LNAK10100U Thematic Course II: Rural Landscape – Management and Planning

Volume 2015/2016
MSc Programme in Nature Management
MSc Programme in Biology

The course embraces rural landscape management with emphasis on ends, means and solutions in management and planning projects. The first part of the course includes lectures, exercises and seminars concerning landscape processes and functions. Issues dealt with in the lectures and seminars include:

• Landscape processes related to water and soil (nutrient fluxes in the landscape)
• The cultural landscape – current change patterns related to agriculture, recreation and residence and implications for public policy and planning
• Farmers’ and other key agents’ attitudes and practices concerning land use, cultural heritage, habitat management and aesthetical values
• Spatial planning. Design and implementations of spatial plans dealing with conflict management as well as place making issues
• The legal framework, planning functions and processes

The project part of the course starts with a three days excursion to a municipality and a regional section of the Nature Agency with the aims of getting insights to current management and planning tasks and introducing potential student projects.

With points of departure in the municipality visited, the students form project groups and propose a project problem to be approved. The project work is usually carried out in groups of 3-5 students with different disciplinary background.

Learning Outcome

The overall aim is to gain hands on experiences with problem based management and planning of rural landscapes. During the course the student will be will be trained in problem analyses, policy analyses (design and implementation of policy, plans, projects).

Learning Outcome
After completing this course the student must be able to:

• Understand the basic natural processes and social functions maintaining and changing rural landscapes with a focus on North European Landscapes
• Understand current change patterns, their underlying driving forces and the associated management problems, available instruments and operational solutions
• Demonstrate insights into the relationships between the primary agents (farmers, forest owners, public owner, foundations etc.), the landscape system (functions, patterns, character) and public policy interventions

• Communicate landscape problems in participatory processes with owners and other stakeholders
• Apply policy analytical skills in analysing/identifying intervention objectives, alternative regulation instruments and implementation strategies
• Apply analytical skills in diagnosing natural and cultural conditions of the landscape including characterisations of nature, biodiversity, ecosystem services, heritage values and the overall landscape character
• Asses the overall impacts of specific policy interventions and propose ex post evaluations.

• Multi-disciplinary cooperation in problem based landscape management processes
• Synthesize multilayer types of (imperfect) information into operational solutions for landscape management projects.

Primdahl, J. and Swaffield, S. ed. (2010) Globalisation and Agricultural Landscapes. Change Patterns and Policy Trends in Developed Countries. Cambridge University Press. (Selected chapters)
More selected texts (to be identified)


Thematic course: Ecology and Management of Nature and Semi-Nature Areas or aequivalent course(s)
The first part of the course consists mainly of lectures, seminars and structured assignments (exercises). In the last and main part of the course project work based on concrete management and planning problems in interdisciplinary groups constitute the principal learning method. The project work is based on combinations of field work, readings, analytical and synthesizing work, all adapted to the problem in question. The project work is followed and supported by an appointed advisor.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Colloquia
  • 30
  • Excursions
  • 30
  • Guidance
  • 20
  • Lectures
  • 20
  • Preparation
  • 30
  • Project work
  • 282
  • Total
  • 412
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 15 min
Written assignment
A project report is produced and handed in prior to the exam week. The project report is, during the oral examination, presented by all project participants. Hereafter, each project participant is asked individual questions in relation to the report.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assesment

See learning outcome