MA Landscape Architecture
UCAS code: 4J22
Duration: 4 years
School: Edinburgh College of Art
College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
Introducing MA Landscape Architecture
What is landscape architecture?
Landscape architecture is a creative discipline that operates at the forefront of major societal and environmental challenges.
It strives to offer creative design strategies to help address problems such as the impacts of climate change, while promoting the sustainable use of environmental resources, including food, energy and water.
Landscape architects design spatial settings for social interaction and everyday life. They play an essential role in promoting public health and social justice in society.
At larger scales, landscape architects create planning strategies for:
- urban growth
- infrastructural and ecological networks
- carbon reduction
- hydrological systems
The discipline involves synthesising the various factors that converge in landscapes. This requires creative and critical ideas that work across social, ecological, environmental and material concerns.
This synthetic form of discipline makes our students aware of the changing world around us. This gives them with the skills and knowledge to make positive change.
Landscape Architecture at the University of Edinburgh
Our teaching staff are designers, makers and theorists who engage with both local and global landscapes. Our teachers engage in world leading research and practice that directly informs our teaching.
We also employ tutors from the industry who provide valuable insights into professional practice. We have a unique relationship with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Their researchers and scientists contribute to teaching with their knowledge of plants and horticulture.
How you will learn
Our programme is structured in three integrated strands of teaching:
This allows students to develop ideas and skills, while bringing these together in creative studios that deal with real world projects.
Study abroad opportunities
We currently offer exchange opportunities with renowned landscape architecture institutions in mainland Europe and Australia.
You will also have the change to study on the unique European Masters in Landscape Architecture programme.
A career in landscape architecture
At Edinburgh we have established an international reputation for developing students of the highest quality. This makes them highly employable.
A professional career in landscape architecture encompasses a range of options, from working in design offices, to working for local authorities and environmental agencies. Our graduates also possess skills that allow them to diversify career paths across a range of similar disciplinary fields.
Landscape architecture is a globally established profession, offering the potential for our graduates to find work across the world. Locally, numerous landscape architecture practices can be found in any major city, meaning our graduates have the ability to find a job in a place of their choice.
Our programme offers a period of work placement that allows students to experience professional life and form connections with professional practices, while testing potential career paths. You will have the opportunity to take up work placements worldwide.
Choice of study routes
As well as the four-year MA qualification, we also offer an alternative three-year BA programme. You can decide to choose the BA route towards the end of Year 2.
Proposed new programme
We would like to hear your views on a potential new undergraduate opportunity in Landscape Architecture.
Our four-year MA Landscape Architecture honours programme is accredited by the Landscape Institute.
Your design work will focus on the principles of landscape architecture, including:
- spatial concepts
You will also study:
- drawing, IT and art techniques
- theories of physical geography, architectural and landscape history
- landscape construction
You will study with architecture students on some courses.
Your design work becomes more focused and complex this year.
You will take courses focusing on:
- landscape planning
- the study of urban landscapes
These have a particular emphasis on designing for climate adaptation and urban regeneration.
Studio work is supported by contemporary landscape theory and technical courses covering aspects of detailed design.
In Year 3, your design work will be based on complex landscape systems and explore related landscape research topics.
In Semester 1 you will choose courses from a suite of:
- landscape architecture
- digital media
You may also pick option courses from the wider University.
In Semester 2, you will complete a practice working period, usually in a landscape architecture practice. You will combine this with studying three associated online learning courses.
Design courses involve an advanced depth of exploration and resolved proposition. Your work will be increasingly self-directed.
You will also complete a:
- carefully curated academic portfolio
Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.
To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.
Teaching predominantly takes place across a range of facilities in:
- the Central Area campus
- Edinburgh College of Art (ECA)
You will have access to:
- design studios
- well-equipped workshops
- computer labs and libraries
Some plant teaching takes place at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.
Investing in our learning environment
The University is investing in Edinburgh College of Art's estate and facilities. This will further develop our supportive, stimulating and sustainable learning and research environment.
You can find out more on the ECA website.
Take a virtual tour
You can take a closer look at Edinburgh College of Art and explore our facilities and campus on the University's Virtual Visit site.
Semester 2 of Year 3 is a credited practice working period.
This means you can work in practice from January until September, taking advantage of working opportunities worldwide.
You will study Semester 2 courses by distance learning.
You will have the opportunity to take up practice working opportunities worldwide.
We currently offer exchange opportunities with renowned landscape architecture institutions around the world.
How will I learn?
Landscape Architecture encourages self-directed study from Years 1 to 4.
Studio-based design teaching is central and is supported by two aligned strands in theory and techniques. Design projects are tutored using a range of teaching techniques, including one-to-one tutorials.
Work is reviewed in communal critique sessions. There is a credited practice working period in Semester 2 of Year 3.
How will I be assessed?
You will mainly be assessed through a combination of:
- portfolio work
Most theory courses are assessed by written essays.
In Year 4, you will submit a dissertation.
This programme offers a route into the landscape architecture profession and our graduates are highly in demand. A landscape architecture qualification from the University of Edinburgh can lead to employment worldwide.
Where our graduates work
Almost all of our landscape architecture graduates quickly gain employment. Most go into private practice, but others work in areas including:
- local government
- public bodies such as Scottish Natural Heritage or the Countryside Agency
Our students go on to achieve a high level of recognition and success, including winning the Landscape Institute's Student Portfolio Prize and Student Dissertation Prize.
Through the work of some of our recent graduates, we also won the title of Best School at the Rosa Barba International Biennial of Landscape Architecture 2018.
Our programme will also give you skills applicable to a range of careers, including:
- document production
- graphic design
- computer modelling
- visualisation techniques
You will also be able to pursue further study including post-professional MSc and PhD programmes in the built environment and in other cultural and creative disciplines.
Standard entry requirement
The standard entry requirement is:
- SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S5 or AABB/ABBBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
- A Levels: ABB.
- IB: 34 points with 655 at HL.
Minimum entry requirement
The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:
- SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
- A Levels: ABB.
- IB: 34 points with 655 at HL.
The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:
- SQA: Highers: no specific Higher subjects required. National 5s: English at C and one from Biology or Human Biology, Chemistry, Computing Science or equivalent, Geography, Mathematics, or Physics at C. Evidence of artistic ability is normally required at either Higher or National 5 level.
- A Levels: no specific A Level subjects required. GCSEs: English at C or 4 and one from Biology or Human Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science or equivalent, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Physics, or Science at C or 4. Evidence of artistic ability is normally required at either A Level or GCSE.
- IB: HL: no specific subjects required. SL: English at 5 and one of Biology or Human Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science or equivalent, Geography, Mathematics, or Physics at 4. Evidence of artistic ability is normally required at either HL or SL, e.g. Visual Arts or Design Technology.
We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
International Foundation Programme
If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.
We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.
Regardless of your nationality or country of residence, you must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.
SQA, GCSE and IB
For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:
- SQA National 5 at C
- GCSE at C or 4
- Level 2 Certificate at C
- IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)
English language tests
We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:
- IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 5.5 in each component.
- TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 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 176 with at least 162 in each component.
- Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
- PTE Academic: total 62 with at least 54 in each component.
(Revised 29 August 2023 to remove PTE Academic Online)
We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.
English language qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the degree you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, PTE Academic, TOEFL or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.
This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.
It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.
Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.
You will need to buy specialist equipment such as a laptop. You will also have to pay for:
- drawing materials
- model making materials
- printing costs
Self-funded fieldwork and study tours are undertaken as part of the programme.
For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.