Landscape Theory ARCH5089

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course provides an opportunity for students to develop a solid intellectual foundation for research or professional practice relating to landscape, through a critical exploration of the complex, varied and contested definitions and meanings of 'landscape' in contemporary research, practice, policy and public contexts. The course is taught by a team of staff drawn from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds.


Four x 2-hr discussion seminars

3 x day-long field trips

1 x 1-hr tutorial relating to the assessed coursework

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements:  Standard entry to Masters at College level.

Excluded Courses



Assessment: will comprise the following two items:

i)  critical analysis of the conceptual basis of a relevant publication, e.g. a substantial landscape assessment or research monograph (1000 words; worth 20% of the overall assessment for the course)

ii) Essay (4000 words; worth 80% of the overall assessment for the course)




In accordance with the University's Code of Assessment reassessments are normally set for all courses which do not contribute to the honours classifications. For non-honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade C3 for postgraduate students.

Main Assessment In: December

Course Aims

The aim of this course is to provide students with the opportunity to explore 'landscape' in conceptual terms and to build an intellectual foundation for engagement in the worlds of integrated landscape research, practice and policy. More specifically, the course aims to provide opportunities for the development of:

■ knowledge of the intellectual history of the concept 'landscape';

■ a critical understanding of current landscape theory;

■ awareness and appreciation of diverse disciplinary perspectives and of the articulation of disciplinary understandings in research, practice and policy contexts;

■ a complex understanding of landscape which is sensitive to a range of contemporary discourses and to the interaction of cultural, social, political, economic and environmental concerns.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ demonstrate an understanding of the history of the concept 'landscape', its changing and contested usage;

■ demonstrate knowledge of the meanings and values attached to the concept 'landscape' in current research, practice, policy and public contexts;

■ demonstrate a critical understanding of diverse disciplinary perspectives on the meaning of landscape and of the theoretical inter-relationships of those perspectives;

■ critically analyse conceptualisations of landscape current in relevant research, practice, policy and public fields.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

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