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Environmental discourses and communication

LK0425 Environmental discourses and communication, 15.0 Credits

Miljödiskurser och kommunikation

Syllabus approved



Landscape Architecture

Education cycle

Bachelor’s level

Advanced study in the main field

First cycle, less than 60 credits from first-cycle courses as entry requirements(G1F)

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

Basic qualifications for basic education and knowledge corresponding to

- 15 credits in forest science or
- 15 credits in forestry science or
- 15 credits in biology or
- 15 credits in environmental science or
- 15 credits environmental communication or
- 15 credits in landscape architecture or
- 15 credits agricultural science or
- 15 credits of natural resource management.

In addition, English B or equivalent is required. As the language of instruction is English, the Swedish language general entry requirement may not apply.


The aim of the course is to provide the students with an understanding of forest and landscape as seen from a perspective of ethical choices, and to train the students ability to critically problematize and communicate options in those choices.

After completing the course the student should be able to

– identify how different environmental discourses may entail different understandings of, and consequenses for, sustainable development
– demonstrate an ability to describe, distinguish between and discuss different categories of disciplinary approaches to forest and landscape
– analyze challenges in translating the Sustainable Development Goals into concretes measures
– critically appraise ethics and values in forest and landscape dynamics from a global perspective
– discuss the temporal, spatial and cultural dimensions of how ethical choices today may have consequenses for generations of humans, bio-spheres, plant life, and ecosystems.


During the course, the student develop an understanding of how the forest and the landscape are part of society. Socially critical perspectives are applied to conditions concerning e.g. relations between human and nature, ethics, culture, equality, politics and power. Perspectives from different disciplines and sectors will be discussed.

The course is divided into three modules of 5 credits each. The first module deals with approaches to environmental discourses, as seen through different disciplinary lenses and geographical contexts (e.g. urban-rural, or global north- global south). Research and theory on ethics and power relations are introduced through literature and seminars. This module also train the students understanding of how ethics and communication, narratives and storytelling are related.

The second module aims to explores how discourses, values, norms and worldviews are translated into rhetorics, action and decision-making. Using agenda 2030 as a lens and working critically with the Sustainable Development Goals, the students train in analyzing ways of handling ethical conflicts. Real-life cases, from which the students will select for the case-study based assignment in module 3, are introduced.

The third module synthesizes the previous modules by application of the theoretical and communicative tools on selected cases. The students identify an ethical dilemma and develop potential approaches to cope with the dilemma. The assignment is presented through creative and sensible use of communication tools. This module relate to the previous modules by stressing reflection on ethics.

Compulsory moments for the three modules include: attendance to literature seminars and presentation of written reflection; developing an argumentation in a written assignment related to ethical conflicts and the Sustainable Development Goals; and presentation and communication of case study assignment.

Formats and requirements for examination

Approved group work and oral presentation, as well as approved individual assignment. Completed compulsory moments.
  • 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

SLU is environmentally certified according to ISO 14001. A large part of our courses cover knowledge and skills that contribute positively to the environment. To further strengthen this, we have specific environmental goals for the education. Students are welcome to suggest actions regarding the course’s content and implementation that lead to improvements for the environment. For more information, see webpage

Responsible department

Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management
Cooperating departments:
Department of Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre

Further information

Determined by: Programnämnden för utbildning inom skog (PN - S)
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: Forest and Landscape (BSc) Tuition fee: Tuition fee only for non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens: 74982 SEK Cycle: Bachelor’s level
Subject: Landscape Architecture
Course code: LK0425 Application code: SLU-40101 Location: Alnarp Distance course: No Language: English Responsible department: Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management Pace: 100%