‘lecture sessions will take place online via groups of prerecorded podcasts. These lectures and pre-recorded podcasts will provide an overview of the key issues and theories along with relevant case studies.

These lectures and podcasts will provide the starting place for the teaching scaffold. Firstly, after attending the lectures or watching the pre-recorded ‘lecture’ podcats, students will then be asked to engage with
a)       3 hours of Guided independent study – involving reading and/or visual materials
b)       And a 2-hour reading task on their own

As well as the lectures/podcasts and the associated reading, (including the individual and group reading tasks) students will then take part in a series of PiP workshops. These workshops provide structured discussion of particular issues through a mixture of small-group tasks and plenary discussion.

From the lectures/podcasts, through the reading tasks and the workshops students will be able to scaffold their learning. The workshops in particular will allow students to apply what they have learnt in the lectures/podcasts (and guided independent study) to contemporary issues within town planning and architecture.
Q and A sessions and drop in surgery sessions will be available throughout the course so that students can gain easy access to a tutor.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M20Essay plan - 500 words
Essay1M802000 word essay
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities provide support for discussions about the application of the techniques to planning issues. The Guided Independent Study will enable students to both achieve the intended knowledge and skills outcomes identified for the module, as well as enabling to help them prepare for the creation of their assessment submission.

There are two assessments for this module. The first of which is 500 words and is an essay plan for the second assessment. This assessment feeds into the summative assessment and will test the students’ ability to assemble and synthesize appropriate information to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of alternative practices in architecture and planning.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2021/22 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2022/23 entry will be published here in early-April 2022. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.