Landscape Architecture MLA (LI accredited)

Why choose this course?

This two-year conversion course, accredited by the Landscape Institute, is aimed at graduates and professionals from disciplines including architecture, spatial design and ecology who can bring their knowledge, expertise, inquiry and creativity to the expanding field of landscape architecture. It is designed to engage with the interdisciplinary nature of contemporary landscape practice and research, as well as new opportunities for creative collaboration and co-production.

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Full time 2 years 2–3 days per week September 2021
Part time 4 years 1 day per week September 2021
Location Kingston School of Art, Knights Park

2021/22 entry

If you are planning to join this course in the academic year 2021/22 (i.e. between August 2021 and July 2022), please view the information about changes to courses for 2021/22 due to Covid-19.

 

Continuing students

Students who are continuing their studies with Kingston University in 2021/22 should refer to their Course Handbook for information about specific changes that have been, or may be, made to their course or modules being delivered in 2021/22. Course Handbooks are located within the Canvas Course page.

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • This course is accredited by the Landscape Institute (LI) and can form the route to the professional Pathway to Chartership, an online tool that records your knowledge and development against the LI Chartership syllabus. The final stage, once you've demonstrated sufficient knowledge, is the oral examination.
  • Kingston's London location gives you opportunities for contemporary design projects, and the University has established local, European and international networks.
  • You will work closely with architecture students in an art school environment. There are purpose-designed top floor architecture studios, designed by Stirling Prize winning architects, Haworth Tompkins.

Accreditation

The Landscape Institute

The Landscape Institute

The Landscape Institute

This course is accredited by the Landscape Institute (LI) and is the route to the professional Pathway to Chartership of the Landscape Institute (P2C).

What you will study

All design projects are developed as part of a personal portfolio that can be immediately used to target employment. Projects reflect critical challenges and opportunities of contemporary landscape practice including green and blue infrastructures, resilient and adaptive strategies, detailed design of places for people, planting, biodiversity, transformation and change through time. Workshops include: model making (in the Faculty's 3D workshop), mapping, drawing, digital media, materials and construction.

Our London location, established local, European and international networks, and Landscape Interface Studio provide the focus for contemporary landscape design projects that address immediate and long-term landscape solutions for cities and their regions.

Modules

The course begins with a series of intensive workshops with expert practitioners for rapid assimilation and application of key landscape architecture skills, techniques and knowledge.

The course includes study visits and opportunities to collaborate on live projects with client and community engagement.

Summer work experience and a critical case study engage students with an immediate context of practice and the opportunity for dialogue with practitioners in relation to projects on site.

Core modules

Landscape Architecture: Primer

60 credits

A Landscape Architect synthesises a complex range of issues, design aspirations and inspirations to produce projects which strategically engage individuals, communities and society with place in practical, personal, cultural and political ways. The material practice of landscape architecture responds to and engages with the dynamic, constantly changing conditions of the living world. Representations of landscape both construct its meaning and are fundamental to the processes of its design; a range of representational techniques underpin the act of design and the communication of proposals.

This module recognises the breadth of knowledge and skills and the range of experiences of the student group, and extends these to provide the necessary foundation for landscape architecture studies. The module supports students in developing shared learning alongside individual development, experimentation and expression, appropriate to the needs of each student. The module primes students to undertake practices of landscape architecture through a series of workshop-lab exercises led by specialist practitioners, concluding with the production of a Landscape Architecture Primer document which will underpin the work throughout the course.

Landscape Architecture: Portfolio

60 credits

Through a process of primary and secondary research across a broad range of subjects, Landscape architects appraise the fundamental conditions of site and context, in order to inform a strategic design approach for a particular place. Landscape architecture interprets and transforms the interactions and inter-relationships between a diverse range of physical, environmental, social and cultural factors. The successful integration of professional and technical issues within a developing design process is fundamental to landscape architecture; this process of synthesis requires sensibility, critical self-reflection, iteration and team work.

The module targets the delivery of a creative Landscape Architecture portfolio of design projects that explore the identification of factors of local distinctiveness, and demonstrate the momentum and achievement of the first phase of the Landscape programme. This provides a platform for the critical case study and possible direction for summer work experience, and defines the trajectory of the second year of study.

