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Theory of Architecture 3:2, 10 Credits

Swedish name: Arkitekturteori 3:2

This syllabus is valid: 2024-01-08 and until further notice

Course code: 5AR305

Credit points: 10

Education level: First cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Architecture: First cycle, has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: Two-grade scale

Responsible department: Umeå School of Architecture

Established by: Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 2017-12-06

Revised by: Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 2023-10-31


The course aims to provide methods to develop and assess an individual proposal for an architectural brief and program in relation to specific contexts and the wider architectural discourse. The primary method employed is to support the development of an individual thesis through the architectural strategies, case studies, the projection of these strategies into a specific context and a reflection on the implications this process creates.

The course is divided into three modules:

  1. Development of Individual Position and Proposal (4 Credits)
  2. Research of Architectural Theories and Strategies (4,5 Credits)
  3. Communication of an Individual Architectural Strategy (1,5 Credits)

The field of research is widened through the investigation and analysis of historical and contemporary approaches of architectural interventions. During this phase students develop an individual position in relation to the development of an architectural proposal. The architectural proposal should include an individual approach to the project, a basic architectural program and a critical analysis of key elements of their chosen site(s). The topic of the individual proposal is developed and refined over the duration of the course. This is facilitated through individual reflections on the wider architectural discourse in relation to specific contexts.

Expected learning outcomes

For a passing result, the student must be able to:

Competence and skills

  • Relate and integrate relevant architectural research into an architectural proposal for a specific context.
  • Comunicate an individual theoretical positioning and its architectural articulation.

Judgement and approach

  • Develop and communicate an individual critical architectural proposal position by means of writing and visualisation.
  • Discuss and evaluate different strategies of architectural interventions in relation to an individual position.
  • Develop and evaluate an architectural program and brief in relation to a specific context and the wider architectural discourse. 
  • Develop and express how the individual critical architecture position is mediated through the spatial and formal articulations created.

Required Knowledge

For eligibility to the course the following are required:
Architecture Project 2:2 (15 credits)
Architectural Technology 2:2 (4 credits)
Urban Planning 1 (6 credits)
Theory of Architecture 2:2 (2 credits)
History of Architectural 2:2 (3 credits)

Form of instruction

The teaching consists of lectures, seminars, case studies and workshops, as well as individual and group project assignments consisting of analytical exercises, practical exercises, group discussions and critiques.

The students right to teaching and supervision at the course that they are registered for is only valid from the onset of the course to the end of the course.

Examination modes

On this course, there will be oral and written examinations based on diagrams, architectural models and other relevant visual material prepared individually or and in groups. The results are assessed through mandatory assignments and by documentation of the student's own working process and results.

The grades Pass (G) and Fail (U) are used. To pass the course, all examinations and mandatory modules need to be completed and assigned a pass grade. The grade is a summary assessment of the results of the examinations of the different modules.

Examiners may decide to deviate from the modes of assessment in the course syllabus. Individual adaption of modes of assessment must give due consideration to the student's needs. The adaption of modes of assessment must remain within the framework of the intended learning outcomes in the course syllabus. Students who require an adapted examination must submit a request to the department holding the course no later than 10 days before the examination. The examiner decides on the adaption of the examination, after which the student will be notified.

Students who have achieved a pass are not permitted to retake an examination. 
Students who do not pass an examination have the right to retake examinations. The date of the retake must be notified no later than the date of the regular examination. The first opportunity to retake an examination is to be offered no later than two months after the regular examination, but no earlier than 10 working days after students have been notified of the results of the regular examination. For examinations held in May and June, the first opportunity to retake the examination is to be offered within three months of the regular examination session. In addition, at least one further re-examination is offered within a year from the regular exam date.

A student who has taken a regular examination and retake in a course or a part of a course without obtaining a pass grade is entitled to request the appointment of another examiner or marking teacher, unless there are special reasons to the contrary. Students should address any such request to the director of studies or equivalent.

Other regulations

In the event of a course syllabus being withdrawn or undergoing major changes, students are guaranteed at least three examination opportunities (including the regular examination session) in accordance with the previous course syllabus during a maximum of two years from the expiry of the course syllabus or the discontinuation of the course.


The literature list is not available through the web. Please contact the faculty.