Landscape Architecture - GradDip

Part Time
September 2016, September 2017
£4,335 for UK/EU Part Time 2016 entry (view all fees)

Our accredited Landscape Architecture Graduate Diploma provides an opportunity to become a Landscape Architect if you have a first degree in a different subject. The course is designed to provide you with a range of foundation skills and provides an entry route into the Postgraduate Diploma / MA Landscape Architecture course, ensuring progression to become a licentiate member of The Landscape Institute.

You will be taught by leaders in the field. Tutors include world-renowned staff whose expertise will help you plan and design innovative landscapes that embrace issues of today and tomorrow. Our graduates go on to work for top consultancies, such as Landscape Design Associates, Camlin’s, FIRA, Atkins’ Global and Arup’s.

New for 2017/18

Landscape Architecture

If you’re looking to start this course in 2017, it's important to know that the content and structure are undergoing a substantial review and are likely to be different to what is outlined here. We’ll publish more detailed information about the changes over the next few months. If you’re starting in 2016, the course content/structure won’t be affected by the review.

Sign up for course updatesMore about our new curriculum

What's covered in the course?

The Graduate Diploma in Landscape Architecture course is the first year of a professionally-accredited programme leading to the licentiate membership of The Landscape Institute.

This ‘conversion year’ course enables you to enter the profession if you have a first degree in an appropriate subject and is structured to enable you to continue working and study at the same time. The course is designed for students who wish to switch to the subject of Landscape Architecture, but also to provide flexibility of learning with existing commitments and responsibilities.

You’ll work on a range of design projects that build key skills and knowledge. The philosophy of design education is to explore design as a process. The curriculum includes landscape history and theory, the natural environment, sustainability, habitat creation, and the productive landscape, and is underpinned by theory of process-led design.

Assessment is by coursework, working in a design studio culture environment.

You’ll be based in our multi-million pound City Centre Campus Parkside Building and have access to digital studios, 3D design workshops and rapid prototyping. Traditional drafting techniques are supported with digital studio skills that include AutoCAD, InDesign, and Photoshop. The proximity of the newly built Eastside Park, the proposed HS2 Curzon Street train station and Birmingham Botanic Gardens provides valuable resources through which to learn about the principles that underpin a strong example of contemporary civic space and park design.

Why Choose Us?

  • Our course is accredited by the Landscape Institute (LI) – the professional body for landscape architecture in the UK. Successful completion enables you to apply for LI membership and for a full-time Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture.
  • Our own internationally recognised staff are complemented by a wide range of expert visiting tutors and lecturers. You’ll benefit from their insight, experience and connections.
  • We have well-established connections with the region’s best landscape architecture practices and career progression is very high at 95 per cent.
  • You’ll get excellent support with experienced practitioner staff, and good student ratios, ensuring personal tuition and tailored guidance.
  • Your design education at the end of the Postgraduate Diploma in Landscape Architecture provides you with a very strong portfolio and will develop confidence at interviews.
  • Birmingham School of Architecture and Design is highly respected and has a rich history of providing education and opportunities.
Visit our open day

Postgraduate Open Day

Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be on Wednesday 23 November, between 2pm and 7pm. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

Register now

This course is open to International students

Birmingham School of Architecture and Design

Discover Birmingham School of Architecture and Design

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Cumming Anderton Architects
  • Mott Macdonald

And in jobs such as:

  • Landscape Architecture
  • Graduate Landscape Architect

This course is fully recognised and accredited by:

Landscape Institute (LI)

Entry Requirements

UK students

An honours degree in an appropriate subject. If you possess such a qualification, this course is intended to form the first year of a conversion route to professional qualification in landscape architecture.

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
GradDip Sep 2016 PT 1 year £4,335
Sep 2017 PT 1 year TBC

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
GradDip Sep 2016 PT 1 year £12,000
Sep 2017 PT 1 year £12,000

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

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.

Additional costs

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.

Find additional costs for your course

Your personal statement

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:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

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.

This course is available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Did you know that you will soon be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000 for some courses and options?

Postgraduate loans


The course is designed around four modules which cover the key areas of landscape design required to study professional landscape architecture at postgraduate level:

Histories and Theories – Landscape Architecture
Sustainable technologies, and living systems
Design Studio
Design Process Studio

You’ll be assessed by coursework which is developed through design studio work. Study is through a mix of theory and practice. You’ll take part in lectures, student-led seminars, project work, workshops and study visits.

The course covers the cultural, social, professional context of landscape architecture, its technology, history and theory. You’ll work on a range of projects, strategies and approaches to design, especially process led design ideas by internationally-renowned staff.

You will be supported by professional staff with industry experience and expertise. You’ll also have insight from guest speakers and lecturers from the profession, such as Noel Farrer, Sue Illman and David Jarvis.

Further Study

At postgraduate level you can progress to a full-time Master’s in Landscape Design.

The Faculty offers a wide range of postgraduate courses, all of which involve innovative research and provide vocationally valuable experience. They also act as an entry point to doctoral research. In the independent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008, 60 per cent of the research was judged to be of ‘world-leading’ quality. The MA courses are assessed continuously via individual tutorials, group critiques and written assignments. You’ll receive written and oral feedback at the end of each module.

Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Postgraduate Studentships are available through a Block Grant Partnership (BGP). Birmingham City University has been successful in its application for a BGP and has been allocated a specific number of awards for a five-year period. The awards will be advertised and administered by the University and are available for art and design-based postgraduate courses. The studentships provide funding for graduates who want to continue their studies, conduct further research or to enhance their professional opportunities in a range of careers.

