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Landscape Architecture - MA
Landscape architects plan and design spaces, and places. They work across a diverse range of environments from urban to rural and at scales ranging from the garden to the region. As a Landscape architect you’ll join a chartered profession regulated by the Landscape Institute.
Here at Edinburgh College of Art you’ll join one of the most respected programmes for Landscape Architecture in the UK. The MA Landscape Architecture programme has full accreditation from the Landscape Institute. You'll develop an understanding of materials, technology, cultural and natural processes enabling you to design functional and sustainable environments with identity. And you’ll have the unique opportunity to take part in the European Masters in Landscape Architecture.
Who should study Landscape Architecture?
If you’re creative and you’re passionate about improving the environment for the benefit of people and nature, this programme is for you. Over the course of the degree your design skills will develop via core design courses which are supported by also studying drawing, visual culture, urban design, geography, ecology and horticulture and you’ll develop an in-depth understanding of how to read the landscape around you.
Gaining experience and developing practical skills
In years one to three you’ll work on a number of design projects tutored in the studio, often on a one-to-one basis. You’ll spend semester two of your third year on placement in professional practice, giving you hands-on experience in a design office before returning for the fourth year to develop your design portfolio and dissertation. Field trips also form an important part of the programme and include a study tour of English-designed landscapes in your first year.
Ready for professional practice
When you graduate you’ll be ready to for a career in professional practice. Graduates from our Landscape Architecture programme are highly sought after. A Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Edinburgh can lead to employment worldwide. Almost all of our Landscape Architecture graduates quickly gain employment, predominately in private practice but also in local government and with public bodies such as Scottish Natural Heritage or the Countryside Agency.
What you will study
Design work focuses on spatial concepts, exploration, function, planning and representation. You will also study drawing, IT, art and design, visual culture, physical geography, architectural and landscape history and landscape construction.
Design work becomes more focused and complex. You will take courses in urban design and reclamation. Studio work is supported by contextual and technical courses covering aspects of detailed design, built-environment theory, living systems and temporal aspects.
Design work complexity increases and focuses on urban regeneration. You will have an opportunity to take an option course from a suite offered by Landscape Architecture, Edinburgh School of Architecture & Landscape Architecture (ESALA) or from the rest of the University. In semester 2 you will undertake a professional placement in a landscape architecture practice and study courses by distance learning. You will have the opportunity to apply for the new European Masters in Landscape Architecture (EMiLA) upon successful completion of Year 3.
Please note that places on EMiLA are limited to five each year.
European masters students will spend semesters 1 and 4 in Edinburgh and semesters 2 and 3 with two of our four prestigious European partners: The École Nationale Supérieure du Paysage (Versailles), Leibniz Universität (Hannover), Academie Van Bouwkunst (Amsterdam) and the Escola Tecnica d'Arquitectura de Barcelona. Each partner has different perspectives on landscape architecture as a profession, subject and design medium.
Design work is advanced and focuses on increasingly self-directed courses. You will also complete a self-directed dissertation via a design or research route.
How will I be taught?
Landscape Architecture encourages self-directed study from Year 1 to Year 4; but studio-based design teaching is central. Projects are often tutored on a one-to-one basis. Work is reviewed in communal critique sessions. There is a credited placement period in Year 3.
How will I be assessed?
You will be assessed by a combination of coursework, exams, portfolio work and presentations.
Are there additional costs?
You will have to finance your participation in any study tours. Drawing and drafting equipment is necessary from the first year onwards.
Exchange opportunities exist in the third year of the programme. We have exchange partners in North America, Australia, New Zealand and throughout Europe, under the Erasmus programme.
Top five reasons to choose the programme
- Attracting outstanding students: during the past six years our students have won the Landscape Institute’s Portfolio Prize on four occasions and the Dissertation Prize three times, recognising the outstanding quality of their work.
- Take part in the European Masters in Landscape Architecture (EMiLA): we are the only institution in the UK to offer a collaborative European Masters in Landscape Architecture, also accredited by the Landscape Institute.
