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ELLS Summer Course 2018

Enrol in our ELLS 2018 Agri-Environmental course.

Take part in exploring the future of high country rangeland farming systems - 20 - 31 August 2018 (20 credits or 10 ECTS). Available for New Zealand students as Semester Two 2018 Special Topic LASC 616 Agri-Environmental Landscape Management.

Course information


Alternative high country sheep farming futures for Mount Grand will be investigated. Mount Grand is a 1600 ha sheep station located in one of New Zealand’s most beautiful and culturally important landscapes, the High Country in Central Otago. Students will investigate and reconcile the major scientific, agronomic and cultural challenges in establishing and implementing effective management regimes that fully integrate agronomic practices with environmental protection, biodiversity and landscape values.

Learning outcomes:

After successfully completing this course students will be able to demonstrate:

  • Knowledge: Multi-disciplinary dimensions of agri-environmental systems and their sustainable management at farm and landscape levels
  • Skills: Critical evaluation of current policy frameworks, organizational relationships and practical measures aimed at sustainable agri-environmental management of agricultural landscapes. Investigation of innovative pathways to enhance sustainable agri-environmental performance at a farm and landscape scale
  • Values: Recognition of the multiple values of agri-environmental systems as they are expressed in contemporary landscape management practices

Teaching-resource link:

  • Wendy McWilliam is the Examiner and Senior Lecturer in landscape architecture specialising in green infrastructure in agricultural landscapes
  • Alison Bailey is professor of farm management specialising in farm systems
  • Nick Dickinson is professor of ecology specialising in biological conservation
  • Simon Swaffield professor of landscape architecture specialising in landscape governance

Course structure:

The course includes the following components:
  1. Background reading and case study preparation
  2. Presentations and discussion of case study preparation
  3. Field tour
  4. Lectures and seminars
  5. Case study workshops
  6. Presentations of group projects and course conclusion

Readings and other resources:

A range of material will be available on the course Moodle website.  It is expected that students will be guided by the reading list on the website but will read and explore much more widely drawing upon previous studies and material.

How to apply?

Fill out the application form and send it back to Shona Mardle - shona.mardle@lincoln.ac.nz along with the following supporting documents:

  • Photocopy of passport
  • Academic transcript
  • Curriculum vitae (max. 2 pages, A4) – ensure this clearly states the stage of your education, eg 1st year of PhD, final year master's, half-way through PhD etc.
  • A letter of motivation (max. 1 page) describing your motivation and goals for taking part in the summer school and outlining your background experience and knowledge of agri-environmental landscape management.

Applications close on Monday 30 April 2018

There are limited places available, with some travel scholarships available.

If you have any enquiries please contact:

Shona Mardle
Email: shona.mardle@lincoln.ac.nz


How much is the course and what costs can I expect?

The course is currently $330, (to be confirmed each year) if your university does not have an ELLS reciprocal exchange agreement with Lincoln University. Accommodation and food are taken care of and there is no extra cost for this. You will need to pay for any accommodation before or after the course and food requirements at these times. Any extra food is at your cost – we provide three meals a day. Also see question on student costs.

Student costs -Insurance

You will need to pay the NZ$86.00 ($50 for insurance and $36 for student services levy) then you will be able to click on ‘submit’ on the LUCAS system when you enrol. You don’t need to fill out any application forms for the insurance policy. As an enrolled student this is automatic. Any problems with this please contact Diane de Haan.

If you already have a student insurance eg AON, then you may have the $50 insurance fee waived. There are strict compliance requirements around insurance. Contact Diane de Haan in the first instance if you wish to discuss this.

How will I know if my application is successful?

You will receive a letter confirming your acceptance. Once you have that letter you can register through the LUCAS system. If you have any difficulties in doing this please contact either Diane de Haan in the first instance, or Shona Mardle.

If I apply why is there no guarantee of acceptance?

Numbers are limited and we have several criteria that we base the application acceptances on. They include amongst other criteria

  1. Your application form – correctly filled out and all requested documentation supplied.
  2. Your degree – we look at all the applications and ensure we have a good range of degrees, we don’t want 12 people with landscape architecture degrees for example. This is a good opportunity to ensure communication between different disciplines and an opportunity to see other perspectives. We also make sure we have a good range of students from different universities to ensure a good educational experience.
  3. Your qualifications – master students are preferred. They are the ones that would get most out of this course.

I have submitted my application form. Now what?

Shona Mardle will confirm that she has received your application. If you haven’t heard from her within two days of submitting, please contact her again. Email systems are not 100% reliable and mistakes can be made. She will check your application and make sure all documentation is attached. You will hear nothing more until after the closing date of the applications. The committee will meet on several occasions to discuss all applications after the closing date. Once the decision has been made, letters will be sent to all applicants to inform you whether you have been accepted / declined / or on a waiting list. Once all positions are confirmed you will be contacted by Diane de Haan how you register into the LUCAS portal. You need to pay any student and insurance costs at this point. It is important that this is given some priority. Don’t be too disappointed if you are put on the waiting list, you could still be on the course as unexpected events happen. Be prepared, have your travel money available, there may not be time for you to do any major organising. Once the letters have been sent we will be communicating with you by email regarding your projects and requirements.

It is after the closing date but I still want to apply

Applications received after the closing date will not be considered. If we have not met our numbers we may consider them but there is no guarantee.

Why are numbers limited?

