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Landscape architecture: History, theory and practice

This course is a critical introduction to the history, theory, and practice of landscape architecture. It is intended for masters-level students in the landscape architecture professional program and beginning students in the Master in Sustainable Urbanization. Space permitting, the course is also open to students enrolled in any other master program at SLU or another Swedish university. Because of its international makeup it is conducted in English.

The course has three main foci in three learning modules: a lecture series (Module L); a reading and writing seminar (Module S); and a one-week field study trip to a European city (Module F). First, we review the historical development of landscape architecture, emphasizing the social, political, and economic forces that shaped the profession during its first two centuries of existence. Second, we explore questions and issues facing landscape architecture today, including (but not limited to) ecology, ‘sustainability,’ and climate change; fieldwork and engaged practice; design for systems and uncertainty; and the role of new technologies. The third part of the course situates these discussions within the broader theoretical realm of ‘landscape’ as such. Topics will include changes in the meanings and uses of this word over time; the relationship among landscape, aesthetics, and power; and recent developments in landscape theory across a number of scholarly disciplines. Course deliverables consist of a 5000-word critical essay.

Additional course evaluations for LK0313

Academic year 2020/2021

Landscape architecture: History, theory and practice (LK0313-10178) 2020-08-31 - 2020-11-01

Academic year 2019/2020

Landscape architecture: History, theory and practice (LK0313-10034) 2019-09-02 - 2019-10-31

Academic year 2018/2019

Landscape architecture: History, theory and practice (LK0313-10054) 2018-09-03 - 2018-11-05

LK0313 Landscape architecture: History, theory and practice, 15.0 Credits

Landskapsarkitektur: historia, teori och praktik

Syllabus approved



Landscape Architecture

Education cycle

Second cycle

Advanced study in the main field

Second cycle, only first-cycle courses as entry requirements(A1N)

Grading scale

5:Pass with Distinction, 4:Pass with Credit, 3:Pass, U:Fail The requirements for attaining different grades are described in the course assessment criteria which are contained in a supplement to the course syllabus. Current information on assessment criteria shall be made available at the start of the course.



Prior knowledge

Knowledge equivalent to 150 credits of which 90 credits in Landscape Architecture, and/or Architecture, and/or Urban Planning and/or Human Geography and/or Community Planning, and English 6, or admitted to the Landscape Architecture for Sustainable Urbanisation – Master´s programme.


To provide deep understanding of different landscape architecture and design theories and viewpoints through history and their relation to landscape architecture practice.

After completion of the course the student should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding
- understand theories and concepts in landscape architecture and design
- analyse major fields of landscape architecture research, their methodology and relation to other design disciplines
- discuss key theories and case studies of landscape architecture history in Sweden and internationally; critically relate these knowledges to the development of modern society
- elaborate practical implications from theories in landscape architecture and design
- discuss main theoretical viewpoints in today’s landscape architecture and its relation to sustainability

Competence and skills
- apply key landscape architecture theories and historical precedences into a landscape architecture design concept

Judgement and approach
- reflect on a personal approach in the field of landscape architecture and future professional role
- decode contemporary landscapes and reflect on them from a personal point of view concerning design and ethical standpoints.


The course is consisted of lectures, seminars, field trip and writing an essay. Suggested literature list covers the history and contemporary practice of landscape architecture, design theory and landscape architecture/architecture theory. A field trip to a city or place in Europe, and visits in Uppsala-Stockholm are included in the course. Different topics will be discussed in seminars.

Students will produce one conceptual design which reflects discussed theories and historical case studies.

Students will produce one analytical text with a critical assessment of a chosen landscape architecture project. Students will write a reflecting text about their own approach as a designer in relation to given lectures, field trips, literature and seminars. Special attention will be given to critical thinking and the producing of graphic communication such as sketches, photos, figures and diagrams.

Excursions, study visits, seminars and activities connected to them are compulsory.

Formats and requirements for examination

Passed written works, conceptual design, and participation in compulsory activities.
  • If the student fails a test, the examiner may give the student a supplementary assignment, provided this is possible and there is reason to do so.
  • If the student has been granted special educational support because of a disability, the examiner has the right to offer the student an adapted test, or provide an alternative assessment.
  • If changes are made to this course syllabus, or if the course is closed, SLU shall decide on transitional rules for examination of students admitted under this syllabus but who have not yet passed the course.
  • For the examination of a degree project (independent project), the examiner may also allow the student to add supplemental information after the deadline. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Other information

  • The right to take part in teaching and/or supervision only applies to the course date to which the student has been admitted and registered on.
  • If there are special reasons, the student may take part in course components that require compulsory attendance at a later date. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Additional information

Field trips are financed by the student. Information about costs will be available on the course homepage 4 weeks before the course starts.

Responsible department

Department of Urban and Rural Development

Further information

Determined by: Programnämnden för utbildning inom landskap och trädgård (PN - LT)
Replaces: LK0249
There are no Grading criteria posted for this course

Course facts

The course is offered as an independent course: Yes The course is offered as a programme course: Landscape Architecture for Sustainable Urbanisation - Master´s Programme Landscape Architecture Programme - Uppsala, Landscape Architecture Programme, Ultuna Landscape Architecture Programme, Ultuna Tuition fee: Tuition fee only for non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens: 74982 SEK Cycle: Second cycle
Subject: Landscape Architecture
Course code: LK0313 Application code: SLU-10116 Location: Uppsala Distance course: No Language: English Responsible department: Department of Urban and Rural Development Pace: 100%