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Creative Arts & Design×

University of Edinburgh, Full Time Masters Degrees in Creative Arts & Design

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This innovative programme offers the best of studio-based design learning in an online context. You will work together, and with colleagues located on campus in Edinburgh, to realise imaginative design outcomes and acquire wide skills in digital visual and audio techniques. Read more

Programme description

This innovative programme offers the best of studio-based design learning in an online context.

You will work together, and with colleagues located on campus in Edinburgh, to realise imaginative design outcomes and acquire wide skills in digital visual and audio techniques.

You will investigate practice contexts for application across the arts, entertainment, performance and industry. You will also probe the social, cultural and commercial implications of such developments.

The programme addresses the needs of practitioners, managers, decision-makers and educators who want to be informed by first-hand knowledge of the technical possibilities of digital technology and an awareness of social, cultural and business contexts.

Online learning

Teaching is through a combination of streamed/podcasted lectures, online seminars/tutorials and virtual studio activities.

Projects bring out original thinking and independent achievement within a framework of independent study, virtual team-working and creative ability.

You will also engage closely, though from a distance, with colleagues following our highly successful established programmes in Design and Digital Media and Sound Design.

Some courses may offer opportunities to study for specific periods in Edinburgh.

Career opportunities

The prospects for employment are diverse. Recent graduates from the closely allied on-campus programme in Design and Digital Media are now working in multimedia and web design for architectural and urban design practices, advertising, computer system design and management, and tertiary level teaching. The programme is also ideal if you are considering continuing on to advanced research at a doctoral level.

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This exciting programme of study for students wishing to develop the craft and philosophy of costume design for live performance, screen or site-specific installation is unique in its approach. Read more

Applications for the MA are closed for 2016/17.

Programme description

This exciting programme of study for students wishing to develop the craft and philosophy of costume design for live performance, screen or site-specific installation is unique in its approach.

Our students develop their concepts and creativity by interpreting a text or exploring a theme, thinking about character, movement and the performance environment. Instruction in the skills of pattern cutting, textile manipulation, millinery, puppetry, set design, computer aided design, welding, knitting, illustration and life drawing help students expand their skills base.

Students work on developing a comprehensive understanding of fabric, costume design and cutting, while exploring the historical and dramatic perspectives of the discipline and the process of performance.

This creative freedom and the combination of the practical developing alongside the conceptual, provides our students with a wide range of skills and a flexibility valued and highly respected by the industry.

Postgraduate students are ideally placed to study the interaction between costume and the other arts such as fashion, textiles, jewellery, film and TV, animation, illustration, installation, music and dance, and to take part in collaborations inside and outside of the University.

Thanks to our extensive national and international links with theatre, dance, film, television and opera companies, plus our network of freelance designers, you’ll be supported in sourcing work experience and other hands-on opportunities that will give you real-world skills and experience.

Programme structure

This programme is assessed by the production of a body of practical and written work on an agreed, self-initiated topic which can take advantage of the many local and international performance-based opportunities.

This programme is project-led. Your study will combine practical studio work with theoretical and written studies, including professional practice elements to prepare you for employment in the industry, and a lecture/seminar series which will examine the wider context of your studies.

Career opportunities

Postgraduate studies in performance costume open up access to a wide range of work for the stage and screen. You will benefit from the superb reputation of this programme and may find employment within the spheres of drama, opera, film and television.

Our graduates have an outstanding record of success within the industry, most recently including a costume designer for British television series Downton Abbey.

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This programme encourages practices that are speculative and reflective, supporting work in a range of media. It is concerned with ways of learning that are experiential – embodied through and understood by the acquisition of a practice. Read more

Programme description

This programme encourages practices that are speculative and reflective, supporting work in a range of media. It is concerned with ways of learning that are experiential – embodied through and understood by the acquisition of a practice.

During the late 20th century, developments within visual art introduced new processes and situations, which resulted in an expanded concept of artistic practice.

Media-related disciplines supported by the programme include sculpture, painting and printmaking, photography, audio-visual and new media. The programme also encompasses approaches to practice that are non media-specific, including intermedia, time-based arts, performance, installation, public art and art writing.

