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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Centre for Open Learning : History, Classics and Archaeology

Undergraduate Course: Victorian Edinburgh (LLLE07040)

Course Outline
SchoolCentre for Open Learning CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 7 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course considers the complex challenges and changes wrought in the period 1837-1901 within Scotland's capital city. It examines examples of the economic, social and political context in which 'Edinburghers' lived, and assesses their responses to the most important Scottish, British and international events.
Course description 1. Becoming the 'capital city': what did this mean for Edinburgh?
2. Edinburgh in the Victorian Age: an overview.
3. Building the dream cityscape? The architecture and 'improvement' schemes.
4. Mine Own Romantic Town? Edinburgh's writers and their influence on the world.
5. Edinburgh's political elites: who ran the city?
6. Edinburgh and Queen Victoria: the three visits.
7. The darker side of Edinburgh: poverty, immigration and crime.
8. A madman's dream? Edinburgh's artists and galleries.
9. An age of heroes? Edinburgh's statues and monuments.
10. Edinburgh institutions: university, churches and financial and printing prowess.

Edinburgh was at the centre of many of the major Scottish events of the nineteenth century. It experienced royal visits, including those of George IV and Victoria, was a key location for the religious Disruption of 1843, and was home to great commemorative construction such as the Gothic Scott Monument. The city was physically redesigned by the many 'improvement acts' and the coming of the railways. However, many of those who visited the city and who lived in it described it as both 'beautiful' and 'grotesque'. Edinburgh's Old and New Towns became more and more a reflection of the 'haves' and the 'have-nots'. Immigrants to Edinburgh found refuge in the city but not necessarily a welcome there.

Students will examine the city from many angles, assessing the diverse and changing character of the city; placing it in the broader historical context of Scotland; and evaluating its place in Britain and Europe. The course will introduce students to a wide variety of sources relating to nineteenth-century Edinburgh, including art, poetry, literature, diaries, newspapers, town council minutes and letters, developing source-handling skills and critical thinking.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  18
Course Start Lifelong Learning - Session 1
Course Start Date 18/09/2017
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 78 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One, 2,000-word essay to be submitted after the end of the course.
Formative exercise of a practice essay submitted mid-way through the course (non-compulsory).
Feedback Students will receive written feedback for their formative assessment practice essay, submitted mid-way through the session. They may discuss this with the tutor; students may contact the tutor for an informal discussion of progress at any time in the session. Students will receive detailed written feedback on their assessed work submitted after the end of the course.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate an understanding of the complex nature of the Victorian period in Edinburgh, and place that city in the broader context of Scotland, Britain and Europe at the time;
  2. demonstrate an ability to analyse the rich array of primary sources for nineteenth-century history, and to handle critically the secondary sources;
  3. demonstrate, through oral contribution in classes, and through the assessment where applicable, an ability to conduct research and to structure ideas;
  4. demonstrate, through oral contribution in classes and through the assessment where applicable, an ability to organize their own learning and to manage their workload.
Reading List

D. Daiches, 1967. Edinburgh. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd.
M. Fry, 2011. Edinburgh. London: Macmillan.
C. McKean, 1991. Edinburgh. London: Century


J. Crawford, L. Ferguson, K. Watson, 2010. Victorian Scotland. Edinburgh: RCAHMS.
B. Edwards et al, 2005. Edinburgh: The Making of a Capital City. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
W. Knox, 1999. Industrial Nation: Work, Culture and Society in Scotland, 1800-Present. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
J. McCaffrey, 1998. Scotland in the Nineteenth Century. London: Macmillan.
G. Morton and T. Griffiths, eds., 2010. A History of Everyday Life in Scotland, 1800 to 1900. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
T. Royle, 1980. Precipitous City: The Story of Literary Edinburgh. Edinburgh: Mainstream.
R.J Morris and R. Rodger eds., 1993. The Victorian city : a reader in British urban history, 1820-1914. London: Longman.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Critical thinking.
Handling and analysis of sources.
Oral discussion.
Time management.
Special Arrangements N/A
Study Abroad N/A
KeywordsVictorian Edinburgh
Course organiserDr Sally Crumplin
Course secretaryMr Benjamin Mcnab
Tel: (0131 6)51 4832
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