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 2020
Part time 4 years 1 day per week September 2020
Location Kingston School of Art, Knights Park

2020/21 entry

If you are planning to join this course in the academic year 2020/21 (i.e. between August 2020 and July 2021), please view the information about changes to courses for 2020/21 due to Covid-19.

 

Continuing students

Students who are continuing their studies with Kingston University in 2020/21 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 2020/21. 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

Home and European Union 2020/21

  • MLA full time £9,500
  • MLA part time £5,225

Overseas (not EU) 2020/21

  • MLA full time £17,600
  • MLA part time £9,680

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 2020/21 due to Covid-19

Changes detailed here are for students joining this course in the academic year 2020/21 (i.e. between August 2020 and July 2021).

Course information (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Composition of the course

We do not anticipate making any changes to the composition of the course, i.e. the number of modules or credits in a year for part-time postgraduate courses, as a result of the pandemic.

In order to safeguard our students' health and safety and to minimise the risk of disruption to their studies, the University has postponed all Study Abroad programmes for outgoing students in the first teaching block of 2020/21 (from September 2020 to December 2020). The University will review this decision before the second teaching block and will take into account relevant government advice at that time.

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 to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to the composition of the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Modules

We do not anticipate making any changes to module titles and summaries or to the availability of modules as a result of 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 and/or availability of modules will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

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, e.g. re-sequencing those modules that can be delivered more effectively under the current restrictions with those which would be more difficult to deliver, such as practical modules and placements.

Entry requirements (changes for 2020/21 entry)

We have not changed entry requirements as a result of the pandemic. However, the range of accepted alternatives have increased as has the way in which we select students, which now includes virtual interviews and online portfolios.

Entry requirements for international students

We have not changed entry requirements for international students as a result of the pandemic. However, in response to the pandemic, we now accept a much broader list of English language exams for entry to the course; the level of these exams remain the same.

Teaching (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Changes to the way the course will be delivered

Due to the current pandemic the course's teaching and learning activities will be delivered through both online and on-campus methods (blended learning) in 2020/21. In order to provide all students with a comparable on-campus experience, the University has committed to ensuring that all courses provide at least 30% of their teaching and learning activities on-campus.

While physical distancing measures remain in place, you will receive your learning and teaching via a blend of on-campus and on-line activities. Should your circumstances prevent your attendance at on-campus sessions, you will still be able to engage with your course in a way that allows you to progress. Where this is not possible, support will be available to consider what options are open 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 current 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 the University will aim to deliver the course fully online. This may require some additional changes being made to planned teaching and learning activities, including assessments. 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 significantly, 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 appropriately. Students will be supported in these situations to ensure they are able to make the right choices for their particular circumstances.

In the event that the current social distancing restrictions are fully lifted and the University is able to resume normal delivery of teaching and learning activities, courses will assess whether it is in the students' interest to resume normal delivery. In some cases it may be better to continue and complete modules under the planned blended delivery mode.

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 teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours will not be made as a result of the pandemic. However, it is possible that some adjustments might be made at module level, e.g. a few more scheduled activities, in order to help ensure student engagement with blended learning.

Any changes made to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

'Scheduled teaching' includes teaching that is online either live or recorded / on demand.

Timetable

Your individualised timetable for teaching block 1 (i.e. from September 2020 to December 2020) should be available by the end of August 2020. Timetables for teaching block 2 (i.e. from January 2021) will not be available until the autumn. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9am and 9pm. To accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing, we will need to maximise the time available for teaching. This means, we may have to use Wednesday afternoons and enrichment week for additional teaching slots. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Class sizes

On campus classes, class sizes will be smaller, in line with social distancing measures. Online (synchronous) activities will be delivered via videoconferencing apps that will enable a full range of class sizes to be used as appropriate.

Assessment (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Changes can be made to modules, including how they are assessed, as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our modules up to date with current developments in that subject area. Due to the current restrictions in place, i.e. social distancing, it is anticipated that many formal on-campus examinations, including practical examinations, will be replaced with alternative assessments which can be completed online. These changes will be considered and approved through the University's processes to ensure that student assessments will be able to demonstrate they have achieved the expected learning outcomes. The approval process will also assess whether the change impacts the status of any professional body accreditation the course benefits from.

Any changes to the overall methods of assessment for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Staff (changes for 2020/21 entry)

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

As a result of the social distancing restrictions in place, on-campus teaching activities may need to be split into smaller groups which may require the support of teaching assistants and student mentors, who will be managed by experienced staff.

Fees, funding and additional costs (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Tuition fees

There will be no changes to published tuition fees for 2020/21.

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

As a result of the blended delivery of courses in 2020/21, where a significant proportion of the teaching will be done 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 will be restricted due to social distancing requirements.

The University is considering how best to provide support to students who do not have access to suitable hardware and software requirements and access to the internet. Identifying students who require this type of support is an important milestone for the University in our journey to ensure equity of access while we continue to deliver our blended approach. Information about the support that will be available will be provided to students during the induction period.

Funding

There will be no changes to any existing University funding arrangements for 2020/21. 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 2020/21.

Work placements and field trips (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Placements (including work and clinical placements) and field trips included as part of the course will go ahead as planned. However, to ensure students are able to gain maximum value from these activities, it may be necessary to reschedule them to later in the year when current restrictions have been lifted. We acknowledge that this year it may be more difficult for students to secure appropriate placements. In those situations, students will be guided and supported through the various options that will be available to them, including switching courses or interrupting their studies until a time when they can complete their placement.

Any proposed changes to placements or field trips would go through University's agreed processes where the impact of the change will be carefully considered. Students will be advised of any changes that may become necessary and appropriate support will be available to students to guide them through the various options that may be available to them.

In the interest of the health and wellbeing of our students, the University will ensure that appropriate risk assessments are 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.

Voluntary placements or field trips may be rescheduled, or, as a last resort, cancelled if it becomes difficult to deliver them and doing so is in the interest of the health and safety of our staff and students.

Award, qualification and accreditation (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Qualification

No changes will be made to the qualification awarded, e.g. MSc, as a 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 during the induction period.

Additional (changes for 2020/21 entry)

International students

International students should maintain awareness of the UK government's and their home country's government 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.

Students who are unable to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities

The University will ensure students who are unable to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities are able to effectively engage with their studies remotely. For certain courses an inability to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities may not be in the students best interest, as it may impede their chances of succeeding in the course or lead to them receiving a poor learning experience. In such cases students will be advised and guided through the various options available to them, such as deferring their studies until they can engage fully with the course.