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Department of Architecture



Students will be assessed on the basis of their Building History knowledge, their observational, analytical and practical skills as applied to the interpretation and recording of building fabric, their ability to use primary sources effectively, their familiarity with the secondary literature and key debates, their ability to present arguments clearly, persuasively and without prejudice, and their overall grasp of good scholarly practice.  Assessment takes place at various points during the course, but all Year 1 assessments must be passed in order to progress to Year 2.

A number of assessment methods are employed, some familiar, some probably not.  The percentages, where given below, indicate the weighting in the final result; other work is assessed as Pass, Resubmit or Fail.

Year 1

  • two short essays (3500 words max.) – 10% in total;

  • a recording project combining investigation, measured survey and drawing, documentary research, photography, analysis and interpretation of a building chosen by the student, and presented in the manner of a professional historic building report (5000 words max.) – 25%;

  • a research proposal (3000 words max.) on a subject of the student’s choice; the proposal will form the basis for the dissertation;

  • a field test lasting approximately one hour, in which the student will be asked to analyse, date and interpret a representative series of buildings of which they have no previous knowledge, without recourse to published sources or other supporting information – 15%;

Year 2

  • a dissertation based on the research proposal (25,000 words max.), including a viva voce examination following submission – 50%;

  • a log book, portfolio and short report (3000 words max.) documenting the professional placement.

Before formal assessment begins students write (between the first and the second residential courses) a non-assessed essay on which they receive feedback, familiarising them with the expectations of the discipline and the course.  Feedback, both formal and informal, is offered throughout the course, giving students the opportunity to focus on any areas for development.


To see examples of students Recording Projects, click on the links below:

All Soul’s Chapel, Ascension Parish Burial Ground, 10 All Soul’s Lane, Cambridge By Luke Jacob

Building Investigation and Assessment of Significance The Old Zion Chapel 60, High Street Birstall West Yorkshire By Bev Kerr

Record and Analysis The Eagle Ward, The Great Hospital Bishopsgate, Norwich NR1 1EL By Karen J. Lim

The Stone Cottage (Old Post Office), Barnwell, Nr. Oundle, Northamptonshire By Joe Croser

To see a professional report by course graduate Tansy Collins (Cohort 3), click on the link below

37 West Street, Oundle, Northamptonshire by Tansy Collins