About research

Leading the way in Landscape research

Our research has impact and influence. Over 75% of our research outputs were judged to be world leading or internationally excellent.

2014 research excellence framework

The School of Landscape Architecture at the University of Sheffield has an outstanding research record, focusing on the interactions between society, culture, nature and practice that shape our environment. We are at the forefront of Landscape Architecture research in the UK: in the most recent UK Government Research Excellence Framework in 2014 (the national rating system for research quality in the UK) we were ranked first out of all UK Landscape Architecture units. Over 75% of our research outputs were judged to be ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

Our research has impact and influence. The landscape character assessment tool developed by Professor Carys Swanwick, for example, has been used by central and local government to achieve sustainable landscape planning and management, whilst our work on the design of ecological based vegetation for use in public landscapes - including in the 2012 London Olympic Park - was also judged to be world leading.

Read more on our REF results here.

Putting research into practice

Our academic staff are experienced researchers as well as qualified Landscape Architecture practitioners. This professional role gives us a unique ability to apply research findings and theory and produce real world solutions. We have long-standing collaborative relationships with the end-users of our research, who include policy makers and commercial and third sector organisations: we’ve worked with Parliament to make recommendations on children’s play and partnered with social enterprises to demonstrate the importance of public benches.

Working across disciplines

Landscape Architecture works best when it works across and between disciplines. We use our relationships with academics from diverse disciplines at Sheffield, nationally and internationally to find integrative landscape solutions. This interdisciplinary collaboration results in valuable research and includes, for example, using the latest technology to visualise the impacts of climate change and working with psychologists to understand how people experience landscapes.

Publishing power

All of our academic staff are active researchers, and publish their work widely in international journals, books, and professional outlets. This makes us unique in the world of Landscape Architecture education, and translates directly into dynamic and cutting-edge teaching that is at the forefront of our discipline.

Since 2000 our academic staff have published more than 200 research papers in international scholarly journals. We also have expertise in publishing high quality research-led books, including, for example Form and Fabric in Landsape Architecture (Dee, Cathy) and Natural Burial: Landscape, Practice and Experience (Clayden, Andy). Whilst our work is deeply scholarly, we have done this without abandoning what is most relevant to landscape architectural practice.

Click here for a selection of books and chapters by our staff.