Landscape Architecture Professional Practice: Design & Making

30 credits

Good design successfully integrates ethical, regulatory, financial and professional conditions within a material practice. These elements are integral to a creative process and the development of a coherent, successful landscape architecture proposition.

The profession of landscape architecture sits in a context of interdisciplinary production and delivery, and is subject to code/s of conduct and professional body requirements. Landscape architecture professionals engage in an aesthetic, pragmatic and ethical use of materials, construction and aftercare, employing techniques for resilience, adaptation, and green and blue infrastructures.

The module supports the Landscape Architecture Thesis Project process and ethos of design project development, making and resolution, within UK and international contexts of professional practice.

Landscape Architecture: Reading, Research and Narrative

30 credits

Landscape architecture and urbanism is shaped by historical, contemporary, and visionary seminal ideas. Narratives of landscape architecture relate to temporal and spatial scales of practice: development, regeneration, infrastructure and responsibility, from the small local scale to the city, its region and international context.

This module focus brings together the consideration of theory, research and narrative, in the context of the practice and communication of landscape architecture. The module supports students' engagement in research processes and enables them to apply a critical knowledge of the concept and theory of research methodologies, to further develop a theoretical grounding and literacy in landscape architecture, and to support research-informed design practice.

Landscape Architecture: Thesis Project

60 credits

The development of a research design thesis reflects individual ambition, curiosity and creativity, in this expanding field of practice, and seeks to test relationships between Landscape practice and related co-professional activity, benchmark projects and measurable ‘values'. The thesis project requires that sophisticated thinking, clearly articulated strategies and analytical research techniques are applied to the synthesis of ideas, development and resolution of a project.

This module is the ‘capstone project' and the culmination of a student's educational experience of the MLA programme. It offers the opportunity for students to articulate their developing position as landscape architects and professionals. Within this module students can refine an interest and ambition emerging from study within preceding modules and prior experience, and articulate a specific expertise or focus within the scope of the profession.

The project will be presented and curated in a format for digital publication or exhibition appropriate to the theme and anticipated audience. Students are encouraged to define aspirational agendas that address current challenges: economic, environmental and social, and define appropriate goals in this dynamic field of practice. The digital publication or exhibition will be the edited and outward facing expression of the thesis project, supported by the thesis project portfolio in the context of this module.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

The minimum entry qualifications for the programme are:

  • good honours degree (minimum 2.2)
  • and/or professional experience and a qualification in a related discipline such as Architecture, Spatial Design, Engineering, Ecology, or Geography.

Applications are considered initially on the basis of the information in the application forms including academic and employer references and a portfolio of evidence of personal study or a professional portfolio.

Interviews

We normally invite applicants for an interview prior to selection. We can make alternative arrangements for international students based overseas.

Prior learning - AP(E)L

Applicants with prior qualifications and learning may be exempt from appropriate parts of a course in accordance with the University's policy for the assessment of prior learning and prior experiential learning. Contact the faculty office for further information.

English language requirements

All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirement, which is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall with at least 5.5 in each element. Make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we consider.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements could be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Applicants from a recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Teaching and assessment

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on this course. The team includes senior academics and professionals, many of whom have their own architectural practices and are involved in the delivery of different elements of this course.

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically involves reading and analysing articles, regulations, policy documents and key texts, documenting individual projects, preparing coursework assignments and completing your PEDRs, etc.

Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the University's online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

At Kingston University, we know that postgraduate students have particular needs and therefore we have a range of support available to help you during your time here.

Your workload

Year 1: 18% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.

Year 2: 19% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.

Type of teaching and learning

Year 1

Year 2

Year 1
  • Scheduled teaching and learning: 220 hours
  • Guided independent study: 980 hours
Year 2
  • Scheduled teaching and learning: 230 hours
  • Guided independent study: 970 hours

How you will be assessed

Assessment typically comprises coursework e.g. design projects and portfolio, critical case study, professional practice report, seminar presentations, landscape manifesto, and masters project exhibition or digital publication.

Type of assessment

Type of assessment
  • Coursework: 100%

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Class sizes

To give you an indication of class sizes, this course normally enrols six to 10 students but they join the Year 2 cohort of the MLA Landscape Architecture course and partly MA Landscape & Urbanism students, so lecture sizes are normally 18­­-24. However this can vary by module and academic year.

