BA/BSc (Hons) in Landscape Architecture and Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)

Landscape Architecture is quite simply the planning, design and management of outdoor spaces in order to maximise their potential for both people and nature. Landscape Architects are part of a recognised profession with their own chartered institute, The Landscape Institute, which was founded in 1929. Landscape Architecture is an exciting and varied profession which may involve strategic master planning for an entire region, or at the other end of the scale the development of detailed design and management proposals for a small public square, garden or park.

BA/BSc (Hons) in Landscape Architecture

The Department of Landscape offers two undergraduate single honours degrees in Landscape Architecture. Students may choose between a BSc route, which includes specialist options in Ecology or a BA route, which incorporates specialisms in landscape planning. All modules are taught by staff in the Department of Landscape. We believe the  course structure enables us to deliver more seamless and integrated programmes, which will enhance the student experience and benefit both students and staff. It may be possible after the first year to change between the BSc and BA and vice versa, subject to approval of the Department of Landscape.

Both the BA and BSc are accredited by the Landscape Institute if followed by the one year Master of Landscape Architecture.

BA (Hons) in Landscape Architecture (Planning)

The BA in Landscape Architecture is fully accredited by the Landscape Institute and incorporates a specialist education in landscape planning. The inspiration behind the development of the course, which when introduced was the first of its kind, is to train Landscape Architects who have a more detailed knowledge and understanding of landscape planning, including knowledge of the planning process and its impact upon development. Students completing this course will be able to work with landscape issues at the large scale, have a more comprehensive understanding of the context in which design takes place and understand the wider implications of their design proposals. This knowledge is particularly desirable when working with other environmental design professionals, and at a time when many of our landscapes are undergoing significant change.

BSc (Hons) in Landscape Architecture (Ecology)

The course is also fully accredited by the Landscape Institute and incorporates specialist education in ecology. The inspiration behind the course was a recognition that there was a need to train creative environmental design professionals who had a sound theoretical and scientific appreciation of the places in which they worked. Only by combining these two disciplines would it be possible to find sustainable design solutions to the restoration and regeneration of some of our most degraded landscapes. This need has not diminished over the 30 years in which the course has developed. The increasing awareness and concern about the impact of society on the environment and the need to redevelop many of our post industrial landscapes means that there are excellent opportunities for environmental designers who have these unique qualities.

BA/BSc Landscape Architecture

Level One

Level Two

Level Three

  • Current Challenges in Planning, Design and Management
  • Space Making
  • Presentation Communication and Research Skills
  • Histories of Landscape Architecture
  • The Changing Landscape
  • The Dynamic Landscape
  • Ecological Processes, Design and Management
  • Materials of Landscape - Planting Design
  • Sustainable Communities
  • Materials of Landscape - Construction Design
  • Landscape Design - Detailed Design
  • Site Planning for Sustainable Housing
  • Field Study Trip
  • Integrated Urban Design Project
  • Materials of Landscape - Detailed Design

BSc (Ecology)

  • Landscape Ecology - Habitat Survey Techniques

BSc (Ecology)

  • Green Infrastructure and Ecological Masterplanning
  • Landscape Ecology - Habitat Creation and Restoration

BA (Planning)

  • Landscape Planning for a Changing World

BA (Planning)

  • Landscape Planning Toolkits
  • Landscape Planning - Urban Regeneration

Please note that the course details set out here may change before you start, particularly if you are applying significantly in advance of the course start date.

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)

On completing your BSc or BA degree you will take a year out in practice and you may work for a year in either a private Landscape Design practice a Local Authority or for a voluntary organization such as a Groundwork Trust. Although we help you, finding this work is part of the challenge that you undertake. Depending on your degree and work experience you may then return to complete the final MLA year. This course is also fully accredited by the Landscape Institute.

Teaching Methods

The studio is at the heart of our undergraduate courses. In this shared learning environment students will be encouraged to work both collaboratively and individually in order to progressively develop their knowledge and skills through a carefully coordinated sequence of ‘real’ projects which will explore different landscape challenges and typologies. Each semester will focus on a single project site and will be taught by a team of staff that will include: academics, dedicated studio tutors and guest practitioners.

