The Making of the Landscape: 1600 to the Present Day


This course will follow on from the previous one, but can be taken on its own, and will look at the effect of the last four centuries on the landscape around us. In 1600 most of the population still lived in the country, but the changes of the early modern and modern period mean that the majority is urban today. Yeoman farmers built up their land holdings during the 17th century, and the new gentry increased theirs too, at the expense of small farmers. In the 18th and 19th centuries Parliamentary enclosure reshaped whole landscapes, and enormous acreages were reclaimed from the wild.  At the same time new fashions in houses and gardens were transforming the gentry's surroundings, and the mills and factories were marching across the fields elsewhere. 

There will be plenty of visual material in the course, and there will be documents and maps for students to sample and work on.

Programme details

Course begins:  24 Jan 2024

Week 1: Introduction to landscape history: methods and evidence; themes for the early modern and modern period; early enclosure landscapes

Week 2: Early deer parks; big houses and their parks

Week 3: The challenge to geometry and the landscape movement

Week 4: Landscape aesthetics

Week 5: Parliamentary enclosure of Open/Common fields

Week 6: Enclosure from the waste and wild

Week 7: Field trip to be confirmed

Week 8: The Industrial landscape and the 18th century Market Town

Week 9: Transport and the landscape; the preservation of the commons

Week 10: The 19th century countryside; model farms; into the 21st century


Students who register for CATS points will receive a Record of CATS points on successful completion of their course assessment.

To earn credit (CATS points) you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Coursework is an integral part of all weekly classes and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework in order to benefit fully from the course. Only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard.

Students who do not register for CATS points during the enrolment process can either register for CATS points prior to the start of their course or retrospectively from the January 1st after the current full academic year has been completed. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.


Description Costs
Course fee £257.00
Take this course for CATS points £10.00


Mrs Deborah Hayter

Deborah Hayter has taught many courses on Local and Landscape History both for OUDCE and for OUSSA  and for the University of Leicester in Northamptonshire.

Course aims

To provide an introduction to recent landscape history, enabling students to interpret and understand clues visible today, and the processes of change in the landscape throughout history; this term's course will cover developments from c.1600 to modern times.

Course Objectives:

  • To identify, look at and interpret techniques and primary sources - visual and documentary.
  • To begin to understand the interrelationship between people and the landscape.
  • To encourage students to relate their own local observations and knowledge to historical trends.

Teaching methods

A variety of teaching and learning methods will be employed, using much visual material, mainly as powerpoint slides. Students will participate with map-interpretation and the use of documents, and will throughout be encouraged to use their own local observations and knowledge to illuminate general historical developments.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course the students will be expected to:

  • be able to recognise and interpret some of the evidence for change in the last four centuries;
  • understand how economic and demographic factors affected the landscape;
  • be able to tackle some of the documentary and map evidence for recent landscape history.

Assessment methods

Option A: three short pieces of work, commenting on and analysing three of the handouts (or groups of handouts) used in the classes.

Option B: students can do a small-scale research project, the topic to be chosen by them after discussion with the tutor; this could be, for example, a report on the enclosure of a village's fields, or a study of a big house and its park.

Students must submit a completed Declaration of Authorship form at the end of term when submitting your final piece of work. CATS points cannot be awarded without the aforementioned form - Declaration of Authorship form


To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please complete an enrolment form (Word) or enrolment form (Pdf).

Level and demands

Most of the Department's weekly classes have 10 or 20 CATS points assigned to them. 10 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of ten 2-hour sessions. 20 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of twenty 2-hour sessions. It is expected that, for every 2 hours of tuition you are given, you will engage in eight hours of private study.

Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS)