Field Class: Sustainable Land Use Systems - SE315

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2018-19
Canterbury Spring
View Timetable
4 15 (7.5) DR RD Fish







This field based module explores how to interpret and assess the sustainability of land use systems. It involves local field investigations into different types and scales of system and the way these are valued and managed according to different, often competing, economic, social and environmental priorities for land. The local field investigations span key different contexts for learning. Contexts and emphasises will vary over each year according to teaching staff but may include:

• Land-use systems at the landscape scale –such as the management of protected areas designated for their biodiversity and cultural value.
• Exploring and managing woodland environments– including the culture and practice of woodland management.
• Farming and agricultural change –spanning the environmental and economic dimensions of changes in farming systems and wider supply chain
• Urban ecosystems and landscapes – including a focus on the role of green infrastructure for linking people to the natural world
• Touristic and leisure landscapes – linking sustainable landscapes to a major sector for economic regeneration and growth

The module will include four day-long field trips to local (kent-based) sites over the course of the term and contextualised through supporting lectures and group exercises. The trips will be timetabled to avoid clashes with existing student commitments (and may include attendance at weekend and during reading weeks). The module will provide practical learning to complement theoretical issues explored across anthropology and conservation programmes. The emphasis throughout will therefore be on learning from the experience of people and organisations directly engaged in creating, cultivating and managing land for different kinds of human benefit.


This module appears in:

Contact hours



BA in Environmental Social Science
BSc in Human Ecology
BSc in Wildlife Conservation

Method of assessment

100% Coursework
Journal (50%)
Land Use Systems Report (50%).

Indicative reading

A recommended module journal for an overall view of the dynamics and governance of land use systems is Land Use Policy. Each component of the course is supported by a number of key readings that will help you develop your ideas and thinking further. In the seminars you will have an opportunity to engage with directed readings as part of your learning.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

8.1 understand the varied nature of land use systems and the competing values that surround priorities for them and how they are managed;
8.2 apply basic theories of landscape interpretation to different land use contexts
8.3 understand and appreciate the challenges of translating policies for sustainable land use management into practice.

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