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Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

This course is designed for students with an interest in how best to make use of land, water and cultural resources. It examines aspects of the science, ethics, aesthetics, economics, law and politics of landscape management.  Example topics include: ecosystems services, national parks, ‘wild’ land, and sustainable tourism, illustrated using case studies from Scotland, the rest of the UK and further afield.  Teaching includes presentations from external speakers working in environmental conservation.  Students can select a case study of their choice to research and write-up as part of the course assessment.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Nicholas Spedding

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • GG3565 Land and Marine Conservation (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This course explores:

•    The what of conservation: an understanding of the theoretical and conceptual dimensions underpinning notions of sustainable resource use – such as environmental rights and justice, social cost and the preservation of bio- and geo-diversity.

•       The why (or why not) of conservation: an understanding and appreciation of historic and contemporary development pressures – such as urban sprawl, commercial fishing and energy or mineral exploitation – upon the natural and cultural environment and the implications for their conservation and management.

•       The where of conservation: an understanding of the different geographical scales, contexts and places, from the international through to the local, at which various conservation approaches and measures can be initiated and promoted.

•       The how of conservation: an understanding of the various approaches and strategies – in particular those of the market against those of the state – that can be brought to bear in an attempt to resolve disputes and conflicts over the appropriate use of land and marine resources.

•       The who of conservation: an understanding of the various actors and institutions – such as landowners, environmental pressure groups, state agencies, and politicians – involved in the resolution of disputes over the use of scarce resources.

•       The efficacy of conservation: a critical appreciation of the impact on land and marine environments of competing approaches to conservation.

In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Lecture during University weeks 7 - 17

More Information about Week Numbers

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: 1 x 2,000 word essay (33%); 1 x project report on a relevant topic of your choice (2000 words per student) (33%); a document response based written examination (33%). Resit: Original coursework carried forward (67%) plus examination (33%). Under exceptional circumstances, resubmission of failed coursework components, with mark for these components to be capped at CAS 9.

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.


Students receive individual, written feedback on their coursework using standard comments sheets.

Course Learning Outcomes


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