Urban Conservation URBAN5126

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will introduce and evaluate the principles, philosophies and methodology for integrated urban conservation, and evaluate the legislative and policy framework to protect historical buildings and facilitate place-making.


The course will be delivered in 3 hourly blocks in semester 2, once per week, over 9 consecutive weeks.

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements:


Excluded Courses

Urban Conservation 10 credit course




This course will be assessed by means of course work in the form of an essay, maximum 4,000 words long.The assessment will be based on pressing issues and/or prioritites within the urban conservation field and will thus will ensure that the theory is considered within the practice of urban conservation. Students on the 20 credit version of the course will have to introduce a comparative (spatial/temporal) dimension into their assessment to account for the extra ILOs that exist between the 10 and 20 credit versions.

Course Aims

The course seeks to explore the conservation of historic buildings and neighbourhoods by integrating background knowledge of conservation practice and spatial planning policies with an understanding of architecture, construction techniques and materials, and design and the financial and institutional frameworks underpinning the heritage value. It aims to:

■ develop understanding of heritage value and the principles and philosophies historically and currently employed to protect and conserve historic buildings;

■ evaluate the complex interaction of factors that impact on heritage value and urban conservation decision;

■ discuss the role of spatial planning in protecting heritage;

■ investigate the different methodologies used in urban conservation; and

■ employ case studies to critically assess the outcomes of urban conservation decisions.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


■ demonstrate a sound understanding of the principles and philosophies of conservation, including its role within society;

■ understand, explain and critically appraise spatial planning policies employed to protect and conserve historical buildings and facilitate place-making;

■ recognise and critically discuss how the historic environment and construction techniques and materials have evolved,

■ recognise and critically discuss how the financial context and the legislative and policy framework informs urban conservation

■ display in-depth knowledge of urban conservation methodologies for characterising an area with reference to its historical development, physical fabric and function as a community;

■ understand the requirements of urban conservation management in general, and the strength of the social and economic components in particular;

■ research, record and analyse various elements of the historic environment;

■ conduct the critical appraisal of the complex interaction of these factors and consequences for urban conservation decisions;

■ formulate and coherently articulate responses to conservation problems at the individual building, site or wider spatial area level; and

■ organise and present information specific to Urban Conservation using a variety of media.

■ demonstrate a sound understanding of the ways in which the historic environment is conserved in different temporal and spatial contexts through a values-based approach.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.