Programme: Landscape Architecture - MSc

Year: 2018

Morbheinn McAllister didn't know what to expect when she decided to study Landscape Architecture at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA). Having graduated this year, she has gone straight into a role at a landscape architecture practice in Glasgow. Morbheinn shares her experience of the programme and the opportunities it gave her to be creative and develop her own style in the discipline.

Tell us about your time at the University

I went into my studies knowing little about landscape architecture and what it entailed. Looking for something alternative to architecture, landscape looked like it could be a fun, exciting, up-and-coming subject that dealt with a huge range of social, aesthetic and environmental issues. Throughout the programme I was encouraged to be creative and to develop my own personal approach to design. I think this is one of the most rewarding elements of the course, the opportunity to think outside the box and create unique outputs in response to different landscapes in both local and international settings.

In my fourth year, I had the opportunity to spend twelve months working at the renowned Edinburgh-based landscape architects, GROSS MAX. The placement allowed me to apply the skills I had learned over the previous three years to a real-life setting, like working on the massive Greenwich Peninsula development in London. This experience allowed me to develop both my design and graphic skills hugely, and prepared me for the intensity of the final year.

I had a fantastic experience studying Landscape Architecture. Since my class was small, I developed close friendships with my peers. Working in the studio setting, we were able to bounce ideas off each other and laugh, even during challenging deadlines and tasks. I didn’t just gain skills and knowledge from the programme, I gained a collective of life-long friendships which have continued to thrive throughout our transition into practice.

"I had a fantastic experience studying Landscape Architecture...I didn’t just gain skills and knowledge from the programme, I gained a collective of life-long friendships which have continued to thrive throughout our transition into practice."

Morbheinn McAllister, Landscape Architecture - MSc, Class of 2018

Tell us about your experiences since leaving the University

Having been in Edinburgh for five years for my studies, I have moved to Glasgow and have begun working at TGP Landscape Architects. In my short three months in practice so far, I have been given the opportunity to work on a huge variety of projects ranging from a distillery in the Highlands, to the redesign and re-imagination of two streets in Glasgow as part of the Glasgow Avenues project. This has allowed me to use the knowledge I learned at ECA to develop concept designs and marketing graphics whilst getting better acquainted with the later stages of a project such as on-site construction. Working for a small company means I have greater responsibility, which encourages quick learning and constant development of the skills I learned at university.

Since beginning work, I have had the opportunity to attend various events directed at professionals in the Landscape Architecture discipline, including the Young Landscape Architects Knowledge Exchange and Specifi Landscape, this has allowed me to create invaluable connections with other landscape architects as well as being a source of inspiration and knowledge.

I am excited to continue working and building my knowledge in landscape architecture through real-life design, as well as being able to see the results of completed designs which I have had the opportunity to be a part of.

Ecological Establishment in Ardrossan by Morbheinn McAllister
Image by Morbheinn McAllister
Ecological Establishment in Ardrossan by Morbheinn McAllister
Public Nature, Ardrossan, Scotland by Morbheinn McAllister
Image by Morbheinn McAllister
Public Nature, Ardrossan, Scotland by Morbheinn McAllister

Alumni wisdom

The Landscape Architecture programme at ECA provides an amazing opportunity to be creative and develop your own style in the discipline. Seize this opportunity and make the most of being able to design without limits. Don’t be scared to think outside the box - landscape design doesn’t have to represented by detailed technical drawings, it can be represented by a piece of art, sculpture or even a performance.

Most importantly, bounce ideas off your peers. They are your greatest resource in university because if you become stuck they may just provide you with the inspiration to create something ambitious, unique and outstanding.

The MSc in Landscape Architecture has been replaced by the MA(Hons) in Landscape Architecture. This four-year undergraduate degree is fully accredited by the Landscape Institute. 


Are you interested in studying Landscape Architecture - MA at Edinburgh College of Art?