Explore this course:
Department of Landscape Architecture,
Faculty of Social Sciences
This one-year course is research-led, introducing advanced knowledge in landscape architecture.
You’ll explore different aspects of the discipline, learn advanced academic and professional skills and write a dissertation on a landscape topic that matters to you. Participation in the end-of-year exhibition gives you the chance to present your work to prospective employers.
This course focuses on advanced academic knowledge related to landscape issues, aimed at applicants who already have a background in landscape architecture. If you do not have a background in lLandscape and wish to pursue a career in the professional landscape architecture field, we advise you to apply for the two-year accredited MA Landscape Architecture course.
- Landscape Research as Creative Practice
This module will introduce students to landscape research as a creative practice in order to address questions and challenges relating to current landscape practice, setting the stage and supporting preparation for further research through the Final Landscape Project in the Spring semester and, for MA students, through the Landscape Dissertation. Students will learn how to find sources of information, how to critically review and analyse this information and how to use and present the findings from this research. They will understand the relevance of research to their own project outputs and how research and evidence-based practice can underpin the planning, design and management of the landscape more generally. They will appreciate how research enables them to critically appraise a project and how they can inform, inspire and enrich their own work with the knowledge and insights gained from their research.15 credits
- The Language of Landscape
As in any discipline, landscape professionals utilise a specialised vocabulary with complex, embedded meanings as a kind of shorthand for communicating with other professionals. The definitions and deeper meanings of these terms are often unfamiliar to those who have undertaken landscape study in a non-UK / non-English speaking context, and can present challenges even to native speakers generally unfamiliar with discipline specific vocabulary. The aim of this module is to expose international students who have a prior background in landscape studies to a range of vocabulary and concepts commonly used in contemporary English speaking landscape discourse, while at the same time developing strategies to communicate design ideas effectively to a broader public.15 credits
- Advanced Landscape Research and Dissertation Preparation
This module will build on students' learning in 'Landscape Research as Creative Practice', undertaken in the Autumn semester. It will support students in the exploration of independent research topics in preparation for their dissertation, potentially aligned with and growing out of their Final Landscape Project, undertaken concurrently. The module will provide opportunities for students to identify their area of research, key literature and appropriate methods of inquiry including research ethics, and will prepare them to undertake original research over the summer through the Landscape Dissertation.15 credits
- Final Landscape Project
The Final Landscape Project aims to develop students' readiness to enter the profession by completing a largely independent project from start to finish to a professional standard. Through close collaboration with academic tutors and in parallel with a defined tutorial group, the final project aligns with a chosen design, planning, or management 'agenda' put forth by department tutors. This therefore aims to push the boundaries of the landscape disciplines through research design. As such, the final project undertaken in the Spring semester grows out of focused research into a specific topic already undertaken in the Autumn semester.30 credits
The aim of the project is to demonstrate the ability to integrate the knowledge and skills acquired in the programme and to apply these in an appropriate way to address the issues posed by the chosen project. Aligned with their tutors' agenda or research question, with the tutor acting as a client or consultant, students will manage their time and develop their required tasks and outputs independently.
- Communicating Landscape
This module expands students' grasp of discipline specific language with a greater emphasis on effective communication. This is achieved through the combination of advanced training in English Language with regular reading, analysis, and communication about Landscape projects and texts. Students are prepared to translate complex concepts and findings into more generally accessible language, explain these concepts to various audiences, and enhance their critical engagement with advanced scholarly work. The module is useful for international students who will benefit from a more proficient level of English language as well as for home students who wish to optimise their communicative, persuasive and rhetorical skills.15 credits
- Landscape Research Dissertation
This module provides students studying for their MA in Landscape Architecture with the experience of undertaking research into an issue of significance to landscape architecture. It builds on two landscape research modules LSC61004 and LSC61005 and requires the investigation of a selected topic using appropriate research methods and the production of a 10-15,000 word dissertation. For certain topics a reduction in word length may be offset by the use of other media. Students receive tutorial support from an academic advisor.60 credits
Optional modules (one to be selected):
- Advanced Landscape Design - Conceptual and Strategic
This module offers options for students to develop a creative, original, and appropriate response to a hypothetical or real site-scale landscape related project which might be encountered in practice. While various scales should be considered, there will be a particular focus on conceptual and strategic exploration of key issues related to landscape architecture design, which might include themes such as 'Sustainable Landscape Design', 'Design with Water' or 'Design for Climate Change'. Students will explore concepts and strategies to develop advanced and original landscape design proposals. Students are encouraged to be innovative and experimental in both the design response and their visual representation, while at the same time demonstrating good judgement in terms of project feasibility as well as social and environmental responsibility. A specific site and brief will be presented at the start of the module.15 credits
- Advanced Landscape Planning - Global Issues
This module offers options for students to develop an informed, coherent, and rational response to a particular landscape planning challenge and context, demonstrating a high level of sensitivity to, and understanding of, the underlying environmental, social and political dynamics. While many scales should be considered, the emphasis is on establishing a set of recommendations, policies and/or guidelines for future development under various scenarios indicating the character of potential interventions in complex real or hypothetical contexts. Students will explore global issues related to landscape planning, which might include themes such as 'Nature Based Solutions', 'Integrated Water Management' or 'Urban Heat Island'. Recommendations should be based on a sound methodology and should be communicated in a clear, coherent, succinct and accessible way comprehensible both by other landscape professionals and by the broader public. A specific brief will be presented at the start of the module.15 credits
