Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Architecture and Landscape Architecture

Postgraduate Course: Landscape and Wellbeing: Theoretical Foundations (ARCH11262)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryAn introduction to a range of theories which explain the relationship between landscape (in a wide definition of the term, relating to many different kinds of external planned, designed and managed as well as natural environments) and wellbeing (in its widest definition, including physical and mental health but also broader factors).
Course description This course will involve the teaching of a range of disciplinary and broad theoretical approaches relating to landscape and wellbeing, including: social-ecological models of health; concepts of Umwelt and associated theories and implications for human development from childhood to old age; theories of place, place attachment and place identity; habitat theory; attention restoration; environmental justice and issues of health inequality; personal construct theory; affordance theory; various aesthetic theories; and concepts of environmental support and environmental press.

Students will be given examples of the different theories and models and invited to consider: the assumptions behind them; the empirical evidence available to support them; their effectiveness in explaining the relationship between landscape and wellbeing; and their implications for landscape design guidance. The course draws on OPENspace research centre's experience, expertise and network of international contacts to ensure that students have access to the most advanced theories.

The course is designed to prepare students for the Course offered in Semester 2 - Landscape and Wellbeing: Research Strategies & Methods.
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 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  54
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 37, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 159 )
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 you work in a small group to lead class discussion by critically reviewing one or more assigned book chapters or research papers on an appropriate theme in the relevant field. Your contribution to the group teamwork in agreeing and carrying out tasks will be assessed by peer review and constitute half of the mark, with the other half based on your individual presentation as part of the group - 30% weighting.

2. An essay on one or more theoretical approaches chosen by the student, exploring underlying assumptions, empirical evidence, the contribution to understanding landscape and wellbeing relationships and their implications for landscape design guidance. The essay will be of some 3,500 words in length but will also contain diagrams, charts and other graphic or audio-visual material as appropriate. 70% weighting.

Learning Outcomes Assessed:
Both assessments are made against all Learning Outcomes.
Feedback Initial seminar discussions led by course tutors will assist students in preparing for assignment 1, and formative feedback will be part of these early discussions.

Formative feedback for assignment 2 will be provided after your essay abstract (500 words) is submitted. You will also be asked to make a succinct, oral and visual presentation of your essay 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 specific theories in landscape and wellbeing, through analysis of the literature informed by developments at the forefront of knowledge in the relevant disciplines.
  2. demonstrate an ability to apply critical analysis to examples of theory at the forefront of knowledge in the relevant disciplines, so as to make informed judgements as to the empirical evidence that supports them and their implications for good design for health and wellbeing, set within the relevant policy and governance frameworks.
  3. 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. 2011. Linking Landscape and Health: the Recurring Theme, Landscape and Urban Planning, 99(3), 187-195, doi: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2010.10.006

Bell, S. & Ward Thompson, C. 2014. Human engagement with forest environments: implications for physical and mental health and wellbeing, in T. Fenning (ed.) Challenges and Opportunities for the World's Forests in the 21st Century, Forestry Sciences 81, Dordrecht: Springer, pp. 71-92, DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-7076-8_1

Kuo, M. 2015. How might contact with nature promote human health? Promising mechanisms and a possible central pathway. Frontiers in Psychology 6, 1093

Van den Bosch, M., & Bird, W. 2018. Oxford Textbook of Nature and Public Health. Oxford University Press.

Ward Thompson, C. and Travlou, P. (eds) 2007. Open Space: People Space. Abingdon, UK: Taylor and Francis.

Bell, S 2012, Landscape. Pattern, Perception and Process. 2 edn, Routledge, Abingdon.

WHO. 2016. Urban Green Spaces and Health: a review of evidence. Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Knowledge and understanding: ability to reflect critically on the principal theories in the discipline set in a policy context.

Generic cognitive skills: the application of critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis via critical review and judgement on theories 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: working alone and with others to develop and present findings from their work, using ICT and numeracy skills as appropriate, and demonstration of routine and specialist skills to communicate effectively to different audiences.
Keywordslandscape,wellbeing,health,environment,theory,green space
Course organiserDr Charlotte Wendelboe-Nelson
Course secretaryMs Ellie Wallace
Tel: (0131 6)50 2309
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information