ARC1015 : Introduction to Architecture

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


To enable students to:

Develop an awareness of the history, principles and theories of architecture, and their contribution to present and past environments.

Recognise how architecture and its composition, representation, making and materiality has been shaped by technological, social, political, economic, geographic and cultural forces, and by the principles and theories of architecture - present and past.

Understand historic works of architecture and developments in the history of ideas, science and art as part of the continuum of architectural culture within which contemporary architects operate, and to begin incorporating these into design projects.

To appreciate different modes of architectural writing and to critically communicate understanding of architectural history, principles and theory in written and graphic form, using appropriate media and academic research and referencing methods.

Outline Of Syllabus

This introductory level course provides students in architecture with an overview of the histories, principles and theories of architecture from classical times to the present day. It uses both canonical international works and regional examples students can visit, to introduce key topics such as; the needs and aspirations of building users, vernacular and formal architectures; experiential factors of architecture; architectural space; tectonics and materiality. It introduces the epochs in which these buildings emerge and related developments in the history of politics, ideas, art and science, to establish a framework for the continuing knowledge, study and appreciation of built form and the factors that produce it.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion151:0051:00Assessment 3
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00Assessment 2
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion118:0018:00Assessment 1
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture162:0032:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching41:004:00Seminar/Workshop
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study155:0055:00Reading and preparation for lectures and seminars
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Teaching is by means of weekly lectures that introduce material and sources, and establish the framework for learning. These will be supplemented by occasional visits, workshops and seminars to encourage close reading and debate. Students are expected to augment this knowledge by reading and exploring other sources of information.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Poster1M15Group Assessment: A2 display panel that uses images and short text to present a building
Essay1M351,000 word illustrated essay
Essay2M501,500 word illustrated essay
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The poster produced in small groups assesses students’ ability to access, discuss, present and interpret information about buildings in context, using graphic techniques. The first short essay assesses their growing ability to appreciate factors informing built environments past and present, and to synthesise their understanding using written techniques. The final longer essay appraises their overview of the syllabus, their ability to consider buildings from a perspective of architectural history and theory, and their ability to produce a clearly argued, written and illustrated essay using academic research and referencing methods.

Reading Lists