More than ever before, the landscape has become a design object. Landscape design has to find a qualitative compromise between the directions and wishes of different stakeholders in order to enable concrete, socially acceptable realizations in the field. This obviously requires quite specific knowledge and expertise. The advanced bachelor of landscape development focuses on the landscape, and on the ways it can be used in the context of environmental planning. This unique one-year programme aims at training competent professionals with the analytical and synthetic skills that are necessary for an independent and critical understanding of the landscape and for coming up with creative and substantiated planning proposals.
In the programme’s first term you mainly learn to analyse the contemporary landscape by gaining insight in its historical formation as a system of relations. In the second term the focus shifts to the planning of future landscapes. Methodologies for landscape development and their implementation by professional design firms are among the topics dealt with here. Instruments for landscape development enter the picture in the third term, and attention is paid to the divergent approaches from the points of view of environmental landscape management, forestry or transportation studies. Each term the knowledge and insight gained is applied in the landscape design projects. In these workshops that revolve around large-scale case studies you work in a team. Of crucial importance here is the ability to gather the necessary information autonomously, formulate an interpretation of the data that takes into account the interests of various sectors, and develop a well-founded perspective on a specific area or problem. The overall approach is a multidisciplinary one: each student’s contribution to the projects is based on his or her previous training and individual competences. In many cases these projects evolve as responses to specific questions from the field. In the course of the projects as well as in the final stages, consultation rounds are organized with students and clients. As such, our students have already presented studies and projects to local authorities, provincial councils, non-profit organizations and a number of private partners. Geographic information systems (GIS), which are being taught throughout the entire programme, are an important tool in these projects. Finally, in the fourth term, you do an eight-week internship where you have the opportunity to test and integrate the competences you have acquired.
The advanced bachelor of landscape development is open to students who are holders of at least a bachelor’s degree. There is no entrance test but there are a number of additional admission requirements. Candidates will be evaluated on the basis of their competence in the area of environmental and spatial understanding. Students in the advanced bachelor have come from such backgrounds as landscape and garden architecture, parks and gardens management, architecture, urban development, land surveying, geography, ecology and interior architecture. We consider this heterogeneous influx one of our programme’s strengths as it reflects the multidisciplinary reality of the professional field.
The advanced bachelor’s degree in landscape development is a great asset in the areas of urban development, town and country planning, landscape architecture, architecture, parks and gardens management and Geographic Information Systems. Graduates can find employment in public administrations (Flemish government, provinces and local authorities), public institutions (such as the VLM – Flemish Land Company or Regional Landscapes) and consultancy firms at home and abroad. The advanced bachelor of landscape development is also an excellent preparation for a master programme of, for instance, urban development or town and country planning.