Diploma of Higher Education in Landscape Design - Writtle University College
Skip to content

Diploma of Higher Education in Landscape Design

UCAS Code: K330

Landscape design is both a well-established professional activity and an academic subject. As an academic subject, it is underpinned by research and scholarship in a wide range of areas that draw on the arts and humanities, the physical, natural, environmental and social sciences. Research and scholarship generally inform teaching and learning, seeking to understand what landscape means, how it is formed over time, what factors continue to shape it, how it is used by people and what measures can be taken to conserve, restore and manage existing landscapes, and to create sustainable and inclusive landscapes for the future.

Landscape design is concerned with the design, management and conservation of landscapes of all types, both urban and rural. It also considers the manifestations of complex interactions between humans and natural processes seeking resilient and sustainable landscapes in addressing some of the key challenges of our times. Landscape design is distinguished by its position at the interfaces between art and design, and the physical, natural, environmental and social sciences. It is a subject that focuses on intervention in landscapes through the activities of design, management, conservation, and the art and science that underpins all these activities.

The Landscape Architecture and Garden Design (LAGD) scheme has been successfully running for many years at Writtle University College .

The scheme is well-known for its design-oriented approach to LAGD education. Landscape studies are taught and practiced in all HE levels at Writtle up to doctoral level. Students entering Writtle therefore have the opportunity to top up their studies as high as their ambition and interest leads them.

Writtle University College has developed a studio culture that mirrors a professional practice. As such, DipHE Landscape Design students experience the benefits from working alongside cohorts of students at higher levels, visiting professionals and staff in a supportive work-focused environment. Writtle's land-based heritage constitutes an important part of the programme, providing far more opportunities for ecological and plant knowledge education than any of its competitors. The historic designed landscape of our university has a history going back 800 years and continues to inspire our education. Students are not only provided with individual studio space but also with an individual plot of land where they experiment with science (soil science, botany, horticulture), construction (materials) and design (art projects, implementation of small scale designs, and large scale modelling).

Course Duration

This 240-credit modular course can be completed in two-year on a full-time basis. Part-time students can take three - four years to complete the course.

The part-time programme offers greater flexibility for those with demanding commitments at home or work.

The DipHE Landscape Design course considers contemporary landscape issues and highlights the importance of sustainable design practices, such as water sensitive design, biodiversity and spatial planning at small to medium scale .

This programme aims to ensure that students are work-ready for smaller scale professional businesses, having the technical and scientific understanding required by these practices. This holistic approach ensures that students are flexible and resilient practitioners with the maximum potential for long-term employability and job satisfaction.

Students work in a design culture that is fostered by a range of specialist design studies. The programme develops sustainable approaches to design in landscape systems for public and private landscapes, the fabric of the urban environment and for rural situations. The course also encourages consideration of place and identity, physical and phenomenal relationships, social and ecological systems and informs the design process in terms of function, context, meaning and form.

The course intends to stimulate the development of an enquiring, analytical and creative approach and encourage the acquisition of independent judgement and critical self-awareness. Commencing with the exploration and understanding of underlying principles and appropriate skills, students pursue a programme of staged development progressing to increasingly independent and personally focused learning.

UCAS Tariff Points
GCE A Levels
80 UCAS tariff points, to include one GCE A level grade C/4 or above
Irish Certificate
80 UCAS tariff points, to include 2 x B1 or H2 higher
Scottish Highers
80 UCAS tariff points, to include 2 x B
BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma
BTEC Level 3 Diploma
C & G Level 3 Extended Diploma
Pass (48 + in combination with other qualifications to meet 80)
C & G Level 3 Diploma
Distinction (72 + in combination with other qualifications to meet 80)

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.

This course appeals to individuals from a range of backgrounds, reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the profession .

Personal interests can develop into advanced knowledge on various facets of the profession, culminating in very different student projects. Many of our prospective students are drawn by their design interests that landscape architects practice on a fairly large scale, even collaborating with other professionals to amend the environment through creating responsive landscapes.

For the same reason, people interested in geography will find the programme interesting where they not only learn about all types of cultural landscapes as manifestations of human geography but also about managing and preserving them. Individuals with more artistic veins will find joy in creating models, both physical and digital, delivering sketch workbooks, and implement changes in our built environment through their spatial designs. Those with a strong moral commitment to the fate of our globe can develop their understanding of sustainable design and its methods.

The acquisition of knowledge and understanding is approached through an emphasis on student-centred learning and a studio ethos. The following list shows the variety of assessment methods experienced on this course.

  • Lectures
  • Practical project work
  • Field work
  • Group work
  • tutorials
  • Studio seminars
  • Guest speakers and critics
  • Study tours

Assessment methods in the Diploma of Higher Education in Landscape Design programme are very rarely through conventional written examinations. Modules are assessed through an extensive range of methods that test a wide variety of skills and competencies including:

  • Design Projects
  • Exhibitions
  • Visual presentations
  • Spoken presentations
  • Case studies / precedent studies
  • Essays
  • Reports and illustrated reports
  • Practical projects
  • Seminars
  • And, only occasionally, written examinations

Most assessment is individual, but some is through group work, which tests students' ability to work on a team. The ability to work on a team is a crucial workplace skill. Assignments are often constructed to build workplace skills and employability, and assessment is geared towards evaluating these skills. In the second year of the foundation degree, students consider the range of the garden design industry. Students are tutored to help them consider employment or explore the potential of progressing onto the third year of the degree programme.

A degree in landscape design can lead to a wide range of opportunities .

Typically, a graduate from Writtle is employed by small scale landscape design or landscaping companies. Enterprising students are prepared to set up their own businesses and start to work alone or in collaboration with their fellow graduates. Our graduates can also continue to study and aim for a higher degree BSc Landscape Architecture or even MA Landscape Architecture at Writtle University College.

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