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MA Architecture and Critical Theory

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  • Objectives
    The MA in Architecture and Critical Theory is a highly innovative interdisciplinary course that is jointly taught within the Institute of Architecture and the Department of Critical Theory and Cultural Studies. It draws upon the research and teaching expertise in both areas, and offers a combination of written and design-based components. The course examines contemporary debates in cultural studies, philosophy of technology, literary theory and continental philosophy – such as Marxism, phenomenology, structuralism, poststructuralism, postmodernism, psychoanalysis, gender theory and postcolonialism – and considers how these debates might contribute to the development of architectural theory and criticism. By exposing architectural discourse to these advanced theoretical methodologies, the course aims to strengthen and develop the tradition of theory and criticism in architecture. You will have the opportunity to work with students from other MA courses in several cognate areas, including the long established and highly successful MA in Critical Theory, in addition to Architecture, Politics, American Studies, Visual Culture and Film Studies. The MA in Architecture and Critical Theory also offers the possibility of continuing research up to MPhil or PhD level. This programme does not convey professional accreditation in the UK.
  • Academic Title
    MA Architecture and Critical Theory
  • Course description
    Key facts

    -This interdisciplinary programme shares modules with other postgraduate courses, including: MArch Urban Design; MArch Technology; MArch Theory and Design; and MArch Design.
    -The School of the Built Environment enjoys strong collaborative links with overseas institutions and is currently working on a number of EU-funded projects. You may have the opportunity to attended conferences, seminars and training courses both in the UK and abroad.
    -The Department of Critical Theory and Cultural Studies is one of the largest postgraduate operations within the Arts Faculty, providing a vibrant intellectual environment in an organised and informal way.
    -The Department is strongly international and offers excellent opportunities for staff, postgraduate students and undergraduate students to benefit from its wide range of international collaborative arrangements.

    Course Content

    As well as equipping you with an integrated approach to architecture, planning and building services engineering at an advanced level, the course content is also designed by the School of the Built Environment to develop your vocational skills and promote environmentally responsible attitudes appropriate in a rapidly changing world.

    Typical modules on this course include topics such as:

    -Subject and Sign after Freud and Saussure
    -Social and Political Theories
    -Philosophy of Technology
    -Theoretical Issues in the Depiction of Space
    -History of 20th Century Architecture
    -Thought, Image and Critique
    -Postcolonialisms
    -Social Dimension of Urban Design
    -Computer Modelling and Presentation

    Please note that all module details are subject to change.

    You will conclude your studies by undertaking a major piece of independent research in an individually determined area of architectural humanities.

    Course Structure
    The MA in Architecture and Critical Theory can be taken on a full-time basis over one year (September to September) or part-time over two years.

    In each of the first two semesters, you will have the choice of combining modules from the School of the Built Environment and the Department of Critical Theory.

    In the second semester, there is a further option to undertake a major design ‘package’ consisting of a studio project plus a related series of seminars.

    Finally, you will complete a written dissertation on an individually chosen advanced theoretical topic during the summer period at the end of the course

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