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  • Landscape Architecture PgDip (LI accredited)

Landscape Architecture PgDip (LI accredited)

Why choose this course?

This one-year PgDip course is suitable if you are already a trained landscape architect. Accredited by the Landscape Institute, it provides an innovative design education, exploring spatial design in relation to land-based issues.

You'll have opportunities to go on study visits and to collaborate on live projects with client and community engagement. All projects will form part of your personal portfolio, which can showcase your work to potential employers. Projects cover themes such as water, places and people, sustainability and regeneration, time, transformation and experience, urbanism and professional practice.

Live design projects will be reviewed by clients and may be the subject of community consultation.

 

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Full time 1 year 2–3 days a week September 2020
Part time 2 years 1–2 days/evenings a week September 2020
Location Kingston School of Art, Knights Park

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • The 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, local and European networks and international perspective provide the focus for contemporary design projects that address immediate and long-term landscape solutions in cities and their regions.
  • 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

Throughout the course you'll develop design projects as part of a personal portfolio that can be immediately useful in finding a professional role after graduation.

The projects you work on will reflect critical challenges, the potential of contemporary landscape practice and the research expertise of the teaching team. The modules may involve client contact, model making, mapping, drawing and digital media workshops. Critical thinking and expression is supported by the Landscape and Urbanism Theory module.

There is special commitment to processes of transformation and their communication, with an emphasis on learning through making in our 3D workshop and on hand-drawing techniques to complement digital media presentation.

You'll take four core modules totalling 180 credits altogether.

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Core modules

Study visits, international workshops, external lectures, live projects, and London industry links, resources and institutions support a vibrant learning trajectory for your landscape architecture career ambitions.

Throughout the course you'll work in the shared studio with other landscape architecture students, allowing for interdisciplinary collaboration and preparation for co-disciplinary practice.

Core modules

Landscape Architecture Design Project Portfolio 01

30 credits

This module begins with an introductory group project addressing identified theme/s and reading and representation of existing conditions of site at the local scale and proposes a range of design interventions. The module aims, through the exploration of specific site(s) in their wider contexts, to engage in landscape design - conceptual, spatial, physical and programmatic. Students investigate precedent as a means of arriving at critical evaluation of group and individual proposals.

The module explores the identification of factors of local distinctiveness and the qualities that define ‘character'. Programmatic possibilities of the site(s) and the differing priorities of use are identified.

Landscape Architecture Design Project Portfolio 02

30 credits

The module addresses project(s) at the strategic planning and regional, city scale. The module involves students both independently and in teams in the proposal of a range of alternative scenarios for development or regeneration at the strategic scale, and demands a critical comparative evaluation of the scenarios. Students are required to develop independent proposals based on this analysis and exploration.

The module involves a study visit and engagement with appropriate agencies and players as appropriate and relevant. Topical issues and agendas are specifically highlighted. Group and interdisciplinary work is a very important component of the process because of the scale and breadth of investigation. Students individually develop detailed proposals within the wider terrain.

Professional Practice Process and Making

30 credits

The Professional Practice module addresses contexts of professional practice, processes and making, in the built environment Code of Conduct and the professional body requirements (Landscape Institute). Students critically review a project precedent for seminar presentation and develop a management report for a design project.
The module samples contemporary landscape projects, techniques and materials, standards and specification and engages students in exercises to test alternative strategies, their effective refinement and communication. The module supports the professional practice process and ethics of design project development and resolution.

Landscape and Urbanism Theory, Research and Representation

30 credits

This module introduces students to the research process and enables them to acquire a critical knowledge of the concept and theory of research methodologies and to develop a theoretical grounding and literacy in landscape design and urbanism, to support research-informed design practice. It provides students with practice of conducting research via secondary sources. The subject area is relevant for students of architecture, urban design, landscape architecture, and texts are drawn from each of these disciplines. Much of the synthesis of the material will rely on seminar discussion and independent study. The module focus is the bringing together of different disciplines with the ‘landscape' as forum for discussion, rather than the ‘built' form. Students participate in seminar presentations of reviews of critical texts to support the development of a landscape & urbanism manifesto annotated with photos, diagrams and drawings explaining key arguments, or an essay.

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

Students entering the course have usually completed an undergraduate landscape architecture or related programme in the UK, EU or internationally. Most have a minimum of a year's related practice experience.

We review applications on the basis of appropriateness and quality of prior learning and experience.

Additional requirements

We invite all shortlisted applicants for an interview with portfolio. If you are unable to attend, we will ask you to send samples of your work.