Programme structure

You may complete the MA in one year, or continue on to the MFA. You will have access to a designated studio space and a wide range of studio equipment, technicians and resources, including printmaking, metal, wood, casting, painting, photography, reprographic and digital facilities.

Our students often work in groups across subject areas in the School of Art and collaborate throughout the year on critical, creative and curatorial projects. This gives you a unique opportunity to integrate the fields of art practice, art writing and curating, culminating in an exhibition of your own work or in a research project of your own design.

We regularly organise field trips and offer short residency and project opportunities with our local and international partners.

The programme also involves the theoretical study of this family of media and approaches, drawing on related fields and methods.

Facilities

Students on this programme will benefit from studio-based learning in Edinburgh College of Art's (ECA) historic Lauriston Place campus, along with the exhibitions and events associated with a vibrant art college. The art college experience will be complemented by the University's extensive range of student support facilities, its libraries, student societies, and student accommodation.

Our purpose-built studios are adaptable, serving both as working studios and project and exhibition spaces. Our workshops and foundry provide excellent accommodation for working in wood, metal, mould-making, casting and carving and there are facilities for working with sound, digital imaging and video editing.

The programme develops from a broad to a specialist understanding of the technical resources and validating contexts in which artists work today, drawing inspiration and nourishment from the experience of our international student cohort.

Career opportunities

This programme enables you to develop an ambitious art practice as well as providing you with the organisational and economic knowledge required to thrive as a self-employed artist. You will also be qualified to teach studio art in higher education and to work in the contemporary art sector.

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This unique and stimulating programme allows you to explore crucial concepts in the development of film theory and film-philosophy with an emphasis on auteur cinema. Read more

Programme description

This unique and stimulating programme allows you to explore crucial concepts in the development of film theory and film-philosophy with an emphasis on auteur cinema.

We aim to give our students the opportunity to engage seriously with the analysis of film.

No prior philosophical training is necessary, but a love of cinema and an appreciation of its importance as an art form and critical medium is crucial. Edinburgh is an ideal environment for the study of cinema: we are home to the world-renowned Edinburgh International Film Festival, first-rate art house cinemas, a lively film culture and many job opportunities.

The MSc Film Studies is designed to make you familiar with the major concepts and theories of film but also to explore the burgeoning field of film-philosophy.

The programme will provide you with the analytical and critical tools for the investigation of individual films and the opportunity to discuss these in relation to specific movements and genres as well as contexts of production and reception.

Programme structure

Over two semesters, taught in small seminars, you will complete two compulsory and two option courses, and will be trained in research methods and skills. You will then complete a dissertation project under individual supervision.

Compulsory courses:

Film Theory
Film-Philosophy

Option courses may include:

Cinema Auteurs
Cinema and Society in South Asia
Contemporary Japanese Cinema
Film Adaptation
Film and Gender
Film and Religion
Gender, Revolution and Modernity in Chinese Cinema
Mediating Film
Music on Screen

Career opportunities

This programme is an excellent chance to develop your cinematic interests and knowledge and to build your CV with a view to a career in academia, or in any film or media related field.

You will be introduced to Scotland’s lively film culture, with exceptional opportunities to network within the field.

You will also gain transferable skills in communication, research and project management that can be applied to any career you decide to pursue.

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In this dynamic programme you’ll build on your existing musical skills and develop a greater understanding of the theories and techniques of digital composition and performance. Read more

Programme description

In this dynamic programme you’ll build on your existing musical skills and develop a greater understanding of the theories and techniques of digital composition and performance.

A focus of the programme is bridging the gap between the musical vision and its performance. With this in mind, you will be encouraged to perform your own music in live situations and take your place at the forefront of your music’s realisation.

An emphasis is also placed on the field of digital composition within a wider context, which you will address through seminar work. You’ll learn how to plan a technological project and translate your musical ideas into interactive computer music programmes and/or scores.

Programme structure

Your study will take the form of weekly lectures or seminars, as well as at least 10 hours a week on project work.

You will complete six courses.

