Landscape Ecology MSc - What's courses are available in the Northern Europe and how do they compare?

Fancy doing a Master’s in Landscape Ecology
If you are potentially considering further education, then there are four Landscape Ecology Master’s courses based in Europe that might be worth looking into. Two are based in the UK (Bedfordshire and London), one in Sweden and the other in northern Germany. It is also interesting to read how different universities approach the study of landscape ecology, bearing in mind the multi-disciplinary nature of the topic and subsequent knowledge gaps.

 Cranfield University: Integrated Landscape Ecology
This course takes an approach very much from the ecosystem services / natural capital perspective. The university identifies the need for land management professionals with quantitative and integrative landscape capabilities. Rural land uses, particularly agriculture and soil conservation weigh prominently in this course. Modules include:

1. Aerial photography and digital photogrammetry
2. GIS fundamentals
3. Land Resource Planning
4. Image processing and analysis
5. Aquatic ecosystems in the landscape
6. Landscape ecology
7. Environment Resource Survey
8. Ecological Restoration

In the past, Cranfield University was an agricultural college, with expert knowledge in land engineering, water modelling, soil science and mapping. The useful web-based soil mapping tool “Landis” is a Cranfield invention. This environmental information system contains soil and soil-related information for England and Wales including spatial mapping of soils at a variety of scales, as well as corresponding soil property and agro-climatological data ( The River Restoration Centre (RRC) is also based at Cranfield for those particularly interested in aquatic systems

University of Greenwich: Landscape Ecology with Geographical Information Systems
This one-year programme has been designed to address a recognized skills gap for ecologists and GIS specialists, in that the implementation of environmental conservation policies and strategies based on a landscape ecology approach is increasingly dependent on spatial data that are managed and manipulated within GIS. Modules include:

1. Techniques in Applied Ecology
2. Principles and Practice of Environmental Conservation
3. Introduction to GIS
4. Professional Practice for GIS
5. Techniques in Applied Ecology
6. Advanced Spatial Modelling
7. Applied GIS and Remote Sensing
8. Ecology and Conservation of Estuaries and Coastal Zones

Stockholm University: Landscape Ecology
This two-year Master’s program identifies the value of having a landscape focus to be able to address many of the environmental goals today. It is aimed at students that want to understand and explore the link between ecological processes, landscape patterns and human interactions, recognizing that these are important components affecting biodiversity and ecosystem function. Modules include:

1. Experimental design
2. Data collection through field inventories and remote sensing
3. Analyses and management of spatial data using GIS
4. Landscape ecology – theory and design
5. Applied remote sensing and GIS for landscape analysis
6. Landscape ecology – mapping and analysis.

This course is taught within the department of physical geography and quaternary geology. Stockholm is one of northern Europe’s largest geosciences departments with a long tradition of research and higher education.

Greifswald University: Landscape Ecology & Nature Conservation, Northern Germany
This two-year course program approaches the masters with a stronger emphasis on nature conservation and pure ecology (compared to the previous two) and may suit someone wanting a conversion course from a humanities or arts undergraduate. The multidisciplinary curriculum imparts theoretical knowledge and practical experience in Landscape Ecology, Biology, Conservation Biology, Geosciences, Environmental Ethics, Communication, and Landscape Economics. Modules include:

 1. Landscape, Vegetation and Ecosystem dynamics
2. International Nature Conservation (basics)
3. Ethics and Economics of Sustainable Land Use
4. Scientific Skills and Personal Profiling
5. Climate Change
6. Vegetation, Aquatic, Mire & Palaeo Ecology
7. Environmental Ethics
8. Restoration Ecology
9. Population Biology of Plants
10. Plant Systematics
11. Animal Conservation
12. Ornithology

Further information can be found here:

I would be interested in hearing from any members who think there are any topics or perspectives missed out. Please leave a comment, or email me at newsletter [at] iale [dot] org [dot] uk