Course Information Undergraduate prospectus

Cultural Contexts of Architecture

Course summary

Course code: ARCT1050
Level: 4
Credits: 15
School: Architecture, Computing and Hums
Department: Architecture and Landscape
Course Coordinator(s): Marko Jobst


Pre and co requisites



The course examines the cultural contexts of the built environment and investigates the relationships between design and society. It introduces the premise that architectural ideas are culturally constructed and allied to particular value systems and prevailing ideologies. It provides a background for current issues concerning quality in the built environment. The course is delivered through a series of weekly lectures, workshops and seminars and includes student site visits. It is structured around the following aspects of the research process: ways of observing the built/designed environment, noting the aspects that can only be experienced first hand and interpreting what is seen; conducting research and learning where to find information, organise it and distinguish between what is relevant and what not; presenting the acquired information and research conclusions in keeping with the academic standards, in writing and visually.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:

1. Demonstrate an ability to interpret and evaluate the historical and contemporary built environment and the theories supporting it.

2. Understand the influences on the contemporary built environment of individual buildings, and the design of cities, forming considered judgments about the spatial, aesthetic, technical and social qualities of a design within the scope and scale of a wider environment.

3. Process information and extend individual learning, using verbal and written communication methods and appropriate visual media.

4. Work in a group to undertake research and present findings, listening and critically responding to the views of others, while managing and appraising their own working practices.

Indicative content

The course will provide a background for current issues concerning the built environment.

Teaching and learning activity

Lectures and workshops introduce a range of topics, forming the basis for the assessment and contributing to the knowledge needed. A field study exercise in groups offers a choice of topics related to particular places, on which the assessment is based.


Methods of SUMMATIVE Assessment:Written Essay.
Outcome(s) assessed by summative assessment:1-4.
Weighting % 100%
Pass Mark 40%
Word Length 2000
Outline Details:Written Essay.
Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning: Continual feedback through seminars, tutorials, workshops and presentations.