Countryside Planning: Policies, Processes and Regulation

Course content

Landscapes constitute an arena for a multitude of activities and processes, ranging from biophysical processes to residential, recreational and production functions. As societies evolve, new demands for environmental protection, recreation, nature and cultural heritage protection are sharply contrasted with traditional rural production functions and therefore demand innovative and integrated planning solutions. In parallel, mega-drivers, such as globalisation, sustainable development and urbanisation, pose new challenges and opportunities for the future use and regulation of landscapes. In modern societies, physical and strategical planning is an important tool to minimize conflicts between functions and support the sustainable use of resources.

The course studies contemporary issues, functions and conflicts in different landscapes, ranging from traditional rural to peri-urban settings. Landscapes are examined as arenas where different sectoral plans and policies provide a framework for contemporary rural and peri-urban society. Focus is on different approaches to countryside planning, the role of different actors and the resulting functions and processes, within the wider framework of national and international regulation and policy framework.


MSc Programme in Geography and Geoinformatics
MSc Programme in Geography and Geoinformatics with a minor subject

Learning outcome


  • definition and valuation of landscape qualities.
  • local, national and international policies related to the countryside and rural development.
  • planning processes, governance, and actor analysis.  
  • drivers of landscape change including: nature and water protection, cultural heritage interests, agricultural diversification and the notion of multifunctional landscapes, counter-urbanization, and rural-urban relationships.


  • account for the central driving forces behind the diversity of contemporary countryside landscapes.
  • account for central theoretical approaches to describe and explain current countryside dynamics and processes.
  • undertake a scientifically sound comparative analysis of the consequences of different planning and policy approaches to regulate contemporary countryside issues.



  • perform a scientifically sound analysis of landscape values, discourses, processes and interests present in different types of countrysides using key theories, concepts and empirical material.


The form of teaching is theory exercises combined with ad hoc lectures. For the teaching plan, please see Absalon.

Please see Absalon course page.

BSc in Geography and Geoinformatics or equivalent is recommended.

Continuous feedback during the course
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, during course
Oral examination, 20 minutes
Type of assessment details
The written assignment is prepared by the students during the course and must be handed in prior to the exam week. The oral exam uses the written assignment as its point of departure. It includes the titles listed in the officially approved reading list. A combined grade is given after the oral exam.
Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners
Criteria for exam assessment

Please see learning outcomes.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 171
  • Theory exercises
  • 35
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 2
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period
Study Board of Geosciences and Management
Contracting department
  • Department of Geoscience and Natural Resource Management
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator
  • Anne Gravsholt Busck   (3-7076714f78767d3d7a843d737a)
Saved on the 28-02-2022

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