MA Architectural History and Heritage
UCAS code: VV31
Duration: 4 years
School: Edinburgh College of Art
College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
Introducing MA Architectural History and Heritage
Architecture offers the capacity to explore wider social, cultural, and political themes. This undergraduate programme in Architectural History and Heritage is rooted in this potential and places the history of architecture, fine art, and heritage management within the context of urbanism and the cultural history of cities.
Teaching takes place through lectures, tutorials, practical demonstrations, site visits and field research. These draw on the extraordinarily rich urban context of Edinburgh itself, as well as the architectural heritage of Europe and beyond. With its unique concentration of professional architectural historians, Edinburgh offers an unrivalled breadth of study in the historic built environment.
Our staff specialise in topics ranging from ancient and medieval, through the early and late modern periods, to the twentieth century, including expertise in heritage theory and conservation practice. Our programme engages with the latest research in all these areas.
The programme begins with a Year 1 introductory course covering the development of the built environment from earliest times to the present. You will also take relevant options in history, archaeology, and history of art, or any other course in the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences that suits your programme and timetable.
The programme builds up in Year 2 by broadening out to consider the city as a social and cultural phenomenon. In this year you will also take a course dealing specifically with techniques and practices concerning heritage management and conservation.
As in Year 1 you will have further opportunities to take option courses from across Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) and the wider College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences.
You will study Texts & Theories in Western Architecture and have the opportunity to deepen your study of the built environment by taking a number of specialist option courses in the history of architecture, ranging from the Medieval period, through the early and late modern periods, into the twentieth century.
In this year you will also undertake a specialist building archaeology course that will teach historic building identification and recording techniques, as well as translation and analysis of this data in digital format. In addition, you will undertake a work placement where you will gain first-hand experience of conservation in practice.
Specialist honours courses are chosen on the same basis as Year 3. You will also complete a major supervised research dissertation on a topic of your choosing.
Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.
To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.
Teaching takes place across a range of facilities all located in the Central Area.
You have access to design studios, well-equipped workshops, computer labs and libraries.
The University is investing in the Edinburgh College of Art (ECA ) estate and facilities to further develop our flexible, stimulating, supportive and sustainable learning and research environment for students and staff.
Further information is available on the ECA website.
Placements comprise a core component of the programme in Years 3 and 4. This usually entails attachment to a local heritage-based organisation where experience can be gained in assessing and studying methods and strategies for managing the historic built environment.
Study abroad options are available. The programme has a dedicated exchange opportunity with architectural history at the University of Virginia in the United States, which is available to students in Year 3.
Further exchange opportunities are organised in conjunction with the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA) Exchanges Coordinator and vary according to timing and location.
The Ben Pentreath Fund allows for an annual programme trip to a major European capital for students in Years 3 and 4, providing an unrivalled opportunity to study and discuss major works of architecture in context.
How will I learn?
Courses are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, projects, study trips and practical experience.
How will I be assessed?
You will be assessed by a combination of coursework, exams and presentations. There is a dissertation submission in Year 4.
Graduates can have careers in conservation, land management, heritage or historical consultancy, and education.
The typical offer is likely to be:
- SQA Highers: ABBB.
- A Levels: ABB.
- IB: 34 points (655 at HL).
The access threshold for a contextual offer is:
- SQA Highers: ABBB.
- A Levels: ABB.
- IB: 34 points (655 at HL).
Detailed requirements for all applicants
The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:
- SQA: ABBB by end of S5 or ABBBB/AABB from S4-S6, with a minimum of BBB achieved in one year of S4-S6. National 5: English at Grade C. (Revised 22/10/2018 to reflect that we no longer require Mathematics or an approved science.)
- A Levels: ABB. GCSEs: English at Grade C or 4. (Revised 22/10/2018 to reflect that we no longer require Mathematics or an approved science.)
- IB: Award of Diploma with 34 points overall and grades 655 in HL subjects. SL: English at 5. (Revised 22/10/2018 to reflect that we no longer require Mathematics or an approved science.)
We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
International Foundation Programme
If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.
We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.
You must provide evidence that your written and spoken English is at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.
English language tests
If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:
- IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component
- TOEFL-iBT 92 or above with 20 in each section
- Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component
- Pearson Test of English (Academic): Total 61 with at least 51 in each "Communicative Skills" section
- Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components
SQA, GCSE and IB
For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:
- SQA National 5 Grade C
- SQA Standard Grade 3
- SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A
- SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C
- GCSE Grade C or 4
- Level 2 Certificate Grade C
- IB Standard Level Grade 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)
This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.
It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.
Please note that some programmes do not have Unistats data available.
For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.
- College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Undergraduate Admissions Office
- Email: CAHSS.UGAdmissions@ed.ac.uk
- Phone: +44 (0)131 650 3565
- Web: Architecture and Architectural History & Heritage website
- International enquiries
Search the degree finder
3 degrees in Architecture and Architectural History & Heritage
- Architectural History and Archaeology (MA) VVH4
- Architectural History and Heritage (MA) VV31
- Architecture (BA/MA) K100