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

Postgraduate Course: Scottish Medieval and Renaissance Architecture (HIAR11085)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryA systematic survey of the development of Scottish architecture from the 11th Century to mid 17th century. There is strong focus on the social and political context and the development of the castellated tradition and its transformation to domestic and civic forms. We will examine buildings, styles and designing, vernacular buildings and designed landscapes.
Course description There will be a strong emphasis on archival skills and interpretation and the way that different historiographies impact on our understanding. Part of the course will look at film and TV productions, such as Outlander, and consider how and why Scotland's landscape and architectural heritage are represented in particular ways and how their representation might be improved. Students will be encouraged in seminars and site visits to participate in consultation and discussion.

Site visits will offer a uniquely immediate experience of buildings, cityscapes and landscapes and their visual and physical impact on the reading of places.

Each student will present a building on a site visit or their research in one 20-30 minute tutorial presentation.

The course content will include pre-mediaeval and vernacular buildings, the Mediaeval styles, including ecclesiastical and castellated architecture and the introduction of Renaissance forms and types including the Royal Palaces. For the early 17th Century we will study Scottish Classicism.

The course will also examine historiographical issues, interiors and furnishings, and designed landscapes.
The course will be delivered twice weekly. This is in the form of a series of 10 lectures-seminars each of 2 hours duration, totalling 40 hours of teaching over 10 weeks. Some seminars will be set aside for assessed presentations. Each student will deliver one PowerPoint presentation.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  5
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 11, Formative Assessment Hours 5, Summative Assessment Hours 6, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 152 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The course comprises 2 assessment components:
1. One seminar or site visit presentation with a 1,000 word report (40%)
2. Essay of 3,000 words (60%)

Both components are assessed against all Learning Outcomes.
Feedback Formative Feedback
Essay: 200-300 word essay plan and bibliography submitted any time up to week 7 of the semester. Written and verbal feedback will be delivered in a 30-45 minute one-to-one tutorial.

Summative Feedback
Seminar report: Graded and with written feedback given via Learn.

Essay: Graded and with written feedback given via Learn.

There will be a one-hour plenary session offering general feedback on the essay plans, and outlining writing and presentation skills for architectural essays.

All feedback will be given as per University regulations.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate knowledge that covers and integrates most, if not all, of the main areas of architecture in Scotland before 1650, including its characteristics, chronology terminology and architectural historical conventions.
  2. Apply knowledge and skills in planning and executing a significant project of research.
  3. Use a wide range of routine, advanced and specialised skills as appropriate to architecture in Scotland before 1650, for example: Communicate effectively in presenting own research using verbal and visual media
Reading List
Fawcett, R. (2011) The Architecture of the Scottish Medieval Church, 1100-1560. New Haven and London

Howard, D. (1995) Scottish Architecture: Reformation to Restoration 1560-1660. Edinburgh University Press

Mitchison, R. (1997) A History of Scotland / Rosalind Mitchison; Illustrated by George Mackie. Second edition. London: Routledge

McKean, C. (2001) The Scottish Chateau: the Country House of Renaissance Scotland. Stroud

MacKechnie et al. (1996) A history of Scottish Architecture: From the Renaissance to the Present Day. Edinburgh University Press, Chapters 1 and 2 (available online).

Naismith, R, J. (1985) Buildings of the Scottish Countryside. Gollancz, London
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Research and enquiry: the ability to conduct research into relevant issues through research into architecture in Scotland before 1650.

Personal and intellectual autonomy: the ability to critically evaluate ideas, to form an open-minded and reasoned perspective in order to develop effective analyses.

Communication: effectively - develop and communicate complex ideas and arguments using a range of media.
KeywordsScotland Medieval Renaissance Architecture
Course organiserMs Margaret Stewart
Tel: (0131 6)51 5788
Course secretaryMs Louisa King
Tel: (01316) 502306
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