Natural Heritage in Sustainable Destination Development

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 5EE643

Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Sustainable Destination Development A1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
Finalised by
The Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 9 March 2018
Responsible department
Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology

General provisions

The course can be taken as an optional advanced course in the one-year Master’s programme in Sustainable Destination Development, the two-year Master’s programme in Sustainable Destination Development, or as an elective course.

Entry requirements

A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university. The main field of study must be within the social sciences or the humanities. This prerequisite may be replaced by Introduction to Sustainable Destination Development.

Learning outcomes

The course gives an introduction to perspectives from the human and social sciences on the use of nature, landscape and natural heritage as a resource for destination development. The pre-conditions for, as well as negotiations and constructions of, natural heritage are discussed, as are anthropocentric and posthumanist perspectives on environmental history, views of nature and relations between culture and nature. The course is also intended to highlight and analyse the possibilities and consequences of tourism from local and regional points of view, through the use of ethnographic methods.

Having completed the course, the student is expected to be able to:

Regarding knowledge and understanding

  • Reflexively position him/herself in relation to an anthropocentric conception of nature and relate it to the use of nature, landscape and natural heritage in destination development.
  • Critically analyse and apply visual and narrative perspectives on the environment and natural heritage as fields of conflict with local and global stakeholders, and how such stakeholders act within the framework of complex socio-economic and ecological contexts.
  • Independently conduct a limited collection of empirical material using ethnographic methods, and analyse said material with a focus on the cultural construction and use of nature in destination development.
  • Strategically reflect on how nature and natural heritage are used as a resource in developing a destination, and how such use can both positively promote and challenge sustainability in the long term.

Regarding competence and skills

  • Give an account of central perspectives, concepts and methods of analysis on the course and reflect on ethical concerns arising from the application of such methods.
  • Independently and with ethnographic methods conduct a minor study identifying problems and opportunities arising from the use of nature in tourism, as well as give an account of and suggest strategic solutions to such problems in written or other form.


The course builds on a broad definition of nature as a cultural environment created through the interaction between man and nature. Environments are spatially connected and central perspectives on this course cover questions of the use and reuse of the environment as a resource in destination development in different fields, but with a focus on gardens and urban and rural landscapes. Based on fields of research such as ethnology, human ecology, cultural geography and archaeology, the social and cultural dimensions of nature are studied in terms of normative value patterns, visual representations and narratives. The course gives proficiency in using interdisciplinary perspectives on how relations between man and the environment influence sustainability, understood and achieved with a focus on current tourism and destination development.


The course consists of lectures and mandatory seminars. Emphasis is put on practical application as well as group exercises and individual assignments done in collaboration with stakeholders in the community.


The course is examined by active participation in seminars (1 credits), exercises (1 credits), written assignments (3 credits) as well as oral and written reports on group assignments (2.5 credits). Final grade is based on a weighted assessment of results from the examination elements.