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SRL732 - Plants, Design and Ecologies


2020 unit information

Important Update:

Classes and seminars in Trimester 2/Semester 2, 2020 will be online. Physical distancing for coronavirus (COVID-19) will affect delivery of other learning experiences in this unit. Please check your unit sites for announcements and updates one week prior to the start of your trimester or semester.

Last updated: 2 June 2020

Enrolment modes:Trimester 2: Waterfront (Geelong), Cloud (online)
Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 2: David Jones




Incompatible with:


Typical study commitment:

Students will on average spend 150 hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

Scheduled learning activities - campus:

6 x 1 day class/seminars (6 hours per day).

Scheduled learning activities - cloud:

Learning experiences are via CloudDeakin.


SRL732 considers the role of plants and plant material in landscape design and landscape architecture. The thrust of this unit is upon planting design, and learning about plants and their applications and possibilities as a design medium. Planting design is the art and process of designing and creating plans for layout and planting of public domain areas, gardens, and landscapes.

This unit explores and reviews the realm of plant science and natural ecology as it pertains principally to the profession of landscape architecture. Part of the unit seeks to explore nomenclature, plant habitat and needs and plants generally in terms of their scientific and taxonomic use, language and peculiarities. A second part nurtures an individual appreciation and palette of plant materials pertinent to the practice of planting design. A third part explores fundamental concepts of ecological science including systems, scientific communities, the role of soils and geology, the links between plants and wildlife, and the food and medicinal properties of plants whether European, scientific and or Indigenous. A fourth part examines two select ecosystem types, for example coastal and riverine, as case studies in indigenous plant and ecological systems and the manner in which such systems have been appropriated and used in landscape architecture design, ecological restoration, rehabilitation, planning and or management projects as well as their despoliation, misuse, dilution by exotics and noxious species, fragmentation of corridors and patches, and the impact of human-driven land development activities. Lastly, the unit considers the use of plants as a medium in design culminating in a planting design exercise.


These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this Unit

At the completion of this Unit
successful students can:

Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes


Demonstrate a vision and understanding of the concept of ecosystems and plant science

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO4: Critical thinking
GLO5: Problem solving


Demonstrate personal plant knowledge, understanding and appreciation of plants in design and practice
including their role in landscape architecture

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO4: Critical thinking
GLO5: Problem solving


Demonstrate knowledge of the inter-relationships of plants, ecosystems, and design

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO4: Critical thinking
GLO5: Problem solving


Apply skills in acquiring and synthesising natural system information to inform plant selection and planting design processes

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO4: Critical thinking
GLO5: Problem solving
GLO6: Self-management


Apply practical skills in the use, selection, care, curatorship of plants according to ecosystems, environments and the contexts in which they are being used and managed

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities
GLO2: Communication
GLO3: Digital literacy
GLO4: Critical thinking
GLO5: Problem solving
GLO6: Self-management

These Unit Learning Outcomes are applicable for all teaching periods throughout the year


Assessment Description Student output Weighting (% total mark for unit) Indicative due week
Site analysis Narrated PowerPoint, 20-page maximum 10% Week 2
Planting design and oral presentation Design proposal and plan 20% Week 4
Plant Book (Plant research file) Written reports and mapped data sheets 50% Weeks 6 and 11
Plant identification assignment E-quizzes 20% Weeks 9 and 11

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Learning Resource

The texts and reading list for the unit can be found on the University Library via the link below: SRL732 Note: Select the relevant trimester reading list. Please note that a future teaching period's reading list may not be available until a month prior to the start of that teaching period so you may wish to use the relevant trimester's prior year reading list as a guide only.

Unit Fee Information

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