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Architecture, Building & P…×

University of Buckingham, Full Time Masters Degrees in Architecture, Building & Planning

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This course is to be an interdisciplinary programme enabling students to examine, by way of a thesis, aspects of the history of the English country house between 1485 and 1945. Read more

Course Description

This course is to be an interdisciplinary programme enabling students to examine, by way of a thesis, aspects of the history of the English country house between 1485 and 1945. Students will be encouraged to consider the interrelation of architectural history, art history and social history in the evolution of the country house as a political power house, a setting for the display of art and craftsmanship, a self-contained community and a symbol of continuity and loss in a changing world.

The seminar programme, which serves to complement the student’s individual research, will explore these themes in a series of ten meetings which will be addressed by some of the United Kingdom’s most distinguished country house historians. These will be prefaced by an introduction to research techniques, with particular reference to the use of primary sources such as inventories, estate records and collections of private papers; an introduction to relevant library resources available in London and through the University of Buckingham’s online subscriptions; and an introduction to the most recent academic approaches to the subject.

Each seminar will take place in the early evening, followed by a 40-minute question-and-answer session with the seminar speaker, and a dinner at which there will be further questioning of the speaker and a general conversation about the topic in hand. Four seminars will be scheduled for the period between October and December, and a further six in the period between the New Year and March.

The programme begins with an overview of the architectural and social history of the country house and an examination of recent academic perspectives on the subject, including the latest thematic and period-based approaches and studies of particular mansions and individual architects from Robert Smythson to Sir Edwin Lutyens. It goes on to discuss the changing function of the country house between 1485 and 1945, and to explore how architectural form has been modified by social change.

A series of seminar papers will then explore architectural style; the mechanics of building, owning and living in a country house; and the wider cultural context, which has seen the country house playing a crucial role in the invention of the past, from Ben Jonson’s ‘To Penshurst’ to Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited.

Find out more about our School of Humanities on http://www.buckingham.ac.uk/humanities/.

The Course Director

Adrian Tinniswood, OBE, MPhil, Senior Research Fellow of the Humanities Research Institute, Buckingham, and Visiting Fellow in History and Heritage, Bath Spa

Adrian Tinniswood has a distinguished reputation as an architectural and social historian on both sides of the Atlantic. He has worked for many years as a consultant and adviser to the National Trust, and has lectured extensively on the country house and on the architecture and social history of the seventeenth century at British universities including Oxford, Bristol and Nottingham and for the University of California at Berkeley.

His books include His Invention So Fertile: A Life of Christopher Wren, The Verneys (short-listed for the 2007 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction) and The Polite Tourist: Four Centuries of Country House Visiting.

His latest book, The Long Weekend: The Country House Between the Wars, is published by Jonathan Cape in March 2016.

He was awarded an OBE in 2013 for services to heritage.

Associate students

For those wishing to attend the evening research seminar programme, but unable to devote the time to the coursework or to register for the MA degree, there is the option of becoming an Associate Student. This status will enable the student to attend the ten research seminars and to meet the guest lecturers, in the first six months of the programme, but does not require the submission of written work. Associate Students are not registered for, and do not receive, the MA degree.

Apply here http://www.buckingham.ac.uk/humanities/ma/country-house.

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This ground-breaking Master’s programme addresses the urban ‘data revolution’ that has transformed our understanding of the associations between ‘built form’ — buildings and how these relate to each other — and happiness, and both mental health and physical health. Read more
This ground-breaking Master’s programme addresses the urban ‘data revolution’ that has transformed our understanding of the associations between ‘built form’ — buildings and how these relate to each other — and happiness, and both mental health and physical health. Urban designers, however, have often struggled to integrate this emerging evidence into their own practice. The principal aim of this Master’s course is to help urban design professionals, civic leaders, developers or investors to better understand this recent research and to apply it to their work.

The course explores ways in which the processes of evidence gathering and community consultation can be integrated successfully into a creative design process – to blend art and science. It will also provide access to a stimulating body of scholarly literature, and to leading researchers and urban thinkers. The course offers a rich exploration of how various research methods can inform better urban design practice. Graduates will learn to be able to assess the quality of research across a range of disciplines, and understand how this evidence is to be interpreted and appropriately applied. Master’s students will achieve improved data literacy (distinguishing, for example, correlation from causation, mediator from moderator) and acquire the skills needed to utilise the insights derived from this research. The course will employ practical case studies to illuminate the process of commissioning and producing reliable and applicable evidence.

