Course Information Undergraduate prospectus

Contemporary Theories of Landscape

Course summary

Course code: ENVT1104
Level: 5
Credits: 15
School: Architecture, Computing and Hums
Department: Architecture and Landscape
Course Coordinator(s): Timothy Waterman


Introduction and rationale

This new course ensures that there is a more legible parallel between levels of theoretical teaching in the BA Landscape Architecture programme and in the BA Architecture programme. In addition this course ensures that landscape architecture students receive a necessary full semester of history and theory that is specific to landscape architecture and its discourses.

Pre and co requisites



Landscape architecture is an art of milieu involving shifting, evolving contexts that are ecological, social, cultural, political, economic, and aesthetic. Our lived landscapes are buildings that reflect our immediate world views and our aspirations as well as the world views and aspirations of the dominant classes. To be effective landscape architects we must be aware of all of these contexts through which we navigate in our work. This course will explore a great variety of ways of thinking about landscape to provide a foundation for further research and for the critical modes of operation necessary for an exemplary career in landscape architecture.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:

1. Demonstrate general awareness of a particular landscape architectural theory
2. Demonstrate familiarity, recognition, and classification of a range of theoretical issues and approaches in landscape architecture and its wider field
3. Discuss and critically appraise theoretical aspects of design
4. Demonstrate originality of thought in synthesising data
5. Structure relevant ideas into a coherent argument
6. Present argument in writing and visual media in accordance with relevant academics standards

Indicative content

The course deals with a range of theories concerned with the meaning of landscapes and landscape architecture in society. They are contemporary insofar as they are ideas that have been considered important in recent years, and are broadly concerned with the desire to give landscape architecture a more secure grounding in modern thought, challenging a purely technical or instrumental view of its purpose and seeking to reveal the deeper potential of design and making when they are applied.

The primary outcome of the course is an individual essay based on a clearly identified theoretical position, as chosen by the student. Students are encouraged to work in groups, forming research teams with related topics. The essay should be able to demonstrate that the student has achieved:

Teaching and learning activity

The subject is taught through lectures, seminars, and workshops and the students are guided through key contemporary texts.


Methods of SUMMATIVE Assessment: Written Essay.
Outcome(s) assessed by summative assessment:1-4.
Weighting % 100%
Pass Mark 40%
Word Length 1500-2000
Outline Details:Written Essay.
Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning: Continual feedback through seminars, tutorials, workshops, and presentations.