Postgraduate study

Architecture, Landscape and Environment MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

The MSc Architecture, Landscape, and Environment offers you the opportunity to advance your studies in the dynamic teaching and learning environment of Edinburgh College of Art. This programme allows you to explore and work with an expanded understanding of critical theories and practices at the forefront of contemporary environmental and societal challenges, delivered by an experienced group of research-led senior staff at the University of Edinburgh.

Interdisciplinary in nature, the MSc Architecture, Landscape, and Environment provides a unique opportunity to explore the interconnected nature of architectural and landscape practices with environmental concerns. The programme has a generalist structure, which delivers individual student experiences through a flexible framework that focuses on student-led choice in the shaping of a learning experience, allowing you to appreciate and develop a wide range of specialised and experimental approaches relevant to the field of situated, spatial and site-related theory and practice.

Your experience is defined by your choice of option courses and the focus of your final research projects. You will draw on a wide range of courses addressing architectural, landscape, and environmental themes, while compulsory courses address the sites and methods of creative research. You will work closely with academic staff in seminars; you will engage with sites in Edinburgh and Scotland, the UK and abroad, through fieldwork; and you will undertake a supervised research project following two semesters of coursework.

The MSc Architecture, Landscape, and Environment is a one-year post-graduate taught programme delivered over three semesters. The programme structure includes compulsory courses which provide a theoretical understanding of site-based/situated knowledge; experimental approaches to research; expanded conceptions of fieldwork; and humanities-based methodologies. Running through semesters 1 and 2, the aim of compulsory courses is twofold in 1) allowing students to develop a methodological approach to their final research project (60 credit compulsory course in semester 3), and 2) providing a theoretical foundation to which compulsory course options and recommended elective course options add specialist areas of practice and knowledge.

Compulsory course options include a suite of courses specifically aligned with the programme as specialist pathways covering key thematic areas of environmental theory, landscape theory and practice, climate action, and architectural history. Additionally, recommended elective course options include a suite of existing courses within ESALA and across the University of Edinburgh, offering students the opportunity to either diversify their interests or underpin their area of specialism.

Over the MSc students take 100 credits of compulsory courses + 40 credits of compulsory course options + 40 credits of recommended elective course options. In semesters 1 and 2 students take a mix of one compulsory course, one compulsory optional course and one recommended elective course option, allowing students an exciting opportunity to build their learning experience. In semester 3 students undertake a final research project as the culmination of their studies.

The MSc Architecture, Landscape, and Environment provides you with a strong generalist and developmental foundation throughout compulsory courses, while providing significant scope for you to build your own pathway of specialist learning through compulsory course options and recommended elective course options. In semester 3 the programme brings these strands together, where you draw together methodological, theoretical and practical knowledge in a substantial research project.

Graduate attributes include:

  • Draw from an experienced group of research-led senior staff at the University of Edinburgh, to appreciate and develop a wide range of specialised and experimental approaches relevant to the field of spatial and site-related theory and practice.  
  • Working closely with other disciplines, demonstrate and work with an expanded understanding of interdisciplinary theories and practices at the forefront of contemporary environmental and societal challenges.
  • Using Edinburgh and Scotland as a global context of enquiry, apply critical approaches to fieldwork that identify, conceptualise and define contemporary environmental and societal concerns, while developing creative responses through site-related investigations.
  • Apply knowledge and skills in applying a range of advanced spatial theories, concepts and methods of enquiry, while demonstrating originality in planning and executing a significant investigative site-related project.
  • Demonstrate initiative in articulating ‘situated’ projects as outcomes that respond to current environmental and societal challenges and situations, while theorising these as identifiable contributions to critical spatial theory and practice.
  • Develop skills in writing, communication, research, fieldwork and observation.

The MSc Architecture, Landscape, and Environment enables students to develop an individual and specialist area of knowledge or practice while expanding their knowledge across disciplinary fields. As an advanced interdisciplinary programme, we welcome candidates from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds related to contemporary environmental theory and practice, including:

  • Architecture
  • Architectural History
  • Landscape Architecture
  • the Humanities
  • Social Sciences
  • Creative Arts

The MSc Architecture, Landscape, and Environment provides graduates with a strong foundation to further careers in their chosen disciplinary areas, with an expanded understanding of critical theories and practices at the forefront of contemporary environmental and societal challenges. The programme offers the necessary critical skills for its graduates to pursue diverse careers in:

  • spatial and design practices
  • the creative arts
  • policy (e.g. heritage management)
  • advocacy in third-sector organisations (e.g. international NGOs and charities related to the climate emergency, landscape conservation, and cultural landscapes)
  • cultural organisations and museums
  • global media.

The programme provides a pathway to advanced doctoral studies, preparing students with knowledge of research methodologies, critical writing and comparative epistemologies.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in architecture, architectural history, landscape architecture, or another humanities, social science, or creative arts subject.

We will also consider a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in other subjects.

If you do not meet the academic entry requirements, we may still consider your application on the basis of your relevant professional experience, please contact us to check before you apply.

(Revised 1 December 2022 to clarify requirements. No material changes made.)

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:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScMSc Architecture, Landscape & Environment1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScMSc Architecture, Landscape & Environment2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

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

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. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

You must submit one reference with your application.

As part of the application process, you must submit a personal statement and CV/Portfolio. Your personal statement must include a 300-word summary addressing the following points:

  • What is your specialist field of interest?
  • How would you hope your time on this programme will further your academic interest?
  • What are your ambitions following your successful graduation from this programme?

Within your CV, you are invited to put together a collection of visual material of work you have done at University, professionally, or following your own interests. It can include drawings, photographs, journals and notebooks. This should take the form of a PDF portfolio of work and be no more than 10 pages in length.

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