Undergraduate study - 2023 entry
Open to the world

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
  • scientific precision

It analyses, represents, reclaims, reinvents and constructs landscapes as places with meaning. It is positioned at the interface between:

  • art and design
  • physical, natural and social sciences

Three strands of learning

Our programme is structured in three interconnected strands:

  • design
  • theory
  • techniques

You will explore landscape and environmental topics with contemporary relevance; these will look at 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, including:

  • resilience to climate change and loss of biodiversity
  • regeneration of polluted and contaminated areas
  • the need for increased social inclusion
  • responding to shifts in urbanisation

Developing your practice

Our programme is committed to educating designers whose study and practice is:

  • creative
  • inventive
  • intelligent
  • rigorous
  • ethical

Our staff are also designers, makers and theorists who engage with both local and global landscapes in their ongoing research practice.

Why Edinburgh

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 also have the opportunity to take up practical working opportunities worldwide. We currently offer exchange opportunities with renowned landscape architecture institutions in:

  • mainland Europe
  • Australia

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.


Our four-year MA Landscape Architecture honours programme is accredited by the Landscape Institute.

Year 1

Your design work will focus on the principles of landscape architecture, including:

  • spatial concepts
  • exploration
  • function
  • planning
  • representation

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.

Year 2

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.

Year 3

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
  • architecture
  • technology
  • 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.

Year 4

Design courses involve an advanced depth of exploration and resolved proposition. Your work will be increasingly self-directed.

You will also complete a:

  • dissertation
  • 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 (2022/23)

Our facilities

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 the Edinburgh College of Art 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.

Facilities and resources at ECA

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.

Take a virtual tour of the Edinburgh College of Art


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 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 mix of:

  • coursework
  • portfolio work
  • presentations

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.

Transferable skills

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.

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 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.

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
  • 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.

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.

English language requirements

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. 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.

Fees and funding