A student works on their Landscape Architecture design project

Landscape Architecture MLA

Department of Landscape Architecture

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    You are viewing this course for 2024-25 entry. 2023-24 entry is also available.

    Key details

    Course description

    Landscape Architecture embraces all aspects of the science, planning, design, creation and management of landscape, in both urban and rural environments. It covers all scales, from the smallest garden to the greatest wilderness.

    This course is sometimes referred to as an undergraduate or integrated masters. It’s a single degree where you will end up with one MLA qualification. It'll take you from year one to year five of your landscape architecture education: three years study equivalent to our BA/BSc undergraduate degrees, followed by a year in industry in a professional landscape practice before returning for a final year of study.

    You’ll receive broad foundational training in landscape theories and concepts and choose whether to specialise in ecology or planning. You'll work in a Landscape practice in year four, allowing you to experience life as a professional and start thinking about the type of practice you aspire to work in.

    Your final year helps to consolidate your skills and knowledge and culminates with a design project, rather than a written dissertation.

    As a MLA Landscape Architecture student, you'll remain registered with the University for all five years of the course, which means you’ll be eligible to apply for undergraduate funding, as well as enjoying any discounts and benefits associated with being a student, during these years.

    If you wish, you'll still have the option to graduate from the MLA with a BA/BSc at the end of the third year.

    Accreditation allows graduates to become a licentiate Member of the Landscape Institute, ready to start their Pathway to Chartership and become a Chartered Member of the Landscape Institute (CMLI).

    Landscape Architecture students on a field trip to London


    A selection of modules are available each year - some examples are below. There may be changes before you start your course. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

    Choose a year to see modules for a level of study:

    Title: Landscape Architecture MLA
    UCAS code: K310
    Years: 2022, 2023
    First year

    Before the end of your first year of study you'll choose to take either the BA (planning) or BSc (ecology) specialism. The option you choose is not reflected in the MLA degree title but you can highlight your chosen option in your CV and portfolio.

    Core modules:

    Reading the Contemporary Landscape

    This module introduces students to the full scope and diversity of landscape architecture and the role of landscape architects in tackling contemporary social and environmental issues, presenting and giving examples of the areas of practice known as planning, design and management, with particular reference to the Sheffield area. The role of the Landscape Institute is also introduced. The aim of this module is to familiarise students with the range of work undertaken by landscape architects and the challenges the profession faces.

    20 credits
    Space Making

    An understanding of the dynamic qualities of landscape and how space is formed, manipulated and communicated is central to the discipline of landscape architecture. This introductory module equips students with a range of skills and tools that enable them to evaluate existing designed landscapes and to present proposals for new landscapes. It will provide a basic introduction to materials of landscape and develop a theoretical understanding of the design process, use of precedent and different approaches to creating original and creative design solutions. The module will also introduce a limited pallet of native and non-native vegetation. This module is an opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge developed in LSC115 - Current Challenges in Planning Design and Management, and digital skills developed in LSC117 Presentation Communication and Research Skills.

    20 credits
    Presentation, Communication and Research Skills

    This module is about introducing students to some of the skills and knowledge needed on this course in general, in this Department, at this University and in the world of work. Communication is central to the profession of Landscape architecture in general and to this course in particular. The bulk of this module is about giving students some of the digital communication skills needed when communicating ideas in the rest of this course and, later, in the workplace. 

    The module will explain and help students to understand some of the different teaching methods used in the Department of Landscape Architecture and what is expected in terms of being a reflective and critical learner.The module will also introduce some of the tools needed for academic and professional life, including navigating and using the library, correctly referencing your work and avoiding plagiarism.

    The aims of the module are to:

    introduce a range of digital communication methods for design, digital modelling and working with digital resources and information

    introduce the principles of feedback and assessment. 

    introduce the use of the University Library and other online resources;

    introduce the principles of correct referencing and avoiding plagiarism.

    20 credits
    Histories of Landscape Architecture

    This course is designed firstly to provide a broad introduction to the discipline of Landscape Architecture and develop an interest in the study of designed landscapes. In order to do this it aims to create awareness and promote a working knowledge of the theoretical context of the profession including: 1. A working knowledge of the terminology defining landscape architecture, garden design and place making. 2. A basic chronology of the history of the profession. 3. A basic understanding of how various theories which have influenced landscape design are related to social, cultural, ecological (environmental) and economical contexts.