In semester 1:

Real-Time Performance Strategies and Design
Composers’ Seminar A
a choice of Sound Design Media, Compositional Practice A, Principles of Composition for Screen or another course as agreed with the Programme Director

In semester 2:

Non Real-Time Systems
Composers’ Seminar B
a choice of Digital Media Studio Project, Compositional Practice B or another course as agreed with the Programme Director
In addition, over the spring and summer, you will prepare a final digital composition and performance project.

Learning outcomes

Students will gain in-depth knowledge of:

how to make music with computers
the combination of hardware and software systems in music performance
music programming both in real-time (e.g. Max/MSP) and non-real-time e.g. slippery chicken
audio production and post-production
how to plan, execute, realise, and document a musical-technological project
how to translate musical ideas into fully-functioning interactive music software
their own creative practice in the context of past and present cultural developments

Career opportunities

As this programme involves a wide range of disciplines both technical and artistic, you will gain a number of transferable skills ranging from the core matters of composition, audio production and music programming to more indirect but highly employable skills such as research, documentation, critical thinking, oral presentation, teamwork and software development.

Our graduates have gone on to be employed as composers, performers, researchers, Cirque du Soleil sound technicians, university lecturers, software engineers, BBC sound recordists, web designers, multimedia/ video streaming engineers, and DJs.

See our alumni webpage for details of the careers of recent graduates:

[Music Alumni] (http://www.dcp.music.ed.ac.uk/alumni.php)

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This programme develops skills in the critical study of musical instruments, and familiarises students with the examination of historic instruments, and with the evaluation of documentary information sources and iconography. Read more

Programme description

This programme develops skills in the critical study of musical instruments, and familiarises students with the examination of historic instruments, and with the evaluation of documentary information sources and iconography.

You will learn the history and relevant literature of the most important instruments of western art music. You will be able to examine historic instruments, carry out research and draw conclusions about their operation.

Programme structure

Weekly two-hour tutorials will be held in the Collection of Historic Musical Instruments galleries. In each semester you write a research paper of about 3,000 words in length. Following the second semester, you will carry out original research in organology and write a dissertation.

Learning outcomes

Students who study the programme will learn the history and relevant literature of the most important instruments of Western art music. They will be able to examine historic instruments, carry out research and draw conclusions about their operation.

Career opportunities

This programme will supply skills in research methodologies that will allow you to extend a specialised area of interest into further study. This in turn may lead to an academic career. You may instead wish to move into a curatorial role, either within a public institution or with one of the many private collections that exist worldwide.

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If you are interested in undertaking a small independent research project in music, the one-year MSc by Research is ideal. This programme is offered in any of the areas in which members of our music staff are able to supervise. Read more

Research profile

If you are interested in undertaking a small independent research project in music, the one-year MSc by Research is ideal. This programme is offered in any of the areas in which members of our music staff are able to supervise.

In consultation with your supervisor you will develop an individual programme of coursework and research training over the two semesters. You will submit a dissertation, or portfolio of projects equivalent to 30,000 words.

Should you wish to undertake a large piece of independent research in music we have a wealth of opportunities. Candidates are normally admitted as probationary students for the first year of study and on satisfactory completion of this first year are approved for registration for MPhil or PhD. You will submit a dissertation of 60,000 words for the MPhil, or 80,000–100,000 words for the PhD. You may also submit an edition of work, or works, with a shorter commentary. Staff have a wide range of research interests, and you may propose projects in any area for consideration.

Members of staff engage in research at an international level in:

Composition (including Electroacoustic Composition, Algorithmic Composition, and Computer Music)
Film Music
Music in the Community
Music Psychology
Music Technology
Organology
Performance Practice
Renaissance and Baroque Music
19th and 20th century Music
Popular Music and Music Sociology

Interdisciplinary research can also be supervised in the following areas:

Acoustics of Musical Instruments
Musical Informatics
Music and Architecture
Music Education

The principal centres of research activity are:

Composition
Musicology
Institute for Music in Human and Social Development
Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments
Music Informatics Research Group
Musical Acoustics
Music in the Community

Training and support

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 Humanities & Social Science 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.

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This innovative programme gives you an in-depth knowledge of Renaissance and Early Modern culture from an interdisciplinary perspective. Read more

Programme description

This innovative programme gives you an in-depth knowledge of Renaissance and Early Modern culture from an interdisciplinary perspective.

