Studying Landscape at Sheffield - Undergraduate Exhibition in the Arts Tower

Your Student Journey


Come to the Department of Landscape and you will be joining one of the world’s leading departments for landscape education and research.

Landscape Architecture is a young and exciting profession about planning, designing and managing places for people and nature. It embraces all scales of landscape in both town and country, from individual streets to national parks. It requires creativity, an ability to integrate diverse fields of knowledge and a passion for improving environmental quality and peoples’ lives. The Department of Landscape at the University of Sheffield is the leading place to study Landscape Architecture in the UK and we offer taught and research courses spanning arts, social sciences, geography and ecology.

Students in studio, kitchen and on field tripYour Course

All our undergraduate courses are fully accredited by the Landscape Institute, the Royal Chartered Body for Landscape Architects in the United Kingdom, enabling you to join this vital profession.
You will work alongside leading researchers and practitioners who have a range of academic and professional backgrounds. There are 16 academic staff and over 20 associate tutors who deliver courses to approximately 200 undergraduate and 150 postgraduate students. International practitioners and leading thinkers regularly contribute to your learning experience.

We pride ourselves on innovative teaching and learning approaches. The studio is at the heart of your learning and is a space where you will participate in workshops, small group seminars, group and individual tutorials and project reviews. The studio is also where you will informally share ideas with your fellow students, engage in group work and importantly learn from one another. Traditional lectures, supported by library and internet resources, play a vital role in developing knowledge in landscape theory and practice.

We attract highly motivated and enthusiastic students who thrive on the challenge of a creative discipline that straddles the world of science and art, large scale planning and detailed design. Landscape Architecture is challenging and requires a commitment on your part to reflect on your own ideas, carry out independent research and share and adapt your ideas. Academic and studio tutors will work with you in helping to develop your knowledge and skills and direct your learning. Students and staff are engaged together in the process of exploring and testing ideas.

The department has a strong commitment to research-led-teaching, ensuring that new knowledge developed through research continuously feeds into lectures, seminars and studio teaching at all levels. Field trips and site visits are an essential component of your learning and are an integral part of many modules. The international fieldtrip, at the start of the third year is an inspiring opportunity for you to explore the most exciting examples of Landscape Architecture, and is also an important and memorable social event.

We offer opportunities to study abroad through exchange programmes with several leading European Landscape Schools (in Germany, the Netherlands or Sweden) and with world-class institutions in Japan and the US.

Lecturer Nicola Dempsey with students on a filed trip to copenhagenYour Personal Development

The Department of Landscape has a thriving culture of extra-curricular activities and opportunities to become involved in the life and running of the Department. The student society ‘Landmark’ is entirely run by Departmental students and organises social events, guest speakers, site visits, and the annual Landscape Ball. There are regular chances to participate in voluntary design and management projects with local community groups, and staff are frequently engaged in ‘live’ projects which offer chances to join real-world design, implementation and management activities. Moreover, Department research projects provide students with chances to help out with research activities on a voluntary basis.

We have a participatory approach to development activities in the Department, and clear channels for student representation in decision-making and communication. You have the chance to be a year representative, or to join the staff-student committee, both of which enable you to feed into course developments and provide student input into teaching-related issues. You might want to join the University’s network of Student Ambassadors who work with departments to develop learning and teaching ideas. The Sheffield Landscape Graduate Award allows students to accumulate credits for activities that they contribute to outside their course. Of course, a training in Landscape Architecture offers you a wealth of valuable transferable skills, and you can formally recognise these with a Skills for Work certificate. In recent years student representatives have made an important contribution to the Yorkshire branch of the Landscape Institute (LI), taken part in student design competitions, and have also attended conferences with other students in Europe.

Your Support

We pride ourselves on being a very friendly, approachable and supportive department. Generous academic contact hours, combined with the studio tutorial system, mean that you have a substantial amount of personal attention, discussion and dialogue about your work.

Our administrative and technical staff provide information and help on the facilities and resources available to you in the Department, and offer valuable IT support.

Academic staff are readily available, should you need to speak to them outside of teaching sessions. More formally, when you arrive you will be allocated a personal tutor: a member of academic staff who will meet with you each semester throughout your time in the Department to review your progress and help to direct your individual learning strategy, as well as providing any additional help and guidance that you need.

We also have a dedicated Director of Student Welfare who works with students with particular support needs. We operate a much-valued peer-mentoring system with 2nd and 3rd year students who offer help and advice for 1st year students to ease the transition to university life.

Your Community

Our Department is a friendly and lively place to study. Our undergraduate and postgraduate courses have an international reputation and attract a community of students from all over the world. This allows for a fertile exchange of views and development of long lasting friendships with landscape architects practicing in many different countries.

The Department is located in the listed Arts Tower building. It has just been fully refurbished at a cost of £25 million. The building has state of the art facilities, a café and lecture theatres. We have undergraduate and postgraduate studios with breathtaking views over Sheffield and out to the Peak District.

Each year group has a dedicated studio space which students use as their social and academic base, exchange ideas and collaborate on group projects in a relaxed setting. Light and spacious, facilitating both digital and messy design practice, with everything you need from spray booths to drawing boards, a wireless network and student kitchen facilities. There are two dedicated Landscape IT rooms adjacent to the studios with high specification computers, a range of industry standard and specialist software and access to large format printing and digital scanning, all supported by a dedicated IT expert.

The Arts Tower is next to the Student Union and the Information Commons which has 24 hour access, a café and contains all of the landscape teaching references.

Your Future

Student at a drawing board and Pfrof James Hitchmough at the Olympic ParkOur students have a reputation for being highly desirable employees because our courses combine creative skills with research and analytical capabilities and good writing skills. In the latest 2009-2010 National Student Survey the department achieved the highest UK graduate employment rate of 90% for all UK Landscape Design courses. Our alumni employ many of our students and we also have members of staff who have worked extensively in practice with good networks of contacts in the profession.

At Sheffield, we aim to develop graduates with outstanding skills, who will be able to take leading roles in multidisciplinary projects and will have an ethic of care for the landscape and the people who live within it. This blend of attributes ensures that you will be highly employable, ready for professional practice and a committed lifelong learner.

Our courses equip students with excellent transferable skills that are highly desirable beyond the landscape profession. Through working in teams solving complex problems, undertaking live projects for community groups, and building your own personal portfolio you will develop professional standards in communication, graphic design, report writing and verbal presentations. Project management, of your own time and in group situations, is essential. This combination of abilities is highly desirable to a wide range of employers.

Graduates from the Department of Landscape work in the private sector where many have set up their own companies. Others work in the public or voluntary sectors, helping to improve local communities. Some have achieved the highest levels of recognition, for example as President of the Landscape Institute (UK) or as President of the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA).