Part of Historic Environment Scotland

Scottish architectural traditions

Discover the history of Scotland's architectural styles and construction technologies from the prehistoric period to the Modern Movement in the 20th century.



Our Advanced Diploma prospectus contains information about all our short courses:

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4 weeks


28 August - 27 September 2019

Study time

Taught:9 days


As a stand-alone short course:£780


Looking for a related qualification? Learn about our Accredited Diploma that can be taken part-time or full time.

Explore Diploma course


Discover the progression of Scotland's architectural styles and examine the development of Scottish townscapes and the names and international influences that shaped them.

What you will learn

You will learn about significant periods in Scottish architecture, from the Bronze Age to the multifaceted Victorian period, when a wide range of building types were constructed in great numbers for the first time. Explore the changing nature of 20th century architecture, including the extravagant heights of the Edwardian era and the comprehensive redevelopment of the postwar era.

This course will focus on key historic sites and the evolution of settlement patterns, including the development of planned burghs towns and cities across Scotland.

Topics covered

  • Prehistory to the Christian era
  • Early-Medieval to Reformation architecture
  • Scotland post-1603
  • Traditional townscapes
  • Ages of Improvement & Enlightenment
  • Victorian Scotland
  • Late-Victorian urbanism
  • Edwardian era
  • 20th-century planning
  • Modern Movement

Course content

Short courses offer the opportunity to learn about building conservation through lectures, workshops and site visits.

Classes, lectures and presentations

Students benefit from attending classes and lectures taught by national and international experts. Forthcoming lectures are to be confirmed.

Previous speakers have included:

  • Neil Grieve (University of Dundee)
  • Fiona Sinclair, Architect and Author
  • Aonghus Mackechnie, Head of Casework (Historic Environment Scotland)
  • Nicki Scott, Senior Cultural Resources Advisor (Historic Environment Scotland)
  • Ranald MacInnes, Head of Place and Publishing (Historic Environment Scotland)
  • Carsten Hermann, Senior Technical Officer (Historic Environment Scotland)
  • Simon Green, Architecture Survey and Recording Projects Manager (Historic Environment Scotland)
  • Adrian Cox, Senior Cultural Resources Advisor (Historic Environment Scotland)

Potential site visits

Students have the opportunity to participate in site visits; these vary from one year to another.

Previous site visits for this course have included:


Although our short courses are not formally assessed, students will be awarded a certificate upon successfully completing this course.

A formal qualification can be obtained by studying our Advanced Professional Diploma on Technical Building Conservation.

What our students say