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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: The History of Edinburgh: From Din Eidyn to Festival City (HIST08036)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course charts the history of Edinburgh from its early medieval origins to its modern incarnation as Scotland's political and cultural capital. The focus on the development of the city will allow aspects of the wider history of Scotland over the same time period to be explored.
Course description The History of Edinburgh: From Din Eidyn to Festival City is designed to introduce students not registered for History degree programmes to the history of the city in which they are studying. The lecture series will highlight both the way in which the built environment and physical layout of the city has been shaped by historical processes, and how extant buildings, monuments and objects can be used to illuminate the concerns and ambitions of those societies that have occupied the area from the early-medieval period onwards. Tutorials will focus on the analysis of primary sources, textual and visual, that will foster student understanding of the way in which the city has developed through time. At the end of the course students will have an enhanced understanding of the cultural, political, social and institutional history of the city and the university.

Weekly outline: (subject to change)

Week 1. Beginnings

The Geology and Landscape of Edinburgh: Iron Age and Prehistoric Settlement TR

Din Eidyn and the world of the Gododdin: Lordship and society in early medieval Lothian TR/RS

The kings in the north: Picts, Britons and Angles RS

Week 2. Castle and Cross The burgh founded.

'In the land of the English in the kingdom of the Scots' RS

Edinburgh in the 12th century: the contours of the burgh. SB

'The kingdom's chief town. The rise of Edinburgh 1300-1500 SB

Week 3. Reformations

Edinburgh and the Reformation JG

Edinburgh as a Capital City, 1450-1707 JG

Trade and Industry in Early Modern Edinburgh AA/JG

Week 4. Living in Early Modern Edinburgh Occupations and Social Structure in Early Modern Edinburgh: Mapping Edinburgh's Social History Project RR

Governing Early Modern Edinburgh JG

Life on the Streets. Popular Culture and Daily Lives in Early Modern Edinburgh AF

Week 5 Town and Gown

Popular Politics and the Crowd in Early Modern Edinburgh AR

The Literate City: Printing and Print Culture in Early Modern Edinburgh AF

From 'toun college' to enlightened university AR

Week 6. Edinburgh Enlightened

Naming the Names: Robertson, Hume, Smith, Fergusson. TA

Hanoverian Edinburgh: The Making of the New Town SN

The Art and Culture of the 'Athens of the North' SN

Week 7 Life (and Death) in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Edinburgh

The Rise of Professional Society SN

Edinburgh and the Medics. GD

'Heart of Midlothian'. Walter Scott and the Rise of the Romantic City .

Week 8 A tale of two cities?

'Auld Reekie': Industrial Edinburgh EC Edinburgh and the emergence of a Leisured society TG

Working Class Culture and Politics in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Edinburgh MP

Week 9 The City re-modelled

The Vertical City RR

Urban Clearances in the 19th century EC

Poverty, disease and the municipal response EC

Week 10 Revivals: Old songs re-sung.

Edinburgh and the Folk Revival AB

A Parliament Restored EC

Planning, Conservation and Heritage (Practitioners)

Week 11 The Festival City

Edinburgh and the International Festival AB

Public housing and the city's Public face: Managing the 20th-century urban landscape. AB

Edinburgh in Modern Film and Fiction. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie to Trainspotting EC

Tutorials [Provisional]
Week 2 Introduction

Week 3 Living in the medieval Burgh. The poetry of William Dunbar and the burgh statutes

Week 4 The Rothiemay Map and Early Modern Edinburgh

Week 5. Life in the Old Town (Boswell's Edinburgh Journal)

Week 6 The Beginnings of the University: The history and archaeology of Old College

Week 7 Building the New Town. The creation of Georgian Edinburgh

Week 8 The Changing City: Using the MESH project.

Week 9 2-hour Walking Tours of either the Old Town or the New Town. Or Student reports on app-led tours

Week 10 The Naked City: The Littlejohn Report (1865)

Week 11 The Anti-Naked City A Sixties Controversy
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesStandard pre-requisites for this level in this Subject Area.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  125
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 33, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 152 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 80 %, Practical Exam 20 %
Additional Information (Assessment) A portfolio of 4 x 500 word tutorial reports 40%
A 2,000 word essay 40%
A 10-15 min tutorial group podcast outlining the significance of a particular site, object or event associated with the history of Edinburgh 20%
Feedback Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the tutor/Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. 1. demonstrate, by way of coursework, a sound knowledge of the history of Edinburgh over the longer period c.500 to 2,000 considered in the course;
  2. 1. demonstrate, by way of coursework, an ability to assimilate a variety of sources and formulate critical opinions on them;
  3. 1. demonstrate, by way of coursework, an ability to research, structure and complete written work of a specified length, or within a specified time;
  4. 1. demonstrate an ability to make informed contributions to class discussion and give an oral presentation as required;
  5. 1. demonstrate an ability to organise their own learning, manage their workload, and work to a timetable.
Reading List
Edwards, O.D. & G. Richardson, Edinburgh (Edinburgh, 1983)
Edwards, B. & Jenkins, P., (eds.), Edinburgh: the making of a capital city (Edinburgh, 2005)
Fry, M. Edinburgh: A History of the City (Edinburgh, 2009).
Laxton, P. and R. Rodger, Insanitary city: Henry Littlejohn and the condition of Edinburgh (Preston, 2013)
Lynch, M., (ed.) Edinburgh and the Reformation (Edinburgh, 1981)
McKean, C., Edinburgh: Portrait of a City (London, 1991)
Markus, T.A., (ed.), Order and Space in Society: Architectural Form and its Context in the Scottish Enlightenment (1982)
Rodger, R., The transformation of Victorian Edinburgh: land, property and trust in the nineteenth century (Cambridge, 2001)
Youngson, A.J., The Making of Classical Edinburgh (Edinburgh, 1966)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Skills and abilities in research and enquiry

ability to draw valid conclusions about the past
ability to identify, define and analyse historical problems
ability to select and apply a variety of critical approaches to problems informed by uneven evidence
ability to exercise critical judgement in creating new understanding
ability to extract key elements from complex information
readiness and capacity to ask key questions and exercise rational enquiry
ability critically to assess existing understanding and the limitations of knowledge and recognition of the need regularly to challenge/test knowledge
ability to search for, evaluate and use information to develop knowledge and understanding

Skills and abilities in personal and intellectual autonomy

openness to new ideas, methods and ways of thinking
ability to identify processes and strategies for learning
independence as a learner, with readiness to take responsibility for one's own learning, and commitment to continuous reflection, self-evaluation and self-improvement
ability to make decisions on the basis of rigorous and independent thought
ability to test, modify and strengthen one's own views through collaboration and debate
intellectual curiosity
ability to sustain intellectual interest

Skills and abilities in communication

ability to make effective use of oral and written means convey understanding of historical issues and one's interpretation of them.
ability to marshal argument lucidly and coherently
ability to collaborate and to relate to others
readiness to seek and value open feedback to inform genuine self-awareness

Skills and abilities in personal effectiveness

ability to approach historical problems with academic rigour
ability to manage and meet firm deadlines
possession of the confidence to make decisions based on one's understanding and personal/intellectual autonomy
ability to work effectively with others, capitalising on diversities of thinking, experience and skills
KeywordsHistory of Edinburgh
Course organiserDr Anna Groundwater
Tel: 0131 (6)50 2553
Course secretaryMiss Lorna Berridge
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