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  • Landscape and Urbanism MA

Landscape and Urbanism MA

Why choose this course?

This course will prepare you for creative roles in landscape and urbanism design practice and research. Kingston's London location, its local and European networks and its international perspective provide the focus for contemporary landscape and urbanism projects. These include green and water infrastructures, resilient and adaptive city strategies and the detailed design of places for people.

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

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • You will have opportunities to work on live projects such as European and local consultancy briefs within the Landscape Interface Studio.
  • There are international workshops, external lectures and optional visits to London shows, museums and institutions (these may incur additional costs).
  • There are opportunities to work in collaboration with industry. Students have worked with Arup; AECOM; Gustafson Porter London & Seattle; Grant Associates; Historic Royal Parks; the National Trust; and the Canal and River Trust.

What you will study

This course provides you with an innovative design education; you'll have opportunities to participate in varied live projects in local consultancy and previous students have worked at, for example, Kew Gardens, Historic Royal Palaces and at local nature reserves.

You'll take part in study visits, external lectures, and visit London shows, museums and institutions, to allow you to develop your own knowledge to support your individual career ambitions.

You'll take five core modules, including a dissertation, worth 180 credits altogether.

Modules

You'll work on a range of design projects, which reflect opportunities and challenges of contemporary landscape urbanism, at global and local scales.

Themes include public realm, green and blue infrastructures, wellbeing, growth and transformation through time, climate change, biodiversity, city and identity, and zones of transition.

Modules in research and theory support critical reflection, while study of materials and techniques supports appropriate technical knowledge and inquiry.

Workshops include: communication, learning through making, observation, mapping and consultation, building information modelling (BIM).

Core modules

Landscape and Urbanism Design Portfolio 01

30 credits

This module addresses the specifics of placemaking of significant urban space(s). At this scale the emphasis is on the identification of significant existing features and uses and the transformation process through addition and subtraction. Materials and spatial qualities are explored, as are changes through time. This module allows for detailed resolution. The study of precedent landscape and urban design projects is an important component of the module.

Landscape and Urbanism Design 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 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.

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.

Landscape and Urbanism Professional Practice, Process and Making

30 credits

This module addresses contexts and relationships of practice that are increasingly interdisciplinary, transnational and inclusive of co-design and co-production.

The landscape has resonance as shared asset and responsibility, and as agency within the context of its identity, processes, tendencies and our human occupation of, and engagement with, place. The module reflects the interdisciplinary experience of students and staff, and aims to be inclusive of diverse international landscape & urbanism practice.

The module highlights:

  • important considerations in relation to responsible and creative landscape & urbanism practice including design and law, ethics, professionalism and sustainability;
  • the scope, (breadth and depth), of landscape & urbanism practice; and
  • a sample of detail and content of landscape processes, from broad scale to small scale and from the long term to the immediate.

In particular the module reflects the codes of conduct and UK practices of professional bodies, notably the Landscape Institute, whilst recognising international landscape & urbanism good practice and precedent.

The module covers, in outline, the range of activities with which landscape architects and co- professionals are involved, from reading the land and interpreting a brief, to the more specific elements involved in ground modelling, drainage, clothing the land including hard surfaces and planting, microclimate, lighting. It addresses the appropriate choice and application of materials and technique that reflect current preoccupations with risks and opportunities, such as flooding and resilience. The ongoing maintenance, management and husbandry are discussed in the light of appropriateness, ethics and sustainability. Effective representation of the information is investigated through case studies and working drawings. The module is likely to include study visits and is assessed through the development of a personal dossier, and participation in a group workshops and review of a case study project/s.

Masters Project

60 credits

The Masters Project is a capstone project and the culmination of the educational experience of the MA Landscape and Urbanism programme. Typically the Masters Project develops a theme or interest emerging from study within the preceding modules. It involves students in the development of an individual research question or project brief which will define a focus within the scope of the landscape and urbanism context, and reflect individual curiosity, creativity and ambition. Students research from a wide range of sources and focus on the issues and themes appropriate to the specific project. The brief is developed with tutor guidance. It may seek to develop and test the landscape and urbanism manifesto. The Masters Project includes precedent and literature reviews, primary and secondary research appropriate to the theme, locating the project in its contemporary context of landscape and urbanism research and practice.

The project will be presented in a format (eg for 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 theory and practice. Projects may relate to live research and enterprise briefs within the Landscape Interface Studio.

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

We welcome applications from motivated and creative individuals who have a 2:2 or above honours degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline.

Candidates with professional experience and qualification in a relevant design discipline, including architecture and engineering, are welcome to apply.

Additional requirements

Interviews

We invite all applicants meeting the entry requirements for an interview with portfolio. If you are unable to attend, we will ask you to submit a sample portfolio.

International applicants

Please note: most students from countries outside the European Union/European Economic Area and classified as overseas fee paying, are not eligible to apply for part-time courses due to UK student visa regulations.

For information on exceptions please visit the UKCISA website or email our CAS and Visa Compliance team.

English language requirements

All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirement, which is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no element below 5.5. 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'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.

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

17% 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: 300 hours
  • Guided independent study: 1500 hours

How you will be assessed

Assessment is typically through coursework. Examples include 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 10 students and lecture sizes are normally 10–15. 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.

Fees for this course

Home and European Union 2020/21

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

Overseas (not EU) 2020/21

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

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, for experimenting creatively
  • moving image workshop, with studios, editing suite, and industry-standard equipment
  • photography workshop, including studios, colour and black-and-white darkrooms, and processing facilities

All our facilities are open access, meaning you can use them whenever you want, whatever 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.

Links with business and industry

On this course you will have the opportunity to work on collaborations with industry both nationally and internationally. Examples include the following:

  • ARUP (London Olympics, High Speed 2, Cities Alive)
  • AECOM (London and Rio Olympics)
  • Canal and River Trust
  • Gustafson Porter London & Seattle
  • Grant Associates (Singapore Gardens by the Bay project)
  • Hestercombe Gardens Trust
  • Historic Royal Parks
  • Kingston Royal Borough Council
  • London Wildlife Trust
  • National Trust

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

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

Research areas

Many of the staff in the Kingston School of Art are research active. This ensures they are in touch with the latest thinking and bring best practice to your studies.

Postgraduate study
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