The School of Art is an Arts Council England recognised RFO (regularly funded organisation) – the only educational RFO in the region. You will be supported by active researchers from the Centre for Fine Art Research (CFAR).

For further information and to apply for a bursary, refer to the Guide for Applicants for Postgraduate Awards in the Arts and Humanities on the AHRC website Applications should be submitted to the AHRC before April 2010. Applicants should have or expect to gain a first class or 2:1 degree.

For further information on courses Tel: +44(0)121 331 5595 or go direct to the courses section of the website.

Landscape Institute (LI)
Landscape Institute

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.

Alice Claydon

Postgraduate Diploma, Landscape Architecture

After completing her Graduate Diploma, Alice has been successful in winning several student awards. Her blogs follows her thoughts on her visits to Cuba to provide first hand research to support her interest in continuing productive urban landscapes and sustainability.

Urban Agriculture in Cuba: Part One
Urban Agriculture in Cuba: Part Two

Student stories Bunny Guinness

Landscape Architect

Landscape architect Bunny Guinness has designed private gardens for clients ranging from HRH Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia to Sir Bob Geldof, but she is probably just as well known as a regular panellist on the long-running BBC Radio 4 programme 'Gardener's Question Time'.

Enhancing employability skills

The ability to resolve design problems is an essential requirement for landscape architects and communication skills include the use of sketch books, hand drawing and sketching, supported by diagrams and drawings that explain the synthesis of an idea. You’ll develop this portfolio of skills alongside proficiencies in model making, AutoCAD, Photoshop and InDesign.

You’ll be able to describe and comment on contemporary developments in the field of landscape architecture. 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. And thanks to the unique nature of the course, you’ll learn how to work effectively and efficiently either on your own or as part of a team.


Although we don’t offer a formal placement year as part of this course, our students are offered a range of opportunities, supported by our industry links. We work very closely with students to assist them with their portfolio, CV’s, and work with the our contacts in the profession to assist with obtaining employment in industry.

More about our placement opportunities...


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

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.

Graduate jobs

We have very close links with members of the Landscape Institute Midlands branch and through these connections with former students, we build on our reputation. We are particularly renowned for helping our students progress their careers in the industry. Our close links with the region’s top landscape architecture firms including LDA, Atkins Global, Bea, Fira, Capita and Camlins, and Birmingham City Council.

International Students

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, India, Lithuania, Hungary, Holland, France , Thailand, Taiwan and Bulgaria.

Ying Wei, an International student who completed her Masters in Landscape Architecture, wrote her MA LA dissertation on the specialist subject of rain water harvesting systems in Northwest China and as result of this study having strong relevance to the market needs, obtained a position with Dreiseitl in Beijing.

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

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.

Learn more about BCUIC

Popular home countries

Our students come from around the world but our landscape architecture course is most popular with international students from:

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

Birmingham School of Architecture and Design is based at the state-of-the-art £62 million Parkside Building, a new development on our City Centre Campus within Eastside.

The new building has added an extra dimension to the School. Our campus has extensive studio and workshop provision and cutting-edge equipment reflecting the broad range of study opportunities on offer. The building has been designed to actively promote shared space opportunities, for students to engage with others across the University as part of the learning experience.


In many cases, our main studio and workspace is the city of Birmingham.
We give our students the opportunity to work on many collaborative projects involving the transformation of the city. These include:

  • Working on-site at the £600 million re-development of New Street Station
  • Work on our neighbouring Curzon Building, which forms Phase 2 of the City Centre Campus development
  • Nearby Off-campus Nest Gallery based within Glenn Howells Architects


We have our very own digi.lab, which is used for prototyping and as a learning resource. Here, you can experiment with 3D printing and laser cutting, preparing you to work on our range of larger machines. You will work in a home studio base five days a week, and also enjoy the opportunity to share others’ facilities and space when necessary.

Digital Presentation

At the School, we have placed a large emphasis on digital presentation. We currently have nine plasma screens for such uses, and try to keep our facilities as paper-free as possible.

Further information

You’ll have access to open design studios, lecture theatre, computer skills learning spaces, physical materials workshops, and outdoor visits and sessions. You can take advantage of our large scale printing and scanning facilities. You’ll be able to buy materials at our campus shop and relax in our common room and café. Our library has a large variety of landscape books to assist your studies and knowledgeable staff to help you. The Inner Garden on the third floor is a place for an outdoor coffee, lunch, contemplation and relaxing. This courtyard garden was actually designed by a former Birmingham City University student, Rheno Whithead.

On the fourth floor, students have a unique view of the new park, historical building of Curzon Station, and the city centre, and a glimpse of the new spaces outside the Curzon Building designed by another former student Dan Martyr whilst he was working for Atkins Global.

Russell Good

Senior Tutor/ Postgraduate Course Director

Russell Good’s research explores ecological and hydrological systems in the context of climate change, in order to inform and develop new aesthetic codes in landscape design. Using the urban River Rea in Digbeth, Birmingham as a laboratory, he is examining how ecological processes can be used as a device in place making, to enhance biodiversity and draw upon the richness of new layers of animal and plant life to provide a living dynamic that informs our sensory perception of place.

Lucas Hughes

Senior Tutor/ Programme Director

Lucas Hughes holds qualifications in landscape architecture and urban design. He has a broad range of interest and experience within several professional sectors linking across the built-environment industry. His core focus is to promote high quality, integrated, design-led processes for the creation of characterful and sensitive built environment solutions.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295