Landscape and Urbanism MA

Why choose this course?

This course is designed for architects, landscape architects, environmental designers and strategic planners who want to be involved in designing the cities of the future.

Design projects will address live briefs at a range of scales, from the strategic to the site-specific. Themes include public realm, green and blue infrastructures, resilient and adaptive city strategies, growth and transformation through time, climate change, biodiversity, and zones of transition.

Through critical case studies, and your final MA project, you may tailor the course to your interests and study chosen areas in greater depth.

Please follow our Architecture & Landscape Instagram to see some of the great work we are doing and visit our research group site Register where we seek to interpret, understand and augment our built landscapes.

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Full time 1 year 2–3 days a week September 2024
Part time 2 years 1–2 days a week September 2024
Main 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, Atkins, Gustafson Porter + Bowman, Grant Associates and Historic Royal Parks.

The Art School Experience

As part of Kingston School of Art, students on this course benefit from joining a creative community where collaborative working and critical practice are encouraged.

Our workshops and studios are open to all disciplines, enabling students and staff to work together, share ideas and explore multi-disciplinary making.

Two students collaborate on a design project.

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. 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 enable 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.


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
  • 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 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. 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, participation in 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.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

A 2:2 or above honours degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline.

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

Applicants with qualifications in other subjects, or relevant work experience, will be considered on an individual basis.

Additional requirements

In your portfolio we would like to see a collection of work that illustrates your range of skills and expresses your sensibilities. We will be looking for evidence of the following:

  • Your ability to question the world around you: shown through your critical exploration of ideas, work in progress, sketchbooks or experiments.
  • Your curiosity: by focusing on the topics that you are most interested in, as well as the representation media that you have explored.
  • Your technical skills: feel free to include content of experimentation with any media. 
  • Your enthusiasm: this is your chance to let your work speak for you, show us your passion for design in landscape and urbanism.

Your portfolio may include art or design work produced using all forms of media and techniques that you may have been working on in the last few years as well as from recognised art and design courses from your potentially more distant past, such as GCSEs, A-levels, Diplomas or Foundation Courses (or the international equivalents), or from your own personal work. More specifically:

Applicants with a degree in a design-related discipline or related work experience:

  • Include at least one piece of academic work you have completed in your undergraduate degree, and please indicate clearly which project this is.
  • You may include work undertaken in design-related practice.
  • You may include independent work, such as architectural competition entries, travel sketches, photography projects or any other work in any other media that illustrates your range of skills and expresses your architectural ideas and sensibilities.

Other applicants:

Please include visual/creative/landscape work such as: photographic essays, observational drawings, paintings of life/figure, design studies and experiments in sketchbooks, models of any kind, prints, textiles, sculptures, ceramics, glassworks, filming, writing, curating, weaving or telling stories. Don't worry if these don't seem related to the subject you are applying for, we know that everyone has been on a different journey to get here.

Digital portfolio format requirements

  • A portfolio of maximum 20 pages, landscape orientation and saved/uploaded as a print-based or interactive PDF file.
  • Include project titles and a brief description of each project explaining your intentions and your individual involvement if presenting a group project.
  • Moving image works can optionally be included but are not required and should be uploaded to Vimeo or YouTube – please supply these links in your portfolio and make sure they are active and work on all platforms.
  • Ensure that images are of a high quality and at least 72 dpi.

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.


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

Country-specific information

You will find more information on country-specific entry requirements in the International section of our website.

Find your country:

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 (self-managed time)

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

17% of your time is spent in timetabled learning and teaching activity.

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.

Type of teaching and learning

Type of teaching and learning
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 300 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 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

2024/25 fees for this course

Home 2024/25

  • MA full time £9,900
  • MA part time £5,445

International 2024/25

  • MA full time £15,900
  • MA part time £8,745

2023/24 fees for this course

Home 2023/24

  • MA full time £8,750
  • MA part time £4,812

International 2023/24

  • MA full time £15,000
  • MA part time £8,250

Tuition fee information for future course years

If you start your second year straight after Year 1, you will pay the same fee for both years.

If you take a break before starting your second year, or if you repeat modules from Year 1 in Year 2, the fee for your second year may increase.

Funding and bursaries

Kingston University offers a range of postgraduate scholarships, including:

A bursary has already been applied to the fee for this FT course. This is an automatic bursary for all FT students on this course and no application for this reduction is required.

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

We also offer the following discounts for Kingston University alumni:

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs that 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, access to shared 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.


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 buy your own copy of key textbooks, this can cost between £50 and £250 per year.

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 which you can use around campus and in halls of residences. Free WiFi is available on each of the campuses. You may wish to purchase your own computer, which can cost £100 to £3,000 depending on your course requirements.

Photocopying and printing

In the majority of cases written coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing, binding and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees, this may cost up to £100 per year.


Travel costs are not included in your tuition fees but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses, Surbiton train station, Kingston upon Thames train station, Norbiton train station and halls of residence.


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

Graduates have become environmental and open space designers, working in the design of public open spaces and in strategic decisions affecting the urban public realm.

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.

Course changes and regulations

The information on this page reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. To improve your student experience and the quality of your degree, we may review and change the material information of this course. Course changes explained.

Programme Specifications for the course are published ahead of each academic year.

Regulations governing this course can be found on our website.