300 credits, full-time study, taught in Norwegian. Contact: Dept. of Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning (ILP): www.umb.no/ilp
The landscape architect works with nature, design and human needs where the aim is to form and manage our surroundings in a sustainable and long-term perspective corresponding to the aims of the European Landscape Convention, ratified by Norway.
The education at UMB is approved by EFLA (European Foundation for Landscape Architecture) and NLA (Norwegian Association of Landscape Architects), and automatically provides the students with the possibility of membership. The study programme is profession-orientated, and a close cooperation with the landscape architect profession is emphasized. The students will therefore become qualified to work with problem matters relating to landscape architecture both in public and private activities. The tasks are numerous, and vary from detailed drawings of building areas, urban spaces and parks to regional planning, investigation tasks and green space management.
Higher Education Entrance Qualification. 40 students are admitted each year.
Internationalisation, study abroad and cooperation
Some courses are offered in English, and students can get academic supervision in English in all courses if required. In some courses, students can also get academic supervision in French.
The programme is arranged so that students can study at other universities in the fourth academic year. The number of optional credits varies between the three specialisations as follows: Landscape Planning 75 credits, Green Space and Landscape Management 60 credits, Detail Drawing 70 credits.
The Department has a cooperation agreement with the Oslo School of Architecture and various agreements with foreign universities that also teach landscape architecture: Wageningen University (the Netherlands),;Technische Universität Dresden (Germany), Technische Universität München TUM (Germany); Universität Hannover (Germany); Universität für Bodenkultur (Austria); Universitat de Valencia (Spain); University of Sheffield (England).
The Department cooperates with the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences for the study area Green Space and Landscape Management.
The two study programmes Landscape Architecture (study area Superficial Landscape Planning) and Spatial Planning and Property and Land Law (study area Spatial Planning) have some common features because they work at the same plan levels. The difference is that Landscape Architecture emphasizes the physical design, while Spatial Planning focuses more on the implementation aspects and means, for instance from a legal perspective. The new study area Management of Landscape Plants will have some common features with the study programme Plant Science (with specialisation in Green Areas and Horticulture Science) since both emphasize management, maintenance and plant science. The difference is that Landscape Architecture focuses on the aesthetic and functional aspects, while Gardening and Horticulture Science will be more biologically orientated.
The students will learn how to plan and manage both the urban and the rural landscape in accordance with the intentions of the European Landscape Convention. They will know how to register and analyse human-created and natural conditions as a basis for this work. They will know how to formulate problems for discussion, prepare programmes and concepts and suggest solutions. They will also be able to understand and plan changes in towns and landscapes, such as town improvement, urban renewal, placing of buildings and roads in the landscape and development of the cultural landscape through maintenance and management. The suggestions will meet functional, aesthetic, social, legal, ecological and economic requirements. The students will also be able to cooperate with others outside the academic context and with the general public. Students will also develop the ability to independently consider academic challenges, and to pass on their ideas in a comprehensable way.
Teaching and evaluation methods
The aim of the programme is for students to acquire the understanding, knowledge, skills and attitudes that are necessary to become a landscape architect. Therefore, the study emphasizes to a large extent project- and problem-based work as close to reality as possible. Students will solve concrete design or planning assignments. Since both independence and cooperation skills are emphasized, the students work both individually and in groups. Much time is put aside for supervision individually and in groups. Lectures and projects are linked, but topics that give a wider theoretical, social and historical understanding are also emphasized. To practice three-dimensional and artistic understanding, students work with free-hand drawing and design in different scales and with different materials. When doing this, they use both modelling workshops and computer labs. ICT (information and communication technology) is a central tool for landscape architects, and is used both to visualize projects and as a project tool.
The landscape and the people living and working there, either in urban or rural areas, are the basis for the landscape architect’s work. The education therefore emphasizes field work and excursions both in Norway and in other countries. The exam is either based on final tests (independent work or written tests) or continuous assessment (project work or local written tests). The examiners will: 1. evaluate each student’s examination work, and 2. evaluate the course. When a course begins, the students will be given an overview of the basis for evaluation that is made especially for each course according to the grading scale A-F or Passed/Failed. In planning and project courses, plus in design and drawing courses, so-called midterm and final evaluations are arranged where the students in plenary get feedback on their work. When necessary and required, an examiner is present at the evaluation.
Programme content and structure
The first two years of the programme of study (a total of 120 credits of obligatory courses) form a basic introduction to the subject area Landscape Architecture. It covers everything from the understanding of human dimensions in relation to the surroundings, to understanding the challenges offered by towns, urban spaces and residential areas, as well as insight into theories and methods used when analysing the landscape. At the same time, emphasis is placed on design and drawing, introduction to computer-based tools and knowledge of geology, soil conditions and vegetation. In the last three years (180 credits), the students get the opportunity to specialize within three profiles:
1. Design and detail planning. The specialisation is directed towards design of green spaces at the development plan level and downwards. The students must have the motivation to work with design aspects at a higher, detailed level. Moreover, the students must be interested in creative work both when it comes to function and form, and, not least, acquire an understanding of materials.
2. Superficial landscape planning emphasises design and development of the landscape at a superior communal and regional level. The students choosing this profile must be interested in design at a higher level in connection with town improvement, urbanism or possibly in the direction of more rural planning, planning of cultural landscape, town villages etc. Emphasis is placed on meeting different players’ needs and interests with the landscape in focus. Strategic thinking is important in this connection.
3. Management of landscape plants is directed towards green space management for governmental, regional, communal and other large landowners. Candidates may also work with offers and calculations in landscape architecture and with landscape gardening firms. The students choosing this profile must be interested in players and processes. The implementation aspects are central in this profile.
Requirements for specialisation:
The first two years (120 credits) are obligatory and the same for all students in the study programme. In this part of the study, a one-week obligatory job placement is included in the course LAA113 (Introduction to Landscape Architecture II).
During the next three years (180 credits), the students choose between three study areas. The study area Design and Detail Planning consists of 80 obligatory credits, 70 optional credits and a Master’s thesis of 30 credits.
The study area Superficial Landscape Planning consists of 75 obligatory credits, 75 optional credits and a Master’s thesis of 30 credits.
The study area Management of Lansdscape Plants consists of 90 obligatory credits, 60 optional credits and a Master’s thesis of 30 credits.
In all three study areas, an obligatory specialisation course at the 300 level is included in the fifth academic year that is directed towards the respective specialisations with the purpose to bring together all the academic "threads". The optional part should primarily consist of courses in landscape architecture or courses particularly relevant to the specialisation in the chosen study area. The obligatory courses that are included in the first and second part of the study are specified in the Internet version of the curriculum.
The scientific members of staff and the student advisor, mail:firstname.lastname@example.org, are responsible for providing guidance in relation to courses, project papers and Master’s theses. In addition, the following advisory channels have been established: several information meetings for the students are held each year: information meetings at the beginning of a new academic year, information meeting about study periods abroad, information meeting at the beginning of the spring term, information meeting for postgraduates, information meeting about choice of topic for the Master’s thesis, information meeting about choice of study branch, and other information meetings when necessary.
The teachers in the programme of study hold regular staff meetings where the programme’s content and profile are discussed. Each term, day-long staff meetings are arranged where specific courses in the programme of study are discussed. Staff meetings are also arranged at the end of each term where study techniques and experiences from recent courses are discussed and evaluated by the teachers in a plenary session. Time is set aside for mid-term evaluations by the students. These are used to adjust the direction of the course. External examiners from the profession are some of our most important advisors when it comes to teaching. Once a year, meetings with the board of the Norwegian Association of Landscape Architectures are held to discuss the programme of study.