    20 credits
    The Changing Landscape

    This module aims to: - Introduce landscape and environmental planning as a means of intervening in landscape at the large scale. - Provide an understanding of landscape formation, change and the drivers of change. - Introduce the toolkit available to landscape planners. - Introduce the theory and technique of Landscape Character Assessment. - Develop report writing skills and visual literacy. - Introduce students to GIS. By the end of the module, students will be able to demonstrate understanding of/proficiency in: - The influences and processes that shape landscape. - The relationship between landscape planning and landscape policy. - Sourcing and interpreting landscape information. - Appreciating the (sometimes controversial) nature of landscape change. - Landscape Character and Landscape Character Assessment at an introductory level. Communicating landscape data and analysis at a planning scale in a critical imaginative and creative manner.

    20 credits
    The Dynamic Landscape

    This unit is designed to further develop the landscape design skills and knowledge gained in the 1st semester. The module runs over 12 weeks and will be largely studio-based, but there will be field trips and visits. Based on one site students will work through all the stages of design development from site analysis through to final presentation. Precedent will be used to inform practice and students will undertake self-directed study to build knowledge of the theoretical basis of the design approach in such settings. Students will further develop their understanding of and use of landform manipulation, vegetation and other built structures to create a variety of space and experience. Studio exercises and seminars will be central to the learning process. Particular emphasis will be placed on the interaction with water and approaches to the 'water's edge' in the landscape. Graphic skills, freehand and technical, needed to convey ideas at both the design development and the presentation stage (essential to the landscape architect ) will be developed with further teaching in the area of digital design communication. Development of the knowledge of vegetation, particularly native trees, and its use and place in the landscape will take place through taught sessions, field study and individual research.

    20 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. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.

    Learning and assessment


    The studio is the heart of learning and is where you’ll participate in workshops, small group seminars, tutorials and project reviews. Studio learning is supported by lectures, site visits and field trips.

    We invest to create the right environment for you. That means outstanding facilities, study spaces and support, including 24/7 online access to our online library service.

    Study spaces and computers are available to offer you choice and flexibility for your study. Our five library sites give you access to over 1.3 million books and periodicals. You can access your library account and our rich digital collections from anywhere on or off campus. Other library services include study skills training to improve your grades, and tailored advice from experts in your subject.

    Learning support facilities and library opening hours

    Our world-renowned academics are regularly sought out to work on prestigious projects like London’s Olympic Park and through their research, contribute to influencing policy and shaping landscape practice.

    We enjoy strong links with some of the best-known names in our profession and regularly welcome leading practitioners, including Piet Oudolf, Martha Schwartz and Charlie Burrell, to deliver guest lectures.


    You will be assessed through group and individual coursework, which may include design portfolios, written reports or presentations.

    Feedback will be given throughout the semester via tutorials, interim and peer reviews.

    The year in practice is assessed through a self-assessment of skills, a record of skills and knowledge gained and a portfolio.

    You'll receive a graded mark (a first, 2:1, 2:2 etc) based on your grade point average of the type awarded in undergraduate degrees, including the BA/BSc that forms part of the modular route. The weighting of the different levels in the MLA is as follows:

    • level 1 - not included
    • level 2 - single weighting
    • level 3 - double weighting
    • level 4 (final year) - double weighting

    Programme specification

    This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.

    Find programme specification for this course

    Entry requirements

    With Access Sheffield, you could qualify for additional consideration or an alternative offer - find out if you're eligible.

    Standard offer

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:

    A Levels + additional qualifications BBB + B in a relevant EPQ

    International Baccalaureate 33

    BTEC Extended Diploma DDD in a relevant subject

    Scottish Highers AAABB

    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels B + AB

    Access to HE Diploma Award of Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 30 at Distinction and 15 at Merit

    Other requirements
    • Evidence of artistic ability in the form of a portfolio

    Access Sheffield offer

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:

    A Levels + additional qualifications BBB + B in a relevant EPQ

    International Baccalaureate 32

    BTEC Extended Diploma DDM in a relevant subject

    Scottish Highers AABBB

    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels B + BB

    Access to HE Diploma Award of Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 24 at Distinction and 21 at Merit

    Other requirements
    • Evidence of artistic ability in the form of a portfolio

    English language requirements

    You must demonstrate that your English is good enough for you to successfully complete your course. For this course we require: GCSE English Language at grade 4/C; IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification

    Equivalent English language qualifications

    Visa and immigration requirements

    Other qualifications | UK and EU/international

    If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

    Department of Landscape Architecture

    Landscape work on display

    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.

