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Past Matters: Public History & Cultural Built Heritage - CED00036M

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  • Department: Centre for Lifelong Learning
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Emma Wells
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Summer Term 2021-22

Module aims

This is a skills-based module designed to develop the more practical aspects of research and application. It will provide expertise in understanding, locating, and identifying the key sources for researching historic buildings, e.g. documentary sources, grey literature, cartographic regression, visual material, secondary scholarship, conservation and heritage protection/legislation and reports, and further associative literature, in addition to developing an understanding of the methods, theories, and research principles used in archaeological and architectural investigation in order to allow various approaches, interpretations, and methodologies to be employed.

Module learning outcomes

By the conclusion of the module the student should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of a range of debates, critical approaches, and methodologies for the close reading of historic buildings
  • Explain the influence of history and theory, as well as the representation of ideas on the spatial, social, and technological aspects of historic buildings
  • Identify and explain the relationships between people and the spaces they inhabit as well as the impact of the wider landscape/context on the design of buildings
  • Identify and independently locate a range of evidence types and their key arguments, and be able to evaluate them
  • Apply these arguments to the analysis of specific case studies and the conservation and recording of historic buildings
  • Formulate critical skills and practices in thinking and writing critically about building history.


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Module feedback

The tutor will give regular individual feedback throughout the module on work submitted.

The assessment feedback is as per the university’s guidelines with regard to timings.

Indicative reading

  • Arnold, Dana, Ergut, Elvan Altan, Turan Özkaya, Belgin, 2006. Rethinking architectural historiography, Routledge.
  • Bourdieu Pierre, 1977. Outline of a Theory of Practice, Cambridge UP, esp. chps 2 and 4.
  • Cramer, J and Breitling, S, 2007. Architecture In Existing Fabric, Birkhauser.
  • English Heritage, 2010. Understanding Place: Historic Area Assessments Principles and Practice.
  • Johnson, Matthew, 1993. Housing Culture: Traditional Architecture In An English Landscape, Routledge.
  • Johnson, Paul-Alan, 1994. The Theory of Architecture: Concepts Themes & Practices, John Wiley and Sons.
  • Kruft, Hanno-Walter, 1994. A history of architectural theory from Vitruvius to the present, Princeton Architectural Press.
  • Merleau-Ponty, Maurice, 1962. Phenomenology of perception, Psychology Press.
  • Price, Nicholas Stanley, 1996. Historical and philosophical issues in the conservation of cultural heritage, Getty Conservation Institute.

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.