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History of Architecture 2:1, 6 Credits

Swedish name: Arkitekturhistoria 2:1

This syllabus is valid: 2023-08-07 and until further notice

Course code: 5AR202

Credit points: 6

Education level: First cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Architecture: First cycle, has less than 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, 2016-08-25

Revised by: Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 2023-06-27


The course provides students with a global overview of the history of architecture from the earliest known buildings (circa 7500 BCE) until the start of the 15th century.  It addresses the architecture of several periods, including Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, the Islamic Golden Age, the Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire. The course addresses the history of both buildings and urban design.
The nature of historiography as a subjective practice is critically examined through the omissions of the key texts. Alternative narratives of global architectural history are introduced, and examples from the global north and south are presented in dialogue with one another.

Expected learning outcomes

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

Knowledge and understanding

  • Account for significant buildings and urban environments from a historical perspective
  • Describe and reflect on the relationship between architecture and historiography 

Competence and skills

  • Critically analyse a historical building or urban environment from the period covered

Required Knowledge

To qualify for this course the following courses (or comparable courses) are required:
Architecture Project 1:1 (15 credits)
History of Architecture 1:1 (6 credits)
Architectural Technology 1:1 (3 credits)
Theory of Architecture 1:1 (6 credits)
Architecture Project  1:2 (15 credits)
Architectural Technology 1:2 (3 credits)
Theory of Architecture 1:2 (6 credits)
History of Architecture 1:2 (6 credits)

Form of instruction

The forms of teaching will include live online lectures and seminars and pre-recorded video lectures. Students will undertake independent study individually and small groups.

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

The course is examined through a submission of a written report which shall contain text and visual material and bibliographic references to other works. The report is completed and submitted individually by each student.

The course will be graded when all parts assessing nature have been approved. The possible grades are Fail (U) or Pass (G). 
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 failed two tests for a course or a part of a course, is entitled to have another examiner appointed, unless there are specific reasons against it (HF 6 Chap. 22 §). Requests for new examiners are made to the head of the department.

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. 


Valid from: 2023 week 32

"Mandatory" course literature refers to the main and recommended literature for assimilating the course content and achieving the expected study results.

Course literature

Calder Barnabas
Architecture : from prehistory to climate emergency
[London] : Pelican : 2021 : 547 sidor :
ISBN: 9780241396735
Search the University Library catalogue

Reference literature

A world history of architecture
Fazio Michael W., Moffett Marian, Wodehouse Lawrence
3. ed. : London, UK : Laurence King : 2013 : xvi, 608 p. :
ISBN: 9781780671116
Search the University Library catalogue

Sir Banister Fletcher's A history of architecture
Fletcher Banister, Cruickshank Dan
20. ed. : London : Architectural Press : 1996 : xxxviii, 1794 s. :
ISBN: 0750622679
Search the University Library catalogue

Forty Adrian
Concrete and culture : a material history
London : Reaktion Books : 2012 : 335 s. :
ISBN: 1861898975
Search the University Library catalogue

James-Chakraborty Kathleen
Architecture since 1400
Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press : [2014]. : xx, 513 pages :
ISBN: 9780816673964
Search the University Library catalogue

Jarzombek Mark
Architecture of first societies : a global perspective
Hoboken, New Jersey : Wiley : [2013] : xi, 660 pages :
ISBN: 9781118142103
Search the University Library catalogue

Latour Bruno
We have never been modern
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard Univ. Press : cop. 1993 : ix, 157 s. :
ISBN: 0674948386
Search the University Library catalogue

Rudofsky Bernard
Architecture without architects : a short introduction to non-pedigreed architecture
Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press : 1987 : 156 s. :
ISBN: 9780826310040
Search the University Library catalogue