    Department of Landscape Architecture students are based in the Arts Tower; an iconic building with panoramic views across Sheffield. You'll also attend lectures at venues across campus and travel further afield for site visits.


    Our studios facilitate digital and hands-on design practice and are equipped with everything you’ll need, including drawing boards, a wireless network and kitchen space.

    Department computer suites come supplied with recently upgraded, high specification computers, a range of industry standard and specialist software and are supported by an in-house team of IT and graphics experts.

    Department of Landscape Architecture

    Why choose Sheffield?

    The University of Sheffield

      A top 100 university
    QS World University Rankings 2023

      92 per cent of our research is rated as world-leading or internationally excellent
    Research Excellence Framework 2021

      Top 50 in the most international universities rankings
    Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022

      No 1 Students' Union in the UK
    Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2022, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017

      A top 10 university targeted by employers
    The Graduate Market in 2022, High Fliers report

    Department of Landscape Architecture

    Top 5 for landscape

    The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022

    No 1 for landscape across the Russell Group

    National Student Survey 2022

    3rd in the UK for landscape

    Complete University Guide 2022

    Graduate careers

    Department of Landscape Architecture

    As a Landscape Architecture graduate you will find yourself in high demand. Regular employability support and networking activities during your time at Sheffield will prepare you well for these future opportunities. Leading industry figures attend our end-of-year exhibition and regularly advertise vacancies with us. Our graduates work all over the world and find employment in private practice, community development agencies, local authorities and national governments.

    Alumni include a former President of the International Federation of Landscape Architects and multiple RHS medal winners.

    My time in Sheffield changed my mind, and that which I learned in the Department shaped my career, allowing me to develop in different ways to undertake my professional practice

    Gloria Aponte

    Distinguished alumna of the Department of Landscape who was recently awarded the President’s Award from International Federation of Landscape Architects

    Fees and funding


    The MLA is charged at the undergraduate rate: four years of undergraduate fees, plus the fee for the year in practice which is equivalent to 13% of the undergraduate fee.

    Additional costs

    The annual fee for your course includes a number of items in addition to your tuition. If an item or activity is classed as a compulsory element for your course, it will normally be included in your tuition fee. There are also other costs which you may need to consider.

    Examples of what’s included and excluded

    Funding your study

    Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a bursary, scholarship or loan to help fund your study and enhance your learning experience.

    Use our Student Funding Calculator to work out what you’re eligible for.

    Additional funding

    The MLA allows Home fee status students to claim undergraduate funding from Student Finance for the full five years of their programme, including the year in practice.

    If you are a Home fee paying student receiving funding from Student Finance on the MLA and are interested in doing more than one year out for the year in practice, you'll need to get permission from Student Finance if you want to continue to receive funding for the duration of the programme.

    Past experience suggests that this is possible, but each application has to be considered by Student Finance on its own merits. It may be difficult to get permission to take more than two years out.

    Visit us

    University open days

    We host five open days each year, usually in June, July, September, October and November. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.

    Open days: book your place

    Subject tasters

    If you’re considering your post-16 options, our interactive subject tasters are for you. There are a wide range of subjects to choose from and you can attend sessions online or on campus.

    Upcoming taster sessions

    Offer holder days

    If you've received an offer to study with us, we'll invite you to one of our offer holder days, which take place between February and April. These open days have a strong department focus and give you the chance to really explore student life here, even if you've visited us before.

    Campus tours

    Our weekly guided tours show you what Sheffield has to offer - both on campus and beyond. You can extend your visit with tours of our city, accommodation or sport facilities.

    Campus tour: book your place


    Make sure you've done everything you need to do before you apply.

    How to apply When you're ready to apply, see the UCAS website:

    Not ready to apply yet? You can also register your interest in this course.

    The awarding body for this course is the University of Sheffield.

    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.

    Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

    Our student protection plan

    Terms and Conditions upon Acceptance of an Offer


    Make sure you've done everything you need to do before you apply.

    How to apply When you're ready to apply, see the UCAS website:

    Not ready to apply yet? You can also register your interest in this course.