Who teaches this course?

Teaching is delivered by a team of ambitious and creative design practitioners and researchers.

The team includes senior academics and professionals, many of whom have their own architectural practices and industry contacts.

You'll be taught in classroom-based seminars, tutorials and lectures, alongside site visits to the world-famous Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, museums, galleries, auction houses and other creative professional environments.

Our excellent reputation means that industry leaders regularly visit our student shows to see the best of the new talent.

This course is taught at Kingston School of Art, based at the Knights Park campus.

Fees for this course

2022/23 fees for this course

Home 2022/23

  • MLA full time £10,260
  • MLA part time £5,643

International 2022/23

  • MLA full time £18,200
  • MLA part time £10,010

2021/22 fees for this course

Home and European Union 2021/22

  • MLA full time £9,735
  • MLA part time £5,354

Overseas (not EU) 2021/22

  • MLA full time £17,800
  • MLA part time £9,790

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees.

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.

Textbooks

Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to, or be required to, buy your own copy of key textbooks.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet you can use around campus and in halls of residence. Free WiFi is available on each of the campuses.

Printing

In the majority of cases coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees.

Travel

Travel costs are not included but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses and halls of residence.

Funding and bursaries

Kingston University offers a range of postgraduate scholarships, including:

If you are an international student, find out more about scholarships and bursaries.

We also offer the following discounts for Kingston University alumni:

Facilities

Kingston School of Art at Knights Park is situated on the Hogsmill River, with its restaurant and bar opening on to the waterside. It has a friendly, creative feel and benefits from recently refurbished workshops and studios, a reception area with a gallery, art shop and space, and the light and airy open-plan learning resources centre. There are also well-equipped lecture theatres, seminar rooms and computer resources.

For most courses, learning takes place in fully-equipped specialist studios. You will take part in classes, tutorials and critical reviews with fellow students. This strong studio culture ensures regular interaction between students and tutors.

For non studio-based courses, learning takes place in classroom-based seminars, tutorials and lectures, alongside site visits to museums, galleries, auction houses and other creative professional environments.

After you graduate

Examples of recent graduate destinations for this and similar courses include:

  • senior landscape architect ARUP Environmental
  • landscape architect Churchman Landscape Architects London
  • landscape architect Gustafson Porter London and Seattle
  • landscape architect Grant Associates Bath
  • associate director landscape architect AECOM
  • landscape architect HTA Design London
  • director Spacehub London

What our graduates say

My enthusiasm for the profession of landscape architecture is entirely based upon my experience at Kingston University where I feel students are encouraged to explore diversity within the wider subject, pursuing their individual interests. This led to two key developments which have maintained my interest in landscape architecture.

Firstly, being encouraged to find areas of the subject which were of particular interest. I have now developed specialisms in river restoration and habitat creation, which have been realised through projects at Arup, for the Environment Agency.

Secondly, through gaining knowledge of the diversity of the subject, I firmly believe that landscape architects perform an essential role in coordinating technical information from a multitude of disciplines into a coherent whole.

Mark Job – associate landscape architect, Arup Environmental Consulting

I enjoyed the variety of projects and the opportunities and experiences that were presented to us by working on real sites with real issues, and communicating with real people who had an interest in the future of the site.

Opportunities to get outside and visit Paris, Amsterdam and numerous sites around the UK were invaluable learning experiences as well as memorable fun times. I champion the Kingston course and in particular the tutors whose encouragement and enthusiasm all helped shape me as the landscape architect I am today.

James Virgo – senior landscape architect, LUC (Land Use Consultants Ltd)

Links with business and industry

You will be encouraged to engage closely with the diverse businesses that make London one of the most important centres for the creative industries. Students on this course have had the opportunity to work on collaborations with industry partners on both a national and international scale.

Unique study opportunities

Kingston's industry connections mean you will be able to:

  • have your work seen by eminent members of your profession
  • work on 'live' projects, site visits and placements in prestigious companies or institutions
  • attend workshops with visiting lecturers and industry specialists.

Our excellent reputation means that industry leaders regularly visit our student shows to see the best of the new talent.

