ARC3020 : Introduction to Architecture

Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


This module provides a general introduction to architecture as an academic discipline, a profession and as a design-based practice. It is intended specifically for students who are studying in related fields who wish to build their awareness and understanding of the constructed environment from an architectural perspective.


• To enable students to understand the principles and theories of architecture, and the influences of the history of architectural ideas on both past and present environments and societies, from the scale of the landscape and settlement, the city and urban design, to individual buildings and their making and materiality.

• To introduce students to architectural perspectives on the issues of sustainability, human well-being, participatory design and vernacular buildings.

• To provide a framework in which students can begin to make considered judgements about spatial, aesthetic, technical and social issues and to critically communicate these judgements in written and graphic form, using appropriate media and relevant academic research and referencing methods.

Outline Of Syllabus

The course consists of a series of themed lectures that cover selected topics of the principles and theories of architecture including; architectural history, design pedagogy, sustainability, building performance, digital design, urban design, design principles and representation, tectonics and materiality.

The syllabus and therefore the subject and scope of the assessments will consist of material covered in the lectures supplemented by directed and personal reading and building studies.

Students will be assessed through the production of a design poster that will include;

An illustrated building study in which students will explore issues covered in the lecture course and a related design study that will demonstrate students’ ability to integrate the theories and principles of Architecture into a modest design proposal.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion125:0025:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading126:0026:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study125:0025:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures introduce students to architecture as an academic discipline, a profession and as a design-based practice.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Poster2M100A1 Poster to include a building study and design proposal - approx 1,500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

An illustrated academic poster of 1,500 words submitted at the end of the semester which allows students to demonstrate:
• knowledge and understanding of the topics.
• critical skills in responding to the specific and exploratory contexts of the questions.
• ability to construct coherent arguments.
• clarity and effectiveness of the design in communicating ideas.

Reading Lists