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

Undergraduate Course: Fine Art Dissertation (HIAR10005)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 5 Undergraduate)
Course typeDissertation AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryIn their final year Fine Art students write a dissertation of between 8,000 and 10,000 words on a subject agreed between the student by or on behalf of the head of History of Art. Students attend a general meeting on the writing of dissertations in Semester 2 of their fourth year. Following discussion with a potential supervisor, each student selects a provisional topic, which must be submitted, with the name of the potential supervisor, to the History of Art office by a set date in Semester 2. Each topic is approved or, if necessary and following discussion with the student, amended and is allocated a supervisor. Following this they should make contact with their supervisor to discuss preliminary reading and research for their topic. In Semester 1 of the fifth year, students attend three general meetings to discuss the planning and writing of the dissertations. The first meeting discusses planning and research, the second discusses problems in writing, and the third is a general Q&A to discuss any questions or problems arising nearer the deadline. Students are encouraged to submit a plan plus sample(s) of writing (up to 2,000 words) for discussion with their supervisor. The date for this is agreed between students and their supervisors. The text can be either one sample of up to 2,000 words or two smaller samples of up to 1,000 words each. This should be agreed with your supervisor. Students are entitled to four meetings with their supervisor during the course of Semester 1 of their final year. The first meeting is to discuss progress and to review a written plan of the dissertation. The second meeting is to discuss writing up and may include a review of plan and writing sample. The third meeting is to continue discussing the writing and may include a review of a further written sample (if the full 2,000 words have not yet been discussed). The fourth supervision will discuss any problems or questions arising in the final stages of writing up. Students are responsible for arranging these meetings with their supervisor. Two copies of the dissertation must be submitted to the History of Art office by the published deadline, which is usually early in Semester 2 of the student's final year.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 2, Dissertation/Project Supervision Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 387 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 1 Dissertation of between 8000 and 10000 words
Feedback Feedback is provided to students on a plan and writing sample(s) of up to 2,500 words. The date for this varies, and is agreed between student and supervisor.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
The final year dissertation provides students with an opportunity for sustained independent work on a topic of their own choosing. This allows them to look more deeply into an aspect of a topic studied in their taught courses or to investigate a suitable subject not covered in formal teaching, providing that supervision can be provided. General meetings and individual meetings with the supervisor provide advice on independent research and the collection, assessment, organisation and presentation of material. Work on the dissertation encourages students to develop their skills in the independent use of published material, libraries and bibliographical resources. They are also likely to be working with visual evidence in the original and may well have to learn how to make effective use of the resources of galleries or museums. Supervised dissertation work provides experience in finding, selecting and analysing various types of sources and encourages students to develop a more critical approach to both primary and secondary sources. The selection and refinement of the dissertation topic provides useful experience in independent thinking. The dissertation is the longest piece of assessed writing that students are called on to prepare for their degree and, as such, gives them experience in the structuring of a sustained argument and in the assessment and effective deployment of evidence. A history of art dissertation normally requires the use of visual evidence, which provides students with an opportunity to develop their skills in the selection and use of illustrations. Students also gain experience in the presenting text and illustrations neatly, accurately and in accordance with a set of guidelines. The skills gained in successful work on a history of art dissertation are generally applicable but they are also a useful preparation for postgraduate work in the field.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Carol Richardson
Tel: (0131 6)50 4119
Course secretaryMrs Sue Cavanagh
Tel: (0131 6)51 1460
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