The need for applied academic study of these topics is rendered more urgent by the current British demand for a much-increased rate of house building. Given the consistently lower popularity of recently constructed urban space (as compared with most older designs), there is both a desire and a sense of necessity within government and among many involved in urban planning to improve their ability to create urban spaces and buildings that command general support. There is also added pressure to make better policy and planning decisions, reflected in the recent establishment by the UK Government of the ‘What Works Network’ — an initiative to enable government agencies and other organisations to create, share and use high quality evidence for decision-making.

Location of Seminars and Teaching

This programme is London-based and is co-directed by Nicholas Boys Smith, a Senior Research Fellow, director of Create Streets and Government advisor in urban design, Dr Jamie Anderson, a Knowledge Transfer Fellow based at University of Cambridge, and Jonathan Schifferes, an Associate Director at the Royal Society of Arts.

The Seminar Programme

There are ten seminars held in a central London location. Each will feature internationally distinguished scientists, policy-makers, property researchers and urban designers. The seminars will be held in the early evenings to permit the enrolment of working professionals, and each will be followed by a question session and a working dinner, for those who wish to attend, where there is an opportunity to continue the seminar discussion in an informal environment. Tutorials and meetings with supervisors will take place at the University of Buckingham’s London offices in Bloomsbury: 51 Gower Street, London, WC1E 6HJ.

In addition to the Course Directors, confirmed lecturers include Sir Anthony Seldon (Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham and co-founder of Action for Happiness); Dr David Halpern (Chief Executive of the Behavioural Insights Team – founded by the Cabinet Office and better known as ‘The Nudge Unit’); Professor Yolande Barnes (Director of World Research at Savills and visiting professor at UCL); Professor Philip Steadman (UCL Energy Institute); Dr Kai Ruggeri (Affiliated Lecturer in Psychology, Director of Studies, Corpus Christi, Cambridge and Director of the Policy Research Group); and David Rudlin (Director of URBED and winner of the Wolfson Economic Prize).

The seminar programme will run from October to spring in the course of the academic year. Click on “Teaching & Assessment” for the seminar dates.

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This course is to be an interdisciplinary programme enabling students to examine, by way of a thesis of the usual length allowed for Buckingham Master’s degree dissertations, aspects of Western Architectural History from the medieval period to the mid-twentieth century. Read more
This course is to be an interdisciplinary programme enabling students to examine, by way of a thesis of the usual length allowed for Buckingham Master’s degree dissertations, aspects of Western Architectural History from the medieval period to the mid-twentieth century. Students will be encouraged to consider the interrelation of architectural history, art history and social history.

The seminar programme, which serves to complement the student’s individual research, will explore these themes in a series of twelve meetings, which will be addressed by some of the United Kingdom’s most distinguished architectural historians. These will be prefaced by a general introductory class led by the Course Director, offering an introduction to research techniques, relevant library resources available in London and through the University of Buckingham’s online subscriptions, to relevant museum collections and to the most recent academic approaches to the subject.

Each seminar will take place in central London in the early evening, followed by a 40-minute question-and-answer session with the seminar speakers, all recognised experts in their fields, and a dinner at which there will be further discussion with the speaker and a general conversation about the topic in hand. Six seminars will be scheduled for the period between October and December, and a further six in the period between the New Year and March.

After the course leader’s general introduction, there will be a series of twelve seminar papers which explore the architecture of the Western world: the medieval castle, the Gothic cathedral, Italian renaissance architecture, French and English baroque palace and country house architecture, European baroque church architecture, the inspiration of the Classical world, the Gothic Revival and historicism, Ruskin and Morris and the birth of conservation philosophy, industrialisation and the transformation of urban architecture, colonial architecture, Beaux-Arts architecture in America in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, and the meaning of Modern architecture. Reading lists will be made available before each lecture to allow for background reading and discussion with the expert speakers.

Location for seminars: The Reform Club (104 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5EW) and the University of Buckingham’s London premises at 51 Gower Street (Bloomsbury, London, WC1E 6HJ)

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