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Architectural History & Theory: Research Skills & Methods - HOA00114M

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  • Department: History of Art
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Meg Boulton
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24

Module summary

This module equips students to research and write module essays and start thinking about the dissertation, i.e. equipped with the skills to begin guided independent research.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2023-24

Module aims

The purpose of this module is to

  • provide guidance regarding expectations for MA work and advanced scholarly research in Architectural History and Theory

  • familiarise you with archival, bibliographic and art historical resources for Architectural History and Theory

  • introduce a range of methodologies and insights from the forefront of Architectural History and Theory

  • demonstrate ways of adopting and adapting methodologies to suit your own developing interests and specialism

  • equip you with an awareness of transferable skills and how these can be applied in professional contexts

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, you should have acquired

  • ability to work with archival, bibliographic and art historical resources relevant to Architectural History and Theory

  • ability to deploy appropriate scholarly conventions in your own work

  • critical awareness of how methodologies and research trends in the discipline have challenged assumptions and interpretations of works of architecture

  • knowledge of how to apply and adapt methodologies appropriate to your own research and specialism

  • confidence to develop independent research within the context of previous scholarship

  • understanding of how art historical skills can be applied in professional contexts


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Module feedback

You will receive feedback on assessed work within the timeframes set out by the University - please check the Guide to Assessment, Standards, Marking and Feedback for more information.

The purpose of feedback is to help you to improve your future work. If you do not understand your feedback or want to talk about your ideas further, you are warmly encouraged to meet your Supervisor during their Office Hours.

Indicative reading

  • Alberti, Leon Battista. On the Art of Building in Ten Books (De re aedificatoria). Edited and translated by Joseph Rykwert, Neil Leach and Robert Tavernor. Cambridge Mass.: MIT Press, 1988.
  • Cohen, Meredith. “Visualizing the Unknown in the Digital Era of Art History.” The Art Bulletin 104, no. 2 (2022): 6-19.
  • Emerling, Jae. Theory for Art History. London: Routledge, 2005.
  • Forty, Adrian. Words and Buildings: A Vocabulary of Modern Architecture. London: Thames and Hudson, 2004.
  • Hatt, Michael, and Charlotte Klonk. Art History: A Critical Introduction to its Methods. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2006.
  • Jordanova, Ludmilla. The Look of the Past: Visual and Material Evidence in Historical Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
  • Preziosi, Donald, ed. The Art of Art History: A Critical Anthology. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.
  • Ruskin, John. The Stones of Venice. London: The Folio Society, 2001.
  • Taylor, Paul. Condition: The Aging of Art. London: Paul Holberton Publishing, 2015.
  • Trachtenberg, Marvin. Building in Time: from Giotto to Alberti and Modern Oblivion. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010.
  • Vitruvius. On Architecture (De architectura c. 40 BC). Edited and translated by Richard Schofield and Robert Tavernor. New York: Penguin Classics, 2009.

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.