Postgraduate study

Landscape Architecture MLA

Awards: MLA

Study modes: Full-time

Accreditation

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Landscape Architecture

This programme is professionally accredited by the Landscape Institute and provides students with professionally focused landscape architectural skills and a critical awareness of the context of contemporary landscape architecture practice. This is the only professionally orientated postgraduate programme in landscape architecture in Scotland, and it has an acknowledged international reputation.

Landscape architecture combines creative practice with intellectual rigour in the invention of landscapes for human occupation. Working across a range of scales, from the territory to the garden, it is a practice that draws on a deep understanding of material and cultural history, ecology, geography, climate, and the past and present uses of landscapes in order to speculate on the future.

The MLA programme at the University of Edinburgh invites applications from graduates with distinctive disciplinary interests. Applicants may come from a range of study, practice or research backgrounds, including landscape architecture, studies in design, ecology, construction techniques, horticulture and theory.

The two-year programme of study is uniquely designed to cultivate landscape architects from a variety of undergraduate specialisms. The programme endeavours to train individual practitioners with distinct modes of practice and fields of interest with the aim that MLA graduates enter the profession with a sophisticated portfolio of skills, knowledge and understanding.

Design teaching within the MLA programme is research-led. Colleagues within ESALA maintain active design practices through commission, competition and publication; they are engaged in practice and research at local, national and international levels. The programme benefits from the studio-based learning typical of an art-college environment. Design, theory and techniques courses are delivered from within ESALA and from the wider ECA and University community. Uniquely, components of teaching and learning activities are taught at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. The MLA satisfies the Landscape Institutes’ professional requirements and enables graduates to commence a period of relevant employment leading to the Institute’s Pathway to Chartership Examination.

Accreditation

This programme is professionally accredited by the Landscape Institute.

Four design courses underpin the programme, these courses take the form of design studios. This type of course promotes a teaching and learning environment in which students are encouraged to take risks and experiment. Studios provide the opportunity for collective research, discussion and working out of ideas. Design exploration is supported and informed by technical and theoretical courses which run in parallel to the studio based learning and teaching.

In the second year of study you will develop a major design project and reflect upon your approach to landscape architecture in the form of a design report. The programme culminates in the opportunity to stage a public exhibition of your final year design proposals.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MLALandscape Architecture21 MonthsFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

The programme aims to provide an environment of study at postgraduate level where students:

  • Apply the knowledge, understanding and skills gained at undergraduate level to the mastery of the discipline of landscape architecture.
  • Develop knowledge, understanding and skills in the technical, theoretical and practical concerns of the discipline.
  • Extend ability in reading and understanding a range of environments and landscapes at different scales, and develop a critical understanding of landscape architectural practice.
  • Develop original and creative design skills and the ability to engage with different stages of landscape architecture design practice autonomously.

As a discipline and a profession Landscape Architecture has the potential to inform our environment at every scale. It carries a responsibility of stewardship. The MLA programme seeks to foster designers at once creative and critical, able to navigate the full extent of the profession; ethical, intelligent, highly skilled and imaginative practitioners.

The programme aims to unable graduates to enter the profession with a sophisticated portfolio of flexible skills, knowledge and understanding.

Graduates from the MLA programme progress to work in design practice and landscape stewardship both nationally and internationally, as well as contributing to academia and aspects of governance of a wide range of landscapes across a broad range of scales.

Normally a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in an appropriate subject such as geography, planning or ecology. You should have a strong interest in landscape architecture and show creative potential.

You must submit a portfolio of recent work as part of your application. Your portfolio should contain up to 10 pages that:

  • collectively demonstrates your potential ability to visualise your design ideas
  • demonstrate creative skills
  • are sourced from work you produced at school or from a relevant first degree such as landscape architecture, architecture, art or other design programme or extra curricular activities or self-led projects

As part of the application process, you must submit a personal statement and CV.* Your personal statement must include (but is not limited to) a 300 word summary addressing the following points:

  1. What is your specialist field of interest?
  2. How would you hope your time on this programme will form your landscape architectural practice?
  3. What are your ambitions following your successful graduation from this programme?

If you do not meet the academic entry requirements, we may still consider your application on the basis of your portfolio and/or relevant professional experience.

(*Revised 1 October 2019 to reflect changes in the CV and personal statement submission process.)

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 61 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MLALandscape Architecture21 MonthsFull-timeTuition fees
  • Postgraduate Admissions Office
  • College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • 57 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JU

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit one reference with your application.

You must submit a portfolio as part of your application. You won't be able to submit your portfolio immediately, but you'll receive an email prompt within a few days of submitting your application that will explain how to upload your portfolio.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Postgraduate Admissions Office
  • College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • 57 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JU