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Environmental Perception and Experience

The course deals with principles of how the environment and its components are perceived and experienced. What sensations do we experience while moving through a landscape? How do we interpret them and how do they affect the way we approach the environment and adapt to it? The course introduces and elaborates on fundamental principles on human perception and appraisal of the environment, and deals with the perception and experience of textural and structural patterns, affordances, soundscapes and other fundamental properties of the outdoor environment. Theoretical studies are combined with practical exercises.

The course consists of four main blocks including a number of compulsory online elements:

28 aug - 30 aug, 2023
27 sept - 29 sept
15 nov - 17 nov
18 dec - 20 dec

(For more details see schedule)

Course evaluation

The course evaluation is now closed

MP0005-10013 - Course evaluation report

Once the evaluation is closed, the course coordinator and student representative have 1 month to draft their comments. The comments will be published in the evaluation report.

Additional course evaluations for MP0005

Academic year 2023/2024

Environmental Perception and Experience (MP0005-10214)

2023-08-28 - 2024-01-14

Academic year 2021/2022

Environmental Perception and Experience (MP0005-10291)

2021-08-30 - 2022-01-16

Syllabus and other information


MP0005 Environmental Perception and Experience, 15.0 Credits

Miljöperception och upplevelse


Environmental Psychology

Education cycle

Master’s level


Title Credits Code
Single module 15.0 0101

Advanced study in the main field

Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirementsMaster’s level (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 120 credits and English 6


The aim of the course is to provide the students with an introduction to environmental psychology, including the effect of the environment on people as well as how people affect the environment, and knowledge on theories of environmental perception. Environmental perception refers to the subjective ways in which groups and individuals perceive and evaluate the environment, while at the same time being an active part of it. The course deals with all aspects of environmental experiencing, i.e. perception, cognition and appraisal. Focus is on visual perception, soundscapes and the haptic sense. Appropriate research methods are introduced.

After completion of the course, the student will be able to:

• describe and discuss human/environment interactions based on sensory modalities and cognitive processes

• describe and discuss relevant theoretical perspectives and concepts regarding the effects of outdoor environments on people,

• analyse people’s subjective understanding of and interactions with outdoor environments depending on different aspects, for example gender, age, social situation, cultural context, mood, functional abilities, or health,

• analyse outdoor environments regarding physical properties, for example structure, patterns, colour that may affect people’s perception and experience, through the use of different tools.


The course is characterised by studies of effects of and experiences in the outdoor environment. Literature studies and exercises will provide training in the ability to investigate and analyse people’s fundamental perceptions, experience, and preferences in relation to the outdoor environment. Theoretical studies are based on literature in environmental psychology and related disciplines. Students do most of their tasks from a distance, but campus meetings can be arranged. Group exercises, including written and oral presentation, and written individual assignments are mandatory.

Formats and requirements for examination

Participation in compulsory elements. Successful completion of individual assignments and group exercises.
- If a student has failed an examination, the examiner has the right to issue supplementary assignments. This applies if it is possible and there are grounds to do so.

- The examiner can provide an adapted assessment to students entitled to study support for students with disabilities following a decision by the university. Examiners may also issue an adapted examination or provide an alternative way for the students to take the exam.

- If this syllabus is withdrawn, SLU may introduce transitional provisions for examining students admitted based on this syllabus and who have not yet passed the course.

- For the assessment of an independent project (degree project), the examiner may also allow a student to add supplemental information after the deadline for submission. Read more in the Education Planning and Administration Handbook.
  • 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 participate in teaching and/or supervision only applies for the course instance the student was admitted to and registered on.

- If there are special reasons, students are entitled to participate in components with compulsory attendance when the course is given again. Read more in the Education Planning and Administration Handbook.

Additional information

The course is given as a distance course at 50% speed.

Basic skills in Landscape Architecture, Architecture, Psychology, Pedagogy, or Environmental Science are recommended.

Responsible department

Department of People and Society

Further information

Determined by: Programnämnden för utbildning inom landskap och trädgård (PN - LT)
Replaces: LK0238, MP0004

Litterature list

Environmental Perception and Experience (MP0005) – Literature

All compulsory literature will be available either as direct downloads or as links from our digital platform Canvas. If you want the actual physical books, they can normally be bought through online bookstores, although new copies (hardcover or e-book) of Gifford’s book are probably only available directly from the publisher:

**Compulsory Literature **

Gifford, R. (2014). Environmental Psychology: principles and practice, 5th ed. Chapters 1–3

Mather, G. (2011). Essentials of sensation and perception. E-book

Steg, L., Berg, A. E. van den., & De Groot, J. I. M. (2012). Environmental psychology : an introduction. Wiley-Blackwell. Chapters 4 and 6. E-book

Ode, Å., Hagerhall, C. M., & Sang, N. (2010). Analysing visual landscape complexity: Theory and application. Landscape Research, 35(1), 111–131.

Tveit, M. S., & Sang, A. O. (2014). Landscape assessment in metropolitan areas – developing a visual indicator-based approach. Spool, 1(1), 301–316.

Tveit, M., Ode, Å., & Fry, G. (2006). Key concepts in a framework for analysing visual landscape character. Landscape Research, 31(3), 229–255.

Stoltz, J. (2019). Perceived Sensory Dimensions - A Human-Centred Approach to Environmental Planning and Design. (Above all the Discussion section on PSDs).


Stoltz, J, Grahn, P. (2021a). Perceived Sensory Dimensions: An Evidence-based Approach to Greenspace Aesthetics. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, 126989

Additional Journal Articles
Additionally, scientific journal papers will be used in course assignments in the second half of the course. These will be announced later and will all be available via the SLU library or through the online digital platform Canvas.

**Notes on Availability
**Access to e-books, articles from scientific journals and some search engines normally require a connection through the SLU domain ( This can be achieved either directly at the SLU campuses or indirectly (e.g. at home) via VPN. Instructions on how to connect to the SLU network through VPN can be found here:

Course facts

The course is offered as an independent course: Yes The course is offered as a programme course: Outdoor Environments for Health and Well-being - Master's Programme Tuition fee: Tuition fee only for non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens: 27500 SEK Cycle: Master’s level (A1N)
Subject: Environmental Psychology
Course code: MP0005 Application code: SLU-10013 Location: Independent courses Distance course: Yes Language: English Responsible department: Department of People and Society Pace: 50%