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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Architecture - History

Undergraduate Course: Urbanism and the City: Past to Present (ARHI08010)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines the global history of cities and the built environment from the beginnings of civilization to the present day. Through major historical writings and key secondary literature on urban design, it explores how modes of urban planning, construction, and revision have developed over time and circulated between cultures.
Course description This undergraduate course investigates the global history of city design and urbanism from ancient times to the contemporary period. Through an interdisciplinary course bibliography and readings in key historical texts on urbanism, students will grasp the major historical trends and philosophies of urban emergence and development. Tutorials centred on Edinburgh site visits and training in research and writing will prepare students to perform first-hand research and compose original scholarship on the built environment. The goal of this course is to give students a critical acumen for evaluating the architectural transformation of the urban realm across disparate cultures and far-flung geographies over time, from Antiquity to the present day.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Course Start Date 13/01/2020
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 33, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 151 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 40 %, Coursework 60 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Formative Assessment

The formative assessment is based (100%) on a circa 500-word Essay Plan, to be submitted prior to submission of the Essay, usually between weeks 4 and 6.

Summative Assessment

The summative assessment based on one research Essay to be submitted before the examination period (60%), as well as performance on a final exam (40%).

Component 1: A 2,000-word Essay that focuses on one of the themes presented during the course and incorporates original research on primary and/or secondary sources. This submission is due during the second half of the semester, prior to the examination period, usually between weeks 7 and 10.

Component 2: A final exam of slide identifications and two short-answer questions.
Feedback Students will be given written comments on their Essay Plan and Essay as well as a justification for the mark on the Exam.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Grasp urbanism as a subject. They will demonstrate understanding of major trends in global urban history from the beginning of civilization to the present day.
  2. Understand the process of doing urban history. They will show ability to develop an original research project through engagement with primary sources and close reading of key scholarly literature.
  3. Show familiarity with the histories and theories of urbanism. They will be in a position to explain the works of the major post-1800 thinkers on urban history and design.
  4. Demonstrate why urban design matters historically and in the present day. They will be able to articulate how urban development instantiates systems of political and cultural authority.
Reading List
Jacobs, Jane. The Death and Life of Great American Cities (New York: Random House, 1961).

Kostof, Spiro. The City Shaped: Urban Patterns and Meanings Through History (London: Thames & Hudson, 1999).

Lees, Andrew. The City: A World History (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2015).

Le Corbusier, The City of Tomorrow and Its Planning. Translated from the 8th edition of 'Urbanisme' by Frederick Etchells (New York: Dover, 1987).

Lynch, Kevin. The Image of the City (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1960).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 1. Critical and reflective skill related to architecture and urbanism.
2. Familiarity with routine research methods in architectural history.
3. Ability to contribute effectively in peer discussion.
4. Ability to communicate skilfully to a range of audiences.
KeywordsUrbanism,Urban History,Cities,Global Exchange,Systems,Emergence,Complexity
Course organiser Course secretaryMiss Amanda Fleet
Tel: (0131 6)50 2328
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