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The 'Modern' Movement - CED00035M

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  • Department: Centre for Lifelong Learning
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Emma Wells
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2021-22

Module aims

This module will examine the development in the theory and practice of architecture from c.1800 to 1950, covering topics such as 19th-century Eclecticism, the Victorian City, and the Arts and Crafts era. It touches on technical and stylistic developments, dramatic changes in design theories, on the impact of the introduction of new building materials, on the rise of new building types, and on the impact of explosive urban growth. Emphasis will be on how this era changed the way we experience the built environment via the work of individual architects, designers, and movements. Consideration will largely be on how, during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, vernacular revival idioms became fashionable and had a lasting impact on the identity of town and country, both here and abroad.

Module learning outcomes

By the conclusion of the module the student should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of key developments and innovations in the history of ‘modernism’ from the early 19th to the mid 20th century
  • Distinguish between and assess the key conceptual, stylistic, and thematic preoccupations of the groups, movements, schools, and individual architects of the time
  • Articulate how these preoccupations are interrelated with the wider social and political movements of the period
  • Demonstrate detailed knowledge of selected sites and structures, and their significance
  • Outline the aesthetic and theoretical debates which have informed the historical trajectory of the era
  • Identify how changes in technology, industry, and the capitalist economy in Britain transformed the built environment.
  • Possess knowledge of current academic debates and ideas (particularly from a wide range of disciplines)


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Module feedback

The tutor will give regular individual feedback throughout the module on work submitted.

The assessment feedback is as per the university’s guidelines with regard to timings.

Indicative reading

  • Avery, D, 2003. Victorian and Edwardian Architecture (Chaucer Press Architecture Library), Chaucer Press.
  • Brooks, C, 1999. The Gothic Revival, Phaidon.
  • Curl, J, 2009. Victorian Architecture: Diversity & Intention, Spire Books.
  • Daniels, R & Broadwood, G, 2003. Ruskin & Architecture, Spire Books.
  • Hunt, T, 2004. Building Jerusalem, the Rise & Fall of The Victorian City, Weidenfeld & Nicholson.
  • Long, H, 1993. The Edwardian House, Manchester University Press.
  • Tinniswood, A, 1999. The Arts and Crafts House, Mitchell Beazley.
  • Wilk, C. (ed.), 2006. Modernism 1914–1939: Designing a New World, V. & A. Publications.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.