menu icon
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Latest news
Landscape Architecture MLA

Key information

Qualification type

MLA - Master in Landscape Architecture

Subject areas

Landscape Design / Architecture

Course type


Course Summary

Programme description

This programme is professionally accredited by the Landscape Institute and provides students with professionally focused landscape architectural skills and a critical awareness of the context of contemporary landscape architecture practice. This is the only professionally orientated postgraduate programme in landscape architecture in Scotland, and it has an acknowledged international reputation.

Landscape architecture combines creative practice with intellectual rigour in the invention of landscapes for human occupation. Working across a range of scales, from the territory to the garden, it is a practice that draws on a deep understanding of material and cultural history, ecology, geography, climate, and the past and present uses of landscapes in order to speculate on the future.

The MLA programme at the University of Edinburgh invites applications from graduates with distinctive disciplinary interests. Applicants may come from a range of study, practice or research backgrounds, including landscape architecture, studies in design, ecology, construction techniques, horticulture and theory.

The two-year programme of study is uniquely designed to cultivate landscape architects from a variety of undergraduate specialisms. The programme endeavours to train individual practitioners with distinct modes of practice and fields of interest with the aim that MLA graduates enter the profession with a sophisticated portfolio of skills, knowledge and understanding.

Design teaching within the MLA programme is research-led. Colleagues within ESALA maintain active design practices through commission, competition and publication; they are engaged in practice and research at local, national and international levels. The programme benefits from the studio-based learning typical of an art-college environment. Design, theory and techniques courses are delivered from within ESALA and from the wider ECA and University community. Uniquely, components of teaching and learning activities are taught at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. The MLA satisfies the Landscape Institutes’ professional requirements and enables graduates to commence a period of relevant employment leading to the Institute’s Pathway to Chartership Examination.


This programme is professionally accredited by the Landscape Institute.

Learning outcomes

The programme aims to provide an environment of study at postgraduate level where students:

  • Apply the knowledge, understanding and skills gained at undergraduate level to the mastery of the discipline of landscape architecture.
  • Develop knowledge, understanding and skills in the technical, theoretical and practical concerns of the discipline.
  • Extend ability in reading and understanding a range of environments and landscapes at different scales, and develop a critical understanding of landscape architectural practice.
  • Develop original and creative design skills and the ability to engage with different stages of landscape architecture design practice autonomously.

Career opportunities

As a discipline and a profession Landscape Architecture has the potential to inform our environment at every scale. It carries a responsibility of stewardship. The MLA programme seeks to foster designers at once creative and critical, able to navigate the full extent of the profession; ethical, intelligent, highly skilled and imaginative practitioners.

The programme aims to unable graduates to enter the profession with a sophisticated portfolio of flexible skills, knowledge and understanding.

Graduates from the MLA programme progress to work in design practice and landscape stewardship both nationally and internationally, as well as contributing to academia and aspects of governance of a wide range of landscapes across a broad range of scales.

Different course options

Study mode

Full time


21 months

Start date



This module is designed to test theories, integrate knowledge, understanding and skills in the resolution of landscape design problems and issues. The project content of the portfolio is the result of an agreement between the programme director, course organiser and the student. The project types undertaken will be selected according to the student's background, design understanding, experience and interests. This is Semester 1 module.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

Normally a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in an appropriate subject such as geography, planning or ecology. You should have a strong interest in landscape architecture and show creative potential. If you do not meet the academic entry requirements, we may still consider your application on the basis of your portfolio and/or relevant professional experience.