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Gardens and Society

Level 4, 10 Credits.

Available Dates:

Not Presently Available.

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Social change, foreign influence and art revivals all play their part in the transformation of landscape to garden. The focus of this course will be on the chronological development of emerging styles using examples drawn from restored historic features, paintings, drawings, photographs, other images, and also documents and written accounts.

Indicative syllabus:

In the sixteenth century significant changes in social structure encouraged the making of new gardens and designed landscapes.

Royal patronage played an important part in the making of great gardens in the Tudor period.

The integration of the arts of painting, architecture and decoration all reflect on the nature of garden aesthetics.

The use of sculpture in the landscape reveals much about social attitudes.

In the 18th century ‘the discovery of nature’ served a vital role in the re-design of the landscape to express a new deal.

Industrialisation refashioned society – what then were the implications for land use?

By the end of the 19th century travel abroad in search of plants had a profound effect on what is grown in British gardens. This was the catalyst for change.

Throughout the last 400 years travel has been significant in bringing new ideas to landscape design. Some key examples will be the subject of study.

Who is this course for?

Anyone interested in gaining a better understanding of the effect that social change plays in the transformation of landscape to garden.

Learning and Teaching

There will be illustrated lectures, discussions, and student led investigations into specific gardens.

Coursework and Assessment

To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved. Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects.

The most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning.

Assessment will take the form of a 2000 word essay or equivalent coursework, which provides a case study of a landscape feature, showing an in depth appreciation of style and content.

Reading suggestions

Notes and suggestions for appropriate books will be provided by the tutor at the first session.

Suggested reading in advance of the course:

Quest-Ritson, Charles       The English garden: a social history. 2001.

Strong, Roy    The Renaissance Garden in England, 1979.

Library and Computing Facilities

As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University library and computing facilities. You can find out more about these facilities on our website under Student Information, or by contacting us on

(029) 2087 0000.

Accessibility of Courses

Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and Dyslexia screening. Please contact us on (029) 2087 0000 for an information leaflet.

Further Information

A range of further information can be found on our web site or in Choices.  This includes the times and dates of courses and an explanation of accreditation and credit levels.