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

Postgraduate Course: MSc Dissertation in Landscape and Wellbeing (ARCH11260)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeDissertation AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits60 ECTS Credits30
SummaryThis compulsory core course introduces you, via supportive tutorials, to the dissertation project. It then matches you with your tutorial supervisor, who will work with you, in an advisory capacity. You are expected to conceive, structure and write a fifteen thousand (15,000) word dissertation on an agreed and relevant theme, topic or question, related to Landscape and Wellbeing or to your previous health and/or landscape-related work, and in keeping with the described themes of the Landscape and Wellbeing Programme.
Course description Stage One
Initial group discussions outlining the scope, expectations, structure and concept behind writing the dissertation; lecture on key aspects of approaches, literature review, setting research question(s), selection of methods and other aspects of the dissertation writing process. To be followed by individual tutorial meeting with dissertation supervisor to agree the subject, general strategy and approach and production of initial draft dissertation abstract/hypothesis.

Stage Two
Completion of dissertation abstract.

Stage Three
Dissertation research, write-up and submission, in consultation with research supervisor.

You are expected to have previous knowledge and understanding of appropriate theories and research methods to use in your dissertation, based on the 'Landscape and Wellbeing : Theoretical Foundations' course and the 'Landscape and Wellbeing : Research Strategies and Methods ' course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Landscape and Wellbeing : Research Strategies & Methods (ARCH11261) AND Landscape and Wellbeing: Theoretical Foundations (ARCH11262)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  22
Course Start Block 5 (Sem 2) and beyond
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 600 ( Dissertation/Project Supervision Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 12, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 578 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessment will be based on a written dissertation of some 15,000 words in length, which will also contain diagrams, charts and other graphic or audio-visual material as appropriate. An initial abstract (c. 500 words) will need to be approved by the end of semester 2, prior to the dissertation being finalised and submitted for assessment at the end of teaching block 5 (summer).
Feedback Supervised tutorials will assist students in preparing their dissertation topic. Formative feedback will be provided after the initial abstract is submitted and again, prior to the final submission, on an outline draft submitted by the student.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. plan, structure and develop a significant project of research investigation relevant to landscape and wellbeing
  2. develop and argue a research proposal based around identified research gaps in the evidence linking landscape and wellbeing, and to choose and develop a methodology suitable for answering the research question
  3. apply critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis to complex issues which require informed and critical judgements, so as to provide a sound evidence base for salutogenic environmental interventions
  4. present a dissertation to an agreed layout and format, which is consistently clear and coherent.
Reading List
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

Berry, R (1986). How to write a research paper, 2nd ed. Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Brink-Budgen, Roy van den (2000) Critical thinking for students: learn the skills of critical assessment and effective argument, Oxford: How To Books.

Fairbairn, Gavin (1991) Reading, writing and reasoning: a guide for students, Milton Keynes. Open University Press.

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

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.

Van den Brink, A., Bruns, D., Tobi, H. & Bell, S. (eds) 2016. Landscape Architecture Research Methods. Abingdon: Routledge.

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.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Knowledge and understanding: ability to reflect critically on the principal theories in the discipline.

Knowledge and understanding: ability to review literature and to develop research approaches suitable to address a relevant research question.

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: autonomy and accountability, working alone to develop and present findings from work, using academic writing, ICT and numeracy skills as appropriate.
Keywordslandscape,wellbeing,health,environment,dissertation,green space,salutogenic,evidence
Course organiserDr Simon Bell
Tel: (0131 6)51 5828
Course secretaryMr Daniel Jackson
Tel: (0131 6)50 2309
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