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. Our Landscape Architecture - MA 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 (EMiLA).
Who should study landscape architecture?
If you’re creative and passionate about improving the environment for the benefit of people and nature, this programme is for you.
Over the course of the degree, you will develop your design skills through core courses, supported by the study of 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.
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 the opportunity to take an option course from a suite offered by the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA) or from other schools and disciplines in ECA and the University of Edinburgh.
In semester two, 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 European Masters in Landscape Architecture (EMiLA) upon successful completion of Year Three (please note that places on EMiLA are limited to five each year).
European masters students will spend semesters one and four in Edinburgh and semesters two and three 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 One to Year Four; 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 Three.
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.
There are exchange opportunities in the third year of the programme. We have exchange partners in North America, Australia, New Zealand and throughout Europe, under the Erasmus programme.