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Semester 1

Creating Edinburgh: The Interdisciplinary City (EFIE08002)


Edinburgh Futures Institute





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Please note that this course is marked on a Pass/Fail basis only, so you will not be awarded a mark or grade upon completion of this course, with no exceptions. It is your responsibility to ensure your home institution accepts this course being shown on your UoE transcript on a Pass/Fail basis.

Course Summary

This 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.

Assessment Information

Written Exam 0%, Coursework 100%, Practical Exam 0%

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