Suspended for September 2021 entry

This programme has been temporarily suspended for September 2021 entry. You will not be able to apply for this programme at this time.

Reasons to choose the programme

You’ll tailor the programme by selecting one of four thematic pathways, enabling you to specialise in an area of specific interest.
You’ll conduct research in local, regional and internationally-renowned rural and urban landscapes, such as the Orkney Islands, Athens, Berlin, Tallinn and Edinburgh.
You will benefit from ECA's transdisciplinary setting and opportunities to select optional courses from across the University of Edinburgh.
You’ll engage in research with key theorists and practitioners in the field by organising and participating in a symposium on cultural landscapes.
You’ll be located at the very heart of Edinburgh, a vibrant city of significant cultural and historic renown.


We are committed to offering a high-quality experience to all our students. We are working to minimise the impact of Covid-19, but we have reluctantly decided that we will be unable to offer this programme for entry in 2021.


Our one-year MSc in Cultural Landscapes examines the relationships between people and the landscapes they inhabit. It poses crucial ethical, theoretical and practical questions about the ways landscapes are used, perceived, experienced and represented in the contemporary world.

This exciting Masters programme blends theories and practices from across a wide range of disciplines: cultural geography, visual culture, art history, cultural studies, architectural history and theory, social anthropology, interdisciplinary choreography, digital sociology, environmental humanities, environmental humanities, geoarchaeology, contemporary art, and landscape theory. You’ll discover that our approach is truly interdisciplinary.

As a student, you’ll tailor the programme by selecting one of four thematic pathways: Material Culture; Urban Landscapes; Digital Landscapes; and Landscape and Representation, giving you the opportunity to develop expertise in a specific area of interest.

How you will study

You’ll undertake a series of theoretical and practical projects at sites within Edinburgh and further afield, including Ian Hamilton Finlay’s acclaimed garden, ‘Little Sparta’.

You’ll use these sites to explore the relationships between culture, history and the environment, and they’ll also form the basis of proposals you will develop based around, for example, a public art project, an ethnographic field study, a geographical project or a textual analysis.

Drawing on the expertise of invited speakers and guest lecturers, you’ll take an active role in the development and organisation of a seminar series and colloquium exploring current theoretical debates on cultural landscape studies. Through blog posts, oral presentations and reflective reports, you’ll demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the topics we examine.

The skills you’ll gain throughout the programme will lead you towards the development of a major research project: either a dissertation based on original research on a topic of your choosing; or a proposal for a site-specific project. Whichever you select, you’ll be supported throughout by your project supervisor.


This programme prepares you for further postgraduate research at doctoral level and a successful academic career. It can also enhance your skills and qualifications to find work in industries including heritage management, planning departments, and conservation policy, as well as in the creative industries and the arts.

For those with established public and site-specific art practices and/or professional qualifications in architecture, landscape architecture and urban design, the programme can deepen your theoretical, historical and methodological engagement with landscape.


Dr Penny Travlou

Lecturer, Cultural Geography and Theory

ECA Co-ordinator of Adjustments


Tel: +44 (0)131 651 5825

Scholarships and bursaries

Andrew Grant Postgraduate Scholarships

  • Deadline: 1 March 2021
  • Value: £10,000
  • Eligibility: Scholarships available for one academic year of postgraduate Masters study at Edinburgh College of Art.


Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions

Tel: +44 (0)131 650 4086