REMH07-Design in Historic Contexts

Module Provider: Real Estate and Planning
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2021/2

Module Convenor: Mr Henry Russell

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module looks at design from the small scale of change in a single building to the urban scale. Students will learn to assess and evaluate new work which affects historic buildings and their settings. They will learn how to assess a site and its capacity to accept change and adaptation, and to evaluate new proposals in historic areas.


The aim of this module is to provide students with the skills to assess in design terms the context of a site, and to design an appropriate structure to meet those challenges. They will also gain an understanding of how different uses may affect historic buildings of differing vulnerability, and how to deal with the major structural issues that are often presented with change of use.

Assessable learning outcomes:

On completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • assess the historic context in which a new design (either new building or adaptation of an existing structure) will be located;

  • prepare proposals for appropriate new buildings and structures in historic contexts;

  • identify and critically debate the conflicts presented by proposals for change of use;

  • evidence the application of architectural knowledge and phil osophical understanding through the interpretation of given practical situations;

  • critically appraise the major structural issues that are inherent in new uses of historic buildings;

  • identify, explain and contextualise the issues which arise from the fire protection of, and the integration of services into historic buildings.

Additional outcomes:

  • Enhance oral and communication skills through discussions and presentations in seminar sessions;

  • Develop academic report writing skills through the module assignment.

Outline content:

  • Historic area characterisation and assessment

  • Assessing the design aspects of an area

  • Design principles of massing, size, form and materials

  • Sketch proposals for new work

  • Change of use and adaptation of historic buildings

  • Application of building codes to new construction in historic settings

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module is delivered in a block release format that involves a four day face to face teaching block with pre-course preparation plus online post-teaching support. The module is taught in an interactive format through seminars and workshops. An assessed individual project is the consolidating and integrating vehicle for the taught material. Students are encouraged to share information via Blackboard in the extended online support period which follows the face to face element.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 12
Seminars 6
External visits 12
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 35
    Wider reading (directed) 35
    Reflection 100
Total hours by term 0 0 200
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:


A major project, which will include drawn designs and sketches and which assesses all the learning outcomes of this module. Guide length 5,000 words (or equivalent).

Assignment submission deadline:  Week 47 (Out of term time)

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

The below information applies to students on taught programmes except those on Postgraduate Flexible programmes. Penalties for late submission, and the associated procedures, which apply to Postgraduate Flexible programmes are specified in the policy “Penalties for late submission for Postgraduate Flexible programmes”, which can be found here:
The Support Centres will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:

Reassessment arrangements:

Reassessment will be by the same method as for the module’s original assessment requirements, subject to variation by the Examination Board where appropriate. 

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 8 April 2021


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