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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Architecture and Landscape Architecture

Postgraduate Course: Landscape and Wellbeing : Research Strategies & Methods (ARCH11261)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course offers a range of research methods that are increasingly in demand, combining expertise in understanding the landscape as a planned, designed and managed environment with ways to understand how people engage with and experience that environment, and the health and wellbeing consequences of such engagement.
Course description You will learn about methodological approaches and multi-method techniques, and the application of theories such as Personal Construct Psychology via practical methods such as Personal Projects. The details will be tailored to your individual interests and backgrounds but will include: ethics and requirements for ethical approval for research; behaviour settings and other units of observational research; observing and recording environment-behaviour interactions; co-design; photo-elicitation and go-along methods; and projective methods for developing survey protocols, interviews and questionnaires.

The collection of different types of data (e.g. objective or independent data mapped using GIS, behaviour observation, use of accelerometers, GPS, mobile EEG headsets, etc., and self-report or subjective data, such as 'softGIS', interview transcripts or responses to set questions) and their uses will be discussed.

Different approaches to analysis will also be covered, including in-depth and qualitative approaches such
as discourse analysis, and more statistically based approaches, including conjoint analysis.

You will be given examples of the application of different methods and the chance to debate their effectiveness to address specific research questions. Examples will draw particularly on expertise and projects developed in OPENspace research centre.

In order to take this course you will be expected to have previous knowledge of relevant theories that underlie the some of the key methods discussed. Such theories are covered, for example, in the Semester 1 course 'Landscape and Wellbeing: Theoretical Foundations'.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements In order to take this course you will be expected to have previous knowledge of relevant theories that underly some of the key methods discussed. Such theories are covered for example in the course 'Landscape & Wellbeing: Theoretical Foundations'. You should contact the Course Organiser if you are unsure.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 33, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 163 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Summative assessment will comprise of two components:

1. A seminar presentation in which the student leads the group discussion by critically reviewing one or more assigned research papers in the relevant field - 30% weighting.

2. A plan for a research project which sets out all stages of the process. This will involve a plan of up to 3,500 words. 70% weighting.

Learning Outcomes Assessed:

Learning Outcome 1 - 15%
- assessed in Assignment 1 (seminar presentation)
Learning Outcome 2 - 15%
- assessed in Assignment 1 (seminar presentation)
Learning Outcome 3 - 50%
- assessed in Assignment 2 (research project plan)
Learning Outcome 4 - 20%
- assessed in Assignment 2 (research project plan)
Feedback Initial seminar discussions led by course tutors will assist you in preparing for assignment 1, and formative feedback will be part of these early discussions.

Formative feedback for assignment 2 will be provided after an initial outline of your research proposal (c. 500 words) is approved. You will also be asked to make a succinct, oral and visual presentation of your research plan for formative and peer feedback at a seminar towards the end of the teaching weeks.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate a detailed and critical understanding of one or more specialised research methods in landscape and wellbeing, informed by developments at the forefront, through planning the practical application of such methods to a research project.
  2. demonstrate an ability to apply critical analysis and evaluation to examples of research at the forefront of knowledge in the relevant disciplines, and to make informed judgements as to the value of their methods and outcomes.
  3. demonstrate a critical knowledge and understanding of the principal research methods available to investigate links between landscape and wellbeing, including their underlying theories, concepts and principles.
  4. communicate effectively on the above to peers and other academic and professional audiences, using oral, written and graphic skills and drawing as appropriate on conventional and specialist techniques and ICT.
Reading List
Ward Thompson, C., Aspinall, P. and Bell, S. (eds) 2010 Innovative Approaches to Researching Landscape and Health: Open Space: People Space 2, Abingdon: Routledge.

Ward Thompson, C. 2016. Researching the links between landscape and health, in Van den Brink, A., Bruns, D., Tobi, H. & Bell, S. (eds) Landscape Architecture Research Methods. Abingdon: Routledge.

Park, J.J., O'Brien, L., Roe, J., Ward Thompson, C. and Mitchell, R. 2011. The natural outdoors and health: assessing the value and potential contribution of secondary public data sets in the UK to current and future knowledge. Health & Place, 17(1): 269 - 279, doi:10.1016/j.healthplace.2010.11.005

Aspinall, P.A, Ward Thompson, C., Alves, S., Sugiyama, T., Vickers, A. and Brice, R. 2010 Preference and relative importance for environmental attributes of neighbourhood open space in older people. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 37(6): 1022 - 1039

Golicnik, B. and Ward Thompson, C., 2010 Emerging relationships between design and use of urban park spaces. Landscape and Urban Planning, 94: 38-53

Padgett, D. 2008 (3rd ed). Qualitative methods in social work research. Los Angeles: SAGE

WHO. 2017. Urban Green Space Interventions and Health: a review of impact and effectiveness. Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Knowledge and understanding: be able to reflect critically on the principal research methods in the discipline, and the theories, concepts and principles underlying methodologies.

Generic cognitive skills: the application of critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis via critical review and judgement on research outputs at the forefront of the disciplines relevant to landscape and wellbeing.

Practice - applied knowledge and understanding: select, and demonstrate the practical application of, specialist skills to a real-life research project, informed by forefront developments in the subject.

Communication skills and autonomy and accountability: work alone and with others to develop and present findings from work, using ICT and numeracy skills as appropriate and the demonstration of routine and specialist skills to communicate electively to different audiences.
KeywordsLandscape,wellbeing,health,environment,research methods,green space
Course organiserDr Simon Bell
Tel: (0131 6)51 5828
Course secretaryMiss Emma Binks
Tel: (0131 6)51 5735
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