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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 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  300
Course Start Semester 1
Course Start Date 21/09/2020
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 0 %, Coursework 100 %, 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

Coursework 100%

Assessment 1 Identifying sources (20%)

Assessment 2 Lecture content review (30%)

Assessment 3 Essay (2000 words)50%

Students must achieve a mark of at least 40% on aggregate in order to pass the course.

(I.E. there will be no Force Fails)
Feedback Tutorial activities will focus on the skills necessary for success, particularly in the essay. Tutorial exercises will feed into this, especially on the technical aspects of researching and producing an essay.

Formative feedback will be provided around the middle of the course (approx. week 6) on an Essay proposal and plan
No Exam Information
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 organiserDr Kirsten Carter McKee
Course secretaryMiss Amanda Fleet
Tel: (0131 6)50 2328
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