Numbers are limited for several reasons. There are practical reasons such as accommodation availability at Lincoln, Mode of travel of field tour, accommodation availability at field tour stops. But we also want you to have a good experience and an intensive academic experience and this is done best with small numbers. Not only will you be meeting other students from other universities and cultures but also meeting NZ students that take the course. A large cohort doesn’t allow the richness of this experience.

How many credits is this course?

This course is 20 credits towards your degree at your university.

What preparation will I need for the course?

There is some project work required before you arrive. You will be notified of that once you are successful.

What do I get to prove to my university that I have attended and passed?

We will provide you with an official transcript if you require this. Contact Diane deHaan or Shona Mardle for a copy. You can also access our student site LUCAS for an unofficial version of your grade.

How will I know my grade?

Grades will be entered into LUCAS approximately two weeks after the conclusion of the course. You will be able to access your grades through LUCAS once they are released. If you have any problems contact Shona Mardle or Dian de Haan and she will send them to you.

What are my visa/transit requirements?

We cannot legally give immigration advice but we suggest that you check with each country you will be going through eg Australia and see what they require. Do not rely solely on your travel agent as in the past we have found they have given incorrect information and students have been denied entry to Australia because they did not have the correct documentation. Please do your own research on the immigration pages for each country. Here are two links for Australian transit requirements. https://www.border.gov.au/Lega/Lega/Form/Immi-FAQs/do-i-need-a-visa-to-transit-through-australia


Visas – there are some countries that are on the list for visa waivers and if you are a citizen of that country you don’t have to apply for a visa before travelling to New Zealand if you are visiting for three months or less. A visitor’s visa allows you to study in New Zealand one or more courses of up to a total of three months in each of the 12-month periods your visa is valid. Visitor’s Visa application https://www.immigration.govt.nz/secure/Login+visitor.htm

The following links are helpful for immigration to NZ:





You also need to prove to immigration NZ that you have NZ$400 per month. Check the NZ immigration websites for more information on this.

If you were studying at Lincoln University for a semester or longer we would provide an ‘Offer of Place’ which you would submit with your student visa application.

You can study the ELLS course under the regulations of a visitor’s visa.

The guide below will give details of what documentation you need to provide.

Visitor Visa application https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas

Visitor Visa Guide https://www.immigration.govt.nz/documents/forms-and-guides/inz1018.pdf

Travel grant

The travel grant is Euro 1,000. We strongly suggest that you ensure you have all the costs for travel covered. The travel grants are limited and there is no guarantee you will get one. It is very disappointing for you and frustrating for us if we accept you into the course without a travel grant and you are unable to take up the course because of lack of finances.

If my travel grant application is accepted when do I receive it?

The travel grant is usually paid out after the course. You will be required to supply documentation so that it can be paid. There will be further information on that if you are successful.

Can I have my travel application in advance?

We are unable to provide the travel grant in advance. There is no exception to this.

What is the currency the travel grant is paid in?

Euro dollars

Will /Can Lincoln University act as a sponsor for my time at the university?

Unfortunately Lincoln University cannot act as a sponsor for your short term study in New Zealand. You should submit the letters from Lincoln confirming your admission, travel scholarship and accommodation with your visa application.

Field tour

The field tour starts on the first day of the course. Usually there is a debrief in the morning, we will provide you with lunch and then you will start on the trip. It is inadvisable to join the field trip once it is started. The site for the field tour is in the back country of New Zealand and there is no easily accessible public transport. The cost of meeting the course elsewhere is prohibitive and at your own expense. It could also add delays to the field tour which would penalise other participants. You must ensure that you arrive in New Zealand (Christchurch) before the start of the course, we strongly advise that you allow plenty of time in case of any transport delays or issues. Weather can be a major problem for airports at that time of the year especially in NZ so allow delay time


As mentioned elsewhere please ensure that you arrive in plenty of time for the course. You must be in Christchurch the day before the start at the very latest. Please check your flight tickets and ensure that the dates are correct. Leaving your country of origin on the day of the course is not a good start to the course. You must check that you will arrive in plenty of time.

I have got other commitments and can’t start / finish on the dedicated dates?

The application form and the web site clearly state the starting and finishing date. If you have other commitments then you will need to withdraw from the course, or make other arrangements for your commitments. Full participation and attendance is a compulsory part of the passing of the course.

What clothing requirements are needed for NZ

The course is being held in our early Autumn / late winter. Snow is still a possibility especially during the field tour, as you will be going up into our High Country. We suggest warm clothing and layers that you can take off. You will also need good sturdy footwear, but we will let you know more details closer to the time. For travel during the field tour we suggest you use a soft sided bag so that it can be packed into the vans easily. Luggage that you do not require on the tour can be safely stored at the School of landscape Architecture at Lincoln University.

I want to know more about NZ?

Look at the official NZ websites, that will help with any decisions you may need to make about your time here. Many students come earlier and travel around the country but most seem to do their travelling after the course.


Submission of application forms, general questions, travel problems, etc contact Shona Mardle email: shona.mardle@lincoln.ac.nz

For queries on visas or registration on the course through the LUCAS portal, contact Diane de Haan – email: diane.deHaan@lincoln.ac.nz in the first instance. You could also contact Shona Mardle who will ensure that Diane is aware of your query or maybe able to answer it.

For academic and coursework queries, please contact the examiner Wendy McWilliam email: wendy.mcwilliam@lincoln.ac.nz  you can also contact Shona Mardle who will ensure that Wendy is aware of your query.

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