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

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

  • 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 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'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 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 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

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

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.

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.