You can come at Landscape Architecture from so many angles; that's what makes it such an interesting profession

Abel McLinden
Abel McLinden
Undergraduate student
Landscape Architecture BSc
Abel was torn between studying Geography or Architecture at university. He found Landscape Architecture to be the perfect middle ground.
Abel McLinden
During his studies, Abel spent one month in the Canadian Rockies thanks to an RHS bursary

What was your favourite subject at school and why?

That was always a hard choice between Geography and Art.

Why did you decide to study Landscape Architecture at Sheffield?

I actually did a year of Geography before realising Landscape Architecture existed! At school I was very stuck between choosing Geography or Architecture at uni - turns out there was a perfect middle ground in Landscape Architecture.

I really enjoy the variation in day to day content; one day you're looking at how we can adapt the built environment to climate change, the next how we can create refugee friendly cities, and then later in the week you're looking in-depth at plant survival strategies. What other course covers that much ground?

Abel McLinden

Landscape Architecture BSc

Why did you choose the BSc route?

I'm really interested in ecological restoration and rewilding. With the BSc, having the plant science and landscape ecology grounding, sets you up well for working at a huge range of scales, from small planting design projects to large-scale restoratin.

In what way (if any) was your course different from what you expected?

It's quite a small course compared to many other departments, so you become quite a tight knit group. I'd never worked in a studio environment before and loved always having people to bounce ideas off.

Final project work by Abel McLinden
Abel's final project 'DEFRA Riverside Campus' saw him awarded AECOM Undergraduate Student of the Year for 2020

What do you hope to do with your degree in the future?

Well I started doing Geography because I was interested in climate change, but I found myself wanting to do something more applied. The research carried out by other academic departments is hugely important, but I wanted to be part of the practical response to their findings - the actual change on the ground. So along the lines of adapting to climate change and landscape scale ecological restoration.

What advice would you give to someone considering studying Landscape Architecture?

You can come at Landscape Architecture from so many angles, and that's what makes it such an interesting profession. Whether you're into plant science or human geography or abstract art, you'll likely find your way.

If you had to pick one stand out memory from your time in Sheffield, what would it be?

One of our lecturers, Sally O'Halloran, did a presentation about going plant hunting in Russia and the bursaries available to do similar trips. A year later I managed to go to the Canadian Rockies for a month to look at plants (and go climbing...), mostly funded by the Royal Horticultural Society!

Grey to Green, Sheffield

Champions of Landscape Architecture

As the UK’s only independent department of Landscape Architecture, we are passionate about the power of our profession to address pressing global issues.