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Course content

Research is central to the study of architecture within the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA). It motivates our intellectual and creative activities and underpins our collaborations with a range of important international and UK-based institutions. We actively promote interdisciplinary approaches to research in architecture.

Our expertise and interests range across the following areas:

Architectural Conservation

Our focus includes conservation theory and history; urban conservation; conservation technology; and the challenges of bridging the gulf between heritage and new architecture.

Architectural History, Theory and Criticism

We have particular strength in the history of architecture in Britain and the British colonial world (18th and 19th centuries); Germany, Central Europe and Russia; modernism in Europe, North America and Africa; Renaissance Italy; the history of landscape; the history of technology; the international history of mass housing and urban development; the theory and philosophy of architecture; the philosophy of place; and critical inquiry and methodology.

Design-led Research and Studio Practice

We focus on research in and through design, as informed by contemporary architectural and cultural theory; studio pedagogy; research-led teaching; and methodologies of urban research and fieldwork.

Digital Media and Design

We have expertise in the spatial, social and philosophical implications of media; the relationship between computers and design practice; cognitive models of human-computer interaction; 3D modelling; mobile computing; the sonic environment; and e-commerce.

Technology, Environment and Sustainability

We offer expertise in lightweight steel structures; the building envelope; concrete construction; design and manufacturing; and sustainable design in both qualitative and quantitative senses, looking at environmental response, design theory, rural planning and user-centred solutions.

The MSc by Research programme comprises a compulsory research methods course, the choice of one optional course and a 20,000-word dissertation based on independent research.


Visit the Architecture (MScR) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

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