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Two children painting a plant pot blue Image courtesy of Matluba Khan


Landscape Architecture - MPhil/PhD



2 - 6 years
Full-time; Part-time


A PhD or MPhil in Landscape Architecture is for anyone who is keen to explore important aspects of the relationship between people and landscape. Applicants may have a background in landscape architecture or a neighbouring discipline with an interest in landscape. You may be on an academic path following directly from achieving a master degree or have spent time since then in work and from your experience find yourself motivated to pursue research via the MPhil or PhD degree. 

Our innovative research at Edinburgh College of Art, which is strongly associated with that undertaken by the OPENspace research centre, engages with developing agendas linked to many of the UN sustainable development goals and the challenges facing people and the planet. Themes pursued by past and current students include the public realm, urban open space, blue and green space networks and sustainable, healthy environments. There is a particular focus in the programme in the relationship between landscape and human health and wellbeing. Landscape architecture, environmental planning and design contribute to a wide variety of environmental, social-behavioural and cultural outcomes and impacts.

Research interests  

Supervision is offered across a very wide range of research themes and topics. These span many countries, regions, historical and 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, inclusive landscape design, the history and theory of landscape architecture, landscape architecture conservation, cultural landscapes, and applications of digital technologies.


Following the achievement of the MPhil degree you may enter an academic career and eventually move into a PhD programme or choose to go into practice. A PhD allows you to seek post-doc or other academic positions as a lecturer or researcher, depending on your preferences. Many PhD students are also staff members at overseas universities and the PhD allows them to follow an academic career path once they return to their home institution.

Why you should choose this programme


You will have access to supervision from a range of world-class researchers, drawn from within and beyond the discipline of architecture.


We actively promote interdisciplinary approaches and encourage research that challenges conventional modes of practice and thought.


You will benefit from leading research training methodologies and seminar events, including distinguished visiting professors, all within a lively, research-driven environment.


You will have access to world-class computing, library and workshop facilities, all located in a European capital city with good transport links.


The programme provides exciting opportunities for cross-disciplinary exploration and research with the Schools of Art, Design, History of Art, and Music within ECA as well as other schools in the University.


You will form part of a community of research students from the UK and around the world, working on different but also related subjects and using many different methods. A series of seminars presented by students helps to foster a vibrant research community. You will also have the chance to contribute to teaching and tutoring on the landscape architecture programmes in order to gain experience and be part of the wider academic community within ESALA.

How to apply & entry requirements

If you'd like to study on a postgraduate research programme at Edinburgh College of Art, you must apply through EUCLID, our online application system. You can find out how to do this on the University of Edinburgh website, where you'll also be able to:

  • See detailed entrance requirements for each programme on the Degree Finder  
  • Get information on what to expect after you apply  
  • Find out about study modes, start dates and fees  
  • Find out if, and how, you need to submit a portfolio, showreel or research proposal  
  • Find out where to go for further advice and guidance.

Application process

Before you apply

As this is a research programme, support and supervision may be provided by any of the teaching staff in the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA). You could also 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.   

Please ensure that at least one member of staff (see below) maintains an active research programme that aligns with the themes of your proposed project.  

Prospective students are strongly encouraged to make contact with the relevant member(s) of staff via email to explain your research interests prior to submitting an application. Please note that we only accept applications and review application materials submitted through the official EUCLID application portal.

After you apply

Once your application has been submitted for consideration, it will be sent to a team of academic reviewers for their attention. They will then make a decision about your application and research topic, and decide whether it is possible to make an offer of a place to study with us. You may be asked to attend a brief online interview but if this is the case, you will be notified in advance.

Get in touch

Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions
+44 (0)131 651 5740

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