Undergraduate study - 2018 entry

MA Landscape Architecture

UCAS code: 4J22

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Edinburgh College of Art

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA Landscape Architecture

Landscape architecture is a creative discipline that focuses on intervention in the landscape through imaginative design, strategic thinking and scientific precision. It analyses, represents, reclaims, reinvents and constructs Landscapes as places with meaning. It is positioned at the interface between art and design, and the physical, natural and social sciences.

Our programme is committed to educating designers who are creative, inventive, intelligent, rigorous and ethical in their practice as both students and professionals. Our staff are also designers, makers and theorists who engage with landscapes that are local and global in their ongoing research practice.

Our programme is structured in three interconnected strands: design, theory and techniques. We have a unique relationship with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, where you will learn about plants and horticulture from world-leading researchers and scientists. You will have the opportunity to take up practical placement opportunities worldwide. We also offer exchange opportunities with renowned landscape architecture institutions in Europe and Australia.

BA Programme

We are also in the process of developing a three-year BA programme which will enable accelerated progress or development, and may be selected by students towards the end of Year 2.


This programme is fully accredited by the Landscape Institute.

Year 1

Design work focuses on the building blocks of landscape architecture including spatial concepts, exploration, function, planning and representation. You will also study techniques of drawing, IT, art practices and theories of physical geography, architectural and landscape history and landscape construction.

Year 2

Design work becomes more focused and complex. You will take courses which focus on landscape planning and the study of urban landscapes with a particular emphasis on urban design and urban regeneration. Studio work is supported by contemporary landscape theory, applied landscape theory and technical courses covering aspects of detailed design.

Year 3

Design work focuses on complex landscape systems, with exploration of related landscape research topics. In semester 1 you will take an option from a suite of landscape architecture courses or from the wider University. In semester 2 you will undertake a practice work period usually in a landscape architecture practice with two associated distance learning courses.

Year 4

Design courses advance depth of exploration and resolved proposition, with focus on increasingly self-directed work. You will also complete a self-directed dissertation via a design or research route and compile a carefully curated academic portfolio.

Programme structure

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.

Programme structure (2017/18)

Our facilities

Teaching takes place across a range of facilities in central Edinburgh, predominantly at Edinburgh College of Art’s Lauriston Place campus. Other locations in the University are also used. Plant teaching takes place at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE). You will have access to design studios, well-equipped workshops, computer labs and libraries.

The University is investing in the ECA estate and facilities to further develop our flexible, stimulating, supportive and sustainable learning and research environment for students and staff.

Further information is available on the ECA website.

Facilities and resources at ECA


Semester 2 of Year 3 is a credited placement 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.

Study abroad

You'll have the opportunity to take up practical placement opportunities worldwide. We also offer exchange opportunities with renowned landscape architecture institutions around the world.

Guaranteed study abroad funding for students required to complete a year abroad

How will I learn?

Landscape Architecture encourages self-directed study from Year 1 to Year 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 on a one-to-one basis. Work is reviewed in communal critique sessions. There is a credited placement period in semester 2 of Year 3.

How will I be assessed?

You will predominantly be assessed by a combination of coursework, portfolio work and presentations. Some courses are assessed by written essays and in your graduating year there is a dissertation submission.

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

To give you an idea of what to expect from 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.

Programme details (2017/18)

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. Almost all of our landscape architecture graduates quickly gain employment, predominately in private practice but also in local government and with public bodies such as Scottish Natural Heritage or the Countryside Agency.

Transferable skills in document production and graphic design, computer modelling, and visualisation techniques are applicable to a range of other industries.

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.

Typical offer

The typical offer is likely to be:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points (grades 655 at HL).

Minimum entry requirements

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S5 or ABBBB/AABB from S4-S6, with a minimum of BBB achieved in one year of S4-S6. National 5: English at Grade C and Mathematics or an approved science at Grade C. Evidence of artistic ability is normally required at either Higher or National 5 level. (Revised 11th April 2017 to provide more accurate information.)
  • A Levels: ABB. GCSE Mathematics or an approved science, and English, required at Grade C or 4. Evidence of artistic ability is normally required at either A Level or GCSE. (Revised 11th April 2017 to provide more accurate information.)
  • IB: Award of Diploma with 34 points overall and grades 655 in HL subjects. SL English at 5 and Mathematics or an approved science at grade 4 . Evidence of artistic ability is normally required at either Higher or Standard Level, e.g. Visual Arts or Design Technology. (Revised 11th April 2017 to provide more accurate information.)

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

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.

International Foundation Programme

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

You must provide evidence that your written and spoken English is at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:

  • IELTS Academic module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component
  • TOEFL-iBT 92 or above with 20 in each section
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): Total 61 with at least 51 in each "Communicative Skills" section
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components

About English language requirements


For SQA and GCSE 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 Grade C
  • SQA Standard Grade 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C
  • GCSE Grade C or 4
  • IB Standard Level Grade 5

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 Unistats data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MA Landscape Architecture

Additional costs

You will need to purchase specialist equipment such as a laptop and pay for drawing and model making materials. You will also have to pay for 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.

Fees and funding