The Landscape Guide

Landscape CAREERS: Welcome, Education, Distance Learning, Jobs, Alternative Careers, Environmental Consultancy, Golf Course Architecture, Voluntary Work, Animation Jobs, Design Juries,

Education and careers in landscape architecture 

University landscape education in the USA

There are two routes to a professionally acredited landscape architecture degree programs in America:

  • An undergraduate first degree (BA) in Landscape Architecture. This is followed by a second-professional Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA). This generally takes takes two years of full-time study.
  • A first degree in another subject (design, science, liberal arts etc) followed by a first-professional Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA). This generally takes three years of full-time study.

The Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board is an autonomous committee of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) which accredits first-professional degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels in the United States of America. See ASLA Careers Page for further information.

After completing an acredited program it is necessary to take a further examination for state registration as a landscape architect. No one without a license may call him or herself a landscape architect or perform the work of a landscape architect. Each state has its own requirements for registration. All require candidates to pass a national examination (the Landscape Architect Registration Examination, or LARE).

University andscape education in the UK

Landscape architecture is a marvelous subject, well suited to those with an interest in the arts and the sciences. It has a fairly low profile in the job market at present but the possibilities are immense. To join the UK landscape profession you need to study for 3+1 years at University, then take a job in a landscape practice and work for 2 years under the supervision of a qualified landscape architect. Or you may follow one of the alternative careers which make use of the skills learned on a landscape architecture course.

A landscape course can be taken either direct from school (a 3+1) course or as a postgraduate (usually 2 years full-time or 3 years part-time). Postgraduates come from a very wide range of undergraduate subjects: geography, the fine arts, the sciences, the humanities etc. Similarly, school leavers can join a landscape course with A levels in any of these subjects. After qualifying you can work either as a general practitioner or you can specialise in one of the subjects many aspects, for example: landscape design, landscape planning, garden design, environmental assessment, landscape management, landscape science.

Since c1995 recruitment to undergraduate UK landscape architecture courses has declined. But there has been a corresponding rise in entry to UK undergraduate garden design programmes. This offers the attractive prospect of entrants taking a 3 year BA (Hons) Garden Design and then proceding, for the +1 year, to a MA or Diploma in Landscape Architecture. Graduates can then choose between:

  • working with craftsmen on designing and building private gardens
  • working with architects, engineers and others on the planning and design of public and corporate landscapes