It also offers the opportunity to work closely with Renaissance and Early Modern collections in Edinburgh, from paintings by Botticelli or Titian, to early printed editions of Shakespeare, pioneering scientific texts, historic buildings and archival documents.

Programme structure

The first two semesters are based around small-group teaching and a combination of lectures, seminars and tutorials. As well as the choice of a full range of option courses taught by experts in different humanities subjects, you will have the opportunity to choose an internship at a local museum, gallery or library, subject to availability. There may also be the option of an intensive course taught in Italy, subject to availability.

If the internship option is taken, this will require you to work one day a week at the host institution. From April to September, you will be engaged full-time researching and writing your dissertation.

Learning outcomes

Students will develop:

an interdisciplinary understanding of the key changes in European cultural life between the Renaissance and the Enlightenment;
familiarity with the variety of materials that can be used to explore this cultural life and the changes it underwent;
a critical understanding of some of the principal ways in which these changes have been conceptualised and their significance articulated by scholars, past and present;
skills that will allow them to undertake the kind of independent research required in fields such as collections management and curatorship, work in historic buildings or landmarks, as well as going on to further academic research at PhD level.

Career opportunities

You may choose to take your research skills and advanced knowledge into the area of doctoral research and work towards an academic career. Alternatively, you will be equipped to enter the cultural heritage field, especially with the practical experience you gain through the internship element of this programme.

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The MSc by Research in Sound Design is aimed at those with considerable practical experience of sound design, but who wish to pursue further study, researching a particular area of this field. Read more

Research profile

The MSc by Research in Sound Design is aimed at those with considerable practical experience of sound design, but who wish to pursue further study, researching a particular area of this field.

Graduates will be able to engage critically with the social, cultural, technical and theoretical aspects of sound art, design, digital composition and digital media.

Training and support

You will learn via a research methods course, reading courses and selections from an interdisciplinary menu of course options, with supervision from an academic active in your research area.

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 Humanities & Social Science 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.

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This programme takes a project-led, practice-based collaborative approach. Students choose to make a documentary or fictional film and develop these through workshops and tutorials. Read more

Programme description

This programme takes a project-led, practice-based collaborative approach. Students choose to make a documentary or fictional film and develop these through workshops and tutorials. Our students work within an integrated framework that questions the form of their film and enables them to find the right language for their storytelling.

The programme encourages ways of working that foster the important exchange of ideas, using the most up-to-date equipment. As part of the Skillset Screen Academy in Scotland we also offer mentorship within the industry and ensure that all tutors are top professionals. Many of our students already work in the industry and we aim to encourage a fresh approach to emerging technologies.

Over the last few years we have received an Oscar nomination for an MA film made here and an Oscar shortlist for a film made by a recent graduate. We work closely with the Scottish Documentary Institute, the University’s internationally-acclaimed research centre in documentary film making.

Programme structure

This programme is project-led and delivered through workshops and regular individual tutorials. It integrates practical studio work with theoretical and written studies, including professional practice elements. Past placements and collaborations include work on Cloud Atlas directed by Tom Tykwer and Andy Wachowski.

Career opportunities

Our students go on to a wide range of roles, including producer, director, writer, production or location manager, researcher, editor, assistant director, cinematographer, or journalist. Graduates have found work directing for the BBC and making work internationally for top broadcasters and film funds. Related fields include advertising, community films, academia or film development agencies.

Creative Skillset

Creative Skillset This programme has been awarded the Creative Skillset Tick, the industry kitemark of quality, following a rigorous assessment process by experts working in the creative industries. The Creative Skillset Tick is awarded to practice-based courses which best prepare students for a career in the industry.

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Glass is a medium that crosses a range of disciplines and is used by artists, craftspeople and designers alike. This award-winning programme explores glass as a design tool that encourages process-led risk and play, in parallel with the prototyping and resolution of designed objects. Read more

Programme description

Glass is a medium that crosses a range of disciplines and is used by artists, craftspeople and designers alike. This award-winning programme explores glass as a design tool that encourages process-led risk and play, in parallel with the prototyping and resolution of designed objects.

