Landscape Architecture - MPhil/PhD


Landscape architecture, environmental planning and design contribute to a wide variety of environmental, social-behavioural and aesthetic outcomes and impacts.

Studying for a PhD or MPhil in Landscape Architecture at ECA will give you the opportunity to develop your specialist knowledge of a particular area within this wide subject area.

You will be encouraged and enabled to produce an original contribution to knowledge in the field and to the life of one of the largest landscape architecture departments in the UK, situated in one of Europe’s pre-eminent locations for the study of landscape architecture.

Our community of researchers is vibrant, inclusive, multi-disciplinary and international.

Areas of interest and expertise

Supervision is offered across a very wide range of research themes and topics. These cover a range of countries or regions and historical or contemporary periods and issues.

Areas of expertise include landscape design, planning and management practice, sustainable and resilient landscapes, environment and health studies, landscape perception and experience. They also extend to inclusive landscape design, the history and theory of landscape architecture, and landscape architecture conservation.

You can choose to be supervised jointly, or by second supervision, by experts in other departments within the University of Edinburgh, including Geography, Health in Social Science, Education, Engineering, and History and Classics.

You will also be given the opportunity to participate fully in University training sessions and workshops to help you develop transferable and professional skills.

You will be offered support to help develop your teaching skills and may also be offered the opportunity to contribute to undergraduate teaching within the department.

Top five reasons to choose the programme

  • We offer one of the largest and liveliest international PhD/MPhil programmes in landscape architecture.
  • You will have access to supervision from a range of world-class researchers, drawn from within and beyond the discipline of landscape architecture.
  • We support both conventional modes of study and design- and practice-based research methods.
  • Staff research profiles include particular expertise in: environment and health links; inclusive access to outdoor environments; practice-led research; urban and peri-urban landscapes; environmental perception and the history and theory of landscape architecture.
  • We offer the chance to undertake research that can make a major contribution to the theory and history of the discipline and to engage and inform policy and practice.


Prof Catharine Ward Thompson, Programme Director | View staff profile >

This is a research programme. Support and supervision may be provided by any of the teaching staff in this School.

View the full staff list for Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture >


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Resources for History of Art, Art, Architecture and Landscape Architecture students.

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Scholarships & bursaries

Successful applicants will have a research interest aligning with, or cutting across, ECA's five Schools.

The scholarships cover tuition fees, maintenance allowance, research and travel allowance.

Designed to attract high quality students applying for PhD research.

Funding for PhD students undertaking interdisciplinary research at ECA. (£16,000 per year)

Open to overseas students starting a PhD at University of Edinburgh.

News & events

Catharine and Matluba 960 x 610.jpg

Photo of an award winner with her prize
Matluba (left) with her Great Places Award at the EDRA conference
She is pictured with OPENspace Director, Catharine Ward Thompson
Image courtesy of OPENspace

Matluba Khan’s outdoor classroom scoops the EDRA and PPS Place Design Award 2016.


The six contestants who took part in the ECA heat of this year's 3 Minute Thesis competition
The six contestants who took part in the ECA heat of this year's 3 Minute Thesis competition

Six PhD students battle it out, with wins for Music and Landscape Architecture.


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