Undergraduate study - 2021 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.

Landscape architecture is positioned at the interface between art and design, and the physical, natural and social sciences.

You will explore landscape and environmental topics with contemporary relevance to both urban and rural contexts. You will learn skills that prepare you to face some of the most meaningful challenges currently happening in our cities and wider territories. These include resilience to climate change, regeneration of polluted and contaminated areas, or adaptation to the increase of human populations.

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 both local and global landscapes 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 (RGBE), where you will learn about plants and horticulture from world-leading researchers and scientists.

You will also have the opportunity to take up practical working opportunities worldwide. We currently offer exchange opportunities with renowned landscape architecture institutions in mainland Europe and Australia.

BA Programme

We also offer an alternative three-year BA programme which will enable accelerated progress or development, and may be selected by students towards the end of Year 2.


MA Landscape Architecture is a four-year honours programme that is accredited by the Landscape Institute (LI).

Year 1

Design work focuses on the principles 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. You will study with architecture students on some courses.

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, architecture, technology and digital media courses, or from the wider University.

In Semester 2 you will undertake a practice working period, usually in a landscape architecture practice, with three associated online 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 will 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 (2020/21)

Our facilities

Teaching takes place across a range of facilities in central Edinburgh, predominantly at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA). 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 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.

Study abroad

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.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

Landscape Architecture encourages self-directed study from Years 1-4.

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 practice working 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 Year 4 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 (2020/21)

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.

Our students go on to achieve a high level of recognition and success and they regularly win 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.

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.

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.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Highers: no specific Higher subjects required. National 5s: English at C and Mathematics or an approved science 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 Mathematics or an approved 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 Mathematics or an approved science at 4. Evidence of artistic ability is normally required at either HL or SL, e.g. Visual Arts or Design Technology.

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 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.


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
  • SQA Standard Grade at 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 at A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 at C
  • GCSE/IGSCE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate Grade 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 module overall 6.5 with 5.5 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition) 92 or above with 20 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 176 with 162 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with a distinction in all four components.

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, TOEFL, or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

English language requirements

*(Revised 27 April 2020 to include TOEFL-iBT Special Home Edition.)

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.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MA Landscape Architecture

Additional costs

You will need to purchase specialist equipment such as a laptop and pay for your 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