Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet

Outdoor Environments for Health and Well-being

On this distance-based programme, you will study how outdoor environments in people's everyday life can promote development, health and well-being.
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Health and well-being in everyday life depend, to a varying degree, on the quality of the surrounding environment, on interaction with plants and animals in natural or artifically created green open spaces, in urban as well as in rural areas.

This programme is designed for students who are particularly interested in such interactions, with emphasis on the effects of human/environment interactions, based primarly on theories of environmental psychology. On completion of this Master's programme, students will have the skills and competence to evaluate and develop physical environments adapted to people's needs and demands at both local and strategic level.

The skills and competence achieved by completing this programme are of importance in many situations, particularly in the light of the increasing stress levels of modern society and a growing awareness of the importance of the restorative effects of nature and green open spaces. This would include all professions involved in planning and designing environments in healthcare, schools and public spaces.

This programme is a distance-based education, meaning admittance to this program will not make you eligible for a residence permit in Sweden. However, a physical presence at campus is mandatory 2-4 times per semester, which requires you to travel to Sweden for these occasions.

You can choose to study the programme at full time or part time.

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Program code: LM007
Name: Outdoor Environments for Health and Well-being - Master's programme
Next start: autumn semester 2020
Study location: Alnarp
Programme scope: 2 year, 120 credits
Level: Masternivå
Pace of study: Helfart
Teaching form: Distans
Language: Engelska
Number of admission places: 25
Application deadline: 1/15/2020
Application code: 81001
Degree: Degree of Master of Science with a major in Landscape Architecture.
To be eligible for the Outdoor Environments for Health and Well-being – Master’s Programme, the requirements are:
- General entry requirements: a Bachelor’s degree (undergraduate cycle) corresponding to a minimum of 180 credits

In addition, knowledge corresponding to English 6 (Swedish secondary school) is required. This is according to a local SLU decision fulfilled by those who have a degree comprising at least 180 credits at first cycle level from a Swedish higher educational institute or 120 credits completed studies at SLU. English 6 can also be achieved in other ways, which are specified at

The requirements for special eligibility as stated above can also be fulfilled by those who have equivalent knowledge through a foreign degree or if equivalent knowledge has been obtained in another way.

For admission to the courses included in the program, the requirements for special qualifications are stated in the syllabus for each individual course.

It is further recommended that at least 15 credits have been taken within any of the behavioral disciplines, health care, education, design, environmental science, landscape architecture, gardening or forestry.

This programme is aimed at students from different academic or professional fields. It provides scientific perspectives and concepts within the relevant subjects in an interdisciplinary context which can be used both to understand and explain the interactions between people and the physical outdoor environment and to apply the acquired knowledge in different societal contexts.

Examples of subjects include the interdisciplinary research discipline that studies nature-assisted therapy/health promotion and the role of outdoor environments for learning and development, e.g. within outdoor education and habilitation. It also includes broader perspectives such as spatial planning or landscape design informed by environmental psychology. Special attention is given the importance of outdoor environments for individual development, quality of life, well-being and health.

You will also study national and international approaches to integration of green environments in an urbanisation/densification context, focusing on public health through access to natural environments. The health aspects will cover promotion as well as illness prevention and treatment. These concepts include an understanding of the influence of green environments with indirect (e.g. increased physical activity) as well as direct (e.g. reduced negative effects of stress) health effects.

The programme also deals with the specific role of public space in relation to emotions and restorative mechanisms important for public health. Students are given assignments to practise various methods used to survey the use, experience and effects of different outdoor environments such as gardens, parks, forests and other types of natural environments and public spaces, including the role of animals in everyday life.

Each course combine mandatory campus meetings with tasks carried out independently and/or in groups. The different campus meetings can be held at different SLU campuses.

When applying, you can choose to study the programme full-time or part-time.


The skills and competence acquired on this programme are of strategic use in the development of sustainable societies in which plants, animals and other elements of nature are actively used to counteract stress and to support integration, rehabilitation and the development of healthy lifestyles. The programme prepares you for taking on strategic roles in the development and more active use of physical environments in public domains as well as adapting them to specific user groups, for example schools and healthcare environments.  

Qualification Awarded

Degree of Master (120 credits) of Science with a major in Environmental Psychology.

Where you can work

Professionals within the field tend to take on strategic roles in the planning and development of programmes for the use and governance of outdoor spaces in healthcare, schools, housing areas and the public realm, or at a regional level take part in public health planning for the use of open green spaces. Businesses in the field nature-assisted therapy and green architecture are also common.

Continued studies

SLU offers a range of Master’s level courses in landscape architecture. Students completing a Master’s degree on this programme will also be eligible for doctoral studies.

Students sitting on stone wall, photo.

Campus Alnarp

Campus Alnarp is located in a large park surrounded by agricultural fields close to the sea between Malmö and Lund in southern Sweden. There is so much for students to explore here. Apart from all the activities on campus, you will also have access to the cities of Malmö, Lund and Copenhagen. Campus Alnarp’s study programmes focus on landscaping, horticulture, and agriculture and silviculture in southern Sweden. The campus has computer rooms, a restaurant, café, landscaping and horticultural laboratories, and a library with thousands of digital journals, databases and three kilometres of printed materials. The student unions organise many activities, ranging from weekly coffee-drinking get-togethers to comedy sketches and proms. 


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