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Landscape and culture: School of Advanced Study launches new course in garden history

School of Advanced Study, University of London

The School of Advanced Study, University of London is to introduce a new MA degree course, Garden and Landscape History, for historians of gardens and landscape architecture, archaeologists, architects and landscape gardeners. The course – only the second such MA offered by any UK university – will begin in October 2014.

The Institute of Historical Research (IHR) will run the full-time, one-year programme, designed to take students through hundreds of years of garden history in countries including Britain, Italy and America. Garden and Landscape History builds on a short course in garden history, which the IHR has been running for two years, as well as a number of seminars on the subject.

The course will comprise three modules: Researching Garden History, The Culture and Politics of Gardens and a 15,000-word dissertation. However, through the School’s credit framework, students can choose to stop short of the dissertation and instead work towards either a 60-credit Postgraduate Certificate or a Postgraduate Diploma, which is worth 120 credits. These credits can be banked for use towards the full MA at a later date.

Matthew Davies, Professor of Urban History and Director of the IHR’s Centre for Metropolitan History said: ‘We are very pleased to be launching this new MA programme in Garden and Landscape History. By studying this subject in an interdisciplinary way, the programme will allow students to acquire a range of skills, from history, horticulture, architecture, garden archaeology and other subjects. They will develop a rich understanding of the development of gardens and landscapes in Britain and in other countries, from the sixteenth century to the present day, and an appreciation of their cultural importance over the centuries.’

There will be strong emphasis on tutor and student interaction in class, and the programme will also include practical sessions at museums, libraries, and famous gardens, and an optional visit to Italy. Garden and Landscape History is available part-time from 2015.

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