module specification

AR7P05 - Architecture Dissertation (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Architecture Dissertation
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 60
School The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass)
Total study hours 600
576 hours Guided independent study
24 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Dissertation 100%   Dissertation
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Summer studies City Tuesday Morning

Module summary

This module gives students the opportunity to research and write an extended, book-chapter length dissertation on an architectural topic of their choice. It can be developed within a historical or theoretical framework or both but it is important that the dissertation should be the result of a genuine enquiry and that it should say something worthwhile about its topic.

Summer semester.  Assessment: 100% 10,000 - 12,000 word Dissertation, Satisfactory Attendance


Prior learning requirements


Module aims

The module aims to provide a structured opportunity for the student to explore his or her intellectual abilities and inclinations in wide ranging research and
speculative thought.  It familiarizes the student with various traditional conceptions of research and research methods. The module provides a framework for synthesizing extensive research and constructing an original contribution to knowledge.


After introductory seminars on theory and method, research techniques and sources, work will be primarily independent and tailored to each student, except for periodic sharing and presentation of results to other MA students and staff. These sessions are founded on the belief that meaningful research is a communal as well as private activity. Nonetheless, students discover and shape their topics themselves, determining among other things what constitutes meaningful evidence.

Learning and teaching

The module includes seminars, workshops, group presentations, individual tutorials. A constant goal is to make students increasingly independent in thinking through and formulating their subjects. Students are required to produce interim proposals, outlines and ‘work in progress’ reports.
It provides the student with the opportunity to orient their research and writing within a professional or academic context.

Learning outcomes

On completing the module the student should be able to:

1. formulate and test his/her own ideas, after thorough investigation of existing sources, which can include a wide variety of mediums;
2. take an overview of a large intellectual territory, estimating the relative importance of parts of a whole and establishing meaningful proportions;
3. transform the raw material of research into effective and persuasive argument;
4. examine and edit his /her own writing effectively, eliminating repetition and waste and clarifying the main lines of the structure;
5. bring to completion an ambitious plan.

Assessment strategy

Module assessment is based the final 10,000 - 12,000 word dissertation.


1. Carr, Edward Hallett, What is History? (New York: Vintage, 1961)
2. Emannuel, Muriel, ed., Contemporary Architects (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1980)
3. Encyclopedia of World Art, 17 vols (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1959-1987)
4. Bullock, Alan and Oliver Stallybrass, eds., The Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought (London: Fontana, 1988)
5. Bullock, Alan and R. B. Woodings, eds., The Fontana Biographical Companion to Modern Thought (London: Collins, 1983)
6. MacMullan, Randall, ed., Macmillan Dictionary of Architects (London: Macmillan,1988)
7. Fleming, John and Hugh Honour, and Nikolaus Pevsner, eds., The Penguin Dictionary of Architecture (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1967)