Cultural Context - ARCH5380

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 6 15 (7.5) Ambrose Gillick checkmark-circle


The module's objective is to promote independent and critical thinking as well as advancing research skills. The module focuses on methodologies of research in the context of the cultural discourse and architectural theory from the mid-twentieth century onwards. This module will constitute an introduction to research methodologies leading to an understanding of how different constituencies of society view contemporary culture. A series of lectures will introduce different research approaches and methods. The assignment will comprise an investigation into a particular methodology or approach as assigned.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 24 hours
Private study hours: 126 hours
Total study hours: 150 hours

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Essay (3,000 words) (100%)

Reassessment methods

Like for like.

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List

Borden, I., Ruedi, K. (2006). The Dissertation: An architectural student's handbook. (Second ed.) Amsterdam: Architectural Press.
Colquhoun, A. (2002). Modern Architecture. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Curtis, William J. R. (1987). Modern Architecture since 1900. London: Phaidon.
Forty, A. (2000). Words and Buildings. London: Thames & Hudson.
Koolhaas, R. (1994). Delirious New York: A retroactive manifesto for Manhattan (New ed.). New York: Monacelli Press.
Frampton, K. (2007). Modern Architecture: a critical history. London: Thames & Hudson.
Mallgrave, H., Goodman, D. (2011). An Introduction to Architectural Theory: 1968 to the Present. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
Rowe, C., & Koetter, F. (1983). Collage City. Cambridge, Mass.; London: MIT Press.
Venturi, R., Scott Brown, D. (2007). Learning from Las Vegas (New ed.). Abingdon: Routledge.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to demonstrate:

1 A knowledge of the cultural, social and intellectual histories, theories and technologies that influence the design of buildings
2 A knowledge of the influence of history and theory on the spatial, social, and technological aspects of architecture
3 A knowledge of how theories, practices and technologies of the arts influence architectural design
4 A critical understanding of how knowledge is advanced through research to produce clear, logically argued and original written work relating to architectural culture,
theory and design.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to demonstrate:
1 Problem solving skills, professional judgment, and ability to take the initiative and make appropriate decisions in complex and unpredictable circumstances
2 Independent thought about the subject and ability to rationalise the principal directions taken
3 An ability to communicate effectively and well, using a range of communication skills
4 An ability to formulate a research proposal with its appropriate methodology
5 An ability to communicate and discuss cultural context topics effectively
6 An ability to synthesise information from a number of sources in order to gain a coherent understanding of theory and practice.
7 An ability to argue rationally and to draw independent conclusions based on a rigorous, analytical and critical approach to data, demonstration and argument.
8 An ability to evaluate research and a variety of types of information and evidence critically


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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