Courses cover contemporary design issues including material narratives, interdisciplinary crossover and post-digital practices, as well as studio and client-based projects.

You will focus on the materiality of glass, explore new boundaries through the integrated relationship between process and theory, and be encouraged to position yourself within and beyond the disciplines of glass.

This programme is unique in Scotland and ECA is one of the few centres of excellence in this discipline in the UK. Comprehensive glass and plaster workshops are complemented by state-of-the-art digital fabrication labs, woodwork, metalwork and bronze foundry, enabling you to experience the complete design journey from conception to the production of glass at the highest level.

You will benefit from visiting professional practitioners and lecturers and will have the opportunity to participate in live projects and competitions. The curriculum combines programme and student-led activity, delivered through workshops, group seminars and individual tutorials.

You will negotiate and develop a programme of study based on personal areas of practice-based research. We foster interdisciplinary collaboration with other departments creating a unique student experience and rich opportunities for learning.

Programme structure

This programme combines directed and self-directed practice-based studio projects with theoretical and written studies, including professional practice elements to prepare you for employment in the industry, and a lecture/seminar series to examine the wider context of your studies.

The programme focuses on providing the tools of craft and design through comprehensive professional practice workshops, focused on the specific requirements of the designer maker. You will produce a body of practical and written work on an agreed, self-initiated project. MFA students produce an additional extended body of work.

Career opportunities

As a graduate you will discover a diverse range of career opportunities. Alumni have worked within the production of individual designed objects, as lead designers within industry, as gallery representation, on commissioned major public artworks, and in teaching and leading positions within creative practices.

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This programme encourages students to take a risk, to test the boundaries of the discipline and push their design ideas beyond personally predetermined limits. Read more

Programme description

This programme encourages students to take a risk, to test the boundaries of the discipline and push their design ideas beyond personally predetermined limits. There is a strong international student input which introduces diverse experience and encourages wide-ranging thinking.

You will develop an enhanced research and design proposal, culminating in a new body of work that will showcase your heightened development and achievements.

This unique and convention-breaking programme has a strong emphasis on personal creative freedom and design innovation, ensuring you have the best chance of employment and career development upon graduation.

You will be encouraged to challenge your existing research and design knowledge and develop new skills and networks. You are expected to experiment and explore – independent study is paramount but underpinned by a number of supporting projects, workshops and events.

We expect collaboration within the School of Design, with the creative industries and where appropriate with external clients to allow you to realise personal and project possibilities to the full.

We encourage bold, lateral thinking, coupled with a clear understanding of process and technique, to produce innovative, emotive and enduring design from students who learn through intense, sustained involvement with the design process.

Programme structure

The curriculum is student-led with an emphasis on independent learning. With tutorial guidance, you will negotiate and develop a programme of study based on personal areas of practice and research, alongside set projects to support and inform your line of enquiry.

You will initially focus on the research and development of a study proposal. With support from our dynamic team of experienced tutors (all industry practitioners or researchers) you will be encouraged to expand on your preconceived ideas and let your findings dictate future development. We expect you to engage in sophisticated design dialogue to push your ideas to their full potential. There is a hotbed of debate and prototyping before any designs are taken into production.

The written context of the programme helps amplify and contextualise your understanding of process and this wider awareness of design feeds back into your practice-based work. You will produce one written context assessment per semester.

Career opportunities

Possibilities for employment in graphic design are varied and plentiful, ranging from corporate assignments within design agencies to independent freelance commissions, for both screen and print.

Other career destinations you may pursue cover a wide range of visual communication, including advertising, motion graphics, publishing, exhibition work, teaching and the administrative side of the design business.

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Postgraduate illustration reflects the diversity of this subject and the opportunities that exist in areas such as advertising, graphic and web design, publishing, theatre, television and museums. Read more

Programme description

Postgraduate illustration reflects the diversity of this subject and the opportunities that exist in areas such as advertising, graphic and web design, publishing, theatre, television and museums.

You’ll be encouraged to explore diverse possibilities within the subject, with support from highly accomplished and respected staff, all of whom have understanding and expertise in the art of illustration.

