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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Ecological Science

Undergraduate Course: Land Use Policy (ECSC10013)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryUsers of rural land in Britain are experiencing both inducements and constraints on what they may or may not do on this basic resource and increasingly wider public interests are influencing the boundaries within which social and economic activities are allowable.

This unit introduces students to a variety of discussion leaders from commercial, governmental and non-governmental organisations all with their own particular viewpoint and expertise in land use policy; and through presentations and seminars explores the main inducements and constraints which have shaped land use in the past and which continue to shape the rural economy and environment of the future.
Course description Past & present agricultural land use policies
Protected Areas, and how they work in practice
Barriers to rural development
Forest land use: policy, drivers & mechanisms
Less Favoured Areas, a special case?
Environmental concerns over land use policy
Crofting and its place in the 21st century
Changing support for agriculture
Regional land use planning
Fitting food into a land use policy
Ghosts past & the shape of things to come
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2015/16, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 15, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 15, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Revision Session Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 63 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One in-course assessment in the form of an essay (50%)
One written examination (50%)

The degree examination will be held in December. Students are expected to answer 1 question from a choice of 2. For the intermittent course assessment students are asked select and propose their own topic area for enquiry and if approved to then research and prepare a short report (not exceeding 1750 words) evaluating some aspect of government policy which impacts on land use. The report needs to be both informative with respect to the development of the policy and its aims, as well as analytical in terms of illustrating the effects of the policy or its implementation, and yet again insightful in suggesting improvements or modifications to the operation of the policy.
Feedback Written feedback will be provided for the self-determined land use essay giving guidance on suitability, direction and scope of the enquiry. The submitted assessment itself will be commented on and marked electronically.
Student exam scripts (duly annotated) will be available for inspection and discussion with the course organiser in an organised feedback session during the early parts of semester 2.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)Land Use Policy2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Gain an integrated knowledge of the constraints and stimuli which affect land use in Britain.
  2. Appreciate the legislative, institutional and support influences which alter behaviour of land managers and change perceptions of the general public.
  3. Be able to critically identify barriers to effective land use and to offer professional insights and interpretations to these problems.
  4. Gain practise in communicating with professionals from commercial, governmental and non-governmental organisations.
  5. Learn how to deal with complex political and ethical issues in accordance with current professional practices.
Reading List
Individual sessions have associated key references provided in Learn but a starting set of web references is given below:

Forward strategy

Rural policy

National Parks


UK Forestry policy$FILE/fcfc001.pdf$FILE/anw-policy.pdf

RSPB policy


Land use strategy
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information 1 three-hour session per week
KeywordsECSC10013 LUP,Land use,government policy,agriculture,forestry,protected areas,regional planning
Course organiserDr Ron Wilson
Tel: (0131 6)51 7163
Course secretaryMiss Christine Lee
Tel: (0131 6)50 5430
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