The philosophical issues associated with studying history are developed here, and students become conscious of the notion that architectural history, as a discipline, itself has a history of its own. This important philosophical issue is examined through various architectural historical themes that include gothic, baroque, neo-classicism, purism, nineteenth-century revivalism, modernism, and post-modernism. Students in this year also undertake a period of self directed study complemented by an appropriate choice of supplementary Option courses.

Topics covered in Texts and Theories in Western Architecture include: Vitruvius and the principles of the classical tradition; Suger, Honnecourt and scholasticism in the middle ages; Alberti, Palladio, and the Italian Renaissance; classicism in France from Philibert de l’Orme to Claude Perrault; Laugier, Boullée, and Neo-Classicism; regulation and economy in the theories of JNL Durand; the École des Beaux Arts; AWN Pugin, John Ruskin, and the Gothic Revival in Britain; Viollet-le-Duc and the Gothic Revival in France; Semper and the idea of taxonomy; Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, and the idea of democracy in architecture; the Bauhaus and Modernism; Le Corbusier; and deconstructionist theory.

Combined Work Placement

This option is available only to third-year History of Art and History of Art and Architectural History students.  It has two aspects: the Work Placement itself, and the Report

Course Description

This course is designed to give honours students experience of applying and developing their knowledge and skills on real projects for host organisations involved in the visual arts or built heritage in or near Edinburgh. The actual work may vary considerably from placement to placement and may range from intensive, work placement-based activity over semester one, followed by report-writing in semester 2, to research-based work paced over the academic year to suit both the host and the student.

The placement will take place on two days per week for one semester or one day per week for two semesters, depending on the nature of the placement and the student’s other course commitments. The assessed output is the work placement report. Progress will be monitored via two meetings and a series of deadlines for interim reports. The final report will be submitted by an agreed date in semester 2.


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