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

Postgraduate Course: Heritage, Sustainability and Environmental Justice (ARHI11018)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will address how and why we need a more sustainable approach to the analysis of our historic environment. By looking at a variety of case studies, we will consider how the inclusion of gender, class, race, sexuality and disability in our study of the past can provide a broader understanding of our built environment, whilst also analysing how the impact of climate change on historic sites defines significant challenges to heritage in the future. Through analysis of national and international policies, the course addresses how to effectively engage with these issues by way of intellectual discourse and operative processes.
Course description This course examines how the understanding and interpretation of heritage through a more sustainable approach outside of the traditional analytical lens can lead to the better management of our built environment.
Typically, the course begins with an analysis of how and why we need a more inclusive approach to our discussion of the past to include conversations on gender, class, race, sexuality and disability. We will analyse and discuss a variety of case studies to consider how better visibility of these aspects in society significantly broaden our understanding of the past, and help us to further understand the society that we live in today.
We will consider how these aspects are addressed within current historic environment management strategies and outputs, including national and international policies, public displays and literature. Analysis of these will highlight the obstacles that can arise when real-life cases meet best practice, and will demonstrate the role that our communities, cultures and technologies play in defining what heritage is, and its significance as a key asset in shaping a more positive, healthy and prosperous society.
In the final third of this course, we will examine the impact of climate change on the historic environment and the significant future challenges that this raises through an exploration of current efforts to engage with, and demonstrate the effects of, climate change through the recording, analysis and interpretation of our heritage in urban and rural landscapes. This will conclude with re-focusing historic environment management from economic to environmental priorities, and consider how this is necessary to ensure the sustainable management of our heritage in the future.
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
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the emerging discourse, terminology and conventions used in discussing heritage within a more inclusive sphere
  2. Apply skills in examining and assessing primary and secondary documents
  3. Interpret how national heritage policies and practice are working to contribute to future international targets for sustainable development
  4. Evaluate approaches to sustainable heritage fluidly with both specialists in the field and non-scholarly enthusiasts
  5. Demonstrate autonomy and initiative through the design and execution of an independent research paper that outlines an advanced argument in relation to course subject matter.
Reading List
Grahn, W. and Wilson, R., Gender and Heritage: Performance, Place and Politics, 2018
Historic Environment Scotland: A Guide to Climate Change Impacts on Scotland's Historic Environment, 2019.
Kehoe K, and Dalgleish, C: History, Heritage, and Sustainable Development-: A position statement on the Scottish Highlands, 2018.
Mullan, S. and Newman, S. Slavery, Abolition and the University of Glasgow. Report and Recommendations of the University of Glasgow History of Slavery Steering Committee, 2018.
RCMG and the National Trust, Prejudice and Pride: LGBTQ Heritage and its Contemporary Implications, 2018.
UNESCO: Moving Forward: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, 2015.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Through new approaches to historic analysis and heritage management this course will enhance both (1.) Knowledge and Understanding and (2.) Practice: Applied Knowledge, Skills and Understanding in the interpretation and managment of the historic environment.
The opportunity to explore and assess current policies on heritage management and the use of case studies to explore current approaches to historic analysis of heritage sites will provide opportunitiy to engage with (3. )Generic Cognitive Skills.
The in-class activities and assessment methods will provide opportunities to practice (4.) Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills, and will give opportunity for (5.) Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others.
KeywordsHeritage,Architecture,Urbanism,Gender,Race,Community,Environment,Climate Change,Archaeology
Course organiserDr Kirsten Carter McKee
Course secretaryMr Aidan Cole
Tel: (0131 6)50 2306
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