Thematic Course II: Rural Landscape – Management and Planning

Course content

The course focuses on rural landscape management with emphasis on ends, means, and solutions in management and planning projects.

The course consists of two parts: an introduction and a problem-based project part. The introductory part of the course includes lectures, exercises and seminars on landscape processes and functions as well as methods for analyzing landscapes and collecting data relevant to planning and management of rural landscapes.

Issues dealt with in the lectures and seminars include:

  • Analyses of cultural landscapes and their current changes and implication for landscape policy, planning and management

  • Farmers' and other stakeholders' values and practices in relation to land use, cultural heritage, nature conservation, and aesthetic values. 

  • Spatial planning and the design and implementation of spatial plans in relation to conflict management and place-making. 

  • Case study approach and policy analysis and relevant research methods.

Students are expected to contribute substantially to the seminars in the introductory part, e.g., by presenting relevant methods and literature as well as preliminary ideas for projects. These contributions aim at activating the variety of knowledge, skills and competences among the students and providing inspiration for the later project work.     

The project part of the course is the main part of the course. The project work starts with a three-day visit to a Danish municipality. The visit has the purpose of showing practical landscape management and planning tasks and challenges that are found in the municipality.  

On the basis of the visit in the municipality, the students form project groups and propose a project problem to be approved. The project work is usually carried out in groups of 5-6 students with different disciplinary backgrounds.


MSc Programme in Landscape Architecture
MSc Programme in Nature Management

Learning outcome


The overall aim is to gain hands-on experience with problem-based analysis, management and planning of rural landscapes. During the course students will be trained in problem-based landscape analysis, policy analysis, and implementation of rural policies plans, and projects.

After completing this course the student will be able to:


  • Understand the basic natural processes and social functions maintaining and changing rural landscapes with a focus on North European Landscapes
  • Understand current landscape change patterns, their underlying driving forces, the associated management problems, available instruments, and operational solutions
  • Demonstrate insights into the relationships between the primary agents (farmers, forest owners, public owners, foundations etc.), the landscape system (functions, patterns, character), and public policy interventions
  • Demonstrate knowledge about the sustainability concept and its historic development.



  • Communicate landscape problems in participatory processes with owners and other stakeholders
  • Identify and analyse intervention objectives, alternative regulation instruments, and policy implementation strategies
  • Diagnose natural and cultural conditions of the landscape, including characterisations of nature, biodiversity, ecosystem services, heritage values, and overall landscape character
  • Asses the overall impacts of specific policy interventions and propose ex-post evaluations.



  • Perform multi-disciplinary cooperation in problem-based landscape management processes
  • Synthesize multilayer types of (imperfect) information into operational solutions for landscape management projects.


The introductory part of the course consists mainly of lectures, seminars and structured assignments (exercises). In the main part of the course the principal learning method is project work based on concrete management and planning problems in interdisciplinary groups. The project work is based on combinations of field work, readings, analytical and synthesizing work, all adapted to the problem in question. The project work is followed and supported by an appointed advisor.

Please see Absalon.


Thematic course: Ecology and Management of Nature and Semi-Nature Areas or aequivalent course(s)

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 15 min
Written assignment, during course
Type of assessment details
A project report is produced and handed in prior to the exam week. The project report is, during the oral examination, presented by all project participants. Hereafter, each project participant is asked individual questions in relation to the report. A combined grade is given after the oral exam, where the report accounts for 75 % and the oral examination for 25 %
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship

The written report is resubmitted, 15 min. oral examination, individually. One combined grade is given, where the report accounts for 75 % and the oral examination for 25 %.

Criteria for exam assessment

See learning outcome.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 20
  • Preparation
  • 312
  • Exercises
  • 30
  • Excursions
  • 30
  • Guidance
  • 20
  • English
  • 412


Course number
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 4
Outside scheduled structure
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
  • Peter Stubkjær Andersen   (4-75767764426b6970306d7730666d)

Andreas Aagaard Christensen
Henrik Vejre
Lone Søderkvist Kristensen

Saved on the 12-10-2023

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