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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: The History of Edinburgh: From Din Eidyn to Festival City (HIST08036)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology 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
SummaryThe course charts the history of Edinburgh from its early medieval origins to its modern incarnation as Scotland's political and cultural capital. The focus on the development of the city will allow aspects of the wider history of Scotland over the same time period to be explored.
Course description The History of Edinburgh: From Din Eidyn to Festival City is designed to introduce students not registered for History degree programmes to the history of the city in which they are studying. The lecture series will highlight both the way in which the built environment and physical layout of the city has been shaped by historical processes, and how extant buildings, monuments and objects can be used to illuminate the concerns and ambitions of those societies that have occupied the area from the early-medieval period onwards. Tutorials will focus on the analysis of primary sources, textual and visual, that will foster student understanding of the way in which the city has developed through time. At the end of the course students will have an enhanced understanding of the cultural, political, social and institutional history of the city and the university.

1. Beginnings: early history and landscape
2. Castle and cross: the burgh founded
3. Scotland's capital city
4. Living in early modern Edinburgh
5. Town and gown: popular politics and the university
6. Enlightenment Edinburgh
7. Political life in 18th and 19th century Edinburgh
8. A tale of two cities: different Edinburghs
9. The Victorian city remodelled
10. Twentieth century changes
11. The Festival City

Content note: The study of History inevitably involves the study of difficult topics that we encourage students to approach in a respectful, scholarly, and sensitive manner. Nevertheless, we remain conscious that some students may wish to prepare themselves for the discussion of difficult topics. In particular, the course organiser has outlined that the following topics may be discussed in this course, whether in class or through required or recommended primary and secondary sources: discrimination based on class, religion, gender and race; the slave trade. While this list indicates sensitive topics students are likely to encounter, it is not exhaustive because course organisers cannot entirely predict the directions discussions may take in tutorials or seminars, or through the wider reading that students may conduct for the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed:
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesStandard pre-requisites for this level in this Subject Area.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 163 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
3 x 500 word Tutorial Reports (submitted as a single document) (40%)
1 x 2000 word Essay (60%)

Feedback Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the tutor/Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a sound knowledge of the history of Edinburgh over the longer period c.500 to 2,000 considered in the course;
  2. Assimilate a variety of sources and formulate critical opinions on them;
  3. Research, structure and complete written work of a specified length, or within a specified time;
  4. Organise their own learning, manage their workload, and work to a timetable.
Reading List
Edwards, O.D. & G. Richardson, Edinburgh (Edinburgh, 1983)
Edwards, B. & Jenkins, P., (eds.), Edinburgh: the making of a capital city (Edinburgh, 2005)
Fry, M. Edinburgh: A History of the City (Edinburgh, 2009).
Laxton, P. and R. Rodger, Insanitary city: Henry Littlejohn and the condition of Edinburgh (Preston, 2013)
Lynch, M., (ed.) Edinburgh and the Reformation (Edinburgh, 1981)
McKean, C., Edinburgh: Portrait of a City (London, 1991)
Markus, T.A., (ed.), Order and Space in Society: Architectural Form and its Context in the Scottish Enlightenment (1982)
Rodger, R., The transformation of Victorian Edinburgh: land, property and trust in the nineteenth century (Cambridge, 2001)
Youngson, A.J., The Making of Classical Edinburgh (Edinburgh, 1966)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Skills and abilities in research and enquiry

ability to draw valid conclusions about the past
ability to identify, define and analyse historical problems
ability to select and apply a variety of critical approaches to problems informed by uneven evidence
ability to exercise critical judgement in creating new understanding
ability to extract key elements from complex information
readiness and capacity to ask key questions and exercise rational enquiry
ability critically to assess existing understanding and the limitations of knowledge and recognition of the need regularly to challenge/test knowledge
ability to search for, evaluate and use information to develop knowledge and understanding

Skills and abilities in personal and intellectual autonomy

openness to new ideas, methods and ways of thinking
ability to identify processes and strategies for learning
independence as a learner, with readiness to take responsibility for one's own learning, and commitment to continuous reflection, self-evaluation and self-improvement
ability to make decisions on the basis of rigorous and independent thought
ability to test, modify and strengthen one's own views through collaboration and debate
intellectual curiosity
ability to sustain intellectual interest

Skills and abilities in communication

ability to make effective use of oral and written means convey understanding of historical issues and one's interpretation of them.
ability to marshal argument lucidly and coherently
ability to collaborate and to relate to others
readiness to seek and value open feedback to inform genuine self-awareness

Skills and abilities in personal effectiveness

ability to approach historical problems with academic rigour
ability to manage and meet firm deadlines
possession of the confidence to make decisions based on one's understanding and personal/intellectual autonomy
ability to work effectively with others, capitalising on diversities of thinking, experience and skills
KeywordsHistory of Edinburgh
Course organiserDr Sarah Goldsmith
Tel: (0131 6)50 4620
Course secretaryMiss Annabel Samson
Tel: (0131 6)50 3783
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