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
Architectural History and Heritage involves the study of buildings and places.
We are interested in the built environment as a work of design. More importantly, however, we ask what the built environment can tell us about wider social, cultural and political themes in history. We also consider issues in contemporary architectural heritage.
What do buildings and designs reveal about the past? How do we put them in context? To answer these questions, we use a range of sources:
- the evidence of standing buildings
- architectural plans and drawings
- written sources
We offer an unrivalled variety of study in the historic built environment.
Your teaching will include the extraordinarily rich urban context of Edinburgh itself, as well as the architectural heritage of Europe and beyond.
Edinburgh has a unique concentration of professional architectural historians, all of whom complete research and publish regularly in addition to their roles as teachers.
Our staff specialise in a wide range of topics, spanning periods between:
- ancient and medieval
- early and late modern
- the twentieth century
We also have expertise in heritage theory and conservation practice.
In Year 1, you will:
- study an introductory course covering the development of the built environment from earliest times to the present
- take relevant options in history, archaeology, and history of art
- have the opportunity to choose any other courses in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences that suit your programme and timetable suit your programme and timetable
In Year 2, your learning will expand to consider the city as a social and cultural phenomenon.
- study a course dealing specifically with techniques and practices concerning heritage management and conservation
- have the opportunity to take optional courses from across Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) and the wider College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
In Year 3, you will:
- study Texts and Theories in Western Architecture
- deepen your study of the built environment by taking a number of specialist courses in the history of architecture, from the Medieval period, through the early and late modern periods, and into the twentieth century
- have the opportunity to complete a work placement, giving you first-hand experience of conservation in practice
In Year 4, 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 on this programme takes place across a range of facilities, all located in the Central Area. This includes lecture theatres and seminar rooms, as well as on site at city locations.
You will also have access to our libraries, which have extensive holdings in the history of art and architecture.
####Investing in our learning environment
The University is investing in the Edinburgh College of Art estate and facilities. This will further develop our supportive, stimulating and sustainable learning and research environment.
You can find out more on the ECA website.
Placements are an important part of the programme in Year 3.
You will usually go on placement with a local heritage-based organisation.
You will gain experience in assessing and studying methods and strategies for managing the historic built environment.
You will have opportunities to study abroad.
In Year 3, we offer a dedicated exchange opportunity with architectural history at the University of Virginia in the United States.
We organise other exchange opportunities with the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA) Exchanges Coordinator. These vary in timing and location.
Each year, the Ben Pentreath Fund allows Years 3 and 4 students to make a trip to a European destination.
This is an opportunity to study and discuss major works of architecture in context.
How will I learn?
Courses are taught through:
- study trips
- practical experience
How will I be assessed?
You will be assessed through:
In Year 4, you will complete a dissertation.
Our graduates go on to careers in:
- land management
- heritage or historical consultancy
You can also go on to work in a wide range of other areas where you can use the research and communication skills you will learn with this degree.
As a student, you can visit the University Careers Service for help and advice about your future.
Standard entry requirement
The standard entry requirement is:
- SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S5 or AABB/ABBBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
- A Levels: ABB.
- IB: 34 points with 655 at HL.
Minimum entry requirement
The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:
- SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
- A Levels: ABB.
- IB: 34 points with 655 at HL.
The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:
- SQA: Highers: no specific Higher subjects required. National 5s: English at C.
- A Levels: no specific A Level subjects required. GCSEs: English at C or 4.
- IB: HL: no specific subjects required. SL: English at 5.
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.
Regardless of your nationality or country of residence, you must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.
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 at C
- GCSE at C or 4
- Level 2 Certificate at C
- IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)
English language tests
We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:
- IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 5.5 in each component.
- TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
- C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 176 with at least 162 in each component.
- Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
- PTE Academic: total 62 with at least 54 in each component.
(Revised 29 August 2023 to remove PTE Academic Online)
We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.
English language qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the degree you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, PTE Academic, TOEFL or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.
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 Discover Uni 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.
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