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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.

The course is taught through a mixture of lectures and tutorials. Lectures (2 hours/week) are introductory overviews of key subjects. Tutorials (1 hour/week) are centred on Edinburgh site visits and training in research and writing, and 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 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  184
Course Start Semester 1
Course Start Date 18/09/2023
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 163 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 40 %, Coursework 60 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) This course has 2 assessment components.

1 Essay (2,000 words), 60%, submitted between weeks 8-10
2 Exam (2 hours) 40%, during the examination period.

Component 1: A 2,000-word Essay that focuses on one of the themes presented during the course and draws on a range of primary sources and/or secondary academic literature. This submission is due during the second half of the semester, prior to the examination period, usually between weeks 8-10.

Component 2: A final exam of two hours, sat during the examination period.

All components of assessment relate to all Learning Outcomes.

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 Formative Feedback

The formative task is a circa 500-word Essay Plan, to be submitted prior to submission of the essay (usually weeks 6-8). Brief written formative feedback will be provided on the Essay plan.

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.

Summative Feedback
Summative feedback will be provided on the essay, as per University regulations. A single mark will be provided for the exam.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)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 original lines of argument 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
A full resource list will be provided each year.

Core texts include:
Furman, A. and Mardell, J. (2022) Queer Spaces. London: RIBA

Jacobs, J. (1961) The Death and Life of Great American Cities. New York: Random House

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

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

Rykwert, J. (2004) The Seduction of Place: The History and Future of the City. Oxford: Oxford UP
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Research and enquiry: conduct research and enquiry into issues relevant to architectural history, synthesised into a coherent, evidenced written outcome.
Personal and intellectual autonomy: think independently and exercise personal judgment, to recognise and address ethical dilemmas, social responsibility and sustainability issues, with relevance to architectural history.
Personal effectiveness: have an ability to prioritise, plan and effectively use resources to achieve self-directed aims, while managing time effectively.
Communication: be able to communicate complex ideas and arguments to produce clear, structured work.
KeywordsUrbanism,Urban History,Cities,Global Exchange,Systems,Emergence,Complexity
Course organiserDr Elizabeth Petcu
Tel: (0131 6)50 2619
Course secretaryMrs Abbie Humphreys
Tel: (01316) 502306
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