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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Architecture and Landscape Architecture

Postgraduate Course: Architecture, Landscape & Environment: Situated Research Project (ARCH11292)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeDissertation AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits60 ECTS Credits30
SummaryThe Situated Research Project, an extended research project equivalent to the Masters Dissertation in other postgraduate programmes, is the culmination of the MSc in Architecture, Landscape and Environment. The Situated Research Project provides students with an opportunity to undertake site-based research on a topic of significance to built and/or natural environments, drawing on the knowledge, understanding and skills developed through the taught courses studied during semesters 1 and 2.
Course description The Situated Research Project provides a supported opportunity to plan and execute a substantial site-based investigation that creatively responds to the students' academic and professional interests across the fields of landscape, environment and/or architecture. Integrating the methodological, theoretical and contextual knowledge and skills that students have developed in previous courses, this course will allow students to put their intellectual curiosity into practice and build their capacity to conduct independent research.

The chosen site and research questions the project will address, as well as the modes of research and final presentation, are defined by the student, in discussion with an appointed supervisor. The project should show originality of thought or research, as well as the ability to draw the site-based investigations into a coherent set of outputs with consideration of relevant audiences.

The summer semester is structured into three developmental parts. Weeks 1-4 will include one 2hr initial group supervision focused on project development, culminating in a formative 15-min presentation per student in week 4. This will provide students with feedback early in the semester. Weeks 5-8 will include individual supervision with an appointed supervisor, supporting students in the development of draft submissions in week 8. From written feedback and further individual supervision, students will refine their work for the summative submission at the end of the semester. Students will expect 5 formal meetings (1hr each) with their assigned supervisor throughout the semester.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Exploring Situated Methods 1: Site-Specific Field Lab (ARCH11287) AND Exploring Situated Methods 2: Independent Field Lab (ARCH11288)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  30
Course Start Block 5 (Sem 2) and beyond
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 600 ( Dissertation/Project Supervision Hours 7, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 12, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 578 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) This course has 2 assessment components.

1. Final Portfolio, 40%, due August exam diet.
2. Reflective Report, (8000 words) 60%, due in August exam diet.

The submission of the final research project consists of:
1. The Situated Research Project will be documented as a Final Report of relevant outputs as agreed with the supervisor. These could include audio-visual and/or digital documentation i.e. through photographs, videos, sound files, digital media and/or website, as well as relevant textual sources. The size and scope of the portfolio will depend on each student's approach and how they configure it graphically to convey the project to a range of audiences. It should include developmental work, final outcomes and annotations to help explain work.
2. The Final Portfolio should include an accompanying Reflective Report of 8,000 words that rationalises the process and outcomes of the project, presenting self-directed research on a chosen topic/theme.
Feedback Formative Feedback
An initial abstract (c. 500 words) will need to be approved by the end of semester 2, prior to the start of the summer term. In week 4, students will give a 15-min presentation on their research project topic, theoretical approaches, methodology and time schedule. They will receive verbal feedback from both tutors and peers. The tutor or course organiser will also provide written formative feedback. In week 8, students will submit a full draft of their research project for written supervisor feedback.

Summative Feedback
Students will receive written feedback on their summative submissions. This feedback will include individualised recommendations to take forward the project into academic or professional contexts.

Feedback will be provided as per University regulations.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Plan and execute an original and significant investigative site-related project that responds creatively to current environmental and societal challenges.
  2. Develop relevant specialised and experimental approaches and methods appropriate for the chosen site and aims of the project.
  3. Produce a substantial piece of critical work that coherently communicates the process and outcomes from the site-related enquiry and reflects on the contributions it makes to relevant theories, challenges and debates.
Reading List
Eco, Umberto (2015) How to Write a Thesis. Cambridge, Mass, and London: MIT Press.
Elliott, Danielle and Culhane, Dara (2017) A Different Kind of Ethnography: Imaginative Practices and Creative Methodologies. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Groat, Linda and Wang, David (2002) Architectural Research Methods. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.
Lury, Celia and Wakeford, Nina (2012) Inventive Methods. London: Routledge.
Warr, Deborah, Guillemin, Marilys, Cox, Susan and Waycott, Jenny (2016) Ethics and Visual Research Methods. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course will support you to:
- Develop your skills in research and enquiry to identify and creatively tackle issues arising over the course of site - based investigations in built and/or natural environments.
- Develop your personal and intellectual autonomy by being curious, creative and taking risks in the design and implementation of your site - based investigations, while making and reviewing decisions about techniques to use
and outputs to produce.
- Draw on skilled communication to articulate and effectively explain your activities and their significance in relation to current theories, contexts and challenges.
- Adapt these communication strategies to different audiences, including any site - based partners and professional colleagues and/or employers.

KeywordsSite-based research,independent research project,built environments,natural environments
Course organiserDr Penny Travlou
Tel: (0131 6)51 5825
Course secretaryMiss Laura Varga
Tel: (0131 6)50 2430
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