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Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

This is the only course in our History of Art degree that teaches you how to look at buildings. The country house legacy is one of the finest artistic achievements in Britain because it includes interior design, furnishings, landscaping and continuing family history, all in situ. We look at the changes in architectural style, combined with changes in the way people live, the roles of men, women, and servants. There will be opportunities to visit local country houses.  Download Course Guide

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Professor Jane Geddes

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Either Art History (HA) or History (HI)
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Programme Level 3

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The course begins with an examination of the medieval building tradition and house plans. The effect of Renaissance thinking and political contacts with the continent during the 16th century are studied. The effect of the Grand Tour and arrival of classical styles are tracked, along with the assembly and display of acquired treasures. Issues of social behaviour and class strata are examined in terms of house plans through the ages. The advances of technology are discussed in terms of changing behaviour. Current issues of conservation, taxation, government and private funding for stately homes are discussed directly with current owners.

Associated Costs

Some additional payment will be charged for a field trip. Cost depends on numbers attending and method of transport.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

Student performance on this course is assessed by written examination, visual-based test, essays and class contribution.

1st Attempt: 1 two-hour written examination (40%); 1 one-hour visual-based test (20%); class participation including presentation (10%); one  3,000 word essay (30%).
Resit: Examination (100%). NB All course work must have been submitted.

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.


There will be interactive feedback on class participation. Essays will be handed back individually with comment.

Course Learning Outcomes


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