Feeding directly into the studio project is a series of core modules that will progressively develop knowledge in landscape architecture theory and practice. The modules are grouped into four key areas: (1) Design, which will include history, people, place, process and communication; (2) Planning, with courses in policy, governance, sustainable environments and urban regeneration; (3) Ecological design and management which includes ecological processes, plant communities and biodiversity; and (4) Materials of landscape with courses in planting and construction design and detailing.

Each twelve-week semester is loosely divided in two. The first six/eight weeks will focus on acquiring and developing new knowledge and skills through a rich mix of learning methods including: lecture courses, fieldtrips, seminars and workshops. The workshops, for example, might include developing skills in: drawing, computer graphics, group work, plant identification, report writing and surveying plant communities. The studio project, which will be introduced at the start of each semester, will gradually grow in importance as the semester progresses. In the final six weeks of the semester it will be the principle focus of activity and will provide a context in which to apply and reflect on the material delivered at the beginning of the semester. Through this process there is an opportunity to digest and reflect on theory and practice and apply and test these ideas and ways of working by addressing a ‘real’ landscape challenge. The studio will include: small group and individual tutorials and interim reviews which will provide formative feedback.

Field Visits: Field visits are an extremely important part of the course. Visiting, analysing and evaluating different landscapes and designs is a very important part of your development as a Landscape Architect. In the first year, visits focus on the immediate landscape and are intended to familiarise you with the special qualities and character of the area in and around Sheffield. In the second year there are field excursions that provide training in the description and analysis of vegetation using standard protocols used by professionals, and studies of the effects of management on ecosystems.. The third year starts with a week long field trip to a major European City. Previous destinations have included Barcelona, Paris, Copenhagen, Berlin and Amsterdam.


The main form of assessment throughout the course is project work, which is submitted for assessment in a portfolio. The portfolio will include the studio design project along with other forms of assessment such as: reports, essays, design journals and reflective tutorial notebooks. The portfolio is important in bringing together different modules and enabling each student to reflect on their learning and progression throughout the course. Formal examinations may be used to assess introductory level one lecture courses.

Each student will receive summative written feedback at the end of each module and will also have an opportunity to review their portfolio with their personal tutor. Throughout each module students will also be given regular feedback in small group tutorials and interim project reviews. This feedback is important in providing each student with an opportunity to further develop his or her work before it is submitted for assessment.

More about teaching and assessment.


Most of the students graduating from the BA/BSc in Landscape Architecture will be employed in the Landscape profession either working for a Local Authority or Private Consultancy. Students will typically work in practice for a year before returning to the department to complete the Masters (MLA). The 'year out' is an important part of the course as it is a chance to consolidate the knowledge and skills you have acquired whilst studying for your degree and to apply this to real design projects. Most important of all, it is paid work! Students graduating from the department are in highly regarded by the profession. In last three years more than 80% of our students have found employment in the landscape profession. In recent years there has also been a growing trend of our students working abroad in America, Australia and Europe. This trend is set to continue as these companies now contact us directly with a view to recruiting Sheffield graduates. For those students who do not wish to continue into the profession the course equips them with excellent transferable knowledge and skills. These include: graphic and verbal communication, report writing, data acquisition and analysis and computer literacy in a wide range of subject specific and generic software.

Overseas Studies

There are opportunities for overseas study. The department has educational exchange programmes with Landscape Schools in America, Holland, Sweden and Germany.


  • Excellent training in Landscape Architecture, with specialisms in Landscape Planning or Ecology
  • Excellent employment prospects and transferable skills
  • Overseas and UK based field courses
  • Excellent teaching in a top-rated research department in a Russell Group University
  • Opportunities for overseas study and work
  • Located in an iconic building offering a high standard of accommodation, excellent studio and IT facilities and panoramic views of the city.