Landscape Architecture is the design of the world outside, as a combination of art, utility and natural systems. The aim is to create rich, positive experiences and to provide designed environments, which engage users with character and a sense of place.
Through guided exploration of personal design and research process, you will explore and unwrap many layers to reveal the unlimited storyboard of design options that our landscape presents.
Covering all aspects of landscape architecture, our course is fully recognised and accredited by the Landscape Institute (LI) and supported by a leading design team in its field.
You’ll work in a design studio culture, which mimics real-world creative practice for landscape architects and prepares you for your future career.
Experience on live local sites and project briefs in landscape studios will develop your design creativity and hone your professional practice skills. Placements and competitions will give you fantastic opportunities. There are also chances to compete for industry connected awards.
You’ll have the chance to be part of collaborative architecture and design initiatives within the School of Architecture that give you the chance to work on a diverse variety of live projects. Past examples include: explorations in timber construction in the Wyre Forest, communicating with the public about what they really want from design for Stirchley High Street in Birmingham and implementation of a viewing structure to observe wetland ecology at Henbury Ponds.
You’ll also have the opportunity to attend lectures and take part in workshops from a large variety of international and award winning professionals. Previous guest speakers have included Martha Schwartz, Andrew Grant, Andrew Wilson, Jeppe Aagard Anderson, Neil Porter, Chris Beardshaw and Kim Wilkie.
You’ll be based in our multi-million pound City Centre Campus within our Parkside Building, where you will have access to digital studios and 3D design workshops. The proximity of the newly built Eastside Park provides inspiration to your studies, introducing a strong example of contemporary civic space and park design.
“The University provides the support you need, while giving you a freedom that allows your projects to be as creative and individual… and the experience allowed me to gain employment at a landscape architect practice straight after my degree.” Jocelyn Bennett
Our next University-wide Open Day will take place on Saturday 19 November 2016. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
Portfolios are not mandatory for any undergraduate course within the Birmingham School of Architecture and Design if you are a UK-based home student. However, if you'd like to provide a portfolio before or on your applicant visit day, you may do so electronically or physically (however we would prefer electronically). Find out more details here.
A portfolio is required for International applications. Find out more details here.
|UK Qualification||Requirements 2017/18|
|GCE A Level/ AS Level||BBC at A-Level or 112 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A-Levels|
|Access to Higher Education Diploma||Pass overall with 60 credits, 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2. Must be in a relevant subject pathway|
|BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years)||D*D* or combined with other Level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points|
|BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years)||DMM - 112 UCAS points|
|BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years)||D* or combined with other Level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points|
|BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design||Distinction|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma||14 points overall|
|Irish Leaving Certificate||112 UCAS points - Higher Levels|
|Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher||112 UCAS points|
|Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options)||Pass plus grades CC at A-Level (or equivalent qualifications) combined with other Level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points|
|If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.
Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
|EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications||Requirements 2017/18|
|IELTS||Non English speakers require IELTS 6.0 with 6.0 in writing and no less than 5.5 in the remaining three skills.|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).||14 points overall
Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.
International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).
If you're considering applying for this course to start in September 2017 onwards, it's important to know that the UCAS tariff system is changing.
UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – will be introducing a new system on how points are calculated.
From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2017||FT||3 years||£9,250 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BA (Hons)||Sep 2017||FT||3 years||£12,000 per year|
The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.
UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.
There are three ways to apply:
You will need to complete our International Application Form and submit it together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.
Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.
If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.
Our courses include activities such as performance, exhibitions, field trips and production of works or artefacts which may require you to purchase specific equipment, instruments, books, materials, hire of venues and accommodation, or other items. Many of these activities are essential and compulsory parts of your learning experience.
The link below gives you an estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course.
All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.
Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.
You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.
We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.
Laying the foundation for deeper understanding, this year covers a broad spread of study areas, moving seamlessly, connecting abstract design theory and consideration of global scale contexts, to micro-scale understanding of materials and technology.
Through this process, you will gain an understanding of the scope, scale and connectivity of landscape architecture, its transformative abilities and power to help ensure a global human future. Modules include:
An introduction to broad skill and knowledge base for Landscape Architecture
Hand drawing, modelling and design software.
Exploration of design precedent.
Hard material and planting design.
You'll develop professional approaches to design and construction in your second year.
You will develop connections between key design theories and real-world practice, through debate of current topics, placement study, collaborative projects (Co.LAB), and the exploration of two different multifaceted design processes.
Principles and design application of construction techniques.
Study of theory and relationship to contemporary practice.
There are a range of interesting projects under our CoLab programme, of particular note are partnership projects with Swanshursts Girls School where we are restoring an ancient hedgerow, High Park where we are implementing a viewing structure to observe wetland ecology at Henbury Ponds and a rainwater harvesting device that introduces sustainable drainage as a component of new wetland habitats.
Study of industry and professionalism with potential placement opportunities.
Design project of urban place, from strategic to detail design
Design project of ecologies and place, from strategic to detail design.
Through guided but self-directed investigations, you will define your own academic pathway.
Built on research and led via creative but pragmatic exploration in design, you will successfully communicate connections between theory, contextual analysis, project brief, conceptual proposals, design development and design detail, to produce a broad-scale, multi-layered design project.
Major Project: Define
Student-led, practice-based major theory study.
Alignment of skills and understanding to curate final professional portfolio and career outputs.
Major Project: Deliver
Define and deliver a bespoke project from strategic investigation to detailed construction level design.
Our landscape architecture degree is assessed on 100 per cent course work, with no practical or written exams. We feel this best mirrors the way you’d work in the real world and so better prepares you for a career in the landscape design industry.
You'll benefit from our extensive resource base, including digital studios and 3D design workshops. There will also be traditional drawing workshops with observational and technical drawing, model-making and digital visual communication skills. You'll begin to develop a strong portfolio and confidence with design principles and all aspects of communication.
The course follows a clear development path over its duration.
|28||Time in lectures, seminars and similar||MidnightBlue|
|72||Time in independent study||RoyalBlue|
The course is fully recognised and accredited by the Landscape Institute (LI), the UK national organisation for landscape professionals concerned with enhancing and conserving the environment.
Our accreditation shows employers that students graduating from our course have the levels of knowledge and skills they need. The revalidation process takes place annually by the Landscape Institute’s Professional Review Group and they look very closely at the way the course is designed to meet the requirements of today’s profession.
If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students in 31 European countries to study for part of their degree in another EU country.
It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.
Landscape Architecture students have a number of opportunities available. Trishna Patel spent a semester studying in the Netherlands, giving her insight into how the subject is taught in other European countries. She said: “Studying, living and working in a different country is the greatest opportunity you can take. I have experienced different cultures and made friends beyond borders. I would recommend this to everyone.”
The BA (Hons) Landscape Architecture course flows naturally into postgraduate study for MA Landscape Architecture, allowing progression into Landscape Institute-accreditation of ‘Pathway to Chartership’ or further academic study in PHD routeways. Look at our range of courses.
You’ll find inspiration and add context to your studies with the opportunity to visit sites of interest. A three-day trip to Paris examined 15 different landscape architecture projects. Students have also visited the Eden Project in Cornwall. You’ll also be taken to undeveloped sites where you will use your imagination and skills to work on potential landscape architectural proposals.
China based Freelancer
You’ll have a sound knowledge of the physical, economic and social factors which influence contemporary built environment practice. You’ll also understand the professional, legal and institutional framework of landscape architecture.
You’ll develop a comprehensive portfolio that shows employers a range of skills in design practice and academic study.
Experience on live local sites with client-driven briefs in landscape studios will develop your design creativity and hone your professional practice skills.
You’ll be skilled in the latest techniques, including rapid prototyping and 3D design.