International applicants

We strongly encourage EU and international students with appropriate qualifications and experience to apply. We will invite applicants meeting the entry requirements for interview. If you are not able to attend, we will ask you to submit a sample portfolio.

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.

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 document 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

24% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.

Type of teaching and learning

Type of teaching and learning
  • Scheduled teaching and learning: 290 hours
  • Guided independent study: 910 hours

How you will be assessed

Assessment typically comprises design projects and portfolio, professional practice project management report and practice review, seminar presentations, literature review, and landscape and urbanism manifesto.

The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows, though depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose:

Type of assessment

Type of assessment
  • Coursework: 100%

Feedback summary

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

Your timetables

Each student receives a personalised timetable. This is usually available after you have completed your online enrolment, which is typically accessible 1 month before the start of your course.

Class sizes

To give you an indication of class sizes, this course normally enrols up to five students but they join Year 2 of the MLA Landscape Architecture course and attend lectures with 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. There are also site visits to the world-famous Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, museums, galleries, auction houses and other creative professional environments.

Fees for this course

Home and European Union 2020/21

  • PGDip full time £4,480
  • PGDip part time £2,464

ELQ (Equivalent Level Qualification) fee 2020/21

  • PGDip full time £6,375
  • PGDip part time £3,506

Overseas (not EU) 2020/21

  • PGDip full time £15,700

Important: international students from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) are required to pay a deposit in order to receive a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from Kingston University. This applies to all full-time postgraduate taught masters courses.

Facilities

Knights Park campus is situated on the Hogsmill River, with a restaurant and bar opening on to the waterside. The relatively small campus has a friendly, creative feel and includes a reception area with a gallery, art shop and the light and airy open-plan library.

Workshops and studios

The workshops and studios are open for creative exploration and offer you plenty of opportunities to collaborate on projects and share ideas, whether you are studying or researching. Building on this open approach, there are many adaptable architecture studio and workshop spaces, designed by Stirling Prize-winning Haworth Tompkins, alongside active breakout spaces.

At the heart of the building are state-of-the-art workshop facilities, which include:

  • 3D workshops, with ceramics, concrete, resin-casting, plastics, metalwork, woodwork and a bronze-casting foundry, as well as a Big Build space for Architecture, set design and large scale model making
  • animation and post production studios
  • digital Media workshop
  • knitting and sewing workshops with digital and analogue facilities, plus a working dress archive which includes pieces from 1750 to the present day
  • HackSpace (for collaborative, creative, solutions-focused projects)
  • letterpress and printmaking workshop, with digital and analogue facilities, to experiment creatively
  • moving Image workshop, with studios, editing suite, and industry-standard equipment
  • photography workshop, including studios, colour, and black and white darkrooms, processing facilities

All our facilities are open access, meaning you can use them whenever you want, and irrespective of what degree you're studying.

The University's museum and galleries

The University has its own on-site galleries, including:

  • Dorich House – the former studio home of the sculptor Dora Gordine and her husband the Hon. Richard Hare, a scholar of Russian art and literature. Now Grade II listed, the building was completed in 1936, to Gordine's design, and is an exceptional example of a modern studio house created by and for a female artist.
  • Stanley Picker Gallery – one of the leading examples of a university gallery in the UK. Its public activities are dedicated to the research, commissioning and presentation of innovative new practice across the fields of art, design and architecture for general, academic and specialist audiences.
  • project spaces at Knights Park campus, which you can book for the exhibition of large-scale work.

Resources in London

Kingston is just a 30-minute train journey away from central London. Here you can access world-famous museums and galleries.

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

I applied for both architecture and landscape architecture at Kingston. At my interview for landscape they started talking about different scales, green spaces and urban design. It seemed different and exciting, a way of combining design with nature.

To begin with, I wasn't really thinking about a postgraduate diploma. Then I did a placement at The Landscape Partnership in London and found myself working on some really interesting projects, including designing a variety of play spaces and making sure that they really worked for users.

The best thing was the feedback from the schools I worked with – they were really interested in what I was doing. I was able to suggest ways of getting funding and making their ideas a reality. After that there were no doubts – I definitely wanted to make landscape architecture my career.

Nisha Solanki

Links with business and industry

Students on the course have the opportunity to work with industry partners on collaborations at both a national and international scale. Some notable examples are:

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

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

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 2014

Our 'Culture_Water_Landscapes' workshop explored links between local agriculture and the Navigli Grande canal in Lombardy.

Postgraduate study
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