Information in the Degree Programme Tables may still be subject to change in response to Covid-19

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : History of Art

Undergraduate Course: Dissertation (History of Art and Combined Degrees) (HIAR10006)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate)
Course typeDissertation AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryIn their fourth year 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. There is a general meeting for students on the writing of dissertations in Semester 2 of their third year. Following discussion with a potential supervisor, each student selects a provisional topic, which they submit, with the name of the potential supervisor to the History of Art office. Each topic is approved or, if necessary and following discussion with the student, amended and is allocated a supervisor. Once the topic and supervisor are confirmed, students should contact their supervisor to discuss preliminary reading. During their fourth year all students attend three general meetings on the writing of dissertations. The first meeting provides advice on dissertation research and writing. The second meeting advises students on the writing up and presentation of dissertations. The third meeting will be a general Q&A on any questions and/or problems that may arise nearer the deadline. Students are encouraged to submit a plan plus sample of text (up to 2,000-words) for formative feedback from their supervisor by a set date, agreed with their supervisor. The text sample may either be in the form of one, 2,000 word sample, or two smaller portions, submitted at separate dates, of up to 1,000 words each. This will be agreed with your supervisor. Students are entitled to four meetings with their supervisor. 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 a written sample. The third meeting is to continue discussing your progress, and possibly to review a further written sample (if the full 2,000 words have not already been reviewed). The fourth meeting will be to discuss any questions or problems arising in the final stages of writing up. Students are responsible for arranging these meetings. There are no fixed times but the first two meetings are normally in Semester 1 and the second two meetings are normally in Semester 2. Two copies of the dissertation must be submitted to the History of Art office by a set date in Semester 2 of the student's fourth 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 Students are given individual feedback on a plan and written sample(s) of up to 2,500 words. The date for this varies, as it is arranged by students and supervisors.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
The fourth-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 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
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information