The course supports student employability and long-term career opportunity through enhancing your development and instilling an understanding of life-long professional progression.
You’ll develop a range of transferable skills, such as how to communicate ideas and solve problems, as well as developing negotiation and planning skills. You’ll learn how to work effectively and efficiently either on your own or as part of a team.
Your skills will be in demand - architecture, building and planning courses are one of the top 12 degree subjects for getting a job according to a recent article in the Telegraph.
Opportunities for placements are promoted, facilitated and available during summer breaks and during year two study. We have connections with landscape architecture firms and our students benefit from these outstanding links, particularly through placement opportunities. Landscape Architecture student Daniel Watson completed a three-month paid summer placement at one of the world’s leading design, engineering and project management consultancies, Atkins.
Daniel was awarded the prize of a placement after demonstrating technical excellence and design innovation in a submission looking at uses of land within a flood plain in Shrewsbury. He said: “My placement has given me a unique glimpse into working on ‘real life’ projects, learning from a team of experts every day.”
The prestigious competition will continue to run as part of the course and other placements are widely available.
OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.
It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.
Ula worked as both a student consultant and a student ambassador while she studied for her Landscape Architecture BA.
She found the University to be flexible and very much enjoyed her experience, balancing work and study life. “I found it both interesting and easily manageable,” said Ula. “It was great that you could easily adapt or combine working hours with studying time.”
Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.
Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.
Typically, graduates go on to do landscape architecture roles, including construction design, regional master planning, landscape reviewing and development proposals.
Work is often sector-based, though most landscape architects work across sectors in multi-disciplinary projects, which may include residential developments, civic space (streets, parks, plazas), waterways, transport networks and so on. Large-scale UK examples include projects like High Speed 2 (HS2) and the London Olympics parkland design.
Graduates have secured roles with firms such as Node, Camlins, Arup, Fira and Atkins, and have positions ranging from graduate landscape architects to founding CEOs.
Andy Williams is director of practice at Define and Laura Bradley set up Bradley Murphy.
Graduate Nathaniel Hanna worked freelance and after being approached by a client who wanted a yard space converted into an outdoor venue, set about using wooden pallets he had to hand and created spectacular outdoor furniture. He began to buy the planks in bulk and produced his own range of pallet furniture. Stax Creations now operate out of a 50,000 square foot space in Digbeth and employ five people – four of which are also our graduates. Nathaniel said: “Studying landscape architecture essentially taught me to add value to a space using design and innovation.”
Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.
The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.
Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:
Our international reputation, professional accreditation and outstanding graduate success rate attracts students from countries such as China.
Taiwanese-Canadian Yi-Chun Huang said is going into the third year of the Landscape Architecture course. “I moved to Birmingham City University as a product design student at the Toyo Institute of Art and Design in Japan. I chose the University as my first interaction with the Dean was very warm and inspiring and encouraged me. I would like to explore more and gain varied skills in different fields. And my future plan would be to find a good job in UK.”
International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.
BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.
Our students come from around the world but our landscape architecture course is most popular with international students from:
We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.
Landscape Architecture students are based at our City Centre Campus in The Parkside Building, a multi-million pound centre of excellence in the heart of Birmingham. The five-floor building opened in June 2013.
Landscape courses are based on the 4th floor of The Parkside Building. Utilising a range of rooms for different activities, including open design studio, lecture, computer skills, physical materials workshops and outdoor visits and sessions. We also aim to utilise outdoor sessions as weather permits.
In addition, there are a lot of common areas and ‘breakout’ spaces for students to work in The Parkside Building, including a café, equipped with tables, sofas, multi-OS (Windows/Osx, with appropriate software) a printer and sockets.
There are also a lot of common areas and ‘breakout’ spaces for students to work in The Parkside Building, including a café, equipped with tables, sofas, multi-OS (Windows/Osx, with appropriate software) a printer and sockets.
