School of Architecture


Architecture History and Theory

Please note: Information on this page relates to the 2015 academic year unless otherwise specified.

This subject is taught by the School of Architecture.


Architecture History and Theory addresses the cultural and historical context of architecture and the built environment.

This innovative discipline will introduce you to a broader range of topics than the professionally-orientated architecture programme. It focuses on the historical, social, political and critical contexts of how and why we design buildings and spaces.

Architecture History and Theory is a lecture-based programme that focuses on historical and theoretical topics, taking a fresh look at architectural, archaeological and historical material. It offers the opportunity to investigate every kind of inhabited space from buildings and streets to landscapes.

The specialisation is flexible and suits the diverse architectural passions of our students—whether it is the skyscrapers of 1900s New York or the shaping of New World societies in Australia, New Zealand and the American west.

Architecture History and Theory is a specialisation within the Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS) programme. The BAS in Architecture History and Theory is a three-year programme, leading into the Master of Architecture (MArch) by thesis following the completion of the one-year Postgraduate Diploma in Architecture History and Theory (PGDipAHT). These qualifications are suited to students wishing to pursue one of the many career opportunities attached to this qualification.

Architecture History and Theory is also available as a second undergraduate major for students studying in the Faculties of Commerce, Humanities and Social Sciences and Science. Contact the relevant Faculty for more information.

For more detailed information on the School of Architecture and its programmes, see School of Architecture.

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Undergraduate information

Entry requirements

To enrol in a Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS) you must have a University Entrance Qualification and have met the Guaranteed Entry Score requirements for this degree. For more information, please see the admission web pages for New Zealand students and International students.

Useful background subjects are Mathematics with Calculus, Statistics and Modelling, Physics, English, Technology, Art, Design and Graphics.

Credit assessment of prior tertiary study

If you have completed any study previously at another tertiary institute you may be eligible for some transferred credit towards your Victoria University qualification. Please check with the Faculty Office if you think this applies to you.

Degree requirements

The Bachelor of Architectural Studies (BAS) in Architecture History and Theory is a three-year undergraduate degree consisting of 360 points and is structured in two parts.

Part 1

Part 1 (120 points) is the first year of the Bachelor of Architectural Studies programme. This year you take the same courses as students in the Architecture, Building Science, Interior Architecture and Landscape Architecture programmes.

Students complete 7 core courses and 1 elective course, as follows:

Part 2

Part 2 comprises the second and third years of the BAS degree, and requires 240 points—120 points each year. This year involves a range of Architecture, Culture+Context, Art History, Classics and History courses enabling you to personalise your programme to suit your needs and interests.

Within the electives in 2nd and 3rd year you need to include:

  • 45 points from 300-level courses on the BAS schedule
  • 75 further points from 200-300 level courses on the BAS schedule from Culture+Context, Art History, Classics or History, including at least 45 points from the BAS schedule
  • 30 further points from 200-300 level courses.

You will need to include two of:

and two of:

and a further 150 points at 200 or 300 level which must include:

  • At least 9 points fron the BAS schedule 
  • At least 30 further points from the BAS schedule or from courses in Culture+Context, Art History, Classics or History
  • At least 45 points at 300-level, of which 15 points must be from the BAS schedule and the remainder either from the BAS schedule or from courses in Culture+Context, Art History, Classics or History

Note: If you want to include studio-based courses from architecture, interior architecture or landscape architecture in your Part 2 programme, you must apply for entry as numbers are limited.

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Postgraduate information

Please visit our postgraduate study pages on the School of Architecture website for information about postgraduate qualifications in Architecture History and Theory.

How to find out more

You can order more information on this subject by registering on our Request for Study Material database.

Victoria's Student Recruitment, Admission and Orientation Office offer advice on courses and help with planning your degree.

Contact the School of Architecture Student Administration Office for information on:

  • admission
  • qualifications and courses
  • course advice and selection criteria
  • exemptions and prerequisites and
  • your Application to Study.

All courses are taught at Victoria's Te Aro Campus.

Faculty Office Architecture and Design
+64 4 463 6200

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Related subjects and careers

Related subjects Careers
Art History
Classical Studies
Interior Architecture
Landscape Architecture
Project Management
Sustainable Engineering Systems
Architectural conservator
Critic and writer
Museum researcher

List of courses

100 Level Courses

SARC 111 – Introduction to Design Processes

SARC 112 – Design Processes

SARC 121 – Introduction to Built Environment Technology

SARC 122 – Introduction to Applied Physics, Numerical Methods and Statistics for Designers

SARC 131 – Introduction to Sustainability in the Designed Environment

SARC 151 – Introduction to Design History and Theory

SARC 161 – Introduction to Design Communication

SARC 162 – Design Communication

200 Level Courses

ARCI 211 – Architecture Design

ARCI 212 – Architecture Design Integration

ARCI 251 – History and Theory of Architecture

SARC 211 – Exhibition Design, Construction and Technologies

SARC 212 – Furniture Design, Construction and Technologies

SARC 221 – Building Materials and Construction

SARC 222 – Structural Systems

SARC 223 – Human Environmental Science

SARC 224 – Fire Safety Design

SARC 233 – Environment and Behaviour

SARC 252 – Building Heritage Conservation

SARC 261 – Communication

SARC 281 – Special Topic: Human Environmental Science

SARC 282 – Special Topic

SARC 283 – Special Topic

SARC 284 – Special Topic

SARC 285 – Special Topic

SARC 286 – Special Topic

300 Level Courses

ARCI 311 – Architecture Design

ARCI 312 – Architecture Design Integration

SARC 311 – Exhibition Design, Construction and Technologies

SARC 312 – Furniture Design, Construction and Technologies

SARC 321 – Construction

SARC 323 – Colour, Pattern, Light

SARC 351 – Urban Design Theory and Practice

SARC 352 – Pacific Designed Environments

SARC 353 – History of Architecture

SARC 354 – Interior Heritage Conservation

SARC 362 – Introduction to Practice and Management

SARC 363 – Digital Representation and Documentation

SARC 365 – Drawing

SARC 371 – International Field Study

SARC 381 – Special Topic

SARC 382 – Special Topic: Digital Design Methodologies

SARC 383 – Special Topic: Landscape Technology - Landscape Architecture Application

SARC 384 – Special Topic: Christchurch - Collaborative Studio

SARC 385 – Special Topic: Parametric Architectural Design using Visual Programming

SARC 386 – Special Topic: Project Advancement and Portfolio Design

SARC 387 – Independent Study