Facilities include excellent studio space and extensive printmaking resources, and a weekly life drawing class. You will also have the chance to study bookbinding, book arts, digital technologies and web publishing. The programme emphasises collaboration with writers, designers and publishers and many of our postgraduates have seen their work published.

You’ll be encouraged to take part in national and international competitions and possibly join the ranks of our students who have exhibited and won prizes in prestigious events, such as the V&A Student Illustration Awards, Penguin Book Awards, 3x3 and Image Nation.

Programme structure

This programme offers an excellent opportunity for independent, focused study. MA students produce a body of practical and written work on an agreed topic. MFA students produce an additional extended range of work, appropriate to the length of the course. Both are project-led.

Your study will combine practical studio work with theoretical and written studies, including professional practice elements to prepare you for employment in the industry, and a lecture/seminar series that will examine the wider context of your studies.

Career opportunities

Graduates explore an exciting and diverse range of careers, including working as picture book illustrators, designers, freelance illustrators, artists and craftsmen, or in leading agencies.

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Covering the study and design of interior space in relation to a wide range of public and private environments, this programme will guide you through innovative design projects that will enable you to explore the design potential of existing buildings and find new uses for old or redundant spaces. Read more

This programme is not currently accepting applications.

Programme description

Covering the study and design of interior space in relation to a wide range of public and private environments, this programme will guide you through innovative design projects that will enable you to explore the design potential of existing buildings and find new uses for old or redundant spaces.

You’ll be encouraged to focus on the aspects of interior design that you find interesting or personally relevant, and take charge of the direction of your coursework.

Visits from industry practitioners, along with our strong links with commercial design consultancies and architectural practices, are invaluable in providing opportunities for expert advice and critical appraisal.

Programme structure

All programmes integrate practical studio work with theoretical and written studies, including professional practice elements to prepare you for employment in the industry, and a lecture/seminar series to examine the wider context of your studies. The aim is to encourage and support postgraduate students who wish to explore interior design as a means of expressing ideas and opinions.

For assessment, students produce a body of practical and written work on an agreed, self-initiated topic. This may include set projects within the programme curriculum.

Career opportunities

We have an enviable track record of success as our graduates set up their own businesses or gain architectural design work here in the UK or overseas.

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Book History is a dynamic and rapidly growing area of interdisciplinary study that examines the book as an artefact in material culture. Read more

Programme description

Book History is a dynamic and rapidly growing area of interdisciplinary study that examines the book as an artefact in material culture. This programme brings together theory and practice in new and innovative ways. We study the production, circulation and reception of books from manuscript to e-books, paying attention to the histories of reading and authorship.

The programme integrates traditional bibliography, advanced theoretical approaches, training in special collections, and hands-on experience. You will be taught by leading experts at the University’s renowned Centre for the History of the Book. Field trips and work placements will allow you to take advantage of the exceptional collections in Edinburgh.

The programme attracts outstanding students from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds. The degree is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.

Programme structure

You will complete two core and two option courses, along with training in research methods. You will then complete a supervised, independently-researched dissertation on a topic of your choice.

Compulsory courses:

Cultures of the Book
Working with Collections
Option courses may include:

Critical Theory: Issues and Debates
Shakespeare's Sister: Archival Research and the Politics of the Canon
Sex and God in Victorian Poetry
Exploring the Novel
Censorship

Work placement/internship opportunities

Work placements allow students to take advantage of the exceptional resources in Edinburgh for the study of books in order to gain hands-on experience that will be beneficial in their future careers.

Placements may take place internally, for example in the Centre for Research Collections at the University Library, or externally with several partner organisations.

You will receive training from the placement supervisor, and will undertake well-defined projects in the course of your placement, such as cataloguing, conservation, collation, digitisation and other kinds of work.

You will reflect on your placement in a poster presentation, and it will provide material for an academic essay. Regular academic oversight of the work placement will be provided by the Course Organiser.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the programme, you will have a firm grasp of:

the extensive range of media forms and technologies, from manuscript to electronic text
the issues surrounding conservation, cataloguing, digitisation, and the display and management of collections
advanced archival research methodologies in manuscript and print

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