Examples of successful collaborations

International multidisciplinary practices

  • Arup (London Olympics, High Speed 2, Cities Alive)
  • AECOM (London and Rio Olympics)

Landscape practices

  • Gustafson Porter London & Seattle
  • Grant Associates (Singapore Gardens by the Bay project)
  • UK agencies such as Historic Royal Parks, National Trust, Canal and River Trust

Research areas

Many of the staff in the Kingston School of Art are research active. Their research ensures they are in touch with the latest thinking and bring best practice to your studies. Below are examples of projects undertaken by the Landscape Interface Studio.

Limehouse Cut: linking place and creativity

Funded by CreativeWorks London, we collaborated with Shared Assets to develop a methodology and tools for engaging local people and creative industries in imagining a future for the Limehouse Cut, London's oldest canal. Students took part in the recording of a floating workshop and presentation at AHRC Creative Economy Showcase 2014 in London, targeting policy-makers and business leaders.

Milan Design Week Festival 2014

The 'Culture_Water_Landscapes' workshop explored links between local agriculture and the Navigli Grande canal.

Water City Territory – international design workshop

A workshop for the design and research collaboration – 'Liverpool New York' – was hosted by the Van Alen Institute in New York City, with colleagues and students from Kingston and New York.

Changes to courses for 2021/22 due to Covid-19

Course information (changes for 2021/22 entry)

Composition of the course

The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, we do not anticipate having to make any further changes to the course, i.e. number of modules or credits in a year, in response to issues arising from the pandemic. However, if this becomes necessary, the changes will be highlighted to students via email before enrolment.

Unless government advice instructs otherwise, Study Abroad programmes will take place in 2021/22. The safety of all our students is paramount, therefore, as per normal practice, all Study Abroad activities must also be approved by the University's insurers to ensure that students are adequately protected during their period abroad. We will provide updates as the pandemic situation stabilises and/or further government advice is released.

Changes can be made to courses as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and in response to feedback from students and other key stakeholders. Any such changes made to the composition of the course will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.

Modules

The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, we do not anticipate having to make any further changes to module titles and summaries or to the availability of modules in response to issues arising from the pandemic.

Changes can be made to modules as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to module titles, module summaries and/or availability of modules will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.

Length of course

We expect to deliver the course within the planned timescales to enable successful students to progress through and graduate from the course without delay.

In exceptional circumstances the sequence of learning and teaching activities may be changed in 2021/22, e.g. moving those modules which can be delivered more effectively to the first teaching block and moving back those – such as practical modules and placements – which may be more difficult to deliver due to some ongoing restrictions.

In some cases, it may be necessary to delay placement modules which may then impact the length of the course. In these circumstances the University will guide students through the appropriate options available to ensure students are able to make informed choices.

Entry requirements (changes for 2021/22 entry)

We have not changed entry requirements as a direct result of the pandemic.

Entry requirements for international students

We have not changed entry requirements for international students as a direct result of the pandemic.

Teaching (changes for 2021/22 entry)

Changes to the way the course will be delivered

As we transition from the pandemic restrictions, we expect to steadily increase the proportion of on-campus teaching. We will continue to provide a proportion of online learning, as experience has shown that this enriches and supports the student learning experience.

If the pandemic affects teaching and learning activities in 2021/22 more than we currently anticipate, the proportion of online learning will increase. However, unless a lockdown is enforced, we will ensure that all courses provide a reasonable percentage of their teaching and learning activities on campus.

Should your circumstances prevent your attendance at on-campus sessions, you should still be able to engage with your course remotely in a way that allows you to progress. Where this is not possible, for example on courses with high practical content, your course team will be able to advise you on the options available to you.

Changes to teaching in the event of a further lockdown or adjustments in government advice

The University will continue to closely monitor government announcements and advice in relation to the pandemic and, where required, will take any necessary action in order to comply with such advice.

In the event that a further lockdown is enforced in 2021/22 the University will aim to deliver the course fully online once more. The majority of our courses are prepared to be delivered fully online if the situation requires it. Where the quality of the student experience may be compromised, or the course is unable to be delivered fully online, the University may need to suspend the delivery of that course until a time that it can be delivered. Students will be supported in these situations to ensure they are able to make the right choices for their particular circumstances.

Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours for Year 1

Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled learning and teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours were not and will not be made as a direct result of the pandemic.

‘Scheduled learning and teaching' includes teaching delivered online, either live or recorded/on demand.

Timetable

Your individualised timetable for teaching block 1 (i.e. up to December 2021) should be available by the end of August. Timetables for teaching block 2 (i.e. from January 2022) will not be available until the autumn. We make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible.

In 2020/21 it was agreed that scheduled learning and teaching could take place on any day of the week between 9am and 9pm, to maximise the time available for teaching in order to accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing. This meant we sometimes had to use Wednesday afternoons and enrichment week for additional teaching slots. If we need to accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing in 2021/22 we expect to adopt a similar approach. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Assessment (changes for 2021/22 entry)

The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, do not anticipate having to make any further changes to the course, i.e. to the overall methods of assessments, in response to issues arising from the pandemic. However, if this becomes necessary, the changes will be highlighted to students via email before enrolment.

Changes are made to modules, including how they are assessed, as part of normal enhancement processes to keep our modules up to date with current developments in that subject area and in response to feedback received from students and other key stakeholders. Any changes to the overall methods of assessment for Year 1 of the course will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.

If social distancing or lockdown restrictions are in place in 2021/22, online alternative options to formal on-campus examinations, including practical examinations, will be made available to students where possible.

Staff (changes for 2021/22 entry)

No changes are expected to the general level of experience or status of staff involved in delivering the course.

Staff are engaged in Continuous Professional Development activities to develop their teaching expertise, as part of the normal enhancement processes, to ensure that course teams have the required breadth of expertise.

Fees, funding and additional costs (changes for 2021/22 entry)

Tuition fees

There will be no changes to published tuition fees for 2021/22.

Additional costs (e.g. field trips, materials, equipment, etc.)

As we transition from the pandemic restrictions, we expect to be able to increase student access to on-campus facilities. Students will therefore have access to University computers and library facilities.

If, due to an increase in social distancing requirements or the enforcing of a lockdown, it becomes necessary to significantly increase the proportion of teaching delivered online, students will need a personal laptop or computer and access to the internet to participate in online teaching and learning activities. Students who are able to travel will have access to computers on campus, however, it should be noted that access to on-campus facilities might be restricted if social distancing requirements are enforced.

The University is committed to supporting students who are unable to access suitable technology to ensure equity of access in a blended delivery mode.

Funding

There will be no changes to any existing University funding arrangements for 2021/22. Currently there are no indications from the UK government that there will be any changes to government funding arrangements.

Fees and funding for international students

There will be no changes to published tuition fees or funding arrangements specifically relating to international students for 2021/22.

Work placements and field trips (changes for 2021/22 entry)

We are anticipating that placements (including work and clinical placements) and field trips included as part of the course will go ahead in 2021/22. However, to ensure students gain maximum value from placement activities, it may be necessary to reschedule them to later in the year, when any impacts from the pandemic restrictions are minimised.

Any proposed changes to placements or field trips would go through the University's agreed processes where the impact of the change will be carefully considered.

In the interests of the health and wellbeing of our students, all placement arrangements must be approved by the University's insurers and the appropriate risk assessments made before students are sent on a placement.

Courses which require placements or field trips to be completed in order to pass relevant modules will have contingency plans in place in the event that a placement or field trip cannot be completed due to another lockdown or more stringent social distancing measures.

Award, qualification and accreditation (changes for 2021/22 entry)

Qualification

No changes will be made to the qualification awarded, e.g. BSc (Hons), MSc, etc., as a direct result of the pandemic.

Changes can be made to courses, including the qualification awarded (although very rare), as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area. Any changes made to the qualification awarded for the course will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.

Accreditation

The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and in accordance with any professional body requirements. We do not anticipate making any further changes to courses in response to any issues arising from the pandemic and which would put at risk any professional body accreditation status.

Additional (changes for 2021/22 entry)

International students should maintain awareness of the UK government's and their home country's government's advice on possible travel restrictions. The University will closely monitor advice and guidance published by the UK government and assess its impact on our international students. Appropriate advice and guidance will be provided as and when required.