- Advanced Landscape Management - Managing for Change
This module offers options for students to understand specific management principles and guidelines based on the constraints and challenges of a specific real or hypothetical site, study area or type of environment. The emphasis will be on exploring social change, climate change and ecological change considering a variety of landscape scales, developments and spatial patterns. Responses should demonstrate an understanding of landscape management and how these might change or develop over time, showing sensitivity to the ecological, social and political dynamics currently at play. A specific study area and brief will be presented at the start of the module.15 credits
Optional modules (one to be selected):
- Advanced Landscape Design - Materiality of Landscape
This module offers options for students to develop a creative, original, and appropriate response to a hypothetical or real site-scale landscape related project which might be encountered in practice. While various scales should be considered, there will be a particular focus on detailed landscape design proposals. Students will explore qualities and materiality of landscape spaces through creative and original outputs. The exploration might include considerations related to 'Materiality and Identity', 'Environmental Impact' or 'Sensory Experiences'. Students are encouraged to be innovative and experimental in both the design response and proposals as well as their visual representation, while at the same time demonstrating good judgment in terms of project feasibility as well as social and environmental responsibility. A specific site and brief will be presented at the start of the module.15 credits
- Advanced Landscape Planning - Local Engagement
This module offers options for students to develop an informed, coherent and rational response to a particular landscape planning challenge and context, demonstrating a high level of sensitivity to, and understanding of, the underlying environmental, social and political dynamics. The emphasis is on establishing a set of recommendations, policies and/or guidelines for future development under various scenarios, indicating the character of potential processes and responses in complex real contexts. The exploration focuses on local communities engagement and inclusive planning processes, which might include themes such as 'Active Participation', 'Empowerment' or 'Long Term Engagement'. Recommendations should be based on a sound methodology and should be communicated in a clear, coherent, succinct and accessible way comprehensible both by professionals and the broader public. A specific brief will be presented at the start of the module.15 credits
- Advanced Landscape Management - Stewardship
This module offers options for students to develop maintenance principles and a set of guidelines based on the constraints and challenges of a specific real project site. Students are encouraged to be innovative and experimental in their exploration of the stewardship of a specific site, in order to respond to the challenges presented by social change, climate change and environmental change with an emphasis on long term solutions and stewardship. Responses should demonstrate an understanding of practical processes and solutions taking into account the specificity of a wide range of landscapes, showing sensitivity to the ecological, social and political dynamics currently at play and anticipating how these might change in the future. A specific site and brief will be presented at the start of the module15 credits
The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.
An open day gives you the best opportunity to hear first-hand from our current students and staff about our courses. You'll find out what makes us special.
You may also be able to pre-book a department visit as part of a campus tour.Open days and campus tours
1 year full-time
There are lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials, critical feedback sessions, site visits and practicals.
Teaching and learning take place in the studio and out on site.
We’re unique as a landscape department in that we can deliver the full breadth of landscape specialisms in-house through our team of internationally recognised academics. We complement this by working with landscape practices and our alumni, as professional landscape architects, to ensure our teaching is practice relevant and address current issues.
You’re assessed on coursework assignments, dissertation, oral presentation and examination.
Our graduates go on to have varied and rewarding careers all around the world. We have alumni working in over 70 countries; both in the private sector, running their own companies and for public and voluntary organisations, helping to improve local communities.
For Landscape Studies graduates’ specifically, their career is more likely to be focussed on working professionally outside of the UK or following a more research based academic career.
If you don’t take up a career in landscape, you’ll still be highly employable. By developing valuable transferable skills like graphic design, project management and communication, you’ll be able to make a lasting and positive impact wherever your career takes you.
Department of Landscape Architecture
Landscape architecture is about the design, planning and management of places that benefit people and nature. Landscape architects create spaces between buildings that are both inspirational and functional.
If you have a flair for creativity and a passion for improving the environment and people's lives, then landscape architecture could be for you.
You'll learn from experts who are involved in some of the most exciting landscape design work in the world today.
Sheffield is a dynamic city and an ideal place in which to study landscape architecture. Its changing face has been shaped by department-led initiatives like Grey to Green and Love Square, which give students the chance to be involved with live projects and see the difference landscape architecture can make.
Sheffield combines the urban with awe-inspiring views of the neighbouring Peak District, making it a rich learning and research environment.
MA Landscape Studies has helped me to understand ecology and biodiversity and has taught me how to find solutions to counter problems like global warming, urban flooding, anti-social activity and species extinction. The best parts of the course are going on site visits and plant walks, developing sketching techniques and the exchange of international cultures.
MA Landscape Studies
Minimum 2:1 undergraduate honours degree in a relevant subject.
Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.
You will be asked to submit an electronic portfolio to support your application.
If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.
Fees and funding
+44 114 222 0617
Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.
Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.