This programme is intended for students who seek training in the history, theory and practices associated with cultural landscapes.
It provides methodological and conceptual tools essential for contemporary research and affords the opportunity for the in-depth study of a theme that characterises contemporary landscape research and practice.
The programme provides students with a strong historical and methodological framework for studying historic and contemporary cultural landscapes. Through a combination of coursework, fieldwork projects and supervised project/dissertation research, students will acquire both a breadth of historical understanding and rigorous research practices.
It is transdisciplinary in its approach, taking into account histories and approaches drawn primarily from architecture and contemporary art theory and practice, but the programme also engages with other arts-based and social science disciplines, including cultural geography, the history of art, visual and material culture, literature, digital design and media, anthropology and archaeology.
This programme is structured around three compulsory courses, two thematic courses, one option course, and either a supervised dissertation of 15,000 words, or a 10,000-word project proposal with an associated research portfolio.
The range of thematic pathways and option courses available is determined by key areas of staff research in the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences and is designed to change according to course availability.
The MSc in Cultural Landscapes seeks to provide the following core learning outcomes:
This degree provides preparation for work in industries including heritage management, planning departments, and conservation policy, as well as deepening historical, theoretical and methodological engagement with landscape for those with established public and site-specific art practices. It also prepares students for doctoral-level research
This transdisciplinary programme supports a range of research topics in visual and urban cultural studies, with a particular interest in place and memory, semiotic landscapes, materiality of writing, photography and visual knowledges, curatorial practices and multimodality in representation of research.
The MSc by Research programme enables you to study cultural phenomena, practices and texts at an advanced level, critically engaging with theories and methodologies of transdisciplinary cultural research.
You are required to complete two courses selected in discussion with your supervisor and providing methodological and theoretical grounding for your research project, and a 20,000-word dissertation based on your independent research.
Students’ projects benefit from research expertise of staff from the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture and from our collaborative exchanges across ECA and contacts with local and international research networks, cultural and heritage institutions and archives.
All of our research students benefit from ECA’s interdisciplinary approach and all are assigned two research supervisors. Your second supervisor may be from another discipline within ECA, or from somewhere else within the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences or elsewhere within the University, according to the expertise required. On occasion more than two supervisors will be assigned, particularly where the degree brings together multiple disciplines.
This programme takes an innovative, interdisciplinary approach to the study of contemporary culture and cultural theory.
Adopting transcultural perspectives, we encourage investigations into the questions of identity and representation; the urban realm as a site of intense cultural production; and instructive tensions between spatial, textual, visual and material forms that both shape and are shaped by cultural contexts, specific practices, various image and media technologies and theoretical debates.
In engaging with the complexities of visual knowledge and the technological mediations of images, texts and objects, the programme encourages critical reflections and research methodologies in which image and visual practice contribute to the research corpus and serve as critical tools of investigation.
In exploring social and political conditions in which cultural expressions take place, especially the local and global processes of transformation and contestation, the programme offers a unique focus on the diverse manifestations of material cultures and cultural landscapes.
Multidisciplinary and critical comparative approaches are key facets of the discipline of cultural studies and we welcome students coming from varied academic backgrounds and cultural traditions.
The programme combines seminar and tutorial work with group discussions, class presentations, essays and longer research projects (dissertations).
Both core courses and some option courses employ innovative pedagogies that encourage critical and theoretical reflection through engagement with visual production, visual essays and multimedia presentations.
Option courses are drawn from architecture, history of art and other Schools within the wider University.
By following this programme students will benefit from the following learning outcomes:
Acquire a thorough grounding in key terms, debates and theories framing urban cultural and visual studies.
Expand and refine critical appreciation of current developments and discourses related to urban cultural studies and visual culture.
Acquire and/or further develop their capacity to think in both images and texts, and explore theoretical questions through the engagement in spatial and visual practices.
Acquire and /or further develop their abilities and skills for curating and presenting visual and spatial research.
Gain critical, analytical, interpretative and representational skills that are transferable to both academic and other professional settings.
Throughout the programme, your learning will be supported by guest seminars and critical reviews, film screenings, exhibitions, workshops, field trips and events and directed towards events hosted by the University and other cultural institutions within the city.
This programme is an ideal stepping stone towards advanced study in cultural studies and any related field. This in itself could lead to an ongoing academic career, or a role in education. You may otherwise take the critical, analytical, interpretive and representational skills and apply them in almost any professional setting.