Certificate of Higher Education Landscape Studies - Writtle University College
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Certificate of Higher Education Landscape Studies

UCAS Code: K320

The Certificate of Higher Education in Landscape Studies introduces and equips you with fundamental knowledge and skills required by the landscape and garden design professions. These include an understanding of horticultural practices, botanical nomenclature and ecological principals, creative thinking in design, landscape and garden history, design software skills, spatial awareness and drawing office practice.

The course is designed for those who wish to become proficient in the specific skills of landscape architecture and garden design and will enable you to develop the practical and intellectual skills take that first step in to Higher Education. As such your interests and curiosity in gardens and landscapes will be explored while assessments gently prepare you for the academic environment, helping you to learn how to learn.

The Certificate of Higher Education Landscape Studies is designed to help those students into Higher Education who may have just achieved 'A' levels or equivalent qualifications, but also those who wish to apply to University after a period of employment and who wish to update their skills and knowledge in garden design and landscape theories. The course attracts a vibrant mix of 'A' level graduates, both full part-time mature students, career changers and those who may be progressing from Further Education courses in related area such as horticulture, art and design, and construction.

UCAS Tariff Points
GCE A Levels
48 UCAS tariff points, to include one GCE A level grade C or above
Irish Certificate
48 UCAS tariff points, to include 2 x B3 or H3 higher
Scottish Highers
48 UCAS tariff points, to include 1 x B & 1 x C
International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma
Total (IB) Diploma point score of 24 or more
BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma
BTEC Level 3 Diploma

Please note:

An equivalent or higher combination of grades to that indicated above will also be accepted.


All applicants must hold a minimum of four GCSE passes at grade C/4 or above to include English, Maths and Science.

Access course

Writtle University College welcomes applicants studying Access to HE Diploma courses. For more information please contact Admissions.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL/APEL)

Information about our Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL/APEL) policy can be found on our Higher Education Regulations and Policies page.

Learning is typically project-based, lectures, tutorials, seminars, peer-learning and collaborations, site visits and study tours, as well as substantial one-to-one help and advice to help you to develop your creativity and practical skills to a professional level.

Studio based learning is an immersive experience. Drawing, making and experimentation support more traditional teaching practices. Hands on experience, working with plants in our campus grounds makes design teaching at Writtle University College, an unique experience from other design schools. How we engage with the land helps us to think about landscapes, and there is a fluid interaction between studio teaching, our wider campus and beyond.

As you progress through the course you are supported toward Independent learning:

  • Lectures
  • Guest speakers and professional juries
  • Studio seminars
  • Workshops
  • Field work
  • Personal development planning
  • Student conferences
  • Site visits
  • Study tours

The course develops your thinking beyond the typical small scale domestic garden to consider larger scale and more complex landscapes enabling you to appreciate the wider issues the design of public spaces with multiple users that have the opportunity to contribute to contemporary needs for society and the environment.

Our range of assessments are designed to allow all students the opportunity to discover where they excel. Across the one year of full time study you will develop your own areas of interest in garden and landscape design. Our assessment strategy supports this by building knowledge that surrounds you and your individual approach to design. This is done in the knowledge that our industry is multi-faceted and cross disciplinary and that the ability to work in a team is essential. We offer the opportunity to meet and work with other professionals supporting you to work with others collaboratively across disciplines and professional networks.

Assessment methods offer varied approaches that support you and prepare you for the world of employment. Each year assessments are designed to build your confidence and aptitude and include:

  • Design projects
  • Visual presentations
  • Verbal presentations
  • Case studies / precedent studies
  • Essay writing
  • Technical and illustrated reports
  • Practical projects

Skills developed through the assessment develop your learning and are designed to build knowledge, workplace skills and employability.

The Certificate of Landscape Studies is encourages the development of landscape design skills through making and drawing and engaging with our plant collection. This will enable you to develop the skills to work with other design professionals and develop new landscape sensibilities and sensitivities .

The studio environment mirrors a professional practice and you will have a dedicated desk space, drawing board, model-making facilities, photographic equipment, storage space and access to computers with a range design software packages.

The studio culture provides the time and the space to work creatively and share ideas. Set within the heart of the main University College campus and ornamental gardens our studios have immediate access to the gardens that will inform your work.
Our Landscape Talk series host prominent landscape architects and garden designers as well as experts including horticulturists, artists, landscape managers, planners as well as garden and architectural historians .

These talks are open to all our students, staff and alumni. Students have had the unique opportunity to hear talks from experts including Martha Schwarz Partners, Tom Stuart-Smith Landscape Design, Arup, BDP, Townshend Landscape Architects, Gillespies, The Landscape Partnership, The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), Gill Wynee-Williams Associates, Peter Piet and many more.
You will be advised on opportunities for employment or to explore the potential of progressing onto the second year of either the Diploma of Higher Education garden Design or Landscape Design the potential to progress onto the final year BSc Honours Landscape Architecture or BSc Honours Landscape and Garden Design .

The Certificate of Landscape Studies aims to support students who wish to enter the landscape profession in an early stage career having gained the technical understanding and design software technical drawing and research skills.

For career changers or those already undertaking small landscape or planting projects this course offers opportunities to improve design skills and understand contemporary issues facing landscape professionals such as ecological applications and landscape design in the age of climate change.
The Certificate of Landscape Studies is equivalent to the first year of the degree level BSc Honours Landscape Architecture or BSc Landscape and Garden Design accredited by the Landscape Institute (LI) and the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) .

We are a member of European Council of Landscape Architecture Schools (ECLAS) and we are supported by the Society of Garden Designers (SGD) for which we hold Educator Status.

For more information, visit the websites for Landscape Institute, the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) and Society of Garden Designers.

Find out what our Landscape Architecture and Garden Design students have been up to.