This course is committed to understanding architecture through direct experience as well as through formal histories and theories. An interdisciplinary approach aims to link architecture to the rest of culture. The investigation of buildings, streets and landscapes - every kind of inhabited space - is a feature of the course, which is offered by a lively architecture department in the middle of one of the world's great cities. In this department, theory never becomes divorced from practice, from the processes of design, construction, use and interpretation. The course will appeal to graduates who want challenging and adventurous study. It is also intended for architects who want to strengthen their cultural or intellectual base by reading, thinking and formulating ideas about architecture, its history and potential.
An Honours degree in architecture, design, humanities or social science or equivalent experience.
MA Architectural History, Theory and Interpretation
Introductory modules set out various methodological frameworks, always grounded in built examples and exemplary texts. The core modules include:
Assessment is through coursework and a written dissertation. The core staff (a strong, diverse team of international repute, with an outstanding record of interdisciplinary activity and publication) will supervise the dissertation.
The spatial thinking that the course encourages would be good training for those planning to enter a wide range of creative fields from television, theatre and publishing to museum and gallery work.
Professor Colin Davies is an architect, historian and writer. Former editor of the Architects' Journal, he is the author of many books, including the standard work on High Tech Architecture, and monographs on the work of Norman Foster, Michael Hopkins and Nicholas Grimshaw. He writes regularly in architectural magazines on both sides of the Atlantic.
Professor Robert Harbison is the author of many books including Eccentric Spaces; Deliberate Regression (primitivism in 19-20th century art and thought); The Built, the Unbuilt and the Unbuildable; Thirteen Ways and Reflections on Baroque. He has lectured widely in Britain, the USA and Europe.
Helen Mallinson is a principal lecturer and has taught design, history and theory. She is completing a cross-disciplinary doctoral thesis on the architecture of ventilation at the London Consortium, an organisation that includes Birkbeck College, the Architectural Association, the Institute of Contemporary Arts and the Tate Gallery.
Attendance & duration
Full-time: one year, two days a week
Part-time: two years, one day a week (daytime only)