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Postgraduate Certificate in Architectural History

Course Description

The Postgraduate Certificate in Architectural History covers English architectural history from the Anglo-Saxon period to the present day. It will be of interest to those seeking to develop their
• knowledge of the broad sweep of English architecture
• understanding of the evolution of the historic environment more widely
• practical skills of recording and analysing buildings.

Visit the website https://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/about/postgraduate-certificate-in-architectural-history

What the course offers

The Architectural History course is part-time and consists of three taught units and a dissertation. The taught units are delivered in association with the MSc in Historic Conservation course at Oxford Brookes University. The first two units, Historical Studies, are taught at OUDCE, Rewley House, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford, and the third unit, Site Evaluation and Survey, is taught at Oxford Brookes in Headington. The dissertation is supervised within OUDCE.

Teaching takes place on Monday mornings, from 9.30am to 1pm, over three terms commencing in the autumn each year. Some sessions in Unit 3 will be held on Monday afternoons between 2pm and 5.30pm, and one continues on to a Tuesday.

The number of Certificate students is normally limited to10 in each year. There may be up to a further 25 students in each class from Oxford Brookes University.

Although it offers a qualification in its own right, the course is designed to enable successful students to progress to the Oxford Brookes MSc in Historic Conservation with exemption from the three taught units, subject to the admission requirements of Oxford Brookes University.

Programme details

Units 1 and 2 are linked and taught in consecutive terms. Their aim is to enable students to acquire an understanding of the evolution of England's architecture, and of different approaches to the history of buildings.

Unit 1: Historical Studies 1
Settlement, Landscape and Medieval Buildings

Unit 1 concentrates on the medieval period. It provides an introduction to the evolution of the landscape and the major elements of architectural history in England up to the sixteenth century.

The aim of the unit is to enable a student to acquire a sound understanding of the basic development of medieval buildings and their context.

Teaching is by means of lectures and field trips. Students also need to ensure they have sufficient time for directed reading and private study. Tutorials are available by request.

Assessment: three essays each of 1,500 words.

Unit 2: Historical Studies 2
Post-Medieval Buildings

The unit will continue the themes introduced in Historical Studies 1 and will analyse the major architectural developments from the sixteenth century to the present century.

The unit will seek to build on the achievements of Historical Studies 1 to enable students to acquire a sound understanding of the development of English architectural history and its broader context down to the present century in a manner which is relevant to historic conservation.

Teaching is by means of lectures. Students also need to ensure they have sufficient time for directed reading and private study. Tutorials are available by request.
Assessment: two essays each of 2,000 words.

Unit 3: Site evaluation and survey: Local Historic Building Survey
Held at Oxford Brookes University, Headington.

This is a skill-based unit designed to develop expertise in understanding the special architectural and historical characteristics of a particular site, building (or group of buildings) and to develop techniques for its representation through research, measurement, and drawn/photographic recording.

This unit will develop the skills necessary to plan, prepare and execute a programme for the recording of structures and sites, and will create an awareness of the main sources of archive material for investigations into historic buildings, sites and monuments. It provides an introduction to the making of a competent analytical record of a site through text, photographic and measured surveys, and drawn representation.

Teaching is by means of lectures, field trips and practical sessions, which need to be supplemented by private study and individual fieldwork.

Assessment: portfolio record of a selected building to be submitted by mid-May 2017.

Unit 4: Individual dissertation
To provide an opportunity for an extended exploration of a single topic based on primary and secondary research to demonstrate the skills and knowledge gained in the other elements of the course.

An 8,000-word dissertation on a subject relevant to architectural history, chosen in consultation with the course tutor and due for submission by the end of August 2017. Dissertations are supervised within OUDCE.

Dissertation topics are chosen during Hilary Term, and all students make a short initial presentation of their subject in the last session of that term. There may be another class seminar in June, by agreement with the students. Individual supervisions are given at mutually convenient times from May to the end of July. Dissertations are submitted by the end of August.

Programme outcome

By the end of the course students should have achieved:

• a broad understanding of English architectural history
• an awareness of the critical literature relating to the subject
• the ability to make a record of a building
• the ability to conduct independent research.

Assessment methods

Assessment will be by coursework. The three units and the dissertation will each count for 25% of the final mark. To be successfully awarded the Certificate, you will need to attend 80% of the taught classes and achieve an overall mark of 50%. Full regulations and examination conventions can be obtained from the Registry, OUDCE, Rewley House, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JA.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/courses/pgcert-architectural-history

Visit the Postgraduate Certificate in Architectural History page on the University of Oxford website for more details!

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Student Profiles

Oxford scholarships - No. of awards TBC

Key facts :
There are over 1,000 full graduate scholarships available for courses starting in 2016-17. Full scholarships will cover your course and college fees and provide a grant for living costs.For over 70% of Oxford scholarships, nothing more than the standard course application is usually required. If you fulfil the eligibility criteria, you will be automatically considered.
The vast majority of Oxford scholarships are awarded to applicants who submit their course application by the January deadline. Oxford scholarships worth over £1,000 are advertised through the Fees, Funding and Scholarship Search. You should use this tool to find out whether you are eligible for scholarships which require an additional application. If you are, the tool will include links to full details of how to apply.In order to be considered for some scholarships offered by departments, you need to enter a scholarship reference code in the relevant section of the graduate application form. If this is the case, the code will be provided in the scholarship information given on department websites. When are Oxford scholarships awarded?:
Most Oxford scholarships are awarded between late February and June. The approximate date by which decisions are expected to be made will normally be given in the scholarship information, as linked through the Fees, Funding and Scholarship Search.A scholarship may be awarded either at the same time or after you are offered a place by your department. It may be awarded either before or after you have been offered a college place.

Value of Scholarship(s)

worth over £1,000


See the website

Application Procedure

See the website

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Applicants are normally expected to be predicted or have achieved a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours (or equivalent international qualifications), as a minimum, in any subject. Applicants need not necessarily have studied architectural history previously, but should be able to show evidence of prior interest in the subject, eg through work-related activities, voluntary work in a related field, completion of previous courses (including evening classes), or membership of relevant local or national societies.

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Recipient: University of Oxford
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