Landscape and Wellbeing - MSc

Programme video: Landscape and Wellbeing (MSc)


This one-year MSc programme takes an innovative and interdisciplinary approach to understanding the importance of the environment for human health and wellbeing.

Drawing on the most advanced theoretical and methodological research in the field, it is delivered by an expert academic team, including members of OPENspace, the international research centre for inclusive access to outdoor environments.

The programme is aimed at academics and practitioners working in landscape architecture, planning, design, geography, public health, psychology, epidemiology, horticulture and ecology.

It is designed to help you understand the evidence base on salutogenic landscapes (those that support and enhance human health and wellbeing), translate research into practice, and guide more effective environmental interventions.

What you will study and where it will take you

The programme is structured around four compulsory courses and three option courses, drawing on expertise across the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA) and the wider University of Edinburgh.

Compulsory courses:

  • Landscape and Wellbeing: Theoretical Foundations
  • Landscape Design for Health and Wellbeing
  • Landscape and Wellbeing: Research Strategies & Methods
  • Dissertation

The programme combines lectures, seminars and project work with student-led presentations, essays and a supervised dissertation. 

You will benefit from guest lectures given by a range of professionals within the OPENspace network and from site visits to, for example, Maggie’s Centres, Forestry Commission Scotland’s Woods In and Around Towns sites, the Royal Edinburgh Hospital’s Community Garden and Ninewells Hospital Forest.

The degree will deepen your engagement with landscape and wellbeing. More specifically, it will prepare you for work in sectors including landscape architecture, planning, public health, human geography, horticulture and ecology. It may also prepare you for doctoral-level research.

Top five reasons to choose the programme

  • You will develop expertise in an area of rapidly growing international interest and recognition.
  • You will have access to leading international experts in the field of landscape and wellbeing and the latest research methods.
  • You will study alongside colleagues from a range of related professions and disciplines.
  • You will have the opportunity to select optional courses which best suit your interests and which draw on expertise across the University of Edinburgh.
  • You will participate in both classroom and site-based learning, taking advantage of Edinburgh and Scotland’s rich natural heritage and resources.


Professor Catharine Ward Thompson (Programme Director), Professor of Landscape Architecture, Director of the OPENspace research centre, and Associate Dean of Research, Knowledge Exchange and Impact at the College of Humanities and Social Science.

Dr Simon Bell, Senior Lecturer and Associate Director of the OPENspace research centre.

Scholarships & bursaries

Scholarships available for one academic year of postgraduate study at Edinburgh College of Art. (£5,000)

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