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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh Futures Institute : Edinburgh Futures Institute

Undergraduate Course: Creating Edinburgh: The Interdisciplinary City (EFIE08002)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh Futures Institute CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course sets out from the seminar room to explore the city of Edinburgh, on foot and online. It offers students a unique opportunity to engage with the contemporary city as a site for new ideas, designs and methods. The course responds creatively to Edinburgh's various sites and routes, bringing together students from across the university to work in interdisciplinary teams.
Course description Creating Edinburgh takes an innovative approach to interdisciplinary education by shifting the site of learning from the seminar room to the city outside. It brings together groups of students from diverse subject areas to explore the contemporary city. This place-based approach provides a clear focus for group work, leading to new ways of conceptualising, practicing and sharing knowledge, as well as developing new skills in collaboration across disciplines. Students will be encouraged to see themselves as part of a connected global city and to engage with the complex challenges of urban life in the twenty-first century. Working in response to a complex environment and connecting with a wide range of perspectives is an opportunity to apply new understandings to specific challenges. The course offers distinct frameworks for exploring the city of Edinburgh. These may include, for example: Literary Edinburgh, Decolonising Edinburgh, Sustainable Edinburgh, Geological Edinburgh, Pandemic Edinburgh, Historical Edinburgh, Religious Edinburgh, etc. A distinctive feature of the course is that students are able to curate their own content, programming the order of content from a selection of topics. This will be interspersed with an introduction week and three assessment workshops.

Initially, the course introduces principles of interdisciplinary project work and explores methods and strategies for engaging with the city. Spaced across the course, the seven topic weeks will then offer a series of prompts and suggested tactics for engaging with Edinburgh's sites and routes. Students will work in ALGs (Autonomous Learning Groups) to research these topics prior to a weekly seminar, which will usually take place on campus. Weekly documentation will then be posted on an online repository, leading to an individual reflective document, which is the first point of summative assessment. Interspersing the topic weeks will be formative assessment presentations and workshops. For the formative assessment, students will work in ALG groups (3-4 students) to present a framework for a new topic (other than those already on offer). The task will be presented as an opportunity to research and develop a new perspective on the city, either from another discipline or through an interdisciplinary topic. Following presentations, the full tutorial group will agree on one topic to be developed for the final group assessment. The tutorial group then allocate tasks and work on this topic over the following weeks, sharing progress on an online forum. This will be a 'background task' that feeds into the dedicated project work towards the final assessment point. This takes the form of a full tutorial group project, submitted as a digital resource at the end of the course. Importantly, the resource should be available for future cohorts to select and engage with as one of their topics. Selected topics will be developed in line with the pre-designed format to increase the range on offer.
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:  80
Course Start Semester 1
Course Start Date 18/09/2023
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 12, Online Activities 6, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 178 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) 24 hours of Autonomous Learning Group meetings
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) There are two summative assessment points:
1. an individual written reflection (1000 words) is submitted at the start of the ninth week following a writing workshop
2. the final assessment is a group project (with the full tutorial group collaborating on a new topic) submitted as a digital resource at the end of the course.
Assessment is Pass / Fail. Students are required to pass both components.
Feedback Week 5: Formative assessment. Students present a framework for a new topic (other than those already on offer), offering a short but coherent and well researched presentation on a selected Site and Route associated with their topic.
Students will work in interdisciplinary groups for this task and will agree on a new topic for their group
The task is as an opportunity to research and develop a new perspective on the city, either from another discipline or through an interdisciplinary topic. Groups would be permitted to choose a topic related to one of the members' 'home' disciplines, which would then be opened up to interdisciplinary exploration.
Feedback for this task will be delivered in-person and in written form, and will directly inform the final assessment.
Week 9. First summative assessment submitted. Students will reflect on their individual 'journey' through the course so far, and reflecting on the combination of their chosen perspectives on the city.
This will be a written submission with a set word limit, but may also include photos and embedded videos, etc.
A workshop will help students structure their writing and share tips and examples of good reflective writing.
Written individual feedback will provided within three weeks.
Week 11. Workshop to support students preparing for their final group assessment. Students will have been guided to assemble material relating to their chosen topic beforehand.
Tutors will help the students to consolidate this material, agreeing a structure for the digital resource, which will be submitted at the end of the semester.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Evaluate and utilise knowledge and skills from a variety of disciplines to understand the city of Edinburgh.
  2. Demonstrate an awareness of the complexities involved in interdisciplinary learning and collaboration to navigate any challenges that arise.
  3. Practice digital literacy with the use of online learning tools and online learning environments.
  4. Undertake independent and self-directed learning both online and offline, demonstrating initiative and organisational abilities.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to work as part of a diverse team to plan and deliver a group project.
Learning Resources

- Barry, A. and G. Born (eds.). 2013. Interdisciplinarity: Reconfigurations of the social and natural sciences, Oxon: Routledge.
- Callard, F. and D. Fitzgerald. 2015. Rethinking interdisciplinarity across the social sciences and neurosciences, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Frodeman, R., J. T. Klein and R. C. Dos Santos Pacheco (eds.). 2017. The Oxford handbook of interdisciplinarity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Frodeman, R. 2014. Sustainable knowledge: A theory of interdisciplinarity, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Green, J.L. and W.D. Baker (eds.). 2019. Interdisciplinary and intercultural programmes in higher education: Exploring challenges in designing and teaching. Oxon: Routledge.
- Moran, J. 2010. Interdisciplinarity. Oxon: Routledge.

Exploring the interdisciplinary city

- Masschelein, J. 2010. E-ducating the gaze: The idea of a poor pedagogy, Ethics and Education 5 (1), 43-53.
- Lavery, C. 2005. Teaching Performance Studies: 25 instructions for performance in cities. Studies in Theatre and Performance 25 (3), 234-36.
- Walker-Gibbs, B., E. Charlton, S. Pinto and S. Hannigan. (eds.). 2019. Interdisciplinary unsettlings of place and space: Conversations, investigations and research. Singapore: Springer.
- Whybrow, N. (ed.). 2010. Performance and the contemporary city: An interdisciplinary reader. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

- Goss, S. (dir.) 2018. Closes and Opens [film]. Edinburgh Futures Institute.

Digital resources - a number of digital mapping projects provide a valuable resource for exploring the city of Edinburgh online and on foot. These include:
- Curious Edinburgh (a mobile walking app). University of Edinburgh
- LitLong (literary data map). University of Edinburgh
- Culture and Communities mapping project. University of Edinburgh
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Undertaking this course will enable each student to develop their abilities in self-critical reflection, organisation and time-management, application of learning in a defined context, and provide opportunities to further develop analytical and presentation skills.
Course organiserDr David Overend
Course secretaryMiss Katarzyna Pietrzak
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