Programme: Landscape and Wellbeing - MSc; Illustration - BA (Hons)

Year: 2017; 2007

Alison Glanville Jones returned to ECA to join the first cohort of Landscape and Wellbeing - MSc students. Now, a year since graduating, Ali shares her experiences of the programme to which she attributes her gaining employment within the social service sector in Scotland, focusing on knowledge exchange and service design.

Tell us about your time at ECA

Before applying to the programme, I had spent over ten years building up a portfolio that focused on creative engagement within healthcare and education, and I wanted an opportunity to develop my research skills within a postgraduate course. I knew that I didn’t want to go back into a predominately ‘Arts’ environment, and I had always been interested in the role of different environments in supporting people's health, so I thought that a programme in Landscape and Wellbeing would allow me to tap into my eclectic skill set.

I was particularly attracted to the multidisciplinary nature of the programme, and the fact that we could sample different electives from different schools allowed me a broader perspective of how I could use my subject when going back into professional practice. I also relished the opportunities we had to access site visits to places like Maggie’s Centres and different hospital grounds. These experiences put into context the potential benefit of what we were learning for people’s health and wellbeing.

Having previously completed my undergraduate degree at ECA (many moons ago), I knew that the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA) within ECA had an excellent reputation. This made me feel a lot more secure in making a considerable change and returning to education.

Work by Ali Jones
Work by Ali Jones
Landscape Design for Health and Wellbeing assessment: Design brief for the Little France project

"I can safely say that I would not have been able to access my current role if I hadn’t done this programme. I gained so many different skills and tools that have allowed me to develop a much more critical approach to research and knowledge exchange."

Ali Glanville Jones, Landscape and Wellbeing alumna

Now you have graduated, what is next?

After completing the programme, I started a project management role working in the social service sector in Scotland, focusing on knowledge exchange and service design. I can safely say that I would not have been able to access my current role if I hadn’t done this programme. I gained so many different skills and tools that have allowed me to develop a much more critical approach to research and knowledge exchange. Though I don’t directly work in the area I studied, elements of what I learned creep into my everyday practice and allow me to confidently make recommendations for how we can best support the people to whom we are providing services.

Alumni advice

I came from a predominately practical ‘Arts’ background, and the academic writing and theory part of the programme pushed me out of my comfort zone! So for anyone coming from that sort of angle I would recommend brushing up on your writing and referencing skills beforehand. Other than that, go into the programme with an open mind and try not to focus too much on the result. You will have some wonderful opportunities to learn from leaders in the field and have a very privileged insight into how we can best support people’s health and wellbeing.


Are you interested in studying Landscape and Wellbeing - MSc at Edinburgh College of Art?

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