- Study-abroad: you’ll have the opportunity to study abroad in your third year through the ERASMUS programme or the University's International Exchange Programme. These opportunities will enrich your perspectives on Landscape Architecture and your development as a practitioner.
- Develop practical experience: a placement semester combines distance learning with practical experience, helping to prepare you for life in practice.
- Access to leading researchers and practitioners: you’ll draw upon the expertise of leading researchers and practitioners in Landscape Architecture. Their work is used to inform public policy on outdoor environments across the UK and they are involved in innovative design practice, consistently winning awards and recognition for their design work.
Kenny Fraser, Programme Director | View staff profile >
Dr Simon Bell, Senior Lecturer in Landscape Architecture | View staff profile >
Lisa Mackenzie, Senior Lecturer in Landscape Architecture and EMiLA coordinator | View staff profile >
Ross McLean, Lecturer in Landscape Architecture | View staff profile >
Dr Thomas Oles, Lecturer in Landscape Architecture
Chris Rankin, Permanent Part-time Lecturer in Landscape Architecture | View staff profile >
Elinor Scarth, Teaching Fellow in Landscape Architecture | View staff profile >
John Stuart-Murray, Senior Lecturer in Landscape Architecture | View staff profile >
Tiago Torres-Campos, Lecturer in Landscape Architecture | View staff profile >
Donald Urquhart, Part time Reader in Art | View staff profile >
Professor Catharine Ward Thompson, Professor of Landscape Architecture and Director of Open Space | View staff profile >
Including journals, databases, and local collections.
Resources for History of Art, Art, Architecture and Landscape Architecture students.
A fully operational, entirely student-run 90-seat theatre housed in a neo-gothic church.
Get information, advice and guidance about your career options.
The Centre for Research Collections (CRC) is the main space for anyone using the University of Edinburgh’s historic collections.
Work spaces are available across the University. ECA's computers include software tailored to the disciplines studied here.
At the heart of the Evolution House Learning and Research Zone, the ECA Library provides an innovative environment for learning, teaching and research resources in art and design.
ECAfé provides a full catering service to all staff, students and visitors to Edinburgh College of Art.
Edinburgh Global's mission is to encourage internationalisation, enhance the student experience, create and develop partnerships.
EUSA represent the student voice. They provide services, run events, and facilitate student societies.
Information and guidance on financial matters for all students of the University of Edinburgh.
A Georgian garden that doubles as a venue for performances in the centre of the city.
The primary collection of books, periodicals, manuscripts, and research material.
The workshop facilities include band saws, pillar drills, sanders and wire-cutters.
This model workshop is equipped for constructing architectural models in a wide variety of materials.
By day, a café, bar and study space, and by night a club venue. Potterrow’s dome is also home to the Advice Place and the Potter Shop.
Includes a screen-printing room, relief room, lithography room, process room, intaglio room, and caseroom.
The neo-classical Sculpture Court in the ECA Main Building is home to the many pieces from the Edinburgh Cast Collection, and is regularly used for student exhibitions.
Caters to a diverse range of users from occasional exercisers to international athletes.
Offering counselling services for students, workshops, consultation and training for staff.
Supporting students with dyslexia, mental health issues and students on the autistic spectrum, as well as those who have physical and sensory impairments.
Talbot Rice Gallery is the public art Gallery for the University of Edinburgh.
Home to six distinctive bars, Teviot is the oldest purpose built students' union in the world.
A hub for the University Societies and setting regular live music, comedy, spoken word and poetry nights.
A bar at the Lauriston Campus which hosts regular events including club nights and gigs.
Woodworking tools and machinery include laser cutters, a vacuum former, and a 3D scanner and printer.
News & events
ECA's diversity and partnerships with European Universities has brought together GRAFT, an exciting group of alumni contributing to the artistic life of the city.
Two alumni were selected in the Student Dissertation and Student Portfolio categories.