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

Tuesday 28 January 2014

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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Notes for editors:

1. For further information and to request an interview please contact Dee Burn at the School of Advanced Study at or +44 (0) 20 7862 8670. Images available on request.

2. The Institute of Historical Research (IHR), founded in 1921, is one of 10 member Institutes of the School of Advanced Study, University of London. It is home to two important research centres and a major open access library, hosts over 60 seminar series and offers doctoral supervision in a wide range of historical subjects. It has a substantial publishing programme, hosts a number of innovative digital research projects, administers fellowships, runs specialist research training programmes and organises a variety of conferences and workshops each year.

3. The School of Advanced Study at the University of London is the UK’s national centre for the promotion and facilitation of research in the humanities. The School brings together 10 prestigious research institutes to offer unparalleled academic opportunities, facilities and stimulation across a wide range of subject areas for the benefit of the national and international scholarly community. The member institutes of the School are the Institutes of Advanced Legal Studies, Classical Studies, Commonwealth Studies, English Studies, Historical Research, Latin American Studies, Modern Languages Research, Musical Research, Philosophy, and the Warburg Institute. The School also hosts a cross-disciplinary centre, the Human Rights Consortium, dedicated to the facilitation, promotion and dissemination of academic and policy work on human rights.