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ARC8048 : Reading Theory, Thinking Architecture

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s):
  • Owning School: Architecture, Planning & Landscape
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


-To gain knowledge of the social, political, economic, and professional context that influences the design of cities
-To gain knowledge of the relationship between climate, built form construction, life style, energy consumption, human well-being and the design of cities
-To gain knowledge of the inter-relationship between people, buildings, and cities, and an understanding of how buildings and the spaces between them relate to human needs and to human scale
-To gain an appreciation of various research methods and acquire skills in the conduct and communication of research with a particular focus on urban design
-To encourage the application of research methods in urban design

Outline Of Syllabus

To develop an understanding of Research Methods and how to design and conduct research projects, with a particular emphasis on urban design. To gain sound knowledge of varied aspects of urban design theory and practice. The acquisition of transferable research skills (including how to search for, and critically review literature and existing urban design strategies; communication and presentation skills). To develop an ability to apply research methods in the broad area of urban design.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1178:00178:00Preparation for student led discussions and presentations
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching102:0020:00Student led discussions and presentations
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk12:002:00Module introduction
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will introduce various concepts related to urban design and architecture, and provide guidance for students’ independent learning. Group presentations elaborate on theoretical concepts drawn from required weekly readings. Seminars will be used to discuss theoretical concepts introduced in the reading and elaborated on in the group presentations within the context of urban design and architecture (cities and buildings).

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation302A6030/40 minute group presentation, including a research report, followed by discussion and feedback.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise2M404 x 500 word critical commentaries on assigned readings
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Group projects allow students to demonstrate their understanding and application of theoretical concepts, and to practice of key skills. Group presentations are used to assess key skills (critical thinking, personal enterprise, team working, oral & visual presentation, and planning and organisation); critical commentaries are used to assess students’ knowledge and understanding of theoretical questions related to urban design, and their intellectual and practical skills in the synthesis and critical appraisal of relevant information in the readings, presented during lectures, group presentations, and discussed in seminars. Individual submissions (critical commentaries) are also used to assess key skills in written communication, especially the ability to read critically and convey this.

Reading Lists