As a Landscape student you can take advantage of our large-scale printing and scanning facilities which will allow you to produce work in a variety of paper sizes, quality and style. Students can also send items to be printed via their email account.
The City Centre Campus shop provides students with a huge variety of materials and stationery. All the necessary stuff they need to be more creative!
Our library is in the adjacent Millennium Point building. It has a large variety of landscape books and knowledgeable staff to help you.
The Inner Garden on the third floor is a place for an outdoor coffee, lunch, contemplation and relaxing. And all these without the need to leave the building! While on the fourth floor, Landscape students have a unique view of the new park, historical building of Curzon Station and the city centre.
I joined BCU in 2010 as Director of Technology for Birmingham School of Architecture and Design. My role involves an overview of the technical curriculum across all courses in the school. This includes teaching on materials, material assembly, structure, environmental comfort and regulatory compliance for the built environment. My PhD research is looking at the processes, strategies and methods for detailed design evident in architectural practice.
After studying architecture at the University of Bath (1990-94) and Manchester Metropolitan University (1995-97), I worked in architectural practice. At Simpson Haugh and Partners in Manchester (1996-2003) I worked as part of a team on projects for museums, transport infrastructure, retail, multi-storey residential, hotel and private houses. Three of these projects received an RIBA award for design excellence. Most recently I worked at John McAslan + Partners in Manchester, London and Doha (2003-2010), a design lead practice with an international reputation. I became an Associate of the practice in 2007 and lead a team of architects on projects for education, culture, hotels, offices, transport infrastructure and mixed-use residential. Three of the projects that my team delivered received an RIBA award for design excellence.
Research: My PhD research is looking at the processes, strategies and methods for detailed design evident in architectural practice. The research participants are at the end of their full time education in architecture school and at the beginning of their full time careers in architectural practice: Put simply, they have limited experience of architectural practice. The research explores how these designers approach an activity that the literature identifies as primarily informed by experience.
Enterprise: Through Co.Lab Consult, the School of Architecture and Design’s consultancy service, I provide specialist advice to external organisations. This work focuses on detailed design choices and construction specifications. Engaging with live construction projects enables me to stay up to date with detailed design concerns in architectural practice.
John McAslan + Partners (2003-2010)
I was fortunate to work on a range of exciting and rewarding projects when I worked at JMP. This included developing a working relationship with Lancaster University that ultimately resulted in six completed projects, three of which received an RIBA award. Latterly I worked in Qatar on a ground breaking regeneration project in downtown Doha. The development aims to break the mould for projects in the Gulf by creating a walkable piece of high density, mixed use urban fabric. I was permanently located in Doha acting as design team and client liaison on several buildings including a hotel, apartments, cultural building, offices and a school.
During my career at JMP I developed from undertaking delegated tasks to achieve specific outcomes early in my career to later become an Associate and team leader, organising the workload of others and supporting the smooth running of the practice’s administration. As part of my senior role within the office I successfully mentored several RIBA part 3 candidates and provided advice and support to less experienced colleagues. Interacting with people, both within and outside the office, was a crucial part of my role. I gained a broad experience of dealing with people at all levels through meetings and presentations with clients, end users, stakeholders, statutory authorities, suppliers, consultants, contractors and installers.
Simpson Haugh and Partners (1996-2003)
I joined SHP (previously Ian Simpson Architects) at a time when Manchester’s regeneration was gathering pace. I was a member of the team that won the urban design competition to develop a vision for Manchester after the 1996 IRA bombing: The practice was involved in a number of projects that developed from the masterplan and I was able to develop the Shudehill Transport Interchange to tender stage.
The practice workload offered a range of projects including new build and refurbishment, individual dwellings and high rise apartment buildings, cultural and commercial buildings, public and private. A key project for me was the re-working of The Manchester Museum at the University of Manchester. On this project I gained valuable skills in working with a diverse client body, nurturing a project through the various funding and listed building consent processes, working with other consultants effectively to get the best for the project and dealing with a contractor to deliver the design on site.