• Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course examines developments in the theory and practice of modern architecture in Europe and the USA since c. 1900. It combines tracing technical and stylistic developments and investigating the work of individual architects and designers with examination of changing ideas about the social and political purposes of architecture, town planning and built spaces. The focus is on the modern period of 1900-1950 but we will also consider key 19th-century precursors and selected post-war and contemporary developments, bringing the topic into our present.


1 x 1hr lecture; 1 x 1hr seminar per week over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus. This is one of the Honours options in History of Art and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into History of Art, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses





Examination (120 minutes duration) - 60%

Essay (2,500 words) - 30%

Seminar presentation of 10 minutes accompanied by 800 word or PowerPoint slides - 10%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:


■  develop a critical understanding of the key developments in modern architecture and design of the period (c.1900-1950) and the contemporary debates informing them.

■ develop understanding of diverse theoretical and critical methods in the historical study of architecture and built environments and their interrelations with social life.

■ examine the ways in which built or planned structures may articulate particular ideologies and power relations and to develop findings through discussion.

■ situate examples of the architecture and writing on architecture of the period within wider historical and cultural contexts, specifically of political movements and events and constructions of modernity.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course, students will be able to:


■ understand and comment on the key developments in the history of modern architecture.

■ distinguish and assess the key conceptual, stylistic and thematic preoccupations of the groups, movements and individual architects studied.

■ articulate how these preoccupations are interrelated with the wider social and political movements of the period.

■ show detailed knowledge of selected sites or structures and their significance.

■ develop, organise and present their historical findings and theoretical knowledge of the above both in verbal and written form.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.