KA4001 - The Evolution of the Built Environment

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn about how buildings evolved from antiquity to the modern age, with the intent of your being able to identify differing architectural and constructional styles. Supporting this, you will learn to identify how key developments in materials and technologies led to new ideas on construction and planning for urban living. You will also learn about the surveying professions that work within and look after the built environment, and how you can use academic skills to communicate your ideas and responses within various individual and group assessments, and support your own learning, essential to your success at university.

To facilitate this, the module will create a platform for you to learn some important academic, study and professional skills in relation to your degree programme.. You will learn how to undertake academic work and be able to assess your own and others’ role, responsibilities and contribution via reflective practice.

You will study a range of topics to support the above including:
The history of the built environment
The roles of different Built Environment professionals, including introductory presentations from different professionals and practitioners.
An introduction to academic, study and professional skills.

On completion of this module the knowledge and understanding acquired forms part of the broader contextual framework for the study of your discipline specific programme. The programme is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. The academic content and skills development within the module is aimed at developing you both in terms of your current and future career aspiration.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn this module through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical sessions, and independent learning.

Lectures will address both the history of the built environment, and academic and professional knowledge. Within the history of built environment, lectures will identify, reinforce and focus key issues, concepts and topics, related to commentary concerning significant buildings in Newcastle, where we will look at the history and development of these buildings. Lectures on academic and professional knowledge will be used to reinforce and focus key issues, concepts, techniques, tools and topics, in effect acting as a framework for understanding of academic skills and the roles of professional surveying practice. Lectures will be delivered by academic staff and industry and academic professionals.

Seminars and practical sessions will get you engaged with practical activities related to lecture content to help build your knowledge in an engaging and hands on way.

Lectures, seminars, and practical sessions will be supported by elements of directed reading and tutor guided on-line activities via the University’s eLearning Portal (eLP)/ Blackboard.

You will also be encouraged to conduct independent learning through self-study activities. The learning and teaching approaches adopted in this module will intend to commence the development of your ability to study independently and increase your capacity to be life-long learners.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will receive academic support on this module mainly via formative feedback provided by the tutors during the seminars and workshops. You will be encouraged to ask questions and to take part in discussions during the seminars and workshops allowing your tutors to provide formative feedback to you for the exercises carried out in these sessions. Your peers will also be encouraged to support you by taking part in the discussions. You will also be supported by the provision of on-line resources via the module e-learning portal. These resources include lecture and seminar information, interactive reading list with on-line access to a number of key articles plus links to topical news reports. Teaching staff will also respond to individual questions via the module’s discussion board so that everyone taking the module can benefit. Furthermore, module teaching staff are responsive to communication via e-mail to support your learning.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• MLO1: Explore how buildings and urban societies evolved from antiquity to the modern age, identifying differing architectural and constructional styles, developments in materials and technologies, along with how social and environmental sustainability affects our built environment.

• MLO2: You will demonstrate study skills including collecting and using appropriate information, referencing academic work and work planning.

• MLO3: You will demonstrate an awareness of the key focus of the student’s chosen professional programme area by producing a response to a brief that requires application and integration of knowledge gained.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• MLO4: You will research and evaluate data, identify solutions, demonstrate judgement and communicate findings.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• MLO5: You will develop an awareness of the cultural values behind the evolution and future development of the built environment. You will develop and apply a reflective approach to learning and personal development.

How will I be assessed?

Summative Assessment: Your knowledge and comprehension of this module will be assessed by two elements, being:

Written Report (60%): A 1500 words or equivalent written report on the role of the surveyor, including the importance of the technical skills that will be taught on the module in performing this role. This will be an individual submission that will also require you to submit a reflective summary of skills and knowledge acquired on the task.. MLO2, MLO3, MLO4and MLO5.

Examination (40%): You will undertake an individual multiple-choice examination. This assessment will cover how buildings and urban societies evolved up to the modern age, the differing architectural and constructional styles, and the developments in materials, technologies and the challenges of environmental sustainability. MLO1, MLO4 and MLO5.

The portfolio will assess MLO1, MLO2, MLO3, MLO4 and MLO5, contributing to 100% of the overall module assessment.





Module abstract

In ‘Evolution of the Built Environment’, you will be introduced to the built environment, it’s history and the role of surveying professions that work within it. From early classical civilisations up to today and into the future, urban settlements, and the built environment they represent have changed and will continue to change. Within this module you will learn about the influences enabling changes in building design and develop knowledge on the role of surveying discipline in surveying, describing, and/or analysing existing and new buildings. The module also aims to prepare you for other modules to be studied across level 4 of the programme and introduce you to a range of professional, academic and study skills essential to your success at university.

The assessment is a portfolio which contains an individually prepared written report and multiple-choice exam.

The delivery of the module will be by both academic staff, and industry and academic professionals, further supported by elements of independent learning and online activities via the university’s eLearning Platform (eLP)/Blackboard.. The knowledge and skills developed through this module will improve your surveying and academic attributes alongside the inter-personal soft skills, providing a foundation for future studies, and significantly enhancing future employability.

‘Evolution of the Built Environment’ will therefore help your understanding of (1) buildings in surveying practice, enabling you to see individual buildings in the wider city context, (2) how different surveying disciplines work and operate within the built environment, and (3) how you can you can use academic skills to communicate your ideas and responses within various individual and group assessments, and support your own learning, essential to your success at university.

Course info

UCAS Code K230

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Architecture and Built Environment

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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