The Master of Landscape Architecture is a professional qualification, accredited by the Landscape Institute, which provides a route to an internationally recognised qualification in a fast-growing, global profession.
The MLA combines an emphasis on individual practice and an exploratory, experimental approach, with a strong professional underpinning. It is both a conversion course for graduates of related subject areas and a final postgraduate year of education for landscape graduates.
The subject is awarded by Manchester Metropolitan University where it has been taught for over 40 years and today forms part of the prestigious Manchester School of Architecture. Our graduates are world leaders in the profession and have gone on to impressive careers nationally and internationally. Alumni include James Corner of Field Operations, lead designer for the New York Highline, and Jason Prior to Aecom, responsible for the Olympic Park masterplans in London and Rio de Janeiro.
Based within Manchester School of Art, students have access to an impressive range of library, IT, workshop and studio facilities, in an award-winning building, just a few minutes walk from the city centre.
Features and benefits of the course
- A two-year, 300 credit programme, accredited by the Landscape Institute and leading to an internationally recognised qualification in a fast-growing profession.
- The full two-year programme provides a conversion course for graduates of related subject areas
- Graduates of accredited UK undergraduate landscape courses, or international equivalents, may gain direct entry to Part 2 of the course for their final year of study
- Part 1 provides a broad foundation in the discipline and supports the development of core design and communication skills.
- Part 2 promotes the exploration of individual design practice through experimental studio work as well as individual research.
- An integrated work placement and opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations.
- Teaching is delivered by an experienced group of core staff, complemented by a wide range of practitioners and academics.
- A study tour and site visits give students direct experience of a range of landscape projects both implemented and on site.
- The MLA degree is awarded by Manchester Metropolitan University.
The MLA places emphasis on an understanding of landscape as a dynamic and adaptive phenomenon. Projects promote a focus on the interfaces between the landscape as a human, cultural construct and as a reflection of underlying natural and environmental process. Design Ateliers explore themes of global relevance through the study of a specific landscape from a regional scale, progressively down to the detailed scale of material and technological revolution. There is a focus throughout on applying contemporary theoretical ideas and technologies to address the challenges of the landscapes explored.
The course has very strong links to practice. Students are exposed to a range of practitioners and their work throughout the course and gain individual experience through a combination of a direct professional engagement and a theoretical series of lectures and seminars.
Part 1 provides a broad foundation of knowledge and skills in landscape architecture for students wishing to convert from related subject areas and for overseas students who may benefit from the transition to a different cultural and professional context.
- Through Atelier Units students develop techniques of reading and landscapes, and the design and communication skills needed to propose transformations.
- Core drawing and software skills are developed through focussed support sessions.
- Landscape Studies provides a foundation in core areas of theoretical and technical knowledge.
Part 2 provides a final year of education for both landscape graduates and conversion students alike and encourages a much greater degree of autonomy and the opportunity to develop personal practice through both design and research-based work. A strong professional element underpins the whole year. Key points:
- Atelier Units encourage students to apply theoretical ideas and agendas to a specific landscape context and to develop individual trajectories rooted in their personal strengths and interests.
- A Vegetation Calendar runs as a continuous thread through the Part 2 Atelier Units.
- Students gain both direct personal experience as well as a theoretical understanding of the professional context of the subject.
- A Dissertation unit provides a framework for more detailed individual research into topics of personal and professional interest.
Part 1 Entry
Students eligible for the MLA will normally have a minimum of a second-class degree in a closely related subject area. The following disciplines are typical although this is not an exhaustive list and the suitability of all applicants will be assessed via a combination of portfolio and interview:
- Design for the built environment including: Architecture, Urban Design and Planning, Interior Design, Garden Design
- Other design or arts-related disciplines may also be considered, including: fashion, film, graphics, product design, etc
- Land or plant-based sciences including: Geography, Horticulture, Forestry or agriculture, Ecology, Environmental science and management
- Engineering, including especially: Civil, hydrological and structural engineering
International Students with a closely related qualification from their country may be eligible for Part 2 entry, but, in the majority of cases, a 2-year course is required in order to adapt to the specific professional and cultural context of the discipline in the UK.
Direct Part 2 Entry
Candidates with a minimum of a second-class degree in an accredited UK undergraduate Landscape Architecture course will normally be accepted directly into Part 2 of the MLA. Candidates from other countries with an IFLA recognised undergraduate qualification of an equivalent standard may also be eligible for direct entry at year 2.
Candidates from other very closely related disciplines (principally Architecture and Urban Design) may be considered, subject to providing evidence of a Level 6 understanding and knowledge of additional subject areas specific to landscape architecture.
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