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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 and associated theories and implications for human development from childhood to old age. Examples of the kinds of theories covered in the course include: concepts of Umwelt; 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.
Course delivery is in weekly 2-hour seminar and 1-hour tutorial.

The course is designed to complement the course on 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 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  22
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 37, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 155 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) This course has 2 summative assessment components.
¿ Seminar presentation (20-30 minutes), 30%, week 4 and communicated via Learn and course materials;
¿ Theory Essay (3000-3500 words), 70%, week 13.

In the seminar presentation, you will 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.

For the essay, you will choose one or more theoretical approaches, exploring underlying assumptions, empirical evidence, the contribution to understanding landscape and wellbeing relationships and their implications for landscape design guidance. The essay will contain diagrams, charts and other graphic or audio-visual material as appropriate.
Both assessments are marked against all Learning Outcomes

All formative and summative deadlines will be communicated to students well in advance, via Learn and course materials.
Feedback Formative tasks will consist of:
1. Outline of essay abstract (500 words), week 6 and communicated via Learn and course materials, for which written feedback is given by tutors or lecturer.

2. Essay presentation (10-20 minutes), week 11, for which oral feedback is given by tutors and peers.

Summative Feedback
Written feedback will be provided on Seminar Presentation and Theory Essay. This feedback will be released per University regulations
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Review literature and current developments in the field to critically analyse one or more specific theories in landscape and wellbeing.
  2. Explain how examples of theory and empirical evidence inform judgements in relevant disciplines and inform good design for health and wellbeing, set within related policy and governance frameworks.
  3. Communicate effectively to peers and other academic and professional audiences, using written and graphic skills that draw on conventional and specialist techniques.
Reading List
Bell, S 2012, Landscape. Pattern, Perception and Process. 2 edn, Routledge, Abingdon.

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.

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

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 Scott Ogletree
Course secretaryMr Daniel Jackson
Tel: (0131 6)50 2309
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