• Academic Session: 2017-18
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will examine the relationships between Americans and the environments they inhabit. It will encourage exploration of a variety of source material, using documents, maps, town plans, photographs, and other visual representations in order to study specific landscapes, while at the same time considering how landscapes themselves might be examined as 'texts' to learn more about American history.


10 x 1hour lectures and 10 x 1 hour seminars as scheduled on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into History, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes

Excluded Courses





Examination  (2-hour duration) - 60%

Course essay (2,500 words) - 20%

Oral Presentation (10 minutes) - 10%

Contribution to Seminar Exercises 10%.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. 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 D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:


■ Develop intellectual interests and analytical skills acquired by students during their first two years.

■ Be aware of previously unfamiliar methodological approaches, chronological periods and geographical areas by offering a wide and flexible choice of options.

■ Offer the opportunity to develop skills in historical computing, as well as basic IT awareness.

■ Be familiar with complex historical debates and interpretations, skill in interpreting primary sources where appropriate, and to inform these discussions with new ideas derived from lecturers' current research.

■ Develop transferable skills by fostering individual initiative, personal choice, group discussion and, where appropriate, problem-solving teamwork.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


■ Identify the key definitions and principal issues of American Landscape History, including both the components of landscapes (such as architecture, open spaces, boundaries, and transportation) and the influences upon them( such as the pre-existing topography, the prevalent economy, and cultural beliefs) and understand major historiographical debates about these topics;


■ Communicate effectively in clearly argued essays about the creation of landscapes in the course of American history, supported by accurate and relevant evidence from an array of both primary and secondary literature, including not only documentary sources but also visual representation such as maps, plans photographs, and paintings;


■ Evaluate both historical evidence and historiographical arguments; and

■ Analyse a variety of primary source materials, as expressed in written and oral assessments, as well as participation in seminar exercises.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

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