The module examines the close relationship between the arts, culture, and landscape and garden design through history to the present day. There is reference to land art, environmental and ephemeral art, and sculpture, along with the performing arts. An emphasis on current trends in the work of both artists and designers is placed within the historical context, affording students an understanding of the relationship between the arts and contemporary landscape design. The transference of ideas from one medium and one creative field to another will be explored alongside the interpretation of ideas. Working on site with various communities is evaluated and students develop creative skills while adopting a self-reflective approach to working artistically with landscape and with others.

The aim of this module is to provide the student with the knowledge and understanding of the relationships between the client brief, context appraisal and design process that relate to the design of open spaces. Students will explore the social, cultural and psychological issues relating to the site context as well as apply site investigative techniques to a range of sites. Site investigative techniques include: vegetative surveys; technical and functional surveys; and appraising, evaluating and communicating information through drawings, reports, presentations and design projects. Students will explore the relationships between analytical and conceptual design processes and formulate aesthetic and functional messages and meaning for the development of landscape and garden design projects. The AutoCAD skills taught in this module will be used in the second and third years of the course preparing students for working in the landscape architecture and garden design industry.

This module provides students with knowledge and practical application for appraising the contextual issues of wider landscapes, including surveying techniques such as linear, topographical, & vegetative. The importance of ecological principles, geomorphology, and specifically soil and plant sciences are explored. S and students consider how to present survey and site information. Students will also explore intuitive responses which along with other qualitative and quantitative ways of engaging with place, form a basis for formulating aesthetic, and meaningful design proposals.

The module also introduces the student to the concepts and practices associated with the maintenance and management of plants within a wide range of landscape situations. The selection, establishment and maintenance of plants as components of the landscape are key aspects to this module. Students familiarise themselves with the importance of plant selection in relation to function and design intent, and especially with regard to the site and sustainability.

The ability to accurately identify plants based upon their physical characteristics is developed alongside the capacity to apply plant knowledge relating to their growing preference(s). and maintenance needs in a variety of contexts. Tutor-led practical sessions provide students with experience of a range of practical horticultural and landscaping skills. Students are encouraged to further develop these skills through the completion of further project work in relation to independently evaluating a site and carrying out works therein as part of a small team. Practical skills are also assessed through a journal that is compiled throughout the academic year as part of a skills based assessment that enables them to demonstrate their ability to combine both the theoretical and practical skills gained through the course of study.                         

The module introduces the essential skills needed for spatial designers to successfully learn in Higher Education. Elements and techniques of visual communication, both hand drawn and digital approaches are taught, and include 2D and 3D visualisations. The module appraises spatial theory and applies this thinking throughout to the function, aesthetics and design intention within particular landscapes and their contexts. The module uses a combination of traditional and digital art and design practices and model making techniques as tools to analyse existing space and as methods to explore 3-dimensional and spatial design. Off-site visits and the College's extensive campus are explored to consider real space and time to support studio based learning.

This module focuses on the management of both historic and contemporary designed landscapes. It aims to further develop an understanding of the development and value of landscapes. The threats and challenges to their existence and integrity will be examined; this will include a critical review of the effectiveness of landscape protection measures and the relevant national and international organisations such as Historic England and its counterparts, UNESCO and ICOMOS. A range of case study sites will also be used to examine the influences on management strategies including government policies, economic pressures, enabling development, climate change, sustainable development, and public access. The module will examine the different management strategies and conservation philosophies used to ensure that landscapes endure in the long-term. This will cover the management planning processes involved from the initial research and data gathering stages, examination of alternative sustainable strategies that are resilient, flexible and adaptive to change, influences on decision making through to completion and subsequent implementation stages.

This module will critically examine the development of contemporary theory of landscape and design primarily developed in the last fifty years to the experiential models that are now current in professional practice and academia. In addition, it will evaluate how landscape is perceived: how these perceptions are formed, filtered and focused through philosophical thinking. Selected historical eras will support the theories and ideas development; they will allow students to evaluate these theories and their role in design, planning, and decision making, particularly at the strategic and policy levels in industry and for scholarly and academic research. The module will use issues and topics derived from art, architecture, garden design and related landscape disciplines, with a relationship to design practice and investigative their application in the design process and evolution. Students will analyse issues in relation to landscape design and environmental planning, design, and management in order to test and extend theory.


In the MA Garden Design course, garden design theory parallels much of landscape theory.  However, readings over several weeks of the module become more distinct and specific to garden design.

The aim of this module is to introduce a current landscape architecture or specialty pathway topic (e.g. garden design) or issue implicating rural, urban and/or edge condition, local and regional scales, social and ecological systems and place and identity relationships. The subject of the studio will provide the student with theoretical and applied methods and background to understand and critically assess and develop a given project e.g. the urban territory. The topic will be developed as a design project through a landscape architecture, environmental design, planning and/or management approach.

Landscape ecology is an interdisciplinary area of study emerging from the best principles of environmental biology and deals with the spatial variation in landscapes at a variety of scales. At its core landscape ecology links natural sciences with related societal, cultural and design disciplines.
This module will examine the spatial pattern or structure of a range of landscapes from wilderness to cities, particularly in relation to conservation biology. It will analyse the relationship between pattern, process and change. It will evaluate landscape fragmentation and examine how landscape components can be vulnerable or robust. The module will be also be concerned with the relationship of human activity and landscape. It will deal with societal drivers of change and the effects of human activity on landscape pattern. It will help planners, designers, and managers deal with fragmented landscapes to establish priorities within a more sustainable framework. It will provide the holistic and interdisciplinary approach needed to make informed judgments about strategies for conservation/preservation, enhancement, re-creation and recovering and new landscapes.