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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CIVE3270 Architectural History and Theory 3

10 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Yasar Awais

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Pre-requisite qualifications

The standard qualifications (or equivalent) set by the School of Civil Engineering for entry to any of its JBM accredited UG programmes.

Module replaces

Architecture & Urbanism CIVE3800

This module is not approved as a discovery module


Students will gain an understanding of the forms, origins and processes of urban development. Knowledge of social, environmental and economic factors as affecting urbanism will help to promote a critical approach to design issues as affected by current policy as well as alternative models.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students will:
1. develop a conceptual and critical approach to architectural design that integrates and satisfies the aesthetic aspects of a building and the technical requirements of its construction and the needs of the user; GC1.3
and develop knowledge and understanding of:
2. theories of urban design and the planning of communities; GC4.1
3. the influence of the design and development of cities, past and present on the contemporary built environment; GC4.2
4. current planning policy and development control legislation, including social, environmental and economic aspects, and the relevance of these to design development; GC4.3
5. the way in which buildings fit into their local context; GC5.3
6. the potential impact of building projects on existing and proposed communities; GC6.3


The module investigates the origins and evolution of urban environments primarily from a European perspective, from prehistory through to the present time. Theories of urban development are explored in the context of technological impacts on spatial organisation. Urban development processes and regulatory contexts are described and evaluated.

This module is concerned with the histories and theories relating to urbanism. Using illustrative case studies and literature sources, the origin and development of urban forms are explored from classical times through the medieval period in Europe, the impact of the Renaissance and the industrial revolution on spatial planning and urban activity, and then the alternative definitions of urbanism offered by cheap, rapid transportation and communication systems.

Examples studied include: Athens and Rome, grids and ‘urban equipment’, medieval ‘organic’ planning, renaissance ideal cities, baroque planning as improvement or control, density and overcrowding in industrial cities, decentralisation or improved technology as solutions – Berlin vs the Garden City movement, Los Angeles and the 100-mile city.

Typical reading materials in support of this module include:
Banham, R. (1971). Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies. University of California Press.
Cowan, R. (2005). Dictionary of Urbanism. Streetwise Press.
Hall, P. (2002). History of urban form: prehistory to the industrial revolution. Blackwell, Oxford
Kostoff, S. (1991) The City Shaped. Thames & Hudson, London.
Lynch, K. (1960). The Image of the City. MIT Press.
Lynch, K. (1984). Good City Form. MIT Press.
Sudjic, D. (1992). The 100 Mile City. Flamingo, London.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Class tests, exams and assessment22.004.00
Private study hours76.00
Total Contact hours24.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Research based on directed learning targets identified in lectures (from web-based sources of information; study of precedents; specific texts identified from a reading list, etc).

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
AssignmentTake home coursework80.00
PresentationGroup Presentation - presentation of research method and summary report20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

100% take home coursework, resubmission to the original brief

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2022 15:30:27


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