Postgraduate study

Landscape Architecture PhD, MPhil

Awards: PhD, MPhil

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Landscape Architecture

Our research profile includes the following areas which fall into two broad categories:

Inclusive access to outdoor environments led by the OPENspace research centre

  • Exploration of how public open space, urban parks and squares, forests, green and blue spaces and rural areas can contribute to quality of life. Our work includes a focus on the benefits to be gained from getting outdoors and the barriers currently experienced by different users, particularly those from disadvantaged groups.

  • Landscape design and planning to support young children, teenagers, older people, and other age groups and sectors within the population.

  • Research on salutogenic environments (the health-enhancing qualities of engagement with certain types of landscape) and on discerning the mechanisms behind any links between wellbeing and the natural environment.

  • Environmental perception, including empirical research on the transactional nature of people’s engagement with place.

Landscape planning and design

  • Landscape architecture as a force in urban planning including the application of landscape character assessment, the dynamics of peri-urban areas and future landscape scenarios.

  • Innovative, practice-led design research, especially involving collaborations with artists and designers from disciplines outside landscape architecture.

  • Cultural landscapes and the understanding the relationship of people through their lives to specific landscapes, including the role of memories and associations with contested landscapes.

  • The history and theory of landscape architecture, including development of the public role of the landscape architect in the 19th and 20th centuries.

All of our research students benefit from ECA’s interdisciplinary approach and all are assigned two research supervisors.

Your second supervisor may be from another discipline within ECA, or from somewhere else within the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences or elsewhere within the University, according to the expertise required.

On occasion, more than two supervisors will be assigned, particularly where the degree brings together multiple disciplines.

Our research culture is supported by seminar and public lecture programmes and discussion groups. You will be required to undertake research training during your degree. This will take the form of one or more semester-long courses consisting of workshops on research methodologies, designed for students working in landscape architecture, architecture and allied disciplines.

In addition, there are opportunities to access a wide range of research methods courses across the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences.

You may also take any of the short postgraduate skills training courses offered by the Institute for Academic Development, or any other research methods training suggested by your supervisor.

Research programmes in architecture and landscape architecture are served by high-quality library facilities.

All students in the programmes are provided with access to study space, as well as access to well-equipped multimedia laboratories, photography and exhibition facilities. There are also several bookable spaces for the development of exhibitions, workshops or seminars.

The PhD by Distance is available to suitably qualified applicants in all the same areas as our on-campus programmes:

  • Art
  • Design
  • History of Art
  • Music
  • Architecture
  • Landscape Architecture

The PhD by Distance allows students who do not wish to commit to basing themselves in Edinburgh to study for a PhD in an ECA subject area from their home country or city.

There is no expectation that students studying for an ECA PhD by Distance study mode should visit Edinburgh during their period of study. However, short-term visits for particular activities could be considered on a case-by-case basis.

For further information on the PhD by Distance please see the ECA website:

These entry requirements are for the 2023/24 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2024/25 academic year will be published on 2 October 2023.

Normally a UK masters degree, or its international equivalent. We will also take any professional experience into account.

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 Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 185 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with passes in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 70 with at least 59 in each component.

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, Trinity ISE or PTE, 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 (non-MESC).

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:

Tuition fees

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
PhDLandscape Architecture3 YearsFull-timeTuition fees
PhDLandscape Architecture6 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
PhDLandscape Architecture by Distance3 YearsFull-timeTuition fees
PhDLandscape Architecture by Distance6 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
MPhilLandscape Architecture2 YearsFull-timeTuition fees
MPhilLandscape Architecture4 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK's governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:

  • your programme
  • the duration of your studies
  • your tuition fee status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Office
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • Evolution House, Grassmarket
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH1 2LE
Programme start dates Application deadlines
9 January 2023 1 December 2022
11 September 2023 1 August 2023
8 January 2024 1 November 2023

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 two references with your application.

You should submit a research proposal that outlines your project's aims, context, process and product/outcome. Read the application guidance before you apply:

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

Further information

  • Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Office
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • Evolution House, Grassmarket
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH1 2LE