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Buildings Recording - ARC00128M

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  • Department: Archaeology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Dav Smith
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

Recording historic buildings provides documentation (a record) and also primary data to inform our understanding of sites, their significance, and their potential for change. This module explores the context and practice of building recording, providing an introduction to the key techniques and approaches, from traditional hand survey and record photography, to the latest photogrammetry and laser scanning techniques.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

Module aims

This module aims:

  • To understand the context in which building recording commonly takes place
  • To introduce students to the range of techniques used in the recording of historic buildings, and their appropriate application.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students should:

  • Have a systematic understanding of the range of recording methods used to capture and process measured survey data from historic buildings
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of techniques used in hand, instrument and photographic survey of historic buildings
  • Demonstrate a practical knowledge of the basic techniques of processing historic buildings survey data in the computer lab using appropriate software environments
  • Compile a critical reflective report that meets relevant professional standards

Module content

This module provides an introduction to the measured survey of historic buildings. It offers students practical experience of evaluating and applying the most common techniques employed for recording standing fabric. From sketch planning and record photography to traditional and digital survey methods, the strengths, weaknesses and application of each technique is considered. These are set within the historical and modern context of building recording in the UK, and elsewhere. As well as capturing data, the module considers how that information is processed, including photogrammetric modelling and producing professional-quality output drawings in AutoCAD. The module is aimed at students with no prior knowledge of building recording, but who are interested in how architectural drawings of historic buildings are produced.


Task Length % of module mark
Reflective logbook
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Reflective logbook
N/A 100

Module feedback

Formative: oral feedback from module leaders

Summative: written feedback within the University's turnaround policy

Indicative reading

Historic England (2016) Understanding Historic Buildings: A Guide to Good Practice. London: Historic England.

Historic England (2016) Drawing for Understanding: Creating Interpretive Drawings of Historic Buildings. London: Historic England.

Historic England (2017) Photogrammetric Applications for Cultural Heritage: Guidance for Good Practice. London: Historic England.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.